New Gundam Breaker is a game with a visual novel element that decides to try something. It has seven different storylines, giving you a chance to get closer to a fellow, female Gunpla fan as you fight against Gunbre High School’s evil student council. This means you are awarded with CGs and a happy ending! The downside is, it is not really well thought out. Rather, it is a very basic experience with many similar missions and little actual choice.
Let’s start with the characters. There are six characters who are rather easy to romance in New Gundam Breaker. The routes for Yui, Iori, Marika, Chinatsu, Ryoko, and Shion are relatively easy to see and unlock. For the first three heroines, Yui, Iori, and Marika, their scenarios show up the moment the option to branch off appears. Others follow as the story proceeds. What’s odd is that unlocking is not tied to any particular affection system with your fellow students. Rather, you will have specific missions locked away until you do things like collect a certain number of parts. As an example, unlocking Scenario 1 for Marika means collecting 10 total parts. (Of course, we’ll talk about a situation that does not involve this unlocking method later.) This means you might find yourself needing to level grind to pursue relationships with other characters, rather than work on an actual relationship.
Of course, this might be for the best. This is because getting a good ending is pretty obvious and easy. Part of it involves actually passing the missions. As long as you keep succeeding, more scenarios will unlock. But, when it comes to responses, there is not much depth to them. Some scenarios will only offer you one option as a “response.” Let’s use Marika’s fourth scenario as an example. The first dialogue choice has you talking to a rival Gunpla battler, named Sakaki, who has been blackmailing her and forcing her to build models for him. Your two options, when he suggests she has betrayed you, are “She didn’t betray us.” and “Build them yourself!” I mean, both seem pretty positive, and I went back and checked later. It is not like I didn’t get a CG of her and the avatar hugging later from choosing a “wrong” response. It is pretty much like you can’t lose and the game carries you along.
Then, there’s Recoco. She’s the secret bachelorette. You can only unlock her route after saving Gunbre High School six times. That is, you completed the other six heroines’ scenarios. Which is very trying. New Gundam Breaker is still a game with many problems. That makes actually progressing through battles rather undesirable. Not to mention, the major boss fights are the same in each heroine’s route. This means there is so much repetition required to see that final storyline. It would really have to be a labor of love, and with the little development, it might not be worth it for most people.
There is a superficiality to New Gundam Breaker’s relationships. They are incidental. The actual story has some interesting elements. Fighting for the greater good and equality are good things! Sometimes, there are funny or apt references to the series’ lore! But it seems like many of the heroines were designed to fit certain stereotypes, like childhood best friend or idol, and not much is done to help them challenge expectations.
In the end, the dating element of New Gundam Breaker may end up being a letdown. Some people might enjoy the element and appreciate this extra incentive to keep playing. As someone who has been playing visual novels and dating sims for a while, I felt it was not very challenging, lacked detail, and was generally unfulfilling. Plus, knowing how much you have to do to unlock the hidden heroine can be quite a letdown.
New Gundam Breaker is available for the PlayStation 4. A PC port is in development, but has been delayed.