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  • I did a

  • stupid thing recently. In preparing for this review, I decided to count all the various

  • Gundam video games Bandai have been pounding out since about 1857. A hundred and seventy-two

  • games later, I throw my laptop out the airlock. And then I played this game, Mobile Suit Victory

  • Gundam, and jumped out the airlock myself, just so I could retrieve my laptop, and throw

  • it out the airlock AGAIN. All in the name of STRANGE ANIME LICENSE FRIDAY, brought to

  • you by... well, by me this time. This is my own copy of the game, and I might have to

  • airlock it too, just on principle.

  • If you want a faithful retelling of a 51-episode anime series compressed down into about two

  • hours of gameplay, you need to adjust your expectations. Still, Mobile Suit Victory Gundam

  • attempts to do just that, with long story sequences and all the political intrigue of

  • the source work; in this case the touching story of an illegal immigrant 13-year-old

  • who stumbles onto the front lines and into the good graces of a resistance faction trying

  • to protect the Earth from a sect of religious fanatics. I’m down with protecting the Earth

  • and the story sounds fine. What I’m not down with, though, is monotonous gameplay

  • with laughably bad controls. Between outpourings of exposition, you have side-on battle simulations

  • of various durations, in which Uso and his Victory Gundam tear a swath through other

  • mobile suits. Unfortunately, while there’s a lot of effort in providing a diversity of

  • attack options - from a beam sword to a head vulcan to a rifle - the controls are so laughably

  • clunky that youll just end up mashing buttons and, hopefully, pinning the boss in a ridiculous

  • position where you can attack unscathed. It’s all the frustration of Ultraman, with none

  • of the challenge.

  • Yeah. that was the entire fight scene. And I can understand it as being just a tip of

  • the hat to the concept of a “Gamewhile going ahead and telling its story. It almost

  • feels like a vestigial remnant, as though Bandai were just searching for a way to subvert

  • the Laserdisc hegemony and get their new story into the hands of gamers, by pulling an end-around

  • through the Super Famicom. A cunning little trick, to be sure, but... I don’t know if

  • I could stand having a string of battles against the same foes, over and over again, standing

  • between me and the next episode. The addition of space battles as well as terrestrial skirmishes

  • is a nice touch, though, and the sluggishness of the controls feels alleviated somewhat

  • by adding on the Overhang Pack, making your time off-world a bit more enjoyable... if

  • youre willing to play through half the game to get there. Now if youll excuse

  • me, I’ve just had an awesome idea for a travelling-merchant simulation to play between

  • episodes of Spice and Wolf.

I did a

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