Gundam Versus Review

Gundam Versus Review

Developed by Bandai Namco Entertainment
Published by  Bandai Namco Entertainment America Inc
Reviewed on PlayStation 4
 

Gundam Versus is the latest release in the long-running Gundam VS fighting game series. The series consists of multiple releases across PlayStation platforms and arcade games. Last year, Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme VS-Force gave Western PlayStation Vita fans a miniaturized taste of the series’ action. However, Gundam Versus is the first console game to reach the West in a decade. It is also the series’ first entry on the PlayStation 4, and it takes advantage of the hardware for more grandiose and visually striking battles. While Gundam Versus is based on the popular Gundam franchise, its accessible third person fighting mechanics enable anyone to have fun regardless of series familiarity.

Gundam VersusThe game’s premise is straightforward, and it emphasizes arena combat between two teams of players. The goal is to deplete the enemy team’s gauge by repeatedly defeating opponents. Each player picks a mobile suit from an expansive roster that spans Gundam’s thirty-eight year old history, and each suit has a different “cost” value. The higher a suit’s value, the more powerful it is in combat. However, defeating higher value suits will also drain the team gauge more quickly. Players are therefore faced with a risk-and-reward situation in which they can have increased power at the expense of having fewer chances to respawn.

Gundam VersusThanks for its basic inputs, Gundam Versus is easy to learn. Each suit’s special moves are performed using just three buttons: Jump, Ranged Attack, and Melee Attack. Each standalone button input will perform its respective action, but the game maps additional actions to button combinations in an intuitive manner. Double tapping Jump performs a dash. Pressing Jump and Melee performs a Special Melee Attack, pressing Jump and Ranged performs a Special Ranged Attack, and pressing Ranged and Melee throws a sub weapon. Holding down a button or adding directional inputs can lead to new moves and variations as well. Since the majority of the game’s actions are performed using these three buttons, performing moves is easy even when piloting an unfamiliar suit.

Gundam VersusOn the other hand, Gundam Versus’ spacing game, customization, and resource management lead to deep fast-paced combat. Each suit can quickly dash around the battlefield in order to approach opponents and dodge incoming attacks. The Boost Gauge drains while dashing and jumping, and it recovers quickly while the player stays still. Staying still can leave the player vulnerable to incoming attacks, so care must be taken while moving around the battlefield. An interesting Gundam Versus addition is the new Boost Dive, which quickly resets the suit’s position in order to bewilder opponents. The game also has two Change Target and Call Assist buttons that add a bit of complexity to the action. Players are able to choose a Striker before each match, and tapping the button will unleash an extra attack. Players can further customize their loadout by choosing the melee-focused Blaze Gear or the ranged-boosting Lightning Gear, which affects players’ Burst power-up state.

Gundam VersusThe game provides plenty of replayability despite its simplicity. It has three offline and three online modes: Ultimate Battle, Trial Battle, Free Battle, Ranked Match, Casual Match, and Player Match. Ultimate Battle is an interesting take on the typical survival mode. Players try to survive waves of incoming machines, but high scores lead to more opportunities to purchase stat boosters and health. Trial Battle closely resembles most fighting games’ Arcade Mode, and players can pick one of ten routes full of stages and branching paths. However, Trial Battles completely lack any sort of story or narrative, which might seem a little basic to some players. Free Battles and Player Matches enable players to customize match parameters to their liking. While Gundam VS entries typically split four players into two teams, Gundam Versus allows players to search for 1-on-1, 2-on-2, and 3-on-3 matches. These 3-on-3 matches quickly become frenetic, but they suit the game’s mechanics well and they are a blast to play. The one downer is that sometimes online matches can desynchronize, but online matches handle well in the right circumstances.

The unlock system can also demand hours upon hours of players’ time as well. Each suit has an individual experience level, and reaching higher levels allows players to purchase Strikers, Navigators, and cosmetic items. Suits tend to gain experience more quickly offline, but players can gain currency easier online, which is an interesting way of diversifying the unlocking process.

Gundam VersusOn the other hand, many elements of the game follow a “form follows function” approach. At times, the set design is striking. Players can fight on land with stark sunsets or in outer space with a vibrant moon in the background. However, the actual playable spaces are fairly sparse and flat. The diverse locales and destructible objects help diversify stages, but generally the open environments enable players to easily read the game state. Furthermore, the menu interface is quite minimalist, and the militaristic background tune can feel oddly serious and dull after extended listening. The Mobile Suits and their bright weaponry are always easy to see, which helps as players try to read the battlefield and plan their courses of attack.

Gundam Versus provides plenty of fanservice for Gundam fans. The game spans more Gundam entries than prior iterations of the Gundam VS series. It includes recent series such as Gundam Reconguista in G, Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt, and Mobile Suit Gundam IRON-BLOODED ORPHANS. However, it excludes a few fan favorites such as Mobile Fighter G Gundam and Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz. Fortunately, certain series’ rosters such as Mobile Suit Gundam Wing and Mobile Suit Gundam 00’s are satisfyingly comprehensive. One amazing bit of fanservice is the inclusion of original vocal tracks. Hearing Two-Mix’s “Rhythm Emotion” or T.M. Revolution’s “Invoke” can really evoke some nostalgic wonder. Another excellent aspect is the game’s comprehensive series history section, which lists each of the game’s featured Gundam series and provides detailed descriptions for everyone to follow.

Gundam VersusGundam Versus provides plenty of accessible spectacular fast-paced team-based combat. With over ninety playable Mobile Suits and a variety of online and offline modes, the game has plenty of replayability. Although its presentation is slightly sparse and it provides a no-frills experience, Gundam Versus will easily satisfy anyone seeking a pick-up-and-play fighting game. We are thankful to finally have the opportunity to play another Gundam VS console release in the West.

 

 

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Vincent Lai

Vincent Lai

I'm a gaming enthusiast who enjoys a variety of platforms! I also love wisps, rainbows, and gardens!

Graphics
14out of 5
Sound
15out of 5
Gameplay
18out of 5

Overview

Gundam Versus is an entertaining team-based fighting game that features an expansive character roster and dynamic combat. While it provides plenty of fanservice for Gundam fans, its accessible mechanics can cater to any fighting game fan.

4.06

4.06 out of 5
Good

Tags assigned to this article:
GundamGundam Versusreviewsvideo games

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