“ Manufacturer: Atari / Genre: Action / PEGI Age Rating: Age 12+ / Output Signal Supported: 1080i / Output Signal Supported: 720p / Output Signal Supported: 480p / HDTV Support: HDTV Support / ESRB Descriptor: Mild Language / ESRB Descriptor: Fantasy Violence / Max. Number Of Players: 2 / Release Date: 2006 „
I managed to pick this game up recently for only a few pounds. The last Gundam game I played on the Dreamcast which provided a fun experience. Looking at the reviews this game seems to have received mediocre to poor reviews. However this game appeals to a very specific audience so it's difficult to go by reviews.
The gundam units are clunky and move slowly, so for anyone used to 3D games that allow freedom of movement this game will disappoint. Instead this is a strategy game, by building a well configured mech and employing good tactics you beat the enemy. I was very satisfied with the game play experience. Initially the learning curve is quite hard but after a while this game becomes quite easy. Finishing a mission gives you a real sense of satisfaction. In terms of game play, this game is extremely fun.
With regard to the graphics, this game doesn't really show off the performance of the PS3, rather it suffers from severe frame rate drops especially during intense battles. The game obviously hasn't been fully optimized for the PS3. On the other hand the design of the levels and the Gundam robots look impressive. Zoom in close up to any of the enemies and you can see the level of detail and design put into this game.
One of the main criticisms is the clunky and slow movement of the game. Unlike many shooting games Gundam doesn't pretend to give you a full real life like immersive experience. The game is simply what it is, a video game. If anyone wants a fully 3D experience they should switch off their TV and get some fresh air in the real world.
Overall, as a strategy shooting game I was pleasantly satisfied. Gundam can be picked up for less than 5 GBP. If you can get it for this price I highly recommend it.
Gundam based on the anime series which I know very little about. After searching around on Play.com, I noticed this brand new for a low £10 cost. Doing some Googling and looking at the images, it did seem like a pretty decent game. However, I could never be more wrong. After around an hour of gameplay, it became more than obvious why this game was priced so low with many users on Play.com trying to flog away their copies.
---- Plotline ----
Gundam uses a fictional storyline based on Earth in the very distant future, where technology has now reached new heights whilst attracting corruption at the same time. Two governments of the world in a raging war for control of the planet, Principality of Zeon versus The Earth Federation.
---- Gameplay ----
The player will need to choose a side in the campaign mode; each side has their own unique units with their own strengths and weaknesses. The Zeon seem to present evil and the Federation seem to come across as the good guys.
The whole campaign interface takes place in a view of the Earth, very much like the idea used in Google Earth. Highlighted areas indicate where missions can be activated. Several options can be picked such as the hanger, choosing your robots to use in the next mission with the specific pilot chosen. On this screen, customisation is possible with your units. Being able to upgrade their skills or make them unique to a certain environment like a desert or a jungle in terms of camouflage and resist to weather. The upgrade feature is a nice touch, but too easy to do and doesn't require many points to do so. Damage taken from missions will mean upgrades are not possible until all repairs are done, but damaged units can still be used on missions if the player is desperate. If casualties are too high and waiting for new pilots or units is your only option, then being able to progress a turn is available. Using this too much can lead to missions not being able available in future, hence losing income and the experience for your pilots to gain, making all those harder missions nearly impossible to complete. Even though you can pick certain pilots for a certain robot, you always need to have yourself picked for every mission, even if your character is wounded and exhausted. Not entirely sure what the developers were thinking there.
The controls have to be some of the most frustrating and difficult I've ever had to put with as a gamer. There is very little camera rotation, so I can't even see what's going on everywhere most of the time. Isn't even a look behind option, not being able to see if my support robots are following me properly. Due to the slow movement of every robot unit, it makes you wonder if you are actually pushing your control stick forward or not.
A jetpack can be used for specific robots, making movement a little faster and the possibility to avoid attacks. This can take a while to get used to as it does require some button mashing along with movements of the analogue stick. After some good practice, it will give players a great advantage in combat.
Support units back up the player on battle mode, being able to provide cover fire and take some of the heavy resistance away. Depending on how skilled your friendly pilots are, they will either help properly or not. Rookie types seem to wander to the middle of nowhere and get picked off very easily. When you reach a certain rank, you gain the ability to order them around properly on the battlefield. However thanks to the buggy controls, hitting that specific button for an order will not indicate anywhere on the screen that the order has been activated.
Melee combat is available for certain robots. Some are either equipped with a laser sword or just their bare hands. The laser sword is extremely deadly and can slice targets to piece, but very dangerous and risky trying to get close. Two laser sword fighters meeting up can be rather interesting, robot type lightsaber battle.
A first person view mode can be activated at any time if the player chooses. Although, it comes with its bugs. Bullets never seem to hit where you want them to, even at point blank range.
Icons are used to show the player how much ammo each of their weapon has remaining. Ammo can be replenished back at friendly based and takes a total of ten seconds. This option can be cancelled at any time if the enemy is incoming on that location. Much like the Smackdown vs. Raw wrestling series, the game uses the same type of icon to show damage on the body of your robot.
When a mission is completed, a score appears. If great skill was used to complete everything quickly and with little damage gained to your units, more points will be gained to spend on your army.
Disappointing to say the least and could have brought much more potential to this game. To start off with, there is no online mode. So many ideas could have been used if this was activated. The entire campaign mode could have been two players if the developers thought long and hard about it, but obviously not. Instead, you are left with an offline mode with a split screen.
Due to the laggy frame rate, this isn't very fun to play. The game engine struggles with two different user inputs and commands being used at the same time.
In order to play as the more advanced robots, the player will need to unlock them all first in campaign mode.
---- Graphics ----
There is nothing superior about the graphics for Gundam. The frame rate is absolutely awful and laggy; the controls just don't match with it either.
Everything felt quite impressive within the first few minutes, but it soon hits when you realise that not much of the PS3 technology is being used. The engine struggles with many pixels moving on the screen slowing down all gameplay. On a Playstation 2, this was understandable, but on a next generation system? Come on!
However, the damage textures rather impressed me and one of the reasons I kept playing a little longer. For instance, a robot with a blown off arm will still have constant debris and sparks falling from the wound. The main highlight from the game's animation and graphics.
Although I haven't completed the game, the FMVs were nothing spectacular. A cartoon type storyboard was used with a narrator talking in the background, giving off a basic introduction on what was going on in the storyline. Not getting me fired up in the process and my eyes were actually half open before the first level came on.
Nothing next generation about the scenery of background. Very little interactivity in which the player can do with the land such as hills, infact they just cause even more frustration.
---- Sound and Music ----
Like in many movies today, it uses some attractive music effects like you would find when watching a film. When you encounter enemy activity, the music will suddenly turn to dramatic. Enhancing your battles and the mood.
Many voice overs are just over in the game, yet extremely repetitive. It leads to mass confusion too for the player with the constant "Argh!" and cusses. Due to the same voice, it makes you wonder if the enemy talking or your friendly troops? It's not rocket science to have different voice overs for different sides now is it? Surely they could have hired one extra person to do a bit more talking. Anyway on the subject of the voice overs, fairly good acting indeed. Sounding like they were actually in pain and using real emotion.
Sound effects combined with the voice acting create a true battle atmosphere times and can properly be absorbed when wearing headphone. The game still comes across as fairly loud when your volume is set down pretty low.
---- Recommendations ----
For people that are fans of Transformers and robot technology, you may want to check this out. It will cost you little to nothing to pick up a copy, make sure you don't spend over £10 as its definitely not worth it.
I'm not sure if the developers were rushed to completion with their project, but I'm sure they are quite embarrassed to release a PS2 type game on a next generation system. This game would have been a hit back in the day released on the Playstation 2. However on the PS3, it just feels late, old, sluggish and very outdated.
Just make sure you practise a lot with the controls, otherwise you'll find this nearly impossible to play, even on the lowest difficulty set. It's safe to say that the controls are not user friendly.
It gets one star above the minimum for me due to the fairly good campaign mode idea and the damage textures on every robot. A nice touch, but not enough to keep me completely entertained as a gamer. Yes it was quite satisfying to blow up enemies in different ways, but struggling to constantly move my robot in the poor frame rate. Now that's the ultimate enemy indeed, fighting your frustration!
## Review also on my Ciao account. ##
Featuring a variety of Mobile Suits from the Gundam franchise, "Mobile Suit Gundam" sets players in the latter stages of The One Year War. Players have the opportunity to be a commander of their own Mobile Suit battalion for either the Federation or Zeon Mobile Suit Assault Force. As players move through the ranks, they are able to gain access to new Mobile Suits and engage in battles with more capable pilots at their command.