SD Gundam G Generation ETERNAL has at last kicked off its closed beta, with me and 1499 other people getting their ticket to try out the latest mobile title for the SD Gundam G Generation series. It even says as such in its store page:
The latest entry in the G Generation series is coming to mobile, continuing the series’ tradition of encompassing the entirety of the expanded Gundam universe. Experience the vast collection of Gundam works in this strategy simulation game, recreated in high-quality 2D/3D graphics!
The closed beta will be until 27 September 2022, 18:59 PDT.
IN THE HANGAR
As the name suggests, all the Mobile Suits are rendered in SD style, though the various character art and portraits are left exactly as they are from their original series. The story chapters are not voiced, being more like a text exposition dump – or recap, if you’ve seen the series before – of the featured show. In battle itself, the character banters and battle cries are mostly voiced, perhaps some skipped over due to the nature of the beta.
Gameplay occurs on a top-down grid battlefield with even littler versions of the SD Mobile Suits. While the models themselves are quite nice, the actual display when it comes to making those tactical decisions is harder to parse.
On the homescreen, you can set a favourite Mobile Suit from your hangar, though not a character.
In essence, this game feels like Super Robot Wars combined with Fire Emblem. I feel this in the flashy cut-ins, support attack and defense mechanics alongside adjacent units. A team is limited to 6 Mobile Suits with 1 optional Warship that itself can be occupied by 6 characters. Of note, there is no Skip function for stages right now.
Missions may have “EX” conditions, which are basically triggers for additional Things, which includes more enemies spawning in. These missions could be something like getting Amuro to defeat a number of enemies, or defeating Char within a set number of turns. The turn order goes from yours, to AI friendlies, to enemies, then finally, the “EX” enemy forces.
Both allies and enemies can get an additional move – once per turn – on defeating a unit. As they fight, they can both gain and lose Tension that when maxed out, can grant Supercritical hits. Despite the visual effect, it does not deal AOE damage. Outside of that, skills require “EN” to use, so if your units are out, they can move around but will be unable to attack or counter.
More “Fire Emblem” (or even XCOM) elements are shown in the success % chance for your actions, so yes, 80%+ success moves can still miss. There is Auto battle, but if you’re not, you can choose how to respond to an enemy’s attacks; whether to Defend, Evade, or Counter, with associated success chances. Speaking of Auto battle, I feel it works much better if there aren’t any EX conditions otherwise it somewhat breaks.
To further boost your combat power, you can choose to deploy a Warship. However, the trade off is that your deployed Mobile Suits can only recover HP and EN when adjacent to the Warship. A Mobile Suit may be able to transform, with some requiring to be next to a Warship depending on which mechanic they’re using. There’s a massive glossary of terms you can read up on, so this game definitely has its depths.
New characters and Mobile Suits can be obtained through in-game coins (Capital) which honestly seems quite expensive. Characters can be obtained simply by completing the relevant story quests, at least, so it’s more of the Mobile Suits. Only the original Gundam series, Thunderbolt and Seed stories are available at this point.
Other things to note about the game are:
- Recommended power: Somewhat a lie because without sufficient EN recovery, your Mobile Suits are useless anyway
- Terrain: Effects of which aren’t very obvious at this stage
- “Guest Battle”: A fixed formation, your own units cannot sortie
- Favourites: Some stages can be set as favourites for quick access
I have yet to touch on the growth systems, so here it is. All Characters, Mobile Suits, and Warships have individual levels and skill levels where applicable, and all of them can be raised up to 7-star (!) ratings.
The materials to raise their grades are from the daily Eternal sorties which have limited tries. I figure this will be the part where you’ll be grinding the most because there is just a ridiculous amount of materials you’d need. There’s a Development system for Mobile Suits, embedded abilities for everyone, each having their respective level caps…
There’s just so much that I doubt would be of much concern for beginners, but well, there be so much.
SYSTEMS NOT AS YET IMPLEMENTED
Since these are not available to try out, I’ll just list what is currently locked out:
- Player profile
- “Group dispatch”
- Mod for MS
- Accessory, Training Reward for Characters
- Calibration for Warship
- “Group Swap”?
- Groups can’t be renamed
TIME TO ROLL
As a free to start game, unsurprisingly, there is the gacha. Mobile Suits can be obtained up to 4-star base rarity, at a 3% rate. Generosity will remain in the air until the launch.
The beta is missing a number of the usual quality of life stuff which I’d expect to be added later, so I’ll just gloss over them now.
What I can see being a bigger concern is seeing the multitude of materials required to raise literally everything. For the story, I don’t see the presentation as particularly appealing to older fans unless they wanted a recap, and for newcomers, that’s a lot of text to go through.
As a tactical turn-based game, the mechanics themselves are fine if needing more time to get used to. The beta somewhat heats up my Poco F4 GT and drains the battery, so optimization is definitely required.
Keep an eye out for the game, once everything’s in place.