TOKYO--Last year's Dynasty Warriors: Gundam started its life in Japan as Gundam Musou, a sci-fi take on the immensely popular (in Japan, anyway) Dynasty Warriors. Taking the place of traditional Chinese heroes and their thousands of onscreen minions, however, were another staple of Japanese pop culture: huge, armed mechs known as Gundams. The series did well enough to spawn a sequel, and today we took some time in the Sony booth to check out the PlayStation 3 version of Gundam Musou 2.
We won't pretend to be experts on either Gundam or Dynasty Warriors series lore, but having seen the original game in action, Musou 2 seems to be following in its mechanized footsteps pretty closely. After choosing your Gundam pilot from a number of eligible choices (all with their own different attributes), you hop in the Gundam bot of your choice (there was only one available on the floor demo) and head into battle.
If you've never played a Warriors game before, Gundam Musou might surprise you with the sheer number of enemies on the screen at once. Tons of onscreen enemies have been a long-standing feature of the series and, as in the Dynasty Warriors games and the original Gundam Musou, quantity can be a sometimes feeble replacement for quality. Although you might be overwhelmed by the sheer number of enemies that you must fight, it becomes apparent pretty quickly that the vast majority of them won't attack you at all, and are really just there to be chopped down by your kick-butt energy sword or blasted to bits with your laser rifle.
In the fight we played, we were slicing our way through a horde of green Gundams who looked perfectly content to be utterly destroyed. However, before we got too comfortable with the button-mashing, a boss appeared in the form of...you guessed it, a really huge robot. At that point, it was time to ignore the green metal peons and go straight after the big guy. By attacking his legs, we built up a meter in the lower left-hand corner of the screen. Once it was full, we could unleash a special attack by pressing the circle button and watch as our Gundam visited a fury of attacks on the boss robot, sometimes knocking him to the ground in the process, where we could begin the process of softening him up or launching another special attack.
As it turned out, the boss battle was timed and, with about a minute to go before time ran out, we knew that we had to wear our little button-pressing fingers down to a nub to beat him down. Which is exactly what we did, culminating in a grand coup de grace that sent our enemy into the depths of the military/industrial hell from which he was born. Then, cradling our sore thumb and blinking wildly after being stunned by the frankly overwhelming lighting effects in the game, we stumbled off into the Tokyo Game Show floor to see what other strange delights we could find.
Will Gundam Musou 2 make its way stateside? A couple of years ago, we might have answered "never." However, considering that the original made its way here, there's a real chance that we'll see the sequel on US shores in the coming months. Stay tuned for more on the game.