I tried to like this game. No, really. I did. When the servers died minutes after the Closed Beta began, I waited patiently for their return. When I was forced to install useless client software on my beautiful PC before I was allowed to play, I ignored my instinct and installed away. And when I finally managed to access SD Gundam for the first time and discovered that changing my resolution options in the system menu didn’t change my menu resolution, I ignored my growing anger and pushed on.
It wasn’t until I actually started playing that I decided to delete the client from my PC and begin writing this preview. I’ve said this sort of thing plenty before, but it important so I’m going to say it again: it not that it a bad game, it just not that good either. There are plenty of elements that have been implemented well, such as the boost function, weapon selection and special moves; but for every part of SD Gundam I enjoyed, I found 6 others that made me want to burn the client to a disk just so I could snap it in half like the old days.
“It not that this is a bad game, it just not that good either.”
I’m sure you know what I’m talking about; that feeling you get when you log into a new game for the first time, and instead of a cool cinematic cutscene or innovative character creation, you’re presented with a loading screen that takes a full minute to open up, sub-par resolution and a forced tutorial mode filled with poor English translations and sci-fi graphics that look like they belong on the Nintendo 64.
On the bright side, playing the tutorial wasn’t an entirely bad experience. You’re taught the basic control methods; WASD and double-tap to boost, then you’re given a few dummy Gundams to blow apart using melee, ranged and special attacks. For a moment, you’ll feel like you’re having fun. You’ll feel like you know what going on, and what you should be doing. Then the server will likely kick you from the game and you’ll need to start all over again. At least, that what happened to me anyway.
“”¦for every part of SD Gundam I enjoyed, I found 6 others that made me want to burn the client to a disk just so I could snap it in half…”
When I rejoined the game after my second disconnection, I was greeted with the same 1024×768 resolution menu, and 4 or so gameplay modes. Mission seemed the most appealing, so I went with that. I joined a game with some other players, they kicked me. I joined another; kicked again. So I started a solo mission and entered the fray immediately.
This is the point where I started to lose interest. If the simple level design and mediocre enemies weren’t bad enough, the combat mechanics definitely sealed the deal. While I was easily capable of taking our enemies from afar, those that made it close enough for a melee attack seemed to finish me off in a single, seemingly unblockable, combo. Hit, hit, hit: dead. Fun stuff.
I’ll be playing in the next beta test, and I’ll be expecting a much smoother experience. Hopefully, by then, we can get a real preview ready, but at this stage in the game there just too much in the way.