Ok so I dig Gundam and the mecha genre of anime in general and have an insatiable itch to play some games featuring big cool robot guys. Where should I start? (Preferably PS1-PS3)
You should definitely DEFINITELY play 100ft Robot Golf
If you want a good strategy game with some giant robots, Front Mission 3 is 6 bucks on PSN.
And if you have a PS4 and cash to burn, you could import the English version of Super Robot Wars V.
Stay faaaar away from Front Mission: Evolved on PS3 but take a look at Front Mission 3 on PS1. If you don’t mind playing games in Japanese Front Mission: The Scars of War is real good too.
Everyone knows FromSoftware now for Demon’s Souls, Dark Souls and Bloodborne, but before then they cut their teeth on King’s Field and, more relevant to this, the Armored Core series. I’m sure you’ve heard of it or played some but there’s a ton of them. The PS1 games are definitely worth checking out if you haven’t along with several of the PS2 games. For the PS3 Armored Core: For Answer is decent, but I wouldn’t bother with Armored Core V and its multiplayer focused follow-up.
You like Gundam, there’s so many Gundam games, but the absolute must plays are Gundam vs. Seta Gundam for PS2 and FromSoftware’s Gundam games.
There was a PS2 launch game called Zone of the Enders that was directed by Hideo Kojima. It’s cool but short and sort of half-baked in some ways. HOWEVER, it has a sequel called Zone of the Enders: 2nd Runners that is no joke one of my favorite games ever made and imo one of the best mech games you can get on any Sony console. So definitely check it out. It received several reprints on the PS2 so it shouldn’t be too expensive, and it also got an HD release on the PS3 which, while not great at first, received a patch to fix its issues and is usually like $15 new now. Whatever system you gotta play it if you haven’t.
The other thing to keep in mind if you import is the Super Robot Wars series. This is a series that rarely gets released in the US because many of them combine characters from tons of mecha series into one epic turn based strategy series, it’s awesome but licensing hell keeps most of them in Japan. Banpresto eventually created their own characters and setting (we got some of those in the US on handheld systems but unfortunately the console games never made it here). Either way if you import at all these are worth a look.
My last suggestion might be harder to get at a good price (it actually is pretty uncommon), RAD: Robot Alchemic Drive. This game was actually made by Sandlot (makers of the Earth Defense Force games) and one of the last games published by “Enix” before they became SquareEnix. It’s a very early PS2 game but awesome because it has tons of buildings crumbling around you and on top of that, rather than controlling the mech, you control it via a person controlling the mech via a remote control. So you have to keep the person in range of the mech while also not letting them get crushed by the all firepower and debris getting blown all over the place in the ensuing battles. The most baller way to play when you get good at it is that you can have the person sit on the mech’s shoulder while they fight. It’s so good.
For pure style, I love both Zone of the Enders games. I hear that remaster on PS3 is pretty good.
On the SNES, Check out the Gundam Wing fighting game too if you get a chance, it’s way more fun than you would expect. And Metal Warriors. And the fan translation of Front Mission: Gun Hazard. I realize you didn’t ask for SNES mecha games but that’s where my heart is.
I am actually familiar with Zone of the Enders! I never got too far into 2 but I might pick up the HD rerelease since Im seeing it get high praise here.
And holy heck Super Robot Wars sounds divine. Im not much into importing but I might have to make an exception. Also I have seen gameplay for RAD and that is so my thing, but its near impossible to find and the copies available online are a bit too pricey for me.
I’ll take any opportunity to tell people to play Brigador.
Another great snes mecha game is cybernator. It is basically a Gundam game without the license, and had this really interesting balance between platformer gameplay and the slower, more strategic approach of most real time action mecha games. Metal Warriors is sort of an unofficial sequel by a different developer, but cybernator has better gameplay.
If you don’t mind messing around with MAME, Armored Warriors is a killer beat-em-up style game where you play as robots instead of characters from The Warriors. The pixel art is to die for and it has a great distinctive look.
Also worth looking into are Metal Warriors (SNES), Cyberbots: Fullmetal Madness (Arcade/MAME), Virtual-On (a bunch of systems), and the Super Robot Games for GBA.
Oooh shit I forgot about armored Warriors, that game rules. And the customization you do on the fly is so great.
Hold the phone is that Kirby Lagann
Tech Romancer for the Dreamcast is a pretty fun fighting game. Each mech is basically a play on a mech trope and the singleplayer story mode leans really heavily into it.
Pretty much bud.
I’m pretty sure the only Mecha game I played was Armored Core: For Answer on the PS3. I bought a used copy on a whim at an EB Games and ended up really liking it. It has a mixture of arcade style third person action when you’re flying out in missions and simulation style mech builder where you can put together your giant robot from scratch out of hundreds of parts and weapons. We’re talking arms, legs, body, heads, boosters, generators, targeting systems, decals, a huge variety of weapons, the list goes on. The customization options are insane and you can build a wide variety of robots to suit your preferred play style (lightweight, heavyweight, two legs, four legs, tank treads, sniper rifles, machine guns, laser cannons, laser swords, missile launchers, etc).
I played a lot of this game and spent dozens upon dozens of hours just building cool ass mechs, but there is some stuff about it that I found hard to sell to people. The controls take some getting used to and there’s quite a bit you have to keep an eye on (ammo counts, energy levels, shields) while trying to boost around and blow stuff up. The story is pretty barebones outside of a handful of infodump cutscenes, but you do get some lore details that are hinted at in mission briefings, character profiles, and in-mission radio chatter. I don’t remember there being any in-game tutorials that teach you how to actually build a mech that’s any good and there’s a ton of stats and requirements you have to manage (things like weight capacity, stability, energy output rate, energy drain) otherwise you could end up with a pile of junk that can barely move and fight.
Steep learning curve aside, I was really surprised at how much I ended up loving this game’s style. The robot designs are fantastic and the post-apocalyptic dystopian setting is rad. If you’re a fan of Souls-style worldbuilding, then FromSoftware’s got you covered here too.
Just wait till the end of the game, my friend.
I really liked Mobile Suit Gundam: Zeonic Front on PS2. Might not be so easy to track down these days, I dunno.
If you were to get into armored core I’d recommend starting at 4 or later. The games that came before it had a terrible turning speed which was fine fighting tanks and easier stuff but when you were up against another mech pilot the majority of the fight is getting them back on screen. Personally I’d just go into the last title, Verdict Day, there’s a great online faction mechanic where players fight for territories in the game world.
If you’re looking into gundam I played a bunch of frederation vs zeon, which had a neat arena mode and some good load out customization.You could do team battles with Ai assistants and skip all the story fluff and just get into weird battle situations with pretty much any mech in the game (3 ball units vs a gouf!), all from the original series too. There’s probably a follow up to that specific gundam game but I’m not sure what it’d be.
It’s come up here a couple of times already, but the Super Robot Wars games used to be my fix of mecha constantly. I can’t read a lot of kanji, so I tend to play with either a guide or just ignore the vast majority of the main story that’s going on in the games. I know in the past, a bunch of the maps would center around actual storylines from the anime the robots were from, so those levels tended to be pretty easy to wrap my mind around even though I couldn’t really understand it. I think the Original Generation games actually ended up seeing an NA release? And I’ve heard rumor we might actually get the most recent game. Fingers crossed on that. I’d probably actually snag that game if it came out translated.
This is my fav thread im trying out ALL these games!
Ive played and enjoyed the Zone of the Enders games and Mobile Suit Gundam Extreme Vs Full Boost. I really wanna play Armored Core and Super Robot Wars…