Welcome back, Gundamaniacs! This issue we take an in-depth look at the customization features in Namco Bandai’s upcoming online action game, Gundam Online.
Choosing a team of mobile suits which give you a strategic advantage is a whole ‘nother ball game. Players will be able to finally find a use for those skills gained from wasting their youth on Yugioh (a better analogy would probably be Gundam trading cards, but I’m pretty sure that only came out in Japan…). Do you want to shock and awe the enemy with a battalion of bombers like Guntank, or hedge your bets by including close combat Zakus and mid-range shooters like Z’Gok? The combinations are limitless! (Well, I’m sure there is a limit, but you’ll never ever reach it. Ever.)
I’ll trade you my Charmeleon for your Electrobuzz.
What do you mean, “wrong game”?
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. I haven’t even gotten to the fun part yet…
Last time we took a look at Gundam Online’s team building feature. Now let’s shift our focus back to individual mobile suits. During the last closed beta, players were able to experience the joys of developing their own individual play style. By winning battles, players will be able to obtain 3 things: experience points, new parts, and in-game currency called GP. You won’t get automatically stronger just by grinding enemies, unlike some other lame FPS games cough-callof-cough-duty-cough. Instead, you have to use your brain to A) Figure out what the hell you are supposed to do and B) Do it well.
Don’t spend all your GP in one place!
So let’s cut to the chase. How DO you customize your Gundam? Let me give you the low down. First of all, the GP will buy you new guns and equipment. That’s pretty straightforward. But more importantly, remember those seemingly-insignificant experience points you got when you smashed in Guncannon’s stupid smug face with a Beam Axe? (Relax, he’s not going to snipe you anymore..probably). Well, it turns out they’re actually useful for something! Gaining enough EXP will upgrade your rank in the game!
Now that alone is already pretty cool because you can brag to friends and family how you just sank 30 hours into an online game and finally made “Captain”; but more importantly, every time you rank up you will A) Gain the ability to push other people around, B) Become more involved in planning the strategy of the battle and most importantly C) Obtain blueprints for new mobile suits! I think I just got goosepimples… or maybe it was …tallgeesepimples… (Ok that joke was pretty bad even for me)
This is a picture I took of myself just after finding out about blueprints in Gundam Online
Selecting which mobile suit to upgrade is up to you, but be warned – the entire flow of the game will center around your choice. Now you may be thinking “so what, if I like sniping I should just upgrade my sniper unit, right?”, and if you were playing some other FPS, perhaps one that involves calling and doody, you would be right. However, this is the world of Gundam, where nothing is ever that simple.
Just like a kid in a candy store.. except with more guns.. and gigantic robots…
Not only do you have to consider the type of unit, but also which model to upgrade. Playing as Guncannon (whose name I can’t even utter anymore without gritting my teeth) will give a vastly different playing experience than say, Gelgoog or GM SniperⅡ. This is what makes Gundam Online really stand out even from other Gundam games, which rarely ever individualize each unit to that degree. To hardcore Gundam fans (read: Otaku), this kind of attention to detail is like crack.