Also available on Windows
Once upon a time, there a franchise that seemed to revel in screwing over American fans. Dozens of fantastic (and even more not-so-fantastic) games were released over in Japan, but somehow, few seemed to make their way to American shores. American fans had either to go without or to go through the obnoxious and often pricey process of importing these games, and naturally, almost none were in a language they could read. But wait, what's this? A localization appears on the horizon! Gundam fans, rejoice! After paying an arm and leg for Asian imports with English subtitles, Bandai Namco FINALLY saw fit to grace American shores with a localized Gundam Breaker game! Except unlike the MASTERFUL Gundam Breaker 3, New Gundam Breaker is a garbage excuse for a Gundam Breaker game that disappointed so badly that it physically hurts.
The premise of the Gundam Breaker games is that you're building Gunpla - plastic Gundam models - and using some fancy hella VR machine to simulate digital battles with them. Unfortunately New Gundam Breaker falls short of the standard set by Gundam Breaker 3 in pretty every criterion except "number of regions available." Visually, they're about on par although I think Breaker 3 looked a little better, and the audio has a few tracks from a handful of different Gundam series, but the biggest thing to make note of is the gameplay. The interface for New Gundam Breaker is MUCH less intuitive than that of Gundam Breaker 3, and either I never figured it out or there aren't as many customization options for your Gunpla as far as little frills, decals, and absurd paint jobs go. There may well have those same options there, but the interface is so convoluted that I got frustrated and gave up. It's also SIGNIFICANTLY shorter than Gundam Breaker 3. There are four sort of "intro" missions that you do before the game breaks into four or five different "character" paths, each with a different waifu as the central character, and each path has eight missions. That makes a single playthrough 12 missions long which took me somewhere between four and five hours. I didn't lose a single mission, and there's no difficulty setting. Considering that I managed to beat it without having to retry anything, and I suck at games, there isn't much challenge here for Gundam veterans.
Folks who know me will, by this point, be asking "How can you dislike the game so much? You said there are waifus!" Yes, there are waifus. Unfortunately, they're all meh-tier waifus. There's your token tsundere, your token childhood friend with a strong sense of justice, your token awkward and nerdy introvert, and a mystery character you have to unlock. Nothing outside of the literally-every-anime-game-has-them archetypes, and none of them have personalities at all interesting. Even in the context of visual novel-esque characters, they're like cardboard cutouts of anime girls. I'm basically a massive slut for anime waifus, and even I was like "Okay, these girls suck. I legit wish y'all had just omitted them entirely." In perhaps the most egregious crime against waifus, the game's dialogue is set up as if it had dating sim elements, but like 90% of the time, you only have one dialogue choice, making the entire format completely useless.
While story isn't really the focus of Gundam Breaker - it's basically just a frame to have an excuse to make a game about building model robots and using them to blow up virtual giant robots - New Gundam Breaker's story still manages to disappoint. You're a transfer student at a private high school (because of course you are) that is built entirely around building and battling Gunpla, but the student council has turned tyrannical and is acting more like a mafia than a student government, so of course you form a resistance team to challenge the student council and various supporting minion clubs to Gunpla battles and restore freedom and happiness and generally positive emotions to the school. That's it. That's the whole story. At least Gundam Breaker 3 had an underdog story about trying to save a local shopping arcade from an American megacorporation that ended with the world almost being destroyed. I mean, it's no Pulitzer winner, but it was decent enough. New Gundam Breaker's story is just....cliche crap.
New Gundam Breaker is bad. If you had never played a Gundam game before or seen anything about previous Gundam Breaker games, then you might get away with thinking it's okay, but I don't see how anyone can play this game and think "Wow, yeah, this is a great game." "This is okay" is about as generous as I can see anyone being. The mobile suit movement feels sluggish, the battle objectives are literally pointless, the interface is a mess, the story is crap, the characters are flat and boring, and the game is ridiculously short. There's just not much to love here, and the fact that it's selling for a full $60 is complete and total shenanigans. This game's worth $20 MAX. If you've never played a Gundam Breaker game before, do NOT let New Gundam Breaker be the basis of your opinion on it. It's like "New Math;" it sucks, no one likes it, and we all just need to go back to the "old" version and pretend this "new" one never existed.
My Rating - 2 Neps
I'm a teacher.
And I like to play video games. I like to collect video games. I like to talk about video games, and I like to write about video games. During the day, I teach high school history; during the night, I spend my spare time gaming. Then I write about it.