A Longer, Slower Look at Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 3

The Introduction

After yet another dismissive Quick Look of a Dynasty Warriors game (and the staff's general dismissive attitude toward the series in general), this time of the Gundam variety, I bought a copy of the game to try for myself and so far, I'm loving it. This is probably not a surprise to some of you. However, while I did enjoy the first DWG, I was not particularly enthralled with DWG2. I can't really say why, specifically. It's just didn't grab me like the original did. It's telling, as the game's trophy data resides on my PS3, untapped at 0% completion.

But after seeing the Quick Look, I decided to give it another go with Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 3. So far, I've clocked in about fifteen hours in the game, mostly in the single-player mode, but I've also played some of the online multiplayer as well. And well, I can definitely say that while this game isn't necessarily better than the original DWG, it's definitely fun.

The Body of the Text

Yes, his name is Full Frontal. And not with a hint of a smirk.

The story mode is sort of like the Original Mode of the original DWG. It takes characters and mobile suits from most every Gundam series across the different universes for a simplistic crossover storyline that groups the characters into a mishmash of factions that fight each other as they try to figure out how they all ended up in a bizarre alternate dimension and how they can escape back to their own realities. Beyond that, any further detail in the plot description is unnecessary. Suffice it to say, those that are familiar with the various Gundam series will find more to appreciate in the characters' banter between hotheads like Gym Ghingham and Master Asia and more subdued characters like Full Frontal.

(Yes, these are actual character names. Gundam has a long and extensive history of gloriously ludicrous names for non-Japanese characters.)

That being said, there are actually a lot of different mission types packed away in the story mode. In addition to the base story missions, there are extra missions under their own categories that are meant to boost character relationships, earn extra cash, or provide additional challenge. There are also historical missions, similar to the first DWG's Original Mode, in which the scenarios are based on events from the various shows.

As for how the game actually plays, it's definitely a much different beast compared to what I remember of the original game, and to the overall Warriors franchise in general. For starters, the health system is now a combination of regenerating health and item restoration, and is also tied to the morale gauge. As the player character takes damage, a portion of the bar will remain filled with gray, and so long as they player isn't taking further damage, it will gradually restore itself. However, there are also items to restore the gauge beyond the grayed area. And unlike DWG, in which running out of health meant instant mission failure, the player now respawns in the field in which they wiped at the cost of a segment of the morale meter. But even if the morale meter is still partially filled, the player can still lose upon dying if the allied HQ has been taken over. (On the flip side, stage bosses don't appear until the enemy morale gauge is tanked by capturing fields and defeating enemy officers.)

Which brings me to my next point; different regions of the field now how different uses. As opposed to just being zones that determine enemy and ally strength, control of the zones, depending on zone type, can affect the ability of allied units to respawn, allow for damaging missile strikes, or allow players to catapult quickly to other regions of the map, among other uses. Additionally, from what I've seen, none of the battlefields are in open space. One of the goofier aspects of the first game was that some battles took place in space, as opposed to solid ground, yet the player was still restricted to a ground-like movement over a flat plain, so you couldn't just fly freely around. As for the maps in general, many of them actually vary from play to play, so if you play through a mission, and then play it again, the actual map will differ, as will the enemies that are set out on it.

Also, giant enemies. This is a unit type that actually first appeared in DWG2. Basically, big-ass robots that make your big-ass robot look not so big-ass. Brad encountered one in a tutorial mission in the Quick Look and bailed. I downed that particular one in about three minutes. Others have been far more troublesome because of less open terrain and, you know, hundreds of other mobile suits running about. The key to these guys is to damage them until a stun gauge is filled, at which point they shut down temporarily and are open to more damage. But they can also do crazy damage and shouldn't be taken lightly.

As for what little I've played of the online multiplayer, the game features play for up to four players cooperatively in a series of online missions. As the player's rank increases, more missions are unlocked. So far, none of the few that I've tried were particularly challenging, as four players were quickly able to clear the objectives. I'm interested to see how things go as I get further into it.

In Summary

It's more Dynasty Warriors: Gundam, but if your a fan of either Dynasty Warriors or Gundam (or both) that isn't a bad thing, really. The gameplay distinguishes it quite well from other Warriors titles, the challenges are mixed and to a degree unpredictable, and it still retains the joy of cutting down lots of dudes. Lots and lots of dudes. It's awesome.

32 Comments
33 Comments
Posted by Hailinel

The Introduction

After yet another dismissive Quick Look of a Dynasty Warriors game (and the staff's general dismissive attitude toward the series in general), this time of the Gundam variety, I bought a copy of the game to try for myself and so far, I'm loving it. This is probably not a surprise to some of you. However, while I did enjoy the first DWG, I was not particularly enthralled with DWG2. I can't really say why, specifically. It's just didn't grab me like the original did. It's telling, as the game's trophy data resides on my PS3, untapped at 0% completion.

But after seeing the Quick Look, I decided to give it another go with Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 3. So far, I've clocked in about fifteen hours in the game, mostly in the single-player mode, but I've also played some of the online multiplayer as well. And well, I can definitely say that while this game isn't necessarily better than the original DWG, it's definitely fun.

The Body of the Text

Yes, his name is Full Frontal. And not with a hint of a smirk.

The story mode is sort of like the Original Mode of the original DWG. It takes characters and mobile suits from most every Gundam series across the different universes for a simplistic crossover storyline that groups the characters into a mishmash of factions that fight each other as they try to figure out how they all ended up in a bizarre alternate dimension and how they can escape back to their own realities. Beyond that, any further detail in the plot description is unnecessary. Suffice it to say, those that are familiar with the various Gundam series will find more to appreciate in the characters' banter between hotheads like Gym Ghingham and Master Asia and more subdued characters like Full Frontal.

(Yes, these are actual character names. Gundam has a long and extensive history of gloriously ludicrous names for non-Japanese characters.)

That being said, there are actually a lot of different mission types packed away in the story mode. In addition to the base story missions, there are extra missions under their own categories that are meant to boost character relationships, earn extra cash, or provide additional challenge. There are also historical missions, similar to the first DWG's Original Mode, in which the scenarios are based on events from the various shows.

As for how the game actually plays, it's definitely a much different beast compared to what I remember of the original game, and to the overall Warriors franchise in general. For starters, the health system is now a combination of regenerating health and item restoration, and is also tied to the morale gauge. As the player character takes damage, a portion of the bar will remain filled with gray, and so long as they player isn't taking further damage, it will gradually restore itself. However, there are also items to restore the gauge beyond the grayed area. And unlike DWG, in which running out of health meant instant mission failure, the player now respawns in the field in which they wiped at the cost of a segment of the morale meter. But even if the morale meter is still partially filled, the player can still lose upon dying if the allied HQ has been taken over. (On the flip side, stage bosses don't appear until the enemy morale gauge is tanked by capturing fields and defeating enemy officers.)

Which brings me to my next point; different regions of the field now how different uses. As opposed to just being zones that determine enemy and ally strength, control of the zones, depending on zone type, can affect the ability of allied units to respawn, allow for damaging missile strikes, or allow players to catapult quickly to other regions of the map, among other uses. Additionally, from what I've seen, none of the battlefields are in open space. One of the goofier aspects of the first game was that some battles took place in space, as opposed to solid ground, yet the player was still restricted to a ground-like movement over a flat plain, so you couldn't just fly freely around. As for the maps in general, many of them actually vary from play to play, so if you play through a mission, and then play it again, the actual map will differ, as will the enemies that are set out on it.

Also, giant enemies. This is a unit type that actually first appeared in DWG2. Basically, big-ass robots that make your big-ass robot look not so big-ass. Brad encountered one in a tutorial mission in the Quick Look and bailed. I downed that particular one in about three minutes. Others have been far more troublesome because of less open terrain and, you know, hundreds of other mobile suits running about. The key to these guys is to damage them until a stun gauge is filled, at which point they shut down temporarily and are open to more damage. But they can also do crazy damage and shouldn't be taken lightly.

As for what little I've played of the online multiplayer, the game features play for up to four players cooperatively in a series of online missions. As the player's rank increases, more missions are unlocked. So far, none of the few that I've tried were particularly challenging, as four players were quickly able to clear the objectives. I'm interested to see how things go as I get further into it.

In Summary

It's more Dynasty Warriors: Gundam, but if your a fan of either Dynasty Warriors or Gundam (or both) that isn't a bad thing, really. The gameplay distinguishes it quite well from other Warriors titles, the challenges are mixed and to a degree unpredictable, and it still retains the joy of cutting down lots of dudes. Lots and lots of dudes. It's awesome.

Posted by ahoodedfigure

You're sort of like a mini Dynasty Warriors site in a bigger site that's hostile to Dynasty Warriors. It's nice.
 
I'm not sure I could get into the Gundam series; I get the feeling some knowledge of the shows would enhance what you get out of it. I know very little, and I feel much worse for the people in the bots you destroy en masse in this than I do for the soldiers in plain old Dynasty Warriors.
 
The upgrade and unlock system looked interesting and extensive, though, and it's nice that you can mix and match pilots with mechs. 
 
What I'm wondering right now is whether DW7 will go PC.

Posted by Vinny_Says
@Hailinel said:
And well, I can definitely say that while this game isn't necessarily better than the original DWG, it's definitely fun.
Fun is a pretty subjective term, and that quick look made it clear to me that no part of Gundam 3 would be fun for me. I'm sure the staff isn't being purposefully dismissive.
Posted by Hailinel

@ahoodedfigure said:

You're sort of like a mini Dynasty Warriors site in a bigger site that's hostile to Dynasty Warriors. It's nice. I'm not sure I could get into the Gundam series; I get the feeling some knowledge of the shows would enhance what you get out of it. I know very little, and I feel much worse for the people in the bots you destroy en masse in this than I do for the soldiers in plain old Dynasty Warriors. The upgrade and unlock system looked interesting and extensive, though, and it's nice that you can mix and match pilots with mechs. What I'm wondering right now is whether DW7 will go PC.

Heh, thanks. The game is definitely more for Gundam fans than not, though it does feature a nice encyclopedia feature in the gallery that provides a fair, high level background on all of the characters and mobile suits that appear in the game. I haven't seen a number of the properties that are represented in the game, yet from reading their background and observing their behavior in game, I feel I've gotten a decent feel for the characters I otherwise know little about.

The upgrade system is definitely an interesting one. To get more in depth on it. As you complete missions, you earn blueprints for mobile suits with differing stats. So I could for example, earn two blueprints for the Z Gundam in one battle, but they'll most likely have different base stats and a different number of upgrade slots. The upgrade slots can be spent on any of the stat categories for a cost of the game's currency, in addition to special equipment that can grant the mobile suit bonus abilities, like resistance to ranged attacks, longer melee range, faster movement speed and so on. It's also possible to keep a collection of different makes of a mobile suit type in stock, so I could have a range of differently customized suits at my disposal. In addition, the pilots have their own stats and equippable skills that further augment the mobile suits' abilities.

I'm not sure if DW7 will ever see a PC release, though. As far as I know, the previous games have all been console only.

Posted by ReyGitano

My only question... is the Shining Gundam in this game?

Posted by Hailinel

@SlashseveN303 said:

My only question... is the Shining Gundam in this game?

Domon's default mobile suit is the Burning Gundam (a.k.a. God Gundam).

Posted by ReyGitano

@Hailinel said:

@SlashseveN303 said:

My only question... is the Shining Gundam in this game?

Domon's default mobile suit is the Burning Gundam (a.k.a. God Gundam).

Ugh... you had to do so little to please me DWG3, and you still failed. Wait, I'll give this a chance for redemption; is the American Gundam from G Gundam in the game?

Posted by AuthenticM

@blacklabeldomm said:

@Hailinel said:
And well, I can definitely say that while this game isn't necessarily better than the original DWG, it's definitely fun.
Fun is a pretty subjective term, and that quick look made it clear to me that no part of Gundam 3 would be fun for me. I'm sure the staff isn't being purposefully dismissive.

My thoughts also. They made fun of the game because, well... like pretty much every DW game, it's pretty bad. That does not mean that there isn't an audience for it though. The audience is simply a smaller bunch who have the ability to see past the game's tremendous faults. I am not part of this audience.

Posted by Hailinel

@SlashseveN303 said:

@Hailinel said:

@SlashseveN303 said:

My only question... is the Shining Gundam in this game?

Domon's default mobile suit is the Burning Gundam (a.k.a. God Gundam).

Ugh... you had to do so little to please me DWG3, and you still failed. Wait, I'll give this a chance for redemption; is the American Gundam from G Gundam in the game?

Haven't seen it yet. I'm not ruling out that Shining Gundam isn't in the game yet, either. I haven't unlocked the G Gundam historical missions yet. So far, the only G Gundam units I've seen are Burning Gundam, the Master Gundam, and the Dark Gundam. That being said, there are about a hojillion mobile suits in this game, and so it shouldn't be surprising if some favorites get left out.

Posted by Rudeboy217

@SlashseveN303 said:

My only question... is the Shining Gundam in this game?

Shining finger for life.

Posted by jozzy

I knew nothing of the game, but even I could clearly see that they weren't giving it a honest chance. They clearly had know idea what they were doing. I am not blaming them for it since I know how QL's works, but it was clear to me they were missing some key game mechanics.

Posted by Hailinel

@jozzy said:

I knew nothing of the game, but even I could clearly see that they weren't giving it a honest chance. They clearly had know idea what they were doing. I am not blaming them for it since I know how QL's works, but it was clear to me they were missing some key game mechanics.

The way that Brad played, it's no wonder he got destroyed. That it wasn't the cakewalk they thought it would be seemed to flabbergast Jeff.

Posted by ReyGitano

@rudeboy217: This hand of mine glows with an awesome power.

Posted by ahoodedfigure
@Hailinel: Do you think those stat differences could translate into some markedly different mechs from what you've played so far? Like, not only in the sense that you can see the difference, but that they might be more useful in certain scenarios? Or might it be that certain stats are more important than others, so you'll usually concentrate on them. I sort of run into the same thing when playing Dynasty Warriors, since when I slot certain items like attack and defense I get much more out of it than stuff that extends my musou bar, so I usually never bother with the latter.
 
I think, but I'm not certain, that DW6 came out on the PC. It could be a Japanese-only release for all I know. Brilliant move if that's what they did; some of the best copy protection in the world is still just keeping your game in a language other than English ;)
Posted by Hailinel

@ahoodedfigure said:

@Hailinel: Do you think those stat differences could translate into some markedly different mechs from what you've played so far? Like, not only in the sense that you can see the difference, but that they might be more useful in certain scenarios? Or might it be that certain stats are more important than others, so you'll usually concentrate on them. I sort of run into the same thing when playing Dynasty Warriors, since when I slot certain items like attack and defense I get much more out of it than stuff that extends my musou bar, so I usually never bother with the latter. I think, but I'm not certain, that DW6 came out on the PC. It could be a Japanese-only release for all I know. Brilliant move if that's what they did; some of the best copy protection in the world is still just keeping your game in a language other than English ;)

Definitely. The base stats are Melee, Shot, Defense, Armor (health), Mobility speed) and Thrust (amount of thruster energy). I've been piloting the Baund Doc most recently with a pilot that has less than stellar defense. The BD also has poor defense and armor. I was fortunate to get a blueprint with six upgrade slots, so I was able to help that, but it still has poor thrust, so it's very easy to overheat. But its musou attack is excellent crowd control. It's more effective as support, however. By itself without allies, it can quickly become a sitting duck when surrounded by four officers and a giant enemy. Push your luck and you run out of options. Another note is that pilots only have an affect on the base melee, shot, and defense strength as well as the number of musou charges that can be stocked, so failing to upgrade poor armor or thrust can be a risk in itself.

Posted by mrangryface

Kamille's a mans name, and I'm a man! - The audio in this release is, as always, priceless.

Posted by Hailinel

@mrangryface said:

Kamille's a mans name, and I'm a man! - The audio in this release is, as always, priceless.

Having seen Z Gundam, that line in the game makes a lot more sense in context. But oh, English anime dubs.

Posted by mrangryface

Oh I know, not faulting the game- half the reason I play these games is for the goofy fun they provide. That said I traded in 2 after getting 3. The first game and third game are the good ones IMO.

Posted by Hailinel

@mrangryface said:

Oh I know, not faulting the game- half the reason I play these games is for the goofy fun they provide. That said I traded in 2 after getting 3. The first game and third game are the good ones IMO.

Agreed. DWG2 never hooked me like the first and third games did.

Posted by SethPhotopoulos

I played this at a friend's house and I had fun for the hour I played it.  I don't think I could play through that entire game though.  Hell we cheated it by going right to the main base and powering our way through it with double Burning Gundams and finishing the missions in 30 secs-2 minutes.  But my friend has also played 25 hours of that game so we had LV 5 Burning Gundams.
 
This game is definitely people that like Gundam and Dynasty Warrior's style play so if you don't like either then they won't have good things to say about it.  And that audience is rather small.

Posted by mrangryface

Yup. DWG2 was a bunch of game ideas, some not fully realized, thrown on a disc. VERY grindy. First still has the best story lines ever and way better History missions.

Posted by Hailinel

@mrangryface said:

Yup. DWG2 was a bunch of game ideas, some not fully realized, thrown on a disc. VERY grindy. First still has the best story lines ever and way better History missions.

Yep. The history missions in DWG3 got silly when I played the first Turn-A history mission and was suddenly fighting characters from Gundam SEED and Victory Gundam. What the hell?

Posted by mrangryface

I've got 40+ hours into the game so far- hit 100k achievement 20 hours earlier than the first game. Now its just history missions and relationship missions and those EVIL challenge missions. Irritated at how im supposed to escort people and they stand right in front of the end mission boss eating a musou attack. Its like wtf is WRONG WITH UUUUUU

Posted by mrangryface

@Hailinel: My other problem with the DWG3 history missions is that they provide so little context for what happens in those fights anyway. Basically it comes down to DWG1 executing so well with stories and missions, and DWG3 executing advanced gameplay mechanics and an awesome modern roster- if somehow the two could be merged OMGHI2U

Posted by Hailinel

@mrangryface said:

@Hailinel: My other problem with the DWG3 history missions is that they provide so little context for what happens in those fights anyway. Basically it comes down to DWG1 executing so well with stories and missions, and DWG3 executing advanced gameplay mechanics and an awesome modern roster- if somehow the two could be merged OMGHI2U

Very true. I played through Kamille's History Missions tonight, and his story mode in DWG1 was far better structured and paced, though DWG3 at least included some important characters that weren't part of the first game. Also, I couldn't help feeling like an ass for killing Rosamia.

Posted by mrangryface

Any clue how to level up my affinity with Operator only characters quickly?

Posted by Hailinel

@mrangryface said:

Any clue how to level up my affinity with Operator only characters quickly?

I haven't figured that out yet. I've really only used Tiffa and Audrey as my Operators so far. Tiffa's level has gone up at times I haven't used her, so I think her progression might just be tied to overall story mode or game progress. I don't know about the others yet.

Posted by mrangryface

They also did a much better job developing unique move sets for even the general production suits.

Posted by DumbFounded

Ive been wanting to try this, but all the shops near me only have the 360 version, I love the standard series but I am ignorant to gundam, My only real exposure to this series is the demo they put out for the very first game.

In that the stages were very very bland, think there was a space level...with nothing in it basically and one land stage, which was pretty much the same bar the long stretches of nothing between areas, how do the actual stages in this one compare?

Posted by DonChipotle

@mrangryface said:

Any clue how to level up my affinity with Operator only characters quickly?

Some of them only increase in level as you level up with characters from the same series. So build friendship up with other pilots and then use the operators.

Also I have never watched Gundam because I hate all things that have to do with robots, but I think DWG3 is fun as all hell.

Posted by Hailinel

@DumbFounded said:

Ive been wanting to try this, but all the shops near me only have the 360 version, I love the standard series but I am ignorant to gundam, My only real exposure to this series is the demo they put out for the very first game.

In that the stages were very very bland, think there was a space level...with nothing in it basically and one land stage, which was pretty much the same bar the long stretches of nothing between areas, how do the actual stages in this one compare?

None of the stages take place in open space. You're always over some sort of ground surface, whether it be an asteroid or on Earth.

Posted by mrangryface

I KINDA miss the space missions...kinda

Posted by mrangryface

The new DLC missions are kind of cool- I especially liked the one where you fight a boss thats healed by a giant mobile suit- so you have to basically handle an invincible mobile suit while dealing with the giant one. Luckily if you handle the first phase of the mission well you have some people to back you up and at least keep the invincible one out of your hair while you power down the giant suit.