Mix of robots and melees works well
LAST week we reviewed mediocre "mecha" in the form of the latest Transformers game.
This week things take a turn for the better as we look at the busy and colourful Gundam Reborn.
What we have here is an unusual game, in that it blends elements from the popular Japanese robot action of Gundam, with the intense mass melee of the ancient fantasy Dynasty Warriors series.
In other words, you get to enjoy the cool transformations, devastating weapons and futuristic technology of the Gundam games, while taking on huge hordes of opponents by following the Dynasty Warriors blueprint.
The massive bun fights you get into, as you face off against huge numbers of hostile "mecha" units, are punctuated by brilliant explosions and special attacks, as you harness your Gundam abilities.
As the kill count increases you will also unlock new skills and best of all get to fight some truly gargantuan boss "mecha".
The combos you can perform are quite spectacular and the Gundam series is in some ways better suited to this than the original Dynasty Warriors games because you can seamlessly blend melee and missile attacks, and these make sense using a Gundam suit.
Dynasty Warriors: Gundam Reborn works because it is a well-balanced and intense game that features a pleasing arsenal of moves and plenty of foes for to you to smash, bash and blast into oblivion.
On top of this, fans of the series will love the story elements, which are always full of overblown drama, tears and tantrums.
Gundam fans will be happy too, as the game features references to the Gundam and Gundam Zeta movies.
Battles between the well known SEED and Unicorn factions are also full of drama.
One regular criticism of the Dynasty Warriors series has been the lack of environmental variety.
Gundam Reborn has this issue covered, as there are plenty of deep space areas, as well as unique arenas when Earthbound to keep you interested.
That said, the deep space battles sometimes feel a little weird because they still have you fighting other robots on what is essentially a fixed horizontal plane.
This happens even though in space robots should be moving everywhere.
The fixed axis is a necessary design conceit in that the game has to play on "invisible firm ground".
It isn't a big deal, but it does look rather out of place.
If you want over-the-top robot melee action, Gundam Reborn doesn't reinvent the wheel, but it is great fun nevertheless.
Dynasty Warriors: Gundam Reborn
Distributor: Namco Bandai