When it comes to Gundam games, there are certain core elements that must be present in order for a game to come even close to being a success. It must represent the series well, since there are so many mechs, pilots, and shows. It should strive for accuracy when it comes to maps and movesets. There should also, well, be a good amount of fanservice for folks to revel in as they play. Mobile Suit Gundam Extreme Vs Maxiboost ON delivers in the ways fan will want, which should be more than enough for the dedicated players waiting for this port.
Mobile Suit Gundam Extreme Vs Maxiboost ON Improves an Arcade Experience
Now, you might have paused for a moment there and wondered, “What’s this about a port?” Yes, Mobile Suit Gundam Extreme Vs Maxiboost ON is a game with a surprising history. In 2014, Bandai Namco brought the 2v2 arena fighter to Japanese arcades as Mobile Suit Gundam Extreme Vs Maxiboost, with the extra content and being added with the ON variant in 2016. It was a multiplayer-focused affair that frankly, is well loved. After all, it remained a staple for years and only now, in 2020, appeared on consoles worldwide.
The crux of the PlayStation 4 port is having a sense of range and options. 36 different Gundam series are represented here. When you choose which suit you take into battle, you have 183 to choose from. (Yes, in the Customize menu you can set favorite Mobile Suits, as well as things like your gauge design UI, your battle and player Navi, your pilot, and your Communication Messages.) The main attraction here is the Online Battle, which allows you to take part in a Casual Match, Player Match, and both Hold and Shuffle Ranked Matches. However, this console version also adds a way to practice and play alone, both of which are incredibly helpful.
Bracing Yourself for a Fight
Free Battle is your practice mode. You choose everything here. You determine which maps you play on by selecting the stage. You pick which Mobile Suits are active. Considering this is a game where every suit will very likely play differently, you need to learn about properly moving and managing yourself, can traditional defenses aren’t in effect, you desperately need this chance to even find out which suit you like.) For example, I love Allenby Beardsley’s Nobel Gundam. I love its aesthetic and appreciate its attacks. I’m terrible at using it, and Free Battle helps me come to terms with that and find something that’s a better fit.
While it definitely isn’t a “practice” mode, I’d consider the potentially offline and single-player CPU Battle a means of helping Mobile Suit Gundam Extreme Vs Maxiboost ON players learn. It’s a means of practicing and being able to choose your own difficulty as you go through different situations. There are Branch Battles, which place you on on a grid where you choose your next scene and can see ahead of time its difficulty, opponents, and goal. These can be played alone or in both offline and online co-op. You also have Maxi Boost Missions that let you go alone and take on different challenges with upgrade data. While Free Battle is about figuring things out, CPU Battles feel like a way to actively prepare yourself for multiplayer.
Multiplayer’s the Place to Be
But really, Mobile Suit Gundam Extreme Vs Maxiboost ON is about facing off against other people and that can be both an enjoyable and humbling experience. Before you head into a fight, you have options. This is an action game through and through. You have your standard melee connected to triangle and ranged attack on square. You have your Sub Shot on R1, special melee on R2, and special ranged on L2. When you can use the Burst attack you selected (which could be Extend, Fighting, or Shooting), you press R3. When you want to communicate, you press L1. Though, all of these can also be customized to your liking.
Unfortunately, the camera can’t really be adjusted or changed. In a frantic game where keeping up with combos and opponents, moving the targeting button from circle is a good idea. And the camera isn’t always on your side when you need to quickly move around to pursue an opponent, escape an enemy’s attacks, keep track of where a ranged shot is coming from, and generally staying alive. But at the same time, it’s such a fast-paced game that a match sometimes doesn’t last long enough for it to be a problem.
Both your chosen suit and the one your partner is using also determine more than movesets for the fight ahead. Each mech has a point value assigned to it between 1500-3000. When you head into a fight, your team has 6000 points. Having that extra allows you a chance to revive if you fall in a fight. You can plan for something of a cushion, which can help with strategies.
As for performance and how much you get out of it, it varies depending on the time of day you’re showing up. I was using a standard PlayStation 4 with a wired connection and only rarely did I have to deal with lag in matches. I also never really had to wait too long for a match to kick off. My opponents all tended to be much more skilled than I was, but I really enjoyed myself and never felt completely outclassed. Rather, it feels like you’re learning and growing once you’re in multiplayer.
A Reason to Fight
What it all comes down to is finding a motivation to stick with Gundam Extreme Vs Maxiboost ON. The game does a great job of providing reasons to play. Just learning how to win with a specific Mobile Suit is a good one. It can take hours to figure out the nuances. There are also all sorts of unlockables. You can get 270 figures as you play, earn different Navis and Pilots, and collect Titles to assign yourself. Even climbing the ranks could be enough motivation for the truly competitive.
Gundam Extreme Vs Maxiboost ON may not be completely perfect, but it is a game people have been waiting for. It brings a classic arcade experience home, giving people everything to enjoy. It drives you to do better with its offline and online, solo and multiplayer modes. There are even cosmetic unlockables to encourage you further. It’s the sort of game that can become a staple, due to how much it offers and the investment required to truly “git gud.”
Gundam Extreme Vs Maxiboost ON review code provided by publisher. Version 1.01 reviewed on a standard PlayStation 4. For more information on scoring please see our Review Policy.
There are so many suits and series here that do a great job of representing the series Suits really can feel different, so there’s a great chance you’ll find one that works for you The single-player options are a bit basic, but they’re a great way to find your footing It is incredibly customizableThe camera isn’t always at its best and you may have to keep an eye on it Given this is a console port of a 2016 game, it might not look as amazing as you might expect.