SD Gundam Force: Showdown PS2 Review

Neotopia was once a peaceful land where humans and robots live together in harmony. They coexist to help each other out and to make sure everyone is safe, but when the Dark Axis interferes and enters from another dimension, all hell breaks loose. Well that’s what I really wanted to happen, but the game fell flat on it’s face right from the starting point. It never began to give me any satisfaction that I may have enjoyed even if I was a child playing this game.

Graphics

Visually speaking, you are controlling mechs that have a purpose of guarding the humans. The funny thing about this is that the mechs are pint-sized and stand only a little taller than the humans. What makes it even more difficult to believe is that you have this clumsy camera that ruins any type of moments that you would enjoy controlling your small mech when fighting opponents. You will be hit, shot, killed and destroyed by enemies that you will not see as the camera doesn’t show them on the screen. The graphics do look alright for their attempt at combining 2D and 3D effects together. But I still can’t get over the fact that these mechs are so small and are saving the world.

Gameplay

Back on point about the story, Neotopia of course has only one last hope to save itself from the Dark Axis complete takeover. Get ready for it, because it’s the Gundam Force that steps in to save the world if you haven’t guessed already. How brilliant -another top-secret organization that will stop the evil forces from destroying the planet. The leader of the Gundam Force is as predictable as the storyline with the leader named Captain Gundam, great, another cliché added to this title as that’s what it really needed.

Before I continue to write about my disappointment with this title, I have to put the blame on someone. Bandai handled the publishing and development of this game, so it didn’t come to my surprise that SD Gundam Force fell short of expectations to the fans of the series. Not that I am fan but the overall reaction of the game is meagrely below what I think Bandai would have hoped for. Bandai has a spotty record but I did find enjoyment with a couple of their Digimon games (Digimon Racing and Rumble Arena 2, while also enjoying Inuyasha for it’s anime theme but SD Gundam Force barely even skims the top of the barrel it needed to provide any quality in the game.

For those who have no idea about what SD Gundam Force is, you should check out Cartoon Network on Saturdays. SD Gundam Force is included in their Toonami package of cartoons that play from 7 pm. to 11 pm. With some fan base Bandai took the television series and gave it another game on the current generation of consoles (also including a game released on the GameBoy Advanced). This isn’t the first time ever they ever released a game on the Gundam franchise as titles date back all the way to the NES.

What Bandai delivered was a linear and straightforward game to destroy the enemy robots that stand before you within the time limit. Yes there are time limits but nothing too stressful that will make you bend over backwards to complete the mission. The levels are relatively small and you can clear them quite easily. Travelling through the levels when going back through them will have the enemies re-spawn from their points and this soon became a hassle as I have always hated random re-spawn points in any type of game with computer A.I.

Sound

The music that plays throughout the game tries to give off the essence that you are trying to do something heroic, but I couldn’t get over all the flaws in the game to notice that I am doing something that would be commended by many. You’d notice that it does get repetitive so you may become quite frustrated by the audio as it will contribute to why you put the game down and quit playing it. Other than that, I must say that the voice acting is a bit over the top but it adds to the games story rather than taking away from it. Though I must say the audio is one thing SD Gundam Force had going for it if I had to pick on category that is stronger than the others.

Lifespan

Upgrades are included to try and keep the game fresh for the time being and different forms can be used to change your Gundams. The whole idea of these upgrades and forms is to deliver more powerful characters but none of it is really expansive as it tends to be shallow. The basic gameplay really consists of mashing buttons so you can see that it’s catered towards the younger crowd if they even care to play it for more than the first fifteen minutes. Boss battles are thrown in the mix but nothing intriguing or compelling that will get your heart pumping.

Overall

If you are fan of the television show (I can predict not many are), you should rent this out and give it some of your free hours as you can complete this game rather easily. I’d suggest you avoid at all costs with purchasing the game as it’s clearly just trying to make money off the name rather than producing any type of fun for newcomers to the series.

6 out of 10
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