Archives

Mini Review: Mobile Suit Gundam: Gundam vs Gundam

No sir, I don’t like it. Not one BIT!!!

Huh? you want more? Fine…

Gundam Vs Gundam is the 5th game in this series of arcade game ports, being the successor to Mobile suit gundam seed: Rengou vs Zaft 2.
Fundamentally, the game hasn’t changed since it’s first iteration, Federation vs Zeon way back in 2001. The roster has increased and gameplay has been sped up but the series looked like it was on the verge of going stale with Rengou vs ZAFT 2.

They tried to spice things up in that game by making subtle changes to the game but it looked like it may have been getting a bit too complex for it’s own good.
So for Gundam vs gundam, the went back to the basic style and added stuff to battles, such as a unit assist move (think about the assist characters in Marvel vs Capcom and you get the idea) and massive attacks which affect a wide area of the battlefield, and created a roster containing mobile suits from all the series thus far! And that’s where the problems begin…

Loved:

  • The unit selection: Being able to play as different gundams allows previously neglected units, such as the Gundam X and V2 gundam, to shine!
  • The music: there’s something eerily awesome about blowing stuff up to the tune of “Tobeagare Gundam” (the Op for the first gundam series)
  • G Gundam units: although unbalanced, they are very fun!!
  • The basic mechanics are still the same and still robust

Hated:

  • The game balance: for the most part, when fighting against mobile suits, melee attacks prove to be by far the most effective, giving an unfair advantage to the G gundam units and Exia (the only entry from Gundam 00 and a PSP bonus unit). However, when it comes to the final boss (a devil gundam ripoff) the exact reverse is true. Melee can be effective, but it takes a while to make full use of it.
  • Many of the units, Particularly early UC units, are incredibly boring to play as, with a very limited repetoire of moves
  • Some moves are just ridiculous, G gundam units aside, a few units have moves which should not appear in a game like this. I die a little every time I see the ZZ gundam do a spinning throw move…
  • The new Area attacks, which are made available once the special bar is filled, is one of the worst ideas for a game like this I have ever seen!!! When triggered, you are warned that a large object is about to crash through the battlefield and for you to get out of the way. It’s primary function seems to simply break up a battle as all units run like headless chickens to the nearest safe spot. It’s unneccessary, breaks up the flow of battle and doesn’t really add anything to the gameplay.

I’ve been keeping up with this series since the very first game, where I bought the PAL version of the Fed Vs zeon game for the PS2. I also have AEUG vs Titans and both Rengou vs ZAFT games and really enjoyed all of them. I could feel that the series was getting into a bit of trouble with Rengou vs ZAFT 2, but this is definitely not the way I wanted to see the series move. It feels like the the game has lost itself and just crammed in a load of new ideas without thinking about whether or not they will work!!
They may have been trying to entice new players to the series but the game is too similar to the old games to draw in new blood and the new features probably alienate the veterans, like myself, as they son’t add anything and just seem to annoy.

The worst part is that, at times, the quality of the old games shine through and you get into really intense battles, but no sooner have you reached that point then the enemy will use that accursed area attack and have you running for over while bringing you crashing back to earth.

I don;t really see what’s next for the franchise. Perhpas it’s best to leave it to pasture now as it’s clear the developers don’t know what else to do with it. But I still attest that Rengou vs ZAFT was the best in the series!!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to play some GTI club C’ote D’azur on PS3 (highly recommended)

  • Kev

    Ah thanks for the mini review, been thinking of whether to get this or not. I too have been there since Fed vs Zeon (arcade ver!) and played all of them up to Gundam Battle Tactics for PSP (stopped because the lack of time). Anyways, no point if it’s just more of the same but worst.

    Please review Macross Ace Frontier next!

  • gundamjehutykai

    actually, I reviewed ace frontier earlier!

    check under the games category or just click on this link. But in a nutshell, It’s got problems but it’s still fun, just not great like the PS2 Macross game!

    http://gundamjehutykai.wordpress.com/2008/10/17/mini-review-macross-ace-frontier/

  • Xenostripsis

    I downloaded this game only a couple days ago coincidentally and I haven’t played through the entire thing yet. I have to say that the designs look very nice and the levels look great for a psp game, although the architecture can sometimes get in the way and often hamper battle because all of the gundams and other ms’ are unmaneuverable and couldn’t jump over a tin can, even if they wanted to. gundam vs. gundam and the rest of the series are essentially modified versions of the gamecube game Gotcha Force. gthca force had very fast paced battles, units reacted quickly and were very maneuverable, gigantic structures were very easy to scale and gameplay was very balanced. The G vs. G controls are too simple and yet require you to pull off button combos moves while your character stands still leaving you open completley vulnerable to attack, general controls are somewhat awkward too. Units are too slow to react, so doging is nigh impossible and most characters do have a very limited number of actions most of which are either over powered or completely useless. CC seems to be the most effective attack, but only certain units can use it effectivley (eg. destiny gundam, exia). and last but not least, i feel they should have added more 00 gundam units (dynames or kyrios), but overall there were enough characters to hold ones interest. all in all, entertaining, but perseverance is key to fully enjoying the game

  • gundamjehutykai

    if you’ve played the seed games, then the dodging and combo buttons aren’t hard at all. I’m fully used to the speed and reactions by now, though I had to customise the buttons a bit.
    But I agree that Close combat does have a distinct advantage over ranged attacks. If you think destiny is bad, try God gundam!

    And while it is a shame that only Exia is playable on the 00 side, all the gundams make an appearence. Dynames is the assist unit and Virtue & Kyrios are used in the wide area attack.

    But I much prefer Rengou vs ZAFT portable over G vs G.

  • Xenostripsis

    yah, actually i played it a little more last night and i found it was easier to pull off dodges, I guess I had gotten used to the gundam battle universe button-mashing-dodge method, although beating the final boss with master gundam is hella hard/annoying(stupid 3 minute time limit). Oh yes i forgot to say that I agree with you, G-Gundam units are totally over powered

  • gundamjehutykai

    master and god gundam are the easiest ones to beat the devil gundam boss!!

    Just jump up to the small body and then spam the CC button. when the combo is over, press the jump button once to bring you back up and then repeat. When his shield is up, use whatever you want to take out the smaller heads and then repeat when the shield is down. I beat the boss in less than 40 seconds with that tactics.

  • Xenostripsis

    yah, but my game kept on screwing up (i swear it wasn’t human err) and i had extreme difficulty even avoiding the hooge laser, never mind landing any hits, a problem i didn’t have with any other gundams, eventually i killed him/it tho and it was extremely easy, WHEN I COULD JUMP PROPERLY.

  • gundamjehutykai

    ah yeah, God and master gundam do things differently don’t they. You need to keep pressing jump to gain height as they don’t use boosters…

    Personally, I find the game pretty easy on every level except ultimate. I can get 2 extra stages on all the other paths but I can’t get past the 2nd stage on ultimate.

    How the creators thought you could take one 1 Gundam X, followed by 2 Freedom gundams and then 3 Turn As ALL BY YOURSELF is beyond me…

  • Xenostripsis

    Oh, I’m used to the jumping, from playing gotcha force, but it just wasn’t working properly. I dont think i ‘ve tried ultimate difficultly yet, but im bored with the game anyways (gameplay is so limited, no really unique units, unlike gotcha force)

  • gundamjehutykai

    Well, the UC units all pretty much play the same, strike gundam is cool cos you can swap packs at a whim, G gundam and Exia are totally different from the rest, X is pretty much UC as well but with a big F*ck off cannon attack, same with wing and Destiny and freedom do a decent mix of both.

    Aside from that, yeah…

    But Ultimate is HARD!!! Stage 2 was a nightmare with 1 enemy unit, then 2 and finally 3 against you with no support!!! But at least you get your support back for stage 3 but that’s as far as I’ve got…

  • Xenostripsis

    well… i got bored and beat ultimate mode last night, interestingly enough there are 10 lvls in ultimate and only 8 in normal, at the end i unlocked a photo that said “You are the greatest pilot of ‘G’” G meaning gundam vs gundam. This was quite a disappointment. I mean come on, I beat ulitimate mode w/ that annoying s**t shinn asuka blaring my ears the entire time (i used my favorite ms, impulse gundam) to unlock a stupid picture? in other words “where’s my super cool unlockable gundam?”

  • Lee

    I dont entirely agree. I’m a huge Gundam fan, and I felt that the game was a pretty good representation of how a gundam fight should be. In ever gundam series beam saber fights and a flurry of missiles have been the staple in the series. From Gundam 0, to Gundam F91, to Gundam 00. Melee based attacks is what the game is all about. Doing a fly by shooting or sidestepping and firing a charged beam isnt as fun as dodging hundreds of rounds from Heavy Arms and getting in your oppenants face with a sword thats larger than life. The G Cross over special is a tad bit retarded, but I suppose the skill comes in not getting hit, but keeping ur oppenant in the field long enough for them too. And I so far have had a 70% success rate with it. I play the game with my friends all the time and I cant wait for the next installment. While the game has its faults with getting caught with friendly fire, or getting side stepped then combo’d only pushes you to play the game a little better. I’d still give the gamea 4 out of 5, and will continue to play it untell MSGVG Next arrives on the scene.

  • gundamjehutykai

    The G Cross specials are my biggest gripe about the game, but a lot of other things creep up as well, like how many of the UC units aren’t that different from one another. But I have to disagree with you regarding the melee attack based gundam series. Most series are fought from a distance with close combat only used for dramatic effect when a hero unit is fighting his eternal rival. There are some exceptions where the MS is designed purely for close combat but you will find that the majority of combat from any gundam series, except for G gundam, was done from a mid distance.

    But that’s not to say that getting in close isn’t a valid tactics, it’s just far too much emphasis is put on it for this game. I think the balance was best struck in Rengou Vs ZAFT. units were able to freely switch between long and short distance combat and dodging was fairly easy and you didn’t have ridiculous attacks which broke up the flow of battle.