When I saw that Super Robot Wars 30 was out on Steam, I had to blink twice before it registered. Somehow, the game releasing totally got by me. Make no mistake, though, its release is a huge deal. No mainline game in the series has ever come out in the West before. A few of the Super Robot Taisen games made it over, but those were 100% original characters and mecha, which means they were missing a notable amount of the appeal the main series is known for. A game in the series may be available for Westerners to easily purchase for the first time, but the question stands: is Super Robot Wars 30 worth it?
The Super Robot Wars series is famous for taking characters and mechs from a huge number of beloved mecha anime and mixing them together in a turn-based strategy RPG. When Super Robot Wars 30 starts, you can choose from male and female protagonists, give them names and nicknames, and pick from one of two starting scenarios. Which starting scenario you pick dictates which franchises you’ll come into contact with first. I chose the option featuring Mobile Suit Victory Gundam and Majestic Prince, as I’m most familiar with those.
What followed was a fairly standard mecha anime setup. Your character ends up piloting an experimental mecha unit (that’s original to the game) and helps save the crew of a battleship staffed by recent academy graduates from a terrible fate. You’re then asked to join and away you go on your new adventures. In this starting section, it wasn’t long before I met with Uso Ewin and Shrike Team from the League Militaire as they go up against the Zanscare Empire. Shortly after, the cast and mecha from Majestic Prince, a team of goofy teens known as Team Rabbits, is also assigned to the battleship. There’s a ton of dialogue to the point that the game is almost a visual novel, but it nails all the character personalities and the conversations flow well.
This is no ordinary Steam game, my friend
That hardly even scratches the surface of what’s in Super Robot Wars 30, though. More Gundam shows are in the mix, plus more recent fare like SSSS Gridman, classics like Mazinger Z, and even Code Geass. The game is an absolute joyful treat for fans of mecha anime. The gameplay focus is on missions that you can start from the interlude screen, which is where the meat of the game is. These missions are often quite long, sometimes taking an hour or so to get through.
Super Robot Wars 30 is an excellent strategy RPG based around upgrading units, swapping out pilots, and having them move around the field to fight enemy units. But what’s really jaw-dropping are the animations that play during fight scenes. Each mech has an animation that plays for each of its attacks. Many of these are extremely unique and they’re so high quality and fast that they’re like watching anime. The Majestic Prince animations, for instance, are kind of incredible, as they’re extremely true to the show by being flashy and hectic.
Also impressive are the game’s mouse and keyboard controls. Simply put, playing the game with a mouse is as easy and intuitive as I’d hoped it would be. You move your units by clicking them and telling them where to go. You actually barely need to use the keyboard. Calling this a great version of Super Robot Wars 30 is putting it mildly. As for whether it’s worth it, yes, the game is $60. But there’s so much content and every fiber of it is made with love and respect for an enormous amount of source material that I can’t help but be glad that the franchise has finally graced our shores. Super Robot Wars 30 is absolutely worth it on PC for mecha anime and strategy fans alike. It appears to be selling well too, so let’s hope that this is just the beginning of years of strategy mecha goodness.