New Gundam Breaker is a game with serious growing pains. Its battling needs fine tuning, due to things like camera problems, dodging, targeting, juggling problems, and other issues needing patches to get them working properly. But, there are some parts about the game that some people might find enjoyable. The visual novel elements can have its moments, especially when it ties into Gundam lore. There is also the building. Even when the actual gameplay can let people down, putting different pieces together and seeing what sorts of combinations you can create might provide some people a reason to open up the game and log a few hours.
Of course, New Gundam Breaker makes you jump through hoops to actually get the parts you need to start making use of what can be an enjoyable character creator. When you enter into a fight, you need to attack enemy models until they drop parts. After pieces drop, you run over them to pick them up. The problem is, you can only hold five parts at a time. Once you have a full deck, you need to find your team’s transfer box to call dibs on those pieces and take them home after a mission. You can be forced to drop these, if attacked by an enemy, so it is to your advantage to try and take them back whenever you can. Though, if you do not have a part in that spot, due to something being broken, it will automatically be equipped and you can not send it in a shipment. Which means there is a greater chance of perhaps having it break and be lost, then replaced, and maybe not brought back as a spoil of war.
This means it can take a lot of time to actually get enough bits and pieces to have fun in the creator. The method of collection meant I was seriously lacking at points, even after making my way through Iori’s route. But once you do start getting parts, New Gundam Breaker can start feeling better. Once you head into Setup, you can create models, When you head into Assembly, you can see and adjust inner frame, melee weapon, ranged weapon, head, body, arms, legs, backpack, shield, builders parts that act as decorative accents and and see EX Skills. With frames, you have Balance, Striker, Gunner, Enchanter and Searcher Frames all available right away, with players needing to acquire Frame Abilities from battling and equip up to two. When you equip pieces, you can see exactly how it will change your Gunpla’s appearance, stats and moveset.
The painting portion of New Gundam Breaker is my favorite part. This is when I feel like a model really comes together. When you are first getting bits and pieces together in assembly, it can be difficult to see it as an entirely new, cohesive unit, as opposed to an entirely new Gunpla of your own creation. Once you can start putting together color schemes, things all tie together. The game offers some patterns, as well as some preset Surface Palette options. You can adjust the glossiness and metallic finish on the paint jobs. You can apply general colors to all parts at once, then move on to specific pieces for more detailed work. When you are looking at areas, you can adjust levels of washing, airbrushing, chipping and damage. You can even determine how dirty its little feet can get. And, when you get specific shades or coloring options you like, you can add them to the palette for easy access. You have a decent amount of options to work with, when making what will be one of your unique Gunpla.
Unfortunately, having a Gunpla that is practical and looks the way you want it are not compatible goals in New Gundam Breaker. This is due to two reasons. One is the prioritization of EX Skills. These are tied to parts. If you want certain abilities available to you in battle, you have to go with the piece that has the skill tied to it. It is very likely that the best EX Skills and strongest pieces will not be the ones you might want on your model. You could not prioritize appearance or stats instead. The other is that the game really wants you to exchange parts as you play. Your parts get damaged as you fight on missions. If one breaks and you have a possible replacement in your dock, it automatically equips it. When you scroll through parts in your dock, it will note damage levels and EX Skills. Even if you go into a fight with the model looking the way you want, it will probably be changed along the way.
But for those moments when you are in the Setup mode and playing with the creator, New Gundam Breaker can allow you a bit of freedom. If you have gone out of your way to prioritizing hoarding pieces during fights, you might be able to accumulate a collection that allows you to have some fun when messing around in menus. I enjoyed making figures with ridiculous patterns and designs. Once I acquired enough Nobel Gundam parts, I created a Sailor Mars model. When I wanted to be silly, I put together a penguin with huge boosters. When I gave up and realized the best course of action was to go with whatever had the best EX Skills at the moment, I put on the best parts I could muster, went with a complementary paint job, and powered through things as quickly as possible so I could get back to messing around with hopefully a wider assortment of parts in Setup Mode again.
New Gundam Breaker is available for the PlayStation 4. It will come to the PC in Summer 2018.