DYNASTY WARRIORS: GUNDAM 2 - PS2 - Review
Many critics will call out the Dynasty Warriors series for not having evolved with the move to next-generation consoles. It has always been a straight-forward hack-n-slash title that doesn’t deviate from its formula. This is what attracts fans of the series to continuously come back to the franchise and plunk down their hard-earned money – they know what they are getting when they buy a Dynasty Warriors title. When KOEI and Namco Bandai announced their partnership to combine the popular Gundam and Dynasty Warriors series, fans of both were intrigued at what may possibly come from the pairing. Well, in its second iteration, Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 2 fails to keep up it’s momentum from the original and proves to be stuck in the mud with moving forward.
The biggest concern about Gundam 2 is that, while the action is still relatively entertaining, it’s the environments and battles that fall flat on their face when the action gets going. Players are still tasked to button-smash their way to the end of the game, but instead of having beautiful scenery or glorious battles to engage in, Gundam 2 feels as if it’s running on an empty tank.
Fighting against giant robots set in a futuristic environment, the Gundam universe is one that should allow for drastically diverse battles. Instead, Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 2 serves up the same ole’ routine from the original; players fight the same enemies throughout the course of the campaign, and they should do so in relatively easy fashion due to the low difficulty level. All of the Gundams (giant mechs/machines) come equipped with standard attacks and charge attacks – mixing both up in a variety of combos, the enemies are quickly disposed of. There shouldn’t be any issues with blowing through the game in record time to collect all of your achievement points. If you do find it difficult to take down your opponents, then you should focus on building up your SP attack, the most powerful attack a Gundam has, to lay waste to anything that stands before you.
Dynasty Warriors 2: Gundam has an Official Mode, Mission Mode, and Gallery Mode to partake in. Official Mode borrows from many of the story arcs from the Gundam anime – it’s your simple linear storyline mode from start to finish. Mission Mode gives players a chance to pick and choose what mission they’d like to play. During Mission Mode, players are tasked to collect parts for their suits and continue moving from zone to zone to finish the levels. Gallery Mode isn’t about the action, but instead, it details players on character biographies, provides movie clips to watch and the like. If you’ve played the original or any Dynasty Warriors title in the past, you know exactly what you are getting yourself into.
Once you move past the repetition, the game does support a wide variety of Gundam mobile suits to build and collect parts for. On top of that, there are a handful of bosses to encounter in battle that are, to my knowledge, from the Gundam continuity. To spell it out, plain and simple, Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 2 is a title aimed for its fans, and its fans alone. If you are new to the Gundam universe, it’s highly advisable that you start in a different medium since the video game isn’t a wise choice to begin your journey.
For players that are just looking for action and don’t care about the storyline aspects, Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 2 isn’t going to wow anyone, but it should be a serviceable rental. There are offline and online multiplayer options that do their job well enough to keep players interested. The only problem with the multiplayer is that it’s similar to the single-player – the only difference is that you are forced to hack and slash enemies that are controlled by human opponents. So if you’re looking for more difficulty in your gameplay, and want to play with fans that enjoy Gundam also, then the online is the best starting point.
What else could be said about Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 2 that gamers can’t already figure out by the name and publisher behind the title? The formula is fairly simple, and KOEI rarely ever breaks tradition with the franchise, so there’s no reason why people would pick up Gundam 2 expecting to be amazed with glorious visuals or original gameplay. If you have the original, it’s not even worth upgrading to the sequel since the differences are diminutive.
Even with the faster moving robots – as opposed to the slow moving humans in traditional Dynasty Warriors titles – the series is in need of an overhaul.
If you’ve played the original then you know the Gundam series is much better in the technical department than other KOEI titles. The framerate is stable and the robots look and move great. With all of that considered, the visuals still don’t look “next-gen.”
Get ready to be bored by the American voice-casting.
Mixing and matching two popular franchises is still looked upon as a smart decision in my book.
If you’ve played the original or the single-player modes, you should know how the multiplayer plays out – just more hack-n-slashing to be done.
Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 2 should exclusively be played by its fans. Newcomers won’t appreciate the storyline or building the mechs as much as a fanatic would.