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Joseph Rositano
19 May, 2009

Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 2 Review

360 Review | Robots... Lots of robots...
Koei’s Dynasty Warriors series is often ridiculed in the West. At their core each rendition has the same hack and slash gameplay, which is simply getting stale as we see the industry take new leaps in technology and design. But even simplicity can be fun in short bursts, and when coupled with a few improvements and a fresh coat of paint, it’s certainly enough to entice fans back for more. While Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 2 isn’t going to redefine the franchise, it will appease fans who need the extra kick in their day that only a few thousand robots can provide.

Like its predecessor, Gundam 2 takes the foundations of Dynasty Warriors and replaces the Romance of the Three Kingdoms characters with robot warriors. The game follows the events of the Mobile Suit Gundam anime through the eyes of individual characters, but due to the expansive history of the series, newcomers will struggle to make sense of what’s going on. Before and after each mission a small briefing featuring 2D illustrations of the characters is shown to help set the mood, but again it doesn’t really help if you’re not already familiar with the anime.

Instead of counting sheep, let's count robots to help us get to sleep.

Instead of counting sheep, let's count robots to help us get to sleep.
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Gameplay is pretty straightforward – you select a character and pilot a mobile suit, smashing anything that moves or is a threat to your allies. Each mobile suit has a normal and a charge attack, and by linking them together you can perform several different combo moves. In addition you also have two variations of a SP attack, which is the equivalent of the Musou attacks in other Dynasty Warriors games. The basic idea is you have a gauge that fills as you destroy enemies, and when full you can unleash a devastating aerial or ground-based attack that generally annihilates all standard enemies in the immediate vicinity.

Battles usually take place in open-ended environments, though there are levels which are a little more linear and can be described as a basic maze. Combat is centred on fields, with the ultimate goal of capturing them all to bring out the enemy commander or secure safe passage for your allies. When you enter a field generic robots will begin swarming around you, and your objective is to destroy them until you eventually capture it. Occasionally you’ll have to defeat defence officers, though these are generally still just generic robots. This more or less sums up the entire game; you travel from field to field smashing up thousands of robots. While simple and fun in short bursts, even the most die-hard fan will agree it gets unbelievably repetitive during extended play sessions. Quite often you’ll also encounter an enemy officer and these fights do pose a minor challenge, but other than that it’s still the same hack and slash gameplay.

Kamehameha!

Kamehameha!
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Despite the simplistic gameplay there’s quite a lot of content on offer. Firstly there’s the Official mode which follows the Mobile Suit Gundam, Zeta Gundam, Gundam ZZ and Char's Counterattack stories of the anime through the eyes of four characters. The main meat, however, comes from the all-new Mission Mode. Here you can select from literally dozens of characters and pilot one of 62 mobile suits, a massive increase from the 16 playable suits in the original game. Mission mode also offers unique missions that are designed to unlock new mobile suits, gain new parts to upgrade existing suits and form friendships and rivalries with other characters. It’s certainly time consuming and should keep even the most die-hard fan occupied for months, though again it depends if you can put up with the repetitive gameplay

Gundam 2 isn’t just a rehashed version of 2007’s outing, Koei has taken the time to add quite a few new features. In addition to the Mission Mode, players will occasionally have to battle gigantic mobile suits. These battles don’t add too much to the experience as it’s more or less you memorising attack patterns and slashing the enemy when they're vulnerable, but it certainly offers a welcome change and keeps you on your toes for a bit. Local multiplayer has returned, with the new option to play online against friends and random strangers. Unfortunately during our play through we weren’t able to join a single match online, so that’s a testament to how popular Gundam 2 is in PAL regions.

Knock one down, smash it around, 3652 robots left to kill.

Knock one down, smash it around, 3652 robots left to kill.
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Let’s face it, if you’ve played a Dynasty Warriors game before chances are you’re not expecting anything spectacular in the graphics department. Gundam 2 looks like a PlayStation 2 title more so than something from this generation, but at the same time it keeps gameplay flowing nicely. Even when there are over 50 enemies on screen there is no slowdown, and the game engine flawlessly draws each individual unit. The music isn’t too spectacular either. It’s there and gets the job done, but isn’t memorable by any means.

It’s difficult to recommend Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 2 to anyone who isn’t already familiar with the series. While there’s a considerable amount of content on offer, the story is hard to follow and the simplistic gameplay gets repetitive far too quickly. That said, the simplistic nature is the exact quality which makes the title fun in short bursts and lets you relieve stress.
The Score
With a hard to follow story and repetitive gameplay, it’s difficult to recommend Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 2 to anyone other than fans of the series. 6
Looking to buy this game right now? PALGN recommends www.Play-Asia.com.

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5 Comments
4 years ago
Still yet to unwrap my copy of Dw:G, but already Im itching to buy Dw:G 2 icon_sad.gif
4 years ago
While a huge fan of the first game, no Japanese voice acting = no sale for me. I've been listening to those voices for nearly two decades, damned if I'm going to listen to the craptacular American voices now. A ridiculous omission when only fans of the series will be the people buying it in the first place...
4 years ago
Yeah, being -kind of a fan- of the DW series, it's not so hard to get into it straight off. I actually spent all Saturday playing it. I'm a little tiresome of the original DW series, so Gundam is a little more enjoyable.

I am disappointed of the lack of Japanese voice option in 2... If I hear Kira say "I want to protect the world" again I'd probably throw a fit. And by god Lacus in battle makes me want to cry in shame.

Oh also, I found that the camera is kind of awkard.
4 years ago
I'll be getting this once I see it cheap enough. I passed up on it at a mad price last week and I'm kicking myself now... though I've still not finished 1. I just think I'd like 2 more, what with it having bots that go faster than 5mph.

Pointless personal trivia: I went to this celebratory dinner thing at Koei, with DW:G2 posters and models everywhere, 'cause it broke some company record, fastest selling game I think. Was well nice. I had steak. Mmmmm.....
4 years ago
Online play is actually quite a lot of fun if you can get a game. I just changed my locale to US and create matches, can get a game within 5 minutes and often when you find one user you stay on with that user for hours at a time if you want to. When I get to top ten worldwide (I'm not far off, actually) I'll change it back to Australia for patriotic purposes. XD

I'm a massive DW fan though, so I'm biased with it but I've dumped over 50 hours into DW:G2 so far. Mission Mode is quite expanded, most of that time was beating that with ONE character.

If people want to try it online, just message my GT (Same as my username) on 360 and I'll give you a game.
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  Pre-order or buy:
    PALGN recommends: www.Play-Asia.com

Australian Release Date:
  23/4/2009 (Confirmed)

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