By Hailinel 33 Comments
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
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.
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.