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Overview

The Gundam VS series, as the name implies, is based on the massive Mobile Suit Gundam anime franchise. The VS series offers arena-style, 2-on-2 battles between "mobile suits"; its roots can be traced back to Virtual-On, the grandfather of all 3D mecha combat games. Every game in the franchise debuted in the arcades, but nearly all of them have received console releases.
 
The Gundam VS games have proven to be popular in Japanese arcades, with the later games fairly consistently ranking at #2, behind Tekken 6 or Tekken 6 Bloodline Rebellion, in Arcadia Magazine's monthly Top 10 listings.

System

Each Gundam VS game uses four-buttons: one button for the "Beam Rifle" or other projectile weaponry, one button for the "Beam Saber" or other melee attacks, one button for jumping, and one button for toggling targets. Additional attacks are carried out by combining the Range, Melee, and Jump buttons, or by "charging" a weapon. Mobile Suits can "step" (a short, quick dash) by tapping the joystick/D-Pad in a single direction twice; They can also fly in the air for a short time by holding the Jump button, and dash in the air by holding Jump and double-tapping the joystick/D-Pad (early games) or pressing Jump twice. Some games allow the player to defend with a joystick command, while others have automated blocking.

In most games, there is a team power-up that can be activated once a special meter fills. It is usually triggered when both players press the Start button in the arcades, or when the "Command" button is pressed in the console versions.

Both teams have a Battle Gauge representing their current battle strength. Each time a player's mobile suit is destroyed, the gauge is lowered by that suit's "cost"; The object of the game is to lower your opponent's gauge to zero. Mobile Suits are organized by their overall cost, but the scoring system varies with each "era" of the series (The Universal Century games use 600 as a representation of a full bar, the SEED games use 1000, and the crossover games use 6000). In the crossover games, if an MS costs more than the amount of Battle Gauge remaining, its HP will be reduced accordingly (if a 3000 cost suit respawns with 1000 points remaining, it will have 1/3 of its maximum HP).

If a Time Over is reached, both teams are disqualified.

Franchise History

Mobile Suit Gundam: Federation vs. Zeon

The first game of the series. This game's mobile suits are mostly based on the original Mobile Suit Gundam series, although a handful of MS from alternate series based on the "One Year War" are included. It would be released for the Playstation 2 as "Federation vs. Zeon DX," with added content. It is one of only two games in the franchise to see an international release.

Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam: AEUG vs. Titans and Mobile Suit Gundam: Gundam vs. Zeta Gundam

AEUG vs. Titans is the second game of the series. This game's mobile suits are based on Mobile Suit Gundam's first sequel, Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam; some suits from Federation vs. Zeon are also available. This game introduces the Hyper Combination system, which powers up both members of a team after a special gauge is filled. This game would also be ported to the Playstation 2. The Playstation 2 version of the game, which added more mobile suits, would be ported back to the arcades as "AEUG vs. Titans DX"; this version of the game would then be ported to the Playstation 2 (again) and Gamecube as "Gundam vs. Zeta Gundam."

Gundam vs. Zeta Gundam adds three units from Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ; since the PS2 version of the game was released worldwide, this game is the West's first exposure to Gundam ZZ. GvsZ expands the Hyper Combination system into the Awaken System: The player can choose whether their Awaken boosts attack power (similar to Hyper Combination), speed, or allows a destroyed unit to be revived at no cost.

Mobile Suit Gundam SEED: Rengou vs. Z.A.F.T.

Instead of following the Universal Century timeline and making a Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ: AEUG vs. Neo Zeon game, the series turns towards its (then) newest and hottest property: Mobile Suit Gundam SEED. Rengou vs. ZAFT (also known as Alliance vs. ZAFT or OMNI vs. ZAFT) introduces an entirely different set of MS and refines the gameplay of the previous titles. SEED Mode is included, which works similarly to Hyper Combination. The game was released on the Playstation 2 and the PSP (interestingly enough, the latter "Rengou vs. ZAFT Portable" was ported after the release of Rengou vs. ZAFT II, and includes some suits from its sucessor).

Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny: Rengou vs. Z.A.F.T. II

The sequel to Rengou vs. Z.A.F.T. This game features more mobile suits than any other game in the franchise. The Awaken system returns from Gundam vs. Zeta Gundam, offering Rush (essentially SEED mode from the previous game), Power, and Speed (faster footspeed). This game was ported to the PS2 as "Rengou vs. Z.A.F.T. II Plus."

Mobile Suit Gundam: Gundam vs. Gundam

Instead of focusing on a single series, Gundam vs. Gundam throws MS from every major animated Gundam series together. This game includes Mobile Assists, which are essentially the 3D equivalent of Marvel vs. Capcom's assists or the Strikers of some King of Fighters games. The Hyper Combination/Awaken systems are replaced with G-Crossover, which allows a team to utilize weapons of mass destruction based on their respective series in unison, including colony dropping, the GENESIS laser, and the Gundam Meisters. The game would be ported exclusively for the PSP.

Mobile Suit Gundam: Gundam vs. Gundam NEXT

This game adds more mobile suits, does away with G-Crossover, and introduces "NEXT Dashing," which allows the player to quickly evade attacks at the cost of some of their boost gauge. The Unicorn Gundam from Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn is included, marking its first appearance in a videogame. The game received an enhanced PSP port, as "Mobile Suit Gundam: Gundam vs. Gundam Next Plus."
 
Mobile Suit Gundam Extreme VS.
 
Extreme Vs. is the current Gundam Vs. game; it is also the first game in the series to be rendered in HD. Some MS are removed while new ones are added, this includes newcomer series SEED Astray and MS Igloo.

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