If you’re a fan of the Gundam franchise then you need to import Gundam Breaker 3, it’s really that simple. Featuring 100’s of playable mecha from every single entry in the series with near limitless customization options, the only thing stopping you from creating the mobile suit of your dreams and destroying the competition is your own imagination. Despite being available only in Japan on PlayStation 4 and PS Vita, Gundam Breaker 3 can be enjoyed by any English consumer because of its dedicated English subtitled SKU.
Gundam Breaker is a third-person, hack-and-slash, action game that features combat mechanics very similar to those used in the Dynasty Warriors series. The primary goal in a majority of the levels is to destroy every enemy in sight as you progress your way to end of stage bosses. The real addiction behind Gundam Breaker’s gameplay starts to set in as you begin collecting weapons, limbs and back packs from your wrecked opponents, which can be used to power up and stylize your own creations. While games like these are commonly criticized for their repetitive combat, the sheer amount of customization that users have in Gundam Breaker 3 allows them to keep the experience feeling fresh by giving them the ability to develop their own move sets and special techniques.
There is some noticeable slow-down and stuttering on the vita version when the screen gets too filled or there are too many effects going on, but surprisingly, the game never crashed on me and performed quite well under the stress. The graphics aren’t particularly impressive, even for a portable title, but these issues are solved in the PS4 version if you’re a gamer that prefers the at-home experience for this type of game.
You play as the protagonist, a talented Gundam model fighter who gets quickly roped up into saving a dying shopping district by competing and winning in the local tournaments. Breaker 3’s story mode attempts to replicate the fun and humorous style of the Gundam Build Fighters anime, but forgets to add the memorable characters and conflicts that made the anime a worthwhile watch. Nothing in the story feels like it carries any weight and the characters become annoying to the point that I was quickly skipping through cutscenes just so I could get to the next battle. Ultimately, the story in Breaker 3 falls flat due to its weak writing and is easily the worst part of the package.
However, the latest introduction to the series, arena mode, is easily one of the games best features. Instead of just cooperating with other players and their Gundams in the multiplayer levels, arena mode allows you to upload you creations into the bounty hunter gametype for other players to fight against. Not only does this show off great ideas in the community for cool, new designs, but you can still obtain parts from these suits to break progression, along with obtaining a healthy amount of currency to improve your current builds or purchase new models.
There are also some new ways to improve the quality of your parts and make them stronger. In the older Breaker games, you only had the option to merge parts together one at a time or with the various plastic materials you acquire during your missions. This upgrade system gives your favourite parts new abilities and skills to improve the stats of your creations. Now you can package merge parts together, making the process a lot faster if all you’re doing is throwing away your junk, as well as derive merge, which creates a completely random part whenever you combine two.
The English translation for Gundam Breaker 3 feels like the same quality any gamer would experience and expect if the game were localized in their region. I did notice any glaring typos or grammar in the story mode, and nearly every Gundam part in the game I encountered was labeled and named correctly. This was a dream come true for me as a fellow fan of the franchise and I hope that other Japanese publishers can follow Bandai Namco’s example by offering English SKUs of their future games with this kind of quality.
Gundam Breaker 3 appears to be a very simple game on the surface that actually offers a wealth of depth and playability for the players that seek to get into all of its interesting systems and customization menus. I never once felt lost or overwhelmed during my experience, thanks to the very well explained tutorials, and I still find myself easily wasting hours on building my next super robot. Even though it’s packaged with an incredibly weak story, Breaker 3 is a love letter to anyone who enjoys the Gundam franchise and now that you can understand every menu and item in the English language, I guarantee you won’t want to put it down, no matter what platform you pick it up on.