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Mobile Suit Gundam Extreme vs. Maxiboost On

Platform(s): PlayStation 4
Genre: Online Multiplayer
Publisher: Bandai Namco Games
Release Date: July 30, 2020


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PS4 Preview - 'Mobile Suit Gundam Extreme vs. Maxiboost On'

by Chris "Atom" DeAngelus on May 6, 2020 @ 1:00 a.m. PDT

Set in the globally iconic Gundam universe, Mobile Suit Gundam Extreme vs. Maxiboost On enables players to take 2-on-2 PVP combat to the next level with Mobile Suits spanning the entire breadth of the franchise's history.

The Gundam Versus series is one of those oft-forgotten fighting game franchises. Since in the early days of the PS2, it's been a mainstay at Japanese arcades. There have been adaptations for local consoles, but they are usually marketed in the English-speaking countries for fans of the Gundam series. It's easy to understand why, since the titles are a love letter to Gundam as much as they are fighting games. The latest offering with the mouthful of a name, Mobile Suit Gundam Extreme vs. Maxiboost On, is shaping up to be something that players of all sorts can enjoy.

Extreme vs. Maxiboost On's biggest selling point is an ever-increasing roster of Gundam units, including units from recent series entries Iron Blooded Orphans and G-Reco and new units from Zeta Gundam to the goofy gunpla-themed spin-off, "Gundam Build Fighters." There are over 180 different units in the game, and the result is an absolutely staggering number of potential units. Not every Gundam unit is in the game, but if you have a favorite, it's almost certainly there.

Maxiboost On continues the general gameplay of the Gundam vs. series. If you've never played them before, they are ports of arcade-exclusive titles that are designed for fast-paced 2v2 combat. Each player picks one of over 150 different units from various Gundam titles and engages in battles. Each unit has different abilities ranging from giant beam cannons to summoning allies.

Gundam vs. is a franchise that is built around landing hits. You have a wide variety of weapons and attacks, but almost all of them serve the purpose of baiting enemies into a position where you can land one solid blow. This makes the combat incredibly fast and frantic, and figuring out which unit to use takes a lot of time. Simply having high-damage attacks isn't enough if you can't make them land. This is true of most fighting games, but it's especially prominent in Versus.

This feature is amplified by the cost system. Each unit in the game costs between 1,500 and 3,000 points, which is a change from previous entries, where the minimum was 1,000. Your team shares a group health bar, and when your unit gets shot down, your team loses the unit's cost value. That means a pair of two 1,500s has roughly twice as much health as a pair of 3,000s. On the other hand, 3,000-tier units tend to be extremely valuable. Depending on what you and your partner decide, you can have one strong unit supported by a weak unit, depend on mastering weak units to work together, or go all-out with strong machines and hope you can overwhelm the enemy before they take you down.

Maxiboost On also retains the boost system from the previous version of the game. In that game, you could pick shooting or melee bursts, which temporarily allowed you to boost your gunfire or close-range combat damage. Maxiboost On adds Extend Boost, which increases your mobility and thruster gauges. That is a whole lot more useful than it sounds, since mobility is so important to the game. Regardless, it's critical to pick the correct unit for your characters.

The length of matches heavily depends on the skills of the players involved. If there's a wide skill disparity, the skirmishes can be over in seconds, but evenly matched teams can fight for quite a while. This does mean the game isn't super newbie-friendly, as you'll often have difficulty practicing against real opponents without getting scrapped. There are going to be single-player options, including battling AIs, so there will be room to learn. Just make sure you're ready before stepping into the deep end.

Mobile Suit Gundam Extreme vs. Maxiboost On is effectively the Super Street Fighter II Turbo to Street Fighter II, but that doesn't mean it lacks value. It's shaping up to be the biggest version of the game to date. With an absolutely bewildering number of playable units and some of the most fast and frantic gameplay on the market, Maxiboost On has the potential to delight Gundam fans and fighting game fans alike. Maxiboost On will be out later this year exclusively for the PS4.

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