Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 2 — Issue 39

Gun­dam sec­ond game not yet there

Pre­vi­ously, I reviewed Dynasty War­riors: Gun­dam 3, which set the stage for me to try the oth­ers in the series. Lit­tle did I know, I would be learn­ing a valu­able les­son: Not every pop­u­lar fran­chise will always have best-sellers. An excel­lent exam­ple would be Dynasty War­riors: Gun­dam 2.

Gun­dam 2 fol­lows the same ros­ter of char­ac­ters in var­i­ous entries in the Gun­dam uni­verse, includ­ing some char­ac­ters and mobile suits that were only fea­tured in Gun­dam movies. To com­pen­sate for a lack of a sto­ry­line, DWG2 has two modes: Story, where you can play as one of a select group of char­ac­ters from their respec­tive Gun­dam series; and, Mis­sion, where you choose a char­ac­ter with var­i­ous mis­sions set in the uni­ver­sal cen­tury time­line and you can inter­act with var­i­ous char­ac­ters from other series. As you move along, you gain expe­ri­ence points to increase your level and col­lect var­i­ous mobile suit parts. There is also a chance to earn new skills just like DWG3 as you advance to higher levels.

Gun­dam 2 also spe­cial mis­sions where you can fight against other oppo­nents to earn licenses to pilot dif­fer­ent suits, earn the trust of other char­ac­ters to fight beside you and acquire higher-level parts for mobile suits. The mobile suit lab and ter­mi­nal fea­tures help you to keep up with chang­ing events and cur­rent devel­op­ments with dif­fer­ent mobile suits.

What I like about Gun­dam 2 is that every char­ac­ter is legit in the Gun­dam uni­verse, which made me won­der if I saw the actual Gun­dam series with that char­ac­ter. Also, the open­ing cin­ema was high qual­ity, show­ing off the minor suits such as GMs and Zakus, who were observ­ing the OG RX-78, Strike Free­dom and Nu Gun­dam suits doing bat­tle while the Saz­abi and Psy­cho Gun­dam lurked in the shad­ows. Addi­tion­ally, I also appre­ci­ated Namco Bandai, Sun­rise and Koei retain­ing the orig­i­nal Eng­lish voice actors to reprise their respec­tive char­ac­ters; this gives DWG2 the needed cred­i­bil­ity as an offi­cial Gun­dam video game.

How­ever, despite the good, the bad parts stick out like sore thumbs. When I try to fight in other bat­tle­fields, I’m restricted in mov­ing, which weak­ens my attacks, and leaves me vul­ner­a­ble. Also, the in-game cam­era was VERY unhelp­ful, espe­cially in boss fights with giant ene­mies where I was pilot­ing my mobile suit on low energy while run­ning and avoid­ing attacks by giant ene­mies like Psy­cho Gun­dam, Big Zam, and Queen Mansa. I also found cer­tain parts of the game have unre­al­is­tic time lim­its to fight ene­mies to achieve cer­tain objec­tives. Finally, I found the biggest insult to me as a Gun­dam fan was the graph­ics; these feel like cheap knock-off paint jobs of Gun­dam and lower-rank mobile suits alike. To be fair, the asso­ci­ated pilots look like their anime coun­ter­parts, but the suits were not given the same treat­ment. Unfor­tu­nately, I would also be remiss if I did not include the LONG wait to obtain skills, unlike in DWG3. I could unlock and pur­chase new skills in addi­tion to lev­el­ing up char­ac­ters more effi­ciently via train­ing ses­sions in the lat­ter game’s shop.

There are hits and misses that the qual­ity assur­ance teams should have noticed, but there are bright spots such as music and voice act­ing being excel­lent. I would still play Gun­dam 2 when I have free time, but Bandai Namco did such a rush job on it that I feel jus­ti­fied almost not rec­om­mend­ing it. I’m just glad that DWG3 is a far supe­rior prod­uct and sticks to the essen­tials that make Gun­dam, well, Gun­dam. Dynasty War­riors: Gun­dam 2 is on the way but not quite there.