Rewriting this article since i feel MX deserve better treatment. Personally MX is always my personal favorite due to interesting roster combined with having one of the best musical score for SRW series. Didn't expect it has been five years since i finished my first playthrough of the game and certainly i can comprehend more stuffs in the game compared to the past. In the updated article, i will do more coverage on story that i didn't do back then due to my language limitation as well as more screenshots!
SRW MX was the major SRW Games(sans Scramble Commander) released on console after Alpha 2 and while it seems insignificant it was also the first SRW in the console that enables you to skip mid-battle animations. MX was rather minimalist SRW title when it comes to gameplay as it went back to the straightforward single unit per grid system and forgo Skill Point system but at the same time it also tries to implement some new mechanics which in the end have mixed results. For a SRW Game, MX surprisingly lacking in Gundam series with the units from the series showing up but doesn't have its storyline covered which is quite a bliss when you had burnout on those Gundams. As i have mentioned several times before, SRW MX got really amazing musical score both theme remix and original score and it is one of this game's strongest point. The game can feel like a drag initially but the pace gets better after you finished the first route split which is roughly 20 stages.
When i played MX for first time i pretty much ignore majority of the storyline of the game due to my language limitation, after five years as my Japanese gets better even though not perfect i get to appreciate the storyline better. SRW MX took rather interesting approach for storytelling, while your average SRW starts in the beginning of Great Conflict, SRW MX story begins as an interlude of a Post-Great Conflict situation. SRW MX settings is rather grimdark as Earth were really devastated from the conflict against many adversaries and took Second Impact as well. As the world begin to recuperate from the previous Great Conflict, The Flame of Wars begin to rekindle again. The core of the SRW MX story is Destruction and Rebirth as some of the casts are coping with their losses from previous wars and not to mention that Rahxephon also plays huge role in this game storyline.
While MX doesn't use most of its roster storyline, it does have some good synergy between the casts. As some of the characters were veteran from previous war, they mentor the newer guys and it got some awesome moments. The casts that got best synergy are the Martial Teams from G Gundam, Daimos, Gear Fighter Dendoh and Machine Robo where at some point Domon and Kazuya become Ginga's martial arts instructor which makes him a badass kid. While from time to time Rom Stoll make an epic appearance out of nowhere and lecturing the bad guys ending with a retort that they don't deserve to know their name. Evangelion's Refrain of Soul stage is one of the best moment in SRW where the Casts team up together and kicking Mass Produced EVA's rear to prevent the third impact with everyone start with 150 Will and awesome BGM. Surprisingly Char also got some good character exposure in this game which i will discuss for another day. Too bad the Evangelion's cast in this game are still annoying with Shinji is still a wuss while Asuka is too obnoxious
Due to its minimalistic approach, the series included in the Roster are rather small compared to other Mainstream SRWs on Console. Nevertheless MX manage to have Rahxephon and Zeorymer debut in SRW along the way getting Nadesico Prince of Darkness and Gear Fighter Dendoh a proper treatment. SRW MX offered favorite series system where you get to pick 3 of your favorite mecha series and they get to able to fully upgrade the units from the series and probably faster EXP gain. Some of the series are rather weak if they do not get Full Upgrade but if you don't know which series to pick then i will recommend Gear Fighter Dendoh, Dragonar and Zeorymer as the former two will sortie alot while Zeorymer is really a beast if you get full upgrade on it.
For SRW MX you get a fixed Original Character which there are two of them; Hugo Medio and Aqua Centrum serving as Test Pilots for Tsentr Project. While they are not the best OG character but still get thing done and pretty much OGverse Domon and Rain with military background. Their character development basically revolves around overcoming the past for Hugo and dealing with the revelation for Aqua. Initially both of them didn't really get along mainly due to Hugo for being reckless and uncooperative with Aqua but later on they do become closer. I am rather curious how their story was played out on OG2.
The Original storyline for SRW MX revolves around Tsentr Project which apparently from my understanding is a Top Secret Robot Project focused on technology called "TE Engine" and High Capability Artificial Intelligent "AI1". Supervised by Dr Zapad, there are two mechas units developed for Tsentr Project, one is Medius Locus equipped with AI1 and depending on your choice it is either Garmraid or Cerberus which is piloted by Hugo a former "Cry Wolves" Task Force pilot while Aqua served as Subpilot. As for Medius Locus the mecha was arranged to be stolen by Hugo's former Squad Leader, Albero Est while AI1 served as Subpilot with Aqua's former mentor Erde Mitte monitoring it. AI1 is pretty much Devil Gundam equivalent from OGverse as it becomes monstrous after it absorbs powerful technologies due to the obsession of its creator, Dr Erde who serves as the mad scientist role. The final confrontation of the OG storyline pretty much boils down to Man versus Machine argument.
For SRW MX original, there are two playable mecha representing Super Robot and Real Robot side which are Garmraid and Cerberus respectively. Both of the mecha are named after the Hell's watchdog from different culture. Garmraid and Cerberus had contrasting design representing their archetype for Garmraid is over the top melee based having a chainsaw for its knee while Cerberus is ranged based cool looking but squishy mecha.
Initially Hugo only acts as the main pilot but as Garmraid and Cerberus got upgraded into Garmraid Blaze and Cerberus Ignite respectively, Aqua gets the piloting role as well as Both units had alternate forms which had different role but in essence Hugo focus at close range attack while aqua excels at attacking from distance. When fully upgraded Garmraid Blaze is really powerful and tanky while Cerberus Ignite will have hard time to outdamage Blaze but definitely Ignite wins when it comes to mecha design.
While SRW MX is rather modest in the Gundam Department, it still manage to bring MSV into the fray which is still quite a rarity in SRW and this is definitely great thing. We get to use FA Hyaku Shiki Kai and Dijeh SE-R which are cool unit though the latter need to be unlocked which is not too hard. Unfortunately SRW MX doesn't have many good Gundam Pilot as the non-main protagonist are sub-par due to its mediocre status and horrible seishin pool. But seriously SRW need to feature MSV more as the main series are overused to death.
SRW MX tried to introduce many mechanics into the game but unfortunately not many of them gets reused on later SRW. MX tried to implement different variation of Support Attack which resembles Alpha 2 &3 Platoon attack which is weaker attacks to pin down enemy increasing the chance for the main attacks to land. Unfortunately it requires the skill which doesn't really worth the slot compared to the skill that allows you to execute the support attack at the same time with the main attack which is displayed in Split Screen. The game also tried to introduce Shield system where the unit gets boosted defense for limited amount which can be upgraded which unfortunately only works well for Super Robots as the Real Robots in this game has rather low HP to benefit from the feature. Overall SRW MX is relatively easy game as SP Regen and Attacker are available though it can be a challenge if you do no upgrade run.
Compared to Alpha series, MX surprisingly have plenty of team attacks which SRW should have done more instead of having handful only. And the Team attacks in this game is one of the most economic way to dish out high damage with very low EN consumption like Getter Dragon and Q double tomahawk or Dragonar and Falguen's team attack which have high base damage and consume little to none EN. Too bad Rahxephon and Raideen didn't have team attack in this game
One of my main gripe for SRW MX is that it really lacks incentive for the newgame+ as the previous favorite series and killcount does not stack with current playthrough, wished it was like SRW W system where the previous favorites get carried over. Unfortunately you need to upgrade some of the units despite you don't want to use them as they got deployed alot throughout the game like Dragonar and Dendoh for instance. Also just like many SRW, MX suffer from bloat of units issue though not as bad as Alpha. Lastly Prince of Darkness plot got dragged out too long and Black Sarena joins too late for no good reason. In any case these are some of the best unit in the game.
- Zeorymer: Undisputedly the best unit of the game, a hard hitter even without upgrades and have the best MAP attack in the game. When fully upgraded it is capable of dishing 20k worth of damage with its MAP attack killing most of grunt type units
- Rahxephon: At first this guy might look lackluster since the only asset it got is its incredible toughness when reaching 130 Willpower since its strongest attack is quite weak compared to other Super Robots. But later in the last chapter Rahxephon will appear as reinforcement in the form of Shinseiki Ayato/God Rahxephon which is the strongest mecha in the game
- Raideen: Slightly stronger than Rahxephon and pretty much similar with the Alpha 3 counterpart though you got the access of God Voice earlier in the game. The pilot has innate skill of SP Regen and when stacked with it you can use Hotblood for many many turns without worrying of running out of SP
- Vikungfu: at first Rom start in Kenryu which has so-so power but once it reach 130 Willpower it will be able to transform into Vikungfu which has really amazing stats on power, defense and speed. Rom also got pretty nice Seishins list and even he got Drive which allow him to change into Vikungfu immediately.
- Gear Fighter Dendoh: Rather fragile for a Super Robot due to low HP and to make it worse it often sortie automatically in the map which makes upgrading this guy a mandatory if you don't want to get Gameover. Got very cool gimmick with its Data Weapons and i think the Game Devs spent lots of effort on drawing the sprite. Near the end of the game, one of its form pretty much runs on infinite energy so you can keep up dishing powerful attacks without resupply
- Black Sarena: Akito is a jerk since he joins up 4 stages before the last chapter just like SRW W but his unit hits hard with low requirement of energy which penetrate some barriers and as fast as top tier real robots. One of the better Vanilla unit if you went no upgrade run
- Falguen: Probably the most broken Real Robot in this game since he hit like a Super Robot even with low firepower and has one of the best team attack which hits as hard as Hades Attack and only require 105 will and 10 Energy
- Getter Dragon: maybe it is not as strong as Shin Getter 1 but just like other SRW this guy still hits hard. Together with Mazinger Z, Great Mazinger and Grendizer it is able to perform Final Dynamic Special which is the 2nd strongest team attack and really awesome animation as well.
- Dijeh SE-R: Probably the best Mobile Suit in the game due to awesome performance even without upgrade and the only unit with S-Rank adaptability which is a big deal in this game since i don't think there are any S-Adapter in MX
SRW MX storytelling are not too shabby though they got rather weak epilogue but at least some of the series show some satisfying conclusion for several of the series. For Instance Prince of Darkness which the original material left at cliffhanger got more satisfying conclusion showing that Akito's attempt to regain his humanity by retrieving his cooking recipe that he gave to Ruri before. As for the original character in MX, Hugo decided to retire from active duty and become instructor instead which Aqua decided to follow him along hinting some romance between the two.
SRW MX will always be one of my personal favorite SRW since it got pretty memorable casts and had very good music. The only flaw that the game had is rather slow-paced gameplay which could be easily fixed. If i ever had PS3 i will definitely get OG2 partly due to my fondness over Cerberus. For my next SRW i will probably either play my second run for Z or Z2 or perhaps finish my SRW Alpha. One of these days i will write mechatalk for Zeorymer using SRW MX Assets.
Since MX got good musical scores here are some of my favorite from the game.
- Tamashi no Refrain(Evangelion)
- Over the Rainbow(Dendoh)
- Yumeiro Chaser(Dragonar)
- Go Aestivalis(Nadesico)
- Watchdog of Hell(Original)
- Fight for Tomorrow(Original)