Gundam Versus Review

Developer: Bandai Namco

Publisher: Bandai Namco

Release Date: September 29th, 2017

Platforms: PS4

We hop in the pilot seats of some of our favorite colossal robotic suits and take on other colossal robots in Bandai Namco’s complicated, yet rewarding arena brawler, Gundam Versus.

Gundam Versus features a massive list of all your favorite Gundams and mobile suits, each with their own unique moves. Deathscythe from the Wing series is a primarily melee suit with the ability to cloak and has very few, yet useful ranged options. The Unicorn Gundam’s starting form relies more on ranged attacks while it’s “Destroy Mode” will switch up the move set, giving it melee attacks that consume a large around around it. Each suit also has it’s own cost ranging from 200 to 500. The higher the cost, the more it takes to bring you back when your suit is defeated during battle. When you run out, your suit may spawn in overheat status and have lower health. Just because Wing Zero is cool, it might not be the best choice if you’re starting out and dipping your feet into multiplayer.

One thing that I find really obnoxious though is the amount of DLC that’s already available for the game. Versus has been out in Japan for a while and already has plenty of additional content out so it’s natural that we get some too. But seven new fighters at five dollars a pop on release day is a tad ridiculous, and there’s more fighters to come. If you were lucky enough to get a pre-order code, you at least got three fighters for free.

Battles will take place at all altittudes.

The biggest challenge you’ll be facing in Gundam Versus is a steep learning curve. While the game features a tutorial, it only teaches you the most basic controls like quick stepping and how to attack. The game practically requires you to play with every Gundam in one of its few modes to really learn them. Shots need to be timed and quick stepping needs to be chained correctly or you’ll find yourself on the bad end of a beam rifle. If you don’t learn how to effectively play, then even the single player content on the normal difficulty will probably give you a run for your money.

The game was first and foremost developed with multiplayer in mind, but does feature singleplayer content. Ultimate Survival is a wave based mode where players can select a mobile suit and do battle across a set number of waves, with a boss every 5 waves. After 5 waves, you’ll be given the option of upgrading your suit’s offensive and defensive capabilities for the next waves. The downside to Ultimate Survival though is that there is no way to checkpoint between waves so they must be done in one sitting. At points, I had to put my baby down and just let the game go so I could cash in and get experience points for my suit. Thankfully, the companion AI is incredibly helpful and carried the team into wave 20 without me getting in its way.

You can’t pilot these bad boys, but they’re fun to destroy in Ultimate survival.

Then, there’s a Trials mode, where players will be able to battle through specific scenarios in an attempt at scoring the highest rank they can for completing the entire trial. The first trial starts off relatively easy, with each trial increasing in difficulty. Again, there is no way to checkpoint between missions so if you quit, you have to start from the beginning. Experience is offered at the end of each mission, so you don’t need to worry about missing out on what you’ve earned for completing them.

Finally, there’s a free battle mode which is a basic match that pits players against CPU. Free Battle allows players to set the exact perimeters of a match and it’s a good way to learn the mechanics of a mobile suit. You can fight the AI as if it were a normal match or you can set it to just stand there and take a beating for practice, the choice is yours.

As for the multiplayer, you have access to casual and ranked matches and can play 1v1, 2v2 or 3v3. All of the arena sized maps feature plenty of destructible cover to zip between to avoid enemy fire. I preferred to play 2v2 and going up against more skilled players was a spectacle that could be related to the show as we moved around the map, taking pot shots at each and bringing down large buildings or other objects in the environment. While most of my matches have been losses, due to my status as a newcomer, I still had a blast getting my ass kicked and that’s how a Gundam fighter should be. Ultimate Survivor also features an online mode as well, which throws in an extra wave where players cooperatively take on one player as they pilot a massive boss suit.

Unicorn comin in for that hug….

Gundam Versus features a large list of unlockables to co-exist with its large roster as well. A small amount of customization is featured in the game as leveling a suit can allow players to purchase titles and emblems as well strikers who can aid you in combat. For instance, getting Jesta to a certain level unlocks the Delta Plus striker and strikers have a limited use in battles. Hot Scramble can only be summoned twice before running out.

Gundam Versus is a game for hardcore fighting fans that manages to offer a huge roster of unique characters to play as. It runs well and has enough content to keep most players around for a long time. While the learning curve might be steep, getting a handle on the game and a suits mechanics is truly a rewarding experience to behold.