Over the course of the weekend, we had a chance to sit down with the upcoming 2v2 fighter from Bandai Namco, Mobile Suit Gundam Extreme vs. Maxi Boost On, which is set for a global release on June 30th, 2020.
When it comes to video game adaptions of Mobile Suit Gundam, I’m one that can be pretty picky, which makes it hard for me to find a game that I truly enjoy. I struggled with several past releases including New Gundam Breaker, which didn’t stay on my shelf past its first few weeks of release while Gundam Versus stayed around for quite a while, allowing me to enjoy its chaotic one on one online modes.
I’ve even come to love the gacha mobile game Gundam Battle: Gunpla Warfare, which brings one of my favorite hobbies to life in an entirely new light. Meanwhile, for online competitive gameplay, I’ll happily continue supporting the free-to-play Mobile Suit Gundam: Battle Operation 2, which has kept me rather happy since the days of Gundam: Battle Assault’s 1 & 2 alongside the Gundam Warriors trilogy.
Well, there are the Gundam Breaker games, which I’ve admittedly imported for my Vita, but when it comes to Western releases, Gundam doesn’t get a lot of love. Sadly to say, we’re often stuck with offshoot titles, ones that omit quite a bit of what brings the franchise to life and gives us a solid Gundam experience that we’ve had a hankering for (will we forever be stuck hoping for Western releases of Gundam Breaker?).
Now, here we are with Mobile Suit Gundam Extreme vs. Maxi Boost On, a title that brings everything we love about games such as Final Fantasy Dissidia NT and Gundam Versus to life in a single title. It’s a game that has had a prominent release in Japan and has been giving fans a chance to participate in 2v2 matches with their favorite mobile suits and correlating pilots.
Over the course of the past weekend, we had a chance to go hands-on with the title that first released in 2015, bringing in an absolutely enormous roster with it, a total of 150+ Gundams to enter an arena with (a total of about 180 mobile suits) that brings together every single Gundam series together under one single roof.
However, it is worth noting that the closed beta offerings were rather slim pickings and left us with only the 2v2 online matches or free matches to choose from. As I like to get straight down to business, I spent most of my time in free matches, bouncing in and out of them as quickly as I could.
Once you’ve picked your mode, the game instantly has you choose what mobile suits you want to use. For me, I spent a great bit of my time bouncing between a few of my favorite suits including the range-focused Nightingale, Banshee and Banshee Norn, following it up with some of the various other suits, including the transforming suits that are beyond usable such as the Zeta Gundam, which plays great in both ranged and closed ranged formats.
It comes off as a solid brawler, but also as an equally as strong ranged tactician, allowing their partner to quickly little down an enemy that has been stunned or knocked tot he ground. However, while this sounds the game is newcomer-friendly, I found it to be quite the opposite. This game, unlike most, isn’t your usual fighter or mech-based shooter title. It’s one that requires patience, practice and for you to find areas to improve upon as well as making adjustments to your gameplay style.
I found that once I was comfortable with Zeta Gundam or Banshee Norn, my strongest benefits were my ability to get up close, to keep an opponent deep under pressure, using whatever I could of the Banshee Norn’s arsenal or the Zeta’s ability to close in on enemies lightning quick. On the other spectrum, I found that suits such as Providence Gundam made amazing ranged partners, allowing my team mates using gundams such as Infinite Justice, Astray Red Frame or Amatsu Mina to dispatch an enemy as quickly as they could.
But my learning curve didn’t stop there. Gundam’s all play unique from one another. Sure, all will have a ranged attack of sorts, some with special long-ranged attack such as Providence Gundam and Zeta Gundam, while others will benefit more from being in close proximity of another, allowing them to maximize their damage while beating in an enemy mobile suits head in at point-blank range.
Unlike Gundam Versus, which this certainly plays a lot alike, you’ll find that each suit comes with a point cost, some starting at as low as 1000 to 1500 points while others balance between the high end at 2500-3000. There is a middle-ground at 2000 points, however. What these points determine is how many times you and your partner can spawn into a match. There’s a balance though, one you’ll have to find yourself, which is finding what mech works the best for you.
Due to the fact this game has an extensive roster, each suit players different from one another, you’ll find that each match will play completely different. If you are up against two ranged enemies while you and your team mate are close range, getting into melee range against Heavy Arms Custom and Wing Zero can be difficult, challenging even as they will find their maximum capabilities as far away from you as they can.
I’ve had matches last as little as thirty seconds when facing off against a Kampfer and a Sinanju while I’ve had matches against a Psycho Zaku and Barbatos Lupus Rex team up go as long as two minutes before anyone even broke a sweat. Once you learn the controls and you find your comfort zone, however, Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme VS. Maxiboost On is a delight, it’s fun and it shows a lot of problems.
I found my time with the game wouldn’t be hindered by many cases of latency, frame rate lag or what felt like delayed hits of any kind. The beta provides a lot of promise for what they have planned for the game, which I certainly hopes continued support, customization rewards and even some future content featuring Gundam’s from Build Divers and a few more from Build Fighters than they already have.
Even then, a part of me doesn’t hope for more, it hopes for, however, we can get tutorials ranging from standard to advanced, giving us a chance to see what the ropes actually are and just how far we can go when we begin to learn the game to its fullest. There’s a lot of controls to each and ever Gundam and knowing just how they work can be quite perplexing.
Do you hit L1 to activate an ability? How about charging it up? Oh, I’m supposed to hold it? What if I want to use my special bursts, which can amplify my recharge rate of my ranged weapons, my overall movement capabilities and reloads or perhaps my melee damage? I use R3 or L2 + R2? That hurt a bit sorting out unless I checked out the options menu.
After about an hour, however, it was like riding a bike while flipping through each and every mobile suit, including the Sazabi, a mid-to-long range fighter. However, there too few complaints to be had about what the beta had to offer, which certainly shows that Bandai Namco is gearing up for a very promising launch in the months ahead and a launch we hope goes exceedingly well.
Mobile Suit Gundam Extreme vs. Maxi Boost On is set to release on June 30th, 2020, for PlayStation 4.
About the Writer(s):
Dustin is our native video game reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the borders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPG’s, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. You can find him over on Twitter or Facebook where he interacts with his followers quite a bit!