I recently bought Mobile Suit Gundam Extreme Vs Full Boost (which from here on out be referred to only as Full Boost). I’m quite satisfied with my purchase, to be sure. I made the decision after coming across gameplay videos while looking at videos for J Stars, and I fell in love with the look of the game.
The graphics and style are simply spot on. The animations are fluid and fit the series well. The arenas and scenery aren’t the most beautiful around, but they are rather faithful recreations of many of the locations in the series. And the gundams all look like gold. Their designs were very clearly the focus, with even many of the smaller details transitioning into the models.
Continuing with the positives here, let’s discuss characters. The roster for this game is both absolutely mind-blowing and upsetting at the same time. The character list hits 74 playable suits, with more being added over via downloadable content all the time. Now, 74 characters is amazing, no matter how you look at it. There’s no arguing that the list of playable suits is fantastic; it covers all of the series’ main characters and at least one suit from each series.
And yet, for all the 74 characters they picked, many seem random choices. I’ll pick from one of the more recent Gundam series for my example here. Yzak, from Gundam Seed, in his Duel is playable. Yet Dearka and Nicol, the two characters that share the same amount of importance as Yzak, are not included.
Of course, with so many characters spanning so many series, it’s inevitable that many will be left out. So, unfortunately, one or two of your favorites may be left out. Just don’t go into the game expecting every suit ever to be playable – but a hell of a lot of them are.
Gameplay modes are pretty varied, and offer plenty to do. There is an arcade mode, the general staple of every fighting game ever – and it remains pretty standard. Fight through several rounds and come out on top. There is also a Trial Mission Mode, that gives the player a specific objective that varies from mission to mission.
These can be anywhere from sinking a battleship to surviving waves of enemies, or what have you. Of course, the big draw will be online play, which gets incredibly intense and crazy, but is fun none-the-less. Free battle is also an option so you can play with your friends in split screen – which only allows 2 players local.
Now, to the meat of the review – the gameplay. Let me start by saying one thing. This game is hard. It’s learning curve is insane, and there isn’t really any good tutorial to teach you what you really need to know, which goes far beyond moving, boosting, shooting and melee. Of course, the basics are easy to pick up.
You move with the analog stick, issue commands to your partner through the d-pad, shoot your main weapon with square, jump with x, boost by double tapping x, melee attack with triangle, change targets with circle, and use subweapons with button combos (mapped to the shoulder buttons for your convenience!).
That stuff is easy. What is hard is learning to move and control your suit efficiently. Boosting can cancel just about any action, which means you can shoot then boost and repeat this a few times to attack but avoid hits yourself. The boost meter, showing your remaining boost, becomes your god for this game.
When it runs dry, you land. And something you’ll learn quickly from playing is that the game is based around punishing landings. And not being able to boost assures that you’ll be hit, as attacks are landed through a targeting system that ensures a hit if you aren’t actively attempting to dodge.
Now, just as an example, I’m no slouch in fighting games. I’m not particularly talented at them, but I’m not bad. It took me nearly an hour to pull off a win against a normal level computer. It was frustrating at first – insanely so – and I nearly gave up simply because it wasn’t fun. I eventually started getting the hang of it, and now my win percentage is about 65/35 against normal computers.
CPUs in this game are brutal. They punish seemingly quicker and harder than a human opponent is capable of sometimes, and always seem to have their boost when they need it. Of course, once you get the hang of the fights, it doesn’t feel quite as overwhelming, but this game is not the simple game it appears.
It has a lot of depth and strategy involved, with the gameplay easily leaning toward the player who knows best how to punish small mistakes. Leaping into the fray here will just get you slaughtered. And the game is better for it.
I would recommend this game to any fan of Gundam that has a penchant for fighting games. However, if you’re not a big Gundam fan, or not big on fighting games, just be careful. It’s a great game, but it’s probably not for the faint of heart.
Mobile Suit Gundam Extreme Vs Full Boost was reviewed using a retail copy purchased by Niche Gamer. You can find additional information about Niche Gamer’s reviews/ethics policy here.