After the misstep that was New Gundam Breaker back in 2018, Bandai Namco has now blessed us with a new entry in the SD Gundam G Generation series. Not only is this the first time the series has been officially released in the West, but it’s also the first actually decent Gundam game we’ve got on PC.
So, for those that don’t know how the series plays, it pretty much plays like your everyday strategy-RPG. You level up characters and mechs, move them around in a tactical manner, and engage in a variety of complex, turn-based battles. If you’ve ever played something like Disgaea or Super Robot Wars, it’s very similar to how those are played. Each battle usually begins with a deployment phase, where you’re able to place your units on the field in pre-defined locations. At that point, you can then move them up and engage the enemy in a variety of ways. You can just attack directly with a single unit, but given that this is a strategy game, there’s a lot more than just that.
You’re able to do link-attacks, support attacks, use any number of skills, and even deploy more units mid-battle. Even before you get into battle, you’re able to organize your squads, develop and design new units, and recruit and train new characters. Honestly, that’s just scratching the surface of what you’re able to do here in Cross Rays. It’s a very complex game, both in good and bad ways.
Good in that it makes the gameplay much more enjoyable and strategic in the sense that bigger numbers don’t always mean getting the win, but bad in that it requires quite a bit of dedication to learn everything the game has to offer. This wouldn’t be so bad if the in-game tutorials were anything more than walls of text that popup mid-battle, but unfortunately that is exactly how they work. However, if you are able to get over that steep learning curve, there’s lot to like about the game’s combat.
And of course, given that this is a Gundam game, you will have the opportunity to play through a variety of scenarios based on actual Gundam series. There’s quite a lot of these series too, including scenarios for Gundam Wing, Gundam SEED, Gundam 00, and Iron-Blooded Orphans to name a few. It isn’t like these series are just tossed in there though, each level can take upwards of an hour or two to clear and there’s a lot of effort put into giving an authentic Gundam experience, with plenty of flashy cutscenes and visual novel-like segments to expand on the story. Sure, it isn’t the best way to experience these stories if you’ve never done so before, but they’re definitely not bad, especially for the Gundam fan.
As for the quality of the PC port, it’s actually not that bad this time time around. There’s a decent amount of graphic settings to change, including options for anti-aliasing, bloom, blurring effects, and the usuals like window options and resolution, the latter of which even has 4K support. The keyboard controls are also completely rebindable and the game does have mouse support as well (which is definitely a plus for this kind of gameplay). I did find it odd that the controller controls could not be rebound though, you’re stuck with the default unless if you change it externally through Steam. Additionally, the lack of a 1440p resolution option was also disappointing to see.
Overall though, Cross Rays is a pretty enjoyable experience. It’s a decent enough strategy-RPG for fans of that genre, but really, this is a game for Gundam fans and it shows in just about every department. From the massive list of units and characters, to the engaging combat and storyline, there’s a lot to like here if you’re already a fan. It can certainly use some improvements in some areas, but it’s a pretty good effort all-around and one that could easily take you 50+ hours to beat.
You can buy SD Gundam G Generation Cross Rays on Steam here.
I was provided a review copy of the game in order to write this review. Read more about how I do my game reviews here.