For anybody wanting to know what the actual gameplay is like, here's a little summary:
When you start the game it begins from a point before Amuro gets the Gundam. During the story portions of the game there will be a choice to make every now and then. Sometimes it's a choice of route, but usually the choice just relates to which aspect of the story you want to see. The choices can be background of a certain character, technology, or battle, or to see a particular part of the story from a certain character's perspective.
The effect these choices have on the gameplay is that each choice has an accompanying icon. Each of the icons correspond to a "character basket" which is filled with characters from the series. There are four baskets, Gundam (Amuro, certain White Base crew) Char's Zaku II (Sayla, Char, Camille, etc.), Earth (Federation characters), Colony (Zeon, Titans, etc.). After you complete a mission, ALL characters in the basket corresponding to the icon you chose will level up.
The actual battles take place on these maps that look like certain tabletop games, and they work much like they do in Risk (as in, you can't reach a certain are without going through another certain area first). Your forces are made up of teams. Each team can have up to 2 characters and 10 units (Warships, MS, and MA are all counted as one unit), teams must have at least one unit but do not require characters in order to function. You accumulate some points over the course of the entire game and for most missions you get the opportunity to deploy a single custom team (by buying characters and units using the points you earn) before the mission begins.
There are a couple different types of missions, including holding a base for so long or reaching a certain area of the map, but most can be won by destroying all enemy forces.
The way battle works is you can move a team to a space occupied by one or more of the opponent's teams. You then see the raw score of who has more battle power and how many units each side will lose as collateral. Then it will activate any appropriate character abilities and show the modified results. After that the battle effects go through and if the attacker's battle power is higher than the opponent's, they can force a retreat. If the attacker can or must continue attacking, they will do so, if they can't they must retreat to another space.
One of the decisive things is that you have a pool of supply points. Certain units provide supply points (obviously there are units and characters just for this purpose) and add their amount to your total at the beginning of every turn. Supply points are needed whenever you move a team and whenever you have a team attack. If you don't have enough points you won't be able to move or attack, and your defenses will be lowered.
The other decisive thing is character abilities. Each character has one or two abilities, each with a number of different effects. Amuro has the Gundam Pilot ability which gives adds attack and defense power to his team if that has a Gundam unit in it. Commanders give bonuses for teams with warships in them, and teams with multiple units. The actual amount that each ability adds is usually determined by a little formula such as: Attack & Defense + = (Character's Level X Number of Mobile Suits --2)10. Creating powerful teams is the key to surviving, so a good knowledge of the abilities is a must. During battle you can swap characters and units between teams as long as they are at the same location, but this will end the turn for ALL teams at the same location. Teams that have already ended their turn can not swap out characters or units, but they may have characters and units added to them if space allows.
To sum up, if you've ever played a CCG (collectible card game) like Decipher's Young Jedi, the battles are a lot like that, where you have to calculate a bunch of numbers while accounting for different character abilities.
Oh, and as always, there are plenty of classic events that occur during the course of a battle, and in certain levels you and your opponent will receive reinforcements from time to time.
Good information. I think it's the battleships that give the supply points. I noticed in the Earth atmosphere mission in MSG that when I took out all the battleships the Zeon stop getting supply points
No Mercy Zone - http://thenomercyzone.clicdev.com/f/
SD Gundam G Generation Wiki - http://ggen.wikia.com/wiki/Main_Page
Good tactics, I'll post all the stats later but in the meantime, the 5th number from the top of the statistics chart (for any given unit) tells how much supply points it contributes. For the Federation the Columbus-type ships (big gray rectangle) give 120. For Zeon it's the Zanzibar ships.
So...is the game good?
I got my copy in the mail today and played the first few missions and I feel like I wasted my money. Seems kinda like Advance Wars with a super ridiculously low budget.
Just wondering if it gets better?
Yeah it gets better, the first 5 missions are just a tutorial. Advanced Wars is about strategic movement and taking into consideration the strengths and weaknesses of your units versus your opponent's.
This game has some elements of strategic placement, and of course you have to think about the strengths of your units, but it is more focused on which characters you use, the abilities they have, and how to fight back against strong opponent teams. Plus, each mission is following a part of the Gundam UC storyline and the game is just as much about replaying the story as it is the gameplay.
I just beat the game, I'm pretty satisfied (as a Gundam fan) and there are still about 20 missions I haven't seen yet because there are multiple routes. You will however, want to just be able to want to choose different missions after beating the game rather than having to go through the story the same way every time.
Overall it's nice that they made a completely new game that isn't terrible instead of repeating the tired G Gen formula over and over. I can just play G Gen IF for PSX if I want to do that, which includes not only every UC storyline (up until it was made), but all of the alternate universes as well. (except CE which came later). They tried to do something new with Cross Drive which came out last year, but it's fun for different reasons and way too broken.
About how long did the game take you?
About 14 hours.
I just did the mission where they introduced "supply" and the gameplay got a whole lot more interesting. The supply system and the character skill system definitely give the game unique gameplay.
I might stick with it now if the maps are good.
For me it is the best Gundam Game for the DS. the gameplay and the cut scenes are nice. and the thing is i like to repeat it over again. nice replay.