Gundam fans want to pilot their own mobile suit and plough through legions of enemies, while doing the trade mark moves and make all the whizzing, whooshing sounds while doing it. Dynasty Warriors lets you travel around Japan carving up legions of enemies with large battles going off in the background. It was only a matter of time before the two came together; it happened last year in fact. Now it’s back again to let us fight the good fight or help destroy the Earth.
For the Gundam fans first off. The main story mode, called Official Mode, follows the storyline to the original Mobile Suit Gundam right through to Char’s Counterattack. You get to choose between four different characters, all seeing the conflict from each side. Yes, you do get to be Char and bust some heads in his Red Zaku. While on the non-canon side you get most of popular Gundams from the different series. This includes the Wing Zero from Gundam Wing and the Strike Freedom and Infinite Justice from Gundam Seed Destiny. It’s more mecha than you could possibly stand.
Now that the Gundam fans are a horrid mess on the floor, we’ll actually look at the game itself. In a nutshell, if you don’t like the Dynasty Warriors series, then this is hardly going to make you a convert. There are slight differences with more ranged weapons and the Gundams being fitted with boosts, but it is the same thing - Enter an area, kill everything to make the red bar go down and claim the area or defeat the enemy guardian to claim it, then rinse and repeat. There are objectives to fulfil at times, but these usual boil down to don’t die, don’t let your friend die or blow something up. Repetition is the order of the day and there is very little else on the menu.
If there is one positive thing about the game there is plenty to do from the offset, plenty to unlock and loads of things to work your way through. The Dynasty Warriors fan is sure to have plenty here to play through, with the game able to easily soak up the hours while you’re pounding away at the melee button. Be warned that the game can be damned hard in places, even on the easier settings - Some of the larger enemies can make life a real pain and when your partners are supposed to help and keep dying, it makes it that much more frustrating. Plus, when a mission fails you are flung back to the start - No checkpoints, no restarts, just hauling your arse back to the beginning. Oh… and a Haro bouncing at you and saying "Focus". Two words for you Haro... @!%^ YOU!!
For the hardcore Gundam fan though, there isn’t a Japanese language track this time round but on the plus side there are plenty of cutscenes (which I can only assume are key events from the series) which are actually very well animated and give a lot more insight to the storyline than the more static 2D character shots. Those expecting to get the entire series in one game are out of luck though; to call it an abridged version is an understatement. While the game does its best to explain the who, what, where and why of what’s happening, it is Gundam at the end of the day and that was never going to happen. So for a better understanding of the plot, you are better off finding the DVDs and watching them.
For the first couple of hours, Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 2 is a fun romp as you smash your way through waves upon waves of enemies while looking to emerge victorious. Repetition does quickly set in though, with the same moves used over and over to defeat yet another wave of enemies. It all becomes quite flat and little more than going through the motions. Gundam and/or Dynasty Warriors fans will overlook most of games faults so they can bask in the warm glow of Mobile Suit action. For the rest of us, it’s best to demo the game first and decide if it is worth it. Fighting as your favourite Gundam is cool, but it is just not enough to warrant shelling out full price for this.