Review by waflerevolution
More proof that the 16 bit era was the prime for fighting games.
Kidou Senshi Gundam W: Endless Duel (a.k.a. Gundam Wing: Endless Duel) is a 2D fighting game for the Super Famicom (Japanese SNES). It was one of the last games released in Japan for the system but was and is to this day a very spectacular fighting game. The game itself is based off of the Anime series of Gundam Wing (once aired on cartoon network in the U.S.) which is part of a long running mech series called Mobile Suit Gundam.
The opening movie to the game is very well animated and the accompanying music is superb and right out of the show. The small yet brilliant opening cinematic consists of characters from the show, a view of space, mech fights and some little extras that only Gundam fans will appreciate. It all flows marvelously together to create an opening sequence that some games now a days dont pull off.
The title screen is great looking and is entirely in English which most people wouldn't expect from a Japanese game. It features a computer-esc selector on an outer space backdrop and features the Mobile Suit Gundam W logo.
The characters in the game include Wing Gundam piloted by Heero Yui, Gundam Deathscythe piloted by Duo Maxwell, Gundam Heavy Arms piloted by Trowa Barton, Gundam Sandrock piloted by Quatre Raberba Winner, Gundam Shen Long piloted by Chang Wufei, OZ Mobile Suit Tallgeese piloted by Colonel Zechs Marquise, OZ Mobile Doll Prototype Vayeate piloted by Lady Middie Une, OZ Mobile Doll Prototype Mercurius piloted by Lieutenant Lucresia Noin, Wing Gundam Zero piloted by Heero Yui and finally the unlockable only in VS and Trial mode, Gundam Epyon piloted by Zechs Marquise in the Milliardo Peacecraft persona.
The suits all have unique states, strengths and weaknesses as well as individual attacks but more on those in the gameplay part of this review.
The story mode doesn't contain much story but each character has a few quotes in Japanese in the game(dont ask me what they say, I dont read Japanese.). There are also slight variants in the endings but not enough to make a huge difference. They just consist of quotes and sprites of the character you used. Strangely enough, the ending is still awesome, but I cant say why without spoilers so you have to find out for yourself.
The VS mode is awesome! This is one of, if not the best part of the game. You and a friend can pick from your favorite Mobile Suits, pick a handicap and then you fight in all the 2D goodness. There is even a code unlockable hidden character(Epyon)!
The Trial Mode is your basic survival mode where you face unending opponents until you die and get scored on it. No frills just pick your suit and fight till you drop. The opponents dont get too much more difficult but you only gain a small amount of health back after each fight so its hard to stay standing for a lengthy amount of time. Its still fun as heck to give it your best and try to beat your friends score or own personal best.
The options menu which is also in English, has the basics. Pick your level of difficulty(easy, normal and hard ), time limit(30, 60, infinite), sound style (stereo or mono) and key configuration, where you can alter button commands.
The gameplay is stunning. Each character has the unique weapons and movements from the series. Super combos and normal combos are small and easy to pull off because most combos have the same commands and super combos all have the same commands. Also, they all look and feel perfect. The story mode gets harder as you go and so does the trial mode. VS mode is some of the best 2D fighting available, possibly better then Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat and Killer Instinct!
The graphics are utterly terrific. The backgrounds look great, the characters look great, the suits look perfect, the animations for the attacks are stunning and as for the menus, cut scenes and opening and credit animations; they look perfect.
Each character has a unique stage and the background to each is drawn in anime, have brilliant colors, stationary and moving objects, and a look and feel of what they are supposed to be.
The characters are just stationary profiles that show up after the battles but they still look great. The sprites for the suits are so well done it feels just like the anime.
I already talked about the menus and the opening cut-scene. The credits continue the menu effect which was talked about earlier but add a little sprite action to keep the amusement up.
The sound in the game is superb. The music is ripped right out of the show and sounds wonderful. The sound effects are awesome and sound perfectly accurate. When a Gundam moves, you hear the movement of the joints and the slam on ground. When an attack is unleashed you hear the attack the way it should sound, they are all individual and accurate sounds.
The replay value is quite high. Between the multiplayer and pure fun factor it's hard to get tired of this game.
I would recommend this game to any fighting game player, any Gundam fan, any SNES/SFC lover, and anyone who enjoys well made games.
One IMPORTANT final note to leave you with, this game will only play in a Super Famicom.
Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
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