What I've learned from Giren's Greed...


Mark Simmons (scorpio@best.com)
Mon, 28 Dec 1998 12:18:18 -0800


Hi folks,

  Having stayed up all night playing the One Year War simulation Giren's
Greed (thanks, James!) on a loaner Saturn (thanks, Toshi!), I thought I'd
offer a few quick observations on the game...

  First, definitely a kick for Gundamaniacs. If you can tell a Don
Escargo from a Fly Manta, and know which to use for what, you'll eat this
up with a spoon. The fight sequences are way cinematic - sprite combat
never looked so anime-like. Plus, each character spits out trademark
utterances at appropriate moments, including famous last words (You
Kajima, hero of the first-person shooter Blue Destiny, offers a voiceless
"..." as his dying soliloquy).

  The game mechanics are pretty darn ingenious, prodding you to operate
as they do in the show. For example, to upgrade a character to a new
mobile suit, you have to return him to a major base, relieve him of duty,
then assign him to the new unit (and, while he's back at base camp, you
can promote him too). This forces the character to spend a few turns out
of action, i.e. training on the new hardware. Vehicles can also be
transferred between your major bases, reflecting the all-important supply
lines.

  There are also strict resource (fuel & ammo) limits on each vessel,
forcing fighters and mobile suits to return to their carrier ships and
ships to return to a friendly harbor for resupply. You can even stop in
podunk towns on Earth to resupply and repair your mobiel suits, just like
they do in ZZ.

  The characters are handled nicely. You can throw in just about any
major character from First Gundam, 0080, 0083, 08th MS Team, Blue
Destiny, etcetera, and even some obscure ones like Red Nose and Kukuls
Doan. When they "die" in battle, they spend a few turns in limbo and then
return to fight again - a great opportunity to upgrade their mobile
suits! Characters even interact in fun ways, exchanging chitchat. When
aces meet on the battlefield, they introduce themselves, leading to a
great running joke in which none of the other Zeon aces recognize Johnny
Ridden. Shin Matsunaga thinks he's that other red-painted ace, while Char
ventures, "Oh, yeah, you're... uh... the Red Nightmare, right?" Evidently
they have Ridden pegged as the ace with the inferiority complex - his
trademark line is "Soon you'll all know my name!"

  One trick - it looks like the glorious secret-packed cut-scene
animation is reserved as a bonus for completing major operations on
schedule. I got the sequence for the conquest of Odessa, but evidently I
dragged my heels too much in capturing North America, since I didn't get
to see that cut-scene footage. I'll try, try again, but I may just break
down and special-order the expansion disk which lets you view movie
sequences at will. ;-)

  Must dash; in the meantime, bring on them questions and comments!

-- Mark



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