Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme VS Force (PS Vita) – Review

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By Xchel Nakamura

Gundam is a series you may have grown up watching, or at least have heard about from your friends, especially since it’s been around since the ’90s and there’s been a lot of variations of video games based on the Gundam franchise. A couple of examples are the Dynasty Warriors Mobile Suit Gundam series and Mobile Suit Gundam: Crossfire, to name a few. Not all of them have made their way out to the West which is rather disappointing. However, this brand-new game, Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme VS Force, brings a new challenge to the PlayStation Vita.

Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme VS Force offers a lot of great maps and a variety of Gundams that are still popular to this day. When you first play, you are put through a little bit of a tutorial: Aire and Tereno are your guides (which I found to be cute). It’s great as it gives you time to take things slow and get used to the system. Once you get through all of the introduction and tutorials, you are thrown into your first mission. Right away, you might be a little overwhelmed: the maps are very big, so big that it may be hard to pinpoint where your enemy is. The targeting system is great, but because of the high terrain and how the camera is sometimes not fixated to the target, it can be a bit frustrating to finish the level. However, being that the screen is small, I can see how it has to compensate for them to fit all the maps and models.

While it still keeps to its combat roots from previous iterations, once you’re in the heat of battle, some of the maps can get in the way of you getting to your target at a higher level or rank (hence me mentioning earlier about the maps being a little too big on a small screen). Regardless of that minor issue, the transition from a console game to portable is not that bad and can still make for a fun experience. You do, however, have to be quick and vigilant to defeat enemies (and it also helps to grind a lot). It makes for better gameplay and you won’t get as frustrated with the boss levels.

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This game offers the chance to dash towards your enemies, dodge incoming fire, and the use of melee attacks. Some missions will involve you controlling small troops to protect the base while others have you capture the enemy base. These were fun but got to be a bit frustrating when fighting against them. Why? It was dependent on the map you were on and how many enemies are around. Still, once you start to understand the game mechanics, your missions become easier to handle.

There are actually 3 modes that you can choose to start off from. First, there is Extreme Force (which is the campaign mode, pretty lengthy if I may add). As stated before, you are introduced to the 2 characters that guide you through it. Though it was fun seeing them in the beginning, it got too mundane and I preferred to just skip through what each of them had to say.

The other two modes are Force and Extend mode. Force battles give you the chance to play against someone else on Ad Hoc mode. I was rather disappointed that an online feature was absent as it would have been more fun to play against other players who share the same passion for the game, but alas, we’ll settle for local play. In the 3rd mode, Extend battle, which pits you against the AI and gives you a bit of a challenge (which is important so you can level grind with ease).

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Bright colors and very detailed maps along with a killer soundtrack from GUNDAM UNICORN make for a pleasant and enjoyable experience. I’d even say it pumped you up for the battle. The vibrant colors in this game were not hard on the eyes. I did find that a little relieving, though, due to the fact that this game requires a lot of attention (especially in the middle of battle). Despite all the good I’ve said about this game, it’s not without its faults, though. A few things felt out of place, like while in the middle of battle, you’d be blocked by a huge boulder or an oversized building and you’d be able to get to your target(s). Minor gripes, however, as the rest of the game is polished as it is.

While most games in the franchise have gotten good reviews and some of them bad, Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme VS Force stands on a good note. The game is still is in touch with the franchise, as evidenced by the original Gundam designs, familiar characters and story. Though it still fell a little short when it came down to some of the boss fights and controlling troops, everything can turn from a simple fight to a chaotic war in a minute. If you’re a true Gundam fan, I say play this game, take a trip back to the ’90s and enjoy some cool, old-fashioned Gundam battles. But, if you are new to the game, I would definitely recommend going to the tutorial and get a grasp of how this works as you will definitely have a better time with this game that way. Besides, who doesn’t want to see giant mechas duking it out? The best part of all is that you get a little closer into the Gundam world… all in the palm of your hands.

Rating: 4/5 Atoms

NR 4 Atoms - B

Platform:PlayStation Vita
Publisher: Bandai Namco Entertainment
Developer: Bandai Namco Entertainment
Price: $39.99

*Review code was provided by Publisher Bandai Namco Entertainment.

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