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Dynasty Warriors Gundam
Score: 100%
ESRB: Teen
Publisher: NAMCO BANDAI Games America
Developer: Koei
Media: Blu-ray/1
Players: 1 - 2
Genre: Fighting/ Real-Time Strategy/ Themed

Graphics & Sound:
Dynasty Warriors Gundam has the look and feel of Dynasty Warriors, but has been re-purposed with the rich storyline and characters of Gundam. Dynasty Warriors Gundam features characters from the Gundam canon.

Remaining true to the style of Gundam cartoons, the characters are drawn in an anime style and animated head shots are displayed when the characters speak. The models of the Gundams are three-dimensional, as are the environments, but they have a cartoon-like look to them, staying true the the Gundam anime style.

There is a lot of voicework in Dynasty Warriors Gundam, and the dialogue can be in your choice of English or Japanese. The English version can be listened to in the Voice Gallery, once it has been experienced in-game.

Gundam fans will like the galleries found in Dynasty Warriors Gundam. These include a Character Gallery, a Gundam Gallery, which includes a Mobile Suit Gallery and a Battleship Gallery, and the aforementioned Voice Gallery.

I thought that Dynasty Warriors was a good game back when it was just Dynasty Warriors, even though I am not up on my Chinese history and mythology. However, that same proven gameplay fits the Gundam theme perfectly. Dynasty Warriors Gundam provides a unique style of Mech gameplay that is heavily tactic-centric, but still retains the action and excitement of a third person, hmm... fighter? At any rate, the gameplay is fast and furious, but you have to be careful not to get overwhelmed or to let your important assets get captured or defeated by enemy forces.

There are three modes of play in Dynasty Warriors Gundam: Official mode, Original mode and Versus mode. Official mode and Original mode are functionally identical, but they have different storylines; Official mode follows official characters in known Gundam battles, while Original mode follows additional characters in a new storyline that has an unknown planet hurtling towards Earth and once sworn enemies must work together to stop this rogue planet from destroying what they're all fighting for. Versus mode offers two-player versus battle gameplay, of three different flavors.

The Versus Battle menu offers three different types of versus matches: Normal Match, Warriors Match and Shotdown Contest. Normal Match is probably what you would expect - a standard 1 on 1 versus match, without customizations. Warriors Matches are fought in two phases. In the first phase, each player fights against A.I. opponents, while remaining walled off from the other player. You can collect powerups by defeating the A.I. enemies. When you reach the second phase, the A.I. enemies leave and you face the other player, with any of the upgrades you have collected in the first phase. Shotdown Contest is different from the other two contests. In this contest, you never directly attack the other player. Instead, the better you do against A.I. enemies that you have to fight, and the more powerups you collect, the more enemies attack the other player. The first player to end up with 50 Mobile Suits on their side of the field loses. In my opinion, Versus mode is begging for Internet connectivity, but, alas, Dynasty Warriors Gundam doesn't support online play.

At first, I expected that Dynasty Warriors Gundam would be difficult, as I would need to protect strategically important assets in the field. However, I found that being decisive and quickly advancing on important strategic fields gave me an advantage early on and I was able to hold onto that. The part that I didn't expect, however, was that the region bosses would be as difficult to even hit, much less defeat. This is especially the case when there is a group of stronger enemies working as a team with the boss in question.

Staying mobile and making decisive strikes seemed to help even things out a bit, however. I would thrust to the edge of a crowd of enemies, then turn around and thrust and slice my way across the crowd, then turn on the other side and slice my way back through again. By not staying surrounded by the enemy, I avoided a lot of damage I would have otherwise taken. This same tactic seemed to work decently against boss characters, with less care about the rest of the crowd, simply getting away and then cutting through the boss enemies to damage them.

To make the game easier, you'll want to watch for parts left behind on the battlefield when you kill certain enemies. These parts can be used to improve your Gundam, making it easier to advance in the game.

Game Mechanics:
I was very happy to see the gameplay of Dynasty Warriors mixed with the Gundam license. The synergy of these two game aspects creates a very fun game to play. Mind you, nothing about Dynasty Warriors Gundam "pushes the envelope," but this isn't a game that is trying to change the world. What it is, however is two great tastes that play great together. I can see it now... "Your Gundam is in my Dynasty Warriors... You've got Dynasty Warriors in my Gundam." Regardless, the combination is a brilliant one, making for a game that can provide hours and hours of fun for fans of either franchise.

Often, mixing a franchise and an existing game is merely a thinly veiled attempt to wring more money out of existing properties. Dynasty Warriors Gundam, however, is different. Not only does it feel like a game to itself, as the Dynasty Warriors and Gundam properties seem to complement each other very well, but these properties don't even belong to the same company. Dynasty Warriors Gundam was the result of a cooperative effort between Koei and Bandai Namco Games.

The back of the Dynasty Warriors Gundam box states, "The power of Gundam. The Majesty of Dynasty Warriors." I couldn't have put it better myself. If you're a fan of Gundam or Dynasty Warriors, I would highly recommend Dynasty Warriors Gundam. Even if you're not, it's definitely worth a rental. It may just become your new favorite game.

-Geck0, GameVortex Communications
AKA Robert Perkins

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