Dynasty Warriors: Gundam
On paper the idea of melding the Dynasty Warriors style of game with a Japanese anime that follows the story of huge mechs and their pilots would be a good one, yet with such a rich back story at their disposal the end results seems to be lacking somewhat.
Dynasty Warriors in its usual iteration is a hack and slash style game which takes place in an ancient Chinese setting whereby the player has to literally fight off swarms of enemies. The main gameplay element of this series has never really been that deep but there has often been an engaging storyline for the player to follow. With this merging of Gundam into Dynasty Warriors the area of story seems to have been over-looked almost completely. There is a story involved but it is so outlandish and boring that it's quite possible that even ardent fans of the Gundam anime will find it dull let alone all the other gamers out there that have never even experienced the series, indeed if you haven't ever seen the series then the designers of this game don't help you to catch up either. There is no attempt whatsoever to give you any back-story for the characters in the game; instead you are thrust into a universe you know nothing about. This seems to me like a major flaw and a way to keep anyone away that isn't in the know with the Gundam series.
But surely there is a game in there regardless of story, a game that is entertaining? Well in all honesty, no, there isn't. In fact I would go as far to say that even a hardcore lover of Gundam itself would be hard pressed to find anything fun about this game. The level design is repetitive and boring, the voice acting is severely dire and the camera just doesn't want the player to see what is happening on the battlefield. It's not really my idea of fun to hack and slash (over and over with nearly no variation to the theme) through two-thirds of a level only to be killed and placed right back at the start and expected to do it all over again.
I lost interest in this game so fast that it was a real slog to carry on going. However I tried another mode, this time a space battle hoping that it would offer something different to the mix that was so desperately needed. Instead I was faced with a flat battlefield that was even worse than the cave environment of earlier simply due to the fact that you could just 'fly' in a straight line anywhere hacking and slashing the whole way. The word boring doesn't even register with this game... more like 'Mind Numbing'.
The combat also doesn't help to lift this title, nor do the mission objectives that you are given to complete during your missions. As with previous Dynasty Warriors title the combat is a simple two button affair coupled with a few specials that you can periodically pull off against your foes. Added to the mix are guns for the mechs; however these are almost useless as they really don't feel powerful enough and are very hard to aim properly. Your missions range from having to destroy all your opponents to having to rescue a friend from being destroyed (that includes you destroying enemies by the way!) and sometimes having to reach another destination whilst destroying yet more enemies. For a game built around combat there certainly is a lot, however due to the lacklustre controls the battles never go beyond the mundane and you are left wondering why this game was ever allowed out of quality control (perhaps the developer knew a lot of fans of Gundam would rush out and buy it).
So, in conclusion is there anything good about this game? Well there are some very nice visual effects on offer whilst the battles are raging; sparks fly and metal explodes with some nice graphical flare. For those few that are real Gundam fans then you may enjoy strapping into your own mech suit to take on hordes of foes, but I'm betting that even the hardcore amongst you will even tire of the monotonous battles after a while.
One feeling I do get from the game is that it is a finished title, and quite a lot of effort has been put into pleasing Gundam fans, the only unfortunate thing is that whilst trying to add in the lore and even upgrades that the player can try to achieve for their mech, the game suffers too much from the over-repetitive. Steer well clear if you are not a Gundam fan, heck, steer well clear even if you are.