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Dynasty Warriors: Gundam Reborn Improves The Series!

By Kevin I. Matos
On October 31, 2014

Dynasty Warriors: Gundam Reborn is the 4th installment in the Dynasty Warriors franchise’ Gundam series. Utilizing the popular hack-and-slash gameplay mechanics from the franchise, Gundam Reborn allows the player to take control of a mobile suit and fight their way through a horde of enemies in both canonical and crossover missions.

Released in Japan in December 2013, the game was localized for overseas audience as a digital download on July 2014, with the delay being the result of a decrease in sales and a dwindling popularity in America. As such, the game retains its original Japanese soundtrack and voice acting, while the remaining text and subtitles were translated accordingly.

Despite this, Gundam Reborn comes with a number of changes that really sets it apart from its predecessor. Due to this, we will be looking at the differences between Dynasty Warriors: Gundam Reborn and Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 3.

Dynasty Warriors: Gundam Reborn

Image of the official cover Dynasty Warriors: Gundam Reborn, a
product of Tecmo Koei, and Bandai.

One of the main features is the change in art style. Gundam Reborn moved away from the cel-shaded graphics of Gundam 3, going back to a more realistic graphics style based off the first two games in the series. While the cel-shaded graphics of Gundam 3 allowed for more enemy units to appear onscreen, the return to a more realistic graphics style allowed for more detail.

Gundam Reborn features missions in two categories: Official Mode and Ultimate Mode. Official Mode covers the events of First Gundam, Zeta Gundam, Char’s Counterattack, Gundam Unicorn, Gundam SEED, and Gundam SEED Destiny. Through the use of missions and long cutscenes (2D and 3D alike), Official Mode effectively covers the events of each series, ensuring that even players who have yet to watch any of the aforementioned series will walk away with a great understanding of the events that transpired and the characters that took part in them. Meanwhile, Ultimate Mode contains crossover missions in the form of “Operations,” which are self-contained sets of missions, each with their own objectives and restrictions.

The reintroduction of Official Mode into the series comes with its own cost. Gundam 3 is currently the only game in the series to lack an Official Mode, moving away from canonical storyline content with the purpose of creating a large, crossover storyline that effectively ties in all the characters together. While many fans were disappointed to see the removal of Official Mode for this game, Gundam 3 brought with it a unique storyline with a set of original cinematic cutscenes and dialogue, in addition to the voice acting. By shifting focus back to canonical content, Gundam Reborn removes the set of never-before-seen cinematic content and unique storylines, with Ultimate Mode made up of mostly ‘what-if’ missions and retellings of events from series that were either summarized or cut out of Official Mode.

In regards to the roster and map, fans will find that there are significant changes made in order to make the game more challenging and diverse. To start with, maps no longer function the way they did in Gundam 3, which set up each mission with an Allied Base and an Enemy Base and a variety of different fields that could affect the progress of the mission. Gundam Reborn features maps that hold neither an enemy nor an allied base, and fields come in three forms: Normal, Repair (gradually repairs your mobile suit), and Reinforcements (continually produces units for the team that has control of it). Players no longer have an ally/enemy health bar, which means that players also lack the opportunity to respawn during a mission (if your suit is destroyed, you fail the mission). Additionally, missions will set up a number of objectives to accomplish as you play through, varying with each playthrough, and once you complete all of the required objectives for that mission, the mission boss will spawn. What this means for the player, however, is that missions now takes longer to complete, as you can no longer charge into the enemy base, take it over, and force the mission boss to spawn.

Gundam Reborn contains over 120 playable mobile suits and mobile armors, as well as an expanded character roster that features many of the side characters from the majority of the series as either playable characters or partners. Battleships have been added into the game as well, making an appearance in enemy units and as unlockable partners. Some mobile suits are able to change modes by tapping ‘X’ twice, making them much more versatile. In addition, the majority of the mobile suits now have a Burst Mode, similar to the enhanced state that some suits have in Gundam 3. However, the player is now able to enter this mode at will (so long as their Burst Meter is full), as opposed to Gundam 3’s requirement of using a special move to access this special state. A great number of suits have similar Burst Modes, but the variety is enough that one can see in each some unique or rare Burst Modes.

As for the mobile suits themselves, there is a great variety in their usefulness and abilities. In Gundam 3, so long as one had a suit maxed out to its fullest, one could complete any mission with ease. Gundam Reborn, however, really focused on making suits different from one another. One can see suits that are immensely powerful in all aspects, are incredibly fast, are great at fighting crowds, are powerful but slow, and so on. With this, players find themselves at the mercy of the mission, and if the mission is one that takes advantage of the player mobile suit’s weaknesses, then the player will find the mission to be longer and more challenging than they first believed.

Among the other changes that were made, one will find that the mobile suit development system is one of them. Players can now collect mobile suit plans of various ranks, starting from E and working their way up to A, with S being the most sought after. Mobile suit plans come in parts, with the equipment being treated separate from the suit and open to upgrades that enhance the strength of your suit.

Perhaps the best feature in Gundam Reborn is the recycled SOS Menu, which they repurposed from Gundam 3. Aside from the Story Mode, Gundam 3 also had a set of online-only missions, in which players could engage in co-op missions that were designed to be some of the most difficult the game had to offer. Gundam Reborn incorporated this, allowing all players to treat every single available mission as a co-op mission through the use of the SOS Menu, which a player can choose to use for each independent mission. Fortunately, because this feature doesn’t require one to have cleared the mission, it allows players struggling with difficult missions the opportunity to get help from other players and progress further into the game.

Despite this, the game does have its faults. One of them being the mode change system, which allows certain suits to change modes at the press of a button. The mechanics behind this result in the player changing modes when attempting to execute emergency dashes to escape from the enemy. The majority of the time, the player will get stuck in a loop and become vulnerable to enemy attacks, often resulting in a mission failure. Another issue I found is that the game no longer provides players with mission info regarding enemy suits, preventing the player from knowing ahead of time what they are dealing with and preparing for it.

All in all, Gundam Reborn is the most improved game in the series so far. With its ability to provide co-op for any available mission, its longer mission times that finally provide the player with the need to use the interim save feature from previous games, upgraded AI capable of capturing fields and defending themselves, and type-specific mobile suits with varied abilities that can change the way you play through the missions.

For those who are not fans of either the Gundam series or the Dynasty Warriors franchise, the game’s hack-and-slash mechanics and numerous (and somewhat repetitive) missions might quickly bore you and cause you to go play something else. Those who are fans of the Gundam series, however, will find that this game allows you to don your favorite mobile suit and test your skills as a Gundam pilot!

I give this game a 6/10 for all gamers out there, but stress that it is a must-have for anyone who is a fan of the animated series.

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