SD Gundam Capsule Fighter is an instance based arcade style MMO based on the Mobile Suit Gundam franchise. The looks of the game reminds me of a brighter and more light hearted version of MS Saga: A New Dawn. I am quite a big fan of the Gundam series. My favorite is Gundam 08th MS Team. Keep in mind that this is based on the OG Planet version. That means there are no mobile suits above the A rank or any changes from the Chinese or any more updated version.
N/A - Tutorial doesn't count. Just get going.
The only thing you do at first is name your character before you are thrown into the tutorial. It gives you some basic instructions, but it is slow and feels tedious because you cannot skip the dialogue. You can however, exit the whole tutorial and just play through the other tutorial stages as quests that reward you with some nice starting mobile suits (referred to as MS from this point on).
The game allows you to create rooms and select a mission with various difficulties. From here, you form a small team and enter combat. Each mission has a different objective usually split into several parts. Defense missions are much tougher due to higher HP enemies and the sheer number of them present. Most stages do not last more than a few minutes as they are short and fast. At first you can only do Beginner stages until you level up for the first time. Afterwards you unlock Easy and Normal and can earn some free MS through quests.
Each mobile suit has a type and rank. The game functions on a rock paper scissors system (they call it RPS). Rocks have advantage over scissors, scissors beats paper, and paper beats rock. Most of the time, that just means use a different weapon type on it. It works like an elemental system where you just use the right weapon to deal more damage. The one thing they do not warn you is that if you use a sniper weapon, you will always take more damage at close range if you have it equipped. You will need to take advantage of this for harder missions where enemies have more life. Ranks are also an overall estimate of a unit's strength. A ranks are usually more powerful than B ranks and so on. However, they are also more expensive in PvP (more on that later).
The game is extremely fast paced. In normal missions you have a certain amount of lives based on difficulty. You have a certain amount of time (usually 5 minutes) for each mission and you have to complete it within that time frame. Most stages are divided into phases and some stages will reset the time to 5 minutes between phases, but many will not. Enemies are much stronger and come in larger numbers in higher difficulties. It is recommended you play in short bursts otherwise you might get extremely frustrated with the game considering how difficult some of them are.
There are several things to level up. The first is your MS' level. As you level it, it gains new abilities. The second is your personal level. By leveling up you unlock new quests and missions. This is quite important because some quests actually give you some very good MS. There's also something called Mastery, but I have not played enough to actually level it up yet so I have no idea what it does at the moment.
MS have at least 4 weapons. The first one is always a melee weapon. The second is a gun that is designed for close or middle ranged combat. The third weapon is usually another long ranged weapon, but is what you would consider a sub weapon. The main purpose is for you to use it while your gun is reloading. The fourth is a super move that powers up as you land hits and take hits. Once it is fully charged, you can unleash it and deal a lot of damage. On most MS, once you fire it, it is hard to change your aim so it is best saved for big things. Keep in mind that once you land the attack, no one else can attack whatever you are attacking until the animation ends and the enemy recovers with a few seconds of invincibility.
There are some distinct differences between weapons. For example, a beam rifle steadily recharges over time regardless of whether you fire it or not. On the other hand, a machine gun only reloads once you use up the ammo. Some MS will have a close ranged vulcan that is quite strong but is probably only useful in emergencies while others can basically use theirs as a second gun.
Missions are action based and fairly fast due to the time limit in each stage. Your shot will always land assuming you have "locked on" to your target. An attack that has not locked on will not hit unless it is something that requires manual aiming like most ranged ultimates. Enemies tend to be fast and rarely stop moving. All missions tend to end with a super powerful boss. The boss will always have support units and it can get ridiculous. An example is the Apsalus battle based on Gundam 08th MS Team. In this game, you literally fight an army before you get to it and it is backed up by Rising Gundam from G Gundam, another Gundam that I do not recognize, and 2 Acguys. Did I mention that it has HP regeneration it can activate at any time? The worst offender is ironically the easiest mission where you have to destroy 3 Psycho Gundams. On the higher difficulties, they have a swarm of Zakus helping them and they get 10 second long invincibility frames whenever they fire their laser. More often than not, the time limit prevents you from completing missions.
The game is quite hard. Beginner difficulty is relatively easy. Easy is also quite easy. Once you get to Normal, things get tough. I have yet to get to Hard or Expert since I cannot even clear a single Normal mission yet. Bosses have a huge amount of HP and regenerate it if you take too long to kill them. On top of that, they have tons of support that keep appearing out of nowhere, sometimes even right next to you. Unlike the Gundam games you play on consoles, there are no warnings and if you do not dodge when the shot is fired, you are guaranteed to get hit. There is plenty of room for mistakes due to multiple lives, but the time limit is what makes it difficult.
New MS are obtained by earning points (or buying Astro) from completing missions. For standard missions, you do not always get points. You have to get it as a post mission drop for it to count. If you want to get points at a steady rate, you will have to PvP. Luckily, there's not much difference between winning and losing. What is more important is how many kills your team does overall.
If you are lucky, you can obtain a blueprint from battle. Otherwise you will get them through quests. Blueprints allow you to sacrifice several of your weaker units for something more moreful. You need to have the right combination of them though and it can be very difficult to obtain the set needed to construct the unit. However, the constructed unit usually seems to be 1 rank higher than the component parts and has fairly good stats.
PvP functions differently from normal battles. Each MS is worth a different amount of points based on its' rank. A C rank MS might only be worth 2 points per kill while an A rank might be worth 4. Whichever team has the most points at the end of 5 minutes wins. If you are just learning the game, it helps to use a cheaper MS so your team does not suffer as much from your deaths in PvP. Players in a room are randomly assigned to teams. This makes it generally more fair, but on occassion you can have completely unmatched teams where one side completely dominates the others. PvP comes in different forms. The two that I am familiar with are team and free for all, but there is supposed to be a tag one where 2 people can swap out their units and take turns fighting.
The main problem I have with the game is that you have to gamble on the capsule machine and hope you get the MS that you want. There are numerous capsule machines, each one with different MS available. However, in each set, there is usually only 1 A rank capsule, 1 B rank, and 4 C ranks. Most of the time you will only get C rank capsules from the machines so do not keep your hopes up. Even if you have enough points for like 20 capsules, you will probably only see a few B ranks and get mostly C ranks. I have yet to get an A rank after spending around 25000 points. You can also rent select MS in the shop, but these last a very short period of time (usually 1 day). It is best to just gamble on the capsule machine with your points to get something that lasts more than a day. Luckily, you can combine several of your junk capsules into a more powerful MS assuming you have the right combination of them. Otherwise you will just scrap them.
The second problem I noticed is the fuel system. After about 20 missions (varies based on a variety of factors), a MS will be unusable until you use some points to "refuel" it. It only costs a small amount of money, but you could end up in a situation where you have nothing to use if it the worst occurs. I just find it rather annoying to have to deal with it.
Have not tried them yet, but they are important in PvP fights between clans. Not sure what the point of it is and I have no idea how that actually works though.
If you are a fan of the Gundam series, you will probably enjoy this. You get quite a number of MS through quests alone, but the game is extremely difficult. If you do not enjoy hard games, you should probably skip this one. The main problem is really the strict 5 minute time limit for missions and without a powerful MS, it is extremely difficult to do most of them. Good MS are extremely rare, missions get too hard too fast and the strict time limit makes completing missions extremely beyond easy extremely difficult unless everyone is bringing A ranks or better.
4/10 - A decent game, but all the good features have something significant holding them back.
In before haters that are gonna hate on this review