July 04, 2011

Dynasty Warriors Gundam 3

After months of waiting, last week marked the release of Dynasty Warriors Gundam 3. When I first heard about this title, I felt more anxious for the release than a kid at Christmas. Of course I had to pick up a copy on release day immediately after work. Needless to say, I have managed to put a number of hours in on this title in the 6 days I have had it, and found myself more and more amazed with the quality of the gameplay relative to the previous two releases.

The developers at KOEI have really gone all out when putting this title together. The first major improvement for me is the animation style used. The entire game is done in cell animation rather than the standard CGI graphics that we see DWG2. When I first saw the screens for the cell animation I was a little turned off. After playing the game though, the cell animation is a very welcomed feature. Another great feature is the integration between the characters and missions. One element that made DWG2 very long was the repetitiveness of the missions. I constantly found myself having to replay the same mission with every character, which can get boring after a while. Having everything integrated makes the gameplay feel more manageable without feeling short.

In speaking about shortening things up, the levels don't take nearly as long to complete. While I do like the concept of playing a level for 20-40 mins in DWG2, having shorter levels in DWG3 keeps the gameplay more interesting. Having a partner assist system is also a very cool feature.

The relationship model between characters has also been improved. I was happy to see that you don't end up having a hard time getting through the game for getting into fights with enemy characters. There are a total of 120 characters and mobile suits to choose from, including many pilots from the C.E. series like Gundam X, Wing, and Unicorn. A final new feature that is a much welcomed addition is the concept of development plans and gold. Mobile Suits can be upgraded and created using money. Character skills can also purchased now rather than obtained through mobile suit experience.

Overall, Dynasty Warriors Gundam 3 was well worth the wait and I highly recommend it for fans of the franchise and fans of beat em' up games. The objectives of the game are much  more manageable and it is a lot less repetitive than previous versions. Hopefully with this franchise, KOEI and Bandai will look at making more improvements and release a fourth installment.

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