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Dynasty Warriors: Gundam Reborn



Having first started during the late 1970’s and continuing to grow since then, the Gundam series has been a success story that most other media franchises on the market should be envious about.  With over 30 different animated films/series (and growing almost annually), modelling kits, manga, novels and various other forms of merchandise – it is hard to envision that the franchise will dissipate any-time soon. But what happens when you take the Gundam franchise and its decades of history, then merge it with Omega Force’s Dynasty Warriors series which has dozens of its own releases? You get a lot of mobile suits, a decent amount of plot and the ability to take on hundreds of foes at any one time!


Dynasty Warriors: Gundam Reborn features two individual story modes, the first being a selection of six campaigns which allow you to jump into events from six classic and recent Gundam storylines – Mobile Suit Gundam (1979), Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam (1985), Mobile Suit Gundam: Char’s Counterattack (1988), Mobile Suit Gundam: Unicorn (2010), Mobile Suit Gundam: Seed (2002) and Mobile Suit Gundam: Seed Destiny (2004). Each of these campaigns deliver plot through not only in-game events / voice-overs but through a selection of CGI cutscenes and screen captures from the show themselves.

None are what you could consider decent supplements for the actual anime, and with its condensed plot newcomers will likely not get the full experience out of any campaign, let alone comprehend everything that happens. For Gundam veterans, all six adaptations were competently done in my opinion, granting them a chance to experience some of the more historic moments from each of the six series. Given that some of the source series were quite long (with SEED for example being 50 episodes long), don’t expect every major fight to be in the game.

In addition to the ‘Official Mode’ of storytelling, there is also an alternate ‘Ultimate Mode’, which provides a series of missions that involve crossovers between the different Gundam series, something that doesn’t occur in the ‘Official Mode’. Once again there may not be enough in it for newcomers to the franchise, but does add some additional replayability – providing access to 120 mobile suits, a range of unlockable partner / pilot characters and a sizable number of missions.


Design / Music / Voice Acting

Design has never been a strong suit for the Dynasty Warriors franchise. However Omega Force have with each generation made notable strides in improving the series’ aesthetic appeal. To their credit, the CGI animation included in Dynasty Warriors: Gundam Reborn is well presented and all story-oriented visuals, while simple, were acceptable. Things change when it comes to the battlefield, and while mobile suit designs are all adequately presented, environment designs are uninspiring and bland, with little present to tempt players into exploring every inch of the maps. During general gameplay there was little issue with lag, however things did tend to slow down upon using a Burst + SP Attack, or being inundated with hundreds of enemies at one time.

As with most other Dynasty Warriors games, Dynasty Warriors: Gundam Reborn features a solid soundtrack that doesn’t hinder or draw your attention away from what happens on the battlefield.

With multiple Gundam series released over the decades, it would likely have been a near impossible feat for Koei Tecmo to have all the original voice cast reprise their roles. Irrespective of their reasons, the localization team have opted to maintain the original Japanese dub for Dynasty Warriors: Gundam Reborn exclusively which as always will appeal and not appeal to some fans. Asides from the occasional issue when trying to balance gameplay and reading when dialogue occurs mid-battle, there wasn’t any major downside to their dubbing decision, with the original Japanese dub being competently recorded.



Those who have played at least one game in the extensive Koei Warriors library should already be familiar with the concept and structure behind Dynasty Warriors: Gundam Reborn‘s gameplay. Once again it is you and possibly a small number of allies against hundreds upon hundreds of enemies at once, most of them weak with a few strong individuals among the swarms. Only this time instead of characters from the Three Kingdoms or the Sengoku period, it is all-out Mecha vs. Mecha action.

As with most other games in the franchise, battles can often come down to simple button mashing (Which is why I recommend nobody play on Easy difficulty) and performing simple combos. Nevertheless, despite the simplicity of these actions and only the occasional necessitated use of more powerful charged and SP attacks, the gameplay can quickly become addicting and entertaining. The objectives for each stage can vary, ranging from the traditional “Capture some / all of the Bases” goal to “Kill Selected Target” or “Kill X number of Random Enemies in Y minutes”. In most cases this would warrant a single playthrough, so to include some much needed replay value and challenge during Ultimate Mode, they provide additional goals and medals. Ranked on a Bronze/Silver/Gold system, these challenges actively encourage the player to not just tackle the objective at hand – but perhaps take their time or a risk to complete them for added perks.

Both mobile suits and individual pilots can be customized through a number of ways, with MS’ having six different stats (Melee, Shot, Defence, Armour, Mobility and Thruster) and Pilots having three (Melee, Shot and Defence). Pilots can be upgraded through skills unlocked via ‘Team Points’ earned after each mission and levelling up through the collection of experience. Mobile suits on the other hand can be upgraded through combining them with plans and other materials collected during missions. There are plenty of customization options, that in all honesty aren’t that well explained either in-game or the small manual, however most felt fairly unremarkable and required very little strategy from my experience. While there is a substancial range of mobile suits available for the player to unlock during gameplay, each requires individual upgrading, meaning that you may tend to stick with one or two units rather than trying them all out.


Final Words on Dynasty Warriors: Gundam Reborn

Those looking for an entry point into the Gundam series will not find this video game to be a welcoming introduction. However for those well versed in the Gundam universe, Dynasty Warriors: Gundam Reborn despite a few flaws turned out to be an enjoyable, fast-paced experience that captured the charms of both ‘Dynasty Warriors’ and ‘Gundam’ alike.

For my Australian readers, don’t forget that the final volume of Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn (featured in this game) will be available to purchase from Madman Entertainment starting August 20th.

Special thanks to go Mindscape (Australia) for providing a PlayStation 3 review copy of this title.

Founder of The Otaku's Study. I have been exploring this labyrinth of fandom these last fifteen years, and still nowhere close to the exit yet. Probably searching for a long time to come.

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