Mobile Suit Gundam: Federation v. Zeon


Review by Don Evanoff


Mech Sim

Graphics: 8

Sound: 6

Gameplay: 8

Overall: 8

It is the year 0079 of the Universal Century. The Principality of Zeon has launched a war of independence against the Earth Federation... And so begins the story of your fight against the villainy of Zeon in Mobile Suit Gundam: Federation vs. Zeon, by Bandai on the PlayStation 2.

In Gundam: F v. Z, you can play as the Earth Federation, defending Earth against the evil forces of the Duchy of Zeon, or you can take on the role of the Zeon forces, fighting for your indeopendence, and the independence of space colony Side 3. There are three modes of gameplay; Arcade, Campaign, and Story. Arcade mode allows you to face the computer or another human opponent in face-to-face combat in the Gundam of your choice. Campaign gives you the opportunity to choose a Gundam for ground combat and one for space, then fight your way through a steady stream of land, sea, and space battles, constantly pitting yourself against a changing onslaught of Federation or Zeon opponents. In Story mode, you take on the roll of a Federation or Zeon Gundam pilot and fight your way through the final months of the 0079 war between the Federation and Zeon forces.

Gundam: F v. Z has clean graphics with a nice look reminiscent of the anime series. They could have been better, but the graphics are solid, as is the frame rate, with only ONE noticeable moment of slow-down. And this was after twenty hours of gameplay through one of the storylines. Not bad, Bandai. While the city and interior locations are a little spartan in design, the Gundam models are nicely detailed, and their animations differ depending on your skill level and the abilities of the mobile suit. The visual style of the game is enhanced by the picture-in-picture commentaries from the series regulars (voiced-over by the actual voice actors of the show). You'll get more interaction by making your character name the same as one of the cast regulars, but even when using your own name, the faces add an immersive touch.

Control could be a little tighter. Gundam: F v. Z is best suited to using the D-pad for directional control, and you'd be better off still with a real joystick, as this would closer mimick the arcade controls. Using the D-pad could be the reason why directional control seemed sluggish at times. And close combat can be frustrating in a frantic situation. But, the game provides a good mix of both ranged weapons combat and melee fighting. Land, sea, and space battles require you to fight according to the environment and the Gundam's limitations, not just the bigger gun getting the win.

Make no mistake that my earlier comments on 20 hours of gameplay mean there are only 20 hours of gameplay total. That was a count reflecting only time spent on the side of the Federation; and not fighting every battle available in the storyline. There are well over one hundred battles for each side. WELL over 100. If the Story mode gets boring for you, try doing some quick battles in the Arcade mode. Got a friend? Boot up the Arcade mode and let all hell break loose as you open up a can of Gundam on each other. You won't be finished with this game any time soon.

Mobile Suit Gundam: Federation v. Zeon may appeal more to fans of the show than the casual gamer. However, this shouldn't deter you from picking it up to satiate that hunger for an action game. Froma collector's point of view, the Gundam games in this country seem to hold their value extremely well. This isn't always due to excellent gameplay, but more to low sales volume and a dedicated fan base. But Gundam: F v. Z is an engaging game, and the large battles will get you reciting four letter words other than Zeon when things get tough. Playing as both the good guys and bad is always fun, and there is enough in this game to make the fan and newcomer to Gundam happy.

+ Good Gundam Detail
+ Long Game
+ Animation and Voice-actors from Series Included
+ Includes about Every Gundam from the 0079 Series

- Sometimes Frustrating Controls
- Bland Environments
- Graphics Were Good, But Could Have Been Better
- No First-Person/Simulation Perspective


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Last updated: Wednesday, December 10, 2003 02:25 PM