The Super Robot Taisen series or localized as Super Robot Wars has been around a long time — 30 years to be exact thus the title of the game. It was first made for the original Game Boy in 1991 and has been going strong ever since due to good gameplay among other reasons.
While very well known to Japanese audiences, Super Robot Wars was kind of considered a niche series in the west that had licensing issues because each game borrows heavily from existing anime. manga, etc series. The more licenses needed, the harder it is to get to another region. These different series get incorporated as a crossover with their traditional story that has original characters and an original plot.
Developed by B.B. Studio Co., LTD and published by Bandai Namco Entertainment, Super Robot Wars 30 was released for the PC via Steam for the west on October 27, 2021 and released for the Nintendo Switch as well as Playstation 4 for Japan and Asian regions on October 28, 2021. The game although in English text for the western release only features Japanese voices.
Not every Super Robot Wars title has every mech series in one game. Usually each installment features different series. Here are the titles Super Robot Wars 30 features as mentioned in the main menu:
Licensed to mech
Super Electromagnetic Robot Combattler V
Mobile Suit Gundam
Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam
Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam
Mobile Victory Gundam
Mobile Suit Gundam NT (Narrative)
Heavy Metal L-Gaim
The Brave Poilce J-Decker
The King of Braves GaoGaiGear Final
The King of Kings: GaoGaiGear VS Betterman
Code Geass: Lelouch of the Re:surrection
Geetter Robo Armageddon
Mazinger Z: Infinity
Gun X Sword
Knight’s & Magic
Mobile Suit Gundam and Code Geass are probably some of the better known series familiar to western audiences.
Look it up if you don’t know
There are a vast amount of potential non-original characters that can show up during the game let alone number of series as well. At the main menu options screen, you can look learn more about terms, characters, and such as they appear in the game. If you aren’t familiar with the all the series this game offers (even the die-hard mech fans might not know a series or two), then check here to learn more about the mech universe. Terms you will be able to look up will appear in yellow text during gameplay and can be viewed afterward.
Choose your hero
You get to choose the protagonist of the story which consists of either an original male or female character. You also get to pick where they first start out location-wise. You also can change their name, date of birth, and even blood type. (In Japan, blood types are kind of how Americans and the west view horoscopes kind of sort of. It is kind of complicated.) While some options like changing difficulty can be changed at a later time, the choice of who you pick and where you first pick can not be changed unless you start a new game so choose wisely.
God save the machine
Take turns you two mobile suit warriors
Turns are not taken via a speed factor like in Final Fantasy Tactics but rather player phase then enemy phase like in Fire Emblem. However, whether an enemy encounters you or you encounter an enemy first, this screen will show up. At first you don’t pay too much attention learning things like EN, Morale, SP and just focus on the basics.
The first few battles have a lower difficulty, so feel free to fiddle with them anyway. The game will explain them to you via a tutorial you can look up afterwards. Main elements like HP and Attack Power are key just like any standard RPG and should be self-explanatory anyway. Other actions like Action, Spirit, and Support are a tad more intricate. When you have roughly tuned what you want to do and messed around a little, start the battle.
After a battle starts, a cinematic view of the encounter will take place which includes special animations for special attacks for both enemy and ally alike. You can skip this or even change the options to make it 2D on screen only. When being attacked, the option you set for ‘Action’ will be listed under the hero’s name on the top-right. You can choose from Counter, Defend, or Evade. You also can change to auto-battle at anytime.
Old friends and familiar faces
Although Super Robot Wars features an original story, throughout the course of the game, many cameo appearances from other mech series such as Koji Kabuto from Mazinger Z as seen above will appear in the game and even join you as an ally. If you don’t know what game they come from or who they are, don’t fret too much and just enjoy the game in my opinion.