With every previous Dynasty Warriors: Gundam title, I’ve always had a ton of fun just because of how much of a Gundam fan I am. There’s no other American way to have all our favorite mobile suits together at the same time. Likewise, with the newest addition, Dynasty Warriors: Gundam Reborn, we get the same treatment that would almost undoubtedly be enough for Gundam fans; however, is it enough to warrant a new purchase?
Like all other Dynasty Warriors: Gundam titles, the game is split up into an Official mode nad an Ultimate mode. While the former leads players through different stories in the Gundam universe, the latter is made up of a series of fantasy scenarios that throw different series together. Unfortunately, Official mode only covers a paltry six series, with two of the campaigns being wasted on Seed and Seed Destiny. With the lack of variety, hardcore Gundam fans will find the title wanting. Ultimate mode alleviates the problem somewhat with its fantasy scenarios that bring together different series; however, the stories feel rushed and hardly satisfies with little to no fan service, something it can learn from the Super Robot Wars series.
Despite lackluster modes, there is a wealth of mobile suits from which to choose here. Obviously, mainstays like RX-78 and Gundam 00 Raiser are selectable, but even grunt suits like the Ball and Zakus are also playable, which allows the most hardcore fans to pilot virtually any suit they want. Perhaps that is the biggest appeal here, though it does take a good amount of time to unlock each suit’s full potential and more comboability. Once players do unlock them, however, a combination of the series’ signature combo system that allows players to boost towards enemies to extend combos and the new charged shot system allows for both devastating and lengthy combos no matter what suit players choose.
“The new mobile armors made me ooze like a teenage mecha fan all over again.”
Visually, the game maintains the same graphical style as its predecessor and still looks like a Gundam anime brought to a virtual reality. Along with this, the game only has Japanese voiceovers, which makes sense for both the company and gamers alike – because who really wants to hear the American voice actors, right? Bandai Namco Games made the correct decision here. However, the selection of music is a disappointment; like Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 3 before it, Reborn includes its own selection of pseudo-Gundam/Dynasty Warriors-styled tracks that can never compare to the Japanese version’s inclusion of arranged tracks from the shows.
At the heart of it, this game is a Warriors title with a Gundam twist. Most of the players’ objectives will feel oddly familiar if they’ve either played a previous Warriors Gundam title or just another Warriors title. Players are dropped onto a battlefield, and usually given some objective that includes taking control of a certain area or defeating a certain enemy. It should all be familiar territory for gamers. As mentioned, there is a Gundam twist to the title.
This includes the new Burst system, which allows characters to power up and unlock their abilities. For many of the minor mobile suits or pilots, the feature only really powers up their attacks. For some special mobile suits, though, like anything with Trans-am from Gundam 00 or the Unicorn Gundam, this mode gives them an entirely different moveset altogether. Special pilots, on the other hand, gain different abilities, such as infinite thrust for innovators. However, the most notable addition is the inclusion of playable mobile armors. These include some of the larger, and most iconic enemies in the Gundam franchise, like the Big Zam or Alpha Azieru. They certainly are overpowered compared to the rest of the cast, not that it matters in a non PvP game, but this new feature made me ooze like a teenage mecha fan all over again.
Every time there’s another Warrior game or Gundam game announced, I have to admit I’m already excited despite the cynical gamer that I am. Something about these games just tugs at my heartstrings and pulls out my inner teenage nerd. Dynasty Warriors: Gundam Reborn does exactly that with its mecha fan service. It does fall a little short with its Official Mode and a lackluster soundtrack. It’s enough to maybe steer me towards the import, but the game is still a satisfying experience for fans of the anime.
Available on: PS3, Vita; Publisher:Bandai Namco Games; Developer:Tecmo Koei Games; Players: 1 – 2; Released: July 1, 2014; ESRB: Teen; MSRP: $39.99; Official Site