| paleface [sys=PS1; cat=Fighting; loc=JPN] |
|More of a curio than anything else except to the most die-hard of Gundam fans, I suppose. This one never came out in the States, our "Battle Assault" is Japan's "The Battle Master 2.|
The good: the big, smoothly animating pseudo 2D mechs of the later games in the series are here in all their ornate battle suited glory, and the character art and menus look great.
Otherwise the game has some issues. What really gets me is the health meter, which is split into two things: a horizontal bar labelled "Heat" (which goes up when the enemy hits you, yeah that makes sense) and a numeric readout that starts at 3 and goes down to zero, which signifies how many more times your "Heat" bar can fill up before you lose. Well that's great and all but it's hard to read two meters at a glance.
You can rocket boost forever in this game instead of being limited to a few hops as in the later games, so go ahead and fly up to the top of the 2D background (which scrolls up several screen lengths) and just stay there, I guess--why not?
You can hit people while they're down with impunity and while it doesn't do that much damage, it does enough. There are no Super moves, just two or three special moves per suit, which drain a bit from a regenerating "energy" bar with each use: no energy, no special moves. You can air recover out of anything with your jets. Oddly, blocking doesn't seem to work much of the time (or maybe that's what I get for playing on a d-pad rather than the arcade stick, but you wouldn't think it would be that fudgey even then). Oh and the AI is kind of dumb.
So compared to the later games in the series it plays in a sort of half-baked fashion, and while you can go through story mode with all the characters, there are only ten or so playable people and I don't think there can be much to unlock since the game doesn't take advantage of a memory card to save progress. Phaw! And of course the only other mode is Versus. So, yeah. It looks great and moves great but plays kind of sketchy. It's good to know that Bandai improved greatly on this in the next version.