Because Gundam Battle Universe is (tragically) only available within the islands of Japan, those of us importing are likely concerned about how well it is to load up the UMD and start playing. Luckily, the menus in the game are very simple and clear, and are no trouble at all to understand, even if one is wholly ignorant of the Japanese language. As a major plus for English-speaking fans, all of the information in the HUD is written out in English, which can be a major boon.
Now, it seems like few people care about this, but I’d also like to point out that Gundam Battle Universe includes one of my favorite features: a gallery. You can look at any model of any mobile suit, mobile armor, tank, ship or aircraft in the game, and rotate that model to any angle you desire. If you’re literate in Japanese, you can also read brief descriptions. You can also use the gallery to browse through the different pilots, listening to voice samples, and play any of the background music you like. It’s a minor detail, but it’s one of those little polishes that I absolutely love to see.
As a dedicated fan of the understatement, I have to say that Gundam Battle Universe is a big game. It is an Gundam fan’s dream come true. So rarely do I play a game where I find myself utterly satisfied on every level—so rarely do I find a game that makes me take a step back, and ask myself, “could this possibly be any better?” So rarely do I find a game that’s so fun and enthralling that most of my limbs fall asleep before I can pull my head up to a clock to see how long I’ve been playing. Gundam Battle Universe is such a game, and when something like this comes along, you just have to sit up and pay attention.
Certain fans may be a bit miffed that Gundam Battle Universe doesn’t include any of the signature mobile suits from any of the alternate universes—or even later into the Universal Century. To be honest, I don’t think anyone can really look at the lengthy roster of playable units (again: more than 130 different mobile suits) and wish for more. Gundam Battle Universe draws from a wealth of material, far more than anyone could ask for, and delivers itself as an outstanding game. I’ve been playing Gundam games ever since I first witnessed the phenomena that was Gundam Wing on television, years ago, and I’d like to say that I’ve played nearly every Gundam game that’s been released in the past thirteen years—it may be partly hyperbole, but such a statement does contain a degree of truth. Gundam Battle Universe is, by far, the greatest Gundam game I have ever played, and any fan would be remiss not to purchase a copy.
Unfortunately, Gundam Battle Universe is the sort of game that won’t really appeal to non-fans. Particularly in the West, Gundam has very much a niche audience, a niche that is further narrowed when it’s forced to overlap with the gaming niche—though the latter has admittedly become less of a niche in recent days. Gundam Battle Universe would be a hard game to love if played absent from the context of the source material, but it is, nonetheless, a fantastic game. The sheer amount of content and customization present ought to appeal to anyone, and I’m more-than-certain even the most apathetic gamer will find a lot to love in it.
Very nicely done.
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The controls can take a while to adjust to, but once you do, Gundam Battle Universe becomes an insanely fast, fun and addictive experience.
Though the music is authentic, some of it sounds dated, and many sound effects for weapons of vehicle movement are recycled. It's not bad, per se, but it is noticable. The voice acting is ripped straight from the source material, which makes for nice atmosphere.
Tons of mobile suits to unlock. Tons of missions to play and unlock. The amount of stuff to do boggles the mind. You'll spend 50 hours in this game, easy.
Gundam Battle Universe is a fantastic game, but the language-barrier is a serious obstacle that will dissuade many gamers. If you're at all interested in mechs, or action games with a high-degree of customization, Gundam Battle Universe is a game you really can't afford to miss.