Review: Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 2's gameplay is overwhelming—in a good way

The entire Mobile Suit Gundam continuum collapses into Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 2 (Xbox 360/PlayStation 2/PlayStation 3), offering gamers the chance to play characters from the dawn of the anime series as well as the latest Gundams.

You command of one of the series' signature mechas, using a third-person perspective to unleash their arsenals through a series of melee, ranged and special attacks. Executed together as combos, these attacks can easily destroy dozens of enemy mobile suits with a single strike. Enemy aces are tougher, flying their own Gundam equivalents and requiring more strategy (and occasional team-ups with other Gundams) to beat.

As with other Dynasty Warrior games, the ultimate goal is to win the battlefield. Fights unfold on a series of fields, and players need to race between them, containing enemy invasions, launching counterattacks and shooting down opposing aces. The battles unfold in two campaign modes: "Official Mode" re-creates confrontations from Gundam history, while "Story Mode" features original plotlines that let you win allies, unlock new Gundams and fly free-form missions.

It's a fast and furious game that's all about a single Gundam waging war against hundreds of enemies. Executing the right combos is important, but they don't drag the game down with pointless button-mashing. Most of the simpler ones are easy to hit, and while you score more points for more extensive ones, they're not mandatory to win the field. These close-quarters fights are well balanced against the more strategic elements of the game, as you need to weigh winning a field against defeating an enemy ace.

Gundam 2 offers an amazing (and, for neophytes, overwhelming) array of Gundams and pilots to play, and it's clearly designed for Gundam die-hards. If you love the anime series and thrill to the idea of piloting a Gundam, you will love this game. If you have no idea what a Gundam is, but laser-sword-wielding giant robots appeal to you, then it's worth checking out ... but be prepared to get lost in the minutiae.

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