|Title: Gundam Wing: Endless Duel
Author:Sunrise, TV Asahi, Bandai, Sotsu Agency
Rom Player: ZSNESWin v.1.35
Reviewer: Ronin S
Synopsis: Synopsis - All I can really say for a summary is that you fight with giant machines from the anime Gundam Wing ala Street Fighter rip-off. Thatís it, so Iíll just use this space to fill you in on my own personal feelings about this game, which are quite conflicted. I like Gundam Wing, but thereís no denying that this game based off of it is about as half-baked as the movie Endless Waltz. Yet surprisingly, it doesnít suck quite as badly as most TV-to-video game transitions. Iíve been told that this is one of the few half-decent Gundam Games out there, which says quite a lot about how shamelessly Bandai feels compelled to milk its Gundam series for all itís frigginí worth.
Game Play - Two words: Button Mashing. I simply cannot figure out which button does what for each Gundam, but in my odyssey of pushing random buttons and going with whatever happens, Iíve seen some pretty interesting moves. Itís a lot like Street Fighter, where you have basic punches and kicks and some kind of special attack for each Gundam, but you canít duck and blocking does not protect you very well. And in experimenting, Iíve found that the buttons all seem to do one thing like a punch for one Gundam, but a kick or strike with the weapon for another character. Beat your enemy twice and then proceed to the next level. You can also shoot your enemy by pushing the right button when you see crosshairs and I think you have a limited amount of bullets, but in playing this game and shooting like there is no tomorrow, I have yet to be in a situation where I ran out of bullets in a fight. Picking your Gundam is also an important factor since each seems to have a set of stats, but upon checking I saw that Wing Zero Custom has higher stats then all the other Gundam, which makes no sense to me. Heero also has two Gundams when they could have just put in Treize with Tallgeese and given Zechs (uh-huhuhuhu, heh, he, his name sounds like Ďsexí) Epyon.
Graphics - Graphics are cool, I guess. But they kinda suck in the opening sequences; the main characters are shown in a set of cheesy shots, followed by a scene from the anime itself before the title screen. The Gundams and the backgrounds themselves are pretty cool, and fans of the show will recognize the sea barge where Duo confronts Heero, the air base where they all meet up, the desert area where Quatre and his allies hide out with Duo, and so on. The shots of the characters themselves look really stretched out and I couldnít help but shudder.
Music - The music is okay, but most of it was recycled from the show, so it was pretty hard to screw up in this area. In the opening sequence, I recognized White Reflection and a few other songs. My problem with it was that it just wasnít quite loud enough and I could barely pick it up while I was playing. Each character also has their own distinct theme, but it all just sounds too digital.
Originality - Where? Geez, I honestly wonder what was going on the board room when the guys at Bandai met to come up with this, but I think it probably went something like this:
Bandai Board Member #1: Okay people, we need some more cheesy merchandise ideas to tack our Gundam Wing name on to for more money.
BBM #2: Gee, we havenít been able to come up with an original idea since those assembly kits. I know, how about a video game? Weíll just alter some of our 3-million poster designs to advertise and recycle a few tracks from the game. Some T-shirts and hats to advertise and weíve got a hit in the bag!
BBM #1: Um, but what about the game itself?
BBM #2: Oh, weíll just have Nathan alter the graphics from the Street Fighting Game.
BBM #1: Great. Have it ready by Tuesday.
At least they had the sense not to make it into an RPG. The only original thing about this TV to video game transition that reduces the suck factor is how the Gundams act just like they do in the show. Deathscythe can use stealth mode, Heavyarms has good range, Sandrock fights well close up, etc. Ah well. Overall, if you hate Gundam Wing then just stick with Street Fighter. If you like Gundam Wing, then play it for a laugh or two, though I personally wouldnít buy it and Iím really into Gundam Wing.
Best Cheats: Nothing Entered
Game Play: 5
Overall Rating: 7
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