Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme VS Force is a fun but muddled action-strategy game that puts a bit too much focus on the strategy aspect.
Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme VS Force
Developer: Bandai Namco
Platforms: PS Vita
MonsterVine was provided with a PS Vita code for review
Surprisingly enough, Mobile Suit Gundam is a franchise that I’m not fully familiar with. While I remember catching some of Gundam Seed on TV when I was younger, I’ve yet to take the full plunge into the series. Regardless, I have a weakness for giant robots and large-scale battles, so I was excited to play Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme VS Force. For the most part the game is enjoyable, but it stumbles when it tries to balance its action and strategy elements.
Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme VS Force‘s story is decidedly abstract. Two A.I. companions guide the player, a newly awakened A.I., through numerous battles from the Gundam franchise. Aside from main battles and events, there are also “distortions” that serve as side-missions. These often change the events of the series’ major battles, either changing the main aspects of the plot, or putting you in the role of a villain or side-characters. Other than these missions and the occasional text-based cutscenes with your A.I. companions, there isn’t much of a plot. There isn’t anything particularly worth mentioning, but that’s almost to be expected of most crossover games.
The gameplay of Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme VS Force is fun in spurts. Each mission provides a different objective, achieved through free-roaming third person gameplay. Some missions require you to take down enemy dropships, while others have you battle rival mechs. The core mechanics behind these missions can be fun, as battling enemy mechs with gratuitous weaponry should be. However, the main problem lies within Extreme VS Force‘s attempt at blending this fast-paced action with an overbearing element of strategy.
While running around different stages and battling enemies, you’re often told to take over enemy bases by destroying them and the surrounding enemies. While this isn’t a difficult objective in and of itself, it doesn’t blend well with the game’s faster and more action-packed combat. Having to worry about taking over bases, protecting your own bases, fighting off minor enemies, and taking down enemy gunships all at once is frustrating. While I love strategy games, these mechanics just don’t fit in with the hectic action that Extreme VS Force revolves around. Having to slow down and assemble a plan while battling numerous robots on the fly isn’t as fun as it would be to just focus on battling.
Otherwise the gameplay is indeed fun. There is a ridiculously large roster that will definitely please any Gundam fan, and many of the mechs have unique weapons and abilities, making battles more diverse. Aside from their strategic hangups, battles are normally enjoyable. Straight-up battles between two mechs are highlights of the game, as each character handles smoothly.
Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme VS Force‘s visuals are outstanding. The mechs look astounding, with some very impressive attention given to the smaller details of each model. The illustrations for characters and the A.I. companions are nicely detailed, as you could expect from most anime games.
The sound in Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme VS Force is also impressive. The voice acting, entirely in Japanese, is full of enthusiasm and vigor. Each character has a unique and powerful voice, which amplifies the “anime” feeling that the game aims for. The music is largely motivational and high-energy, which compliments the voice acting and flashy action nicely.
The Final Word
Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme VS Force is a confused, but ultimately fun game. Extreme VS Force is at its strongest when it focuses on high-octane robot action with its huge roster. When this action is muddled by needless strategy, the game loses momentum and becomes a bit of a slog. Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme VS Force will definitely appeal to Gundam fans, but other gamers would probably be best playing another game.
– MonsterVine Review Score: 3 out of 5 – Average