I must have been pretty good this year, because part of my Christmas loot included this little gem:
MS Gundam Extreme Vs is the 10th anniversary addition to the “Vs” series. While I haven’t actually played any of the arcade versions, I have been playing the series since EFSF vs Zeon DX on Dreamcast (lol, remember Dreamcast? I loved that system!)
While the general mechanics of the series have stayed, for the most part, roughly the same – dash, shoot, melee, repeat – GE Vs has some much needed and much enjoyed changes. For starters, every single unit can now block, regardless if it carries a shield or not. For instance – the Gundam Heavy Arms EW version, doesn’t carry a shield, but it can block incoming attacks with its Gatling gun. Not that blocking has always been a mainstay of the VS series. In the early games, chance blocking would happen only if your shield (if carried) faced the attack. Around the time of Renpou vs. ZAFT (Seed Vs) – they added the “down, up” command to block. But quite frankly, the action moves so fast in these games that blocking is kind of a very VERY last resort.
GE Vs also features some tweaks to weapon systems and “special” attacks. The Strike Gundam, for instance, can swap out its weapon set to any of the Striker packs (including the awesome IWSP pack), but you are limited to only being able to switch after a given cool down.
You can also now choose your path through the arcade levels – from Easy to VERY HARD!!!, you can move up or down in difficulty as you move along.
Also, like the PSP, Gundam Vs. Gundam, this game features a “boss” character, a new Gundam unit made specifically for the game that can equip various MASSIVE armor sets (sort of like the ride armors from Mega Man X) – and can really lay a beat down on the player.
The game also features a GREAT selection of MS to choose from, including several of my favorites: Gundam DX (X), Crossbone Gundam X1 (Crossbone) and the Hi-Nu Gundam (CCA-N) which is only available if you get the download code in your copy (which I believe most current copies come with.)
DLC is now up as well, two new MS, A Gundam from 00 that I’m not familiar with (someone will likely fill me in) and the Blue Destiny Unit 1 from Gundam Side Story!
I picked up the BD-1 today and it is AWESOME. The machine gun is quite powerful, your get chest rockets that pack a BIG punch, the ability to call in a GM for support, and a boost extender. Yu Kojima’s voice is great too, as sometimes Bandai takes the lame “Yu doesn’t talk” approach. Your “unleashed” power of course, is the Exam System, which makes you much faster and stronger, and your melee attach changes from a beam saber, to a grapple and slam attack. And for only 2000 point cost, the BD-1 is a BEAST seems you can die a few time without risking the mission.
There is also, of course an online community where players can compete against one anther. I haven’t tried this out too much yet, but if someone else wants to try it out, let me know and I’ll send you my PSN name.
Finally, there is a somewhat disappointing “mission” mode, where as in AEUG Vs Titans and EFSF vs Zeon (PS2), there were 100+ missions for each faction, this mode is more like completing various challenges to unlock more “missions”. Its okay, but I was hoping for more.
So, all in all, Gundam Extreme vs has the ability to even trump 0081 in my all time favorite Gundam Games. The difficulty against the CPU can be, at times, maddening, but with such great controls, MS choices and fun, I keep coming back for more! (and usually just play on the Easy – medium levels, haha).
Starting work on the MG GM as well. But with GE vs, Skyrim and DC Universe Online currently dominating my free time, its been slow going.
– Matta ne –