One way to subvert problems typically associated with licensed proprieties is to focus on what fans want. Games like Injustice work really well, simply because people just want to have heroes fight and it works. This is also where things like Mobile Suit Gundam benefits from the countless stories and seemingly endless iconic characters. There are no shortage of fighters, if anything there could always be more representation, which is what makes something like Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme VS. Maxi Boost ON so exciting. Unless you want a really specific and minor character, you can pretty much fight against practically anyone in the Gundam universe and that is pretty awesome. However, with so many characters, mechanics, and more, is it worth playing, or is it a lot of filler?
There really isn’t a story in Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme VS. Maxi Boost ON or much in the way of single-player content. Your options are basically solo or co-op, either online or offline, branch battles, or maxi boost missions. Branch battles are basically arcade mode with the ability to select whomever you fight. Allies and enemies are somewhat random and based on your performance you’ll either win or forced to come up with a new strategy. As for maxi boost missions, you have predetermined situations and need to overcome the odds. Both of these are key to learning the mechanics and having a chance online, along with unlocking different character arts and other cosmetics.
Given this experience is almost entirely based on fighting other players online, so much of the experience comes down to the selection of Gundam and their abilities. As mentioned above, there is honestly an overwhelming number of units. To make it easier you can select the series you want and see if the unit you adore is playable or just casually move across the screen to see who strikes your fancy.
Every unit has a different feel to it and Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme VS. Maxi Boost ON does a good job of making every unit feel unique. Earlier units are centered around guns and lasers with light melee, with later units being a bit more flashy with plenty of exciting things to consider. Regardless of which path you take, there are distinct advantages and disadvantages, leading to an oddly deep metagame.
Contrary to what you might think, Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme VS. Maxi Boost ON is less about repeatedly using attacks and more about waiting for the right time to strike. Sometimes you’ll want to change targets to back up or defend an ally and other times you’ll need to catch someone off guard. Your ability to read these situations and pay attention to those around you will determine how successful you actually are. The unfortunate part of this is, if you’re not the best at tactics, this is a very frustrating experience.
Without even considering online, the AI does a good job of exploiting mistakes. Without the right playstyle for Deathscythe or God Gundam, you’re going to get caught off guard and not have the right tools to succeed. Factor in the number of units, meaning you’ll likely always find someone who catches you by surprise and don’t be shocked if you lose a bunch.
It’s a learning process, some of which hinges on admitting certain characters aren’t for you, but it’s also an experience that hinges on a desire to fight people online. Without that desire to learn all the mechanics and maximize your performance you’re just going to lose and get frustrated. On a high note, it’s also very easy to learn from your mistakes, due to there being a clear intent and idea behind each action. It will fall on you to learn this, placement, and more but over time it is something certainly doable. It’s just a shame a lot of it hinges on failing online or trying your luck with AI.
Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme VS. Maxi Boost ON Review – Verdict
Since there is so much to say about Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme VS. Maxi Boost ON, it, unfortunately, comes down to broad strokes. The lack of offline content makes it even more of a niche experience but there are so many units to play as and adapt to that you can easily get a lot of value from it. You just need that desire to master the controls and a more measured playstyle. With these things you can find a lot of success, it’s just a big if.
[Editor’s Note: Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme VS. Maxi Boost ON was reviewed on PS4 platform. The game was provided to us by the publisher for review purposes.]