SD Gundam G Generation Eternal holds a lot of potential as a mobile version of the G Generation Series, letting you take the game’s fun TRPG gameplay and flashy animations anywhere on the go. It’s a bit of a shame then that the game has a number of balance decisions and weird design choices that hamper the experience a little but still will leave a good impression on worldwide Gundam fans.
As the game has its first closed beta test last week, we got to try out various mobile suits, enjoy the flashy attack animations, and experiment with the game’s progression to see if this was a true G Generation Experience.
Keep in mind that all screenshots taken during this were from the Closed Beta Test, and are subject to change on release.
▍G Generation Eternal Story Mode
G Generation Eternal’s Story Mode lets you relive various battles and scenes from the many Gundam series included in this title, with more chapters and content coming to each series in regular updates. This beta let us play with through parts of the original Gundam, Thunderbolt, and SEED storylines.
You’ll be playing and reliving various battles across multiple Gundam Series, seeing the story through dialogue and in-game battles designed to simulate the conditions and positioning of that scene. Of course, several battles in G Generation Eternal will have your own mobile suits mixed in, so you can pretend that you’re influencing history a little.
G Generation Eternal’s presentation for the story does a decent job of jogging your memories of what’s actually happened and provides some context to the fights for those that have never seen that Gundam series. If you’re hoping for G Generation Eternal to convince you to watch the original Gundam anime series, this probably won’t be what it does for you. Most of the scenes are pretty minimalistic and are conveyed through short bursts of dialogue and basic animations. It can’t convey the gravity of the scene it’s being based on, and in turn, almost downplays the scenario.
▼G Generation Eternal’s Recreation of the iconic scene, when the Gundam rises.
▍Mobile Suit Tactics Brought Straight to Your Phone
Even so, G Generation Eternal makes reliving these fights kind of fun, even if you’ve seen it several times. As always you can trigger dialogue by having certain characters fight each other, giving you an incentive to play the stage with a certain strategy or movement pattern in mind.
The gameplay in G Generation Eternal is pretty standard as a typical tactics RPG. You control a squad of Mobile suits assembled by what you have unlocked and command them to move along a grid and battle enemies in turn-based combat.
You can perform a movement, and then have that unit perform an attack or wait for action. Once all your units have acted, the enemy gets to move, and you can respond to their attacks by either guarding, dodging, or countering with another attack from your mobile suit. Attacks are selected from a range of weapons, with each one having a different MP cost to use and effective range. Each weapon also has a damage and range rating, with weapons fired at longer ranges being inaccurate, so you’ll have to take that into account when attacking and responding to the enemy.
I was able to complete most of the stages just fine by letting it auto with three stars just to see how far I could go without playing it myself, and the Ai was able to do pretty fine with my team, though it was a close call a few times. I imagine later stages will require a much more hands-on approach.
▍Stellar Presentation, Despite a Few Concessions
The best part of G Generation Eternal is easily the game’s presentation, which was the biggest draw for the series, above the game’s combat.
When Bandai Namco announced that the game would be cutting down on animations, I assumed that the game would have lots of moments where there wouldn’t even be a cinematic cut before an attack and that many mass-produced suits would end up without any at all.
That was far from the case, as even suits not piloted by main characters from the show, like Djinns and Guntanks, still had cut-in animations for some of the most basic attacks, and several attacks from many mobile suits still looked absolutely stunning, my favorite being the RX-78’s ridiculously over-the-top Cross Weapon Combination. among several others.
▼ RX-78 Cross Weapon Combination
▼ Phoenix Gundam’s Eternal Weapon
Unfortunately, these animations are actually pre-rendered. Attack animations you haven’t seen will take a second to load, which can be pretty annoying when you’re out using mobile data. Also, this means that most animations will just take place in space and don’t account for the environment. While this certainly isn’t a deal-breaker, you may wanna stick to playing the game in a place with wi-fi where you can.
▼Gundam Astray Gold Frame Amatsu Mina’s Attacks
The game’s Ui and menus were also pretty clean at this stage. Finding the menu and option i needed to use was pretty self-explanatory. The game also had a favorites function on the top right of certain stages, making them easier to find. Though for some reason this wasn’t present in the upgrade materials stages, which would be the most common stage for you to go back to.
A point you can consider to be both good and bad, was during the Closed Beta Test, the game’s tutorial was incredibly quick, giving you free rein of the game after completing just one stage, and then giving you the tutorial 10-roll.
▼ SD Gundam G Generation Eternal Gacha Animation
This is probably something that will be changed in the final release. I mention this because the game has many systems and things you could incorporate into your tactics, but without proper tutorials, some players might not know how to trigger support attacks properly, or terrain bonuses.
Since the game’s tutorial ended really abruptly and didn’t steer me towards a specific goal, I decided to set my own goal which was to collect as many mobile suits as I could outside of the gacha. This meant learning the Develop and Produce features in the game, which ended up taking a lot longer than I thought it would.
▍Every Mobile Suit is Technically Free, But…
Something G Generation Eternal devs promised, was that all players could get every mobile suit in the game for free without paying. So let’s see how exactly they fulfilled this promise.
The game has two key features for this outside of the gacha, produce, and develop.
Produce lets you create a mobile suit using Capital, the game’s in-game currency. Once you’ve unlocked a mobile suit and raised it to level five, it will be added to the production list. You can then use Capital to instantly make another copy of that mobile suit at its base Grade. A few base aircraft are available for production if you don’t have any machines at level five.
Develop then lets you transform a mobile suit into another. The Mobile Suit needs to reach a certain level, and for you to reach a Development Rank. Your development rank goes up basically goes up the more suits from a certain series you unlock, either through the game’s gacha or developing the lowest Mobile Suits up.
This means Capital, and Experience points are the lifeblood and fuel to produce and develop mobile suits Sadly though the game limits how many runs of the daily stages you can do to three per day, meaning your progress will be time-gated at some point simply due to you not being able to farm these stages infinitely, even if you had AP to spare.
Thankfully G Generation Eternal lets you skip these stages, making daily grinding quick.
So yes, you can get every suit in the game for free, though don’t expect the journey to be quick. In our experience, however, the gacha was pretty generous, so if there is a suit you’re dying to get, saving up a couple of stones to get them seems pretty reliable.
Unfortunately, dismantling produced suits doesn’t give you materials to Grade Up a mobile suit. That means if you want to upgrade a suit’s grade, you’ll have to grind the suit’s Eternal Stage which may not be available, and if you want to max out a suit’s grade, you’ll still have to pull the gacha.
Keep in mind again that all of these elements can still be changed on G Generation Eternal’s launch, maybe the sorties have a higher limit or give even more, or production costs get tweaked a little. The key takeaway should be that it is possible to get pretty much every mobile suit for free, and whether or not that kind of time investment is worth it for you, depends on your playing and spending habits.
▍Is This The Definitive G Generation Mobile Game?
I have a few mixed feelings about G Generation Eternal, but what I can say is that at the end of my playtest, I still wanted to go back in and watch Mobile Suits beat each other up. The game is entertaining, stays true to the G Generation gameplay loop, and still has a very slick, and pretty presentation despite being so far away from consoles in terms of hardware.
While it’s too early to give a verdict on how good this game is, I can tell you that even with only three story chapters, a limited roster, and game modes, I found SD Gundam G Generation Eternal to be a pretty good time.
With some tweaks to the overall balance and more game mode options and a proper tutorial, I think SD Gundam G Generation Eternal could prove to be a promising experience for fans of Gundam, Tactical RPGs, and all in between, and I’m excited for when it finally launches.