Game Recommendation: Strike Suit Zero – Zeta Gundam Simulation

This is the Strike Suit – the key to victory

Well, us mecha fans have always wanted to have a good Macross game – basically Ace Combat BUT the planes can transform into a robot. Over the years we’ve gotten some very similar games, and some Macross games as well, but still those games are mostly on consoles and none of the Macross action games have made it to the PC yet. Game studio Born Ready came in to scratch that itch with a game that combines spacecraft dogfighting with giant robot combat – and that is Strike Suit Zero – the start of the franchise.

+ Plot: SSZ story is typical and traditional as all hell. There are two sides, we’re on the sides with the cool and calm, peaceful color while our enemies don the scary black and glowing magma theme. You can literally feel the two side’s general disposition based on the color of their Neon – basically Tron style.

You’re a rookie pilot (of course you are) that just join the United Nations of Earth’s flight team, but during a training session you and your C.O stumble upon an actual combat situation. Then you got officially assigned to the combat squad and carry out mission after mission, until you – a rookie pilot – got chosen to pilot the super prototype unit that is the key to win the war – the Strike Suit. It’s a very self-insert story but hey, it’s a pretty short game so they had to rush all the formalities in the story out the door asap. It’s corny but doesn’t take away your enjoyment of the game.

+ Gameplay: The game start you off with piloting a normal space combat craft – basically a non-transforming VF. You get two types of guns, a few different types of missiles to play with too. Because Itano Circus is a must for these types of game. The control scheme is a bit of a learning curve and took some time to get used to. But once you’re used to it, you can enjoy the feeling of being master of the battlefield. The AI of the game is actually very well done and reflected their difficulty as you’ll find it very hard to do a zero-damage run on harder settings.

Furthermore, there are a lot of neat gimmick such as the cockpit view. Definitely something that will please simulator fans as it reflect very accurately how it feels to sit inside a jet. The POV view is quite immersive and will be much more atmospheric if you have a flight stick to play with. But still, a gamepad should suffice. Playing with mouse and keyboard is easy but as you know, these types of game definitely favor the handheld pads.

Once you got the Strike Suit, the combat changes a little bit. You gain some serious firepower that is practically invincible against the enemies’ space craft and small frigates. The only enemy that can give you trouble is the Capital ships, which you will encounter quite often in the latter half of the game. The dash mechanism and missiles remind you of Gerwalk and AC-style combat. It’s quite fast paced and fun to use. Unfortunately, the mecha mode has a resource limit so you can’t use it all the time – which definitely take away from the experience.

The game’s battlefield is quite fun as there are other units fighting alongside you as well as there are ample enemies on-screen to fight. The piloting scheme also give you a fun dogfight experience at first, but after a few hours of repeating the same combat scheme, it can wear you down. Fortunately the game’s relatively short so you can finish it without being completely burned out. And thanks to the various loadout and units in the game, the experience is good enough.

+ Mechanical Design: The game has a total of five units – 3 fighters and 2 Strike Suits. The Fighters have 3 style: balanced, speed and firepower. The Strike Suit has a base model and an upgraded model with higher specs. The designs a lot of common design element with sci-fi crafts. The Strike Suit is reminiscent of Project Nimbus and the Age-2 Gundam interms of transformation style. It’s very simple and is mostly just folding arms and legs to get into flight mode. Overall, it’s a decent design job but nothing too amazing.

+ Music: Definitely the weakest part of the series. The combat BGM is pretty dull even in the most intense battle. Definitely not the OST you’re looking for for your work-out session or high-octane intense combat.

+ Conclusion: Strike Suit Zero is a very entertaining experience. The game is quite cheap for what it has to offer. A semi-realistic dogfight experience with some AC-ish combat, although much less “dynamic”. The game is relatively concise and can be a challenge for hardcore player that want to try higher difficulties. Overall, it’s a decent game to get over your need for a Macross PC game.

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