|System: Xbox 360, PS3|
|Dev: Koei, Omega Force|
|Pub: Namco Bandai|
|Release: June 28, 2011|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Fantasy Violence, Mild Language|
by Angelo M. D'Argenio
Dynasty Warriors has always been a "safe" game franchise. If you pick up a DW title, you can be pretty sure you are going to be hacking your way through wave after wave of defenseless soldiers. Every Dynasty Warriors title follows pretty much the same formula. Kill some dudes, capture some territory, kill a boss, and repeat. So the only thing setting these games apart is the window dressing used to frame the entire conflict. So far this year we have done the Dynasty Warriors thing with warriors in ancient Greece, samurai in Japan, and our good old friends from Romance of the Three Kingdoms. Now we have my personal favorite—giant robots—in the recent release of Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 3.
The story of DWG3 should be familiar to anyone who has read or written bad fanfiction in the past. All the Gundams and Gundam pilots across the many Gundam universes have been transported to a mysterious alternate dimension. In this strange warped world, they have nothing better to do than form alliances and kick the crap out of each other. To the story's merit, the game does a good job at smudging the line between good and evil. You see, each character experiences the events of the story in a different way. There are over fifty characters to unlock, and when you play as one of the villains you realize they aren't as crazy as you once thought.
But you really won't be paying attention to the story in DWG3. Instead, you'll be focusing primarily on the gameplay, and the characters take center stage there as well. Not only will you be unlocking characters as you go along, but you will be leveling them up as you complete missions. The game has that familiar almost-an-RPG feel to it, with money and experience being earned rather quickly until the endgame. You can actually use your money to increase your characters' stats by training them in DWG3, and this is great way to get low-level characters caught up to ones you've used the whole game, or to push your main characters to even further levels of absurdity.
However, characters aren't the only thing you have to take into account in DWG3. You can also mix and match the giant robots they pilot, and there are over seventy to collect. At the beginning, characters are limited to using the Gundam they start with, which is usually the Gundam they pilot in their anime of origin. However, defeated enemies have a chance to drop "plans," which allow you to build their Gundams for yourself and take them for a spin.
Each Gundam has its own stat layout and a limited number of "upgrade slots" that you can use to alter those stats. You can find better plans with better stats for a Gundam you already have, giving the game an almost Diablo-like loot-quest feel to it. Each Gundam also has a limited list of pilots that can use it, but you have the option to buy "liscenses," which allow other members of the cast to climb into the cockpit. Eventually, you will be mixing and matching pilots to Gundams in order to make your own personally designed killing machine.
The core gameplay of DWG3 is, as I said before, pretty much the same as every other Dynasty Warriors game that has come before it. You control a leader in one army facing off against another army. A.I. troops and fellow generals will continuously travel about the map, facing the enemy in any territory they enter. Like a good anime character, it's up to you to turn the tide of battle by applying your crowd-killing prowess in the right place at the right time. Kill enough peons while staying in a territory long enough and you'll capture it. Capture enough territories, and you eventually will go up against the enemy's generals. If you defeat their generals and capture their base, you win. But if the same happens to you, then you lose.
DWG3 mixes the formula up a little by adding unique territories to the mix that give you a special benefit when you capture them. For example, one of these territories acts as a teleporter, allowing you to get around the map at high speeds. Another gradually heals your troops and fellow generals. There are even missile bases that, when captured, periodically rain burning death upon your enemy's territories. To succeed in any given mission, it pays to study the map and go for these key territories first, because if your enemy captures them, you could soon have burning death raining upon your own troops.