To longtime readers of my reviews and friends, it’s fairly obvious I’m a huge Gundam fan and have been for some ten years now. I’ve watched pretty much every series, movie, OVA and even read a good chunk of manga spin-offs. Games, however, is a different story. Largely in part to the majority of Gundam games just not getting localised in the West.
It feels like every few months I’m seeing new Gundam games getting released in Japan and knowing the chances of seeing it over here are slim to none is sad. There have been games localised though and I have some pretty good memories of those games. Gundam Seed: Federation vs Z.A.F.T. Portable was our go-to game in college for me and co-founder Fraser as we spent our lessons juking it in out under our desks. Mano-a-mano. Zaku vs Zaku. Or sinking literally hundreds of hours into Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 2 with my little brother on the PlayStation 3 (still my most played game at around 270 hours). It feels like these moments are coming around less often even with what appears to be a resurgence in Gundam media as of late.
Thankfully, the people at Bandai Namco took notice, or heard my silent prayers, and saw fit to release Gundam Versus on PlayStation 4 in the West. If you have played any of the Gundam Vs games previously be it on a home console, portable or lucky enough to play it in arcade form then you’ll be largely familiar with how the game works. Myself having only played a couple prior to this I didn’t feel much in the way of changes or improvements to the combat system be that a good or bad thing. I personally fall on the positive side, if it ain’t broke and all that.
Now while playing through nostalgia-filled story missions and mowing down countless Zaku is immensely enjoyable I do have one complaint about the game. The roster. I understand that not every Gundam and mech can be included and for the most part the game has a varied and near-perfect roster as far as I’m concerned except from one or two, actually quite a few odd decisions. Firstly, there’s no Athrun Zala, Aegis Gundam or Justice Gundam. There’s zero SEED Destiny or G Gundam suits. Now, I know they some of these are now available as DLC but surely they should have been represented in the base game. To be fair though we do have suits from Thunderbolt and Crossbone which are most definitely welcome additions.
When it comes to actual gameplay Gundam Versus does not disappoint making your way through missions, earning credits to unlock new characters, mechs and extras will have hooked from the get-go. The game is very flexible in allowing you to play with any combination of characters and partner characters which can also lead to some unique matchups depending on the mission. The AI can become a little predictable at times but with various modes available to play you’re unlikely to get bored.
The game of course features and a whole host of classic and modern theme songs from the franchise to help you get pumped but before and during each mission. Graphics are the not most impressive but do a really good job of bringing each mech to life. Let’s not forget that with multiple mechs on-screen with beam sabers and beam rifles firing in all direction it would be hard to manage a stable frame rate and top of the line graphics and I for one am more than happy to play at a stable 60 wherever possible.
Gundam Versus is a very good game that features some great combat and runs really well. It might disappoint some with the lack of certain characters and series from the roster, but the roster is still very strong. Overall Gundam fans will find something to like, there’s a lot on offer with this game and it should have you hooked for a good amount of time.