Title: Mobile Suit Gundam Battle Operation Code Fairy
Release Date: November 5, 2021
Reviewed On: PS5
Publisher: Bandai Namco
The Battle Operation series has a tight-knit group of players, but I wouldn’t call it wildly popular. However, Bandai Namco has a plan to bring more players to the action with the release of Mobile Suit Gundam Battle Operation Code Fairy. This single-player experience ties in with the Battle Operation 2 series, offering bonuses and an understanding of the various systems. So good news for those who don’t enjoy online-only game modes because this game has a great mobile suit story to tell.
Mobile Suit Gundam Battle Operation Code Fairy may borrow the Battle Operations 2 engine during matches, but I feel like it resembles the newest Sakura Wars a bit more. The chapters play out like an anime episode with an intro and outro and an animated scene to introduce the mission. It’s all presented in quality animation and voiced audio, even in the 3D visual novel style dialogue scenes.
The story is a significant highlight of the game, as I felt like there was way more story than actual gameplay. However, this isn’t bad because I enjoyed the all-female cast of mobile suit pilots as you get to see them in training and grow to become capable fighters on the battlefield. We follow Alma, who is assigned as the leader. She’s full of energy and determination, but that doesn’t affect her focus on defeating the enemy.
There’s a lot of spoilers here for those who want to enjoy the story, so I’ll keep away from revealing too much about the cast. Still, I’ll say that some of the introductions move fast and the character explanations and motives aren’t entirely revealed until later chapters. That said, the story itself still has two additional volumes on the way, so we’re left at a cliffhanger that leaves any who play hungry for what’s to come.
The gameloop revolves around the story, customization, and then a mission. Customization is on the same level as Battle Operations 2. In fact, players can use the progress made in Code Fairy and transfer rewards over to their Battle Operations 2 account. Additional missions are also available for those who play Battle Operations 2. The first chapter doesn’t allow for too much to adjust, but players have the option to create three different types of mobile suits, Raid, Support, and General.
Each mobile suit type has an advantage over the other, so it’s good to understand the mission to determine your loadout. However, this is a relatively straightforward system, and I never found myself at a disadvantage during skirmishes, especially because you have your crew of other pilots providing support. It makes for a fun, engaging experience on the surface level, but there’s room to increase difficulty or customize your mobile suit further for a unique experience.
Missions typically happen in waves of enemies. Strategy is taken into consideration, as you should do your best to dodge and make sure you have your ammo accounted for because reloading can be slow, so it’s important to make every bullet count. Weapons can also be switched, with melee options available, which creates some fast interactions with pesky enemies.
I will say that the Normal difficulty was a bit too easy for me. Even as someone who has spent very little time in Battle Operation 2, the gameplay was straightforward to understand and master. It’s mostly up to the player to dive into the systems and try to get the most out of it, making some experiences dull in comparison.
However, some missions are vague in detail, and the slowness found in the movement causes frustration when trying to figure out what to do next. This could be due to the larger environments, making it difficult to see enemies or an unclear understanding of the mission objective.
Each mission is ranked at the end, and rewards are provided for further customization. The gameloop ends after the missions, which concludes the chapter, and then the story continues. It’s a high drama affair and very familiar in terms of Mobile Suit storytelling where all the characters begin their adventure happy, something extreme happens, and then they go kick ass. This is war, though, and it’s good to see that it wasn’t glossed over with over-the-top slice-of-life moments. Further, missions can be replayed for a better rank.
Mobile Suit Gundam Battle Operation Code Fairy is a unique game. It’s unlike any I’ve played from the Gundam series as it’s carried by its story and characters who I grew attached to over the chapters. The quality animations and voice work do wonders for the enjoyment factor, and the missions provide just enough interaction to get the player involved in the action. Sure, it can feel a bit oversimplified, but if the idea is to make me want to play Battle Operation 2, then I just might be more interested now than I’ve ever been.
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