Originally posted at G4@Syfygames, 8/18/15.

Dear reader: Get ready, because I’m going to tell you about the most fun game in the world, and beyond that, I’m going to teach you how to play it. You’re thinking to yourself: It’s Call Of Duty. No. It’s League of Legends. No, wrong again. Mario Kart? Still wrong. Smash Bros.? Street Fighter? Chess? Wrong, wrong, and crazy wrong. However, chess isn’t a bad analogy, as this game is sort of like chess in its reliance on move and countermove. The only difference is that this game is played at a hundred moves a minute, and they’re all super-easy to do. Are you ready? Are you prepared to learn how to play the most fun game in the world?

I’m ready to teach you. I’m ready to show you the world of Mobile Suit Gundam Extreme Versus Full Boost.

See, right about here is when people tune out. “Oh, God, it’s another anime game.” “Oh, God, it’s giant robots.” “Oh, God, the menus are in Japanese.” Well, I have to come right out and say “yes” to all three of those things. It’s an anime-based, three-dimensional, team-based fighitng game where two players fight two players simultaneously for battlefield supremacy. And yes, it’s all in Japanese. It’s easy to navigate the menus, though. Furthermore, it’s easy to learn how to play despite the language barrier. Beyond that, a completely free Japanese PSN account is required to play online and to grab tons of sweet, sweet DLC (which is actually awesome, for a change). That takes a bit of a setup process that I’ll describe in detail in a few days — check back for that section later on this week! This guide is meant to be foundational, which means I’ll be introducing content layer by layer, starting with the basics and ending with advanced tactics.

Alright, first things first, let’s introduce you to the controls. There’s A (Shot), B (Melee), C (Boost), and Search, mapped to Square, Triangle, X and Circle, respectively. Beyond that, there’s a special “Command” button and shortcut buttons for easy combinations on the remaining shoulder buttons and the right stick’s click button.

The first thing I’m going to introduce you to is movement. This is achieved by tilting the left stick, or pressing a direction on the d-pad. You can move in any of eight directions, and up is always going to move you forward, as the camera will always follow your back. Jumping is performed by pressing the X Button, which is “Boost.”” A single press takes you on a small hop, whereas a long press takes you vertically until your Boost Meter – located at the bottom of the screen – empties. By double-tapping this Boost button, you’ll begin to Boost Dash in any direction you press, and subsequent double-taps will cancel the boost and immediately start another in the currently held direction. The Boost Meter is not infinite, but it does recharge upon landing. Burning it out completely causes a longer recharge delay. While it isn’t much, it’s noticable and thus more easily punished, so it’s best to take it to the point where you almost burn it out, then let it recover quickly. Boosting is the primary mode of locomotion in Full Boost, and it’s the most important skill you’ll master, by far. Boost is denoted with (C) in most online movelists.

Next, I’ll explain attacking. Square is the default Shot button, and that’s pretty self explanitory: you shoot stuff with it. Some Mobile Suits (hereafter referred to as simply “suits”) have beam rifles, some have vulcan machine guns, some have missiles while others have crazy projectiles like fireballs. In any case, Square, denoted by (A) in movelists, is the button that shoots stuff at enemies. Additionally, Triangle is the default Melee attack button, and is the button you’ll use to smack enemies around with, but only at close range. Pressing a direction along with Melee will give different attacks, as well as boosting in any direction before pressing Melee – for instance, double-tapping Boost while moving forward and pressing Melee will usually initiate a frontal charge, where as pressing down and pressing Melee will initiate an air launcher (and in the case of some suits, a melee counter / parry). Melee is noted as (B) in most online movelists. 

Also, all suits will have techniques or special subweapons that can be used, and in most cases this will be accomplished by pressing any two-button combination. Shot + Boost usually provides a special shot, Melee + Boost usually provides a special close-range attack, while Shot + Melee provides a subweapon of some sort. These actions are listed in online movelists as A+B, A+C and B+C, so this should make these concepts easy to understand.

The weapon systems of this game all rely on individual meters. Anything that can be fired must recharge or be reloaded. So, if you run out of ammo, you’re going to wait for a recharge of that particular weapon. This puts you in a state where you can’t strike back with a particular offensive utiity, so you’re going to need to know how to block. Fortunately, it’s simple: Down, then Up. As long as the Up direction is held, you will continue to block anything in front of you at the cost of Boost Meter. So, it is not infinite, and you’ll need to block wisely if you plan on getting away or offensively closing the gap after blocking.

R1 is the default Command key, and that tells computer AI how to best cover you as a teammate. You can tell them to attack the same target as you, attack another target, hold back and do nothing or to do their own thing. But this button really comes in handy during online multiplayer, as it’s the only method of communication you possess. By holding the button and then pressing a direction on the d-pad, you can send any of eight customizable quick messages to your partner. This short status update can let a teammate know you’re in a bind, and can get them backing you up before things become a full-blown crisis.

The only other bit of control-related information I have is the Burst System, which is attached to the R3 / right stick click button by default. At the left of the Boost meter is the Burst meter, which becomes usable when it hits 50% charge. Clicking the stick — Shot + Melee + Boost — will activate your Burst for a limited time, which acts as a supercharged state for your suit. Before finishng your character / suit select, you will choose between the offensively-driven Assault Burst, or you’ll choose Blast Burst, which is more defensive in nature. When active, this provides stat boosts — melee offense for Assault, Defense and ranged attacks for Blast — as well as allowing access to a super move that causes a whole world of pain to enemies.

That’s enough for now, but tomorrow I’ll discuss the unique health system of Mobile Suit Gundam Extreme Versus Full Boost. The 2v2 nature of this game makes team health one of the most unique adventures in simple economics I’ve ever seen, and makes this game a high-stakes gambling match like none other. Seriously, it’s “best game ever” material. Tune in for this and more in Part Two!