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.
If you have yet to read the first or second installments of this guide series, please do so. It is written with the intent of being foundational as well as sequential, so each entry should logically build upon the previous chapter. Be aware that this chapter will sound like secret code unless you’ve read the previous two chapters. Also, it may help to have them open in case you need to go back and reference previous information.
In this part, we’re going to build on the lessons of the previous chapters to examine movement and attack options.
There are plenty of advanced techniques in this game that maximize damage output or give significant positional advantage. The first thing you’ll need to know is that Boost Dashing cancels nearly every attack in the game, which means that just about every attack can be cut short as soon as you press the Boost button twice in rapid succession. This is helpful for both offensive and defensive purposes, as it allows a player to either stop a sequence of attacks in order to add to a string of hits, or it stops an attack that’s missed an opponent. Boost canceling is also the first building block to some of the most necessary skills in the game, and one of the most important of these is called Beam Rifle Zunda.
BRZ, simply put, is a successive chain of rifle shots from any mobile suit that is packing the titular weapon type (instead of a machine gun, stretchy dragon arms, kunai or other projectile-based weapons). This is accomplished by pressing the Shot button, then immediately holding a direction and Boost Dash Canceling by double-tapping the Boost button, then immediately firing again by pressing the Shot button, then Boost Canceling, repeat. This is a great way to cause offensive pressure, as three successive hits from most beam rifles will deal a decent amount of damage, as well as cause a knockdown to any opponent.
Now that you’re getting an idea of what Boost Canceling can do for part of your offensive strategy, it’s time to learn about how to move with an eye on conservation. The Boost Hop is one of the most important techniques to master, and I mean what I say when I tell you to really master it. It is a technique where you get some air, begin a Boost Dash, then tap Boost a third time to make a short jump. Your momentum from the Boost Dash is conserved, and this makes the small jump carry you a surprising amount of distance for free. Plus, due to the elongated parabola the jump angle takes, it makes you harder to hit because it messes with the projectiles’ tracking mechanic.
To cap it all off, you burn far less boost for far more distance coverage, which allows you to recover faster on landing — as was noted in the previous chapter. Smart players will use an enemy’s landing recovery periods as their primary moment to strike, as it’s the one moment that target is standing still. If you feel like remaining upright, then minimizing that window by any means necessary is your first order of business, defensively speaking.
Beyond that, be aware that some suits like the Zeta Gundam and the Wing Zero can transform into their jet modes by holding Boost and double-tapping one of the cardinal directions. It consumes a lot of Boost, but it gets you out of dicey situations very quickly.
On the subject of defense, all projectiles in this game have some measure of tracking / homing / magnetism to their target. There are three surefire ways to negate those projectiles from causing damage, and one of them is simply blocking the attack. Sure, it gives you some Burst meter, but it consumes Boost. You can Boost dash away from it, and that’s pretty good, but it can be costly. Sometimes, a more subtle approach is needed, and that’s where Step comes in. To perform a step, simply press one of the four cardinal directions — up, down, left or right — twice.
Let’s say that there’s a giant face-erasing laser headed your way. You should have no fear of it, because you know how to Step. You simply double-tap right, and your suit strafe glides right along that axis, and the beam shot goes wide. Now, I made it sound easy, and in some sense, it is. You just have to be fast enough to see it and react appropriately, and building that reflex is something I haven’t even truly mastered. However, practice makes perfect, and you’ll need to practice your step dodges in order to defend yourself appropriately.
But wait, there’s more: remember when I talked about Step Canceling shots in Blast Burst? It’s named that way on purpose. This technique allows for a player to double-tap a direction in order to cancel their attack animation, and while it’s only useful for shots when Blast Burst is active, it is the very cornerstone of high-damage melee combos in Full Boost. Every single character can make use of Step Canceling when going in for the close-range kill, and it’s an attack method that carries the most amount of damage output for the least amount of risk — not to mention the least amount of actual effort, in terms of execution. Players that Step Cancel physical hits are not just players that do damage to enemies, they deal catastrophic damage to them.
You close the gap on an enemy, and you press the Melee button. You hit them. You press it twice. You hit them twice. You press it three times, you hit them three times, they get knocked down and you wait for them to stand back up. Now, that’s kind of boring, so why not dance on your opponent instead?
Instead, you close the gap, hit twice, Step Cancel, hit twice, Step Cancel, hit three times, and watch them drop. That’s trading a three-hit knockdown for a seven-hit knockdown with much greater damage output, and truthfully speaking, it just looks much cooler to kick that much giant robot ass with that show of domination. You’ll know you’re doing it right when your mobile suit leaves rainbow motion trails in its wake.
An even better idea: close the gap, activate Assault Burst (provided you chose that when you selected your suit), hit twice, Step Cancel, hit twice, Step Cancel, hit twice, pull your Super. At this point, that target player is well on their way to respawning, or you’re probably about to end the match. Either way, someone’s walking away mad, and it certainly won’t be you. The one thing to really be aware of is that extending your combo extends the amount of time you’re posted up on a target, which tends to make you a target in the process. Their teammate will be gunning for you in an effort to “Cut” your combo short. If you ever hear a player mention “Cutting” someone, they’re stopping a melee combo in progress, and Step Canceled hits make that a much easier prospect for enemies.
If you’re defensively-minded, never fear: Step Canceling makes choosing Blast Burst an insanely strong offensive option at any range. Once active, you are able to Step Cancel any projectile, period. With a suit like the Double Zeta or the Turn A, it becomes a game of incredible pressure that no amount of blocking can withstand, because Step Canceling your shots in Blast Burst is faster and with less Boost cost than BR Zunda, and it can be done repeatedly.
In the case of the Double Zeta, you can fire the shoulder cannons, Step Cancel, regular shot, Step Cancel, shoulder cannons, Step Cancel, etc. It will cause your reload / recharge times to be faster as well, so concentrating your fire is a piece of cake. Any mobile suit focused on long-distance projectile supremacy becomes a freight train of weapons fire, and the only thing stopping it — for the most part, at least — is how much charge they have left in their Burst meter. That, and however fast and however far the target can run.
In the case of the Turn A, you’re able to chain successive hits from the Gundam Hammer — a spiked ball on a chain, propelled by small rockets. This is where the weapon’s name truly makes sense, as you will literally hammer away at anyone foolish enough to block. With each hit, they gain Burst meter and lose Boost. Keeping that defense up will exhaust their Boost meter, leaving them unable to defend — as well as unable to run, due to the Overheat status causing them to be utterly defenseless and completely stationary. It becomes a very bad day for an opponent at this point.
However, it can quickly become a terrible day for you if this doesn’t clinch the match. Blocked hits build lots of Burst meter. Naturally, they’re going to use it as soon as an opportunity presents itself.
On the subject of Burst usage, the best way to activate it is dependent on your present situation. In many cases, it’s actually preferable to use it before it reaches full charge, as it can add an immediate advantage to just about every strategy. That said, it’s usually smarter for suits playing the “back” role — support fire and distance combat — to wait for a full charge so they are able to make the most use of it. Furthermore, it’s always a smart idea to burn out all of your best weapons before initiating Burst, as they will automatically reload on its activation.
This gives you the ability to shell the hell out of an enemy with everything but the kitchen sink, then get all that firepower back for a buffed second salvo. You should aim to active Burst on confirmation of a hit, meaning that you should attempt to quickly activate it once an attack has landed and your target is stunned, therefore making it harder for your target to switch tactics. Burst activation is blatantly obvious due to the one-second cutscene that pops up for every player, so your enemy will know that you have a limited time on the offensive — and that you will likely make every available attempt to capitalize on it.
You can also fire up Burst as a method of knockdown recovery, but be aware that this will eat a good 30% of your meter to do so. It will save you from quite a few attacks, so if you’re about to lose a close match, fire it up defensively and get to punishing them while they’re still whiffing the attack that was sure to have ended things just a second before. Be aware that this is a high-cost gamble, so this may not be worth it in every scenario.
In fact, if you have the health, sometimes it’s best to stay prone for a moment while an enemy changes direction waiting on you to get up, then fire up Burst to counterattack on wakeup with no penalties for defensive activation. Also, Bursting is a game of timing and capitalizing on that timing, especially since the game is based around 2v2 team strategy.
If your partner has activated, your best bet is probably going to be giving them a few seconds of time to start their assault, then activating Burst yourself as a method of backup. By doing that, you will have a moment of time where you’re both more powerful and thus more dangerous, but your timings will overlap to where one of you can run out of meter while the other one can stay charging hard. Also, two supers rocking enemies one after another never hurts your chances for victory. Be aware that it will also recharge your Boost gauge as well, even during a situation where you’d be in Overheat. Pull it while you’re falling, and you’ll have — wait for it — FULL BOOST when you hit the ground. This will make your recovery instantaneous, therefore keeping you from standing still, and thus keeping you from getting lit up.
That’s all for today, tomorrow’s guide will look at some of the strongest suit options in the game, and a few of my personal favorites for good measure. Come back tomorrow for Part Four!
Corrections: I may have neglected to mention that activating Burst will refill your Boost gauge. Big thanks to Myung Kim in the Gundam ExVs – Operation North America – Flame of Victory Facebook group for pointing that out!