This series is something that needs to have a western release. The SD Gundam G Generation series of SRPG games have been around for a fair number of years, first released on the Playstation, and has since then been released on many systems, both home consoles, and portables. with its most recent iteration releasing on the PS4, and PSVita on 22 November, 2016. The combination of Mobile Suit: Gundam, and SRPG seems as a match made in heaven, and you would be correct, with caveats. The inclusion of an English translated version that released at the same time as its Japanese counterpart is a welcome addition, to fans that enjoy the series, but are not fluent in Nihongo. Another great addition is the inclusion of receiving the season pass if you buy it early. The gameplay has also been improved a lot over the years, comparatively to what it was early on, and this newest one is no exception. The graphics, music, and fan service to Gundam fans young and old is really well done, with that said however, this game still has some hold-overs from earlier iterations and seems to give a somewhat shorthand version of events in most of different stories that are a part of the U.C. (Universal Century) timeline of the Gundam series.
While the major U.C. series that are a part of this game are more or less intact, (though there are still some arcs that are missing that could have added a little extra to the game) it is the OVA levels that have seemingly been cut down to almost skeletal levels, (some, like IGLOO get more attention than others, e.g. 08th MS Team only has two, excruciatingly long levels, that while telling a decent amount of the story, leaves out enough, where if you have no frame of reference, you can easily lose track). While there is a glossary of sorts, that tells a slightly more in depth synopsis of all the U.C. series, it feels as though they could have put a bit more into a few of the different series,(especially since there is a fair number of series whose only presence in game is that of a few of the more well known mobile suits).
Even if the list of U.C. series is not complete, there is quite the list of series involved in this title, specifically starting at Mobile Suit Gundam, and ending as of this article, at Hathaway's Flash, which is a few years after the end of Unicorn. The dearth of levels is okay to a point, due to the amount of series that are included in this game, and the ones added after release, but if each series in this game got at least one or two more levels each it seems as though it would be even better, with that said, the amount of content is still worth the purchase. Another issue with the game, is how each playable section is separated into their own separate menu, and this in and of itself is not a terrible utilization of U.I., it just feels as though there is some small change that could be made to make it more easily navigated that it is currently. While the menus are by far not the worst by any stretch of the imagination, the level of cascading menus could be reduced slightly.
As stated earlier, the game excels at U.C. Gundam fan service, and where this is most obvious is the selection of pilots, and suits to choose that you can train, and fight with. The best aspect of this is that once you unlock a suit, pilot, or warship to be used, they can be used in any series that came out before, or after it, which can lead to some ridiculous levels of over powered massacres, (to be fair, though, if you go in unprepared, you will be the one on the receiving end of the decimation). One weird aspect of this game, is the inclusion of characters created specifically for the SD Gundam G Generation series of games. Other that being characters, and mobile suits that you can use to help you as an extra crew, at least in this most recent game, they have no contribution to the overall stories of the different Gundam series. Since I have not really played any of the earlier games, I do not know if it was something taken out recently, or for this game specifically. While they have their own glossary entries, there is really no sense of character importance. Honestly though, that can also be said for all the characters, it is really the playing of the separate stories, while getting to fight with your favorite pilots, and mobile suits. While that is enjoyable enough as a game on its own, it is slightly disappointing that the multitude of characters in this game do not have anymore charisma, than the one liners they spout when you watch their combat animations, (though those lose their power after watching them 300 times, and you end up skipping them 99% of the time).
In conclusion, while this game is not perfect, and caters more to the existing fans, rather than making it more approachable, (which also has its issues, its all about balance of both the ideals), and some of the U.I. issues are things that should have been phased out five years ago, there is something special here that even if you are not a fan of Gundam, can find something to enjoy about it. The real issue of getting into a game like this is, if you live in the west, and don't have the funds to spend more than the cost of video games in your home country, it might be a bit of an issue. However, if those are not hindrances to you, then I say you should give this series a fair shake to see if it is something you would enjoy. So please, Bandai, give this game, (and many other Gundam games) a western release!
ʿʿ˅⁽ˆ⁰ˆ˺ ⁾˺ こゆうきあいはら ʿʿ˅⁽ˆ⁰ˆ˺ ⁾˺
The next game in this series is Ryu ga gotoku: Kenzan! (りゅが如く：Kenzan!）Granted, this game was released on the PS3 early in the console's life. However with that said, even if it has the feeling of Yakuza 3 mechanically, the game is so fun,that it doesn't matter. This is of course a side story of the game series, coming out before Yakuza: The End, and it shows slightly with the graphics and game play.
This is a game similar to the previous entrant into this series, Ryu ga gotoku: Ishin, where you play as a creative representation of a historical person, this time you play as one of the most famous samurai in Japanese history, Miyamoto Musashi. He lived during the time of the beginning of the Edo period where Tokugawa Ieyasu unified Japan, after defeating the son of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, Toyotomi Hideyori, and his western army. An interesting aspect of this game is that it starts somewhere in the middle story wise, and bounces back and forth. It shows how he ended up where he is at the start after the battling at Sekigahara. While the combat mechanics are a tad bit old, I like the diversity, and change of pace with how they handled the melee combat in this game.
There is of course a game that is similar that is on a more updated console, however this game is something that can and should be experienced if possible, for very much the same reasons as the newer game. Cultural significance is always something that should be important, as well as sharing that cultural experience with others outside of the culture's sphere of influence. Though if for no other reason than because it is a good game, with fun things to do, and an engaging story, as I say at the end of every one of these articles.
So, Sega, western release, please??
The next game that needs to have a western release is りゅが如く：維新！(Ryu Ga Gotoku: Ishin!/Yakuza: Restoration!) Being a side game to the Yakuza series, if you have played one game in the series, the overarching gameplay and controls are similar. If you haven't played a Yakuza game yet, and you have even a passing interest in Japanese culture, or history, then not only is this the one for you story-wise, but also the sheer amount of things to do and is the most mechanically robust in the series (though Yakuza 0 improved even on this game).
This game takes place during the Bakumatsu period (late Edo period that started at the American civil war and ended soon after that) where your player character, takes on the persona of Sakamoto Ryoma (佐上音りょま） who is doing his best to fight through the corruption of the government to open up the borders of Japan, and bring Japan up to date with technology. In the true history, he was assassinated by those who desired to silence his ideals, but being a videogame the history is altered a decent bit. The story starts where a mentor of your character is assassinated, and you are on the run, after being seen at the scene of the crime. Sooner or later you end up a part of the Shinsengumi (A pro-shogunate secret police force, created to oust dissenters, and other traitors to the Shogun) where you get involved in trying to figure out a government conspiracy, that involves someone using your name.
The story in and of itself is very dramatic, and human, while not being mired in the overly silly idea of taking itself too seriously. With the time period that it is set, most of the combat is that of melee, and sword combat, with some use of firearms. The combat mechanics are vastly improved to those of previous titles, (excluding Yakuza 5 which has mechanics just as good) and the graphics are beautifully rendered on the PS4. Overall this is a game that I feel many people can enjoy, not only for its engrossing story, and impressively acted characters, but this is also a game where there is so much cultural examples of Japan, and gives a taste of its history.
So Sega, please, release to the west?
welcome to a new series I like to call "Games I want to see get a western release" or alternatively "Western release please?!" for the TL;DR crowd. The premise is rather simple, since I have started importing games from Japan, there has been a decent number that as I play them I think how nice it would be to see it localized in English so not only can I enjoy the game, but it could hopefully reach a broader audience of gamers that may have heard of it, or to also flesh out the releases in a series that didn't make it overseas.
The first game series is something that contains two things close to my nerd-heart, and that is Gundam Anime (the new one Iron Blooded Orphans seems to be back to its badass roots) and Gunpla (GUNdam PLAstic models = GUNPLA) and combines it into another nerd-love, video games! The game series is titled Gundam Breaker, and it has released 2 games so far on the PS3 in Japan (with a third one to be released soon on the third of March on the PS4) and while simplistic the gameplay has an addictive quality, that players of MMOs and games like Destiny have a close relationship with, gear lust. Now granted, this game is not exactly traditional when it comes to this tied and true gaming trope. Rather than getting new gear such as armor,and weapons for your player character, you pickup and unlock new Gundam models and pieces. They come in two different types High Grade (HG 1/140th scale) or Master Grade (MG 1/100th scale). and they include classic models as well as the models from the newest anime at that time (June 27th, 2013 for Gundam Breaker, and December, 18th, 2014 for Gundam Breaker 2).
The game is in a third person perspective,and controls are on the more arcadey side rather than the more lumbering slower pace of some other Gundam games. This works in its favor as it leads to some fast paced hectic combat, especially in later levels. Thankfully they went with a lock-on combat system that leads to focusing one enemy that much easier, the target can be switched with the D pad and turned off by pushing in the left stick (L3). The only problem I have on a technical level, is sometimes the camera can be a tad uncooperative, though thankfully it is a free cam so that can be easily moved when need be. The first games' story while not bad, is not the true reason why you play this game. They vastly improved the story and the way it is told in the second game, but most people will most likely consider it derivative, I enjoyed it thoroughly, but I realize it is not for everyone. The story was not the only thing to get an overhaul in between the first and second game, so was the customization, and number of mobile suits in the game. Being that the main draw to this game is the kit-bashing (taking multiple models and using pieces from each to create a unique and oftentimes awesome looking Gundam) that is a major boon to the second game, not only that but the customization options were increased as well (including different shades of paint, battle damage, and weathering effects to increase your Gunplas' individuality to ridiculous levels). Of course with these types of games where loot is imperative, the drop rate, and difficulty of levels is a concern for players, and while difficulty curve and drop rate is definitely a concern in both games, the second game thankfully dropped both considerably. With this being online, you can make farming parties to mitigate some of the issues inherent in such a system, though I am not sure how much of a player-base still plays the first game, the second is still decently populated (at least last I checked back in December).
I will admit, that even for a Japanese game, this is probably considered one of the more "niche" titles, but with the release of the third game releasing soon, on the PS4, I feel now is a good time to bring this series overseas, and we need more Gundam games released anyway. If you have played this game, please share your opinions below, I am interested to hear what people think. And if you plan on buying Gundam Breaker 3, hope to see you online!