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Gundam Battle Assault (PlayStation) artwork

Gundam Battle Assault (PlayStation) review


"Anime games here are few and far between. And that might be a good thing. Anime games are the Japanese equivelent of a movie or TV license. Meaning, for every Goldeneye there is at least 300 Olsen Twins, Xena or Blues Brothers. Anime games have improved- Record of Lodoss War, Card Captors, and Oh My Goddess for Dreamcast are rather competent, and Bandai's crank-a-dozen Gundam titles for Playstation are passable. "



Anime games here are few and far between. And that might be a good thing. Anime games are the Japanese equivelent of a movie or TV license. Meaning, for every Goldeneye there is at least 300 Olsen Twins, Xena or Blues Brothers. Anime games have improved- Record of Lodoss War, Card Captors, and Oh My Goddess for Dreamcast are rather competent, and Bandai's crank-a-dozen Gundam titles for Playstation are passable.

In fact Bandai seems to be the only real provider of Anime games here. Gundam Battle Assault is the latest, like Gundam Side Story 0079 earlier this year, it is an attempt at milking the new found success of Gundam Wing on TV (oddly enough it shipped right before the show got cancelled). Its a 2-D beat'em up (sort of a rarity on PSX) and its a localization of 1998's Battle Masters.

Much like Side Story, Battle Assualt cashes in more on the name Gundam than the series. Show star Heero Yui, the sort of engineered pretty boy killer, is the only one here from the show along with his easily recognizable Zero Wing, pounding on mechs from past Gundam series. Gameplay is limited: Story Mode and Versus Mode. Story mode consists of Heero bringing peace to the world, and having you select a wide cachet of 12 mechs of the Gundam universe. You meet past characters in still cut scenes before battle, then you clash.

Gameplay is straight forward, limited, and not very SNK or Capcom ish. You move along side-to-side (classic 2-D fighting) and have 4 attack buttons: high kick low kick high punch low punch. Moves are also limited: quarter rolls, half rolls. If you played any of the Street Fighters you'll be okay. There is one super move that lets off a pretty animation too. Pretty hum drum. You'll barrell through every other mech in the game to progress while redeeming the characters in the mech. Battles reek of Japanese unintentional checkyness- battles end with a ''checkmate'' not a ''victory'' and the announcer sounds off like one in a Gobbels film: ''Wealth and Glory to the Winner.'' It adds quite a bit to the proceedings. Battles are not on a round-by-round basis. Bandai must have realized that the PSX isn't too good with 2-D anything, so they allow fights to go quickly without a load time in between. You knock the foe's meter down twice and they're beat.

Aside from a limited story mode, versus is limited too. Just beat the crap out of your buddy. Not a lot there.

What's surprising is that the graphics are pretty good. After playing the likes of X-Men Vs. Street Fighter on the system Gundam Battle Assault is quite nice. Frame rates are consistent, the Gundams are massive on screen, and the 2-D models are solid and fluid not stiff like other games. Still though it doesn't really help the game more than cosmetically. The story mode is still unbelieveably weak and lacking, making Gundam Battle Assault much more of a fanboy must have than anything else. Unless you love Gundam or are clamoring for a 2-D beat'em up on PSX, its best to avoid this new Gundam altogether. Its far from Olsen Twins, but its even farther from Goldeneye (quality speaking).

Rating: 5/10

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