The Gundam Breaker Beta Is Like Crack
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Let me back up.

Gundam Breaker is the latest Gundam game to hit the PS3. It’s a Japanese-only title, but thanks to the PS3’s lack of region encoding anybody can play it, and it’s fucking awesome. The beta is free to download on PSN, and acts as the game’s demo. And quite the demo it is, featuring five fully-fledged missions with full online co-op.

The game itself plays similarly to Dynasty Warriors, so anyone who’s played DW: Gundam will feel right at home here. It’s fast-paced and fun, if not a little mindless. However, the major draw is the collection and customization. This isn’t your average Gundam title, oh no. Rather than focusing on any one Gundam series, the game focuses on the plastic model kits fighting in a virtual environment. This means that any mobile suit from any series can be in the game. There are also kits of different scales, so you’ll fight 1/100 kits, kits ranging from High Grade to Perfect Grade, and even SD kits. This is because the game is a tie-in to the new Gundam Build Fighters anime due out in October, which covers the same subject. As thus, collection is the name of the game.

When enemies are killed, they’ll sometimes drop parts. These parts can be used to customize your mobile suit, and mix and match to create custom FrankenGundams. Parts come in different grades, rated by stars. The grade of parts that you find is affected by your build skill, which goes up every time a new part is built. Building a part amounts to watching an animation that is frankly rather unnecessary, but it adds a bit of flair to finding out what you’ve grabbed. The kits in the beta are a few Gundams, a Zaku, a Dom, a Sinanju, and some others. Rather limited, but the full game has way more.

If you’re playing the beta, get used to the “Cyber Chicken” look.

The missions in the beta are a tutorial level, 3 different flavors of kill everything, and one level of “protect the G3 gas canister from slightly too many enemies”. The difficulty curve is pretty steep, but given the fact that this is a beta and meant to be played over and over to iron out issues, that makes sense.

Although it is fun, the game does have a few issues. Enemy position sync online is sometimes a bit flaky, with one player watching another hit what looks like dead air. The camera and targeting system also need a bit of work, but apparently these issues have been fixed in the finished game.

Above all, the beta is a fun and addictive taste at what the full Gundam Breaker has to offer. And the fact that the beta is completely free means that anyone with a PS3 should give it a try. Once you make a Japanese PSN account and look up some menu translations, you’ll be smashing and building in no time.

Now to grab a copy of the full game…