Dynasty Warriors Gundam 3 Playtest: Dash, Attack, Rinse, Repeat

By Jenni . July 15, 2011 . 1:08pm

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Anime fans who need a new hack-and-slash adventure in their life have another game to choose from, thanks to Koei and Namco Bandai. Dynasty Warriors Gundam 3 is the latest in a line of games  that lets players fight legions of enemies… this time as characters from the Mobile Suit Gundam series.

 

In Dynasty Warriors Gundam 3, pilots from multiple Gundam series suddenly find themselves all summoned, without their permission, to this zone with Newtype operators and all kinds of strange facilities. Even though they’d normally never see each other, they team up to try and find ways back to their own series. Naturally, not everyone can team up at once or work together, which opens up multiple storylines. Depending on which character you choose as a pilot, you’ll follow the "Those Who Understand," "Those Who Doubt," "Those Who Disagree" or "Those Who Fight" storyline. As you play, you also unlock different mission types such as history, friendship, relationship, challenge, collection, memorial, and special missions. You’ll want to play the friendship and relationship missions since they help unlock new pilots. History missions let you relive fights from the different Gundam series.

 

Dynasty Warriors Gundam 3 has a pretty impressive roster. Max everything out and you’ll have access to 53 pilots/partner characters, 60 operators and 74 Gundams from what seems like practically every Gundam anime series and movie ever. You don’t start out with all of them, though. No, all you can initially choose from is Amuro Ray, Kou Uraki and Setsuna F. Seiei. Since I’m only familiar with Gundam Wing and SEED, I went with Setsuna. Partially because he looked cool, and mostly because it’s hilarious how he’ll suddenly shout out, "I. AM. GUNDAM!!!" in the middle of a battle. By building friendships with characters by fighting alongside them in battles or, in the case of operators, by fighting with characters they were close to in their respective Gundam series.

 

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Let me prepare you for what you’ll be doing in pretty much every offline Dynasty Warriors Gundam 3 mission. Your mech will land in a designated square. There will be a grid-like map with multiple squares, some blue (yours), some red (the computers), and some blank (neutral). Other squares have icons on them, making them special. (Like they could have a catapult to send you to other squares.) Your primary goal is to get any special squares before the red army takes them. Secondary, is to get any blank neutral squares. Once that’s done, you need to fight X amount of nameless enemies in red non-HQ squares to claim them for blue. This reduces the morale gauge for the red army. Once the morale gauge is below half or you’ve seen a message saying the red HQ’s defenses are down, you go there and attempt to claim that. A boss Gundam will then appear. Beat it and you win.

 

This happens almost every. single. time. In every. single. offline. mission. Okay, occasionally they’ll be a supplemental task tossed in like, "Keep Char and Domon from meeting." or "Don’t let Loren fall!" But, those really don’t make that big an impact on your own morale if you don’t deviate from the "claim everything then head to the opposing HQ" plan. As long as you just keep button mashing the square and triangle buttons, occasionally tapping circle if you’re overwhelmed by enemies, you’ll have no trouble winning.

 

The only time the game flow changes is in the online missions. Here, the goal is usually to work with up to four other players to take out the enemy squad leaders/commanders. The more difficult missions will have the four of you facing a gigantic, uber-Gundam that’s four times the size of your mecha, but there are only a few of those. (Actually, those occasionally show up in the story mode too. Occasionally.) For the most part it’s run to the squares on the map that are red and have a red enemy commander dot on them, beat down the commander, and repeat until all opposing commanders are defeated. You can issue directions to fellow players by pressing on the d-pad or using a mic, but everyone I encountered online had the same dash, beat down commander, dash, etc. strategy figured out so it wasn’t necessary.

 

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What makes this worse is that all the stages seem to blur together. Even though there are multiple maps and locations things, they all feel identical. You’re either in some futuristic base, a desert/mountain area or some jungle (either during the summer or winter). After a while, I just stopped paying attention to what was around my character. I found myself just checking the upper right map to see what regions I needed to claim and then went there, not even bothering to enjoy the view. Unless I was in a headquarter or catapult area, it’s not like it really mattered. All that mattered was making as many territories blue as possible and eliminating the red dots.

 

Once you’ve earned enough gold from the online and offline battles, you can head to the offline shops. If you go to the Mobile Suit Lab, you can use the plans you’ve acquired to build better Gundams. You can also upgrade your existing Gundams, adding up to three abilities onto them and paying to enhance stats if they have enough upgrade slots. You can also sell old plans there, but you make more money from missions. The regular Shop is where you can pay to buy licenses so all Gundam pilots can use certain Gundams, buy unlocked skills you can have pilots equip to make them stronger or pay to train pilots to level them up without actually sending them into battle. I’d say, save your money for developing Gundams and purchasing licenses and skills. Customizing the Gundam’s stats can be a waste of money since you’re constantly acquiring new plans from missions. It’s also just easier to level up pilots by playing missions, since that way you get money, experience and plans, instead of paying to Train and just getting experience.

 

In short, Dynasty Warriors Gundam 3 is repetitive. The general notion is pretty fun, especially once you get one of your favorite characters unlocked. It’s also pretty cool to go through the history missions and play anime battles on your screen. Sadly, each match starts to feel exactly the same, no matter which pilot you choose or mission you take, since you can solve most missions by just running through them, claiming areas then dashing to the boss. After I unlocked my favorite Gundam Wing and Gundam Seed characters (Heero, Duo, Kira, Athrun and Lacus) and went on some story mode missions with them, I found it hard to find a reason to keep playing. True Gundam fanatics will be the ones who get the most out of Dynasty Warriors Gundam 3.

 

Food for Thought

  • Acquiring licenses are a pain. You have to earn and unlock the licenses for each separate Gundam first, then pay thousands of gold to buy one. Once you do buy one, you unlock that Gundam for all characters, but still. It’s quite discouraging to be locked into one mecha for a long time.
  • I hate the camera. You can lock on to large enemies, but for everything else you can only keep pressing the L1 button and hope that you’ll keep your target(s) in site as you button-mash them into oblivion.
  • There are Easy, Normal and Hard difficulty options for all offline missions.
  • While waiting for an online mission to start, you can play a preliminary mission. It isn’t really worth it though, since once you sign on to a Quick Match it usually starts in around 2-3 minutes.
  • More online missions would have been nice, now that I think about it. You can burn through the 15 there pretty quickly.
  • Online multiplayer supports voice chat. Not that it’s necessary. Most people know to run for the red dots and beat them down as fast as possible.
  • You can choose English or Japanese voice acting.

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  • http://tristsantithesis.tumblr.com/ Tsunayoshi Sawada

    Didnt you leave off Those Who Pass By and Those Who Doubt for the opening storylines? 

    I just didnt like the Collection Missions…having to defeat 1000 enemies is a pain if you are in a mobile suit that is low modified or lacks a good AOE move. 

    But Ive just about run through a lot in 60 hours, just sticking around to get the true ending all of those history missions, which are fun.  I wasnt locked to 00 Raiser for a long time, I mean if you switch it up by playing some as 00 Raiser, then switching to an unlocked character with a cool gundam do the memorial etc missions on the road to 100 you end up getting the 5 plays and enough money to buy licenses for others. Though my Reborns Gundam and 00 Raiser are so awesome, that I had to buy the licenses fast to make all other missions go by fast. 

    Its so powerful that I just walk into the enemy base and destroy all units to quickly call out the head commander and win.

    I dont understand the hate for the camera? You can rotate it yourself using the joystic and for commanders the arrow on screen points in their direction.

    • Arcm

      I have 63 hours on my game and I love the Unicorn Gundam that thing is a beast. I think this was the best game yet based on the Dynasty Warriors gameplay. I also see no reason to hate on the camera since you have control over it.

      Since, Fist of the North Star was a little slow and boring I have high hopes Saint Seiya has a since of speed to it’s combat.

      • Guest

        See I felt the opposite with Fist of the North Star. To me it wasn’t slow and boring. It was actually more like an old school brawler than a fast pace button masher where there is no ‘weight’ in the attacks. That’s what ends up boring me. If you can just mow down your enemies with ease whats the point? And if you ever watch Gundam shows, they dont fight like that. However, Fist of the North Star, there is weight and sheer power in Kenshiro’s damaging attacks. That’s why they designed it like that. Plus it enables you to do custom chain combos, charge attacks, just frame attacks, QTE, juggles, cross ups, and cancels. It was a more methodical brawler than typical DW.
        And there were certain ideas that Trinity and Troy implemented that were good too.

    • http://www.siliconera.com Jenni

       The first three storylines you unlock are the ones I mentioned, and I know how some people get about spoilers so I didn’t want to give away all of the missions for people who like to play and discover who could be lurking, waiting to be unlocked, or which viewpoint to see.

      I just really like being able to lock onto any enemy I want in an action game. Especially when I want to focus on triggering combos. I’d prefer to just instantly press, say, R1 and be immediately facing my locked-on target.

      • http://tristsantithesis.tumblr.com/ Tsunayoshi Sawada

        I dont know, I think the way you wrote about the camera wasnt all that clear considering the article doesnt mention the fact that the joystick is used to rotate the camera not just pressing a button. Why would one opt to consistently be locked on to normal sized enemies over a free reign camera that they can control especially when there are usually more commanders attacking as well so you cant ever actually see all at once when locked on to just ‘one’.

        Didnt you technically mention spoilers later on specifically naming which characters are unlockable?

        • http://www.siliconera.com Jenni

          I didn’t mention the analog also controlling the camera since that’s pretty much a given in most PS3 action games. I can’t think of one atm that doesn’t have analog camera control.

          Since the characters I named are pretty major Gundam characters, I figured it would be okay to name my favorites. :D

      • Kibbitz

        I won’t disagree with your opinion, but I’m not sure if running a lockon system in a game with a potentially high number of targets to lock on will work out. It’d certainly be fine for the duels or when the areas are cleared, but otherwise, you generally have far more targets here than in most other games with lockon systems.

        • http://www.siliconera.com Jenni

          That is definitely and absolutely true. Maybe if a boss or enemy commander is in a room, it’d have been nice to have an optional lock-on that would only acknowledge the important characters.

    • Kibbitz

      The collection missions are still not as annoying as the ‘use this grunt mech x times to unlock this mission’ though. It got old suiciding them against Domon in Gundam Fights.

  • https://twitter.com/RaiohV ShinkaRaioh

    Aww man I have to wait another 3 weeks till I’m home and can buy this game, I know I will love it, but I can understand the repetitive parts, it’s pretty normal~
    Still sucker for musou games, even more if it’s Gundam <3

  • Barrit

    The storyline sounds a lot like ACE: R.. minus Code Geass and others :*(

  • GVmanX

    I’m guessin’ you don’t care too much for DW games, judging from this and your Hokuto Musou review? I suppose they are an acquired taste. I never really have seen them as repetitive, though.

    Anyway, I’ll be picking this up next playcheck.

    • GVmanX

      Err… paycheck.

    • http://www.siliconera.com Jenni

       I never played Hokuto Musou.

      I’m actually a newcomer to the DW/SW series. The first one I picked up was Samurai Warriors Chronicles, since I wanted two 3DS launch titles. (I loved that one, btw.)

      I think you’re right though – it is acquired and people are either going to love or hate it. I do think I would have enjoyed DWG3 more if I knew more about Gundam than just what I’d learned from Gundam Wing and Seed.

  • Guest

    The 1st game bored me to tears, the 2nd game I didnt play too much so other than Hokuto Musou, I’m just looking forward towards Saint Seiya.

    I dont think Gundam is a good vehicle for DW engine

    I’d much rather Bandai port the Gundam Extreme VS arcade game to PS3 and to localize Gundam Senki.
    Then localize Super Robot Wars OG for PS3.

    Then make a Godzilla game finally

    • http://www.youtube.com/user/EnvyMizuhashi Garyuu

      Well, Gundam does make a good vehicle in some ways. Playing between DW6 and DW:G1 or 2, there’s a lot of movement and room for combos in the Gundam spinoffs. Unfortunately, they’ll still be affected by the Koei sickness.

    • Kibbitz

      It’s good for Koei in that it sells copies. If you’re talking about reproducing the feel of a battle in a Gundam, definitely not. I actually like it because it’s a Musou game with a set of mechanics that I enjoy, so they could have replaced Gundam with something else appropriate (retaining the mechanics) and I’d still buy a copy. However, the same might not be said for other buyers.

  • Enma_Kozato

    Impressive roster indeed, but all the characters I really wanted to play as (any other main pilot in 00 except for Setsuna and Ribbons) are DLC, and I don’t have a connection to PSN.

  • Exand

    Acquiring licenses is not much of a pain. Money starts flowing once you get into the game so it’s a quick process, and you can buy levels with money so developing your pilots and buying skills for your pilots / gundams is easy too. Plus it’s a infinitely better than DWG1 and 2′s license system!

    The game is half of DWG2 though. Very few cutscenes, no story except something that resembles the instruction booklet description of the ACE series. The history missions aren’t connected well, instead feeling like a bunch of random missions that are loosely based on events that happen in the various gundam series.

    • http://www.siliconera.com Jenni

       Just early on, when you’re all fresh into the game and excited, it kind of deflates your joy when you realize you’re locked into one Gundam until you earn more money.

      • Kibbitz

        1) I liked being able to buy a universal license with money instead of having to grind friendship levels for every single pilot I want to use said suit with to unlock the license mission. It deflated my interest far more in GM2 when I had to go through the same nonsense over and over again for each character, and I doubt the rate at which you get license missions unlocked is faster than just earning the money for a license.

        2) Camera mostly wasn’t a problem for me, but as far as I could tell, it’s no different from 2. Pretty much standard Musou fare anyway, though that definitely isn’t going to cut it for people who are seeking improvements.

        3) You’ll mostly sink gold in suit stat customization once you start rolling better Rank 4 plans, maybe 3 depending on taste. Training is largely used when you have spare money and you want to get certain characters up quickly to a level where key abilities are unlocked via that 100k Yazan’s training or such, or if you’re one of those completionist people who want to level everyone to 50 and buy skills for everyone by endgame.

      • Exand

        But you’re not locked into any one Gundam even early on? By the time you play 5 or 6 missions in the main scenario’s you’re actually forced to play several characters and several different gundams…

        If anything, people may find it annoying that the game forcibly makes you play different characters and Gundams every other mission to unlock all the main mission scenarios / characters / gundams.

        • http://tristsantithesis.tumblr.com/ Tsunayoshi Sawada

          Or if one really wanted to not play the same gundam, they can always jump into other characters and storylines, do all the other missions immediately, etc. 

          I only hate when I have to play the missions in the standard mobile suits, they are so weak and slow and have terrible specials. 

          • LynxAmali

            That adds challenge to the game. Take in DWG2 for instance. Several of the missions had you go against the Dark Gundam, Big Zams and Pschyos in Balls, Zaku IIs, GMs and Zaku Tanks.

            As for the storyline; in order to grasp everything, you need to play the different routes because they all diverge and eventually come together at the end.

  • http://twitter.com/Cudgeon Raji

    I think its one of the better DW Games, especially because its fast and has a nice damage system where you or enemy robots can die pretty fast but with a quick retreat you get time to regenerate your armor.

    I really don’t see much of critic points in this games if you like DW games or/and Gundam. Even strange Characters like Master Asia are playable, you just have to love this. (Not that I did know him before I played the game, but that is even more reason to like him)

    And as a suggestions for the people who didn’t, if you like gundam, watch the original Mobile Suit Gundam and Mobile Suit Gundam Z. Z is still mentioned as the best in the series and one of the best Japanese Sci-fis in general.

    • Kibbitz

      Engine and gameplay-wise, IMO, best of the GMs. I’ll not compare to other DW games since I haven’t been playing anything outside of Hokuto Musou and the PS2 era stuff.

      Content-wise, the most common complaints will come from two sources. The first is the story mode, since some people just won’t like the current one and others just prefer the old structure where you get to relive segments from Gundam history through the character’s Official Mode. The other will be the maps. It’s not something that bothered me, but Jenni is totally correct in the ‘samey-ness’ of most of the map design. Except for perhaps the annoyingly long distance between some of the areas, I liked 2′s designs better.

      Online mode, depending on POV, waste of time. Good for early money and suit farming if you’re running with capable people, but unless things have really changed for the US version (I am going by the JP version):
      1) Far less grunts on map
      2) Not much reason to co-op, co-oping usually just means you spread out and do stuff rather than team up and fight strategically in the same area,
      3) Special abilities from attachments and pilot skills are disabled here, meaning that it’s probably better for you to bring up stronger pilots with stronger suits.

  • http://www.facebook.com/JoseNelsonMayenMiranda Jose Nelson Mayen Miranda

    Gf: “You’ve been playing this a lot recently.”
    Me: “I JUST got it…. I barely have… maybe 5 hrs… tops”
    Checks Save data…… “I have 15 hrs…”

    It may be repetitive but it looks nice and is VERY addicting. Time passes really fast with this game, and I am having a lot of fun with it :).

    … it’s hard to stop playing once you start XD

  • http://www.formspring.me/Shinsua Shinsua

    “from what seems like practically every Gundam anime series and movie ever.”
    My apologies, but I do hope you mean of what’s come to America.

    On a side note, this has actually gotten me rather looking forward to our eventual release of Turn A.

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