|System: X360, PS3||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Omega Force||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Namco Bandai||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Aug. 28, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Jwan Jordan
It is no secret that we, here in America, love anime. The land to the Far East has brought America so many beloved concepts such as manga, anime, and the obligatory licensed gaming that inevitably follows. We've "believed it" with Naruto, searched the Grand Line with Luffy, and "Transmuted" with Fullmetal Alchemist. Now, we find ourselves tearing down hordes of seemingly lifeless enemies in Dynasty Warriors: Gundam.
Okay, let us get the obvious out of the way; yes, it is pretty much exactly what you are thinking. The forces that be, knowing us anime fans will buy anything bearing its likeness, said "Hey, I got a brilliant cash cow idea, let us take the popular series of Dynasty Warriors and merge it with the equally popular Gundam series!" Well, the transmutation was a success, but that success is only measured by how much you love either one of the two aforementioned franchises.
The name is not deceiving at all, and is probably the most honest name in gaming history. If you love Dynasty Warriors or Gundam you will love this inevitable combination. After a very action packed cinematic intro, you're led to the options menu where you can choose from the official game, original, or picture gallery. The official game takes you through several events reminiscent of the television series depending on the character you choose to play as. So it follows a linear path and storyline that sticks strictly to the anime. The original game, and where I spent most of my gameplay time, sets up a simple and brief story. A strange planet is traveling towards Earth and all Gundam heroes from EVERY generation have come together to stop it. This story line only serves one purpose, and that is to give players the options to finally see all their favorite characters meet, greet, and defeat each other. Since every Gundam series take place in a different time, it is pretty nice to see everyone together in one era.
No matter what game you choose, official or original, the gameplay boils down to one thing, and that is slaughtering, or should I say, destroying hundreds and hundreds of enemies. After you select a mode, you must select a character to play as and from there the game begins. A brief cutscene poorly informs you about your character and how he feels about the mission and characters involved and the action begins, though there are a lot of Gundam characters to choose from there, and is no conceivable way to educate non-Gundam fans about the history of so many characters. As you play the game, characters will react accordingly to other characters based on their history in the actual anime series, and for fans I'm sure this is a real treat, but for someone unfamiliar with the series you will have no idea what is going on or who anyone is. I had to go to Wikipedia to find out who Master Asia was and why he kept shouting boldly about his school in the Far East.
However, I don't think your playing Dynasty Warriors: Gundam for the story, hopefully. The senseless action is the heart of the game. You have three means of attack: a punch, shoot, and special attack button. You can mix the punch and shoot buttons too for a grand total of three combo attacks, and though this is a lot more than the average Dynasty Warrior clone, it doesn't evolve the gamplay mechanics at all even after the, seemingly, hundreds of similar games they have created. For what it is worth, smashing through hundreds of enemies in a giant robot is very fulfilling. In most cases, you really don't even need to aim because the screen is littered with so many hundreds of enemies. Destroying enemies will gradually charge up your special attack meter, which you initially start off with only one. Yet, the game does posses some RPG qualities. Defeating enemies slowly evolves both you and your Gundam. As you gain more experience points, your Gundam gets stronger and takes more hits and your human can better utilize his Gundam.
As you destroy enemies, some will leave two types of upgrades: one which gives you a temporary boost, such as armor or speed, and others which can be equipped between missions that give permanent benefits. The problem is there is no real strategy to using enhancements; as long as you know how to press the punch button fast enough you will be a juggernaut.