Reviewed: July 10, 2011
Released: June 28, 2011
As an avid Gundam fan I was excited to hear that Namco Bandai decided to continue the Dynasty Warriors: Gundam series and couldnít wait to see what new suits were being added and what new features we would be getting in the new Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 3. Iíve been stuck on the Gundam videogame series games since the original Battle Assault game came out and the Dynasty Warrior series has been one of my all-time favorite since its release. There isnít anything in the world more fun than controlling a giant robot and going all out on wave after wave of enemy mechs. Along with the original suits from the first game we now have access to even the newest incarnations such as 00 Gundam and Gundam Unicorn and even a few we havenít seen yet like the Turn X from Turn A gundam and Double X. |
One major change I know Iím eternally grateful for is the way the story progresses for the characters, whereas before each character had their own story and had to be completed to start unlocking new characters and suits, the new system has certain pilots sharing a story so that you can play as your favorite character and switch out when you either attain a certain level or just want to mix it up. Another major improvement is the license system, instead of having to buy the license to the mobile suit you want for every pilot, as soon as you buy it once all pilots can use it.
The old upgrade system has been replaced with ďPlansĒ which are blue prints with different stats that start at level 1 to level 4 being the max, along with the plans you have the ability to have different variations of the same suit to fit the mission up to a total of four. You may increase these stats even further by paying money depending on how many upgrade slots a suit has. Along with stats you may add abilities to your suits to increase either melee damage, up the amount of shots fired for a certain combo or even have a magnetic effect with some attacks to help bring in the enemies.
Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 3 has gotten quite an overhaul in the graphic department with the move to Cel-shading, something that I greatly enjoyed and appreciated on my high-definition television. The new graphics make the mobile suits really stand out as you can see even the smallest details on the suits. Aside from the way the suits have been given better looks the backgrounds themselves have been given a major overhaul, gone are the days of the boring looking factory, mountain and desert landscapes replaced with great looking factory, mountain and desert landscapes, with a new jungle and spaceship also being added to the battlegrounds. I suppose the old phrase ďif it ainít broke donít fix itĒ is still in effect when it comes to the battlegrounds but it would be nice to get some more dynamic looking areas to fight in with true destructible environments. Space battles remain much the same with suits seemingly standing in midair with no source of flight equipment being used.
One thing that hasnít changed and probably never will is the controls for Dynasty Warriors. With the basic attack combo being square followed by square, square, square and followed by triangle you kind of get the idea of how the rest of your fights are going to play out. You of course also have the jump button to go in for the aerial attacks and block to of course block. So basically same old play styles versus the supposedly revamped A.I that I never got to play against, must be a DLC. With the ability to customize your suit to your play style you can go for the all-out melee, superior firepower for long range attacks or do a balanced build for lower damage but higher adaptability.
With each and every enemy you take down you gain another bar in your special bar which when filled you unleash a move usually seen in either the canon TV shows or movies in either an aerial or ground variation depending on if you jump before you activate it, Iím more of an aerial attacker so I jump quite a bit when I gain my special moves. Along with having a special attack you also have access to a team up attack if you happen to be nearby a teammate with a full bar and connected by a line of energy. A brand new addition to the game is partner strikes, with a maximum of three uses you call upon a predetermined mobile suit to come into battle and use an attack either ranging from a simple charge like the Zeta gundam to something as game changing as Double X Gundamís satellite cannon which has the ability to wipe out a field by itself.
First off, this is a Japanese game brought to the states to quench our thirst for giant robots and our love of hack and slash battles and as such a few changes had to be made so that it would sell better, mainly the voice acting, and I canít say they did a terrific job on it. Some characters have a very annoying habit of repeating their best known lines over and over again like a broken record and if that wasnít bad enough most of the voice actors from the first and second Dynasty Warriors: Gundam games were replaced with new actors with some characters sounding completely different.
If youíve seen the Gundam shows you know your favorite characters voice and understand that the transition from Japanese to English voices are sometimes disgustingly drastic with some characters having deep manly voices in Japanese to frail and feminine in English. I appreciated the fact it has the option to let you use the original Japanese track for the game just so I can at least relive some epic moments during the game, even if I canít understand them.
Thankfully the music hasnít had any major changes and instead we have gotten a few new themes for our newer additions, I just wish they had an option for us to select which song we want to hear as we fight as not all of the songs are as great as I would like or start to play at the weirdest moments. I would almost suggest turning down the music, playing it yourself in the background and only leave special effects and voices on.
With the ability to play online I thought I would be playing night and day versus other human players to fight each otherís troops and finally have an epic battle against one another but ended up being nothing but co-op missions versus the dismal A.I. Admittedly some fights has you go up against giant enemy bosses but itís not the difficulty of the encounters that makes them difficult as much the strength of their armor and outrageous ability to one shot lower level players, if you can evade for two seconds you usually get a huge window to destroy their weak points and take them down. As I played the PS3 version of the game I canít say if this is true for 360 but I had extremely long wait times in between online fights due to the low amount of players doing missions.
With stunning visuals, a huge roster of mobile suits and the ability to customize to fit your style of play and really let us fulfill our geekiest Gundam dreams Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 3 really shines as being one of the better hack and slash games around. Being a Dynasty Warriors Gundam game itís a niche game from start to finish. I canít possibly recommend this game to newcomers to the series, not because I doubt the quality of the game, but because they wouldnít understand or care as much as a true fan would about the different characters, suits and anime themed battles.
The game has its own circle of fans and Iím glad that the developers have made it even better with every new addition and will continue to do so. Priced decently at 59.99$ I can see any fan paying for this without a problem but canít imagine too many gamers picking it up if they havenít heard of it before. This is one hack-and-slash game that I wonít be putting down anytime soon.