The Dynasty Warriors: Gundam franchise is arguably the most polished of the KOEI properties. That might sound like high praise, but unfortunately it's not. A good number of the KOEI games I've played have been riddled with technical problems such as intolerable framerate stutters and embarrassing draw distances. Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 2 manages to avoid a good number of those issues, but it's still a Dynasty Warriors game. You still jet through empty, hollow environments, hacking away at the same enemies in a mindless exercise of button mashing. And yet, that's what so many Dynasty Warriors fans want. Straight-forward, no-nonsense hack-n-slash that's been a staple of the series for years. That's what gamers will find here.
As was the case with the original Dynasty Warriors: Gundam, Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 2 combines the gameplay mechanics of the Dynasty Warriors series with the giant robots and futuristic environments of the Gundam universe. For a fan of both Dynasty Warriors and Gundam, I suppose this game would be something of a dream. But for gamers looking for some serious substance, they'll be disappointed.
Better check out our gameplay clips... or else.
Gundam 2 puts you in the seat of a massive war machine, known as a Gundam, and tasks you with completing a host of different missions that usually involve destroying hundreds of enemies. Just like all the Dynasty Warriors games before it, Gundam 2 is very easy to pick up and play. All the Gundams have a standard attack that you can mash away at as well as a charge attack that can serve as the "finisher" for any particular combo. For example, hitting standard attack three times and finishing with a charge attack might execute one particular special move, while a different special move can be performed by only hitting standard attack twice and ending with a charge.
Each Gundam also comes equipped with an SP attack, which is the equivalent of a Musou attack in the traditional Dynasty Warriors games. This technique slowly charges up as you defeat enemy Gundams and it's usually the most potent weapon in your entire arsenal.
Besides these various attacks, all the Gundams can dash, strafe, jump and some can even transform into an alternate mode. This might sound like a complex battle system at first glance, but it's not. It's old and it's easy. You fly around and blow stuff up. You're not rewarded for/encouraged to use different combos.
Gundam 2 has a few different modes to its name. Official Mode and Mission Mode are very similar, as both let you select a pilot and then give you different missions to complete in a mini-campaign. Official Mode is supposed to be based off of plot lines from various Gundam anime, while Mission Mode is less linear and gives you a slew of different mission types to experiment with at your leisure. But of course, these missions rarely stray from the formula that's been around for ages: you move from zone to zone, destroying enemies in order to capture the zone for your own team. Occasionally you'll square off against an enemy officer, which is actually somewhat
of a challenge, before going back to the monotony of fighting brain-dead Gundam pilots.
The funny thing about this whole setup is that there's a tremendous amount of content to enjoy -- if you can enjoy the repetition. There are a surprising number of pilots to play as, each with their own story, and each pilot can be leveled up and new Gundam parts can be found to strengthen your machine. You could feasibly play Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 2 for a long time before reaching "the end," but it's hard for me to imagine someone voluntarily doing so.
I was especially disappointed by a few specific elements in this game. First, you can't switch to a Japanese language track -- you're forced to listen to the less-than-ideal English cast (though they certainly do a better job than most of the other Dynasty Warriors games). This is disappointing because the original Dynasty Warriors: Gundam featured the Japanese track. Why take that option away from the sequel?
More upsetting is the continued nonsense of the game's story. Similar to its predecessor, the storylines of Gundam 2 are so convoluted and cluttered, newcomers to the Gundam universe will be terribly lost. If you're going to take artistic license with some of these plots, why not focus in on much simpler, more specific narratives so you can make the experience more inclusive?
Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 2 does support local and online multiplayer, both of which work fine. There are three different modes across a handful of maps, but the multiplayer gameplay experience is virtually identical to the single-player campaign. You're still just running around and hacking away at enemies -- just in a slightly different context. These modes (like a modified form of tag) won't satisfy.
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