If you’re a gamer, there’s a huge chance you’re fascinated by mechs (or mecha if you’re going anime style). Colossal, super destructive robots that can change the tide of any battle. Whether it’s Metal Gear Rex or Voltron or the RX-78-2 Gundam, everybody has their favourite. If by chance, yours is a Gundam, then SD Gundam Battle Alliance probably has yours in the game.

I didn’t expect much from the game at all. It honestly looked like an SD (Super Deformed) version of Bandai Namco’s Gundam Breaker series.

So after days of playing, does that comparison do the game justice? Or this just an SD version of Gundam Breaker?

What is SD Gundam Battle Alliance?

SD Gundam Battle Alliance is a single (and multiplayer) action RPG featuring SD versions of Gundam from throughout the franchise’s multiversal series. Developed by ARTDINK and published by Bandai Namco Entertainment, the game has you brawling it out across the Gundam franchise’s many memorable battles.

The game is available now on PC, the Nintendo Switch, Playstation and Xbox consoles.

Our review copy was kindly provided by the folks over at Bandai Namco Asia. Thanks a ton guys!

In case you’re wondering, here;s what series is included:

  • Mobile Suit Gundam
  • Mobile Suit Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket
  • Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team
  • Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt
  • Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory
  • Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam
  • Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ
  • Mobile Suit Gundam: Char’s Counterattack
  • Mobile Suit Gundam: Char’s Counterattack Beltorchika’s Children
  • Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn
  • Mobile Suit Gundam F91
  • Mobile Suit Crossbone Gundam
  • Mobile Suit V Gundam
  • Mobile Fighter G Gundam
  • Mobile Suit Gundam Wing
  • After War Gundam X
  • Turn A Gundam
  • Mobile Suit Gundam SEED
  • Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Astray
  • Mobile Suit Gundam SEED VS Astray
  • Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny
  • Mobile Suit Gundam 00
  • Mobile Suit Gundam 00 The Movie -Awakening of the Trailblazer-
  • Reconguista in G
  • Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans
  • Musha, Knight and Command: SD Gundam Scramble

The plot of SD Gundam Battle Alliance is pretty much a Gundam version of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow blended with the Loki Disney+ series. You’re in a highly advanced computer simulation that somehow has the ability to change history. Yeah…I don’t get how it works too but just go with it.

You’re plucked out of the early moments in the One Year War (along with your support partner, Juno Astarte) and tasked to clear out ‘Breaks’, which are events that are changing the course of history during pivotal moments.

Breaks are changing the timeline, which is why you need to find them all and set things right before you’re able to return back to your time.

A great example early on is that Amuro Ray and Ramba Ral don’t battle for White Base, with Ramba Ral instead being replaced by Gundam Barbatos.

Once you’ve stopped the ‘Break’ version of a mission, the game will eventually allow you to do the ‘True Story’ version of the mission, which like its name, is how the events of the battle should go. Weirdly, despite you out to restore history, ‘True Story’ missions do not force you to use era appropriate Gundam. You’re free to use any Gundam you’ve already unlocked via nabbing Blueprints from missions.

Missions all have you sortie with two other AI (or in multiplayer, human) companions. You can use any Gundam that you’ve unlocked, so you mix and match who fight with you. Each Gundam has different bonuses (such as faster healing or more boost for your thrusters) so that plays a part on who you choose as well.

With the immense number of Gundam (broken into 3 distinct types; Infighter, Sharpshooter and All-Rounder) in the game, it’s great to see that ARTDINK actually took the time to add in character specific battle quotes for your AI helpers. If your AI helpers are supposed to know each other, they’ll have unique intros at the outset of the mission instead of their regular pre-battle dialogue.

There are also RPG elements at work behind the scenes.

Between missions, you can upgrade the stats of your Gundam and increase their effectiveness. You can also equip skills that give numerous benefits to your Gundams.

Using the same AI partners will also level them up, which makes them more effective in battles.

Missions play out like those in Gundam Breaker, weirdly enough. Your team goes from point to point, brawling with whoever is in the way. There’s not really a ton of depth to the missions; you’re mostly out to kill everything that spawns. Some missions have friendly AI (other than your two helpers), which makes the battles seem more involved but those fights are pretty rare.

Maps can range from cramped to wide open and there’s a decent variety.

Fighting in urban areas comes with the perk of destructible buildings, which crumble nicely as you fight and smash into them. Still, no matter what the map type, they feel a bit too small.

It’s obvious the game was meant to accommodate the inferior hardware of the Nintendo Switch with the all too quick mission length and basic environments. I imagine the missions would’ve been more involved and more interesting if the Switch was out of the picture and ARTDINK could just focus on the hardware the base PS4 and Xbox One.

There’s a Ray Tracing option on the new consoles but I honestly don’t see that much of a difference. Besides, using Ray Tracing makes the frame rate fluctuate in some stages so you’re just better off not having it on in the first place.

One thing I really hate is that the game overcomplicates its fights with the ‘Break’ system for bosses. Think of it the Break gauge as a stamina gauge that you have to deplete on bosses to stun them. The Break gauge goes down every time the boss does an attack, so you’re supposed to hold out (by avoiding the blows or blocking them) till it drains and then deplete it completely (to stun the boss) with your own attacks.

SD Gundam Battle Alliance

Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way 99% of the time.

The bosses recover their Break gauges too damn fast and your skills barely do damage to drain the gauge. It adds insult to injury that the Break gauge makes the bosses uninterruptable, so you’re trading damage no matter how skilled you are.

It’s unavoidable.

Since the Break gauge’s going to be active a ton of the time, fighting bosses is an exercise in frustration and endurance. Trading blows is hardly skillful gameplay and having your hits ignored by the boss is frankly, demoralizing.

Sure, you’re doing damage…but it’s pitiful damage and bosses take a ton of damage to kill.

SD Gundam Battle Alliance

It doesn’t help that combat feels a bit too cumbersome and repetitive at times.

Each Gundam has two skills (mapped to L1 and R1), as well as a melee and ranged attack. Holding the Square button also does an area of attack move, while holding the Triangle button uppercuts your enemy and allows you to do air combos.

The problem here is that the attacks feel sluggish to execute. It’s expected with old school Gundams like the RX-78-2 or the GM but you’d think the more agile Gundams like Knight Gundam or Strike Freedom would be faster.

There’s also a Special Attack that’s on cooldown (L1 + R1).

SD Gundam Battle Alliance

I love the Special Attacks to be honest. They look pretty cool and to top it off, you can customize what music plays during. Since Bandai Namco gave us the Ultimate Edition of the game, that meant that we also got the vocal songs from all the various series.

I’ve always been partial to the original Mobile Suit Gundam, so having its theme (Tobe! Gundam) blaring whenever I do special attacks kicks major ass!

SD Gundam Battle Alliance

While the battle system by itself is fine (if a shallow), the lock-on system sucks.

It’s frustrating as hell, as it simply refuses to break a lock on defeated enemies until they blow up. Unfortunately, they won’t blow up if you’re still hitting them which means valuable seconds are lost as you stare while you’re locked on and wait for grunts to go boom.

I got so annoyed with it that I simply turned off auto-locking and ONLY used lock-ons when I absolutely had to. It got old quick too with when you’re going the same melee moves over and over. There’s not much strategy in fighting the regular cannon fodder, so you’ll blaze through them with no issue. It’s mindless and does take a toll on you after awhile.

A more in-depth fighting system would’ve been much preferred, especially for the Infighter type of Gundams.

The Bottom Line.

SD Gundam Battle Alliance

SD Gundam Battle Alliance isn’t a disaster but to say that it’s a great game would be stretching it. There’s a decent experience underneath it all but is mired by the infuriatingly stupid ‘Break’ gauge mechanic and cumbersome combat.

Collecting Gundams to use is fun and a large part of it stems from the desire to find out what Gundam becomes unlocked as you play. This is a game for the hardcore Gundam fans through and through though because chances are you won’t recognize some of the mechs in here anyways if you’re not.

There’s not much depth to it and the combat is repetitive, but if you stick with it despite all the issues, you’ll find a decent game. The problem is bearing with the issues to get to it.


Fun mindless brawler undermined by questionable gameplay mechanics.

The Good.

  • Lots of playable Gundams.
  • Cool missions.
  • Fluid framerate.
  • Customizable skills to equip.

The Bad.

  • Repetitive combat.
  • ‘Break’ gauge.
  • Basic looking visuals.

Sal's been in the industry since the early 2000s. He's written for a ton of gaming and tech publications including Playworks, Hardwarezone, HWM and GameAxis. Recently, Sal served as a juror for the Indie Game Awards at Taipei Game Show 2020. A geek and hardcore gamer, Sal will play everything, on any platform.