Super Robot Wars 30 (Going Back)
Source: Birthday prezzie
Price: £39.99 base game, shedloads of DLC ranging from £3.99 to £24.99, season pass, blah blah BLARGH.
Where to Get It: Steam
Important note: This was reviewing the base game, no DLC. Still boodles of content. PSA over.
Ahhhh, I’ve been waiting for this day. Y’see, Super Robot Wars is a series that doesn’t come to the West as easily as you’d think, mainly because, well…
It’s a series with a lot of giant robots from a lot of franchises (Although, y’know, you’ve always got a high chance of getting some Gundam in there, along with “Voiced by the VA of Ray Amuro”), and so, it’s a copyright nightmare, usually requiring region locking fuckery to play.
But 30? 30’s available in my region. And so, I get to gush about the series via its installment.
Don’t worry, we’ll be getting the flaws out of the way first: Namely, oh, it’s my old friend, red on background that mostly hides red, hi! Choosing where to move is, as a consequence… Kiiind of a pain in the ass on a fair few maps. It’s also a game that completionists will love or hate, but probably tend toward the latter, as the game takes a while to play, and about 4 playthroughs are required to unlock everything in the game.
But, for the rest of us, it’s a fun turn based Strategy RPG, in which you enjoy a weird, multiple franchise story about a world racked by war, with our Protagonist (male or female) getting involved in Yet Another Giant Robot War in a World Where Giant Robot Wars Are Common. Macross pilots are on first name bases with the Mazinger crew. But, conversely, folks like Neo-Zeon can get hold of Zonder Metal, and ally themselves with all sorts of bastards and beasties.
It’s essentially either a gateway drug for Giant Robot Nerds to be, or a haven for the ones already caught like myself. Which makes it highly amusing to note that one of the franchises represented in 30 is… Knight’s and Magic, where the protagonist is, drumroll!… A Giant Robot Nerd.
God fucking bless you, Ernie.
Otherwise, there’s a lot to unpack here. Musically, it varies from alright to pretty dang good, as the vast majority of the soundtrack is various Giant Robot theme tunes, the visuals are solid, and the Live2D animations for the attacks are fun, although you’ll turn them off for each unit after a while, being a “see, enjoy, oh wait, if I let this play every time, I’ll be here for four times as long.” The story, similarly, is pulling its weight, making each robot franchise added to the mix… Mostly understandable in context?
Trust me, considering how varied some of these series are, it can definitely be considered “pulling its weight.” It’ll still be a case of Weird Dimensional Shenanigans a lot of the time, but it’s fun, the characters are fun, and their interactions make for this light fanfiction experience.
Which is basically what it is, isn’t it? Fun, SRPG fanfic of giant robots beating the shit out of other giant robots. Apart from the issue mentioned, it’s pretty accessible, as many turn based games often are, and even the whiniest of “Content per Buck” assholes can’t complain about the amount of gameplay and content. It is a heavy time investment, since missions can take anything up to 2 hours for the later, more fraught missions (mostly taking about 15-30 minutes per mission), but, for those who like turn based strategy with stat raising and buffs and skills and things (It does explain and tutorialise pretty well), and for those who like their big ol’ robutts, this is a very solid purchase indeed.
“But Mr. Welshman, you didn’t show us any of the other giant robots!”
You’re right. I didn’t. UGH, FINE…