Friday, May 1, 2015

Gundam G DS Comments

(All rights belong to their owners. Images used here for review purposes only.)

SD Gundam G Generation: Cross Drive (2007, Vanguard/Bandai)
Sometimes, when you buy something used for 150 yen ($1 USD), you get something that's pretty much a 150 yen game. If you're not familiar with the franchise, Mobile Suit Gundam was a giant mecha anime series that first aired in 1979, and there have been sequels and spins-offs ever since. In the 1980's, a junior high school student named Koji Yokoi started submitting 4-panel gag comics to the Model News magazine published by Bandai. The Gundam mecha in these gag strips were drawn full-sized, but with the body proportions and behaviors of small children, a style he called "super deformed" (SD). Ever since, SD Gundam has been a separate but parallel product to the regular titles. The SD video games feature the super deformed mecha in space battles, with a storyline lifted from, or separate from the TV anime or manga.

(In the space station, deciding which room to go to for customizing the mecha and putting together teams with specific human operators.)

I have no idea what the story is this time. I bought Cross Drive to have a Gundam title in my collection, and this was the cheapest one on the shelves. But, I did try to play it, and the tutorial section took so long to crawl through that I gave up to play Code Geass instead. The initial battles are pure strategy role playing: you have up to 6 mecha in your party, which you can combine into two groups of 3 if you want, plus your support battleship. The enemy gets the same arrangement. You can choose to have one team shoot at an enemy team, or have your ship fire at an enemy team to force them to break into individual mecha. If you surround an enemy, there's a chance of capturing him if his HP is low enough. (The ships can fire at each other, too.) Once you've decided your plan, the game takes over and "rolls the dice" for you. When the smoke clears, you just keep repeating the same steps until one side runs out of party members.

(Prepping for a space battle. Move a Gundam, fight a Gundam.)

If you like giant mecha anime (which I don't) and strategic RPGs (which I don't), then you may like Cross Drive (side note, G Generation refers to a series of video games that are based on the original anime and manga). But for me, just finishing one round of one battle in the tutorial mode took several minutes, which is way, way too long. I'd rather spend that time playing sometime I like more. Not really recommended, and this is one game I'm not going to bother finishing.

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