61isixlxwel_aa280_1Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 2 (Koei, 2009)
Purchase from Amazon: Playstation 3 | Xbox 360

Koei’s powerhouse, Omega Force, returns with its second installment of the Dynasty Warriors Gundam franchise, adding all new characters, bosses, missions and online capabilities (but no online co-op — lame, right?). They’ve also really touched up the game’s AI to make even the weaker enemies very difficult at times at the harder setting. It almost reminded me of how hard Dynasty Warriors 3 XL was back in the day. There are several modes to play through, multiple stories, and if you’ve never played a Dynasty Warriors game before, a whole crapload of stuff to acquire through grinding.

Grinding? I know what you’re thinking: sounds boring, right? Well it is usually, but in this title they’ve really gone out of their way to help curb that. Sometimes, when trying to build relationships with one of the game’s many pilots you’ll find yourself doing the same map over and over — but to help change it up for you, different enemies will attack you every time, the terrain will change, and so will the objective (even though you’re running the same mission). This may not sound like much, but it really helps.

One of the new things you’ll find from the last installment — aside from the 43 new mobile suits — is the very large boss battles. When these occur, you will be locked into the battle area, and the camera will be locked onto the boss — which helps keep track of them, since they’re faster and usually have large area attack specials. This also gets a little annoying, because if you get low on health you can’t really change the camera angle to help locate some. The AI gets a little weak here too; one boss has several small limbs that you must attack before you can take a whack at the main body. The problem is your team members don’t seem to understand this, and also don’t even bother trying to evade the enemy’s attacks. So you can find yourself racing against time trying to defeat the boss before he defeats your friends.

That aside, there was only one other thing that annoyed me with the game, and it’s the same thing that irritated me with the last one: they only have a handful of sound bits for each character. I like Heero Yui as much as the next guy, but I don’t want to hear him say “Buzz off” every two seconds. I understand disc space limitations, but you could at least make the voice acting a bit more varied.

Dynasty Warriors: Gundam — hell Dynasty Warriors titles in general — have been poorly received, mainly by the critical community, due to lack of overhaul every title. These are typically the same critics that will give Madden or other sports titles that update the rosters and add small additions decently high ratings year after year (even the infamous Madden 06 ). Perhaps you should take note of this, Omega Force, and add footprints in the snow and allow the mobile suits to get dirty, as this seems to be the only criteria for acceptable change for them. Overall, this is a good addition to the series, and something most fans of either franchise should enjoy.

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