Review: Dynasty Warriors: Gundam Reborn (PS3)

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Title: Dynasty Warriors: Gundam Reborn
Format: Blu-ray Disc (UK Import) / PlayStation Network Download (10.9 GB)
Release Date: July 1, 2014
Publisher: Namco Bandai Games America
Developer: KOEI / Omega Force
Original MSRP: $39.99
ESRB Rating: T
Dynasty Warriors: Gundam Reborn is exclusive to PlayStation 3.
The PlayStation Network download version was used for this review.
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy.

Audio Review:
The audio review for this game is available on Episode 382 of the podcast.

Gameplay:
Dynasty Warriors: Gundam Reborn is the latest in the odd offshoot series of the Dynasty Warriors series. While this may be the last in the series on the PlayStation 3, the developers have upped the ante on everything to send it out in style. You’ll have the opportunity to play through scenarios from across the Gundam Universe pulled directly from the movies Mobile Suit Gundam, Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam and Mobile Suit Gundam: Char’s Counterattack along with the anime series Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn, Mobile Suit Gundam SEED and Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny. This alone may make the purchase well worth it for fans. As far as the gameplay goes, it’s an offshoot of Dynasty Warriors which is known for its large scale battles and technical problems in the mechanics. Large scale battles we have, the technical problems, not so much.

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With the Official Mode, you’ll be playing out the aforementioned scenarios from the series. In the Ultimate Mode, you can choose any Pilot and Gundam you’ve unlocked and try out a number of “what-if” type scenarios. As interesting as that seems, I found it much more enjoyable and engaging to play through the Official Mode which had a number of still shots and full motion scenes from the different series.

Fighting through the battles will unlock the dozens of Pilots, Gundams, Music Tracks, Cards and more as a way to add to the replay value of the game. After each battle, you’ll take the money and skill points you’ve earned and upgrade your Pilot and Gundam. There’s a lot to do here as well, adding to the overall value of the game.

While repetition can be a problem, it’s somewhat mitigated by the fact that you can play through entire stories pushing the length of the game well past fifty to sixty hours in total. Besides, powering up your suit to go into Burst Mode, which uses the special abilities of the suit you’re in, and then combining it with an SP Attack is immensely satisfying every time you do it. The SP Attack brings in a partner (that you’ve set up before the battle) and launches a devastating amount of destruction on anything in the vicinity.

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Each section of the game pretty much consists of killing a ton of grunts and officers to work your way up to a showdown with an enemy Ace who will sometimes be bearing down on you in a massive Mobile Armor unit. After defeating them, you unlock that Pilot and Gundam for use but what’s even crazier is that you can also unlock the huge Mobile Armor units. Waltzing into a battle with one of those can be all kinds of fun.

The battlefields themselves are well laid out and objectives are clearly marked on the mini map. Different zones (or Fields) can have support effects such as Reinforcement which will constantly replenish friendly forces or even Repair which can slowly restore your HP over time. These are also clearly marked on the map letting you know what you have at your disposal in every Field.

The Training Mode allows you to hone your skills and earn upgrades and armor along the way, which helps if you feel like you’re being overpowered at any point in the campaign. You’ll be given a task or set of tasks and awarded medals based on your completion time. It’s another way to keep people coming back and worked on me as well, at least for a while.

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Visuals:
I expected a wide range of problems here based on my experiences with the Dynasty Warriors franchise in general but I came away pleasantly surprised. Things look crisp and clean throughout the game and the environments had enough variety to keep me engaged. There’s some pop in, but I didn’t really experience any clipping issues or real slowdown that I can remember, even at the height of a battle.

It’s a sci-fi anime title so I was already into it but really, who doesn’t love giant robots? Seeing them all lined up and fighting in Space, on mobile platforms, on the ground, wherever, it’s just so much more fun, to me anyway, than another fight through ancient China.

The explosions, particle effects, destruction and chaos all combine into a wonderful cacophony of excellent visuals. This is probably the best looking Gundam game we’re ever going to get on the PS3 so it’s a nice send-off.

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Audio:
The game is voiced entirely in Japanese with English subtitles so if that’s not something you’re into or you don’t want to deal with then this game may not be for you. For everyone else, the voice actors have done a fine job. The only problem I found with this is the sheer amount of dialogue that comes through during the battles. Since looking down to read the translation will put you in a very dangerous situation, it’s easy to miss out on a lot of the story.

The music is pulled from the different movies and series to make fans feel right at home and non-fans feel like they’re a good part of the action or drama as the case may be.

Online/Multiplayer:
Local co-op is available and really is the way to go here. While there is an Online mode, you’re stuck with finding someone who’s at the same level as you. This makes it easier for the devs as they don’t have to worry about who has access to which suits at that point, but it just feels like a lazy implementation. The other problem is that at the end of each round, you and your partner get kicked back to the lobby and have to reconnect to continue. Japanese developers in general never seemed to get a handle on a good multiplayer experience in the last generation of consoles. Hopefully this will change with the new generation and all the available tools that it brings.

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Conclusion:
There’s a lot of fun to be had in Dynasty Warriors: Gundam Reborn and fans of the series are sure to be pleased with the stories and inclusion of more than 120 Suits. The full campaign is nice and long and with all the different upgrade opportunities there’s plenty to keep you occupied and a lot of replayability involved.

The problem is that the game, like most in the Dynasty Warriors series can get repetitive which definitely brings things down a bit. The Online mode is another problem because while it works, it’s just poorly implemented rendering it near useless.

Either way, with a budget price and a cool anime slant, those just looking for a fun beat-em-up may be able to settle right in here and enjoy the ride.

Score:
7.5

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Elgato Game Capture HD Pro screen capture feature.

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Written by Josh Langford

Josh Langford

Josh has been gaming since 1977 starting with the Atari 2600.
He currently owns 25 different consoles and 6 different handhelds (all hooked up and in working condition) including all consoles from the current generation – minus the Switch.

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