A Playstation 4 or 5 game
Click HERE to read the review for Episode One
In the last episode of volume one of Mobile Suit Gundam Battle Operation Code Fairy, the girls that make up the Noisy Fairy squadron suffered a pyrrhic victory that shook the team to it’s core. They were able to recover a gigantic gun, once part of a failed experimental tank called the YMT-05 Hildolfr, but at the cost of a severe injury to the squad leader, Alma. Facing what appears to be the impending failure of the Zeonic war effort, and increased Earth Federation mobile suit production, not everything is rosy for the all women special forces team. Volume two, comprising episodes 6-10 of this 15 episode game picks up right where that left off, with Noisy fairy attempting to create a “secret weapon” to hopefully turn the tide of the war.
“In order to break through the deteriorating war situation in the North American continent, the “Noisy Fairy”, a secret unit under the direct control of Kycilia of the Principality of Zeon, led by Alma, is pushing forward in the “One Year War” against the Earth Federation Forces, which possess the White Devil. The soldiers take on the brutality of war and grasp the unshakable bonds between their comrades…”
Volume two is far more diverse and interesting than volume one in many ways. The missions encompass multiple Mobile Suits, rather than just Alma, and incorporates styles of gameplay not present in the first game. There are more boss fights, higher stakes, and great character building for just about every member of Noisy Fairy. There are also another wave of simulator missions available, but some require certain levels to be completed or other conditions to be met.
For the most part Mobile Suit Gundam Battle Operation Code Fairy is a full game that has been split into three parts, so it’s not like this volume is a stark departure from part one. The added content just gets added to the interface for part one seamlessly. I also noticed that upon the completion of each volume, additional episodes are added that tell parallel stories of events from different vantage points. I have not actually played these yet, and will likely talk about these in my next review.
Storyline-wise, this episode was quite a bit darker than the initial light-hearted tone of the first volume. We can basically see that Killy is trying her best to keep the girls safe and happy when she can see the proverbial “writing on the wall” as Zeon suffers defeat after defeat. Alma especially has to deal with PTSD after a federation Gundam pilot nearly kills her trying to capture the Hildolfr, and sits a few chapters out. She nearly steps down as team leader as a result. This shift of POV was nice, because we get to play as the other two girls – Mia and Helena. Mia pilots the Dom, and Helena is a sniper.
Speaking of that Arizona battle, It was actually pretty cool to see what happened with the YMT-05 Hildolfr, as it was the main focus of an episode of an obscure Gundam OVA called Mobile Suit Gundam MS IGLOO: The Hidden One Year War. That show tells the story of a group of test pilots try to see if Zeon R&D plans will make sufficient war machines for the upcoming invasion of Earth. Sadly it was unsuccessful and rotted away in a desert in Arizona until this rescue mission happened. It was mounted onto a MS-09 Dom to create the MS-09 Dom Gnomides.
With the difficulty spike in this game, I was unable to avoid the obvious problem I have with games like this – annoying A.I. issues. I know it’s insanely hard to program stuff like that, but the bots in this game (especially on harder difficulties) are basically psychic aim-bots at times. I have had more than a few instances where I would have somebody dead to rights, and right as I touch the button, they do a tactical roll or something. In later levels, it also seems like the enemy mobile suits are programmed to constantly run away from you, which is very annoying when doing any sort of timed mission.
The computer controlled enemies also have a tendency to constantly attack ONLY the player character, and not the two support units in certain situations. This is not a deal breaker, and I suppose it correlates to the way people might be playing online, but it is somewhat irritating. Once I get a chance to play on hard mode, it will be interesting to see if it gets worse.
Another issue I have is that it seems somewhat challenging to level up your pilots and mobile suits, but is doable. Once hard mode unlocks, repeated runs of the first level of volume one can “farm” quite a bit of experience. More experience means better stats and better special skills that the pilots use throughout the game. You can also gain new mobile suit parts from getting high ranks in battles on the harder difficulties, so completionists really do need to try to get stronger before even attempting that. I plan to beat the game as is (I’m on easy like a loser lol), then go from there.
For whatever reason simulation mission do not give you experience which seems odd to me, however new mobile suit parts are on the line if you can meet ranking criteria. For example, each level has three stars, so getting an S rank and meeting all three star criteria would get you the best items available on said level. These items have a HUGE impact on mobile suit improvement over time, so it’s a bad all to just ignore them.
Overall, I love this game so far, and volume two is definitely a substantial improvement over a game that I already thought was pretty good. The call backs to earlier material, diversity of level style, and engrossing story all make me want to go ahead an play volume 3, but I am trying to savor the game. I also need to level up WAY more before doing certain challenges, and I am not at the point where I feel comfortable trying to S rank on harder difficulties. With that being the main way to level up, I likely have a lot of work ahead of me. Overall, if you liked volume one, you have no excuse to skip this unless you didn’t like it for whatever reason. If you haven’t played either, and are a Gundam fan – you should definitely check it out. I promise the weeb-ish waifu crap is only on the surface level of a rather solid game.
Stay tuned for volume 3’s review fairly soon!