Whether you know it as Dynasty Warriors: Gundam or Gundam Musou, there's no mistaking a huge, armed mech when you see one.
The Gundam games are something of a cultural phenomenon in Japan, and Gundam Musou is no exception. The sci-fi take on Koei's Dynasty Warriors series (with robots instead of Chinese heroes) is getting a third sequel later this year, and we took some time to check it out at the Namco Bandai booth at this year's Tokyo Game Show.
While we're not exactly proficient on Gundam or Dynasty Warriors, we feel safe in saying that if you're familiar with the last two Gundam Musou games, then you'll find very little has changed. As far as we can tell, there are a few more mobile suits to pick from, but other than that, it's all about attacking large hordes of robot armies by way of tedious button mashing.
At the start of the demo we played, we were able to pick from two characters. Because it was all in Japanese, we just picked the more heroic looking of the two young boys. We believe each character comes with his own set of attributes, but we couldn't tell you what they were due to the aforementioned language barrier. After that, we were able to pick from one of three suits: Wing Gundam Zero, Gundam MK-III, or Psycho Gundam. No points for guessing which one we chose.
Our mission took place on an elevated steel battlefield, joined together by various walkways peppered with rather unrealistic-looking shrubbery. After a few minutes, we settled into a nice routine: walk a few paces, encounter thousands of angry enemy robots, try to kill them all, fail, retreat back to base, and let the enemy army follow you and eventually draw it in where your own troops can partake in the battle and even out the score. Because it seems to be a standard of the Warriors series to bombard the player with a ridiculous number of enemies at once, we weren't taken by surprise too many times.
In terms of weapons at our disposal, we found our energy sword to be the most useful (X button for standard attack). However, we also found use for our laser rifle (B button) or, when drowning in a swarm of enemies, the charge attack (Y button). The latter was interesting to watch: Once the Y button was pressed, our Gundam would launch into a frenzied attack that saw it kill everything within a 5-mile radius. We guessed the Gundam-on-steroids would really come into its own during prolonged play.
Every once in a while, we bumped into a miniboss that was distinguishable from the other robots because of it winged suit. We guess there's actually a proper way to build an attack against these guys, but during our confusion and attempts to escape the never-ending swarm of Gundams, we just went for it wildly with a mixture of our three attacks. But, hey, it seemed to work just fine. If there were combos to be found, we couldn't find them, and after a 5-minute pounding, our thumb started to hurt. The repetitive action was only broken up by reports sent in by our friendlies, but because we couldn't understand what they were saying, we used this precious time to nurse our hands for the next battle.
If you like robots, brightly colored lighting effects, and long button-mashing sessions, make sure you stay tuned to GameSpot for more on Gundam Musou 3 ahead of its fourth quarter 2010 release in Japan.