Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme Vs Maxi Boost ON’s Beta Brings Arcade Action to PS4
Coming to consoles for the first time this summer, Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme Vs Maxi Boost ON seems to deliver exciting mech action.
In the past few weeks, Bandai Namco held a closed network beta test for their upcoming 3D arena fighter, Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme Vs. Maxi Boost ON. For those unfamiliar with what this game is, or any of the series as a whole, the Gundam Vs. games pit teams of two players against one another using mecha that span the entire franchise history, in an open arena. Starting its life in 2001 on the PlayStation 2 with Gundam: Federation vs. Zeon, this game sowed the seeds for a franchise that would see a plethora of sequels on home consoles, the PSP and Vita, and would find much success and popularity in Japanese arcades.
For a long time, the West was unfortunately skipped over with many of these releases, but luckily the last couple of titles have finally made the jump. With Maxi Boost ON, we will be getting this console port the same time as Japan this summer! Here are my impressions of how the game is coming together now that it is on home consoles.
This particular entry in the series was initially released in Japanese arcades back in 2016 and features more than 180 mobile suits for players to choose from, with this console port receiving select units that are exclusive to this version. The point of a match is to deplete your opponents’ reinforcement gauge, which allows you or your teammate to re-spawn. Each unit is assigned a point cost; stronger choices require higher costs. This makes each re-spawn drain more from your team’s reinforcement bar, causing you to have to balance risk versus reward when choosing your party makeup.
The recent beta was geared towards testing network stability for its online PVP matches. This is an integral part of the survival of this game because of the fast-paced and twitch-reaction precision needed in online matches. The modes available to players were limited to player matches in custom rooms, casual random matches, and local multiplayer free play. The latter of which allowed players to practice against AI-controlled opponents, testing out the massive roster which appeared to complete with exception to the new console exclusives. I spent some time in this mode and found it especially helpful that I was then able to turn off the AI altogether, allowing me to practice without worry of also contending with enemies.
When it came to online matches, I spent a good amount of time between both the random casual matches and time in the player match rooms. In both cases, most of the time, I had minor to no issue with the connection dropping any inputs, even during the more frantic moments of combat. I did experience a few matches where I encountered connection issues that would range from stuttering and lag to full-on dropped connections, resulting in being kicked out to the lobby or party screen. If I had to estimate, the ratio between fights with smooth connections to those I had issues with would land somewhere around the mark of 85% being fine, to 15% having issues. Certainly not bad, but enough to warrant some hopeful adjustments and refinement before the retail release.
Jumping into casual matches with random opponents was quick and painless, with it rarely taking longer than 10 seconds to drop me into a game. Battles don’t linger and tend to last only a few minutes, so being able to get back into a game quickly is paramount with this sort of play. From what I played, this is a task that Maxi Boost ON succeeded in with flying colors.
My experience with the Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme Vs. Maxi Boost ON beta left me feeling comfortable that the game will be a good shape for its summer release. As a long-time fan of the Gundam franchise, I am always thrilled when a new game in the series gets localized that I can support. The hectic combat of the game won’t be for everyone, but for those that enjoy arena fighters and tense matches filled with lasers and explosions, many will find Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme Vs. Maxi Boost ON to be an exciting battleground to fight in.