Review: Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme VS-Force
The great nation of Japan has made many valuable additions to art and culture over the years. Works such as Seven Samurai, My Neigbor Totoro and Kafka on the Shore have enriched our lives. None, however, have had the impact or even artistic merit of the classic Gundam series, which pondered the profound question of what it would be like if giant robots beat the stuffing out of each other. And now Vita gamers in the west can jump into a mech suit and ponder that key human question in Gundam Extreme VS-Force.
I’m not entirely sure what the plot of Gundam Extreme VS-Force is, as I kind of skipped through a lot of the dialogue in the beginning with the two perky anime girls. After enough skipping, I finally got to dash around in a robot suit, killing other robots with guns and swords. The game’s combat system is a fairly intuitive 3D hack-and-slash affair, and you mix melee and ranged combat in large, open arenas. You select your mech suit beforehand and jump into the fight. After the first mission you unlock like 20 of them right away, and you don’t really get a sense of the different features each one has, but you eventually use trial and error to work out the ins and outs.
For the most part, the mechs are pretty similar, and you’ll be tasked with using your mech as well as allied mechs to complete various objectives. The game keeps the challenge up, as you’re expected to take on massive enemies and capture enemy bases, and you’re punished for taking your sweet time. You have a number of AI-controlled buddies that you can select before each mission as well, and you can control their actions during the fight and use combat points to repair or enhance them in the heat of battle. Managing your buddies becomes pretty important as the difficulty ratchets up, as you’ll be taking on plenty of other mechs and trying to complete objectives simultaneously.
The game doesn’t change the formula around that much, and once you get the hang of the battle system and gain the ability to assemble bigger fighting forces, you’ll find yourself going through the motions for most of the levels. The combat system is fun overall, but doesn’t offer that much variety, and the mech suits are all pretty similar for the most part.
Visually, the game is unremarkable, even for a Vita title. The game tends to slow down a bit in some of the more dynamic sections, so expect some minor performance issues. For the most part, however, it holds its own and remains pretty stable. The game’s environments are also pretty big, so you get a lot of room to maneuver through the bigger fights, and the battles feel like they have a lot of scale behind them. However, later in the game some of the battles feel like they’re a little too big, so the game could have done with a bit more balancing.
On the whole, the game doesn’t really manage to capture the intensity of battling giant robots, but it does offer a fun enough 3D combat experience.
Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme VS-Force was reviewed using an PlayStation Vita redeemable code provided by Bandai Namco. The original game was released for Arcades in Japan in 2012. We don’t discuss review scores with publishers or developers prior to the review being published.
• Simple and intuitive combat system
• Mix of ranged and melee attacks
• Variety of Gundam suits
• Ability to guide friendly units
• Tutorials can be a little more simple
• Story isn’t all that interesting
• Somewhat repetitive as the game goes on