A series of hybrid Action
based upon the wildly popular Gundam anime
franchise. Each game in the series follows the same basic format: The player chooses a Mobile Suit
and a pilot, then engages in a series of third-person battles with the opposing forces. Both sides have a resource meter, representing their ability to wage war; to win, one must destroy enough enemy machines to deplete the enemy's resources, with the machines' value being determined by their overall power.
The series has gone through ten iterations so far:
- Mobile Suit Gundam: Federation vs Zeon (2000): The first game in the series, centering on Mobile Suit Gundam. It laid down the groundwork for the entire series, as well as being an overall fun and enjoyable game. Several months later, Capcom updated the game into Federation vs Zeon DX, adding in the Ground Combat Gundam and Ground Combat GM from The 08th MS Team to bolster the Federation's roster. The DX version was used to make the home version, which added a Campaign Mode wherein the player became a Federation or Zeon pilot and fought through the One Year War from the early skirmishes up until the final battle at A Baoa Qu.
- Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam: AEUG vs Titans (2003): This first sequel shifted the story to the popular Zeta Gundam timeframe and introduced some new mechanics, such as Transforming Mecha. Like its predecessor, it later had a DX version which added in several Mobile Suits left out of the original release, added in the Awakenings system (Assault, Revive and Mobility) and was used to make the home version.
- Mobile Suit Gundam: Gundam vs Zeta Gundam (2004): A sequel to the sequel, Gundam vs Zeta Gundam could be considered the "complete" version of AEUG vs Titans. It features every Mobile Suit from the previous games, as well as bonuses from Gundam ZZ: Judau and the ZZ Gundam, the Purus and their Qubeley Mk-IIs, and the ZZ version of Haman Karn. A home-exclusive release, the Campaign Mode from the previous two games was replaced with Universal Century Mode, where the player could explore the entire cast's role in the One Year War and Gryps Conflict, changing history by altering significant events and moving towards the best (for that faction, at least) ending.
- Mobile Suit Gundam SEED: Alliance vs ZAFT (2005): Jumping to the Alternate Universe of Cosmic Era, this sequel focuses on Gundam SEED and greatly overhauls the game engine. The action is sped up thanks to several changes, including addition of Boost Dashing, melee combos made more plentiful and easier to execute, and the ability to activate Awakenings when your meter is only half-full. Later upgrades added in several Mobile Suits from Gundam SEED Destiny, including the five Second Stage Gundams and several custom ZAKUs from the first part of the show. The Playstation 2 port earned some flack for lacking any extra modes, a problem which was rectified somewhat in the Playstation Portable release.
- Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny: Alliance vs ZAFT II (2006): Focusing on Gundam SEED Destiny, this game's primary change from its predecessor is a greatly expanded cast list (with some re-balancing for the machines that appeared in that game) and the expansion of the Awakenings system similar to AEUG vs Titans DX (Speed for Mobility, Power for Assault, and Rush Mode from Alliance vs ZAFT. All with character specific effects...). Later upgrades added in the Strike Noir and Stargazer Gundam from the ONA Gundam SEED C.E. 73 Stargazer, while the home version (dubbed Alliance vs ZAFT II Plus) adds in several slight variations to existing machines, such as Yzak Joule's GOUF Ignited and Andy Waltfeld's Gaia Gundam. Plus also features P.L.U.S. Mode, where the player takes on the role of Shinn Asuka and performs missions for the rest of the cast, earning new machines and making friends as he does.
- Mobile Suit Gundam: Gundam vs Gundam (2008): A Crisis Crossover game, featuring characters from every series from Mobile Suit Gundam up through Gundam SEED Destiny (with Setsuna F. Seiei and Gundam Exia appearing later as a bonus). The game's plot is...simple: the Devil Gundam arises in 2032 and takes over arcade machines from the Gundam vs Series that encompass the entire franchise, forcing the heroes to unite and fight off the monster. Gameplay is a mix of the SEED and Universal Century games, with a streamlining of the resource system, removal of the Awakening system (replaced by G-Crossover attacks), and Mobile Assists (Striker-like assists performed by allied Mobile Suits). The Playstation Portable version added in four new machines, the Guncannon, Kampfer, Gundam GP01, and Destiny Gundam.
- Mobile Suit Gundam: Gundam vs Gundam NEXT (2009): An overall improved version of Gundam vs Gundam, boasting more new Mobile Suits, new stages, new music, re-balanced characters, and the NEXT Dash ability, allowing every character to dash-cancel their attacks for even faster action. After spending most of 2009 in arcades, a PSP port (NEXT Plus) was released in September, gaining Wing Zero Custom, Altron Custom, the 00-Raiser and Reborns Gundam, the Zeong, The O, Providence Gundam, and the Kshatriya, along with a Mission Mode.
- Mobile Suit Gundam Extreme Vs. (2010): Released in arcades in late 2010 and in December 2011 for Playstation 3. The game resembles Gundam vs Gundam, but was rebuilt from the ground up with a few changes: Mobile Assists are only given to some characters, while every MS has a character-specific Super Mode dubbed an Extreme Burst, with several having Finishing Moves on top of that. It also uses a card system similar to Street Fighter IV that lets the player customize play options like the interface design and Mission Control. It is also the first game in the series to include mecha and characters from non-animated Gundam works, including Crossbone Gundam, Gundam IGLOO, and Gundam SEED Astray. The home version was released December 2011 for PlayStation 3 and gained several new units, including Blue Frame Second L and Gundam Dynames, not to mention DLC, which introduced Blue Destiny 1 among others.
- Mobile Suit Gundam Extreme Vs. Full Boost (2012): Announced shortly before the home release of the original Extreme Vs., it was released in arcades of Japan in early 2012 and it will be also released for Playstation 3 on 2014. The game adds a Combo Breaker feature, gives two choices of Super Mode, and gives everybody a Super Move. PS3 version will include Online Cooperative play mode, for anyone who wants to tackle the Arcade mode with another player across the globe. Several new characters have been introduced, with stories like Gundam SEED CE 73 Stargazer and Hathaway's Flash joining the series. A Playstation 3 port is slated for a January 2014 release, with EX-S Gundam added in as a code-activated PS3-exclusive unit.
- Mobile Suit Gundam Extreme Vs. Maxi Boost (2014): Announced along with the home version of its precursor, Maxi Boost is the latest expansion to the game and a further refinement of Full Boost. Though the game reverts to a single Super Mode, a new ability called EX-Overdrive has been added, which can enhance the player's machine either in melee or ranged combat and can be combined with EX Burst to turn the tables of a battle. Naturally more characters are being added to the roster, most notably the debuts of Mobile Suit Gundam AGE (with Flit and Asemu Asuno's Gundams AGE-1 and AGE-2) and Gundam Build Fighters (with Sei Iori's Build Strike, piloted by Reiji).
The series was originally developed by Capcom
and produced by Banpresto
, but Bandai Namco
stepped in as producer for Next Plus
and finally took over completely as of Extreme Vs. Fed vs. Zeon
ran on Sega
's NAOMI board (the arcade equivalent of the Dreamcast
, used in Soul Calibur 2 and 3
), the next few games used Namco's System 246/256 (Playstation 2-equivalent
, used in Tekken 5
), and Extreme Vs.
jumped ahead to System 357 (Playstation 3-equivalent
, used in Tekken 6
). Maxi Boost
is rumored to operate on System 478, equivalent to the Playstation 4
All these games provide examples of:
...As well as several tropes from the Gundam