MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM / Banpresto / Arcade

Banpresto seems to have had a trend of taking their popular anime franchises and using them to make hasty clones of whatever games happen to be popular at the time they decide they need cash. They did it with "Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon", a Final Fight clone we looked at in this space previously. This time out, they decided to clone Street Fighter 2, down to using what appears to be the exact same battle font.

Of course, since this is Gundam, the Japanese futuristic giant robot sensation, we have huge mechas clunkily battling it out in space instead of multiethnic street fighters. You pick from one of ten and then proceed to fight most of the others - I'm not familiar with Gundam so I'm not sure who is who, but some of them appear to be evil, given that they have purple faces. I think the evil guys only fight the good guys, and vice versa. Anyway, the main character is kind of a generic Voltron-esque hero robot, there's a samurai robot, a robot with an electrified whip, and a bunch of others.

The gameplay isn't terrible, but this is definitely not one of the smoother or more robust street fighter clones. The robots move like giant robots in space - slow and kinda laggy. Unfortunately the game is also highly spammable - robots that have a powerful laser or projectile, like the main Gundam, can just kind of sit back and shoot it all day, and it is hard to deal with due to the low mobility. This, of course, is what the computer usually does to you.

The one good point about the game is that it has some decent animated backgrounds, with other giant mecha fighting it out and generally causing devastation in fairly fluid style. Gundam fans may enjoy the rendition of their familiar characters, but I don't think even they will be interested in the static manga panels combined with Engrishy taunting that serve as the "story" after each win. The music is pretty tepid and uninteresting as well.

Videos :

* Gameplay Video