Fresh off our look on SD Gundam G Generation World, we still have a tingling for some more strategy RPG action. Luckily, Dai-2-Ji Super Robot Taisen Z Haikai-hen (or Super Robot Wars Z II) just came out for the PSP in Japan and satisfies our mecha craving even more. Rather than several series from one franchise, Z II includes a myriad of both classic and modern robot series, ranging from Mazinger Z to even Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. Robot nerds, look no further for your nerdgasm.
One of the first things that robot fans will notice is Z II‘s fluid animations. They may look less high tech than G Generation‘s, but are amazingly detailed recreations of scenes from shows and nothing beats hand drawn sprites. Every level is filled with epic moments, whether it be Gurren Lagann using the Giga Drill Breaker on Ali Al Saachez or Exia using all seven swords on a ganman.If you didn’t get either of those references, you probably shouldn’t be playing this anyways.[youtube http://youtu.be/REWkdaErdmo&h=450&w=450]
To complete the fan service package that is Z II, the game includes music from every series included, mostly comprised of theme songs and openings. Most of these are great selections, such as Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann’s “Sorairo Days,” but fans are just as likely to be picky as they are satisfied; personally, I would’ve preferred something other than “Daybreak’s Bell” for Gundam 00’s mechs. Voice acting, on the other hand, should dissatisfy no one. Samples from the actual voice actors bring genuineness to the game that would otherwise be cheapened with silent text.
True to the game’s title, Z II includes some supernatural elements, such as power-ups for pilots that increase damage or hit percentages. With this in players’ arsenal, the game is designed to be much harder. While individual grunts can be easily disposed of, sub-bosses and bosses themselves will take a bit more effort, often requiring players to cast every power-up possible or even rendering some robots useless, perhaps due to a low accuracy or damage rating.
One of the Super Robot Wars series’ signature traits is its original mecha designs. Many of these are already household names for mech lovers; if you like robots, it’s unlikely that you haven’t heard of Cybuster or the SRX team before. If not, punch that into your Google search bar now. Z II‘s original mecha for the protagonist is a miss, resembling more like a Eureka 7 rip-off than anything else. The enemies’ are a different story. I guess the mecha is always more awe-inspiring on the other side.
One of the more annoying aspects of the Super Robot Wars series is the split paths aspect. At various points throughout the game, players have to choose between different paths that will follow different robot series. This is particularly painful if you’re a fan of series from either side. Having to choose between Gurren Lagann and Gundam 00? It almost made it in the list of “Top 10 Toughest Decisions of My Life.” Rather than allowing players to somehow live them both in the same playthrough, there’s no way to try the other path other than saving right before a decision or playing through the game a second time. I always felt that this was cheap way to increase replay value.
Z II’s appeal is definitely different from G Generation World’s. While this game throws an entire array of robot series at players, G Generation World’s focuses on one franchise and manages to give everything fans could possibly want from it. However, mecha fans, whether they like all the series included or a couple, should check out Z II if only for the detailed, genuine animations and sounds that will trigger their nerdgasm. If you’re interested, check out the official site.
Note: Images taken from GameFAQs users here.