It’s almost 2022; why aren’t Gundams and mobile suits already everywhere in society? Toonami really got me back in the 90’s with all those ads for “in the near future”. Guess I’ll make do with the release of Mobile Suit Gundam Battle Operations: Code Fairy Vol 1 developed by B.B Studio co and published by Bandai. Thank you, Bandai, for not giving up on us fans, in fact, give us more! Code fairy uses the Battle Operations 2 engine from the game of the same name released for PS4 and PS5. It’s been adapted to give us a single player experience in the form of Code Fairy.
The story is given to us in a multitude of ways such as audio snippets, anime style sequences including previews and opening and closing sequences. I found the anime sequences the most interesting because every chapter had an opening theme, a closing them and a preview as well, just like something you’d watch on T.V or more likely your favorite streaming service. I won’t deny that I got over those parts of it around the 3rd chapter when I realized it was going to happen at the end and beginning of each chapter. They had a great color; characters were appealing, and I could see them making a compilation of them and calling it a side story show or short movie.
You take the role of Alma, a rookie thrust into leadership of “Noisy Fairy” a covert all female squad under the Zeon side of the war. Code Fairy takes place during the one-year war from the original Mobile Suit Gundam anime, and the battles are in North America. As you progress through the story you will start to understand that Alma isn’t just your regular pilot. It’s my understanding that she has some sort of special ability that makes her so good at piloting mobile suits. She is supported by two other pilots; an engineer called Mia and Helena who you pretty much leave to their own device the first couple of chapters until they introduce the ability to mark units for them to focus and pilot abilities which are special skills on short cooldowns such as instant repair of your suits, decreased damage taken and increased mobility to name the basics. As your pilots level up they earn more, but I hate to say it, “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” really came into play with these.
Beating missions and completing certain objectives unlock parts to increase the stats of your mobile suit, so I was excited to try out the hard mode that you unlock when you beat the game the first time, hoping it would give me the chance to earn a new suit to pilot, but aside from making the enemies harder by having them take less damage and dodging more, nothing was to be earned. The part I did like was unlocking side perspective missions that you could play the same missions from the perspective of Alma’s compatriots, so you could play the game in a sniper role and in more of a support role. It gives you more insight into what was going on with them while you were off doing your own thing in the main story and also fight in a much different manner than what you were used to.
The battles consist of your typical kill all bad guys, defend the location and one where we got to destroy a convoy. At a few different points you did finally get to fight someone in the titular Gundam suits but nobody canon from the shows that mattered, and frustratingly I’d defeat them in one battle just to have them come back later in a newer suit. Those named bad guys that never die sort of battles are frustrating and really took all the glory out of beating them. As this is based on the B.O games the battle triangle still exists of mobile suits being categorized as three types, Raid, General or support with each having a weakness and a strength against another, something I’ve never understood because if I get stabbed with a freaking beam saber it shouldn’t do any more or less damage due to my typing.
As I’ve said, the anime style visuals are great when you aren’t in battle, then it switches to the Battle Operations 2 engine that they have been using for the game that this is based on. I’ve played Battle Operation both on PS4 and PS5 and Code Fairy doesn’t really seem to improve on any part of it. The mobile suits, because that’s what they are actually are, that you pilot are essentially custom grunt unit models that the pilots utilize the whole first 5 chapters that Volume 1 is comprised of, near the end one of them gets a newer model but you as the protagonist/main character use the same suit the entire game with the ability to change your primary weapon from a rocket launcher to a machine gun after the second chapter.
Do they look good? I can’t deny that they look good, but compared to what is the question? They look the same as they do in Battle Operation 2. The issue that I’m getting to is that being called a Gundam game, hell even a Battle Operations game, I expected the ability to customize and change my suit or get a new one at some point, but I digress. Gundam Battle Operations: Code Fairy Vol 1 and Vol. 2 are out now with Vol 3 coming Dec 3rd.