Thanks to our friends at Bandai Namco Asia, I was given the opportunity to jump back in to my guilty pleasure: Super Robot Wars.
Specifically Super Robot Wars V, the latest entry to the long running series. I’ve been playing these games for about as long as I’ve been a gamer. My first foray into the series, was back during the PS1 era with Super Robot Wars Alpha…I think. It’s been quite a while so I can’t accurately remember which title I started out with. But the point is, I’ve been a fan for quite a while. So with my first experience with a fully translated Super Robot Wars, let’s see how the latest iteration fares.
If you guys aren’t aware, the Super Robot Wars series is basically every mecha anime fan’s wet-dream. The game puts everyone’s favorite anime robots (from Gundam to Getter) in team together. Basically The Avengers of giant Japanese Robots.
With that said, the story is utter trash. Because it’s a mish-mash of every mecha series’s story, there is no coherent plot to follow. For instance in this game: the set-up for the plot is basically an amalgam of the plot of Space Battleship Yamato 2199 and Mobile Suit Gundam (Universal Century to be specific). Furthermore because plot elements from all of the mecha series featured in the game play a role (in some form) to the overall story of the game, at times the story gets insufferable. Case-in-point, the anime Cross Ange is part of the roster of Super Robot Wars V. That anime doesn’t have the best plot nor characters thus whenever it plays a role in the overall plot of the game, it detracts from the overall enjoyment of the story.
Luckily for me, I don’t play these games for the story. I can just turn my brain off whenever the plot comes up. What I’m actually here for is…
At its heart, Super Robot Wars V is a tactical RPG. If you’re familiar with games such as Final Fantasy Tactics, Disgaea, Fire Emblem, or Xcom, SRW is part of that same sub-genre of games.
The game’s a pretty easy to understand and easy to control tactical RPG. You have a fixed movement range for each unit, fixed attacks, and fixed buffs/de-buffs. With these fixed actions, you take turns as you try to defeat the AI. It’s basically a flashier version of chess.
You get to control the aforementioned featured mechs on the battlefield, at which point you get to see all the famous signature attacks of said mechs. That’s basically the hook of the game. Players get to see their favorite mecha and see them perform their signature attacks of random mooks (and bosses of course). You want to see Mazinger Z perform a Breast Fire, you got it. In the same line of thought, you get to see Mazinger Z team-up with your favorite Gundams to take on some baddies.