I’m realizing the difficulty in this project. I have a LOT to catch up on. So lets get a game review in here.
The “VS” series of Gundam video games has had quite a few iterations, and most, if not all, are ports from Japanese Arcades (because in Japan, they actually do still have arcades still, unlike the rare mall/movie theater excuses we have in America). The “VS” series works well as a port, however, as the gameplay consists of the player and an assisting unit fighting the computer and it’s assisting unit. Usually in the port versions, however, they include a mission based story mode, which adds considerable depth to the game.
Renpou vs ZAFT (also called O.M.N.I vs ZAFT) is no different. Released for the PS2 in Japan, it replicated the arcade version perfectly, to the point that they even left out the story mode. However, that’s not to say that there isn’t depth to the game. While you start out with a generous selection of Mobile Suits from the show, including the various Jin customs, as well as the 5 OMNI Gundams, you can unlock a surprising number of secret units, including a rather amazing selection from Gundam Seed Destiny as well.
Once you select your Mobile Suit, you are then given the option to select one of many characters from the show, from either side of the conflict (and ORB as well). Your choice of character will generally dictate what missions you are given, in what order and your choice of mobile suit dictates the difficulty. For instance, if you select the X105 Strike with Kira, you will be given missions that start from Heliopolis and conclude at the final climax of the series. However, if you would choose Issac and the Strike, you’ll start at about mid-series with your first mission.
The controls translate very well from the Arcade, though in my opinion, the PS2 controls feel a little more tight and accurate. Unlike the UC games in the “VS” series, Renpou vs. ZAFT allows for a “block”; by pressing down, then up quickly on the directional pad, your Mobile Suit will bring its shield (if it has one) out front and block any forward attacks. Timing plays a key aspect though, but there’s nothing better than watching the Freedom Gundam block a full fledged assault from the Dual Gundam AS version and retaliating to win the mission.
If you have the means, I highly suggest importing this title. It is easy enough to be a “pick up and play” game (it is an arcade port after all), but there’s enough playability to keep even hard core gamers involved for quite a while.
Next Post: Mobile Suit Gundam Seed Destiny: Theme Song, Insert Song, and Character Song Collection, Audio CD OST.