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Omnicrom
Aug 3, 2007
Snorlax Afficionado




I always felt that the name of Crowe's mech should actually be "Brasta", largely for reasons that are fairly spoilertastic. The reason, without getting too deep into details is that the Brasta has a name pun similar to 3 other mecha that it's directly related to. Blaster is a fine name to go by and if the LP gets to stage 38 I'll explain my thinking unless Caphi cares for me to spit it out now.

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Omnicrom
Aug 3, 2007
Snorlax Afficionado




Caphi posted:

Would those be Gunleon, Virgora, and Arietes? I'm not seeing a Libra anywhere in Blaster so I've always assumed we'll figure it out in Restoration.

Mostly I'm using "Blaster" because it sounds better, to be perfectly frank. But yeah, might want to keep it under your hat until all that stuff starts coming out in the plot itself.

My random theory is that since the other 3 are named quite clearly that the Brasta might be shortened from LIbrasta. It's only a theory, but it seems closest to a theme name for the latest in a series of units that all have theme names.

Anyways keep up the good work, you've done a good job showing how the game plays in only 1 level.

Omnicrom
Aug 3, 2007
Snorlax Afficionado




Caphi posted:

This sounds reasonable, and extremely Engrishy, but I still think "Brasta" looks/sounds super dumb.

So do I. Brasta is a very uninspiring name. You are well within your rights to keep calling it the Blaster and I have absolutely no problem with that name since it's the other half of the name pun that I'm surmising is the name pun. I'm extremely pedantic so I call it the Brasta and wanted to make sure you knew the weird maybe fact about the mech as you're the LPer, but continue however suits you best.

Omnicrom
Aug 3, 2007
Snorlax Afficionado




Caphi posted:

I think the only thing to do here is blame the Japanese.

You mean like I always do? CURSE YOU BANPRESTO! Curse you and your desire for the Huckebein Mark III to never be top tier again! Curse you!

Omnicrom
Aug 3, 2007
Snorlax Afficionado




Like all the other people I'm going to also point out that "Solar Furnace" refers only to 4 specific non-Gundam units in the game and you don't meet them for quite a while. Since the Solar Furnace they're talking about become standard issue in Season 2 of Gundam 00 I'm almost certain they'll change Setsuna's Ace Bonus because in stage 48 Setsuna can quite literally Solo an entire ARMY just using his GN Sword attack. Worse Exia's strongest attack using Soul and with Setsuna's Ace Bonus can almost kill any of the of 00 Season 1 final bosses in a single move, it's pretty sick. I don't want to think of the damage you could do in Z2-2 if they kept the ace bonus the same since Setsuna gets a much bigger sword to swing around.

Also the next stage is a route split, will we in the thread be voting on it? Because if so I'm voting for the Japan route

Omnicrom
Aug 3, 2007
Snorlax Afficionado




For starters lets agree with the general consensus and buy Hit and Away and E Save for Kouji. I'm happy that the Former Ability will likely be less necessary in Z2-2 because Mazinger Z get's its truly ultimate weapon.

It's worth mentioning there's a sort of kind of reason for Tieria to be basically the most traptastic character this side of Guilty Gear, but that's from 00 S2 so this isn't the time or the place.

Pity for Shiro, in the original Mazinger Z TV series he actually does get his own mecha for a little while. For like an episode Shiro gets the "Robot Junior", a baseball themed smaller take-off on the Boss Borot. To date it has appeared only in Super Robot Wars D where it had a combination attack where it knocked the Borot's head into the enemy like a Skeeball. If Super Robot Wars D wasn't completely broken mechanically it'd basically be the best SRW ever, let's hope the incredibly far-off rumors of a remake for the Vita are true and they fix the bad from the game.

Doublas and Garada are actually the most famous Mechabeasts from Mazinger. They show up in basically every incarnation, are a shoe-in for almost any SRW game that puts emphasis on Mazinger Z, showed up in the Mazinkaiser OVA, and are basically Doctor Hell's mooks in most media. Z2-1 is actually pretty unique in that the Mechabeasts are big bosses instead of just regular enemies but I think the big reason is that Doctor Hell can have grunt mecha in the form of those Talos statues. Mechabeasts are at the bottom of the food chain in Alpha, wimps in J and W, but here they're bosses to be treated with respect.

Omnicrom
Aug 3, 2007
Snorlax Afficionado




Kaboom Dragoon posted:

Loran Cehak from Turn-A was originally going to be a girl, until that was shot down by the powers that be. So they had a mini-rebellion, of sorts, leading to 'Laura Rolla'.

That's actually an urban legend as far as is known. Loran Cehack's earliest pre-production sketches actually had him as a dude and he was pretty effeminate throughout the line. I'm guessing that Tomino may have asked for him to be ultra-girly in production because his later post-depression works are an extended apology to all women everywhere after the crap he had them say in Zeta and Victory Gundam. Viewed from that angle Brain Power'd makes a LOT more sense.

dis astranagant posted:

Let's face it, half the reason Shin Mazinger exists is to make Mazinger Z into a loving awesome SRW unit.

Got is in one actually. I recall an interview where Imagawa actually said as much, that Mazinger Z would be given a Super Robot Wars Style move that could be a MAP attack and a really big super attack that Classic Mazinger Z lacked. He succeeded.

ImpAtom posted:

Classic Mazinger Z was an awesome unit in Neo.

I'm SO glad someone else remembers how godly Mazinger Z was in NEO. To elaborate since I like the sound of my own typing NEO is the most nonstandard SRW by virtue of not having a grid-based map and basically changing the entire formula. It works actually, and Mazinger Z being made awesome is the result. NEO has a lot of special attributes that can be attached to weapons and leveled up, so Breast Fire can literally ignite enemies for bonus damage, Rocket Punch reduces counterattack damage when you attack with it, Iron Cutter (not in Z2) arcs over obstacles to hit things behind cover, and Missile Launcher (not in Z2 either) has very long range for NEO. Mazinger Z therefore is an all-in-one unit attack-wise plus being able to fly which is a handy feature.

Omnicrom
Aug 3, 2007
Snorlax Afficionado




SEED has problems with a lot of things. For starters SEED is trying to be both idealistic and realistic at the same time.

The whole bit where Lacus is being held hostage to force ZAFT to hold off is the best example of this weird disconnect. On one hand Natarle is completely correct, they're about to be killed by the Blitz Gundam and she gets on the line and says "BTW your princess is actually in this battleship, retreat or you'll kill her". On the other hand the scenes are set up that Natarle is supposed to be totally in the wrong for saving the ship and everyone on it. Then Kira returns Lacus to ZAFT and everyone is shocked, SHOCKED I saw that Rau would try to shoot down their enemies after that enemy has lost their bargaining chip. It really did feel as though we're supposed to be against the actions of Natarle and Rau le Creuset despite the fact they're acting completely logically, pragmatically, and rationally. This is bad writing and stuff like it basically goes on throughout the entire series, it has less a message of "War is bad" and more "Every soldier ever is evil except for the main characters". Every non-hero in the main anime of SEED is a baby-killing villain by default and that really hurts them if they want it to be taken seriously. Let me sum up pretty much everything about SEED you need to know, by the weird morality of SEED Captain Bright Noa would probably be a bad guy, Natarle is basically his reworking whereas Murrue has more in common with Misato Kisaragi.

SEED actually made it's debut in SRW Alpha 3 and I can't help but think that the plot of SEED is sort of being played almost as a parody of itself by playing it so straight. There's the whole thing where Shinji Ikari basically calls Kira for being so wangsty sure but I seriously get the feeling that SEED is actually secondary to any part of the story it's involved in. For instance the Waltfeld stages? They're actually more about Macross 7 than Gundam SEED. ZAFT and Blue Cosmos supporters have pretty much the weakest units in the game. There are a number of scenes throughout the game, not just the Shinji scene where Kira is basically made to look like an idiot and a waste of time, like one where Kira is actually hesitating against fighting the Zonderian Primevals in the GGG base because they look human. Basically one of your main characters and the Wing boys tell him to get over himself and just shoot them. The SEED bosses are also probably the easiest in the game, the Druggies were less dangerous to me than Yazan Gable who usually shows up with them. Even Rau in the Providence Gundam is really easy, he may actually be the easiest endgame boss in the game.

Omnicrom
Aug 3, 2007
Snorlax Afficionado




Rabidredneck posted:

I know I'll probably get mocked for this, but I actually liked the original Mazinger Z series more than Shin Mazinger. Granted I'm probably a bit biased since I first saw it as the butchered, mangled mess that was Tranzor Z (but I was a kid then and knew nothing of japanese anime or dubbing).

I liked how in the beginning Koji had to learn to pilot his robot. I liked the occasions where one of Dr. Hell's robots had an honest advantage over Mazinger which required figuring out an upgrade; one of my favorites being Hell realizing Mazinger couldn't swim or fight underwater and began building machines designed to exploit that.

Shin Mazinger was just too over the top for my tastes considering I loved the original series so much.

You aren't alone, I've heard that point raised many times. And Shin Mazinger isn't faultless, there's a reason the first arc is known as "The Endless Knight" because the pacing can be shoddy.

As for Mazinger Z in game it gets one more attack next mission and midway through gets another when it receives the Wing Scrander that lets it fly. Shin Mazinger's ultimate attacks are not in Z2-1 however, the God Scrander is saved for Z2-2.

Omnicrom
Aug 3, 2007
Snorlax Afficionado




Adyen posted:

I still couldn't forget the time where I rammed the Reinhorse Jr. into an Angel on that stage and then Bright was like, "Ummm... I felt that we needed to take whatever chance we got?" (paraphrased)

But I really hate the Trider G7. It stems back to when they were still using Dunbine in SRW games and it would be useless except to get blown up. Then again, the 'bines were so overpowered in F, especially if you get that black one.

And which one was it that had ALL the end of the world stuff for all the series happen at the last stages? MX, I think? I could have sworn that game had Rahxephon as well.

Best part about using the Reinforce Jr on Israfel? That's what you're supposed to do. You get 2 skill points for having Bright Noa spear an angel with his battleship. On a tangent I really do like how they gave command of the Reinforce Jr to Bright.

Dunbine isn't weak in my experience, in Alpha and 4 at the very least the Bilibine is actually one of the games heavy hitters.

MX did indeed have an ending that's like a Super-Apocalypse. 3rd impact happens, Rahxephone retunes the world, and then Erde Mitte shows up cackling before the robot brain she made will consume the world like a super-duper devil gundam because she's a stupidly evil mad scientist of an original villain.

Omnicrom
Aug 3, 2007
Snorlax Afficionado




Spiritus Nox posted:

My favorite part of these games is the inevitable moment where some character looks at all of this rediculous poo poo going at once and goes "Holy gently caress why is this all happening at once"

That actually happens, and it isn't your team: it's actually Kihel and the other SEELE dudes from NGE who are freaking out, "EVERYONE'S END OF THE WORLD IS HAPPENING AT ONCE AND OURS ISN'T WORKING!" And it doesn't, you kill the Mass Produced Evas like 3 times and eventually it sticks.

It's cute when they use the whole "Alien Invasion from 2 different aliens, Hau Dragon, Giganos attacks, Hyakki Empire, Mulians, and Martian Successors all attacking at once" to explain away why you don't fight all 18 angels, the prophecies of the Dead Sea Scrolls aren't happening right so causality is going all nuts.

Omnicrom
Aug 3, 2007
Snorlax Afficionado




Brunom1 posted:

Urgh, don't even remind me of those horrible MP EVAs.

The first fight is fine since you have Rom and his awesome morale-boosting speech but the 2nd fight, right before the final mission was horrible first off with the lack of fodder with which to build morale and how accurate those EVAs were.


I think the only mission that annoyed me more than that one was the final attack on the giganos base where you were limited to UC Gundams and Dragonar units.

I pretty much had to clear the thing with Amuro, Judau, Quatro, Camille, Light and Tap since everyone else was horribly underleveled and it was SLOOOOOW.

I haven't gotten that far in MX, but the MP Evas were pansies in Alpha 3. Mind you a good part is that you get boosted morale because it's the end of the world and the Alpha Numbers aren't going to take that poo poo lying down. Actually the End of Evangelion stage in Alpha 3 is a whopping 4-part stage, but amusingly the only hard part is the second part when you have to keep Asuka alive. It's also possibly the only game EVER where you fight Gendou Ikari, he "pilots" (more like directs) a Dummy Plugged clone of Eva-01. Spoiler alert: He dies.

Omnicrom
Aug 3, 2007
Snorlax Afficionado




Spiritus Nox posted:

I've heard that sequence described before. It all sounds like the most wonderfully thing.

It's also cathartic for Shinji/Rei/Asuka. Zeruel kicked their rear end in the series if you remember. In @3 they absolutely crush him no problem.

Also Shinji killing his dad is also one of the many hoops you need to jump through to get Eva-01's F-Type Armor. it's worth it though, it has a Chainsaw Rifle that shoots N2 Missiles and an AT-Field Laser Cannon.

Omnicrom
Aug 3, 2007
Snorlax Afficionado




Bob Smith posted:

The first time I played MX I had to stop at that mission because I'd poured all my upgrades into, of all things, Daimos, Nobel Gundam, Rom Stoll and Zeorymer.

The second time I had D2 and D3 full-upgraded, and kicked its rear end. Still at least you get Meio Plato for doing it, and his stupidly powerful combo attack.

I seem to remember MX's MP Eva level having some really weird event happen where the last survivor of the Hau Dragon turns up, as well as the rear end in a top hat general guy from Daimos. Piloting a Gilgazamune.

Yeah, for some insane reason in the final fight with the MP Evas you fight against Saiga and Omzack of Thunder from Zeorymer and Miwa from Daimos. Both are somewhat notable, Saiga was apparently cloned because he showed up, ate a Meiou, and died earlier in the game. In addition that fight with Saiga is the ONLY time in MX where Zeorymer doesn't finish a Hau Dragon member off in an event.

Miwa meanwhile is the shithead from Daimos who caused the entire war with Barm, "Aliens are coming to negotiate a peace treaty to live on Mars? gently caress that! Assassinate their leader!" It's no surprise that in Alpha he joins up with the Titans the first chance he gets, I think he gets killed by the GENESIS cannon in Alpha 3. It was mighty nice that the Giganos Empire took him in though, I mean him being a racist earthbound human supremacist might have made the moon people think twice but it was a nice thing that in the end they gave him a commander mecha so Kazuki can shove a (giant mecha) fist in his face.

As for Zeruel yes he was the one with the stretchy paper arms and the super-powerful death beam that EVA-01 ate.

Omnicrom
Aug 3, 2007
Snorlax Afficionado




KDavisJr posted:

Forgot to mention this earlier but wow. Dai-guard is a piece of poo poo. At least it's armor is (especially compared to other mechs). BTW The Tarus mobile suits from the Gundam series: how much is their armor rating?

Well I don't actually believe Tauruses are in Z2.1, it only covers Gundam Wing up through about episode 10. In Z2.2 however they have around 1000-1200 armor which is standard for Real Robot enemies. The wimpy mass produced Axios you fight usually have

In addition for those who are alarmed about Dai-Guards armor don't be, when it joins the armor starts at around 1200, low for mecha that isn't fast and is going to be taking hits but much better than the zinc armor. Oh yeah, apparently the armor you see on Dai-Guard in this episode is Zinc, which is brittle and therefore not likely to stand up to being smacked by a robot. Dai-Guard is a glass cannon of a unit, it's slow, can't take hits well, and has low movement. However it has a set of really powerful barrier-piercing weapons. I usually give it a Haro.

The Reason Kouji is tanking damage fairly well is that he actually DOES have a lot of armor. Mazinger Z starts with 1900 armor, you upgraded that to 2080. For reference that's about how much you'd get with 10 bars on Dai-Guard, or about 5 on Dancougar Nova when you get it for youself. Add to that 7500 HP and Mazinger Z can take hits very well.

I hate to constantly be a wet blanket about the translations but the Brasta/Blaster's melee attack where it nets the monster and then impales them is called "Bayonet Spiker", Bunker Break is the basic melee with the Brasta's shield.

Omnicrom
Aug 3, 2007
Snorlax Afficionado




ImpAtom posted:

They most certainly are. They show up relatively late, around the same time as the GN-Xs. The Gundam Wing faction launches a bunch of them, including one with Noin, during the last Gundam 00 stage.

Crap sorry, I entirely forgot about them. I know at the very least there are no Virgos in Z2.1 and Mobile Dolls are a big deal in Z2.2 In the Z-verse apparently Mobile Dolls are based on a theory cooked up by Sumeragi of all people

Omnicrom
Aug 3, 2007
Snorlax Afficionado




KDavisJr posted:

Oh wait...I meant the Leos. Those show up in he first Episode. Zechs decides to fight Wing Gundam with one in free fall, after seeing one get Wave Motion Cannon'ed by it's buster rifle (the Leos don't have a flight system standard).

Also MORE MANZIGER!!!!
If we can't get a Grunst, where are we gonna get our Rocket Punch from???

Ah Leos. Yeah, Leos have like 800-1000 armor. Enemy stats in the game aren't necessarily constant, Leos you fight later on are tougher than the ones you fight earlier and depending on how many skill points you have they might be upgraded even further.

Omnicrom
Aug 3, 2007
Snorlax Afficionado




veekie posted:

Mazinger can only lead to awesome.

A bit like early game G-Gundam units in J? Those were a pain in the butt to keep alive at first(esp with how hard their antagonist bosses hit), but towards the end became serious asskickers.

That's a good explanation, of course one of the reasons the G Gundam crew was such a pain to keep alive in J was because the game fucks you. By default they fly but they have only a B Rank in air, so they actually take a pretty substantial penalty to hit, defense, and evasion when they fly. If you land them suddenly they're much less likely to keel over from being shot by Death Army dudes or what have you.

Omnicrom
Aug 3, 2007
Snorlax Afficionado




ActionZero posted:

[...] So yeah, Setsuna is quantifiably more than a little nuts.

Basically ActionZero has it. There's actually a truly wonderful conversation between Setsuna and Heero, and you better translate ALL of it Caphi because it had me cracking up.

So Gundam Wing: The last time we used the TV versions of the Wing mecha was SRW D. The last time we used the Wing STORYLINE was SRW @1. It's been quite a while. Also don't get your hopes up for people who want to see the Zero or Epyon, neither is in SRW Z2.1. Gundam Wing is only covered up until episode 10 so none of the upgrades to the Wing Gundams are shown. This is a far cry from most SRW games where the story takes place after Endless Waltz and the Gundams are really there mostly to provide squad filler Post Endless Waltz gets you the 5 Wing mecha, the Tallgeese III, and a Taurus or 2 and it fits well in most SRW Storylines.

As for difficulty if you want a hard SRW you can do worse than Z2.1 actually. I had a tremendous amount of difficulty with the game and getting the Skill Points. Z2.2 is actually a LOT easier in that regard.

Omnicrom
Aug 3, 2007
Snorlax Afficionado




Chirico's little flashback is actually a rough approximation of the first episode of VOTOMs, only a little less awesome. In the original anime Chirico is electrocuted for days and escapes thanks to a single screw. After thrashing in the same bed for hours every day one his restraints break and he steals a screw as he's lying on the floor, later he uses that screw to keep the automatic door of his cell slightly open and escapes when the guard comes to check on the door's apparent malfunction. Chirico proceeds to steal an assault rifle and flee the base on a spaceship.

The other thing that Caphi mentioned was Chirico's "???" skill which is unique in its usage. Usually skills marked with a ??? are skills that haven't been unlocked and that ??? is there as a placeholder so that a skill slot is open when they get it later. Rarely they are unlocked by leveling, for instance Kyosuke in OG1 unlocking Leadership but usually they unlock by storyline. Z1 for instance Shin's ??? became SEED Mode after he uses it in the story and Setsuko gets SP Regen after she gets her final mech upgrade. Dancougar's eventual pilot also has a "???" skill that will eventually be revealed and Setsuna in Z2.2 also has a ??? skill though that one is revealed right at the end of the game.

Chirico is unique, at no point in Z2.1 does his mystery ability actually become revealed, but it's still in effect right from the beginning. This is actually true to the series, Chirico's ability in VOTOMs is revealed to have always been there and that several times it activated without him knowing it. VOTOMs in Z2.1 only goes up through the first arc and one of the OVAs but since his mystery power was always active it's perfectly reasonable you can use an ability that is only explained much later in the series. Basically right from the start if you CAN trigger it you should, but it's not easy to make that happen, that mystery ability is active whenever Chirico's mech is under 10% HP.

Omnicrom
Aug 3, 2007
Snorlax Afficionado




Trider G7 is not my favorite Super Robot, it's really mediocre in a lot of ways and it's actually sort of mishandled by the game. Basically in both Z2.1 and Z2.2 Trider gets a minor upgrade about 2/3rds of the way through the game that would have REALLY been useful out earlier in the game. It's not helped that Bird Attack is incredibly overcosted at 80 EN, it's one of the most expensive attacks in the entire game and unless you get the Full Upgrade Bonus it's not even that good. You need EN Save on Watta if you intend to do Bird Attack with any frequency and even then you'll be hamstrung by Watta not being good himself.

Watta is NOT a good pilot, it's a very bad thing in this game to start with no spirits that actually effect combat and worse his spirits as a whole are pretty unimpressive. He doesn't get Iron Wall, Accelerate, Sense, or even Hotblood which are all very good to have on a Super Robot. Skill-wise Watta's prevail is not very good either. At prevail 4 Trider won't start to gain bonuses until it's under 40% HP and they won't be that big, so unlike a number of other Super Robots Trider is sadly going to be consistently taking bit hits. Even with the value of Watta's president skill I always benched him once I started to get some other units and I dumped him completely once the mid-game recruits started to pile in.

On the other hand In Z2.2 at least I got a lot of mileage out of the shuttle as a flying supply unit. As the game progresses you start to get more ways to manage energy but early on giving Kakekouji the Supply Expert skill helped me a lot, and the shuttle being full of pilots with good support spirits was a big help as well.

Also round of applause, we've had our very first character returning from SRW Z1! Sort of.

Omnicrom
Aug 3, 2007
Snorlax Afficionado




Spiritus Nox posted:

Wait, we did? Who and where?

Who and where is actually a really drat big spoiler for both games and it's not actually revealed until late in Z2.2. Forget about it for now, but Suffice to say that this character becomes a very important side-character in Z's overall plot and the revelation of his identity is a really big curveball. Once the main plot gets rolling and the game starts talking about Black Knowledge I might give an explanation with Caphi's approval.

Omnicrom
Aug 3, 2007
Snorlax Afficionado




Mercury Crusader posted:

I hope this means you'll be using it a lot more often when you have the tough choice of either fielding him or not. I always find it a shame when other SRW fans pretty much only care about newer shows or whatever is the most obviously overpowered and broken mechs they can field. I'm a huge fan of old school Super Robots, because their one-dimensional black-and-white good-and-evil stories and toy commercial appeal just give me a burst of nostalgia that I shouldn't even have because I never grew up with those shows at all, yet could totally see myself watching (about the only super robot show I did watch when I was really young was Voltes V, which was, and last I heard still is, super popular in the Philippines).

But like most folks said already, Trider G7 isn't terrible. The problem is that it's in a game full of overpowered mechs, and Watta's spell pool is rather poor, at least until you get Lock-On when he can start going offensive more often; the lack of that spell in general hurts him in later levels. In any case, by the time much more difficult enemies and bosses show up, Trider G7's real strengths show up later in the game as a barrier-busting, combination-attack engine when next to Zambot 3 and, later, Daitarn 3.

Z1 was actually pretty good about balancing old and new series and had some good balance in the units. A lot of good early game units like the Hyaku Shiki, Walker Gallia, Zambot 3, and Grendizer don't start to fall off until the very end of the game and the squad system let you get mileage out of all the support units the game gives you (Kapools, the 3 spazers, Diana and Venus A, the Panthers, etc.)

I also like some good old fashioned 70s Super Robot fashion, its why every time I've played Z2 I've tried to get some good mileage out of Trider G7 but I never could bring myself to keep using it. I'll say this though: Trider is a LOT better in Z2.2, it starts with its Z2.1 upgrades and joins at the same time as Zambot 3 letting you do the Double Brat Attack right off the bat. In addition Kakekouji starts with enough PP to buy Resupply expert so you can use the Shuttle for that immediately. Plus having Exhaust/Daunt is much more important in Z2.2 because of how many bosses have Extreme as a skill (Too goddamn many).

Z1 had some good old fashioned good vs. evil stories as well. Gaizock was never anything more than a genocidal monster no matter how he tried to spin himself at the end, The Vegan and Hyakki are the old school cartoonish bad guys, and the original villain it turns out is just flat out evil for the hell of it.

Omnicrom
Aug 3, 2007
Snorlax Afficionado




Oh Godmars. Once we get to see the title mech I'll definitely give one of my overlong long analyses on it. For now let's talk about the pilot a little

Takeru is actually a really great pilot. Caphi started off with his Ace bonus but it's actually very easy to get Takeru to Ace in Z2.1 because there are a lot of stages where it's just Takeru and the Gaia for a couple turns fighting the Godmars enemy robots and with only a little upgrading on the Gaia you can do some really heavy damage with it.

Caphi didn't go into great detail but Super A Class Psychic is one of the best pilot skills in the entire game and maybe the entire series. Along with SP Regen, A Class gives the equivalent of Psychic level 9 which is a 18% increase on final hit and accuracy which means that Takeru's mechs can be surprisingly nimble. Takeru isn't the only Psychic in the game by the way, there's actually 8 other pilots you get with the same pilot ability but only Takeru can get the A Class version and get it fairly early. Even if you don't ace him Takeru gets to Psychic level 9 faster than anyone else and is actually one of the only pilots who does.

Also Takeru starts with Spiritual Fortitude which is invaluable because a certain very common very annoying enemy in this game would not be as obnoxious by half if it didn't have Status attacks, and I mean this quite literally because the enemy loses them in Z2.2 and becomes so much less painful to fight.

Omnicrom
Aug 3, 2007
Snorlax Afficionado




Spiritus Nox posted:

Out of curiosity, is it spoilery to ask whether Gaia's going to be Takeru's main mech for a while, or is it going to be like Little Zambot and mini-God Sigma's short runs in Z1 and only go a few missions before getting upgraded to Godmars?

I next mission answers your question. And I'm going to go to bat and say Takeru is actually somewhat better for what they choose to do with him.

Omnicrom
Aug 3, 2007
Snorlax Afficionado




Shaezerus posted:

Anything Godmars in this game shows that the Z2 team has a hell of a lot of love for the source material by never giving anything originating from it more than five frames of movement at a time, but manage to do a lot with them. The dodge animation for Godmars proper is the funniest drat thing.

It's not just Godmars they do that for, The Z games as a whole put an astonishing amount of time and effort into getting the graphics to match the source material. For example go look at the various Beam Rifles you can use in the game, they all match their respective show and unit not only in color but in sound effect and visual appearance. They put a lot of effort into capturing Gundam's most basic weapons as perfectly as they could, and Banpresto seemed to apply that same effort to basically everything. It's really noticeable for Godmars as they're matching the bare-bones animation from the series but just about every single unit looks like it was practically copy-pasted from their anime.

Omnicrom
Aug 3, 2007
Snorlax Afficionado




Gulping Again posted:

Ah, Takeru. I honestly don't know who's better between him, Chirico and the other top-tier pilot, but the three of them are without a doubt the game's best.

Super A-Class Psychic is an enormously broken skill, and the bomb ceases to be of any concern with even moderate upgrading. Even Gaia can be a force to be reckoned with when upgraded, and as for the titular machine itself...

Heh, you'll see.

Out of curiosity who are you putting as third on your list top-tier pilots?

Omnicrom
Aug 3, 2007
Snorlax Afficionado




Gulping Again posted:

UGH. After I posted I remembered the DX. Yes, it has the single strongest attack in the game, but the conditions on using it are crippling and every other attack it has loving sucks. It doesn't help that Garrod doesn't exactly light the world on fire in terms of capability, sitting firmly in the mediocre zone from start to finish. The Gundam X units are a sorry lot, and the DX is by far the weakest of the three. These problems are further compounded by the fact that it is by far the most expensive unit to fully upgrade, not that you'd want to.

And yes, Apollo is hilariously overpowered if you exploit the Element System to give him ungodly stats and give him Morale so he has it from the word go thanks to his ace bonus. However, he lacks damage multipliers and the Aquarion's attack power isn't high enough to compensate for that. He's an absolutely ludicrous unit, but at the end of the day he doesn't have quite as much soul-loving murder power. He's top five, along with Simon.


The DX was actually quite good in Z1 but it was seriously crippled in Z2 in so many ways, let me count them.

For starters the DX in Z1 was a mid-game upgrade and it showed, it carried over upgrades from the X-Divider Garrod started with so it started well upgraded and in Z1 its basic Rifle and Sword attacks were actually quite strong even besides it's 1-shot weapon. Later it got the G-Falcon which boosted its mobility and gave it new weapons and got a sub-pilot, and if you got the G-bits you got a Tifa as a third pilot and she had some great support spirits like Wish and the G-bit attack was actually really powerful. Also with the G-Falcon the charge time was only 2 turns between firing.

In Z2 by contrast the Sword and Rifle attacks are seriously weakened, Tifa isn't a sub-pilot and you don't get the G-Bits, the G-Falcon isn't in Z2.1, when you get it in Z2.2 the charge time isn't reduced by the G-Falcon, and most crushingly it isn't a squad-based game.

A good chunk of the DX's power in Z1 was the DX was a high performance unit to lead groups and with the G-Falcon that it was a good squad cleaner while it was charging. The G-Falcon's spread beam guns were powerful and Post-movement ALL Attacks, and before you got it you could get mileage out of the DX's high power TRI attack and good speed could dodge and counter well. The Satellite cannon was a great attack to fire at a boss to begin hostilities because it had great range and power and was an ALL attack that could sweep out anyone in the squad and next turn you could use the G-Bits to do good damage as well.

Z2 meanwhile is a mediocre Gundam whose upgrade isn't in Z2.1 and is uninspiring in Z2.2. There's no squads so no ALL attacks so one of the useful things in the DX is shot, it takes 3 turns to charge so it can't be used often, and the G-Bits are nowhere in sight. It's no wonder that the DX is a low-tier unit in Z2 considering they removed everything that made it good!


Sorry for even MORE Black bars but the change to what we're talking about between Z1 and Z2 is one of my least favorite aspects of the sequel.

Omnicrom
Aug 3, 2007
Snorlax Afficionado




There's a reason why the bad guys didn't just set off the Anti-Proton Bomb actually. I think this is explained later in the game so I'm going to put it in spoilers.

Apparently Mars was supposed to grow up to be the conqueror of Earth, but his crash landing caused an error so he grew up unaware of his heritage or Zuul's job for him. The Anti-Proton Bomb was a last resort to help quell defiance, the power of the Gaia was supposed to be such that Mars could conquer the Earth with it and use the deadman switch as additional leverage. This didn't happen so the failsafe now represents the sword of Damocles hovering over Takeru.

As for Godmars itself it's really really good as a unit and really badly animated on purpose. There's only one attack where you see any real motion at all and that's an attack Godmars gets in Z2.2 so for the purposes of this LP it's going to be a big block.

Godmars is also WAY better here than in SRW D. The mechanics of SRW D are really badly unbalanced so Super Robots have very little durability. In D Godmars wasn't a transformation you chose, early on if the Gaia was badly damage or destroyed it would transform automatically, later on Takeru launched in the Godmars initially. It had the anti-proton bomb so it was a liability in many cases but it had MASSIVE damage potential, especially since a secret unit that isn't in Z2 had a combination attack with Godmars which was I believe stronger than the Final Dynamic Special. I'm afraid I never played SRW 64 so I can't tell you how Godmars was in that game though.

Omnicrom
Aug 3, 2007
Snorlax Afficionado




ActionZero posted:

Oh god I can't quite express how much I love Final Godmars' dynamic kill. Just standing there and basking in the light coming off from the enemy's death explosion, truely there can be nothing more beautiful (okay that's a lie but we don't see the single better thing until Saisei).

You talking about when the church bells ring or is this a completely different giant robot?

Omnicrom
Aug 3, 2007
Snorlax Afficionado




Caphi posted:

That's pretty unusual though, because if you sweep aside the RULE THE GALAXY BWAHAHAHA!!! stuff, Zuul as he appears in Z2 thinks Earth is dangerous as hell (probably due to Z2 plot stuff) and wants to destroy it so it doesn't endanger his empire. Even in this chapter alone, everything he said made it pretty clear that he considers the Earth a hazard that cannot be allowed to exist.

From what I understand Zuul's thinking is that a completely subjugated Earth would afford him tremendous power, since he can't have Earth it's better for him to just completely destroy it. Earth in Z2 is home to Photonic energy and 2 other forms of power that are extremely important to the plot of Z2.

In a way the plot of both chapters of SRW Z2 amounts to an arms race, Earth has a number of phenomenal powers and they're being assembled and weaponized. It's a good setup for Z3 as Z2.2 ends with a clear plot hook.

Omnicrom
Aug 3, 2007
Snorlax Afficionado




Caphi posted:

The Photon Beam is one of the wonderful things about Shin Mazinger in this game. Normally it's just one of Mazinger's weapons, and in SRW, the weakest of all his weapons, good only for energy-lean counters. But like everything else in Shin Mazinger, the Photon Beam is very serious and very outrageous, and Super Robot Wars Z2 gave it its due.

By the way, this incarnation of the Photon Beam also makes Mazinger a little bit of an oddity - you may have noticed that super robots like to get up close and personal with super attacks that hit the enemy point-blank. The normal Mazinger showings in SRW aren't an exception, showing off with Breast Fire variants, Great and Dynamic comboes with a range of a few tiles, and at best, the low-mid-range Wheel Rocket Punch. This Photon Beam is Mazinger's real finisher, and it's a non-(P) attack with a range of 7 squares. This makes Mazinger very comfortable shooting its lasers from pretty far away.

So there's a little SRW blogging for you.
ots. I actually like that path split, so hopefully everyone else enjoys it too.

As I stated earlier in the thread Shin Mazinger Z was reportedly made with SRW in mind, and they said they intentionally added a weapon that would make an ideal MAP attack. I argue they probably imagined it was Photonic Beam, though Z2.2 actually uses a completely different attack to give Mazinger a MAP attack.

As for Ranged Mazingers that's been one of Great Mazinger's traits forever in SRW, Its Thunder Break and sometime Great Booster are designed to attack from range. Also Supers with ranged finishing moves are merely uncommon, most games have one or two super robots that have really powerful ranged attacks. A weird Super Robot would probably be Baldios from Z1 who is Gigantic, heavily armored, has a special dodge ability, and is practically a dedicated Sniper. Baldios does get a stronger melee attack about halfway through and eventually a 1-4 ranged final attack but until about 75% of the way through it works works best usually by hanging back and firing Thunder Flashes.

Omnicrom
Aug 3, 2007
Snorlax Afficionado




TK-31 posted:

That other special attack is the one that was imagined as a MAPW, the interview was way back when the show was announced, and IIRC they even said the name of the intended attack right then and there. The new Photon Beam in the show came out of left field, and that made it all the more awesome.

Really? I just never when watching the show thought that the MAP weapon in Z2.2 should have been the MAP weapon. Photon Beam makes more sense to me.

Omnicrom
Aug 3, 2007
Snorlax Afficionado




ImpAtom posted:

What is and isn't a map weapon in SRW can be really weird. There's a lot of attacks that feel like they should be and just plain aren't. It seems the developers go more for "would this dramatically wreck an entire group" instead of "is this really big?"

There are even fairly regularly moves that are MAP attacks in the context of the show which aren't in-game. The Squad system helped a bit with this by giving them a midpoint between MAP and single-target with ALL attacks.

I'm aware. In older games the ZZ Gundam's High-Mega Cannon and the Hyaku Shiki's Mega Bazooka were exclusively MAP weapons and had no single-target/ALL version.

Caphi posted:

MAP Weapon chat: Mazinkaiser's Fire Blaster in Alpha was a MAP weapon (I think the upgraded Mazinger's was too), and it's not like this Mazinger's Breast Fire is all that different. So it's not like Mazinger has never had a MAP-able weapon before this.

Mazingers in Alpha had a MAP attack only if you fully upgraded their Breast Fire/Burn/Fire Blaster attacks. That was a thing unique to Alpha which I believe was inspired by the SNES Masoukishin game, weapons were upgrade individually instead of as a whole some could be upgrade. A couple of the Cybusters attacks are actually already upgraded like that in SRW where he appears, Hi-Familiar and the Akashic Buster where he rams the enemy were upgrades to the regular Familiar and Akashic Buster. In Alpha meanwhile Dancougar got the more powerful Dancoukougaken by upgrading the regular Dancouken and you could also create Map weapons by fully upgrading a Funnel weapon from a UC Mobile Suit, the Texas Mack's revolver, the Wing Zero's Twin Buster Rifle, and the Heavyarms (though you needed to upgrade most of its weapons fully and was therefore basically unusable).

Omnicrom
Aug 3, 2007
Snorlax Afficionado




Dancougar Nova isn't just Gravion Drei in style and mechanical design, it's also Gravion Drei in gameplay terms. In SRW Z you didn't initially get the God Gravion, instead you got it's central component the Grankaiser. Just like the Nova Eagle at 130 Morale you could initiate God Combination and turn into God Gravion for several turns (3 for God Gravion). That weakness is eventually overcome when you eventually get Aoi's ability, just as it was when the Gravion was upgraded. Speaking of I usually call Aoi's ability "Aggressive Beast" because that's the little caption on the cinema scene when Dancougar activates the same ability in @3.

The other thing about Dancougar Nova that I think is really interesting is that it's not really a sequel to Dancougar as much as it is the sequel to the version of Dancougar from Super Robot Wars. I'll go into it in greater detail when we meet the original Dancougar team, but suffice to say that Dancougar as most people know it from SRW bears almost no resemblance to the original anime "Cyber Beast Force Dancougar".

Also a couple of things I've been forgetting to mention. Firstly the "Blocking" Ability that Caphi mentioned in the still where Setsuna used his shield has been removed in Z2.2. In that game you're automatically able to Shield Block, Sword Cut, and Shoot Down (not sure that's in Z2.2 actually). Secondly the Groizer X-10 mechabeasts that the Crushers fought in the previous update are actually a reference to another Go Nagai show, Groizer X was a show from the 70s about a husband and wife team who fought the requisite evil empire in their transforming robot. In fact the Kurogane 5 are all Go Nagai characters from different media, one of the draws of Shin Mazinger is all the old-school Go Nagai characters and mecha who show up.

Omnicrom
Aug 3, 2007
Snorlax Afficionado




Son Ryo posted:

Even if Nova hadn't been kind of subpar overall, I probably wouldn't have liked it because I actually really liked the original Dancouga (though I'm apparently in the minority there?) and I was hoping for something a little more relevant to it.

I like the original Dancougar in part because of how unique it is as a Super Robot show. I touched on this in my earlier infodump but the Dancougar anime puts a lot more emphasis on the individual characters and component mecha than the Dancougar itself. I actually like that they made it largely character driven, and I happen to like the cast. It was also the show with one Norio Wakamoto's breakout roles so I approve of it by that measure.

Omnicrom
Aug 3, 2007
Snorlax Afficionado




Son Ryo posted:

I still don't understand why they've been putting Haros in everything since SEED.

In SEED it was because the writers were hacks. Haros are there mostly because people like Haros and the goal is that by proxy they'll like SEED, there is absolutely no reason why Athrun made Lacus and pile of Haros to follow he around. It's the same reason why SEED DESTINY doesn't bother making new mass produced mobile suits for ZAFT and just brings back the Zaku, Gouf, and Dom.

In 00 the Haros are still fanservice but they actually do stuff, Haros are Support AIs like the one we saw in Victory Gundam. Lock-On's Haro helps him fly the Dynames while he's focused on sniping. We'll meet another person later in the game with a Haro, and S2 (featured in Z2.2) has a third pilot who has a Haro to help him fly his unit and reveals the Celestial Being mothership is partially run by Haros.


Here's the scary part: That goofy looking Haro mobile armor is actually really good. Those bubbles it fires can sink a battleship. You haven't seen true horror until you've seen what you can upgrade it into. Fear the Psycho Haro!

Omnicrom
Aug 3, 2007
Snorlax Afficionado




Silentman0 posted:

Gundam series that don't have Haro in them are actually more rare than the ones that do. I think G, Wing, and Turn-A are the only series that don't?

Gundam X doesn't have Haros either. They were brought back in SEED and have been in every Gundam since.

As for SEED DESTINY there were a lot of problems throughout.

Just for starters the Head Writer, Chiaki Morosawa, was the wife of the director, Mitsuo Fukuda. This meant that the two had near total creative control over the series and they can and did play favorites. The story goes that Kira and Lacus are author surrogates for Fukuda and Morosawa and therefore it's sad but not really surprising when the two of them hijack the last quarter of the show. The head writer also wasn't a good choice even besides her personal feelings, she simply wasn't up to the job of running a weekly series. Previously all she had done was an episode of Outlaw Star, 2 OVAs, and the rough series overview and four draft scripts for Gear Fighter Dendoh. For DESTINY Morosawa not only planned the series but apparently wrote all the scripts; she wasn't able to keep up and frequently turned in scripts late which causes two of the final ten episodes to be pointless clipshows simply because the rest of the crew had no material.

Morosawa was also disliked by the rest of the staff, the head artist had a post on his blog (since deleted) where he blasted the writing staff because it called for almost nothing but endless flashy stock footage and reserved special scorn to Morosawa for a love story that he called "Completely Absurd". The actors for Cagalli and Dearka both were also disgusted by the actions of their characters and washed their hands of the roles, this is why Cagalli and Dearka are no longer in any voiced SRW game. Cagalli, formerly an action girl who fought Mobile Suits with an assault rifle was reduced to a damsel in distress in a forced marriage, and the aforementioned Love Story was created to break up Cagalli and Athrun who had a romantic subplot throughout SEED. Cagalli and Dearka were conspicuously absent in SRW Z, their pilot profiles are in the game if you use a hacking device but they just have AI beeps and no dialogue which suggests that they were intended but the actors bowed out. Meanwhile SRW K and L which both included DESTINY and lacked a voice track made a point to have the pair join as excellent pilots. Thankfully this boycott by the actors may be over as Cagalli did a recent promo for an upcoming Gundam SEED game with new lines.

As for reused Mecha Fukuda, who was also director of Gundam SEED, famously said in an interview he revised the plot so Dearka Elsman change sides in Gundam SEED because he wanted the Buster Gundam to sell more model kits and people buy more hero MS kits than villains. It's no surprise therefore that they brought back the Zaku, Gouf, and Dom rather than invent new variations on the GINN from SEED, One Year War mecha are extremely popular. That's not the only weird and controversial thing Fukuda has said in an interview, for instance he's said that Kira and Mwu la Flaga are newtypes even though they've never demonstrated any newtype abilities and they've explained how SEED's funnel weapons work, or that Athrun was always the main character of SEED DESTINY when it's pretty clear that it was initially supposed to be Shinn who gets sidelined at the end of the series.

So considering the weird priorities of both director and writer it's easy to see why DESTINY is not remembered favorably and that's just the behind the scenes stuff. There's plenty of other issues, the lack of planning about Neo Roanoke, the lack of character development for Shinn, Athrun going through the exact same character arc he had in SEED, entire episodes where the characters flew around and shot mooks, the ENDLESS stock footage some of which was even reused from SEED because of how badly they mismanaged their budget, Jesus Yamato, the nonsensical Destiny plan, Meer being badly used in every way, the copypasted ending, and on and on.

Frankly I'm not surprised that Fukuda and Morosawa don't like Super Robot Wars. SRW makes the story about Shinn and not Kira, it castigates Kira and shows him as the sanctimonious moron he was, it depicts ORB (another of the pair's sacred cows) in a bad light, and frankly fixes the series by doing deep and extensive editing on it.

Omnicrom
Aug 3, 2007
Snorlax Afficionado




Spiritus Nox posted:

Is Garrod that much worse in this game? I thought he was pretty solid in Z - not an extremely powerful mech but generally capable of keeping up with the competition, and the HASSHA!!! was always fun to use.

Garrod IS really good in Z1. I mentioned couple pages back that they seriously nerfed the DX in every single way in Z2 and removed one of it's important Niche uses (Clearing boss squads via microwave death) from gameplay since Z2 doesn't have squads.

Movie!Renton from Z2 is also a tremendous step down from TV!Renton Z1. I suspect that Banpresto wasn't any happier about Pocket full of Rainbows than most of the fans because I can't think of another reason that they made the Nirvash Spec 2 so completely terrible.


Yay... More blackbox. Caphi you really need to get the Gekkostate and ZEUTH units so we can safely do nerdy analysis.

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Omnicrom
Aug 3, 2007
Snorlax Afficionado




Spiritus Nox posted:

I've said it before, but they really do a great job of integrating all the disparate series' in this game. They actually combine the various 'high-school' subplots from Wing, 00, and Code Geass into the same school - and where a lesser SRW might have just left it at that, having Saji take some flak for being part Japanese in a racist Brittanian school is a very nice touch.

There's actually a kind of goofy scene from very late in Z2.2 where Rivalz (you thought Ribbons was a bad name) and Shirley realize that most of their friends are actually secretly Giant Robot pilots and wonder if they're missing out. Since your team meets the emperor of Brittania there in a more or less formal declaration of war the levity is both refreshing and short-lived

As for Aoi's uniform hell if I know. I suspect that since Aoi is a fashion model someone on the staff of the Dragon's Hive may have been digging her in a less than wholesome way. Either that or they intentionally made it really light because as they established the Dancougar Nova bursts into flame if it operates too long.

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