Mobile Suit Gundam Senjo No Kizuna - 機動戦士ガンダム 戦場の絆.
Links: Up to 8 players?
When Chak first highlighted this game to me, I thought it look like a Virtual-On clone. I resolved to take a look.
The game cabins looked good. It was spacious, enclosed and clean looking.
Inside the cabin, I found some instructions in English. It said.
1. Insert game card
2. Insert 5 x $1 coins
Huh? Where does this game card come from? Does it store credits?
Looking around, I found a machine that dispenses the card. In Japanese, the machine guides you to select your allegiance, your suit colours, your pilot's voice and your name, before asking you to insert 5 x $1. Not exactly user-friendly by having only Japanese language but it's only a one-time frustration.
Back into the machine. I inserted the game card and told to insert 5 x $1. Then came a confusing setup screen, all worded in Japanese. Those familiar with Dynasty Warriors should not no problem working out that this is the setup screen to swap your weapons for those you have unlocked. For a beginner, this just add confusion. Simply go to the last option, worded in Chinese, saying "End" - 终了.
Since this has 2 joysticks, I expected it to play by Cyber-Command and Virtual-On. Pulling the analog sticks in different directions vertically pivots the MobileSuit. Pushing them both forward walks the suit. Pushing them together to the left makes you strafe in that direction. Left peddle makes you fly. Right peddle makes you dash. The right trigger lets you choose your lock-on target.
That's all I managed to discover as there was no tutorial and the game throws you into the game straight away.
In many ways, this plays like existing Gundam games in 2D. It even looks like them. However, the panoramic view was great as I found myself often having to look around.
I noted that my weapon damage was pretty light and I can only deal so much damage at one time before my opponent falls to the ground. There has to be something I'm not doing right!
I killed 2 enemy MobileSuits and some bar fills up, telling me I leveled up. No new weapons though.
I killed 1 enemy MobileSuit and the bar was incomplete at about 95%. My game was over.
The polish is good on this one, albeit with outdated graphics. The game suffers from the presenting the information only in Japanese, or that the local importers were simply too lazy. However, I still feel frustrated at not having to get access to proper instructions somewhere.
I might give this game another try next week.
Instructions here, in ENGLISH: http://gundam-kizuna.jp/english/game/pdf/gamemanual_e.pdf