Mobile Suit Gundam Gundam vs. Zeta Gundam Review

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Graphics: 5.5
Sound : 6.0
Gameplay : 6.5
Multiplayer : 7.0
Overall : 6.5
Review by John K.
If you’ve ever delved into anime, then it’s more than likely you’ve come across a Mobile Suit Gundam series. Gundam are huge mechanical suits piloted by men and women as they fight against the forces of evil. In 2001, Capcom in cooperation with Bandai (creators of the series), produced the first Gundam game. And now, four years later, Bandai brings us Mobile Suit Gundam: Gundam vs. Zeta Gundam.

Gundam vs. Zeta Gundam features a lot of mech. mobile suits, which fans can certainly look forward to. All of the suits have their own weapons, alternate weapons, and custom setup. All the mobile suits from the series are implemented in Gundam vs. Zeta Gundam, so fans can look forward to unlocking a lot of quality content. The game’s soundtrack was taken from the Zeta Gundam series and adds that little extra to the Gundam feel.

In the Training mode, players can learn how to control their Gundam and work on their skills. Jumping is performed by pressing and holding the ‘X’ button, the ‘Circle’ button is assigned for shooting, ‘Square’ lets you lock-on to different enemies, and ‘Triangle’ sees you attack with the saber sword. With the ‘R1’ shoulder button you can fire the sub-weapon of your Gundam. The basic controls allow anyone to easily adapt to playing the game, but also take away some depth in the form of combos or special moves.

When in Arcade mode, players can enjoy the quick action bursts available in the game. Battles last about two to five minutes and unfold either in outer space or on ground levels. There are also a bunch of included destructible objects, such as various buildings and spacecraft. These objects can be used for cover since your Gundam doesn’t have any pliable defensive moves. Most levels are perhaps a little empty, and the action could have been considerably more interesting with more destructible elements and a more considered height differential.

Universal Century mode is Gundam vs. Zeta Gundam’s central story mode and offers up playable and authentic battles from the series. Progressive battles are unlocked as you advance, and there are three pre-determined difficulty settings. This is the mode where fans can unlock hordes of Gundam suits, but if you’re not a hardcore fan of the series then the action can get repetitive quite quickly. The awkward controls in space missions might also turn off new players during some of the game’s more demanding missions. The ‘X’ button as Jump, changes to Boost in space missions and allows your Gundam to fly faster. However, annoyance arises here because you tend to move upward rather than forward, so you’ll often find yourself struggling to reach targets.

Graphically, Gundam vs. Zeta Gundam is an average offering; its levels don’t contain much by way of complexity, being flat land levels or open space levels with a spaceship or two as aesthetic padding. The land levels contain a smattering of buildings, but are fairly empty most of the time. The graphics engine doesn’t seem properly worked out, either. As soon as about four or five Gundam are on screen, the frame rate abruptly drops and can be a hindrance when you’re trying to attack.

The multiplayer function in Gundam vs. Zeta Gundam is one of the game’s better features. Players can team up with either an A.I. opponent or a human opponent and play a deathmatch styled game. Each team has a predefined amount of lives, which are then shared within the team, the winners being the first team to eliminate the opposition that predefined amount of times. Again, this is quick-paced action amounting to only a couple of minutes, but the fact that you’re playing with another human makes it considerably more fun.

In conclusion, it’s fair to say that Gundam vs. Zeta Gundam is obviously aimed at the more hardcore Gundam demographic, and most likely won’t broaden the series’ fan base. The impressive amount of unlockable mobile suits probably won’t be sufficient to satisfy most regular players, and the main game mode can lapse into the realms of boredom rather swiftly. It’s advisable to rent this game before you opt for purchase, although it may still prove a fair addition to your collection for those moments when you crave quick piece of action with or without another player.