Gundam Side Story
|Editor Rating:||7.5/10, based on 1 review|
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GSS was an important game for me this issue for a couple of reasons. First, it confirms what I've been telling Shoe for the past couple months--video gaming has finally hit that mainstream where companies (like Bandai) will just indiscriminantly localize imports regardless of how well they sell. Second, I love robot games, and GSS fills that hungry void on the Dreamcast quite nicely. It sports an aesthetic akin to Front Mission's gritty realism, and does full justice to the Gundam philosophy that these are just machines of war--what really matters are the people behind the politics. In that respect, I give high marks to GSS. The game's adherence to the Gundam timeline borders on near worship of the anime (which turned 20 last year). Visually, the game is sharp and detailed. Look closely and you'll see supporting vehicles, scaffolding for the mobile suits, a wide variety of rural and urban terrain...all the considerations of war-torn earth. All this richness gives GSS an immersive sim-like feel to the gameplay. Unfortunately, not all is well when it comes to controlling your mobile suit. Controls feel clunky in comparison to how much action is happening around you...especially when you're engaged in a saber beam battle. But do give GSS a chance, and support niche gaming in America. We need the diversity.
Jeez this game's hard. I don't know if I just had problems adapting to the controls or what, but I had some real problems with this. I still really like it. but it took me ages to get through each level thanks to some particularly aggressive opponent Al. That said though, Gundam is a rewarding game to play. The presentation is spectacular throughout, and I have to say that it's certainly my favorite "big robot" game to date.
In general, games based on anime (as with most licensed games In the U.S.) are garbage. But Gundam Side Story is an exception. Using voice actors who will be familiar to those who watch anime dubs (especially anything by Manga Entertainment or Bandai), this is a well-crafted, fun, strategic mechanized action game. GSS captures the combat of the animation perfectly, and is easy to get into. Not for everyone, but a solid title.
Gundam's one of the most immersive, high production value mech games I've ever had the pleasure of playing. The game has voices/FMV/slick presentation galore. From taking the time to set up each mission with care and detail to the on-the-field decision-making (that will affect story line), Gundam will draw you in and keep you around. It's too bad the Suits are a little hard to pilot in the heat of battle, and the levelending map boundaries really suck.