Check out what have to say about the latest Super Robot Wars OG game.
When you get to follow a long-running series you’ll notice that it will tend to do one of two things. One would be where it tries to apply itself in a multitude of things that may seem to be tangentially related to each other, this is where you get what you call ‘spin-offs.’ The other would be how a title will change as little as possible and generally just make more of what they did before, in this manner you get basically sequels. Banpresto’s enduring brand goes with more of the latter approach with Super Robot Wars OG: The Moon Dwellers (SRW OGMD).
For those who look forward to see their favorite giant robots from all over the mecha genre will have to set aside those expectations for now as the game will feature only the original characters and mecha that was made in the SRW universe itself. Nevertheless, international fans of the genre are sure to be excited over its English release. There’s definitely a lot to cover, considering this is actually the 4th game in the SRW OG series, so let’s pop it into our PlayStation 4 dive right in.
The game opens up with an escape from a military base with a soldier who attempts to prevent a massacre but ultimately fails. The party you control will come after this incident where they try to make sense of things and escape only to be time and again be caught up in battle with enemy armies. But what’s a tactical RPG without battles at every turn, right?
Production (1.5 / 5)
- The wrinkles of time begin to show with older graphics
- Cutscenes per attack are nice, but get old fast
- Visual Novel style interface
- Vast improvements compared to predecessors. But a far cry from current gen games
Time has unfortunately, not been very kind to SRW OGMD. Keeping loyal to its original format may make one wonder if this was really a game meant for the PS4. Even the most traditional viewing mode, top-view grid, is available. However in isometric view you get to see 3D models and terrain, though barely notable. What’s clearly improved are the battle sequences, there are quite a few new ones, but there’s a lot of evidence of reused assets. It’s a bit painful to look at when you’re looking at sprites that are of varying quality while watching the game. Also, viewing the sequences can get tiring as even the most basic attacks take at least 10 seconds to finish, thankfully these can be sped up or skipped entirely.
Graphics outside of battle aren’t really all that impressive either. Japan has never tired of their visual novel presentation for battles, and the same problem of clearly varied sprite quality for portraits can be a pain point.
The music changes depending on the situation or who’s releasing their big attack during battle sequences, it’s quite engaging to get you hype about attacks hitting, missing, or finishing off the enemy.
As an SRW game the graphics are quite improved, but the music can use some serious updating. But it’s really of little merit once you compare it to other PS4 titles.
Mechanics (3.5 / 5)
- An overwhelming amount of mechanics to consider for newcomers
- Pretty much electronic tabletop
- Lots of customizations and upgrades for both pilot and robot
Anyone new to the series will have to sit themselves down for a lengthy lecture on how the game works. At least that’s what I got out of the tutorial, where the same thing happened from high school. The guy kept talking and I just zoned out after 30 minutes. To be fair, you eventually catch on by just trying options whenever they become available.
Like a tabletop game, SRW OGMD will have each side play in turns. Only its mechanics are quite plentiful in what you can do with every unit per turn. Move as one unit, merge to form a stronger unit, activate abilities, transform, etc. There’s really a lot to cover. There’s also a various amount of stats that affect how each battle may play out. From base stats of each unit to the very terrain they’re stepping on.
Customization is also meticulously explored in this title. You can improve and customize pilot stats and skills as they level up, and you can mod your mechs, if you can afford it. They can even have equipment, the pilots can also change the mechs they are piloting. Yes, at least half of your time will be spent on fine-tuning your team for the design you have in mind for the next battle.
This does indeed sound like a lot to sink your teeth into if you’re a min-maxer, but more casual players can be relieved that the game’s difficulty will be rather forgiving at the start to give you more room to naturally learn how to play the game and its many quirks.
Content (3.5 / 5)
- Fans of other mecha series may end up disappointed
- Story may fall flat or scattered but does pick up at the mid portion
- Boasts at least 50 hours of game play
With only SRW original characters available in this game it’s a bit difficult to get excited over what kind of combat I would get as I’ve been denied of making my mecha dream team. But there’s at least a lot of characters to get involved with in the SRW OGMD universe. Very early into the game you already get more than enough options to form a full party for your battles, so you’re at least given a lot to work with.
As it’s the 4th installment of the series, you get a few new characters starting their own storylines but the title also spends a lot of time continuing from where the older plot lines had left off. It’s certainly quite a handful having to pick up lore 3 that spans 3 previous games, and how they set up seems to be all over the place. It does come together to be more cohesive as the game goes on though. Honestly speaking, these stories are spent mostly with people talking through the VN-style presentation and don’t really feel like they have a solid bearing in gameplay.
While I don’t really think much of the story, there’s certainly a lot of battles to look forward to, and a lot of hours to go along with it. Completing challenges the game gives you is what really attracts you to keep on going.
Features (2 / 5)
- Expanded Library
To help introduce new-comers to the series, there is a beginner mode that gives you a more forgiving experience. If you feel up for it, there’s also tougher difficulty settings that are unlocked upon clearing the game on normal mode.
After that, there’s a feature during conversations that will help you keep up to speed with unique terms that may come up out of nowhere. There’s also a library where you can learn more about the game’s universe and its characters.
There’s really not much else to say after that, as it’s a single player game and focuses on single player play.
Overall (3.5 / 5)
- Will come off as mediocre to non-fans.
- The age really shows and could use a real revamp on how the game works or how how it is presented.
- Surprisingly engaging once you start getting the hang of it
Playing Super Robot Wars OG: The Moon Dwellers makes one thing heavily apparent. It’s one old game. Though is that really a bad thing? It was a bit of a rollercoaster from my perspective. At first I was excited as I’m a fan of the mecha genre, but felt slightly disappointed by how the game had presented itself. However, I chose to endure and stay on playing. After what felt like quite a drag of tutorials and sample battles I found myself in fights where it looked like I was hopelessly outnumbered. Looking for any way I can keep my squad alive even if by just a hair of health. After clearing that fearsome challenge the game suggests I’ll be finding something new and I just can’t help but wonder how difficult a situation I’ll have to deal with next. In a sense, I was hooked, where the only thing that pulled me away was the fact my friends had been waiting outside for a surprise visit.
While my expectations weren’t exactly met, I have to admit that playing such an aged game of robo-chess still has its charm. If you can wait for the old fellow to set up shop, there’s some honest fun to be had. If you can’t wait. You can set it up for auto-play and come back later when the action actually starts.
The game might come off as may look dingy and rickety, but for those who get what it’s about are certain to enjoy it.
Super Robot Wars OG: The Moon Dwellers won’t replace their old robots if they still work, and stand at a 2.8 / 5.
This title is available on PlayStation 4.