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‘Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 3’ will please fans, not newcomers

“Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 3”

Released: June 28

PS3, Xbox 360

3/5 Pitchforks

For a “Gundam” fan, “Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 3” is a neat addition to the universe’s canon, but for everyone else, the game is a bit lackluster.

DW:G3 is the newest addition to KOEI’s hack-and-slash series, and presents 52 playable “Gundam” characters throughout a rich array of battles inspired by the anime series.

Although the cast is massive, the game’s plotline is absent and most of the time who is being fought and why is unimportant – if mentioned at all.

Or maybe it was mentioned, but because of the intense and unalterable background music it’s difficult to understand what the characters are saying. Subtitles help, but often disappear quite quickly. The only time speech is really decipherable is during combat when random battle cries ring through the air.

As with practically every “Dynasty Warriors” title, the gameplay is fun, but incredibly repetitive and has very little depth.

The control scheme stays true to the genre and is quite simple. Most of the time enemies will fall at the wayside by spamming the “X” button and combining a string of attacks to create various powerful effects. Successful damaging strikes increase a power meter that will allow for special attacks, and most Gundams have a ranged laser attack.

DW:G3 tried to work in a strategic angle to the equation of slaughtering mass amounts of foes, but didn’t do so very efficiently. Each map takes place in a similarly presented battlefield cordoned off in colored squared sections. Capturing each section gave a beneficial boost, and when an enemy captured a post they gain a tactical advantage and more soldiers.

The game has 300 missions, and in every one of them the objective is to secure the enemy stronghold section by eliminating enemies and capturing occupied territories. Once all of the subsequent sections have been captured the objective is to defeat an enemy Gundam general.

Defeating enemies and completing objectives will increase the battle suit’s power through new schematics, which make clearing battle stages more efficient. Some stages can be finished in three or four minutes.

KOEI had a great opportunity to create a real tactical aspect to the game with the territory capture system, but its purely repetitive nature and simplicity made the experience forgettable.

One attribute of DW:G3 that works well is the cooperative play. There are 15 available co-op missions designed so players can drop in and out at will. Difficulty is greatly ramped up and enemies are fairly ferocious, which makes working together a necessity.

Another pleasant new addition is the artistic cel-shading on the Gundam models, which is very attractive. Each Gundam has fantastic color, texture and lighting.

However, as a consequence of the incredibly cluttered user interface, the enjoyable Gundam creations were difficult to observe, and playing the game became a frustrating experience.

The game contains an auto center camera control that can’t be disabled; this means navigating the larger fights can be challenging. Furthermore, the objective box is massive and unnecessarily creates a claustrophobic, tunnel-like view by seizing a lot of screen room.

Every few moments a character will spout a battle cry, which creates a chat bubble, and hogs even more of the limited interface.

A “Gundam” otaku will certainly enjoy the richly colored Gundam suits, anime-inspired battles and goliath cast.

Fans of the “Dynasty Warriors” series already know what they are getting into, and will find subtle improvements on the previous titles. However, for the average gamer, “Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 3” is fun in short bursts, but has too many issues plaguing the experience to warrant extended playing.

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