Anime with giant robots have never really amazed me. Never have I even watched an episode of Neon Genesis Evangelion nor Voltron. There’s just something in mecha animes that feels so cliché/repetitive.
Giant war machines in video games however, now that’s another story.
Platform Reviewed: PS4
Platforms Available: PS4
Publisher: Bandai Namco
Developer: Bandai Namco
Release Date: September 29, 2017
This review is based on a review copy provided by Bandai Namco.
Enter Gundam Versus for the PS4. This arena fighting game has over 100 Gundams to play as(!). Plus, there are a total of 203 unlockable supports called strikers, which are also Gundams that you can bring with you in battle. What’s surprising about the sheer number of playable mecha is that every suit plays unique. None of them feels like they’re a clone of the other. Each mecha has a basic attack, two specials, and an assist attack. Every Gundam needs to be handled differently.
Don’t worry about not knowing what to do – the game has a three-part tutorial that teaches the basics. Surprisingly, there’s not much combo to learn here, but there’s this boost bar you have to keep an eye on. The boost bar indicates how much you can fly and dash. When emptied, the bar will read ‘overheat’ and will render your suit motionless, vulnerable to attacks.
The game is so easy to learn, but so hard to master. And mastering your favorite mobile suit is essential for you to enjoy playing online. Otherwise your opponents will just pummel you to death. You have been warned.
There are a couple of modes in this game but only two stand out more than the rest.
Ultimate Battle is Gundam Versus’ horde mode, in which players partner with other players online or with AI. They then get to wipe out wave after wave of enemies. UB mode gives a steady rise in difficulty from the first wave to the last. Players are given the chance to take a break and upgrade their chosen mechas every after five waves. When played online, additional waves appear that lets you battle enemies with other players.
Be warned, though, since the connection from the players you play with varies from one user to the next. When you get paired with a gamer with slow connection speed, the whole game freezes for seconds before re-synchronizing. Sometimes, the battles stop in the middle of a match. A round could even fail to start. But when the connection’s smooth, expect frantic action.
Playing Ultimate Battle mode solo offline gives you the chance to be a boss every after five waves. The game lets you pilot a gigantic mobile suit, stomping five Gundams that can barely be seen on-screen due to your robot’s size. Defeat them before the timer runs out or before they gang up and make your big machine go boom boom instead.
Before playing online, you can try to conquer Trial Battle, where a route will be presented for you to go through, mission after mission. In the end is a boss fight. Emerge as the victor and you’ll be rewarded with currency. This mode is the best way for newbies to familiarize with a Mobile Suit Gundam and choose what’s the best mecha that suits their play style.
Free Battle, Casual Match, Player Match, and Rank Match make up the rest of the modes. Free Battle lets you fight CPU foes with custom settings. Casual Match lets you get on 1v1, 2v2, or 3v3 matches online without having to wait in lobbies. Player Match lets you create or join a lobby with other gamers. Rank Match is what the name suggests it to be – play against other gamers more competitively and get ranked up or down after the fight, depending on the results. Be the best pilot there is!
Long-time fans of the series has another thing to get excited about – the soundtrack. With songs ranging from the oldest of Gundam anime, nostalgia will surely rush through your veins. This, with the large roster of playable Gundams, and how good a fighting game Versus actually is, might be a reason for fans to pick the game up. For some, however, I suggest you wait for the price to drop.