looks like an interesting, underrated, early ps2 title. I love how they took actual WW 2 footage, and mixed it with the Mech CGI stuff to make it look real.
Set in post-WWII Japan, Ring of Red places you in the pilot's seat of one of Japan's secret robotic armaments on a quest to rid the country of a communist menace.
It seems like every other game that is released for the PlayStation 2 has something to do with mechs. Helping to perpetuate this pattern, Konami has two mech-based PlayStation 2 games currently in development. While Zone of the Enders takes the more traditional futuristic approach to mech-based warfare, Ring of Red attempts to rewrite history by introducing robots into the aftermath of World War II.
In Ring of Red, you play as a young mech pilot looking to overthrow communist Soviets who seem to have forgotten that WWII has ended. As the game begins, you are taken through a training mission that educates you on the nuances of controlling the lumbering steam-powered mechs. The last training exercise is a two-on-one against one of your company's most revered machines. It soon comes to light that the supermech has been hijacked by one of the Soviets. After a short firefight, the Soviet pilot decides to hightail it to safer territory, and despite being a green mech jockey, you're instructed to follow. As you attempt to chase down the stolen mech, the Soviets send in reinforcements to impede your progress. Like most video game plots, Ring of Red's story is steeped in fiction. But thanks to grainy WWII footage with hazy images of mechs stomping around behind the infantry, the premise suddenly becomes plausible. The story twists and turns regularly, and much like in an RPG, there are several points where you must answer questions that directly alter the story down the road.
At first glance, Ring of Red appears to be a cut-and-dried mech battler. While this stereotype holds true for the majority of the game's combat, Ring of Red is a strategy game at heart. There are five basic types of mechs in the game, and each one has its own advantages and pitfalls. The light AFW (armed fighting walker) is adept at close combat, the regular AFW is designed to be effective at medium-range attacks, the anti-AFW is effective at fairly long attacks, and the four-legged AFW can strike from a great distance. The gameplay begins at a grid-laden map screen, where the topography of the land can be closely examined. Each mech has a predetermined range of movement and attack distance as they take turns negotiating the map. The key to effective attacking lies in placing your mechs at a proper distance from the target to maximize performance.
Further adding to the strategy, certain mechs traverse specific terrain more easily. While you may be able to hack off a mile per turn with the light AFW on flat ground, negotiating mountains with the spindly two-legger is an entirely different story. Cities are scattered throughout the landscape to supply new troops for your unit. Taking cities is also a good way to add new abilities to your mech. Any soldiers extracted from the cities bring their expertise along with them and may be used as mech pilots. Some may excel at defense, while others have new maximum attacks or healing abilities. Choosing which pilot to use for each situation can make the difference between victory and defeat. Cities also serve as a means to automatically replenish health. Taking a city near a concentration of enemies is a good way to achieve a foothold until reinforcements arrive.