TGS 2005: Gundam Battle Tactics Hands-On

We check out Bandai's pocket-sized Gundam action game at the Tokyo Game Show.

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TGS 2005: Earlier today, during a visit to Bandai's insanely busy Tokyo Game Show booth, we managed to get our hands on a finished version of Gundam Battle Tactics for the PSP. We were expecting the game to be reminiscent of Square's tactics-based Front Mission series, but what we actually found was another third-person action game in which giant robots/mechs/mobile suits fight each other with guns and swords.

Gundam Battle Tactics will let you side with either the E.F.S.F Earth Federation or the forces of Zeon as you tackle single-player missions or go head-to-head against a friend in a wireless versus mode. We didn't get to check out the multiplayer features on this occasion, but we did get to check out a couple of the single-player missions, which were set in Alice Springs and Singapore.

Before starting each mission, you'll have an opportunity to outfit your chosen mobile suit with different weapons and such. The Japanese text made it a little difficult for us to figure out exactly what we were equipping, but we ended up with two different ranged weapons, a knuckle duster, and a shield, so we had all the bases covered.

The first mission was simply a one-on-one battle with another mobile suit, which we were able to win primarily using our melee attack. The second mission, though, was a little trickier, not necessarily because it was a lot more challenging, but because we weren't entirely sure what it was we were supposed to be doing. The mission involved time bombs and a number of "mission important objects," but after fighting with a couple of mobile suits, the time limit ran out before we could figure out our primary objective.

Gundam Battle Tactics' visuals didn't hold up very well on the TV screen that the demo PSP was hooked up to, but on the PSP's screen the visuals looked rather good. As is often the case with these games, the mobile suits were nicely detailed and well animated, but the environments in which the battles took place were far less impressive.

We'll bring you more information on Gundam Battle Tactics, which is scheduled for release in Japan later this month, as soon as it becomes available.

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