Back in The TAY is a segment where I go take a walk down memory lane, playing through games from our past and revel in the nostalgia.
Hello all, and welcome to Back in The TAY. Today's review is one of my favorite imports from the SNES\Super Famicom era, Gundam Wing: Endless Duel. As the title states, this is a fighting game based in the universe of Gundam Wing, which like some of you, I was completely in love with when it made it's way stateside. While this game never made it to this side of the pond, you can easily download a ROM, or buy the physical copy from a convention (which I did) for about $20.
The game, like most 2D fighting games, is set up with the same combo system as Street Fighter, with no real learning curve needed to play. While the game itself does not improve on any of the mechanics, it is still enjoyable for fans of the anime.
Meet the pilots.
The game uses nine separate Mobile Suits, including the five original Gundam's, Tallgeese, Mercurius, and Vayeate. Heero is the only character that has two Mobile Suits available on the screen. With that being said, I went with Wing Zero.
Wing Zero is notably the most overpowered in the list of nine. While some of the other Mobile Suits have different characteristics (Deathscythe's cloaking, or Shen Long's extended reach), they don't seem to be able to compare to Zero's sheer power. While not only does he come equipped with dual rifles, Zero and Wing can both transform into their flight mode and sweep across the screen. While it does not do a lot of damage, it is nearly impossible to block this attack. Each suit comes with a set of super's they can perform as well, and much like everything else about Zero, it too is rather ridiculous.
A new challenger!?
Like most fighting games, once you make it through the other combatants, you are greeted with a boss, and Endless Duel is no different. Epyon is equal in strength, defense, and overall power to Zero, and it proves to be quite a difficult fight. I found myself having to replay the game four to five times before I could finally beat him. While Zero has great range attacks, Epyon has the close quarters, with his incredibly large beam saber (which is actually attached to him) that can do a lot of damage. Similar to Wing and Zero, Epyon too can transform into flight mode, although it seems to do more damage than Zero's. After you somehow miraculously beat Epyon, you have finished the game! It took me about 34 minutes on my last play through to go through the Story mode and to beat Epyon in three matches. You do not unlock anything after the final fight, but you are greeted with a nice credit roll with the awesome intro music:
If you do decide to continue playing the game after you beat it, you can unlock Epyon as a fighter. Although he is only playable in Versus and Trial mode, you can run through and pummel the AI, or your friends with him. To unlock Epyon, you simply highlight Tallgeese and enter: L 4 times, R 4 times, L, R, L, R, L, R, L, R. Have fun!
I would say that, although it doesn't outshine some of the other fighters, it is well worth a play through for any fans of Gundam. It has great music, nice sound effects, and the controls are solid. If you decide to purchase it or download the ROM, the Versus mode is a lot of fun for you and a friend to fight it out, and the Trial mode is a nice survivor mode. Download it, play it, delete it.