Thursday, December 26, 2013

Review: Gundam Breaker(Japanese import)

Gundam Breaker
Hack 'n' Slash
PS Vita, PS3
Oh boy... this ones going to be tough to review. Despite the fact I love of Japanese made games... I don't understand the language and Gundam Breaker is 90% in Japanese. This game has been a trial to get through the language barrier, but I managed. So... was importing this Gundam game worth the language barrier?

First off, I have absolutely no idea what the story in this game is. I get the whole Virtual Reality Gunpla(Gundam plastic models) battle thing, but everything else... nope! All I could grab were words like Gunpla, GGF, Gundam... and that's it. Wikipedia says... absolutely nothing either since it has no article for the game! So yeah, you want story? Learn Japanese... sorry.

The gameplay is your classic hack 'n' slash style with close range melee attacks and long range shooting. It's very easy to pick up and play, which is a bonus for non Japanese speaking people like myself. The game's basic 2 button attack scheme works fine but there's more then just that. Your jump button also acts as your boost button while holding it. There's a kinda limit break system called G.A.I.O.S(no idea what it stands for) which puts you into a hyper state that increases your speed and attack strength while also giving you health regeneration during it's duration. Special attacks known as EX Attacks that range from healing, long range and close range attacks and these recharge over time during each mission and can be changed in the customization menu to see what suits your play style and weapons.

The game is mission structured and the main reason for it seems to revolve around it's multiplayer focus in Japan. There are 100 missions to complete with simple goals to achieve ranging from survival, team attack, defend, area raid(capture territory) and the normal clear which is just destroy the main Gunpla at the end of the course. If playing solo, you sometimes get A.I partners... and they are rubbish! The A.I. partners are suicidal and keep dragging you down and will fail missions for you... probably to encourage online play.

Speaking of the online multiplayer, the multiplayer is Co Op only for up to 4 players and unfortunately... the menus are only in Japanese... so the language barrier really punches you in the gonadular region here. Unfortunately I never found a translation guide for this and had to figure it out myself. There are 2 options, search and create room. Search is easiest to use since you just go to the big button at the bottom of the screen and let it search for all rooms and find a room that isn't locked or says Japanese only. Create room on the other hand is trickier to grasp and the biggest problem here is prejudice... and I mean that! For some reason a lot of Japanese gamers avoid your room if you have the audacity to type in English and since more of them play the game... it can be very lonely. Seriously Japan, Japanese Only rooms and avoiding English written rooms? What's wrong with you?

Now onto the complicated part... customization! Yes, this is more complicated then the online menus! This can be very difficult to understand without a translation guide and thank God one exists for the various stats involved. While building Gunpla can be so much fun, it can be a constant struggle of looks Vs practicality. There are a whole bunch of stats to consider when building Gunpla and taking your play style into consideration can help if you're not too fussed about looks. I highly recommend you find a translation guide, write down each stat and use it to help influence your builds. The only slightly simple part is the modules you use that influence a variety of things and can range from stat boosting to buffing effects... just remember to bookmark translation guides to help.

Think customisation sounds daunting? It's about to get worse! To get parts, you need to buy them from the shop with the money(GP) earned in missions and find them in stages... and you only unlock certain models in the shop after earning a certain amount of parts for the model in missions... and that's for starters! During missions the parts( which are called runners) have different colours to indicate rarity and they come in 2 different sizes, 1/144 scale(HG) and 1/100 scale(MG). It's kinda obvious that bigger is better, but rarity is key. The colours are simple to understand but will force a lot of grinding once you've found the parts that look good or you want the most powerful Gunpla parts. You may spend hours just grinding for a specific part so I hope you enjoy repeating the same mission over... and over... and over again!

I personally love Gunpla and Gundam Breaker is a dream come true for Gunpla builders like myself. Being able to customise a Gunpla that looks awesome is great and the experimenting to see what parts go well together is so much fun and you can even just rebuild you favourite Gundam from the anime too if you're imagination is lacking. The gameplay and mission can and will feel very repetitive but playing with that perfect Gunpla makes it feel like its worth it. Yes it's grindy and yes, playing online can be hard to comprehend but if you're into this stuff in say... World of Warcraft, you'll feel right at home... you just need to be a Gundam fan. Pretty much if you love the Gundam anime's and especially love Gunpla, this game is well worth importing... or you can just badger Namco Bandai Europe and America for an English physical release.

Score 4/5

No comments:

Post a Comment