Gundam fans typically know what they want when it comes to the video game adaptations of the franchise. Sadly, not every release is as memorable as others, and some of the best entries have never even made it west. The Extreme Vs. series of Gundam titles is a prominent arcade release in Japan that gives players the chance to participate in 2v2 combat as their favorite Gundam and pilot. The entry to come west, Gundam Versus, sadly didn’t leave the most significant impact on fans or players, but it still gained a sizable following.
Now, Bandai Namco has turned their focus onto bringing another arcade release to console with Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme VS. Maxiboost On. First released in 2015, this console entry boasts an enormous roster of Gundam fighters along with years of balancing and gameplay adjustments made to the arcade release.
During the recent closed beta, we were able to go hands-on with Maxiboost On to play through its online 2v2 mode. While it has a tremendous amount of style and flair, there are a few points that we hope to see in the final product.
When it comes to the closed beta offerings, we were able to play 2v2 online matches or free matches. The roster of characters available was vast, which was surprising considering this is an early version of the game. Jumping in only requires you to enter an online server and choose an available slot or partner, and then the fun or confusion begins.
Maxiboost On isn’t newcomer-friendly at all. The game is unlike any fighter or mech shooter that you’ve played before, which allows it to provide a truly unique experience. After a few losses, you’ll begin to see where you can improve and make adjustments to your gameplay style, but this all comes with practice.
The controls are relatively basic; you have a melee and long-ranged attack paired with a special melee and special long-ranged attack. Holding down these actions or pressing them together can also execute a move. Even though this may sound like it’d be easy to wrap your head around, the learning curve comes with the Gundam that you choose to pilot. Each Gundam performs differently and has a variety of unique skills that makes mastering them something that takes time.
Gundams also have point values that relate to how powerful they are. In a match, players have a pool of points available that will allow them to respawn if they die. So the more points a character is, the less you’ll be able to blow up, which might mean an early loss. There’s a balance here, but finding a Gundam that works for you is definitely half the fun of this game considering the extensive roster.
A match of Maxiboost On can be exceptionally long or incredibly short. You’ll know early on if your fighting against a skilled player or not. I’m interested to see how the developer balances this in ranked modes and also what types of training they’ll offer for each of the Gundam. Given that all Gundam performs differently, I would think a tiered tutorial of basic and advanced gameplay would really open up this series to more players, even those who aren’t fighting game fans.
Also, there is a single-player mode that I am exceptionally excited about because I personally don’t always like to play online. A single-player mode with a decent story arc could be just another way for players to improve their piloting skills to take online.
I’m no master at Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme VS. Maxiboost On, but that didn’t stop me from playing rounds and rounds of this mech fighter. Getting the chance to pilot some of my favorite Gundams and use their unique skills was a thrill, and I can’t wait to experience more of the game when it officially releases. I’m glad to see Bandai Namco taking care of this console port and putting that extra layer of detail to make it the best it can be. Hopefully, it pays off.
Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme VS. Maxiboost On is coming to PlayStation 4 on July 4.
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