Gundam games haven’t exactly been in the good books in recent years, for every good game there are many shit ones. Dodgy controls and gameplay have stopped it from becoming a great franchise it could of been. Has Gundam vs Gundam found it’s potential or is it just another failure?
The year is 2030 an enemy known as the Devil Gundam has merged all the worlds into one, it’s up to all the Gundam heroes to work together and defeat the threat. Being a port of an arcade game of the same name the plot is wafer thin only being used a simple premise for all the Gundams being together in one place. A simple short cut-scene (or should I say launch sequence) for each series is played at the beginning of the Arcade Mode along with a nice piece of artwork at the end and that’s about it. The arcade mode consists of 8 stages along with a boss at the end. Though it bombards you with many options to choose from they all play out the same. Time attack mode, harder difficulties and different scenarios all follow the same objective of destroying the enemy until you or the enemy has no more points left. It would of been nice to have other objectives like ‘survive until time runs out’ and a variety of other modes to help flesh out the single player aspect more. This comes at a surprise as past PSP Gundam installments like Gundam Seed: Rengou vs. Z.A.F.T. offered much more variety of gameplay options in the single player department as well as a more fleshed out story mode.
During combat you are given a set number of points, each gundam takes up either 1000, 2000 or 3000 points, the more powerful the gundam the higher the points, meaning you can’t die as many times as the stronger gundams, this is a way of balancing the game so everyone has an even chance, even the Guncannon can hold it’s own again Wing Zero if you are skilled enough. Once the teams points equals zero the game is over.
The game plays out like most Gundam games, you can perform a melee attack (Triangle), Jump (X) use your main weapon (Square) and sub-weapon (R) and combinations of these commands to perform other long/short range attacks. The combat system is both simple and surprisingly deep, you can easily stick to the simple attacks while those wishing to can experiment and make full use of the attacks offered t help give you an edge over your opponent. You also have a support mecha which quickly appear and do a set command for a small amount of time, as well as a special attack which you can activate when your G-Gauge is full (which naturally progresses as you receive more damage). 37 characters are playable (4 of which are unlockable) but each one plays and feel different, some specialise in Melee, others long range combat and some a combination of the 2, some fast and some slow, but all are well balanced. Weapons range from laser rifles, beam cannons, missiles, machine guns and more, along with some different types of beam sabers, giving you lots to choice from meaning you are bound to find a Gundam that suits your play style.
Beyond the Arcade mode you have a simple versus mode in which you can face off against CPU’s or even watch 4 CPU’s going at it, along with being able to battle it out over a local Wi-fi connection. The game plays well over Wi-fi but there was occasional slow downs and lag especially as things got hectic on the screen. Playing with friends can be insane fun and easily trumps anything the single player as to offer. Even if the single player doesn’t last you very long, those dedicated enough can put many hours into the game improving you skills and playing with friends.
Graphically the game is standard for the PSP, the Gundams themselves look brilliant, but the problem lies with the bland background all shining low res textures into the screen, and what little destructible buildings there are all fall down the same, like a planned demolition. If only the same amount of detail that went into the Gundams were used on the scenery.
The game is for Gundam fans only, everyone else should probably give this one a miss, unless you like arcade style action games. Your overall enjoyment of the game will be judged solely on your love for Gundam. Overall it’s a successful port of the arcade game though it would of been nice to see more PSP exclusive modes, a Mission mode for example, the single player doesn’t live up to the standards of Gundam Seed: Rengou vs. Z.A.F.T. or other games in the franchise. Got 3 other Gundam Loving friends? Then give this one a shot and expect to have a blast.
The Final Word
Fun, fast paced and surprisingly deep gameplay but a lack of different gameplay options and short single player mode, making this title fun but short lived.
– MonsterVine Rating: Average/Good