Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Super Robot Wars Z

The best gameplay for SRW so far.

At long last i managed to beat this game which took me almost 4 months to finish it! At first i thought this SRW would be the hardest SRW i have ever played but it turns out that SRW Z is pretty easy. The gameplay are much more polished compared to Alpha 3 though the storyline is not as epic yet since SRW Z is pretty much the counterpart of Alpha 1 from Alpha series.

Just like other SRW you got to choose 2 different protagonist, one use Super Robot and the other one use Real Robot. The Super Robot protagonist, Rand is a robot mechanic in a town who pilots mecha called Gunleon which later have an awesome Gaogaigar form despite not having any real upgrade his character theme is pain(though i don't exactly know since i haven't played his route). While the Real Robot Heroine Setsuko is a test pilot belong to Glory Star team  and pilots Virgola unit 3 which later become Virgola Glory and her character theme is Sorrow. Each of the main character had significant portion of the story as each of them had like 25 stages exclusive for their route which accounts for 40% a single playthrough.

After i finished the game i understand what "Z" refers to Zodiac from SRW Z. The main 2 character represent Leo for Rand and Virgo for Setsuko and this series supposedly revolves around 12 spheres that contain immense power which are triggered by certain conditions and each zodiac has one sphere represent them. Unlike other SRW where usually all mecha series exist in one world. SRW Z tied different worlds with different mecha series due to Dimensional Bomb accident in Orguss and the first SRW Z revolves how the multiple world reacts with this incident. Later the main character join a faction called ZEUTH which try to fix the problem caused by the dimensional bomb.

If you have been following my blog, at some point i have said that i take Setsuko's route for the first playthrough. While Rand's route enable you to get several additional parts for Haros, Soul of Steel and etc, Setsuko's route allow you to save more characters which are really great support pilots and better story for Seed Destiny. At first the game are pretty hard since the first 40 stages barely gives you sufficient fund to upgrade you units. However the last 20 stages are much easier and it is less tedious compared to Alpha 3. For my first playthrough i managed to get into Zeuth route and able to get good ending which are really satisfying.

From my analysis, Setsuko's character is based on Tekkaman blade since she lost everything precious to her and she had to sacrifice her senses in order to gain the power from her Sphere which triggers the Virgola Glory upgrade. While the Virgola mecha is loosely based on Dragonar series since there are 3 units which use large cannon as main weapon and the hair color of the team happen to match the Dragonar team. Asakim is pretty much an asshole in this game since he is responsible for killing her teammates which she really care for(and she happens to have a crush on one of them) and constantly torment her.

SRW Z incorporate all storylines of the included series(except Daitarn 3) and all of them at least have significant portion for it. Though the game mainly use the story from Eureka 7, Aquarion, King Gainer, Big O, Zeta Gundam and Seed Destiny from my playthrough of Setsuko's route. After i finished this game i learned the fact that the original enemies doesn't really appear much in most SRW except Alpha 3. One of the major feature from the story is that this game did fix the flaw from Seed Destiny as the trainwreck is reduced and Shinn in this game are less emo as he got advice from experienced pilot like Amuro and Quattro while he become good friend with Kamille as well and Setsuko also had a huge impact on his character development as well.

This game introduce platoon system which is much improvised compared to Alpha 3. In this game, each platoon consist of 3 members without any size restrictions. The platoon also have 3 different formations: TRI, Center and Wide. TRI formation is the default one which enable the team to use the TRI attacks(which is ALL attack that involve all team member) which is really useful for hunting down grunts, While center formation is pretty much equivalent with the team formation in Alpha 3 and the Wide formation allow each member to attack different enemy and also reduce damage from ALL attack. There are also certain combinations of pilot for a team that provide bonuses in attack which are usually depend on the relationships of the pilots.

Another unique feature of this game is the bazaar system which use the currency of Blue stones. You can get additional parts or sell any unwanted parts in the bazaar. You can also get some extra units which usually are better compared to the normal grunt units. Rand's playthrough utilise more of the Bazaar feature.

The Seishin system in SRW Z are rather different compared to most SRWs, each pilot only got 5 spells instead of 6 which happen to work well for this game. The 5 seishin restriction makes each pilot more specialised to their resspective role. However one of my complaint is that you got Hotblood and Soul really late in this game since most of the pilot learn those spells after stage 40 which make getting some of the skill point really difficult.

Here is my stat for the first playthrough and i barely managed to get my original stay in the first place since Nirvash in this game is too broken. Here are the units i would recommend to use.

  • Nirvash Spec 2: This is the most broken unit in this game since it got really powerful MAP attack called Seven Swell which cover up to 6 tiles of its surrounding and it hits just as hard as Zeorymer's Meioh Attack. You also get to use this attack at least for 20 stages. Though Nirvash is not that powerful early in the game
  • God Gravion/Sol Gravion: One of the major powerhouse in this game, it has the greatest number of pilot for a unit as you get 6 seishin pools and a perfect moves to kill bosses. Late in the game it also get really powerful team attack with God Sigma Gravion
  • God Sigma(not the Gravion one): One reason i recommend to use this guy is that one of its strongest move reduce the defense of the target which are useful as first strike against bosses. It also got Trinity Recharge which allow God Sigma to fully recharge energy by itself without losing any turn.
  • Dynamic Pro team(Mazingers, Grendizer and Getter Robo): in this game the mazingers and Grendizer got slightly tougher. The mazingers alone had really powerful team attack due to their Mazin powers. Together they also able to perform Final Dynamic Special which is the strongest team attack in this game(but MX still had the best version)
  • Daitarn 3: The reason that i put this guy in my recommendation is that it has powerful team attack with Zambot 3 called combination crash and Banjo also one of the few Super Robot pilot that has Soul instead of Hotblood which easily deliver 30k of damage. If the Alpha 3 had Zambot 3 probably Daitarn in that game would be awesome as well.
  • Aquarion: Probably the 2nd most broken unit in this game since it's Element system is really broken if you know how to use it. Apollo also have the cheapest Hotblood in the game and had Zeal as well. Also Mugen Punch is one heck of epic attack
  • Orguss: While the unit is pretty much averag unit, the pilot has the best natural status of all. Despite its weak weapon it is one of the best grunt killer and also easily hit as hard as a Super Robot if you set up the skill properly.
  • Hyaku Shiki: It is quite rare to see this unit as good unit in SRW since most of the SRW i have played had this guy as one of the weakest real robot. While it never be a good boss killer, Hyaku Shiki is another best grunt killer if you put Quattro together with Apolly and Roberto. Upgrade its weapon slightly and you will see this guy really shines.

The final boss in this game is The Edel which only show up his true form in last stage. He shows up throughout the game as mysterious masked man known as Black Charisma which schemes at the back. He also had rather weird personality for a final boss as he looks like a Lunatic. This is the easiest boss fight i have ever had since i can finish this guy in two turns and if you reduce his will power to minimum he is pretty much harmless. Even Turn X and Frost brothers are bigger threat compared to this guy.

After i finished this game i can finally continue my SRW Z2 playthrough which i had played at the point where Zeuth has not showed up yet. I would strongly suggest to play SRW Z first before playing
Z2 since you won't fully understand and appreciate the Zeuth plot in Z2 and appreciate it less. I would guess that the Z series will have at least 3 series since it can only finish once the 12 spheres story are covered.


  1. A detailed and in-depth writeup of SRWZ. I don't owe a PS2 so I didn't have a chance to play the game but your writeup has helped understand alot about what happens in the Z.

    I'm looking forward to your next writeup onZ2 once you completed it.

    By the way, how did you capture the screenshots of the game?


  2. Probably i can finish Z2 soon given that the playtime of each stages are much shorter compared to Z. I will definitely write my thoughts for that.

    I played SRW Z with emulator on my PC since my PS2 is back at home. You don't really need any too high specs to run the emulator as well.

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