Main image
30th August
written by Splash

Title: Mobile Suit Gundam AGE: Cosmic Drive 機動戦士ガンダムAGE コズミックドライブ
Platform: PSP
Genre: Action RPG
Language: Japanese
Company: Bandai Namco / LEVEL-5
Summary: I’m comparing this game to Danball Senki like a sore thumb because it just has to be done.

Let me say this upfront: Danball Senki/Boost > this game
This game has a few interface improvements, but for a better experience in all aspects in general, go with Danball Senki.
In all seriousness, just from the sales, Gundam Age hardly sold 36k its first week, compared with Danball Senki Baku Boost which did almost 56k, and that’s just a port (not to mention there were 2 releases of the same game on the PSP which had pretty far more amazing sales for a pilot title). Of course, sales can only say so much. Play and compare both games yourself if you think I’m being overly biased.

Ignore the 2010 date, I saw that afterwards and then fixed it on my PSP. XD

But yeah, beat it in less than 13 hours. Someone doing a crazy rush play and skipping all the dialogue/cutscenes should easily be able to do it in less than 10, maybe 5 hours ._.

Like I mentioned earlier, it’s got a few mechanical improvements I’d like to see in the upcoming Danball Senki W game as well (direction pad + L + R also allowed for text scrolling [this was implemented], instant map moving with the Select button, can skip all dialogue screens and not just pre-rendered cutscenes, customizing reserved players without having to change teams), but otherwise it’s just WAY TOO SIMILAR. 8|

From my understanding, the only difference between this and Universe Accel is that Universe Accel has a lot of the older “classic” Gundam series as exclusives, while Cosmic Drive has the more ikemen ones (Wing, SEED, 00). Someone feel free to tell me if there’s more to it. Because otherwise I’m not touching Universe Accel, this game hasn’t interested me enough to do more than one playthrough. XD
Story: 7. Follows the anime more to the book than Danball or Inazuma do… which means it kind of lost my interest all throughout. Since it’s just rehashing the same thing. There was maybe one thing slightly different about each chapter, but rarely anything different enough to make me go “ooooo.” A couple different moments would be THE SCENE with Yurin and a further glimpse into young-adult Flit. However, I was very disappointed they didn’t go anywhere with young-adult Asemu, especially since he’s my favorite of the 3 guys. :\
Characters: 8. This and Story section overlap a lot, lol. I feel like this is a mix version of Hino’s Inazuma and Danball stories, the version where people just DIE instead of stick around to have a chance to repent for their actions. A whole lotta tragedy, which I guess is a staple for Gundam. In that way, there’s a lot of 虚しい (empty) feeling to it. It’s not what I like. XD; The whole story is very clearly meant to make the men in the 3 generations shine and get to live their lives to the fullest, yada yada. There’s so much formula to these characters, I can’t say I’m particularly touched or turned off. The one thing I did think was cool in the whole story/characters was SUPER PILOT NI NARUN DA.
Graphics: 9. I was disappointed at first because the graphics are soooo effing aliased and the anime cutscenes looked exactly the same as the anime version. There are a few game-exclusive anime cutscenes later on, and you get used to the aliased graphics, but it’s still not that great. XD I would have much preferred the 2-d portraits that Danball Senki uses. Gameplay-wise, it’s about as good as Danball at least (only the original game. W has some further improvements that make AGE obsolete already :V).
Sound: 9. It has a few strong tracks and the music overall is pleasant to listen to, but I have to say Danball Senki music is a full level above it. XD
Gameplay: 8. Although there are some elements different from Danball Senki, I have to say so far I’m unimpressed with the changes in the Gundam AGE game. I’ve won most of my boss battles by just hit and running with a long-range weapon. The AI is rarely smart enough to charge towards me to cover the distance, so when they don’t it makes for a very boring battle. Also, it takes too many battles to level up in the game, and the battle system isn’t as fun as Danball in the first place, so I’m resorting to beating it as fast as I can so I can move on…

The only time I really ENJOYED the battles was when I finally got AGE-FX at the last chapter, because of its O-button skill. And there was one rather fun mission where it was 3 versus like 5 for a few rounds in a row. I never once used Burst Mode though.

Still… I beat the last chapter at pilot level 32 without any game overs, when they recommended something like 47. That would be a LOT harder to get away with in the Danball Senki game.
Replay Value: There’s quite a lot of ad-hoc play that could be explored, but same goes for Danball Senki. Since I don’t have anyone to ad-hoc with, I’ll refrain from scoring this part again.
Overall: 8/10. This is my generous score for it, scored down for…
-0.5 = Aliased graphics and some recycled anime cutscenes
-0.3 = Decent but not excelling music
-0.5 = Awkward boss gameplay and lack of customizing for story mode missions (at least in Danball there are a lot of battles where you’re allowed to use your customized LBX, AND you can change team members midbattle, but none of this is available on Gundam)
-0.7 = Short story mode and lack of difficulty

Considering I gave Danball Senki a 10 even before Boost was out, this is my say on it. It seems LEVEL-5 was supposed to be the developer for it but Bandai NAMCO gets all the final line credit, so I’m a bit confused on the exact get-down of what happened to bring such lackluster to the game. Parts of me want to say all LEVEL-5 did was hand down their skeleton for Danball Senki, have Hino send his story over (although he did script a lot of the anime series), and then Bandai NAMCO did the rest ._.;

Still, I guess if you’re a total Gundam nostalgiahetero, you’ll enjoy the crossplay missions to unlock the Gundams from the other series. Since I’m not much of a mech fan in the first place and I prefer the gaming experience, to me, the entire lackluster battle system isn’t worth dealing with and I’d have a more enjoyable time with Danball Senki.

*edit Sep 21* Now that the anime has ended and I’ve finished watching it, I have to say even the anime did a better job overall than the game. I gave it a 7/10 on my anime list, which is lower than my 8/10 for the game, but in terms of anime, I don’t give anything higher than a 7 unless I really ENJOYED some part of it. The whole series felt more like a watch by duty thing, for keeping up with LEVEL-5 projects and Gundam at the same time. My bottom line is still the same; if you have to pick between exploring only this series or Danball Senki, don’t bother with AGE. Go with Danball Senki.

Buy from Play-Asia
Screenshots (some mild spoilers)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *