I often read critics pan films by using/making the observation “like a video game,” as if video game action sequences aren’t proven methods of delivering a high level of action entertainment. I don’t buy into this lazy dismissal, not because I’m a video game fanboy – I haven’t really played anything except Mass Effect the past 4 years unless you count Pop Cap games; and fuck yeah Super Robot Wars.
Mobile Suit Gundam AGE plays out like an extended Super Robot Wars cut-scene battle, where dramatic plot points are played out but little-to-no actual gameplay happens. This is the narrative comparison. The more appropriate comparison is that Zeheart in his Gundam Legilis fought the Sid in what really is a “bullet hell” type of video game boss battle.
Yeah, something like that (Fraxy – ARGUS). I never took to this kind of game and I’m not going to start now, but I do enjoy watching the ridiculous skill involved in beating such bosses. Basically, the hero’s ability to spam the larger target with his main weapons are compromised by the barrage of weapons fire directed at him. The hero is preoccupied with avoiding the deadly barrage so much so that it’s hard to inflict damage on the enemy, who, being a boss, will also have several orders of special abilities/attacks at its disposal.
In the case of the AcguyQubeleyFreedom, it turned invisible.
To beat it, Zeheart had two “power-ups” … the first was the Legilis’ version of the Fin Funnel/I-Field of the Nu Gundam. Energy bits can not only level offensive beam fire, but also act as a force field against beam weapons. Second, Zeheart had Super Pilot Asem with his pirate Gundam and its grappling hooks. Between these two additions to his toolbox, along with his inherent X-Rounder powers, he was able to beat the Sid.
The whole thing played very fast and very true to its video game roots, and the resolutions in the episode were rather dark and entertaining: Flit is still a hater douche (yes!), Fram was put in her place (just outside the kitchen, LOL); the pirates made a good play with splitting up their forces, but Sid was prepared for that…
…the beauty was the Pirates were ALSO prepared for it. Asem’s redshirt wingmates got killed, but that wouldn’t stop them. The EXA-DB was destroyed because the pirate ship executed its contingency role. Too bad it wasn’t completely destroyed, and the AcguyQubeleyFreedom will come back as some kind of bigger freak, but that’s for another boss battle.
This one was just right. Oh by the way, this isn’t the first time AGE referenced video game combat dynamics in a big way. Episode 8 laid it pretty thick.