Brian Coller (brian.coller@virgin.net)
Sun, 26 Sep 1999 12:49:48 +0100


I have the new Japanese Import Gundam Dreamcast game "Mobile Suit Gundam
Side Story 0079 - rise from the ashes".

It is set in Australia around the time of the One Year War with you
commanding the "White Fang?" Federation MS team.

This game has awesome graphics, the MS look amazing as does the battle
environment.
The in-game 3D graphics are also used for animated scenes like the mission
introductions - these are VERY cinematic and atmospheric.
There are also FMV animations, once again these are brilliantly animated.

Overall the game is a reasonably simple mission based Strategy/Action mech
game .
In the gameplay part of the game you control the lead MS in a team of 3 (ie.
you have two "wingmen").
All the menus and almost 100% text in the Japanese version is in english.
During gameplay you can access an overhead map that displays all the units
on the battlefield (maybe only ones you have actually seen).
Before the mission you can choose the equipment you will use which
includes...

Mobile suit
Main weapon
Secondary/Special weapon
Shield Size

You can also select what equipment your two wingmen will use.

Once you are into the game you can assign orders to your team, this also
includes a small armored APC type vehicle that acts as a battle command unit
that relays messages to you (all the messages are spoken in Japanese with no
subtitles so I assume they are saying things like "you are leaving the area"
and "don't shoot friendly units" etc.)

Before missions there is a briefing section which is portayed as Video/Voice
email messages which you can store and playback to review them before
beginning the mission, once again this is all spoken in Japanese without
subtitles.

Although all mission briefings are in Japanese the game is still easily
playable thanks to a list of objectives that you can bring up during the
missions, this is in English and has things like "DESTROY - Enemy MS" and
"DEFEND - Friendly", each entry has a check box next to it that gets checked
when that objective has been met.

Assigning tasks to your two wingmen MS (and APC) is a simple but effective
process, simply select the team member you want to give an order to, select
the order (move, search, attack or guard), select a desired combat range
(long, middle or short) and select a point on the map to carry out the
order. When you select guard you then select another friendly unit that it
will then follow and protect until told otherwise.

Contols - the game is viewed from the cockpit of your lead MS (unfortunately
there are no "chase cams" to show off the graphics of your MS).

In game you can perform the following moves....

Walk forwards / back
Turn left / right
Dash forward(ram in MS hand to hand) / strafe left / strafe right
Jump
Lock on target
Fire main weapon
Fire second weapon
Display Menu

The dash and jump moves use up booster power which replenishes when you stop
using it.

Weapons -
Firing the main weapon causes its heat level to rise, when this reaches MAX
it will cut out until it cools down.
The second weapon has limited ammo or is very slow to replenish ammo, some
second weapons like grenades are given a trajectory/shot power by holding
the fire button for different lengths of time.

MOBILE SUITS and WEAPONS in the game!...

As I am relatively new to the amazing world of Gundam my MS recognition
skills aren't up to much yet.

Zeon MS (no names are given in game so these are my guesses at what they
are)
    - Zakus
    - Gelgoogs

Fed MS (There are more than this but I cannot remember them)
    - RGM-79
    - RGC-80

Wepons...
Head cannons (vulcan cannons?)
Rifle
Bazooka
Grenades
Beam rifle
Beam sabre
Small shield (can be used to knock over enemy in hand to hand combat)
Large shield

I wasn't planning on writing this so there are probably things
missing/incorrect.
I will probably scan some images from the manual and putt them on the web
soon.

If anyone would like to discuss the game or a JPG scan of the cover let me
know.

I 100% recommend this game to gundam/mecha/dreamcast enthusiasts!

Thanks for reading.

Brian.

brian.coller@REMOVEvirgin.net

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