This post contains some spoilers about some events in the game so read ahead at your own discretion. It’s mostly just general musings and reflections on my experience with the game so far though so I wouldn’t worry too much about ruining the game’s story as you read this since as I mention I’m having a bit of trouble following it’s multi-universe mashup storyline myself.
– The sprite animation has really been kicked up to make the battle sequences feel a lot more realistic. When an enemy is in the air the attacks go up towards them and likewise when an enemy is on the ground and you are in the air. When you have to jump to get to an enemy in the air it shows this happening and the sprite doesn’t just slide back off the left of the screen, it drops back down. Doesn’t sound like much, but it’s a big improvement over even Alpha 3. Also the sprites seem much larger and detailed now too. If I had one complaint it’s that the explosions just seem like small poofs with the robots disappearing.
– SR Points replace the old skill points and while it’s the same deal, they are much much more of a challenge to get. You pretty much can’t screw around at all like you used to be able to and actually have to come up with a real strategy in order to obtain them. The general overpoweredness of the player units has also been toned down now as well (with a few exceptions) from what we’ve seen in recent games and as such you have to work just a little more for your mission completes.
– The original unit which I chose was the Gunleon with Rand Travis (no not the Country Singer) and his sidekick apprentice Mail Beater as the pilot and co-pilot respectively. For some reason Rand rubs me the wrong way and I get that faux gar impression from him that I do with some characters like Akio in Clannad. Like he’s trying to be gar but instead is just annoying with that thumbs up thing he does. Anyway, Mail kind of looks like Sill Plain from the Rance series a little, which is strange, but I guess she’s okay. The outfit she wears is definitely on the revealing side. As for the robot itself, the Gunleon has a bit of a construction theme going on with it’s giant wrench and buzzsaw attacks mixed with a kung-fu feel for it’s nunchaku attack. It’s also a beast too and will stand up to a lot of punishment while being able to deal it out as well. It’s pretty much my boss finisher at this point.
– You start off with the Gundam X Divider on your side which is quickly followed up with the Overman King Gainer cast. You better get used to using the Gundam X and King Gainer in the same squad like I do because they are among the only units you can get that actually fly for a good long while. Gundam X is solid with all around good dodging, accuracy and rounded attacks including the useful beam harmonica, but King Gainer is kind of useless where I am right now. It’s most useful attack (which isn’t even really all that powerful) requires you to have a Level 2 Overskill and be up to 130 morale, but you also get a bit of a performance boost. Too bad I haven’t really been able to get that to happen yet.
– The Gauli team from King Gainer is your first squad if you picked the Super Robot route like I did. The way the Tri-Squad system works is pretty interesting. Using Tri formation you get access to very effective tri-attacks (only if you have the right types of units in the same squad), which also act as ALL attacks and have access to support defence. The drawback is that outside of tri-attacks only your squad leader attacks. Centre formation lets you take advantage of any of your squad members barrier abilities for the whole formation, and on top of being the best defensive formation will let your squad members attack with there PLATOON attacks and gang up on the enemy squad leader. The drawback is of course that enemy squad members are unattackable in this position. The last formation is the Wide formation, which has your squad leader attacking the enemy squad leader and the squad members attacking each enemy squad member. Basically it makes every attack an all attack, but in a different way since each attacking robot uses a different attack instead of one pooled one like the tri-attacks. You also get a slight boost to your squad leaders attack power. The drawback is that support defence is disabled entirely and if the squad members have no enemy squad members to attack they take no action. It took some getting used to, but it’s crucial that you learn it as you have to use all of the formations properly in order to score those SR points and there’s also apparently no Hot Blood seshin until late in the game.
– Soon enough you get the Xabungle crew and the Iron Gear becomes your ship. After this you can start forming squads for yourself and like SRW Alpha 2 and 3 it’s up to you to experiment. Jiron starts in the Walker Gellier in this one and Rag gets the Xabungle itself fully upgraded with the weapons pack. They’re both pretty useful, though their full power attacks require a lot of energy to use. Gotta love how zany some of the attacks are in keeping with the series.
– After that it’s Turn A Gundam stuff and unfortunately the Turn A Gundam is still land bound where I am. It’s most useful attack right now is it’s beam saber, but it can defend itself with it as well with a really cool looking sword cut animation. I changed it’s theme to Memory of Military Boots of course sense that’s pretty much tied for my favourite Gundam battle theme ever. Sochie and Miashei join it in a squad soon enough and Harry follows up the very stage after he’s introduced as an enemy.
– Then comes Aquarion which is sort of an anomaly for me. I’ve never actually seen the show, but it’s imagery sort of reminds me of Rahxephon. It’s damn useful though when the element mode kicks in and once you get the Infinity Punch (1~14 range!) it becomes a beast. It’s theme music is unbelievably god awful though. I think comparing it to a bad eroge opening like I normally do does it too much justice, it’s more like an ultra-cheesy upbeat fairy tale pop song. Anyway, I had to change it to something else because there’s no way I’m listening to that every time it attacks.
– Suddenly it goes all weird the second stage after Aquarion is introduced and you get the event from Orguss where the TS Oscillation bomb thing goes off and that becomes the Break The World incident in this universe instead of Junius Seven falling to earth (also known as the last instance where Gundam Seed Destiny was worth watching). I think that it merges two universes in the game into one somehow or throws your characters around between two (If you picked the real robot route I think you got the other universe) but am still not quite clear on what happens. There are theories out there that there could be even more universes then just Setsuko’s (the real robot pilot) and Rand’s. What is clear though is that for the first time ever the whole crossover nature of Super Robot Wars has actually become a plot point within the series. Only took….what….32 games?
– You do get to use the Bronco II a little bit and it’s low attack power is made up for by the fact that Kei can attack twice in one sequence and is really dodgy. Oddly enough, after dealing with the Orguss enemies the Phantom Pain units show up as usable allies for the reinforcement enemies in mission 10. You don’t get to use Rand in this stage since he isn’t there even, but the Phantom Pain are damn powerful and Neo especially. I’d almost call them broken. Anyway, it was neat to hear Ignited in the game as it’s a good song (ever notice that after the opening theme for Seed Destiny switched away from Ignited is when the show really started to trail off into wherever?), and hopefully this game will make better use of the shows characters and storyline ideas then Morosawa was ever able too. It already looks like it is actually.
– Rand eventually wakes up in Paradigm City and the moment I’ve been waiting for since the game was first announced happens. I get to use the Big O, and by god it is insanely broken for this stage. I just tanked everything with the Sudden Impact and beat this stage quicker then the first one. I loved the Paradigm City setting for the stage and hope I get to go back. It seems like Alex Rosewater is already scheming at they’ve even introduced Schwarzwald, R.D and Gordon Rosewater to the story already.
– The fun just keeps on going from there as the first episode of Eureka Seven kicks off (you got to do a team up with Gekkostate as a bit of a prequel to the Eureka Seven story fairly early on with Eureka as the only pilot of the Nirvash). Finally you get more flying units and Renton becomes the co-pilot of the Nirvash giving you Days as a theme song. Before you really get to do anything though Renton uses the Seven Swell. No Nirvash TypeZero for this sequence which left me quite disappointed for the first time with this game, but maybe later if it becomes an actual attack instead of an event. After that suddenly some Titans and Earth Union dudes show up including Jerid and Kacricon followed a few turns later by Scirroco in the Messala as the first boss to pose any real major threat (keep in mind this is still stage 12). Then you get reinforcements in the form of the Ahgama and Minerva crew. I find it funny that the rip-off series and the original are hanging out and that Shin and Kamille seem to get along really well. Rey’s voice sounds different for some reason. I don’t remember it being that deep, but then again I tuned out most of Seed Destiny so who knows. All I remember of the character now is that he glomped Dullindal and is supposed to be a clone of Rau Le Creuset.
– I previewed the next stage and it has generic Toei robot series and Gravion in it. Baldios looks acceptable to me, but I’d rather not do Grendizer. As for Gravion, never saw it, but what is up with the cast members that look that they were all stolen from some Harem series. With got generic main harem dude piloting Gravion with his assortment of moe blob pilot stereotypes including the girl next door, the maid, the big breasted “mature woman” and the quite one. They’re all really squeaky too (did I mention they’re all moeblobs) and the main dude seems like a wimp so I don’t get what they are doing in a Super Robot.
-That’s all for now, the games what I’ve been looking for in an SRW ever since Alpha 3 and the dissapointments that were the OG remakes and to some extent W (still fun, but just not on the same level as the console games). Having lots of fun…..maybe, I’ll go play some more right now.