A celebration of all things Gundam, Bandai Namco’s Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme Vs. Maxi Boost ON features a wealth of Mobile Suits and a near endless amount of fanservice. Does this two-on-two arcade fighter hit all the right notes, or is it a bigger cash-in than SD Gundam Force?

Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme Vs. Maxi Boost ON Review

With multiple revisions behind Maxi Boost ON, neophytes learning the ropes will be thrown for a loop at the sheer depth found here. Battles aren’t strictly a ground affair – the average bout has players boosting, flying, and making use of a variety of ranged and melee attacks. As long as one’s boost meter still has some juice left, players will be able to hit the skies and speed along.

As a result, this is an incredibly fast game. Whether one is rushing into an opponent, flanking their position, or canceling into another attack, boosting is an absolute necessity. There is a bit of a learning curve, but those who can get used to its breakneck pace and can figure out which button combinations do what will have an absolute blast. When things get heated, Maxi Boost ON offers up a kaleidoscope of lasers, fire, and destruction.

Players won’t be going into battle solo though; most bouts are two-on-two affairs that rely on the power of teamwork. Whether one is flying with a CPU wingman or teaming up with a friend in its couch co-op or online, this teamwork is a key element to one’s victory. Players can issue commands to others, and different players can lock onto different targets at the press of a button. To add a bit of balance, both teammates share a Resource Gauge between them, so players should be mindful of each other’s Resource Points before doing something drastic.

New to Maxi Boost ON is the EX Burst meter. Before hitting the battlefield, one can choose between a Fighting Burst, Extend Burst, or Shooting Burst style. Each has its own perks; Fighting Burst improves close-ranged attacks and breaks enemy guards, Extend Burst allows players to evade any oncoming danger and counter enemy blows, and Shooting Burst allows players to cancel ranged attacks into other ranged attacks.

Though these EX Burst meters can come across as trump cards that provide an unfair advantage, the variety prevents any one player from being too powerful. The shared meter also comes into play, ensuring that each teammate uses the meter at the proper time so it is not wasted. It’s a little overpowered for its own good, but it’s arguably a welcome addition to the title.

Of course, being a Gundam game, you’re only as good as the Mobile Suit you bring into battle. Players certainly won’t be starved for choice when it comes to the sheer collection found here. Those that grew up with the series can pick pilots from the original Mobile Suit Gundam anime, the Toonami crowd can stick with units from G Gundam and Gundam Wing, and even the newer fans among us can go with Mobile Suits from Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn. Each Mobile Suit brings something new to the table, and the varied movesets and Resource Point values for each one means that there is an incredible amount of content for fans to explore.

Those looking to immerse themselves into the Gundam universe have plenty of options to choose from in Maxi Boost ON. Those looking to take on the CPU can jump into its arcade-like Branch Battle Mode, which tasks players with choosing their next fight via a grid-based system and charting a path to the final battle. For those looking to take the fight online, Player, Ranked, and Casual Matches are available. Matches take a while to synchronize, but once in battle, bouts are relatively smooth affairs – no small feat when factoring in four players at once. A Free Battle Mode that gives players the chance to practice is also included.

Perhaps its most robust mode is its Maxi Boost Missions. Made up of more than 200 missions, players will take on set battles, eventually culminating in a boss fight. There are a few variables at play – one can shoot for higher ranks, equip Upgrade Data, collect Reward Chips, and take on Break Missions that make each boss weaker, among other things. However, the whole process feels like a grind at times, and it’ll no doubt make most players seek out some of its other modes.

To keep players coming back, players can collect GP along the way that unlocks emblems, titles, gauge designs, and other elements. Hundreds of figurines can also be collected along the way in what amounts to a large digital Gunpla collection.

Arcade aficionados and Gundam fans alike will have an absolute blast with Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme Vs. Maxi Boost ON. While there is a bit of a learning curve, the sheer speed, depth, and fanservice on display make it a shining example of the fighting game genre.

This review of Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme Vs. Maxi Boost ON was done on the PlayStation 4. A digital code was provided by the publisher.
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