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SD Gundam Gashapon Wars (GC and Wii)
#1
I'm finally looking at getting this game, which originally came out on the Game Cube in 2005 and later had a Wii release in 2010. Basically, I'm wondering...does anyone know if there's any real differences between the two versions? There's not much info that I can find, and the only things I know of are codes for getting units being different (but they yield the same stuff) and of course not having to use a Gamecube controller if you're on the Wii.

It may be easy to forget, but there was a while when quick 'n dirty conversions of Gamecube discs to Wii versions were done, where the game was basically exactly the same but now sold as a Wii one with basic controller compatibility. Without reason to believe otherwise, I'm figuring it's one of those.
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#2
A google translations of the Japanese wiki page says that the Wii version has a new randomly generated dungeon mode, a new multiplayer mode, and a couple of new units and tweaks.
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#3
Stuff seems to indicate some of the new units (all of them?) may be recycled from SD Gundam Scad Hammers, which I suppose isn't necessarily a bad thing or whatever (and explains why I kept missing this info before, I thought I was running into stuff about that game). The most interesting thing to know would be if the roguelike (??) mode is any good. There is a not insignificant price difference between the two versions.

I know some of y'all played one or both of these - who was it who was really into this game? Daba?
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#4
I played the GC version a lot. I don't remember exactly who it was that played the Wii version, but I remember discussing whether or not I should "upgrade" to the Wii version once it came out and concluding the "new" stuff wasn't worth the hassle (modding my Wii system, starting from scratch from my 100% GC version).

That said, if the price difference isn't much, and you have easy access to play the Wii version, I would say go for it.
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#5
I acquired the Wii version.

Have a fair number of thoughts by now, so I'll just get on with it, starting on a few. To be clear up front: I like it!

I was actually rather surprised by the lack of English documentation on the game, but I may have assumed too much based off of remembering thinking a lot of people were into it on the old board back in the day. Once you actually get the game going though, it's fairly easy to see why, since it's more or less straightforward from there, in addition to those nice English menus.

Apparently Nintendo had some involvement in this one more directly, the biggest thing being a producer who worked on Custom Robo serving as a producer here too. The ideas of faster games and emphasizing the "gachapon" aspect more again were from Nintendo, it appears. The latter is obvious right from the menus, and I do like the way they implemented it in the gameplay - the stick spin to simulate a gacha turn at the start of a round is fun, as well as your units popping out at random from capsules.

As for the former, if you're familiar with previous entries in this series, one of its greatest strengths and biggest weakness is how matches can potentially take FOREVER. I had a legendary SD Gundam GX war last fall that went on for 25 HOURS. Granted, I was doing a few things to ensure the computer wouldn't be too easy (one of the biggest maps with like four planets and three moons, gave them much higher starting capital and tech level, abstained from using X Gundam, etc), but even playing a pretty normal game would end up being, minimum, half hour to an hour, leaning towards the latter. You can see how that can be awesome if you know what you're getting into, but obviously prevents it from being pick up and play, especially when the CPU gets too easy otherwise.

It's almost comical, though, how it seems like the majority of the game design decisions in this one are centered around shortening play time - adding territory control for another win option, limiting the amount of units you can have, random effects, small maps, turn time limits...every trick in the book! But, it works, and creates an interesting new dynamic. The one thing I'm a bit cool on is the turn time limits, since while I'm fine with 90 seconds, the ones where you have less than that start getting annoying since it ends up making things like planning out long range attacks with the units that have it less viable.

I do think it's possible to do the previous formula with shorter play times - SD Gundam Winner's History does it pretty well - but I do still like all the new stuff this one brings to the table.

As for how far I am, I've beaten Freedom Mode twice by now. I might have more thoughts on that later.
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#6
Alright, so I've beaten the snot out of Freedom Mode a couple of times now.

Now here's a self-indulgent post about it that is way too long and no one is going to read. :D

So this mode piles up some stuff I'm generally not a fan of right away - the game already has a fog-of-war thing going on with territory sssort of, in that you can't see enemy units in their own territory on your own turn (unless a unit or your territory is close), but you can see them during their turn. The computer acts like it can't see yours too. In Freedom, even during their turn, you can't see their units. On top of that, all items on the battlefield become question marks so you don't know what you'll get. This bothered me at first, since while I can understand artificially boosting the difficulty this is a way that's never sat well with me, but...I dunno. It's not TOO hard to get over, so...whatever.

The computer does seem to be smarter, have no crap units, and sometimes has all-killer units, like nothing but Big Zams and Quinn Manthas. They also have the maximum possible amount of units to have, generally making it harder (but not impossible) to simply kill all of them. I did lose against it, and in general even when I'm winning I still have to stay on my toes. When the CPU gets the first turn, especially on small maps, they gain a numbers advantage so quickly it can be hard to overcome, and early on I thought it was kinda bullshit.

Buuuut, it didn't take long before basically figuring it out: On small/mid-sized maps, as long as the base is close enough, you can bully them with your units by rushing their base so they go into Coward Mode and stay in about the same place. This lets you position your units to always have the number advantage in fights. When they're down to two (one always on the base), and take your time killing the one that always pops out every turn, until either they're all gone or you can position your units to kill the one on the base without actually attacking the base and take it over.

I mean, I can't say it's like, easy, per se, but I guess I'm a little surprised by how quickly I was able smoosh it consistently.

The other way, when the base is too far away to scare them with an approach, is to go for the ol' 70 percent territory advantage. This can be harder, or at least more nerve wracking, but I haven't lost while trying it yet.

Luck is probably a factor, though? Beyond even just getting a bad card pull on a turn. I mean...I went into Freedom having THREE ZZ Gundams (which are strong AND transformable), I can definitely imagine it being harder with less fortunate pulls. I suppose I could try to handicap myself, but like I said before, it's still not as if the AI is a complete push over, so I'm not sure that'd lead to anything interesting...hmmm.

There is some stuff that only appears in Freedom it seems, like an ultra tiny gimmick map and Ghiren as an opponent. He seems to have good, flexible units (only one I've seen use Knight Gundam) and actually seems to be more aggressive than the normal CPU, even not placing a unit on their base every time like normal. I was actually figuring he might be harder, until uhhh he totally ignored my units approaching his base on one side, allowing me to take it over easily...

It'd be nice to try him again, but I basically just have to keep trying Freedom and hope he shows up. The random opponent thing is sort of interesting, but at thiiiiis point...

Has anyone played this against a human opponent who knows what they're doing? The CPU's main role seems to mainly be "preventing you from winning", which is fair enough, but I can imagine draw games being a potentially frequent occurrence with two good humans players. Maybe I'm wrong though...?
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