Despite being a franchise seemingly perfect for being adapted into a video game, most Mobile Suit Gundam games are crap. Even in Japan, where the franchise is loved and regarded as a cultural icon, it’s not uncommon to hear Japanese gamers shrug off the newest Gundam game as a “kusoge” (literal translation: shit game). While the pioneering mecha anime is Bandai’s bread and butter, they’ve never really seemed to care about improving the quality of the games that bare the series’ name. Thankfully, that seems to be changing, with the upcoming crossover fighter Gundam VS. looking like it might be to Gundam what Smash Bros is to Nintendo, and in addition to that, a new game based on the ongoing Gundam Unicorn OVA series.
The new game is being developed by From Software, who are no strangers to the mecha genre: they’re the creators of the insanely deep (some would say overly dense) Armored Core franchise, as well as the popular (in Japan) Another Century’s Episode series, which takes mecha and characters from different popular anime shows, such as Macross, Nadesico, Eureka Seven, Code Geass, and yes, Gundam, and plops them all together in a vaguely Zone of the Enders like action game. The new Gundam UC game is expected to play more like latter, with the developers promising arcade like controls and fast-paced combat that retains all the visual flare of the anime.
The game will retell the story of the first three volumes of the UC anime, and will allow players to play as series’ main character Banagher, as well as antagonists Full Frontal (goddamn, I love it when Japan names characters using random English words,) and Marida.
From Software is promising to deliver an experience that is true to the show, with much of the show’s original cast and crew involved in the game’s development. Gundam UC for PS3 is currently 70% complete and is expected to come out in Japan next Spring.