Bandai-Namco and Sunrise have made the first Mobile Suit Gundam mobile game to come to the United States and it (…mostly) rips ass so far. I’ve only played through the tutorial and first mission, but I’m taken by the quick battles, rich customization, and the endearing-if-Very-Anime™ characters and story.
Basically, your character is a high school student, and you’re promptly drafted into your school’s Gunpla club, a group of kids whose whole purpose is to build and fight their Mobile Suit Gundam, or Gunpla, models with each other. It’s uh very good, and hasn’t laid on any tropey business too thick yet. The story moments are very visual-novel-esque, but in a good way.
You’re basically the “chosen one” recruit for your school’s Gunpla team after a historically bad year where one player quit and rumors started that the club devours souls. Your teammates, Touma and Sana, just wanna play with some goddamn Gunpla.
The comic shop owner who provides you with your beginner’s guide and gives you a job really just wants to support this school’s Gunpla Club. It’s not exactly revolutionary material, but it’s well-written and it’s got some heart.
The battles are incredibly short and fast. My experience has thus far been: choose my squad and ally, get into a mission, beat all the enemies in under 60 seconds, and get out. This quick pace has honestly been really nice, and since there’s usually some short story element before and after, I feel a marked progression. However, there are also… loading screens.
Here’s where I see some problems. Loading anything takes fuckin, 40 years. There are loading screens behind every action, just about. I’ve just spent 20 minutes waiting for the rest of the game, a whopping 400mb, to download, and I’ve got very fast internet on both Wifi and cellular.
In addition to that, I’m worried about the Energy system, essentially a timer for how long you can play without stopping or buying some kind of powerup. This system is a staple of these kinds of mobile games, and while I haven’t had any issues thus far doesn’t mean I won’t when leveling up is harder to do, and I need to do more missions to get there.
Still, I’m having fun. It’s good stuff. And unlike Sky, I kind of expect this game have a looming microtransaction system.
It’s very much in the vein of games like Dragalia Lost, Fate/Grand Order, or Mobius Final Fantasy. Here, at least, the collecting-and-battling premise at least somewhat justifies it.
We’ll see how far I get in playing Gundam Battle: Gunpla Warfare. I may not do a full review, because these games are rarely short affairs, but I’m enjoying it so far.
Gundam Battle: Gunpla Warfare is available for free on the iOS App Store and Google Play Store.