Sunday, September 16, 2007

Cool robot games: Gundam SEED

Seeing how my blog's title is now ROBOT ATTACK!!, I thought I'd dedicate a post or two to robots and cool games in which they do their robotic work!

Michael Bay's Transformers film broke a box-office record this summer. Spider-man actor Tobey Maguire and Warner Brothers Studios recently announced they've begun work on a Robotech film, where transformable giant robots defend the planet from an alien menace. Robert Downey, Jr. stars in the film Iron Man, opening in 2008, where the hero flies around in a robot suit with laser cannon hands (always convenient to have). And FOX will be airing the Sarah Connor Chronicles this fall, a show set in the Terminator universe. Robots seem to be everywhere these days!

And there's been no shortage of video games featuring robots. But what are the best robot games that have come out in recent years, you ponder? Well, ponder no more!

Kidou Senshi Gundam SEED: Rengou vs ZAFT

In this arcade game port for the Playstation 2, 1-2 players can play through the battles of the hit animated show, Gundam SEED. You can choose from over 30 "Mobile Suits" (giant robots) to pilot, each that has its own unique look, special attacks, strengths and weaknesses. The presentation is great, with the graphics, sound effects, and music all top-notch stuff. The audio is almost all borrowed from the TV show, including the rock, pop, and orchestral music tracks.

The gameplay is easy to pick up, and even the most inexperienced of video game players can hop right in and have fun with the game. As each game mission begins, you and your teammate (human or AI controlled) take on 2-4 enemy Mobile Suits in a simple battle area. There's no need to manually aim your robot's guns at enemies like in some other games, as your Mobile Suit automatically locks on and tracks a single enemy for you. Just press the Fire button and your laser beam will fly out towards the enemy. Simple and fun, at least on the easier difficulty settings. Where the game's challenge comes from, especially on the harder difficulties or against human opponents, is knowing how to maneuver your Mobile Suit, and when to shoot. A quick double-tap of the directional pad will let you dodge an attack, and because your laser attacks take a few moments to reach their target, it's important to judge when your shot is most likely to hit.

Story-wise, the game is very bare bones. If you haven't seen the show, you'll have no idea who the characters are, or what each battle is about. So don't expect well-crafted cutscenes here. It's a pure action game.

The game is unavailable in the US, but can be bought from import game sites. Although nearly all of the text and menu options are in Japanese, you don't need to know any Japanese to fully enjoy the game.

With fun and simple game play, and great production values, Gundam SEED: Rengou vs ZAFT is one of the best robot games of recent years. Any fan of robots or competitive action video games should definitely check this game out.

In a later post, I'll go over the Gameboy Advanced game, Super Robot Taisen: Original Generations. Until then, you can check out this Youtube video of the the Gundam SEED game in action.



Your blog is way over my head. Sorry, man, I'm just not a gamer...I'm in my fifties. You need to be talking to my nephews and my grandson. I also have a friend who writes for gaming magazines, she was down here for the conventions in San Jose. I also worked with a couple of guys in my last TV job who were into game design. My grandson kicks my butt in these games. The only thing I bested him in was air hockey...hardly deep. If I do see a blog I like related to what you do, I'll send you a link.

Charlie_Six said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Charlie_Six said...

Aw, yeah writing comments for our classmate's blogs can be hard. I had to write comments on two 49ers blogs and a celebrity news blog, and I just don't follow any of that stuff. So I understand. :-P

I'm envious of your friend who writes for gaming magazines. I'd love to get into that kind of work. Some blogs seem to be crewed by people who do nothing but blog about games as their career, which I think is way cool. Flying around the world, interviewing game developers and stuff. That seems cool to me. During the summers, I work as a game tester at EA Games, and it's cool seeing the press show up during EA press events.

So do you know how your friend got into that kinda work? I'd love to know :-P

Geoff said...

First off, Ironman looks sweet. Albeit a little ridiculous, but I guess that's sort of the point, right? I like the part in the preview when the Sabbath song kicks in. In reference to Transformers, I haven't actually seen the movie, but after watching the MTV movie awards over the summer, I feel like I have. The whole thing was basically a Transformers advertisement/trailer. It made me kind of sick to be honest. I find such blatant and over-the-top advertising to be kind of offensive in a weird way, know what I mean? Anyways, I'm not that into robots and gaming, but I'm into a robot blog. Check this out.

Jet said...

I know nothing about these games. The games like you've described aren't really what I like to play...mostly because I haven't. I play Mario, Animal Crossing, Soul like those. Basically nothing with a story line I need to remember :)

I have a friend who's a video game tester for Sega. Apparently it's not all it's cracked up to be...except for the money part.

This seems like an interesting blog, but it makes me jealous of consoles and games I don't have :(


I did love Transformers.

mariedrennan said...

Ooh, a Terminator show? Cool! I hope someone says, "Anyone not wearing ten billion sunblock is going to have a really bad day, get it?" Hehehe.

Very fun blog to read, lots of good info, clear writing with enthusiasm and personality, great artwork and links. Excellent work so far!

Your review of Gundam SEED is especially thorough and helpful, with tips for playing and a great overview of the story content.

Just one bug to fix: "Spider-Man" (capitalize Man)

Anonymous said...

It was rather interesting for me to read that article. Thanks for it. I like such themes and everything connected to them. I would like to read a bit more on that blog soon.

Hilary Hakkinen

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