The fourth iteration in the Dynasty Warriors Gundam series has arrived on the PS3. Gundam Reborn introduces a lot more this time around from the predecessors. Not just do we get an updated roster of mobile suits and pilots, we also have updated partners, movesets and even the chance to pilot one of the mobile armours. The game brings to the table a lot of new content along with the old but is it enough to satisfy our hunger? There is only one way to find out. Gundam Fight! Ready? GO!
This time around there are two main single player game modes. First off is Official Mode that allows you to play through some of the most iconic scenarios in the Gundam TV series. The other is called Ultimate Mode that plays out scenarios involving a mix of different characters and suits from all the series. Let’s cover these modes one at a time, starting with Official Mode.
Official by name, Official by nature as this mode is a true representation of some of the more iconic series in the Gundam franchise. This time we are able to play through Mobile Suit Gundam, Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam, Mobile Suit Gundam: Char’s Counterattack, Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn, Mobile Suit Gundam Seed and Mobile Suit Gundam Seed Destiny. It is great to see the first four scenarios as they all tie in with one another in chronological order. Gundam Seed & Seed Destiny is also great to see on the line up. I was however disappointed that the mode was restricted to these scenarios. It would have been very interesting to see more become available as unlocks. Then you can include some of the lesser known series or more of the iconic series such as Gundam Wing, Gundam F91 and G Fighter Gundam.
Ultimate Mode plays completely differently. Here you play in a variety of scenarios featuring a mixture of different mobile suits and characters from throughout all the series. These scenarios are then split into missions which come with their own set of restrictions and objectives. These objectives can be anything from completing a mission as a particular suit, defeating a certain amount of enemies or completing the mission on a particular difficulty. Throughout the scenario you can then come to branching paths that will have you chose one mission over another to decide how the story goes. You can go back and replay every mission, as well as the missions that were restricted due to choice, in Select Area mode.
This is the game mode that players should dabble into first if they have not played either a Dynasty Warriors or Dynasty Warriors Gundam game before as the first scenario is a tutorial of basic mechanics. The mode is great as it allows you to play as your favourite pilots and suits. It also allows you to unlock the remaining characters and mobile suits that you did not receive after completing Official Mode. As an added bonus, players will also be able to call in an SOS during their scenarios to ask for help from someone online. You can also assist someone online with an SOS call of their own simply by going through the menu. This can help you get through tough missions or allow you to simply help other players out.
With the basic game modes covered, how is the gameplay this time around? Keeping to the Dynasty Warriors combat system, each suit can use basic melee and ranged attacks to string together combos to annihilate a huge amount of enemies at once. Now in the middle of a combo you can hold down the triangle button to set up a charge shot. This can be fired at anytime during a combo which can effectively cancel it out. This can be handy in some cases, especially when you are facing a single enemy ace. If you successfully kill an enemy with this their mobile suit explodes starting a chain reaction of explosions, scoring you more K.Os. On top of this, transformable mobile suits can now be fully utilised by double tapping the X button. Doing this will either turn your suit into flight mode allowing you to travel around faster or to switch out your equipped weapon for different combos. These two little enhancements go a long way to make iconic suits work as they do in the anime.
The game seems smoother and more colourful than ever before. More free flowing areas are complimented by an assortment of fancy laser fireworks, huge explosions and outrageous levels of destruction. It is a shame however that there is not that much in the way of world destruction apart from a few small structures which are barely noticeable. It would be great to have walls that can open up shortcuts to enemy areas, rocks or buildings that will get damaged and destroyed as you fight and even holes or cracks left in the ground when an enemy gets slammed. Four games into the series with that lack of aesthetics is sad to see, I was expecting more from this front.
Another problem that I have with the game is the roster of characters and mobile suits. Don’t get me wrong, the updated line-up is fantastic. Especially with the new Gundam and Mobile Armour additions. But there are some mark out characters and suits that I feel have been underutilised. Gundam Wing for example only has, again, Heero, Milliardo and Trowa with their respective suits. No sign of the remaining lead characters such as Wufei and Quattre, along with their mobile suits and the alternate Endless Waltz variants. This can also be seen with the G Gundam fighters as Domon, Schwartz and Master Asia return with no new additions. Gundam Rose, Maxter, Bolt and Dragon are fan favourites from the Gundam Assault games and it is a massive let down to not have them in the mix. The update could have gone further and also assisted with introducing new players to the lesser-known series in the franchise. It feels as if a major roster update was put to one side for the mobile armours.
One great addition that is in every Dynasty Warriors game is the encyclopedia. This allows you to look at the background on the mobile suits and pilots throughout the entire series. It’s a great way for new players to get involved and dig deeper into the world lore. It is a shame that some players will not be as engaged as others due to the fully voiced japanese in Official Mode. That as well as the lack of voice in Ultimate Mode can make for a lot of reading, that some players can and will just skip to get into the action faster.
With a lot of improvements to the series, Gundam Reborn is a guaranteed purchase for any fan of the mech-orientated series. Dynasty Warriors fans will also get a kick out of this with its alternate styles of fighting as well as land to space battles. With the improvements however come some drawbacks, with some characters and suits ignored over others. That along with a fully voiced Japanese single player experience may not be to everyone’s liking. But if you do not mind the original voice actors as you play, you will be enthralled with the amount of devastation you can create. As one of the best games in the series, as well as one of the smoothest, it is setting up everything in preparation for Warriors Orochi 3 Ultimate and Samurai Warriors 4 later this year.
What do you think of Dynasty Warriors Gundam Reborn? Are you ready for the Gundam fight? Or are you not satisfied with the power of Big Zam? Let us know what you think in the comments.
Want to see some action on a classic Gundam game? Find out how I did when I livestreamed a session of Gundam Battle Assault 2 on the PS1.
- Great Additions to the Roster
- Improved Visuals and Movesets
- Fun and Informative Game Modes
- Fantastic Experience Based Off of the Anime
- Some Long Awaited Roster Additions Ignored
- Japanese Voice Acting May Put Some People Off
- Lack of Destructive Environments