An Anime Crossover We All Secretly Wanted

Super Robot Wars T released for the Playstation 4 and Nintendo Switch.  The game is a strategy RPG much like Fire Emblem and Final Fantasy Tactics mixed with some lite Visual Novel elements. The hook is Super Robot Wars T brings together several mech anime series all together into one game. Big fan of Mobile Suit Gundam?  Amuro Ray is here.  How about Gunbuster? Yep Noriko is here bringing all the hard work and guts.

Even now in recent years Bandai Namco even added series like Space Battleship Yamato 2199 which is not really a mech series. The newcomers this time classics at titles you may know from Cartoon Network’s Toonami, Cowboy Bebop and Mobile Suit G Gundam.  Expelled from Paradise which is on Netflix and the 70’s classic Space Pirate Harlock: Arcadia of my Youth which can be found on Amazon Prime Video.  Along with a lesser known series like Magic Knight Rayearth and Armor Troopers Votoms.  Don’t worry you don’t have to watch all the series featured to enjoy the game.

Gameplay

The gameplay is simple enough for an RPG. The battles are turn-based, one player phase and one enemy phase counts as one turn.  The player phase consists of moving units into place and attacking.  The battle phase is one attacking unit and one defend who gets a counter attack.  You can also position units next to each, so, a pilot with Support Attack or Support Defend skills have units provide back up to each other. You can adjust this cycle with Pilot Skills.

Skills such as Full Counter that let the defending unit get their counter attack first.  Skills, like the second attack, allows a player unit to attack again after an enemy counterattack. These skills are not just limited to player-controlled characters. There are some enemies that can do it as well.

One of the newest features added in this installment are Support Commands. These are skills and actions that many of the support cast members can use to buff and help the pilots on the battlefield. This new feature is welcomed. In previous titles, many of the supports characters would just sit on the sideline. Now, characters like Ein from Cowboy Bebop, while not a pilot, will have a more active role to play.

The players get a starting number of units on the field, including up to four battleships. Later in the game, this number increase as the game progresses. These ships act like mobile bases where mechs can land to regain health, energy, and ammo.  While there aren’t strict classes like Final Fantasy Tactics, all the units have unique abilities, all based on the series they come from. Experience is awarded for attacking, getting kills, and other actions such as using repair skills and resupply skills. Players also recieve money, Tac Points, and ExC at the end of every battle.

Tac Points are used to by skill upgrades for your pilots. ExC is awarded to a single unit that allows them to perform Extra Commands. Each one of these commands cost a certain amount of ExC. One of my favorite tactics is to build my ExC to about seven and then I use a Multi-action. Multi-action lets the unit move and attack again with a successful kill after activation.  

This is where Super Robot Wars T starts to gain some depth to its battle system. There are a lot of units in this game and not only the main characters appear.  Super Robot Wars T gives you all the side characters, supporting cast, and even some villains who change sides join your crew.

The depth of the upgrade system and the sheer length of the main story being around 50 plus missions. Super Robot Wars T offers great replay value once the game is completed all the money and tac points you earned are carried over to your next playthrough.  There is a lot to sink your teeth into gameplay wise and don’t worry about balance. No, throw that notion to the wind. Grab your favorite characters and machines. Upgrade the mechs, give the pilots all skills you can, make them as over powered as possible and go wild.

Story

The Story of Super Robot Wars T is simple enough on the surface for a Strategy RPG. However, there are 50 or more story missions (or story scenarios). Along with these story scenarios, there are secret storylines which are unlocked by completing certain objectives. Each mission will give a set of victory and defeat conditions which can change as the battles and the story progress. Combine this with two main protagonists and a main story that offers multiple story routes. Super Robot Wars T comes with a lot of replay value.

When I say that the story is just a glorified mech anime fan fiction in video game form, I don’t mean this as an insult. It is very much a good thing; the game is so un-apologetically itself.

Super Robot Wars T is a celebration of 40 years of a genre that is beloved by many.  The game does not try to justify its own existence by trying to explain away is nonsensical elements.  It instead says, “I exist, I have giant robot that drop-kicks things. What are you going to do about it?”

The story is set on earth during the “Twilight Age.” As you take control of two test pilots for a company called VTX Union. Unlike many RPGs, picking the male protagonist, Tokitou Saizou, or the female, Sakurai Sagiri, Changes how your story starts. This is not a case of the just swapping male and female while keeping the same bland unseasoned personality.

Saizou and Sagiri have two very distinct personalities and other characters react to them differently. Saizou is a loyal salary-man who takes his job very seriously.  He is nickname being the Beast in a Necktie but behind the bluster, necktie, and well-pressed shirt. He does care a lot for his crew and staff. Sagiri is Saizou’s equal in every way in terms of piloting skill, beautiful, and delightfully crude and crass.

There are other original characters like Meryl and Amies, the engineers and Rami your co-pilot. Not to mention all your favorites from other big anime series all make an appearance. In short, there are a lot of personalities and stories to juggle in this game.

Yet, even when it seemed just a little crowded and some characters were falling to the wayside, there was never a point time when a character felt flat or boring. The character interactions and writing have a charm to them that will keep new and old fans entertained.

Despite keeping my fanboyish dreams intact, it’s not all good. The presentation of the story falls flat. The story is still good however to experience that good there is a lot of the text and looking at the same static images. It’s not a huge downside if you are into that sort of thing, and I’m sure it has its reasons; cost, more than likely, being the biggest.

Even with the story being told in a visual novel style, Super Robot Wars T just lacks the dynamic art that I would have liked to see. This hurts the game and makes things feel slow because of the amount of text. There are times when I was just ready to start the next mission and I was still hitting the X button to get through the mountains of text.

I’m not to going to really harp on the reuses of assets from previous games because with all the licensing getting this game out the door is a miracle.

Graphics

You may find yourself with mechs and units, that you know and love, but are upgraded to a graphically better version.

Graphically while Super Robot Wars T is not ugly by any right, the presentation is starting to show its age.  Even still, one of Super Robot Wars T great strength’s visual are the battle demo scenes. These are fantastic in every way.  They are over the top, long, and bombastic.

Each cut-scene captures the feel and look of the series and the character. Making forty or more years of distinctly different art styles fit and feel like they should be in the same world is an impressive feat.  From the over the top 90’s anime campy feel of GoGaiGar and Brave Express Might Gaine to the solemn determination and heroism of Amuro Ray from Mobile Suit Gundam. They even nail that smooth, jazzy space western feel of Cowboy Bebop.

Speaking of Cowboy Bebop, Spike and the crew get one of the best battle demo cut-scenes.

Sound Design and Music

This leads me to another one of the games major strengths, the soundtrack. Simply put: the base soundtrack for this game is amazing. The covers and renditions of the iconic openings and music from series is amazing. The opening from Cowboy Bebop was a cover but is still faithful to the original.

Final Verdict

Super Robot Wars T cost about $20 more than your average title being an import it’s going to run about $79.99.  Is it worth that 80 bucks plus shipping and handling?  Honestly? Yes, it is. Underneath the hood and behind all the anime licensing there is a long-standing, very solid, Strategy RPG with a ton of units. A great upgrade system, a battle system that is straight forward.

Add in a charming story that throws some of your favorite characters from a long and storied genre together.  Followed by a great soundtrack, wonderful and over-the-top attack visuals, and great replay value. Even if how the story is presented doesn’t totally ‘Wow’ you, this entry in the series is a great buy for new-comers and old school fans alike.

Super Robot Wars T Review
The Good
  • Amaing Artwork and Game Mechanics
  • Fantastic Soundtrack
  • Ultimate Fan Fiction Story
The Bad
  • Some Story Elements are Bland
  • Maybe a tad Over-priced (it's an import)
8Overall Score
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Audio/Video Editor

Gamer, News writer, Hopefully novelist and all around awesome in human form.