Gundam soars in top-notch mecha simulator
I’m a HUGE Gundam fan. Next to my love of Mega Man, Gundam is my second greatest obsession. Because of limited space, I’ll have to be content with the limited Gundam merch that I have amassed. The latest addition was given to me for my recent birthday; it made me recall playing a Gundam arcade fighting game at Nashicon 2016. Would it serve to satisfy my hunger for giant robots causing massive damage and beating themselves to oblivion? “Gundam Versus” for PlayStation 4 gave me my answer.
Gundam Versus has some unique advantages going for it as a fighting game. Its source material is based on a universally recognized anime series. Unlike other fighting games, it does not have a storyline, allowing you to jump straight to the action without knowing background story. That sold me as someone who knows a series’ background, not needing knowledge about specific characters’ background.
The ability to choose a series favorite from a roster of more than 90 mobile suits from various Gundam works ensures that you are not limited to characters in Gundam series only aired in the U.S. Each stage is open area, allowing you to plan offense or defense with the benefit of hiding or running from your opponents while recovering from attacks. Also, you can have two additional characters to back you with one serving as a striking partner to tag team opposing forces with the perfect timing. They are available to have a training session to get you familiar with your chosen suit.
Those who are not accustomed to run-and-gun gaming will get frustrated and want to quit playing. The open battlefield requires a 360-degree view, which the PS4 controls are decent enough to help handle the action. While Gundam Versus made an honorable attempt to include all Gundam elements, some opening themes were played on repeat way too much and that took away the focus from gameplay and placed it on the music. Music for the game is top notch, which is to be expected from the Bandai Namco sound team. This was the first time the team did an international collaboration with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra for the opening visual. That adds some flavor and extras to the presentation. While I was disappointed that the game didn’t offer an English dub track, the original Japanese audio for the Gundam franchise ensured that Versus has the appropriate Gundam feel.
A downside is that certain series I liked and wanted to use suits from are stuck as paid content, which left Gundam fans like me at Bandai Namco’s mercy regarding affordable pricing.
Gundam Versus is a testimony of how anime, sci-fi and fighting games have merged to create a product that is playable for everyone, regardless of fandom knowledge. As a Gundam aficionado, Versus is well worth the time spent playing and is the next best thing to owning a Gundam or mobile suit. I welcome this new addition to my Gundam collection as I continue my quest to build a masterpiece collection of all things Gundam.