REVIEW: Super Robot Wars OG: The Moon Dwellers

Friday, August 26th, 2016

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Super Robot Wars | Logo
Title Super Robot Wars OG: The Moon Dwellers
Developer Banpresto
Publisher Bandai Namco
Release Date August 5th, 2016
Genre Strategy
Platform PlayStation 4
Age Rating N/A
Official Website

I had heard a lot about the Super Robot Wars series over the years but had yet to play any of the games or check out the anime. Since Super Robot Wars OG: The Moon Dwellers would be getting an English release in Asia and was promoted as a good jumping on point for the franchise, I got pretty excited. So when the opportunity to check this out came along I jumped on it. Did I find a new series to love, or get in way over my head?

This game features a few different story paths. The all new beginner mode explores the story from the perspective of protagonist Touya Shiun as he tries to understand what is going on after his father dies from injuries he sustained in a battle and left two young ladies in his care. There are other paths that are can be selected when not playing in Beginner Mode. One is kind of a prequel to things that take place in Touya’s path and the others focus on the game’s heroine, Calvina Coulange. Though no matter which path you take, the main story is pretty much unchanged from what I can understand of it.

Super Robot Wars OG Moon Dwellers | Bad Translation

I had to read this about 10 times before I understood what she was talking about….

To be completely honest, the story of this game was confusing to me. This game was touted as a good entry point into the series, but I can honestly say that is completely false. Even with the extensive in-game glossary, I had a very hard time figuring out when the events took place that they were referencing, who all the players from the different factions were, and what even was going on most of the time. It doesn’t help that the translation is pretty rough here as well, with lots of typos and poor grammar plaguing this localization. Honestly, a lot of the dialogue is written as if the characters have no personality at all. Even though this sounds horrible it’s most likely not near as bad to someone that has knowledge of the series. This game has made me very curious about the series now and I will likely be checking out more of the games and anime really soon.

Super Robot Wars OG The Moon Dwellers | FIRE

Sometimes you just need a bigger gun!

This game is visually pleasing for the most part. The character portraits for the in-game cut scenes are a mixed bag. You can tell some of these are older art that has just been upscaled for this game. The battle animations are what really makes this game shine. These moves are the craziest, most over the top, mecha anime styled attacks you will ever see in a video game and they are fantastic. My jaw dropped as I saw some of these attacks being executed. I felt like a little kid that was discovering Mecha anime for the first time all over again. These attacks can change up when certain rival characters meet on the battlefield or depending on which pilots are in which mecha. The battlefields themselves, however, leave a lot to be desired. They are not very detailed and it’s easy to lose where your characters are because they are so tiny. You can tap the L and R trigger to cycle though your units and the enemy units, but it is kind of a pain.

Super Robot Wars | Strange Line

Guess they killed him, until he died from it?

While I thought most of the music was pretty generic during the visual novel style cut scenes, the battle music was top notch. During the previously mentioned battle animations each character and some bosses have their own themes. I never knew I wanted this in a strategy game like this, but it does amp up the combat quite a bit. Most of the spoken dialogue occurs during the battle scenes. The actors do a fantastic job making these scenes larger than life. Some may call this a bit cheesy, but personally I thought it was great!

The gameplay itself is that of a standard grid based strategy game. Players will have to be aware of the terrain on the battlefield as certain tiles on the grid will give you different perks, such as forest titles raising your evasion. There are tons of different attacks with varying ranges and effects for each mecha. Some mecha even have unison attacks when grouped together but be aware if you use an attack that targets several spaces on the map, friendly units will be affected as well. 

Super Robot Wars OG the Moon Dwellers | Combat

Time to FIRE!

You also have Spirit abilities at your disposal. The effects of these range from restoring HP to having a 100% hit rate, or leaving an enemy with just a few HP remaining. I know you’re saying “why would I want to spare an enemy?” Some victory conditions require you only reduce your foes to a certain level of HP rather than destroying them. It took me about two battles to discover that glorious Mercy skill and save my sanity, because my pilots live by the motto go hard or go home and they would destroy them in one hit. Speaking of victory conditions, most of then are pretty straightforward. Most of the time it is defeat these enemies and these units must survive. Each map will contain an SR point objective as well. By completing these objectives on each map you will not only earn a SR point, which adjusts the difficulty of the game based on how many points you’ve earned, but you will gain some PP to upgrade your pilots skills with as well. I did not obtain all of these during my playthrough, but I’ve heard from fans of the series obtaining all of these will have an effect on the story ending.

While the story was completely confusing and the localization very lackluster, I still had a lot of fun with Super Robot Wars OG: The Moon Dwellers. The gameplay is fun and those combat animations are just a pure joy to watch. I spent around 50 hours to complete the story once, and there is a New Game+ option so you can carry over some stats and such to see the other story paths or shoot for all the SR points. If you’re a fan of the series, you will enjoy this title and should definitely jump in at the $65.99 price tag. Though if you are new to series or are just curious about it, I would recommend either checking out some of the previous titles first or watching the anime series so you won’t be as lost as I was with the story.

Review Score
Overallwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com

*Reviewer’s note: This score is subject to change if Bandai Namco were to patch up the localization in the future*

The game was provided by Play-Asia for review purposes. If you would like to purchase a copy of the game for yourself, please use the affiliate link below.

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About Steve Baltimore

Steve started with oprainfall not long after the campaign moved from the IGN forums to Facebook. Ever since, he has been fighting to give all non-mainstream RPGs a fair voice. As the site admin, he will continue to do this and even show there is value in what some would deem "pure ecchi." He loves niche games and anime more than anything... well, except maybe Neptune.




  • I’d recommend at the very least watching the Super Robot Wars: The Inspector anime before diuving into this but ideally people should try OG 1 & 2 on GBA in english

  • Mr_SP

    Yeah, this is not a good entry point for the simple reason that this is a
    sequel to so many games, and it has a habit of running many different
    plots at once. In the regular SRW games, this is a plus – we play them
    for the crossover, and we’re expected to know at least some of the plot. In OGs, it’s a bit more iffy.

    The localisation is… poor. Substandard at best. You never appreciate modern localisation until you have to deal with this. Big problem is that it was translated by people who don’t speak English as a first language for people that don’t speak English as a first language. How they can stand this, I don’t know.

    I don’t regret the purchase, but I can see the flaws. Hopefully, SRW V turns out a bit better.

    • Steve Baltimore

      I hope they do a patch like they did for SAO:HF and fix it up a bit later.

    • Nicholas Perry

      Last I recall that wasn’t a patch, but a whole new game you had to re buy to get a slightly more competent writing.

    • Steve Baltimore

      The Vita version got a patch.

    • SOMEGUY7893 .

      I had it the vita patch didn’t change the translation at all the port did though.

  • Didney Worl

    Mmmm mmmm, that’s some good Engrish.

  • Panpopo

    Yeah this is not an entry point into the series. There is an extensive glossary but it is a bit overwhelming to newcomers. However I think it stands fine on its own and I am having fun with it – I think there is more than enough content to satisfy a purchase.

    I agree with what the others have said already, so don’t go in expecting a masterpiece of storytelling, but I don’t think it matters that much. What is really cool are the animations – it feels and looks fucking awesome, kind of like watching Gurren Lagann or G Gundam for the first time.

  • Nicholas Perry

    The problem with the characters having no personality and things not being easily understood is because of the utter incompetence of the translation. If you can even call it that. If it was properly localized and written in English, the in game reference information would actually MAKE SENSE>

    Just another great game Bamco has added to their list of “we don’t give a fuck” butchered localizations. You’d think they’d learn after the nth damn time!