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access_time January 29, 2020 at 6:00 AM in Previews by David Poole

Preview | Mobile Suit Gundam Extreme VS. Maxi Boost On

Mobile Suit Gundam games have been around for decades, and the momentum doesn’t seem like it’s going to stop any time soon. The series caters well to the fighting game genre, so it’s no surprise we’re getting a new fighting game. Mobile Suit Gundam Extreme VS. Maxi Boost On is quite a mouthful, and the game is just as overwhelmingly packed with content from all over the franchise. Originally released in arcades in 2016, this update is heading to PlayStation 4 systems sometime this year. During a preview event, GotGame had a chance to try the game out in an early build.

My earliest Gundam fighting experience goes back to Gundam: Battle Assault 2 on the original PlayStation. I loved that game growing up and it was one I still reference to this day. While not the earliest example of a Gundam fighting game, it was my introduction to a crossover Mobile Suit Gundam game. In that regard, Mobile Suit Gundam Extreme VS. Maxi Boost On is like Battle Assault 2, but with far more representation. One other major difference is that Maxi Boost On is a 3D arena fighter. It also has a big emphasis on 2 vs 2 co-op matches. Since it’s essentially an arcade game, there isn’t much focus on story, though perhaps Bandai Namco will surprise us.

Sporting nearly 200 mobile suits, Maxi Boost On really has quite the selection. Practically every iteration of the Mobile Suit Gundam franchise is here. Even better, you’ll have stages and music directly from each series. Are you a Gundam Wing fan? Heero Yuy, Duo Maxwell, Zechs Merquise and more are available to fight as. Perhaps you fancy yourself a G Gundam lover? Well you’ll have Domon, Rain, Allenby, Master Asia and more to represent the series. Some of these pilots will even have multiple iterations of their Mobile Suits. From the original Mobile Suit Gundam all the way to Hathaway’s Flash, there’s something here for any Gundam fan to love. They even have many from the various manga stories that have come out over time.

When selecting characters, each one will have a cost. Higher cost suits will be more powerful, with the weaker suits will be classified with a lower cost. When defeating enemies, this cost is taken into account with an overall life gauge, higher cost units taking out a bigger chunk. Players will also be able to choose an EX Burst to activate, each with their own specialties. Fighting Burst will focus on melee attacks while Shooting Burst focuses on ranged projectiles. Finally, the Extend Burst will extend the Burst time when activated, giving a longer power-up.

The combat overall is surprisingly simple. You’ll have two main attack buttons and two special attacks. Players can jump, dash and fly around the map to maneuver to and from their opponents. Some weapons run off of ammunition, which adds a layer of management to the game. Activating the Extend Burst will power up your Mobile Suit, which can help give an advantage in battle. While I didn’t come across it in my demo, there are co-op attacks that players can perform as well. It does take a little getting used to, especially with targeting your opponent. Once you get the hang of things, you’ll be stunning opponents, dealing damage, and grasping victory in no time.

Visuals are stylish and colorful, making each Mobile Suit stand out fairly well. The game does something interesting with shaders, making certain elements more eye-catching. It’s not quite cel-shaded, but it has sharp lighting and shading all the same. Attacks and EX Bursts are flashy and work well with the style of the game. While it doesn’t push the hardware, it allows the game to move in a fast pace, even if it’s not a smooth 60 fps. It looks and feels like an arcade game akin to Virtual On, which honestly is a good thing.

My time with Mobile Suit Gundam Extreme VS. Maxi Boost On was short, but enjoyable. While it has more Mobile Suits than I’m familiar with, there were plenty included that I recognized. Surprisingly, some I would’ve expected were notably absent, particularly Rose Gundam, Bolt Gundam, and Gundam Maxter, all from G Gundam. With 183 Mobile Suits to choose from, it’s hard to complain, but I always had a soft spot for that particular series. Either way, this seems like a Gundam fan’s dream battle in a lot of ways. Mobile Suit Gundam Extreme VS. Maxi Boost On is slated to release for PlayStation 4 sometime this year. Are you looking forward to it? Let us know in the comments below!

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