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  1. #1

    [PS4] New Gundam Breaker

    I've played about an hour of this when it came out and abandoned it after being greatly disappointed in it. Dunno why I've picked it up once again today and...urgh, I shouldn't have done it.

    Story isn't something I'm really interested in, but let's compare the narrative structure of all Gundam Breaker games:
    * the first doesn't have one.
    * the second has likeable characters each piloting a different model, you face MAs from all Gundam series, and the sotry featured some good old Gundam staples
    * the third had you save a shopping district, go to an orbital elevator, and ride a "real" RX-78 in space
    * the fourth (this game) has you as a high school student fighting an overl strict student council
    While the other games only had one storyline, New Gundam Breaker has four storylines you can tackle, and in in less than two hours I've completed one of them. Maybe completing the other three unlocks more story missions, but to be honest when you say "high school where Gunpla building is the most sought-after subject" immediately turns me off. Especially if the big-bad-endgame boss is more ridiculous than everything Gundam Build Divers has offered up till now, and even G Gundam would say to tone it down.

    Completing missions rewards credits that...I don't know what their use is. No really, I haven't see a "shop" or "upgrade" option in the whole game, maybe I need to complete more missions but I don't really want to do it, New Gundam Breaker is incredibly dull.
    Instead of giving a number of primary and secondary objectives, mission in NGB all have a time limit of ten minutes during which the game randomly assigns tasks, like collect and deliver parts, destroy enemies, destroy a specific target, defeat a powerful enemy, or open some containers.
    Stages are larger and more complex than before but are way less in number and more confusing to navigate, and in one occasion my AI companions were able to clear a mission because they knew where to go and kill enemies while I didn't.
    To collect MS parts you first have to destroy something, then collect parts they've dropped and deliver them to a container that moves every time you do so. This is kinda stupid as to expand your collection of parts you have to disengage from combat and stand still for a few seconds near your dropbox, and enemies can still hit you and make you drop parts you're delivering. The whole process is incredibly tedious and I wonder why you can't simply collect all parts you pick automatically. You can also carry a maximum of five parts at a time.

    Combat is almost the same as before, two close attacks and one ranged attack with whatever rifle/bazooka/machine gun you have equipped. Dash and jump are on the same button and it feels very clumsy to use them, and movement is rather slow. Firing your rifle is incredibly inaccurate unless the target is very close, even against large Mobile Armours, as everything is automatic and you can't compensate for very simple lateral movement.
    There are several special attacks I still haven't understood how they work. Special attacks are specified by the parts you're using but can only be used once your skill level is high enough; skill levels start anew in each mission and increase by collecting bits, but I don't really know the rationale behind this, as at times I've unlocked attacks and other healing actions.

    These are the impressions after less than five hours of playing the game, but I must say this is the worst of the Gundam Breaker games. The first was simple but it worked, the second is still my favourite, and the third was inferior to the second but at least had a bonkers storyline. New Gundam Breaker? It feels like half of the previous games with a lot of complex mechanics than only bog down the game with no upside to them.

  2. #2
    I don't really know why I've played this one more time. Probably to offset all the time I'm spending with Ys VIII. Or probably in the void hope that this game will at least attempt something different in its single player part.

    I've now completed three other storylines, and...wow developers got lazy.
    Story mode starts with three introductory missions; after the two main heroines have their own storyline, composed by 8 missions each. An extra four (possibly 5) other storylines, each covering another girl, open up by progressing through other storylines or fulfilling other objectives; again these storylines have eight missions each.

    Now, with the exception of a single storyline among those I've unlocked, every single girl has the same missions set in the same environment against the same enemies.
    The story has you and your Gunpla club fight against the iron-fisted Student Council, and all storylines reach the same conclusion, the only difference being a couple of illustrations and which girl you end up with. Because I really want my virtual avatar ending up with a girl that I've known for less than 2 in-game hours.
    And of course I want to replay the same 8 missions times four.

    In the whole single player mode I can count five stages, and none of them is as inventive as some stages present in previous Gundam Breaker games. Just like the first and third Gundam Breaker games the effort in creating stages is extremely limited, especially with an universe as varies as Gundam. Here you have an office, a generic desert, a generic ice cave, a generic moon/spaceport, and a generic jungle. Even with stages being repeated over and over none of them become easy to navigate; the jungle and moon stages are particularly confusing as they feature multiple levels, teleporters, caves and no way to discern where something is based on the minimap.

    Bad things continue with the interface: the story selection menu has those big circles featuring girl and stage, requiring you to pay attention if a new storyline gets added, or to squint eyes to read their unlock conditions.
    The model workshop lacks basic abilities such as sorting parts by name, stats, or series, nor there are filters for any of them. Going through all the parts you've collected in the model workshop is simply boring because maybe you want to use only parts from a series or faction but there's no quick way to browse through only what you want.
    And I've still no idea what credits are for.

    I'm actually amazed how Bandai Namco removed some features present in all previous Gundam Breaker games and made the rest of the game uselessly complicated, and yes, for me this is the worst of the Gundam Breakers.

  3. #3
    OK, I've discovered where you can buy stuff with the credits you earn. The shop is a secondary menu in the library mode, and with all the credits I've earned throughout all of single player mode, I was able to buy two components. You can buy 1/144 and 1/100 scale pieces (no mention of HG and MG series like in previous games) but they all have the same stats and hitboxes, the only difference being how big they look.
    I've also ventured in multiplayer a bit and...it's already dead. Tried quick match, nothing. Created a lobby, waited for ten minutes while playing Granblue Fantasy, nothing. Searched for available lobbies, found two, joined ones, waited for other ten minutes for the game to find three other players for the only mode available. And where the previous games had lobbies where you could walk around, interact with other players, look at their digital Gunplas, and access the workshop, NGB has nothing like that.
    Wow.
    I think removing these things took there were available ever since the first game took more time than coming up with the new part swapping mechanics.

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