Gundam Battle Universe is the fourth iteration in the Gundam Battle series of games for the Playstation Portable, and easily surpasses the previous three in terms of content, depth and fun. Gundam Battle Universe is a stunningly addictive action-combat game that can be played in either a third person or first-person perspective, where players assume control of giant humanoid mechs, called mobile suits, in battle after gut-wrenching battle. It is also the single best game to land on the Playstation Portable.
Offering more than one-hundred and thirty different mobile suits, all with multiple weapons, optional equipment and infinitely-customizable stats, Gundam Battle Universe provides an unprecedented degree of player freedom. Covering the entire first half of the Universal Century, from UC 0079 to UC 0093, Gundam Battle Universe is guaranteed to make any Gundam fan let out an unrestrained howl of glee at the sheer spectacle. Make no mistake, Gundam Battle Universe is a game with a massive scale—but even if you choose to ignore the ambitious size of the game, you’re still face to face with a lighting-fast action game that will, I promise, demand hours and hours of your time.
At its heart, Gundam Battle Universe is an astoundingly engrossing experience, and certainly stands at the top of any list of the best Gundam-themed games of all time. Even beyond the franchise, Gundam Battle Universe stands proud as an excellent game that belongs in every PSP gamer’s library.
Although Gundam Battle Universe provides both an “instant action” single-player versus mode and the ability to connect with another PSP for either cooperative or competitive multilayer matches, the glistening core of the game lies in its single-player campaign mode.
Because Gundam Battle Universe covers such a vast expanse of the war-torn history of the Universal Century, each campaign mode is divided into smaller sub-groups defined by the year, and each player-created pilot is only able to ally with a single faction during any of these years. For example, in UC 0079, during the infamous One Year War, you can choose to side with either the Earth Federation or the Republic of Zeon—and once you’ve made your choice, there’s no going back. Once you move into the 0083 campaigns, you’ll be able to choose your faction again, so you’re never locked into a single faction for the whole game. For example, you could choose to be an Earth Federation pilot in UC 0079, only to side with the Zeon remnant in UC 0083.
Mobile suit combat can be a chaotic affair when you first start out. The battlefields are filled with enemies and allies, giant beams of ignited gas burn through the air and immense volleys of missiles streak through the skies. The key to victory lies in being fast—if you don’t take any hits, you can win. This is especially true later in the game, when several of the enemies possess special attacks that can blast through all of your armor with a single hit. You have to constantly boost up and down, dashing from side to side, all the while switching between weapons, watching your objectives, and taking out multiple hostile units. It can be quite a handful, particularly for new players. Luckily, the game’s customization feature allows you to tweak the stats of your mobile suit and its weapons, doing anything from increasing your mobility, armor and thruster speed, to increasing the accuracy and firepower of any of your different weapons.