• Gundam The 3D Battle Review Nintendo 3DS

    BandaiNamco have a game engine that works, so they use it a lot. It tended to be limited on handhelds to the more powerful PSP in games like Macross Ace Frontier and Another Century's Episode Portable. The appearance of the 3DS on the market gave BN a new platform to explore/port to. Bringing one of their Gundam Battle games to Nintendo's new portable gaming device was an interesting move making it an almost-release title even more so.

    The 3D is very well done, particularly the lense flare when looking at the Sun, which really does give the illusion of the light coming from far off and popping out of the screen. After playing for a while, the depth of the screen soon becomes normal to the players who have no problem seeing 3D. Keeping the distances down does make it a more comfortable gaming experience, although slightly lacking the "WHOA" factor of seeing Pilotwings Resort with the 3D effect at maximum for the first time. Other visuals are not so impressive. Lines look jagged, and larger vehicles are especially noticeable by their general lack of detail. It's more "White Box" than "White Base". From a purely cosmetic viewpoint, it's a bit of a let down. But if these things stick out when playing, perhaps more attention needs to be paid to what's going on in the game?

    The player is hardly swarmed by enemies during play. Perhaps 2-3 mobile suits and a capital ship at a time. That's more than enough to contend with. The AI of the standard pilots makes them little more than cannon fodder, with them making up for it with how often they respawn. Ace units are significantly more troublesome and will quite happily cut the player's mobile suit (MS) into tiny pieces before they can even say "Amuro Rei, ikimasu!". Avoiding beams/shells/beamsaber swipes and using their shield when necessary will keep the player more than occupied. Mix that with trying to return fire and there's not much time to notice graphical deficiencies.

    Every MS destroyed earns the player upgrade points to increase the capabilities of the MS used to complete/fail the mission. Naturally, success gains more points, and failure let's the game quite literally tell the player it's disappointed in them. Bit of a harsh message there. Every mission, whether completed successfully or not, bestows said upgrade points to the MS used, as well as Extra Points which can be used for ANY of the Gundam or Sub Flight Systems featured. This can indeed come in handy when a new MS has been gained and is woefully underpowered to tackle the next mission.

    The game is set in the era beginning with the original Kidou Senshi Gundam, covering Char's Counterattack, and Zeta Gundam. While playing through a particular part of the era, only mobile suits from that part are available and get unlocked by completing missions. Which means the player spends time upgrading their Gundam during UC0079 missions, only for it to become unavailable to them from UC0081 onwards. Slightly annoying, yet reasonable when considering the accuracy of the MS in play. All previously unlocked mobile suits are usable in the "surechigai" (~Streetpass) and Extra missions. In total there are 15x 0079, 10x 0087, and 5x 0093 missions, with 12 Extra and 25 Surechigai missions. There are 9 SFS and 31 Mobile Suits (including Gundam Unicorn) contained within. Plenty to keep players happy for a while.

    Overall, it's not an easy game to begin with but focus on upgrading what is needed (upgrade points can be removed after adding if necessary) and no mission is impossible just difficult. BandaiNamco have done a good job with one of their first efforts on the 3DS.

    The Good:
    + Lots of missions
    + Lots of Mobile Suits
    + Excellent use of 3D

    The Bad:
    - Jagged edges
    - Undetailed capital ships

    Overall: 8/10

    Genre: Action
    Developer: Artdink
    Publisher: BandaiNamco
    Players: 1
    Platform: Nintendo 3DS
    Version: NTSC-J