SD Gundam Battle Alliance is the next Gundam title in a line of games coming west to the delight of all mecha fans. This new action game promises a wide variety of mobile suits to play with while allowing players to revive some of the exciting plot beats of the storied franchise.
The idea behind SD Gundam Battle Alliance isn’t novel to the franchise: the Universal Century and Alternate Universe timelines get mixed up, and it’s up to the player to reenact the events and fix the distortions. It all starts in an interesting case as an example, as Iron-Blooded Orphans‘ Barbatos Gundam shows up in the middle of the Odessa Battle. When it comes to timelines and the whole franchise, this is an impossible scenario.
While we only got a glimpse of the possibilities here, the game promises intriguing what-if situations that the hardcore fans of the series and mecha content overall will likely want to play through. The game includes mobile suits from 26 of the series’ media pieces, and it’ll be fascinating to see how the action game portrays their differences on the battlefield.
Each mobile suit has an arsenal of weapons for ranged and melee combat. Some may be better at closed quarters, while others excel at shooting from a distance, with sub-weapons adding some variety to the mix. Each mech also has a special attack that can be activated when the gauge is full. However, attacking isn’t the only aspect to keep in mind. Even in the early game, learning how to dodge, guard, and heal appropriately seems necessary to survive rather than a neat optional action.
Battles are fast, and the player must pay attention to enemy placement, what allies they may take along, and their limited ammo for some weapons. Interestingly, the SD format doesn’t hinder the feeling of the action and visuals. There’s a grounded atmosphere to the combat that makes it feel like a battlefield despite the cuter proportions than a Gundam Versus game.
A few elements remain to be seen and will make a difference for the final game. I was left wondering how much freedom the player will have for the mechs’ build. As the player goes through the stages, it’ll be possible to enhance their mobile suits with blueprints, but the short time with the game wasn’t enough to gauge the impact of this option.
The multiplayer is another aspect to keep in mind, as up to three people can play the stages. The game will also offer AI partners as an option, and those can be helpful for complicated battles. However, playing with friends is part of where the real fun lies for some people, especially when you can make a team with Gundams from all sorts of shows.
SD Gundam Battle Alliance is a promising new action game for Gundam aficionados. It’s a new chance to use all sorts of mobile suits and play impossible scenarios mixing the shows around. I look forward to seeing if the full package will offer enough variety to keep it fun in the long run.
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