Wee!! Super robot wars OGs finally arrived! Actually it arrived a few weeks ago but I wanted to play it a bit before posting about it.

I had actually forgotten about the game since I preordered it last year, when the release date was penciled in for early January after a lengthy delay. It was then delayed once again and left alone until it arrived in the post!

Since SRW games are known for delays, you’d think that I would learn…

In any case, back to the game. For those of you who do not know, the Original generation branch of Super robot wars games is a separate series which have only mecha designed by banpresto, the makers of the game. Each SRW game has at least 1 original unit so they decided to make a game using just those! The original GBA versions are also the only SRW games to be released outside of asia.

But enough of the history lesson, mini review!!!

I will admit to being more than a little disappointed in OGs initially. The game contains both OG 1 and 2 but rendered in 3d as well as a new OG 2.5 scenario. Promo stuff showed a plethora of new units being made available in OGs but most of the story and unit changes are only present in OG2 and 2.5.

The OG1 part of the game is identical to the original GBA game, Right down to the mission objectives and requirements for secret units, but with fancier graphics and voice acting. There were some minor changes to the plot to tie it closer to the SRW Divine wars TV series which finished airing recently but that’s about it.

OG1 is what I have spent most of my time playing so it’s the one I am most familiar with. Battle animations also feel like they have taken a step back since SRW alpha 3. There are more dynamic cut-ins but none have the same impact as those seen in the previous SRW game. Then there are the cosmetic changes, such as characters wearing pilotsuits during the battle animations in later parts of the game. It’s quite a shame as you don’t get the same emotive expressions from previous games since the face is often obscured by the new helmet looks.

On the plus side, the rumour dogging OGs regarding the exclusion of the hukenbein series of mecha turned out to be false. I was always a skeptic when it came to this rumour so it feels good to be proven right! Besides, Hukenbeins rock!!!

OG2 has had a major overhaul. I haven’t played too much of that part but the first few levels have been changed completely to introduce the units of Super robot wars R into the game. Alteisen has also been painted blue, which is kinda naff and unnecessary. Having only played the first few stages of OG2 but if it’s anything like OG1, then I expect to be underwhelmed.

That’s not to say that the game itself is bad. It still has the SRW feel and I have been a fan of strategy RPGs for some time but having bought and completed the original GBA games, the experience isn’t as fresh or new to me and feels more like a retread. Hardcore fans and newcomers will find more enjoyment out of it more than I have, probably. It may get better as I progress towards the end of the OG2 part and play OG2.5 but that is speculation at this point. At least the existence of OG2.5 gives weight to the possibility of an OG3.

On another note, at E3, atlus confirmed that there are no plans to release OGs in the US like they did with the GBA games but they haven’t ruled it out completely. Should be interesting to see if they do go for it eventually.

Also, some interesting shots have surfaced on the net on the possibility of an OG Gaiden on PS2.

Personally, I think this is a hoax for now. Some things just don’t quite fit and the release date is a little supicious.

However, given that Banpresto was one of the companies to release one of the last games on PS1 in it’s dying days with SRW alpha gaiden, could they be attempting to repeat history before going to the next gen consoles?

*EDIT* Looks like the game has now been officially announced. They have said a 2007 release so don’t expect to see it until around march~april 2008 at the earliest.