Reverse Collapse: Operation Bakery Review | Webzine Inven – Inven VRESP

‘Reverse Collapse: Operation Bakery’, a work that covers the beginning and end of ‘Girls’ Frontline’, was released on March 22nd. It is a story set 30 years after ‘Girls’ Frontline’ and is a remake of ‘Bakery Girl’, the first work released by Sunbon Network Technology when it was a doujin team. In a way, it is the game that made ‘Girls’ Frontline’ what it is today.

As it is a work related to ‘Girls’ Frontline’, which has had a great influence on the subculture since its domestic release in 2017, it has attracted the attention of fans since the remake was announced. However, the release was postponed several times, and upon release, the Steam rating was suddenly marked as ‘mixed’, and it faced negative news.

To conclude, ‘Reverse Collapse: Operation Bakery’ is not a work that deserves to be evaluated as complex. However, it is a work that will definitely have different likes and dislikes, so it may be evaluated higher or lower. It would be necessary to take a closer look at what makes ‘Reverse Collapse: Operation Bakery’ so controversial and what kind of game it is.

Game name: Reverse Collapse: Operation Bakery
Genre name: SRPG
release date: 2024.3.22
review version:
developer: Sunbon Network Technology
service: XD
platform: PC
paly: PC

A combat that is focused on infiltration and not proactive, which I understand in my head but don’t really feel.

‘Reverse Collapse’ is a work depicting a story that unfolds around the Caucasus area 30 years after Girls’ Frontline. Girls’ Frontline fans will have heard of the conflict between the Ruksatist alliance, or ‘Rulian’, and the ‘Antarctic Alliance’, a new force born in Antarctica. It also deals with the topic of disintegration liquid, complete immunity, and ‘relics’.

It may be the perception of users who first encountered ‘Reverse Collapse’ that the material was depicted in an SRPG style, but users who played the previously released demo version will probably know this. Its importance is so high that one more clue, ‘infiltration’, must be added in front of the keyword ‘SRPG’.

▲ The battle part, where you overcome difficulties by strategically using various tools and skills, is clear, but

▲ Before you even feel it, the proportion of infiltration missions is quite high.

The context itself has already been appealing since the demo version. First of all, to explain the simple context of the station collapse, it is about Mendo, a special agent of the Antarctic Union, struggling to safely escape to Antarctica with the experimental girl ‘Jefuti’, who is codenamed ‘Bakery’. Most of Mendo’s colleagues are killed in an ambush by the Lulian army, and Mendo is almost killed, but manages to survive and carry out the operation. As many of the unit’s members are dead and the enemies are bringing tanks and various weapons, Mendo, Jeputy, and their colleagues choose to infiltrate and avoid combat as much as possible rather than engage in an all-out war.

In this way, the story adds to the legitimacy of the infiltration mission, while also capturing the thrill of the thrill of walking on thin ice. The scene of carefully moving forward while looking for each and every gap between the enemy’s patrol routes in ‘stealth’ mode, where you crawl and move as inconspicuously as possible, was conveyed with enough tension to make your hands sweat even though it was drawn in SD.

▲ Tight surveillance net equipped with searchlights and tanks

▲ It is realistically difficult to force a way through it, so infiltration is the answer…

This is probably because the ‘joy’ of modern infiltration action, which is approached by gradually collecting information such as the enemy’s sight range and detection range using various detection assets, is well captured in an SRPG style, rather than simply relying on sight and moving carefully. In addition, the puzzle-style play was well-planned, in which you obtain equipment on site that can deal with various gimmicks and solve them by carefully calculating the action power and range required to modify them. When the enemy blocking your path moves to an area outside of the searchlight path, you can sneak up on them and stun them with a hypnotic needle, or take advantage of the infectious agents’ sensitivity to sound to guide them towards the enemy with a low-frequency transmitter or high-pitched grenade and open a detour. Because the means to break through were clear.

▲ Taking advantage of the characteristics of infectious agents that are sensitive to sound, guidance devices are prepared step by step.

▲ The feeling of pleasure you get when you burn down all your enemies with fireworks.

▲ Utilize tools and enemy gimmicks to induce infections

▲ There is also a strategy for the infectious agent to deal with the difficult Shrike meristosomes on its own.

The problem is that the proportion is so high that the part where the character’s abilities that you have developed shine comes very late. Even when looking at other SRPGs, there are stages where the player plays in a way that actively utilizes surrounding elements or the environment, moves to avoid the enemy’s line of sight, and minimizes combat. It is a means to appeal to the taste of making strategic moves that are different from battle. However, the core fun expected from an SRPG is basically using the characters you have developed well to win against multiple enemies or enemies that are difficult to deal with.

Looking at the trend of the SRPG genre, there is a significant proportion of players solving difficulties by making the most of not only the map gimmicks and enemy placement, but also the skills and characteristics of the characters they have developed. Of course, the detailed systems are different for each game, but in any case, there is a taste of training and testing out the character’s characteristics to use them in some way, and finding strategic moves. However, it is difficult for such elements to be highlighted in the infiltration missions and various combat missions that appear in the early stages of Reverse Collapse. Rather than growing a character or understanding skills, it is more important to move without being detected and to upgrade equipment.

▲ There are also elements that help the character grow.

▲ There are missions where you have to actively use the results and various equipment to clear a path through battle.

▲ Before you can even use it all, you’re on another infiltration mission.

However, ‘Reverse Collapse’ is not a game where combat is not fun or where you just avoid enemies without any depth. The battle itself is also XCOM-style, with the proven fun of Gamnabit, where probability is applied based on cover and terrain. It’s definitely fun to use every means at your disposal to solve the gimmicks of various difficult enemies, including linking your character’s skills, using various tools, and deploying them to attract them to specific terrain.

For example, the ‘Shreike’ that appears in some stages is an entity that cannot be damaged by normal attacks until the special effect is erased by shooting blood bullets or burning the radioactive Udamhwa. So, before blood bullets are distributed, we need to take advantage of the fact that they preferentially attack Zeputi that are related to them. Usually, after moving Jeputy near Udamhwa, various measures are taken to ensure that it is drawn into the area, such as adding Mendo’s simple cover to the danger detection skill to minimize damage and even installing barricades around the area. After successfully inducing it, it is quite complicated to set the firewood on fire with a combustion bomb and use all the skills, grenades, and even the RCWS that was installed in advance to achieve a confirmed kill, but when you successfully achieve it, you have built up your character well. I feel rewarded for steadily upgrading my equipment.

▲ If you just shoot, all you get is persimmon bits, so it’s a real headache when you don’t have blood bullets.

▲ Use all the skills you have raised and the equipment you have acquired to prepare your team.

▲ The strategy of somehow withstanding the onslaught and then timing the kill with concentrated fire is clear, but the importance of that is in the early stages…

Or, missions that involve holding out when surrounded by multiple enemies also appear from time to time. At that time, while Mendo was on stand-in using the Indomitable trait and RCWS’s firepower enhancement trait, Jeputy was able to survive by getting kills with sniping, and the battle was successfully led by utilizing each character’s skills and dividing roles. And as time goes by, the importance of such battles becomes much higher. However, the problem is that the proportion is quite low in the beginning, and the proportion and length of the infiltration missions are very tiring, so the early combat experience does not leave a good impression.

Moreover, even when entering a battle after a long time, there are some enemies that the user cannot really deal with, such as ELID infections. Solving this problem by bypassing it or directing it to the enemy is also a strategic attraction. However, it may not be very pleasant to have to keep thinking about such a passive direction in a situation where the characters can already fight actively after a long time of being unable to deal with or deal with enemies with their own abilities. The fun of SRPGs is to actively devise your own strategy by studying various skill trees, characteristics, and the efficiency of each character’s skill linkage, but rather, it is a situation where the development team forces you to only do the best move that has been thought out in advance.

It’s better if you know Girls’ Frontline, but the gameplay and story are well-structured so that you can dig into it even if you don’t know.

In some ways, it may be a really stuffy structure, but the reason why it can be understood in context is simple. This is because the gameplay itself is designed to impress upon people that Reverse Collapse is a ‘loop’ that repeats the hopeless situation and seeks the best future.

In fact, Jeputy experiences death several times throughout the story, and each time, he transfers his memories to Jeputy from a different timeline, ultimately helping him and his loved ones find a way to live. At first, he was unable to break through the siege and eventually chose to commit suicide, but based on the information he gained through several attempts, he and his colleagues approached the center of the incident.

▲ The process of moving toward the best future by repeating several failures and loops.

▲ It was faithfully captured not only in the story but also in the gameplay. Ret is essential for the future of S class

Recently, Chinese subculture games tend to overuse proper nouns that only they know, and even throw them out without context or say them in a weird way, so the story part may be a bit unsettling. Especially if it is a game that has a previous work, there is a burden of having to know the context of the previous work. However, any user who has played ‘Girls’ Frontline’ will know that proper nouns are good to know, and even if you don’t know them, there is no major problem in understanding them in context. Proper nouns and settings to build a unique world view are also mentioned in ‘Girls’ Frontline’, but there is no rush to explain and unravel them. Rather, we have focused more on creating a sense of immersion through a combination of a generally understandable story structure and gameplay that allows you to directly experience the difficulties faced by the main characters.

This principle is the same in ‘reverse collapse’. Although there are many proper nouns from the beginning, such as ruins and the Three Goddesses Plan, we prevented the story from being disrupted by immediately presenting an easy-to-understand structure that the protagonist and his party are carrying out a special operation to escape the main characters. From then on, rather than dragging out the story repeatedly, we created a structure that allowed people to sympathize with the protagonist’s situation by directly unfolding the story on stage, in which he racked his brains to break through the enemy’s siege.

▲ Even if you’ve played Girls’ Frontline, there are terms in the beginning that you only know at a superficial level.

▲ Even if there is such a thing, it is safe to assume that special forces members are carrying out an operation to take out key elements.

▲ Some complex terms often appear without explanation.

▲ The structure was designed so that there would be no problems even if it was used as a device to instill persuasiveness into the game system.

Of course, the effort put into depicting such a horrendous power asymmetry had the opposite effect of reducing the combat that one would expect from an SRPG. However, when viewed as a device for intuitively presenting a story or situation, it was quite good. The cliché boy meets girl structure was designed to allow users to directly experience the dire difficulties they face and the series of failures they face to overcome them.

And what cannot be left out of the plot is the scene where the male protagonist, who is ordinary but is hiding something, struggles desperately at first to avoid catching the extraordinary heroine, using all possible means. The hidden detail of ‘Reverse Collapse’ is that the stage was designed so that such a structure can be experienced in actual play. This is because the play depicts Mendo stopping the enemy by using various tools such as RCWS, booby traps, and grenades, and using the physical strength accumulated as a special forces member as an asset, while Jeputy subdues the enemy.

Although the in-game directing has its limitations due to SD, the flow continued naturally by using natural movements, various directing, and illustration cutscenes created with the know-how accumulated since the ‘Girls’ Frontline’ days. Although it is difficult to say that it is very excellent, it can at least be said to have achieved its goal of presenting the situation naturally without disturbing the context. In addition, for users who did not know about Girls’ Frontline and want to know about the events of that time or various terms, attention has been paid to details that ensure that the flow of reading the story continues without interruption, such as allowing explanations of key words to be viewed directly in the encyclopedia. It stands out.

▲ Even with SD characters, tense scenes were effectively created.

The method of ‘Reverse Collapse’ is to whet the appetite of fans by gently explaining settings related to ‘Girls’ Frontline’ in a well-organized board that can be understood even if you do not know Girls’ Frontline. Tactical dolls such as Betty, who are familiar to Girls’ Frontline fans as IDW Danya, appear, and ‘William’, the root of all evil in Girls’ Frontline, makes a secret move. Once you get past the initial hurdles, you will be hooked. Girls’ Frontline 2 has not yet been released in Korea, but as someone who played ‘Girls’ Frontline 2′ when it was released in China, there were many situations where I was curious about what happened after that.

For the sake of Girls’ Frontline fans who haven’t played yet due to hesitation due to the Steam rating of Reverse Collapse, I would like to point out that William is still alive and well, and is plotting all kinds of evil deeds. As I struggle desperately to stop that plot, I vividly remember the hard work I had to do in Girls’ Frontline and Girls’ Frontline 2. It may be a reward(?) for the penance, but I hope you will see for yourself whether William, who had one of his arms blown off by a tactical doll, will receive retribution this time.

▲ It’s a pity that I didn’t translate it into “~Danya”, but I still feel relieved to see Betty after a long time.

▲ Public Enemy ‘William’ is alive and well after 30 years. Damn. I’m going to finish off what I couldn’t kill back then.

A journey to find the best future through repeated challenges, ‘reverse collapse’

In a way, ‘Reverse Collapse’ can be said to be a game that embodies the ‘philosophy’ of Sunbon Network Technology that has been continued since the days of Team Mika. Looking back, ‘Girls’ Frontline’ was introduced as a ‘gun-ki-moe-hwa’ when it first came out, but as it went on, it became a work that more emphasized the hardcore feeling of breaking through the wailing wall with various anomalous plays that made full use of the limits of the control and system. What? Looking back at my past memories of games such as Beggar Run, Red Bong Run, Heaven Run, Retreat Con and Warigari, I think it was rare to see a mobile game before Girls’ Frontline that depicted a story of a brutal fight while using SD characters to such an extent through in-game play.

‘Reverse Collapse’, a work that deals with the period 30 years later, and a new remake of Team Mika’s first work, also has the same framework. This is because the story of characters trying to survive by making the most of available means in a situation where various absurd gimmicks, overwhelming differences in combat power, and XCOM-style odds are added is expressed through gruesome gameplay. Here, the story told in a time loop matches the actual play pattern of users somehow clearing the game while repeatedly failing, so you can become immersed in the story even if you don’t know Girls’ Frontline.

If you paid attention to the process of telling the story, you could evaluate it that way, but the moment you focus on the gameplay expected from an SRPG, the fun is halved, which is the current situation of ‘reverse collapse’. There are elements of nurturing characters and creating various equipment, but the sections that are structured around solving puzzles provided by the development team are too long, rather than sections where the characters are properly used. If you continue to worry about finding that fixed answer, there is a risk that the character’s charm and abilities will take a backseat, which could set off a chain reaction that reduces motivation to continue watching the story.

The development team seems to be aware of this, and they are continuously making improvements by easing or creating a fast track so that even if the section called the stealth gateway is discovered, it can be resolved through combat. Even if you change it like that, the level design does not allow you to feel much growth in the beginning, so it is not easy to overcome it by actively engaging in guerrilla warfare with the skills and equipment you have upgraded. To put it a little harshly, rather than stressing over the message ‘Mission Failed’ as soon as you get caught, it’s more like giving you hope by lowering a cobweb, or rather, giving you the slightest chance of succeeding at least once in a while.

However, it is comforting to know that from the moment you gain some level of training in the latter half of the game, it shows the classic SRPG structure of carefully destroying enemies step by step, taking into account range, tools, and skill range. So, there is room for the infiltration missions in that section to be resolved through combat.

▲ Previously, it was a failure the moment you were caught, but now most infiltration missions can be tackled head-on.

However, because of these things, the fact that the things I wanted to talk about in ‘Reverse Collapse’ are pushed to the background is not a good thing in itself. Moreover, this kind of mistake does not only occur in ‘reverse collapse’. Similar things happened in ‘Girls’ Frontline’ and ‘Girls’ Frontline 2’. It was good to design it so that users could directly experience the hardships that the main character and his group would go through through gameplay, but it was too much and the structure of reliving the trauma of wanting to escape or escape was repeated again this time.

Because it stimulated such trauma and showed too late the fun expected from the genre itself, it is difficult for ‘Reverse Collapse’ to receive a good Steam evaluation. In any case, it is the beginning of the ‘Girls’ Frontline’ IP and a work that shows the future, so the fandom’s evaluation will have a significant impact. However, while working on the ‘Girls’ Frontline’ series, I made the mistake of pouring in what I thought was excessive, even though it was a single package game. It’s not just a matter of ‘difficult’, but the problem is that most games have a rigid structure that forces users to just follow the developer’s intentions rather than actively playing, making it a spicy flavor that lacks flavor. In addition, the Korean version has translation problems, which makes it relatively less immersive to the story, and even some of the mission conditions are translated incorrectly, so even the spicy flavor cannot be fully enjoyed.

▲ It is clearly set to Korean, but sometimes Japanese pops up.

However, the ‘reverse collapse’ after passing that critical moment is noticeably different. There is definitely a lot of fun in SRPGs where you fight fiercely against enemies by making full use of various gimmicks, skills, and character characteristics. Even if you don’t know ‘Girls’ Frontline’, it is definitely a complete show that you can enjoy on its own, and if you know ‘Girls’ Frontline’, once you pass a certain point, there is enough motivation to make you run to see the ending. Although I wonder what it would have been like if the point had been moved a little earlier, it is certain that ‘Reverse Collapse’ is a work with detail and core as a hardcore SRPG. However, since it is a work that expresses the process of finding the best future through repeated failures, each episode is quite long and tiring, so you need to brace yourself rather than taking it lightly as it is Girls’ Frontline’s new work. Since the translation and various issues have not been completely improved yet, we recommend waiting a bit and accessing it after further improvements have been made.

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About Michael Steven

I am a news writer, editor and journalist with more than 13 years of experience. I have an MA in Journalism and have published work in various publications around the world. With me, you don't have to worry about copyright and defamation issues or being punished by search engines. You get original work that complies with media laws. Communication: I really prioritize good communication with clients, from their expectations to the initial plan and vision of the project in particular. Tell me what you want - even down to the level of 'how' you want it written. Nonetheless, I must note that self-expression is very important to me and I hope to reach a solution together with the client but not at the expense of the quality of the finished product.

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