'SD Gundam G Generation Genesis' review: Made for the hardcore Gundam fan
SD Gundam G Generation Genesis, which is quite a mouthful, is the latest game in the SD Gundam G Generation series. The PlayStation 4 game sounds a bit like gibberish at first glance so let us take a look at the name’s components. SD stands for super deformed, and it means an art style where the heads are made bigger compared to the body. Think of, say, the Funko Pop! toy series. Just in case you didn't know, Gundam is the popular anime series about giant robots, which first came out in 1979. G Generation is the game series, and Genesis is the latest game in the series, having been released late last November.
Genesis is also a milestone because it’s the first ever G Generation game to be released in English. There was much rejoicing from Gundam fans outside of Japan when an English version was announced.
The G Generation games are of the turn-based strategy genre and you get to play through the various battles in the various Gundam titles included in the game. Genesis is comprised of titles from only the "Universal Century" timeline, or UC for short. This means that they have a shared universe and some characters make appearances across multiple works; think Star Wars and its extended universe.
Gundam Wing, which was the first taste of Gundam for many Filipinos, is not part of the UC timeline, and hence, not in this game.
There are RPG elements present, with the Mobile Suits (MS) having hit points, energy, attack, defense, mobility, movement range, terrain aptitude, and weapon attack power stats. Pilots also have their own stats; main stats include ranged, melee, defense, and reaction. Series main characters generally have the best stats, since they’re usually the ace pilots. Pilots have active skills which can be used once per stage and all pilots and some Mobile Suits have passive skills.
Both pilots and MS gain experience from killing enemy units and both get boosts to their stats upon leveling up. MS reaching certain levels can, for the lack of a better term, evolve into a different MS.
You then put together a team of MS and pilots that you like and deploy them in the stage you have selected. The stages are generally important or big battles in the course of the series’ story and the characters involved are present as guest units which you also control. The gameplay is standard turn-based strategy fare. The map is grid-based and the player moves and attacks with his Mobile Suits. If a unit kills an enemy unit, it’s granted an extra action although a unit can only gain two extra actions per turn. Energy is also a concern as attacks cost energy and if you run out, you are unable to attack or counterattack; you’ll have to refuel by moving your units back to the mothership.
There are a multitude of stages, and hundreds of pilots and Mobile Suits to unlock and collect. There are also hard and extreme difficulty versions of the stages if you want a challenge.
Gundam fans will also appreciate the profile and gallery section which has profiles of every single warship, MS, and character in the game. This is the first G Generation game in English and if the developers wanted to make a good first impression, they’ve succeeded in this aspect because the translation quality is very good. The worst errors we’ve seen are just inconsistencies with some of the characters’ names in the profile or in the stats screen. This is quite understandable since translation from Japanese characters to English can sometimes be a bit inexact due to the nature of the Japanese language.
All in all, SD Gundam G Generation Genesis is a very niche game. The source material is a niche within the anime fandom niche. This game will appeal to people who are already fans of the Gundam series or gamers looking for a new turn-based strategy game to get into. People who are neither will probably not like this game but if you do buy this then prepare to spend a lot of time on it due to all the content in the game. – Rappler.com
Anton Dizon started playing video games when his age was in the single digits. He is a proud member of the Multi-platform Master Race.