SD Gundam G Generation Cross Rays Review: Melodrama and Mechs

SD Gundam G Generation Cross Rays is an excellent game for fans of the series but could do a better job of onboarding new players.

SD Gundam G Generation Cross Rays is one hell of a title. I don't mean it's a great game (it is good, though). Instead, I mean it in terms of the actual title of the game. Search engine optimization has never been easier than with a string of words like this.

The story of SD Gundam G Generation Cross Rays is a mixed bag. If you're a fan of the many, many stories that have come out of the Gundam world, then you're in for a treat.

While each campaign differs in length, you get the chance to dip into a vast array of different tales within the universe. They all kick off with a large amount of exposition and verbose language that you'll understand as a fan. 

If, on the other hand, you're not a fan of Gundam, then you're going to feel somewhat confused. You'll see lots of characters, many different sides to each story, and be wholly nonplussed when trying to figure out if you're playing as the good guys or bad guys. You'll also have a vast number of names thrown at you in quick succession, further compounding things. 

SD Gundam G Generation Cross Rays Review: Melodrama and Mechs

In typical turn-based strategy fashion, battles see your team moving, then the other side moving. Nice and straightforward. You move your units, choose to attack, choose the kind of attack, and then execute the attack. Likewise, when attacked, you can select the type of defense you want to put forward, then act on that. 

Both attack and defense can be bolstered with the help of nearby units. They can take a hit for you, or they can add their attack to yours. You can also all join up to unleash a barrage of attacks at a group of enemies that are within range. This feels awesome and is my second favorite thing about the battle system. It just feels good. Add to that you can select Move All, and the possibilities open up.

Your units work in groups, and while they can move around independently, they are always stronger together. Selecting Move All lets you move a unit and attack if you want to, then have every other unit in that group move and attack too. It saves a lot of hassle in the easier battles, and it allows for a more hands-off approach to combat, which is helpful when you're not worried about being wiped out. 

There's also a morale system at play. If a unit is doing well, they gain morale and can begin landing critical hits with every attack. But if they perform poorly, then it goes the other way: units become less powerful.

Alongside that, there are objectives to complete, and if you complete the optional objectives, you get the chance to fight against tougher enemies who have special abilities. To put the icing on the cake, you can acquire those special abilities by killing those tougher enemies. 

Lastly (there's a lot to it), units and characters all level up. Your units are the mechs, and you can choose where to increase their stats. The characters are your pilots, and they automatically gain stats and new abilities as you play. This feeds nicely into the second primary gameplay element: customization. 

What Does This Button Do?

Customization can be done before missions and allows you to completely personalize your forces and experience. You can do quite a bit, including make new units, change units into other units, upgrade units, make mods, equip mods, level up characters, create your own custom characters, put them all in groups, and a few other things.

OK. You can breathe again ... 

Such varied and wide-reaching customization options are excellent if you're the kind of person who loves to tinker with systems. There is a downside, though. 

None of these things has decent tutorials; in fact, none of them are even explained in any way. This makes the system unreasonably daunting and, quite frankly, off-putting. Customization is a big part of the Gundam power fantasy, and while there are more than enough aspects here, a few tutorials would have made the entire experience far more enjoyable. 

From a presentation standpoint, SD Gundam G Generation Cross Rays looks fairly simple unless you're watching the battle animations. It's functional, and that's all it really needs to be.

Though, it would have been nice to see a few more flashy animations done so well in battles. 

SD Gundam G Generation Cross Rays Review — The Bottom Line

Pros:

  • Fun battles
  • Lots of customization
  • A Gundam fan's utopia

Cons:

  • Little in the way of introductions for those not into Gundam
  • Nowhere near enough tutorials 

SD Gundam G Generation Cross Rays is one of those games that is very much for a specific audience, but for those fans, it will be a lot of what they want from a strategy game. It's complex, has a huge amount to do, and is good fun.

On top of that, you could easily lose a day just customizing and creating your own perfect groups of troops. It could certainly do with more tutorials, but if you're willing to put in the time, you'll probably end up hooked. 

[Note: A copy of SD Gundam G Generation Cross Rays was provided by Bandai Namco for the purpose of this review.]

Our Rating
7
SD Gundam G Generation Cross Rays is an excellent game for fans of the series but could do a better job of onboarding new players.
Reviewed On: PC

Contributor

Jason likes the gym, roguelikes, and FromSoftware. There is a pattern there for sure, but try not to read too much into it. He's also a freelance games journalist who is slowly trying to take over the world. Not in a menacing way though, he'd probably just make everyone get pets or something.

Published Dec. 2nd 2019

Cached - article_comments_article_64576
Related
More SD Gundam G Generation Cross Rays Content