Super Robot Wars OG The Moon Dwellers Review
Super Robot Wars is one of those Japanese game franchises which has eluded localization for the longest time. Outside of two Game Boy Advance games (which has since been retconned), Bandai Namco has stepped up and released the latest interation in the Original Generations line, entitled Super Robot Wars OG The Moon Dwellers, in English for PS4 owners across Southeast Asia. This review focuses on that version of this particular game title.
For those not aware, Super Robot Wars (SRW for short) is a strategy RPG where various mecha anime team up to save the universe. Super Robot Wars Original Generations is the timeline where the various original characters from the main Super Robot Wars games converge into a story of their own. Super Robot Wars OG The Moon Dwellers is the 4th Episode in this storyline, and the players would be thrust into the new chapter with just an overview of what happened in the story prior. Apparently, this recap feature was omitted in the localized release, as it was present in the Japanese version of the game. New players would be surprised at all the terminology present, luckily the Key Words are highlighted and can be accessed in the middle of the game. New players will also gain access to the Guidance Scenario, the tutorial section of the game where one could learn all the basic commands and intircacies.
The main game itself is divided into two choices: a Beginner Mode where the difficulty just stays the same, and Normal Mode where the difficulty changes when certain conditions are met. Beginner Mode would allow players to play the game via a pretty linear path, but in Normal Mode there will be various decisions which will affect how the story would flow. The AI in Normal Mode is also quite different in standard SRWs, where even grunts would either Defend or Evade depending on the attack/attacker. It is advisable for newbies to play the game in Beginner Mode due to this.
Super Robot Wars OG The Moon Dwellers was actually marketed as a cross-gen PS4/PS3 game in Japan, which actually reflects in the graphics used in the game. Though this is nothing new for a SRW as previous new SRWs in a new (at that time) generation consoles would typically make use of the style and graphics of the last game of the previous gen. There’s still a bit of improvement graphics-wise, especially in the way the battle animations are presented. The same goes for the game audio, though the mixes on some of the older BGM seemed better. The Library section of the game has also been expanded quite a bit, with a Walkthrough Q&A section handy for players and a list of all available “Quick Save exit messages”, a fan-favorite feature of SRW where the characters more often than not break the fourth wall. Super Robot Wars OG The Moon Dwellers is also a bit shorter than the usual SRW, but the multiple route splits on Normal Mode already assures the game’s replayability.
A major marketing point of Super Robot Wars OG The Moon Dwellers has been the fact that this game has been localized for the South East Asian region. The game’s translation has been good for the most part, albeit a little bit too literal at times. There’s grammatical errors abound, similar to the anime HK subs of yesteryear. There are typos all around as well, not just on regular English words but even on the names of ships and mecha (like Hagwane for Hagane and Kurogwane for Kurogane). At times, it appears that the translation effort in Sword Art Online Hollow Fragment was better than in this game, which is not a good sign. This writer thinks that it was possible that the text was translated from Japanese to Chinese to English, instead of Japanese to English.
Super Robot Wars OG The Moon Dwellers is a solid addition to the SRW franchise, despite being a bit short story-wise. The translation, while rather unimpressive at times, gives me hope that one day we can see a future SRW title with a quality English release. If you are a fan of the mecha anime genre, please do give this game a shot.