Important Importables: A brief look at Gundam games

February 28, 2010 - 3:00 am No Comments

Hot Japanese Imports: A brief look at Gundam games

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Mecha anime and manga series are popular around the world. Gundam is the best known among all the series, and even helped kick off all mecha animes. All of the series feature humans piloting huge mechanized suits in the future, battling against one another.

Gundam first began as an animated TV show back in 1979 called Mobile Suit Gundam, and was originally created by Yoshiyuki Tomino and Sunrise. Since then, there have been movies, animated tv shows, ovas and movies, mangas, novels, light novels, trading card game and tons of video games all based on the series. Japan’s even used Gundam as a cultural mascot, creating stamps featuring the mechanized units, creating a RX-78 monument at the Kamiigusa Station, using it as a nickname for Japan Self-Defense for equipment and even using Gundam mechas as promotional tools.

So this week, let’s take a brief look at all the Gundam animated series out there and some games that are available. If you decide to get interested in the series, prepare to do a lot of research, as there are multiple timelines and things can get quite complicated unless you’re really paying attention to the characters and situations.

Mobile Suit Gundam Wing

A brief look at the Gundam series.

The Gundam series is somewhat notorious for being quite involved, and often complicated. While the Gundam games often have their own storylines, and just feature mechas from the anime series, familiar characters may also appear and certain wars or political altercations are often referenced. The best way to learn about these is to sit down and actually watch the anime. Sure, you can try just sitting and reading some viewers’ reports online, but those could get a bit dry and you may get factions and dates mixed up.

So here’s a list of all of the main anime series. Be aware that the first four series are all related and take part in the same timeline. (There are multiple timelines, so you may find it difficult to keep track unless you take notes between series or reference and online site. Even I have trouble figuring it all out and keeping it straight.) If you decide to start watching these series, make sure you have a lot of free time! Many of the series have 40-50 episodes, so becoming a fan requires quite an investment.

  • Mobile Suit Gundam: (1979 – 1980) It was also made into a two volume manga and inspired three animated movies called Gundam: The Movie, Gundam II: Soldiers of Sorrow and Gundam III: Encounters in Space. It also inspired films and OVAs like Char’s Counterattack The anime is available in English.
  • Zeta Gundam: (1985 – 1986) It also inspired a manga series and three animated movies, Zeta Gundam A New Translation: Heirs to the Stars, Zeta Gundam A New Translation II: Lovers and Zeta Gundam A New Translation: Love is the Pulse of the Stars. The anime is available in English.
  • Gundam ZZ: (1986 – 1987), It’s story was only told in the anime series.
  • Mobile Suit V Gundam: (1993 – 1994) It also inspired a manga series called Mobile Suit V Gundam Side Story.
  • Mobile Fighter G Gundam: (1994 – 1995) It inspired three manga series, one called Mobile Fighter G Gundam, and then two others called Mobile Fighter G Gundam Gaiden: Shouryuu Densetsu and Mobile Fighter Gaiden: Gundam Fight 7th. The anime is available in English.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam Wing: (1995 – 1996) It inspired an Gundam Wing: Operation Meteor OVA, Gundam Wing manga and Gundam Wing: Battlefield of Pacifists manga. The anime and manga are available in English.
  • After War Gundam X: (1996) It inspired two manga series, one called After War Gundam X and one called After War Gundam X: Under the Moonlight.
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  • Turn A Gundam: (1999 – 2000) It inspired an animated film, Turn A Gundam II: Moonlight Butterfly and four manga series.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam SEED: (2002 – 2003) It also inspired an OVA called Gundam SEED After Phase: In the Valley of Stars and a manga series. Both the anime and manga were released in the US.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny: (2004 – 2005) It also inspired a manga called Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny: The Edge. Both the anime and manga were released in the US.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam 00: (2007 – 2009) . It inspired a movie and OVA. The anime is available in the US.

Mobile Suit Gundam 00 DS

Notable Gundam games released in Japan.

There have been tons of Gundam</i

< games released in Japan, so if you search you'll have no trouble finding one. There are strategic, general action, shooting and fighting games all available and featuring your favorite mechas, and sometimes pilots too. To assist in your searches, here are some releases you may want to check out. They may be special because they're some of the first

Gundam games released, or they’re on region free systems. I tried to do my best to also look into which Gundam anime series each game corresponds to, but since I haven’t had the opportunity to watch much Gundam aside from the occasional Gundam Wing or Gundam Seed episode.

  • Mobile Suit Z-Gundam: Hot Scramble (NES) – released in August, 1986 and takes place during the Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam series.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam Wing: Endless Duel (SNES) – released March, 1996 and takes place during the Gundam Wing series.
  • Mobile Suit Z Gundam: Zenpen Zeta no Kodou (Saturn) – released April, 1997 and takes place during the Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam series.
  • Kidou Senshi Gundam: Senshitachi no Kiseki (GC) – released in March, 2004 and takes place during the Mobile Suit Gundam anime series.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam Seed: Rengou vs. Z.A.F.T. Portable (PSP) – released April, 2007 and takes place during the Gundam Seed series.
  • Gundam Suit Gundam: MS Sensen 0079 (Wii) – released in July, 2007.
  • Gundam Battle Royale (PSP) – released in August, 2007.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam 00 (DS) – released March, 2008 and takes place during the Mobile Suit Gundam 00 anime series.
  • Emblem of Gundam (DS) – released in May, 2008 and takes place during the Mobile Suit Gundam, Mobile Suit Gundam: 08th MS Team, Mobile Sit Gundam 0080, Mobile Suit Gundam 0083 and Mobile Suit Gundam Z anime time period.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam 00: Gundam Meisters (PS2) – released in October, 2008 and takes place during the Mobile Suit Gundam 00 anime series.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam Senki Record U.C. 0081 (PS3) – released in September, 2009.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam: Gundam vs. Gundam Next (PSP) – released in December, 2009 and features Gundam mechas from nearly every series.
Dynasty Warriors Gundam

NotableGundam games released outside of Japan

Fortunately, since Gundam is such a popular series, many of the video game entries have been released outside of Japan. In case you’re looking to experience the Gundam world in a whole new way, here are some of the more recent entries you can easily find in your local game store or at your favorite online retailer. Again, I’ve also tried to mention, when possible, which anime series each game corresponds to, in case there’s a particular Gundam series you love and want a game that is related to it.

  • Gundam Side Story 0079 (DC) – released in April, 2000, and set during the Mobile Suit Gundam anime series.
  • Gundam: Battle Assault (PS1) – released in November, 2000 and set during the Gundam Wing anime series time period.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam: Zeonic Front (PS2) – released January, 2002 and takes place during Mobile Suit Gundam.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam: Journey to Jaburo (PS2) – released August, 2001 and takes place during Mobile Suit Gundam.
  • Gundam: Battle Assault 2 (PS1) – released in July, 2002 and takes place during the G Gundam, Gundam Wing and Mobile Suit Gundam series.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam: Federation vs. Zeon (PS2) – released September, 2002 and takes place during Mobile Suit Gundam.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam: Encounters in Space (PS2) – released in December, 2003 and contains suits from pretty much every Gundam anime series.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam Seed: Battle Assault (GBA) – released August, 2004 and takes place during the Gundam Seed anime time period.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam: Gundam vs. Zeta Gundam (PS2) – released in June, 2005.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam Seed: Never Ending Tomorrow (PS2) – released September, 2005 and takes place during the Gundam Seed anime period.
  • MS Saga: A New Dawn (PS2) – released February, 2006.
  • Dynasty Warriors: Gundam (PS3, Xbox 360) – released in August, 2007.
  • Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 2 (PS2, PS3, Xbox 360) – released April, 2009.

Hope you all learned something today, and maybe you’ll want to consider looking into the Gundam series and becoming a fan. I know I learned something – never decide to write a column on a series when you’ve only seen two segments (Gundam Wing and Gundam Seed), and haven’t watched one of them since high school. Ha ha. I’m not kidding.

COMING NEXT WEEK: Hot Japanese Imports looks at notable fan translation projects.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Last week Hot Japanese Imports reviewed Poupee Girl DS.

Site [Gundam.info (Japanese)] Site [GundamOfficial.com] Site [Play-Asia] Site [YesAsia] Site [NCSX] Site [Himeya Shop] Site [Strapya World]

Full Story » | Written by Jenni Lada for Gamertell. | Comment on this Article »


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