Hey guys! Your favourite ginger is back with another review! This week I’m taking a look at Bandai Namco Entertainment’s Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme VS Force on PS Vita.
Now before I go any further, let me just say that I have never watched the show or played any other Gundam game besides this one. So my experience was based solely on this game, with next to no other context.
The game begins with you being greeted by two virtual navigators. They inform you that you are an AI destined to save humanity by travelling back in time and finding the key to our next step in evolution – and therefore end our imminent destruction.
Now, I’m already excited. I had just sat down with a cup of coffee when I started this game, and saving the world sounds way better than doing laundry on a Tuesday, that’s for sure.
As you travel back in time, you take on various key roles from the Gundam universe. By completing missions, you improve your connection to that person/character, and gather more data on evolution, taking you one step closer to saving humanity. Now don’t worry, although your primary focus is to take one for the team and save humanity (y’know, no biggie) you can also obtain some sweet upgrades for yourself as you earn ‘Haro Medals’. These can be acquired by completing additional tasks in missions such as clearing the mission in a set amount of time, defeating certain enemies with force attacks, or clearing a mission with all your machines intact.
So we can already see that there’s a fair few things going on in this game. A simple yet fairly engaging story, with missions full of extra tasks and action packed fights. Sounds like a good time!
The tutorial is pretty simple, and runs you through all the simulations/missions in a step by step style, giving you a really easy layout of what’s going to happen, and what you have to do. As you progress through the missions and new features or tasks are introduced, there will be a short tutorial on how to use that specific feature or complete that specific task. Whether these occur before or in the mission itself, pay attention, otherwise you’ll be left using terrible strategies that won’t get you anywhere. I may or may not have learned that the hard way…
The gameplay overall is good. It has some cool features when it comes to combat, but nothing that really stood out…There was no “Halo 2 introduces dual-wielding and everyone freaks out” moment, y’know?
The controls are pretty simple once you get used to them, but I did experience a couple of issues while playing. Maybe they were a result of me not quite knowing how to control every little bit of the game, but it seems that a few others have been having similar issues as well.
During combat, you can lock on to your enemies, allowing you to be much more precise with your attacks, and lets you systematically take down each opponent and work your way towards completing the mission. However, once there are multiple enemies around you, I found that when trying to lock on to an enemy right in front of me, the lock on function would take me to a different enemy, sometimes completely out of my sight. Not only was this annoying, it was disorientating. I kept getting lost in battle, chasing after different enemies and only doing so much damage to them before being locked on to a completely different target. By the time you figure out what’s what, you’ve already taken damage from other Gundam who have made use of your confusion.
The other thing that really started to get on my nerves was that once attacked from either a base or another Gundam, you would fall over, or be ‘stunned’ (whichever you want to call it). Other players seem to have this issue – where the attacking enemy knocks you down, and can continue to pummel you with attacks, making it near impossible for you to get up and out of the line of fire. Once you stand up, the enemy can shoot you down again and continue to deal damage. I experienced this while trying to take down a base while the turret kept firing at me, and I actually ended up dying and respawning due to the fact that I couldn’t get up and out of the way.
One other thing to note about the gameplay is that it’s pretty heavily tactics based from what I could see. You can’t just button bash your way through the entire game, trust me. I tried. Trying to divvy out your resources to take over enemy bases can be a risky move, as 3-4 enemy bases will make a run straight for your single base. So there’s always a risk whether you send your troops on a full on assault, or send maybe one other Gundam to secure another base while leaving your other allies to defend your first base. This is where using Force commands can definitely save you in times of need. Simply send out a command to your whole team to use tactics that will boost their defenses, or allow them to deal more damage to specific enemies or warships.
While this game has some pretty neat features and interesting details within the story and gameplay, I didn’t find Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme VS Force to be a stand out game. It has a couple of issues, which on one hand could have been due to me playing incorrectly. However, it seems that a few other players have had the same issues as me, which doesn’t exactly make me feel better about the game. Over time, I would just become increasingly frustrated by these problems.
Don’t get me wrong, the game is good, I just personally didn’t find it all that compelling or engaging to my tastes. After the first few missions I just felt like I was doing the same stuff in a different setting.
Unfortunately, I’m not the only one to feel this way in an overall sense either. On the whole, Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme VS Force has received pretty average reviews, with a few good reviews and a few bad reviews on either side. I am in no way saying that this game sucks, I actually found it pretty fun and engaging in the short term. I just think that overall, its a bit lacking, perhaps my lack of Gundam knowledge is to blame?
Have you played the game? What did you think of it?
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