4 December 2009
Gundam VS Gundam NEXT PLUS
Mobile Suit Gundam VS Gundam NEXT PLUS (機動戦士ガンダム vs. ガンダム NEXT PLUS) is the latest "team battle action" game of the popular Gundam VS series for the PSP console. Essentially a Gundam dream match / crossover, you can pit various Gundams or antagonist units against mobile suits from other series.
I have not talked about this game before, but it is actually one of the most anticipated game for me this year, despite not having a PSP.
Box art from SRW Hotnews
Featuring over 60 mobile suits from 18 series, you generally fight on a 2 vs 2 basis, and reduce the enemy's cost gauge from 6000 (by default) to 0 by destroying the enemy units while preventing yours to do the same thing. The cost of each unit is based on the strength, and is divided into 3 tiers: 1000, 2000, and 3000, so basically the higher the cost, the more powerful the mobile suit it is. However, using units with higher cost means you have fewer chances to respawn.
One of the main in-game feature for this game is the NEXT Dash system, where you can instantly dash away cancelling whatever you were doing previously or to evade an enemy's attack, similar to the Speed awaken for Alliance vs ZAFT II.
The PLUS mode one will meet a handful of exclusive units not seen in normal gameplay. Here one can see Graham Aker's flag battling Exia with Union flags flying in the background.
Huge MA (mobile armours) are spotted in arcade mode and PLUS mode as boss units. I have a feeling that some will be unlocked playable units under some circumstances, as the official websites did have movelists for them shortly before they are removed from view.
Several new units are added to the PSP game which the arcade does not have. 00 Raiser's crazy Raiser Sword can do up to 340 damage (not sure whether that's default settings though), enough to kill off a 1000 cost unit with one hit! @_@;; Image is a screenshot taken from NicoNico
Officially released on 3rd December at retail price of 6279 Yen (tax inclusive), some people in Japan and even Hong Kong have got the game early already. The general feedback is very positive, and apparently the game plays much smoother than the previous one, even online (!). The effects have been toned down for the performance, but that's ok in my opinion.
The first Gundam VS I've tried was Gundam SEED Destiny: Alliance vs Zaft II PLUS (which in my opinion is a great game in complete contrast to the anime itself). I've also played Federation vs Zeon and Gundam vs Zeta Gundam (space battles are hard!), so following down the series I am looking forward to trying this one out myself. Watched quite a lot of the arcade gameplay on YouTube as well as in Hong Kong myself, and it sure doesn't look easy for either first-timers or old-timers. It will take some time for me to get used to the NEXT Dash system.
While Final Fantasy XIII is tempting for me and my sister to get a PS3 (Slim), Gundam VS Gundam Next Plus on the other hand will be the game that will get me to acquire a PSP when I go home for Christmas, one way or the other XD
Official site link (with awesome BGM):