Dynasty Warriors - Gundam 2The site’s been sorely lacking in updates ever since I started playing Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 2.

170 hours later and I’m still not done!

In an age when most games can be completed in under 20 hours with little replay value, Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 2 is either a refreshing change of pace or an obsessive compulsive’s worst nightmare.

It’s a B-I-G upgrade from the first game with more of everything: over 400 unique missions, 66 mobile suits, & 40 playable pilots! (once you unlock them anyway)

Even the feel of the game has been markedly improved. And it’s not just that the mobile suits are noticeably shiner, they handle better too. No longer do your thrusters propel you in a straight line… YOU CAN STEER! Not that you really had time to steer in the first game anyway as they lasted all of 2 seconds. But that’s also been increased and you can increase them even more thanks to a new feature in the Mobile Suit Lab section which lets you add on special options.

And you’ll need to be fast to save all your bumbling allies (a requirement in some missions). Don’t worry about knowing when they’re in trouble… Oh you’ll know. In fact, they never never shut up about it. The first warning you can just blow off. It’s not until their second plea for help that you’ll need to take it seriously and haul ass. Ironically, whenever you’re in trouble not only do your allies not use their thruster sometimes they don’t even come.

Allies don’t just bother you with play-by-plays of their own battles though. They also feel compelled to comment on yours, which gets kind of annoying. Meanwhile the mission briefs, which had been voiced in the previous game, are utterly silent. Making it nearly impossible not to fast forward though the drivel that passes for a story. Not that it matters.

You ain’t playing a Dynasty Warriors game for the story.

Nope. It’s all about the fighting. There’s still wave after wave of enemies (nothing new there) but there’s a couple of very cool new ones like the monstrous Dark Gundam and Alpha Azieru with great cutscenes. Unfortunately, still no option to pilot mobile amours.

The mobile suits also have many new moves, but the best attacks are the indirect ones. Any good soldier knows you’ve got to make use of your environment and apparently so does Bandai. Stages are loaded with destructible environments but they’re not just for aesthetics. In addition to laser turrets, you can bring the roof down on your enemies by banging into support columns, slice into generators to release explosions that knock back your opponents, or my favorite break the glass in a space station to suck everyone toward you, making for easy kills (video right). Best of all, none of these attacks can hurt you. My only complaints are that they don’t do more damage to your enemies & regardless of how many times you use them, they won’t finish off your opponents, just take them down to near zero energy.

Like all the Gundam games there’s plenty of great one-liners like Kamille’s catchphrase “Kamille’s a man’s name, and I’m a man!” or Lacus telling Loran his Gundam’s mustache is really cute but that his mobile suit would be cuter if it were pink. But unlike the previous game there’s no Japanese language option for purist!

And Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 2 isn’t just long, it’s hard too (at least until you do a little leveling), which is probably why they (smartly) put the difficulty selection (easy/normal/hard) at the beginning of each mission rather than have you have to go back to the options screen every time.

For such a massive game there’s a lot of room for things to go wrong and boy did they when Big Zam froze somehow making him much stronger than normal (video left, highly edited as I’m sure you don’t wanna see the 8 min it took in real time), but other than that single glitch the game ran like a charm.

It’s still early, but to date Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 2 is my favorite game of the year. Buy, downloaded it, heck do both – just get it!

Random Tips:

  • In the Mobile Suit Lab the parts on top are the new ones so replace only if they are higher rank or blue stats. There’s an arrow below that points to your old/current part, which is very confusing since arrows usually point to where you’re going not where you’ve been.
  • Here’s an invaluable list of the mission in Mission Mode (complete mission list), which gives some requirements of unlocking some of them. One note, for “Sleggar and the Scary Woman” I needed above affinity for Katejina to unlock it.
  • Rosamia can be difficult to unlock especially with the poorly explanation on gamefaqs. First you’ll need “best relations” with Kamille. “Best” doesn’t simply mean friendship, Kamille must be the 1st character listed in friendship list. This is easier for some characters such as Four & Emma. I used as Emma as she has more story missions anyway and you must also complete at least 8 missions (plus good relations with Char, Bright, Henken) to join AEUG, another requirement. Only the will you get an email/mission from Kamille that will unlock Rosamia.
  • Once you shoot down 40,000 enemies & complete 200 missions (and do the mission that opens up) Quiz #2 is available for all characters (not sure about conditions for Quiz #1). Answering all 10 questions correctly raises relations for all characters and is the easiest way to do so.
  • The hardest thing to unlock is a cutscene called “A World of Newtypes” as you must evolve all playable pilots into Newtypes by leveling until you get that option from Nanai or Amuro (Not really a tip, it’s just pissing me off).