Wars of Japanese mecha
MANY of us grew up watching Japanese cartoons. Many of them include mechas (robot characters), the most notable among them is Gundam. When we see these mechas in battle, we can’t help but imagine what it would be like if all of them were to exist in the same universe.
Well, look no further than the Super Robot Wars videogame series and its latest entry for the PlayStation 4, Super Robot Wars V.
In the war between the Federation and Zeon forces, humans have decided to travel to space to find new planets to colonise and call home. Since the war ended, a new era known as the 10 Blank Years has begun.
Peace does not last long however as about a century after the war ended, the Gamillias appear and destroy multiple planets, including Earth,enslaving humanity. With Earth gone, humanity has roughly a year to survive but amidst all the chaos, a few take matters into their own hands and fight back to save humanity.
Players can choose to play as Soji Murakumo, the nonchalant male protagonist who’s a member of the Moon Surface Special Strategy Research Institute Defense Party, or Chitose Kisaragi, the female protagonist and member of the third Special Strategy Research Institute Defense Party.
Despite Soji being shown as the experienced pilot and Chitose having little to no experience with mechas, the two characters will have about the same experience throughout the game’s story. In fact, choosing either character will still have them pilot the Vangray. There will be minor differences for each character’s playthrough but nothing major.
LOADS OF MECH ACTIONS
The Super Robot Wars series can be considered a fanservice for diehards. There is myriad of anime series such as Evangelion, Gundam, Shin Mazinger and more. At its core, Super Robot Wars V is still a turn-based strategy game featuring a storyline that combines plot points from the anime series included with an original storyline.
Super Robot Wars V has many scenarios each with its own set of objectives to accomplish. At times, there factors that will lead to a game over such as having certain mechs destroyed, failure to accomplish objective within a certain period of time and more.
Furthermore, there’re also bonus Super Robot Wars V has a big number of scenarios.
Super Robot Wars V is a wonderful strategy game that is jam packed with content from the get-go.
objectives called “SR Point” objectives, yielding 10,000 credits which can be spent on upgrades; these make the game harder as you play through it.
Why would you want the game to be harder? So you can gain powerful equipment that would not be available otherwise.
In each scenario, there will be a specific number of mechs that can be deployed and also a specific number of enemy mechs. Depending on the scenario there could reinforcements from your side or the enemy’s and these are scripted, meaning that you cannot control when and where the reinforcements will appear. Usually when it’s on the player side, it means that a new mech will join your team.
Scenarios play out in a grid-type stage, where both the player and the enemies are only allowed to move a certain number of spaces. The combat system is very detailed for a strategy game, with each attack having its own range and damage output can vary by terrain and attack type. Except for earlier scenarios, it’s not easy and it requires a lot of thinking, which is what makes a strategy game enjoyable.
After each scenario, there will be an intermission for players to upgrade their mechs. If players can fully upgrade a mech, they will be presented with a bonus upgrade option.
Each mech will appear in 2D-esque sprite form.
You can teach pilots new skills and upgrade their stats in the intermission menu as well. You need to carefully plan your upgrades as you would not want to waste resources on someone that you’re not going to use or isn’t effective.
FLUID BATTLE SEQUENCES
In typical Super Robot Wars fashion, combat is simulated through battle sequences.
Each mech will appear in 2D-esque sprite form and act out their attacks on the enemies. Despite not going full 3D in today’s age, the 2D-esque sprites are so detailed in high definition that the mechs look even better than regular anime.
Not only that, the animation is very fluid and enjoyable. The only downside here is that once you’ve seen a battle sequence a number of times, you might get bored. Other than the battle, the map grid looks similar to the PS2 era. No new visual elements here.
GREAT LOCALISATION QUALITY
Super Robot Wars has only been available in Japanese that is until their previous game, Super Robot Wars OG: The Moon Dwellers, was translated to English. With Super Robot Wars V many were worried about how the translation would affect the depth, humour and other elements. The stories are definitely intact and the translators The animation is very fluid and enjoyable to watch.
managed to capture the essence of each character perfectly. And because the Japanese voiceovers are retained, it makes these characters and their interactions feel even more authentic.
Super Robot Wars V is a wonderful strategy game jam packed with content from the get-go. However, it’s not a game that will suit most people. You need to make sure you enjoy two things: Japanese mecha anime and turn-based strategy game. Fortunately, I enjoy both and loved playing the game.
It would have been nice to have something more revolutionary but it is, after all, catered for the general audience to mark the 25th anniversary of the series.
Overall, I’d give Super Robot Wars V a 7/10 rating.