Gundam, robots, anime, action, and video games. Gundam itself has evolved into a huge phenomenon. In Japan, it is a huge thing while other regions still respect and love the franchise. Gundam has spawned many stories within its universe. Some are related, some are not related. Regardless, they always tell a good narrative. Previously, I looked at Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme VS Force in the search of the perfect game. In my review, I stated it was a fun game, but not the perfect Gundam game. This time around I am looking at Gundam Breaker 3. I even brought in extra help for this review, my good friend and huge Gundam Fan Nekozen, to tackle this huge Gundam game. Does it live up to the hype and does it fill the role of the perfect Gundam game? Let’s read and find out.
*This is part of an ongoing series of what games to import if you got a shiny new vita, or just interested in importing games.
Gundam Breaker 3
Platform: PlayStation 4 (reviewed)and PlayStation Vita (import only outside Japan and Asian regions)
Release date: April 28, 2016
Developer/Publisher: Bandai Namco Entertainment
Voice overs: Japanese (with English subs)
*Disclaimer: The retail copy of this game was provided to us by Play-Asia.com’s Partnership program. Play-Asia is the number 1 site for importing R3 English Retail games. To check our their selection, Click here. To purchase this game as part of the program, Click here. The game is currently out of stock so set up alerts for it. For any and everything Play-Asia, Visit their main page here or our store page here. Using any one of these links will contribute to us in the partnership program and we will be eternally grateful if you do. If you want to save money, use our partner code which is at the bottom of the review ^_^
As stated in the snippet above, this will be a type of dual review. My good friend Nekozen invested a great deal of time in this game and probably one of the hugest Gundam fan’s I know. To be fair, he is the one who peaked my interested in this game. I owed him that much to bring him on board for a review with me for this game. I will label each part of the review so you can indicate who said what. You will get a breakdown from huge Gundam Fan and about a casual Gundam fan (I am the casual compared to my bud).
In addition, I will also include a word to define the score more accurately. Feedback from my last review indicated that while I did break down the sections well enough, the score sometimes didn’t match the score. The words I will use are “Amazing, good, so-so, or bad”.
The story for this game, from what I gathered is as follows:
You are yourself (or might as well be). Basically, you are a silent protagonist in this world. You start out in an epic battle. Suddenly you are pulled from the battle and find out this game is not an epic space adventure, but more of a Gundam model builder in a VR type world. You are recruited onto this team by your partner who discovers your fighting abilities and together you participate in the VR Gundam battle world. The story has twists and turns and evolves quite a bit. The mobile suits in this game that you control and are controlled by others are called Gunpla.
Personally, I felt that this is the weakest part of the game. I mean the narrative is somewhat interesting, but I felt it really never went anywhere and truth be told I somewhat tuned out at the story around half way. Regardless, I continued playing. I guess it was enough to barely keep me interested in it despite I have no memorable moments in it.
Mgs2master2’s score for Intro/Story – so-so (around 6.5 out of 10)
Story is a bit lackluster, the generic silent protagonist who comes into the country one day, enters an arcade and plays said game and happens to be amazingly good at it, and is picked up to join a team that then goes on to beat tournaments to move on to Grand Finals that is held on top of a space elevator.
The main story happens along when you meet your in-game rival, who is a rich business kid, that goes around shutting down businesses that don’t make him money, which relates to you because you are also fighting to help promote a local arcade which in turns help out bring business to a street of neighboring shops. During the tournament said rival had made enemies of businessmen that lost their jobs who try to take him down.
All story aspects are rather tiny sprinkles on to the game’s long levels rather being something major to help move the game along or to push the player into seeing what happens next, with periods of silence between levels of nothing happening.
Nekozen score rating: alright
The game to its core in combat is a button masher. You press buttons to link combos. Occasionally you can get in a vehicle or utilize a weapon in the environment. You have a variety of enemies. This includes the giant mobile suits, normal size mobile suits, Gundams, and other models that come to life in this VR world battle. The combat itself is pretty good, I have no major issues with it. It feels tight and very responsive. The difficulty curve of the game really does not get hard until the halfway point of the game, which then is just a bit too much, unless you begin assembling and customizing your own Gunpla.
This, in my opinion, is where the game shines and is wonderful. It is my childhood dream of mixing and matching my Gundam models and mobile suit models parts to form something unique. You are given a full range, and I do mean full range, to customize your Gunpla as you see fit. You can create any possible combination of the thousands of parts available at your disposal to create your Gunpla. You can build your favorite Gundam, a variation of your favorite Gundam, or just something amazingly unique to your own preference. The possibilities are endless. You obtain parts by knocking them off other mobile suits in battles, defeating mobile suits, defeating rival VR pilots, and/or purchasing the parts. This was my favorite part of the game, I enjoyed customizing my Gunpla nearly after every battle and tweaked it every possible way I could. In addition to customizing the parts for the Gunpla, you can also customize its moves and skills. You are given free range in all this, and it is a wonderful thing that translates VERY well into combat.
*Protip: If you do this early on in the game, the game will become much easier for you. You possibly may not even encounter a difficulty curve if you do this.*
Mgs2master2’s score for gameplay: good to alright (8 out of 10)
Primarily a button-masher like a hack and a slash. Can go very deep when doing dash canceling mid-combo and air juggles. Various kinds of weapons with different move sets and abilities to learn. From Beam, sabers to hand to hand combat. Abilities and moves like transformations and finishers are in the game as if they were ripped straight from the shows that are represented the game, such as the golden glow of the G-Gundam series, to after-image effects from the pink glow of the Trans-am of the 00 Gundams. EX: burning finger and dragoon funnel finisher.
Customization can get very deep and widely opens when you unlock Builders parts and MG parts, that can be mix and match, which leads to even more variety in customizing. Being able to paint preset areas of the kit to whichever color the user can choose or create. Tuning parts let you upgrade your favorite parts by leveling their stats and adding passive abilities to help in the game, like being able to break parts easier, and ability to charge your ability meter after every hit or kill.
The game is all about however many numbers of stats you can farm and put into your Gundam as a very high-level gundam can kill enemies with relative ease. The game does get harder with many enemies coming in and bosses getting harder but is all relative to how much time you spent farming and leveling up your creation to handle the increase in difficulty and whatever passive you give it.
There is room for improvements for future installments. Such as being able to mix and match a pair of arms and legs for an asymmetrical bot. Having either both Primary or Secondary weapons, as currently, the game wants you to have both long and close range combat. Also, there are plenty of gundams and units that are currently not in the game which I hope they add in newer installments.
Nekozen’s rating for gameplay: Good
Visually, this is probably one of the most impressive Gundam games I have ever seen. It looks good. Each mobile suit is a 1:1 complete translation of their model kit. These kits are brought to life and they are 100% accurate. The addition of mixing the parts and it looking amazing still is also a plus. There is variation in all the levels you play on, even the main HUD looks impressive. My gripe visually (which was the same complaint in for MS Gundam: Extreme VS Force) is the delivery of the story visuals.
With a game like this, why is the visual delivery of the story very boring? You are given a card stock visual, and you have the characters come in and speak (fully voiced Japanese, with English subs). Their lips do not even move. I think this is what turned me off on the story as well. It is just is very boring for a game of this scale. It is a shame too because in combat and moving around the HUD it looks amazing, just to be reduced to something so…. Basic in story delivery visuals.
Audio wise, I enjoyed this aspect. You get music that comes from a different Gundam anime series, plus some original tracks. This is the second best part of the game. Not much else can really be said. It sounds like the anime which is great in my book.
Mgs2master2’s Score for visuals: between alright and so-so (around 7.5)
Mgs2master2’s score for audio: 9
Audio wise: Nothing special, plain background music for battles. It feels non-existent when in battle with groups of enemies and sound effects from weapons and abilities go off. Music from Various Gundam series shows up when facing their respective model kit boss fights. The best Song in the game is the game’s main theme that only happens towards the end and in the credits.
Visually: The game visuals look alright, nothing to praise for. The gundams themselves looks just like the real life kits themselves. They can be customized to users own taste by the games Paint option, that offers a variety of preset colors or user can create their own. Shadings and metallic textures, meter to set damage levels and even levels of footstains, you get to visually show what you want about each component.
Nekozen’s score for Audio: alright
Nekozen’s Score for Visuals: alright
To keep this simple, because this part can go on for a great deal. The replay value of this game is very high. You have nearly endless possibilities for customization for parts, skills, stats, and much more. You need to grind for it all, but you have nearly endless potential of replay value on this alone. There is also an online component which I have not tried yet if it changes my opinion I will edit this. Basically, there is a ton to do and a ton to unlock.
Mgs2master2’s score for replay value: Amazing (10/10)
The game has high replay value. You can farm for parts, stats, and specific parts in different modes. A major mode you can farm in is the online mode for Bounty Mode. You can choose various Gundams from other players in the VR world and farm those parts. You can grind for the in-game money to buy model kits and grind to level up special skills. There are a various means of playstyles you can choose and customize in this game. You can customize nearly every aspect of your suits to fit your needs.
Nekozen’s replay value score: Amazing
Is the game fun? Besides the god awful means of delivery this story (which is the major con of this game in my opinion)? Yes, this game is fun…. To a degree. You have so much to do, and stated several times in my parts of the review, you customize your own mobile suit as you see fit. This was a childhood dream of mine with model kits. I wanted to mix and match the model kits I got. However, I would break parts and they simply would not connect. In this game, I can make this childhood goal of mine a reality and I loved it. I can take the customization one step further as well. This game was simply perfect in that aspect and it was fun for it.
However, as Gundam fans know, you battle mobile suits. The combat is fun, but it does get repetitive (especially when you go grinding for parts) and with a poor story, it bleeds into the combat. You find yourself questioning why are you even doing this and what is the point? My passion for the customization kept me going.
Believe it or not, this game was a struggle to finish. As much fun as I had in the customization department, it lacked in several different other areas. It became such a bore when I kept battling. I am usually a fan of hack and slash games, such as (to keep it relevant to Gundam) Dynasty Warriors: Gundam (and its sequels). Those games are just basic hack and slash games, with different variations of story and delivery. However, that was the draw. The stories in those games were great (whether it was retelling the plot from some of the anime series or an original story), they kept me going because I loved the delivery, the voice acting, and how it all was just wrapped together well.
Gundam Breaker 3, for all the fun it’s customization it has, became a bore and by the end was a chore to finish. All the fun parts were done in the customization of your mobile suits but neglected in the other parts. That is my warning to you readers, do not go into this game expecting much in the story and be prepared for the repetitiveness. It does wear you thin. You will need to find your motivation to continue the game and find the fun beyond the customization.
Mgs2master2’s rating for Fun factor: so-so (6.5/10)
The joy of creating your own gundam and being able to have it come to life. You have multiple styles of Builds. In addition, you have endless customization limited by your imagination.
Some negative aspects: Map variety sucks, as the majority of the game’s story is broken into 5 chapters of playing on same map terrains. It differentiates when special story event is happening but there are very few of those.
You can spend the whole game with just one certain build but wheres the fun in that? Sadly the bad part of grinding and tuning your gundam is are the small increments of stats that one has to farm and apply to parts, which can take hours searching and pressing same button over and over to apply rather than to group them up for one go.
During gameplay, the levels can be very long as later in the game, it starts to litter with a bunch of enemies constantly coming in. The story could have been better with more cut scenes in between matches. As you can go through a couple of levels in the game with no advancement in the story and just complete silence, only time the story piqued my interest was towards the end where all the story stuff happens with multiple cutscenes and cg, but thats after having to complete tiresome levels of stages to get to it.
Nekozen’s rating for fun factor: Amazing to so-so.
Gundam Breaker 3 is a fun game in its own accord. The customization is a childhood dream come to reality. However, with all of the endless customizations, the game has some glaring issues that I would want to be fixed before the next version of the game. Story delivery is a must. It was very poor in this game and lost me nearly half way through the game, which consequently is where I began finding the game to be a huge chore. The poor story delivery bled in nearly every other aspect of the game (outside of audio and customization gameplay), which affected that aspect. It made the game a huge chore which, to be honest sucks. I did have some high expectation for this game because people praised to be the best Gundam game. However, I did not find the best Gundam game here, not even close. It had great elements, but the rest was just…. Well… meh. The search for the perfect Gundam game continues… I am sure others will find fun in this and enjoy everything the game has to offer. However, Gundam Breaker 3 was not for me outside of customization and some battles. I shall continue the search, if you have any recommendations drop it in the comments.
Intro/story: 6.5 (so-so)
Gameplay: 8 (good to alright)
Audio: 9 (amazing)
Visual 7 (alright to so-so)
Replay Value: 10 (amazing)
Fun Factor: 6.5 (so-so)
Final Score: 7.8/10 (alright to so-so)
I enjoyed my time with the game, as a fan of the gundam series and its model kits, it was very fun. Being able to control your very own customize gundam is great. Wish there were more kits, but the ones they have in the game are still a good amount of fan favorites of the older series and plenty of new modern ones. Gameplay can get boring after a long session of doing the same thing over and over, but the fun part is the creation of a new death machine when bored of your current one. I would recommend this to any fans of the show and the kits themselves, as they can enjoy being able to create their own gundams or being able to pilot a preset model of a straight out of the box build.
Compared to the warriors series of games by Omega Force, they are very different, in DW Gundam, each gundam has their own unique move sets and are more visually enjoyable to see, while Gundam Breaker is more emphasis on a core style of play to be able to mix and match parts for a unique looking gundam. DW Gundam may have some crazy unique story but at least it’s there and something to push the player to finish, compared to Gundam Breaker which is very non-existent.
*I would like to thank my friend Nekozen who dual reviewed this game with me. He was one of the factors that motivated to keep going in this game and not write it off entirely. We had a few discussions about the game and had planned for doing a multiplayer battle in the game, however, I had some personal issues which ultimately stopped this from happening. Regardless I thank Nekozen for coming to help with this. I hope to have him again.
This may also be the last entry in the series of what games to import if you got a shiny new vita, or just interested in importing games. We will try and get some cool accessories for recommendations. Until then, expect some JRPG goodness from me for the next few weeks. Til then, Mgs2master2 out!
*Disclaimer: The retail copy of this game was provided to us by Play-Asia.com’s Partnership program. Play-Asia is the number 1 site for importing R3 English Retail games. To check our their selection, Click here. To purchase this game as part of the program, Click here. The game is currently out of stock so set up alerts for it. For any and everything Play-Asia, Visit their main page here or our store page here. Using any one of these links will contribute to us in the partnership program and we will be eternally grateful if you do. If you want to save money, use our partner code: INFORMER to get 3 dollars off your purchase! We will be forever grateful if you do ^_^