- Publisher: Namco Bandai / Koei
- Developer: Omega Force
- ESRB Rating: “T" for Teen
- Genre: Action
- Pros: Fun, mindless gameplay; satisfying unlock system; customization; tons of missions; nice presentation
- Cons: Every mission is the same; repetitive gameplay; no space battles
There is a ton of stuff to do in Dynasty Warriors Gundam 3. You have a ton of missions, ranging from several story missions created for the game where you play through as different factions, to relationship and friendship missions where you recruit new characters, to history missions where you replay stories from each Gundam anime series, to difficult challenge missions and more. There are hundreds of missions available. Unlocking them isn't always simple (usually requires raising friendship levels with specific characters) but the path forward towards new stuff is always made fairly obvious and straightforward.
Likewise, unlocking new characters and their mobile suits (there are dozens upon dozens of both) is also pretty straightforward. Just play all of the missions and you'll unlock everything. But there are hundreds of missions, so it takes a really, really, really freaking long time.
Characters level up as you use them and get more powerful. As you play you also collect new blueprints for more powerful versions of mobile suits that you use to create and customize increasingly powerful suits. A high level character paired with a level 4 maxed out mobile suit is dominant to the point it breaks the game. But darn if it isn't satisfying to build and play with. Then you do it all over again.
Dynasty Warriors Gundam 3 exacerbates the problem by having all of the hundreds of missions literally playing exactly like each other. In every mission, your goal is to take over square rooms on a map until you whittle down the enemy battle gauge enough their HQ is vulnerable, then you take the HQ, beat a "boss" mobile suit when it shows up, and that is mission over. Every single mission in the game plays like that no matter if it is a story mission or training mission. Every single one plays like that. There are different maps with different settings (a mountain, a desert, underground base, asteroid) with different configurations of rooms to take over, but every mission plays exactly the same no matter what the environment looks like. Hour one of the game is identical to hour 25 which is identical to hour 70.
Graphically, Dynasty Warriors Gundam 3 is easily the best looking of the DWG games on Xbox 360. The plastic-y "realistic" graphics of past games have been replaced with cel-shaded characters, and the result is really nice looking. The mobile suits are really nicely detailed and have great animation. The environments are pretty bland and repetitive, but they are usually so full of explosions from all of the enemies you kill that you won't notice.
The sound is pretty decent, but repetitive. You'll hear the same battle sounds, explosions, and battle dialogue from the characters a million times and it does start to grate on you. The story dialogue is pretty good, and both English and Japanese voices are available.
Dynasty Warriors Gundam 3 is a solid entry in the series and may stand as the best DW game overall, not just out of the Gundam-themed ones, on Xbox 360. It is still every bit as repetitive and mindless as all of the others, but the presentation is really nice and the progression through the game is more straightforward than the other games. Is it enough to change the minds of people that aren't already Dynasty Warriors fans? Probably not, though if it hits you in the right mood you might well get hooked. That certainly happened with me. I got hooked on the customization and feeling of power (you really do feel like a bad ass mech pilot when you destroy 1,000+ enemies in 2 minutes) and kept soldiering on despite every mission being the same. If you already like the Dynasty Warriors games, you'll like this and will be happy with a purchase. If you want to like the DW games but haven't found the right one yet, give DWG3 a rental. If your game clock tops 15 hours after only having the game for two days, like mine did, buy it.