It took literally 30 years, but we finally got a Super Robot Wars game released in the West AND on Steam. I played and enjoyed Super Robot Wars V back on my Vita a few years ago, so I was excited to jump into this one.
Alright – since this series is likely new to a lot of you and the marketing for the game hardly shows any actual gameplay, I’ll give a brief explainer. Super Robot Wars 30 is a strategy RPG done in the same style as games like Disgaea or Fire Emblem. You have a bunch of units on a grid-based map and shuffle them around, issue attack commands, and generally just duke it in these large-scale turn-based tactical battles.
It’s a simple concept – one that hasn’t really changed over the years – but there’s a surprising amount of depth behind it all. Morale, spirit commands, supporters, terrain adaptivity, ex actions, weapon properties, combination attacks – there is a LOT to this game and that’s all before you even get into pilot, ship, and mech customization. Honestly, it’s a bit intimidating if you’re a newcomer. There are a ton of menus to learn, the UI is cluttered, and the game’s tutorials are not all the greatest, but if you can get over that initial hurdle, then it’s a pretty good time.
I like to think of it as a more laidback, pick up and play for short sessions kinda game. Yeah, you can grind it out for hours on end just like in a lot of other Japanese SRPGs – and there’s easily 100+ hours of content here – but this is exactly the type of game I’m looking forward to playing on my Steam Deck in a few months. The gameplay strikes this nice balance between being this big complex strategy game and just being 100% mecha fanservice.
Because yes, there are a LOT of different mecha series to this game. In fact, as of earlier this year, the series now holds the Guinness World Record for most intellectual property licenses used in an RPG. Super Robot Wars 30 has units from Gridman, Majestic Prince, Mazinger, Getter Robo Armageddon, Code Geass, the Brave series, all sorts of different Gundam series, and even a couple that I – a self-proclaimed mecha fanatic – was unfamiliar with, such as 1976’s Super Electromagnetic Robot Combattler V.
These all come with their own animations, music, and battle cutscenes, one of the highlights of the Super Robot Wars experience. Seeing your little chibi mechs go all out in these short battle cutscenes is some fun stuff – but of course, they can be toggled off once you get tired of them. The game has some other nice quality of life features like this too, such as auto-battle. That said, it’s also missing some essential ones like being able to see unit health bars at all times – no idea how they missed that one.
Each series also brings its respective characters into this larger story. I am not going to make the case that this story is well-written or even makes sense at times, but as some other Steam users brilliantly put it – it’s like a big, mecha fanfic that just so happens to have an actual budget behind it. It’s chaotic, it’s dumb, but at the end of the day, it’s an enjoyable mashup if you’re a mecha fan.
As for the PC port – it’s just okay. It supports up to 4k resolution, but the fps is capped to 60 and battle animations are capped to just 30. Controls on a controller are fine, but the keyboard and mouse support isn’t the best. There may be mouse support in the menus, but the default keyboard bindings are not intuitive in the slightest and were ultimately why I swapped to controller. Otherwise, the port works fine – I’ve seen others report crashes and such, but I didn’t have any of that.
In spite of its issues though – Super Robot Wars 30 is still definitely worthy of recommendation. Fun gameplay with a nice sense of complexity to it, a mountain of series cameos perfect for any seasoned mecha fan, and hours upon hours of content to play through. The initial learning curve is tough and the UI may be garbage, but if you’re a mecha fan – or even just an SRPG fan – it is worth a shot.
Quote: Fun gameplay with a nice sense of complexity, a mountain of series cameos perfect for any seasoned mecha fan, and hours upon hours of content to play through – Super Robot Wars 30 is some good stuff.
Super Robot Wars 30 retails for $60 USD on Steam, but you can get an official Steam key for 15% off using my Gamesplanet partner link. This also applies to the deluxe and ultimate editions of the game – the latter of which comes with the premium sound pack, adding a ton of the classic vocal themes from each series to serve as background music. The game is also available on PS4 and Switch – although I believe you’ll have to import a copy for those platforms.
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.