What is SDGO? A quick review on this game and if you should play it.
Gameplay is fast and intense Good unit selection in other versions Must play for gundam fans
Company porting it is mismanaging it grindy May be turning into a pay to win by OGP Server side lag can get intense
Disclaimer: The following article is the sole opinion of its author and does not represent MMORPG.com in its thoughts or opinions. This is not an official MMORPG.com editorial article.
First time review so bear along with my inexperience. This will be a two part review, the first will be about the game itself and the second section will be about OG Planet and how the port is being handled.
SD Gundam Online
Gameplay PVP- 4 out of 5
This an arena style 3rd person shooter style game. Pvp contains the normal gametypes: death match (each unit has a set amount of lives), points (no death limit but each death gives out points to the other team), and boss (points match where one person is turned into a boss unit with expanded stats and a bonus to acquiring or loosing points).
Two more advanced game types exist that involve battleships, where you have slots and load units into a battleship. The first is called grid and is reminiscent of a points match. Each side has a pool of points and when a unit is destroyed it pulls points out of that pool, the first to empty their pool looses. After each death you will be able to switch to one of the different suits in your battleship. Tag is the final game type. It involves a death match style game where each unit in your battleship has only one life. You have a certain amount of "tags" where a unit can be switched as well as one attack from your battleship.
The units in this game are broken down into the ranks of: c, b, a, s. C and B are easy to get, A starts to get tougher and is generally suggested to make instead of try to roll for (you make units in this game buy getting a blueprint and combining 5 or so units into one), and s ranks (being withheld by OG Planet at the moment) can only be mixed through blueprints.
C rank units are grunts like the leo and zaku. Each unit comes with four lives or is worth two points. These units have the lowest stats but can be made to compete in one area of the stat grid through the overcustom system.
B ranks are higher end grunts, like the kaempfer, and lower end gundams, like rx-78 or wing gundam. They come with three lives and are worth three points. These units seem to be some of the most commonly used unit types at the moments, having better stats then a c rank (not taking the serious oc work to make them super competitive) but still having a lot of lives.
A ranks are typically hero character suits such as gundam zero or strike gundam. They have two lives, worth four points, and have fairly high end stats.
S ranks are typically the hero character's upgraded suit such as wing gundam zero custom, nu gundam or freedom. They are high value targets worth 5 points and only have two lives. When or if they are ever implemented they will be hard to make and a huge priority target on the battlefield. They have the best stats in the game and are generally multi purpose units. An example of this would be Tallgeese III, which can stay at long range and fire the mega launcher or be just as effective in melee range.
The pvp combat is fast paced and reminiscent of a fighting game due to the necessity of animation canceling. This adds a depth/difficulty to the game that some people may have a hard time getting over. Along with this there are also three unit types, rock paper scissor. Each type does 20% extra damage to their opposite type and take 20% less damage from them (rock does 20% more damage to scissor and takes 20% less damage from them). There is a underlying strategy to units that can be a bit bewildering to those who want to just run what they want, its very similar to a moba style game where it is best to pick a variety of different unit types. The game losses out on some points here due to some units being a overpowered or under powered.
Gameplay Missions- 3.2 out of 5
I will start by telling you this, if you are looking for a pve game this is not for you. The missions are a side note to the games focus of pvp. I will also state that missions are extremely hard further on and require very specific units. My best analogy would be a mmo dungeon run, where there are specific makeups (tank, melee dps, ranged dps, cc, healer as an example) that work better, this game is no different. Only specific units work well in most missions and without looking further into guides this may end up frustrating you.
It is not all negative though, scenario missions and quests make missions worthwhile. There are a multitude of quests that reward you with anything from units to paint sets. Scenario missions are based off several episodes of different Gundam series. These are challenging trips into the episodes of your favorite Gundam series. During these you have only one life and must protect the series hero (like Amuro in all the U.S. released scenarios) or be a part of larger battles that happen during the story line (the A Baoa Qu scenario that was just released has you fighting as a Federation soldier against the Zeon forces while Amuro squares off against Char in the base).
Missions also drop random rewards and the higher the difficulty the greater your chance at a better reward, this is not all good though since there is a multitude of items/unit blueprints that can ONLY be acquired this way. If you want a certain paint set or that elusive shining Gundam hyper mode be prepared to grind for hours upon hours if you are not lucky.
The biggest complaint about the game itself- its luck based and you will have to griiinnnnndddd if you are unlucky
First, you need to know how units are acquired in this game outside of missions. The majority of suits you will receive from capsule machines. Each machine has several common units, a uncommon and finally a rare unit. You must spend points (some of the machines are quite expensive) to take a roll on the machine, sometimes you get the rare unit the first time sometimes its 40 rolls later.
I will also warn you about the overcustom system. It is overall, a good item that allow you to further customize your unit by adding stat grid points, less fuel consumption, and an extra skill, but it does have a problem. Overcustom (or OC) has a chance to fail after the initial level. Each time it fails you have to garner up all the exp and are reset to zero (you can stop it from resetting your unit by using a level protector item). Also the chance at the higher ends of OC are in the sub 20% category.
Overall ranking of the game- 3.8/4-5
I would suggest giving it a try due to the sheer amount of fun I have had playing this game. While it is a bit grindy there is a lot of fun to be had, especially if you are a gundam fan!
OG Planet's port of SD Gundam capsule fighter review
Ok here is where the main issue is, OG Planet is not doing a good job of porting this game. I would honestly suggest waiting a month or two in hopes that they will shape up in the way they are handling the game.
First issue- OGP treats their customer base like children
OG Planet (henceforth known as ogp) does not seem to understand the players of this game or gundam fans in general. They have repeatedly held back content in an effort to coddle the players. They have held back OC until just a few weeks ago in fear of it being to much for the playerbase to handle. The highest rank of unit is still withheld due to this same reason. They have deliberately stifled aspects of the game due to their belief that their userbase cannot handle anything whatsoever. This is a huge problem since the majority of people's favorite suits are s ranks (the units being withheld), as well as causing their to be little to work towards if you haven't gone on an unlucky rolling spree. OC being withheld until recently squashed the ability for low rank suits to compete with higher rank units and a majority of the games customization.
The chat system is further proof of ogp's view of its users. Firstly there is a tight word limit that causes even some short sentences to be cut off. Secondly there is an absolutely draconian chat filter. You cannot say such words as "Assume" "Japanese" and even the name of a villian faction from Zeta Gundam "Titans" is censored. This is not some benign single word filter either, the entire sentence gets changed into "I fancy SD Gundam Capsule fighter". This makes it exceedingly difficult to communicate.
They also ruthlessly censor any mentions of content from the other versions of the game. Posting content on their forums that has not been implemented yet is truly asking for it. They feel like they can somehow squash their users knowledge of the other version when a majority came from them and extensive wiki's are written about these versions.
Second Issue- OGP constantly mislabels units
There was a furor a month or so back, one of the prizes of an event fell victim to ogp's tendency to mislabel. The event said "Winners receive Full Armor Gundam" this was followed by a picture of Full Armor ZZ Gundam. Turns out the prize was not what the picture showed but the nigh worthless Full armor instead of the Full Armor ZZ that was shown. This has also happened in their online gashapon (more on this further on) where they labeled Gundam Deathscythe H and Heavy Arms Kai with pictures of their higher rank Gundam Wing Endless waltz variants. Also they love to advertise on their site with units that have yet to be released. This is a very disheartening and frustrating practice.
Third Issue- The game was incredibly rushed
This game should have been delayed. On release the game had barely any content (capsule machines 1-25 which is pitiful compared to the foreign versions 60+), maps, or blueprints. Also misspellings are EVERYWHERE. I would also comment on how the lag from their overburdened servers can be sometimes worse then playing the Taiwanese version of the game from the United States.
Fourth Issue- Their store is threadbare and the gashapon is close to being scam
The gashapon is an online capsule machine that costs $2.75 to make one roll. The gashapon typically has 15 items in it, all but 4 are nigh on worthless. Contained within, as of the time of this review: experience packs, worthless c ranks (they have less then max amount of slots), operators, A rank units unobtainable anywhere else in the game. This machine has been shown to almost assuredly be weighted causing the 6% chance of getting a specific a rank unit to fall below 1%. Did I also mention that some of these A ranks are the best A ranks available even in other versions? And that they have more stat slots then obtainable anywhere else? There are several posts from people (a few of which I would guess in their teens) spending over $200 dollars yet still not receiving the unit they desire.
Ontop of this their store is threadbare. Their are no bundles that the other versions make so much money from, and their are only two units for sale. Half of the time these units are easily obtainable (a few have been quest rewards), lacking slots compared to anything from the gashapon, or just plain undesirable.
Fifth Issue- Their updates are utterly lacking
There was a large outcry over the utter lack of units when the game was released. Ogp told us they listened and they would hurry out 5 capsule machines, an acceptable yet not perfect, amount. As many are learning to do, you have to look behind what ogp says. When they released the patch they only released the capsule machines, the blueprints (a few of which were for units available in the store) were completely neglected. They then said that would be fixed only to pull the rug out, yet again, by releasing two already obtainable blueprints. One of the two units released is worthless outside of being a part for a good s rank. This dog and pony show seems to be happening a lot.
The positives and what ogp can do to fix things-
A very big positive is ogp constantly does events. While these events are often misguided with in game currency prizes, and boring play so many hours during a certain time period, it shows they are at least having some interaction. There is a tourney also going on, that still suffers from screwing up of match times and boring prizes is something. It feels like they just need to get more in touch with what the players want and things could truly improve.
Ogp has a few things they desperately need to improve before I can truly recommend this game to you. They need to stop pulling the rug out from their users. An update is needed to fill the vacant unit blueprints (and not just moving the mission blueprints to the store, thats not enough) and it is needed soon. The chat system needs to be fixed. And they need to stop coddling their fanbase and give us something to work towards in the forms of s ranks. This alone would expand choice and give long term goals to work towards.
Wait for a month or two until you try this game, hopefully by then it will have lived up to its other versions.