Currently Playing: Gundam vs Gundam Next Plus
Like the previous game in the series, Gundam vs Gundam Next Plus is the PSP adaptation of the wildly popular (in Japan at least) arcade game of the same title. If you’ve played the original, you’re probably wondering if it’s any good or is it better than the original. Chances are though, you’ve already played the game and this is a very late review 🙁 (Reminds me of my earlier post with Dragon Age). Still, better late than never.
To those new to the series, Gundam vs Gundam Next Plus is a co-op fighting game which allows you to pit your favorite Gundam against each other :). As stated above, the game is a port of the arcade version of the game with some nifty additions (like new units and bosses :)). The objective of the game is pretty straight forward, deplete the computer’s points by destroying their mechs while keeping your unit alive. Simple eh? Not quite.
You can select your favorite Gundam unit based on it’s classication or in GVG’s system, cost (in increments of 500, 1000, 2000 and 3000). The more powerful a unit is, the higher it’s cost which is something you should really take in to consideration before picking the best among the pack. I’ll tell you why in a minute.
Once you’ve selected your unit and a stage you wish to challenge, you’re all set for battle. Each fight begins with you and the computer AI having 6000 points. These points get depleted each time your unit is destroyed. Say your Gundam Wing gets blown to bits, you get 3000 points shaved off your total. When your points reaches zero, you lose the game 🙁 The same is also true as shown in the screenshot below so don’t lose hope just yet :).
Now before you boot up the game, take good note that the AI this time around is quite a handful. Sure, most of the time you can manage around them but don’t let your guard down. Even the silliest looking unit can hit you with a devastating combo that’ll eat up half of your HP. Then there’s those dastardly insane opponents (the bosses) can have you wringing your hands in frustration. More often that not, you’ll see the screen below:
Take that as a positive note however. The game is fun and challenging and is definitely reminiscent of the arcade version. It’s fast-paced and chaotic sometimes but it’s simply quite fun to play. Ok enough platitudes and back with the review.
As you’d expect, the game features a LOT of units (sixty in total) from the multitude of gundam universes. They range from the original 0079 series upto the latest release of the anime which is Gundam Unicorn. Each unit is unique with it’s strengths and weaknesses as well as their unique attributes and special abilities. If you watched a bit of the several serieses, you’ll probably know most of the attacks that each unit can perform.
Graphics-wise, the game do the Gundam units proper homage to details, details, and more details. Of course they can’t crank the sprites as far as the arcade but on the PSP’s small screen, the units are simply gorgeous to look at. Too bad the same can’t be said about the background / arena where all the fights occur but that’s forgivable. The game looks fluid even in the most hectic of battles.
Sound-wise, the game features tracks from all of the universes it touches and then some. Plus, most of the game’s voice overs were either done by the original voice actors or taken from the anime itself. Pretty nifty considering that it gives a whole new nostalgic feeling.
So what’s new with Gundam vs Gundam Next Plus?
Gundam vs Gundam Next Plus carries the typical Arcade and Versus. The arcade features several routes (ranked from easy to insane.. yes, route H is insane) and a final boss at the end like this one.
Namco has added multiplayer support Arcade and Versus mode so you can have a friend help you with the arcade bosses or simply duke it out on 2 vs 2. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can try your hand at the mission-based Next Plus mode. Do note that some units will still be unavailable in Next Plus until you unlock them via the Arcade mode :).
Now for the biggest change in GVGNP. The original Gundam vs Gundam game had a special attack called G-Crossover. Think of it as the Gundam equivalent of Marvel vs Capcom’s combo attack. Corny yes but it works and devastatingly at that. Too bad it requires some flexibility with your fingers since the attack is usually an effort to pull off (or that’s probably just me.
In place of this cross-over attack, Next Plus has the Next Dash (see a trend with the naming?) feature. It’s basically a second dash (aside from Next Boost) that will allow you to cancel your move instantly allowing you to initiate an attack, evade or block an incoming one. Pretty handy huh? Oh, and units with shields can actually use them now. It’s a bit tricky to pull off especially with how the PSP’s analogy stick is held but all you need to do is simply tap down and up rapidly for your unit to initiate it’s blocking maneuver. It’s a pretty handy move against units with unavoidable attacks (like that Psycho Gundam bastard :().
Then there’s this right here
Final Next is the stage that you unlock whenever you reach high score for any of the routes (and that’s done by only dying once or twice and finishing the whole route successfully…. easier said than done). The Final Next stage will pit you against a few of the game’s most powerful units. Most of the time (can’t remember which specific stage it’s not this case), you’ll be up against Kira’s Strike Freedom with it’s METEOR unit. Here’s a screen shot of Kira’s souped up unit.
If the AI’s insane difficulty is not enough challenge, the METEOR unit should put you over the top :).
Do note that he’s very killable. It’s just very hard especially when you’re just starting out with the game.
Is it worth it?
Definitely. It’s simple, fun and definitely replayable. Of course if you’re not into Gundams, you’ll probably have a hard time understanding why people love the game but if you are then you simply should miss out on this one. Head over to the PSP Game download page if you haven’t gotten yourself a copy :).Currently Playing, gundam, Gundam vs Gundam, Next Plus