Thursday, December 20, 2007

StarCraft: Gundam Century

I checked on StarCraft 2's official site today, and read about the updates on a new Terran unit: Nomad.

Those of you who read my previous posting must have guessed that I'm a huge fan of the game. Not only being one of the very first PC games I played when a computer came to my house in '97, I still enjoy the game very much at pleasant time. After toying around with other strategy games like Age of Empire I and II, Empire Earth, WarCraft III and so on, I think I still prefer StarCraft as my favorite PC game of all time, even though my skills on StarCraft downgraded a lot after secondary school. I think I'll have to go back and do a lot of 'revision exercises' before I dare to challenge some of my friends to cyber cafes XD

Anyway, do you know that there was a modification pack released after the expansion set of Brood War, called Gundam Century? No kidding, it's basically MSs from the Gundam universe installed into the world of StarCraft. The controls, audio, unit portraits are all the same, but in terms of strategy and tactics, it's a brand new level of playing field for all the three factions.

A very strange-looking crest in the middle of the opening screen ^^;

StarCraft fans, remember this screen?

In Gundam Century, only the forces of Terran and Protoss received their Gundam 'make-over' XD, while the Zergs remain the same as they are in the original StarCraft. The Terran is now a mixture of different Gundams, and other Earth Federation related units; the Protoss as you probably guessed, are represented by Zeon units.

The basic grunt unit of Terran, the Marine corps are made up of GM Customs as seen in UC0083 Stardust Memory, and the Firebat is changed to GM Cannon II (the name shown for the unit in the game is Gun Cannon II though). Other mobile weapons like Salamis Kai replaces Wraiths and Battle Cruiser now takes the form of the colossal Pegasus Albion (the name shown in the game is White Base though). Many of the designs are quite true to both worlds, for example Terran Ghost who can call upon a Nuclear strike is represented by GP02A, also a nuclear 'specialist' in UC0083.

Earth Federation vs. Earth Federation ^^
Apart from GM Custom, GM Cannon II and GP02A, you can also produce Nu Gundam armed with beam rifle and bazooka :-D

The Protoss/Zeon on the other hand, has Zaku II with only Heat Hawk to replace their original Zealot form. Their range unit, the Dragoons take the form of Gelgoog Marine. For those of you who like Sazabi, he is in the game as well, as the Dark Templar. Like Terran/Gundam forces' designs, the developers stayed loyal to the mecha development of the Zeon as well. When two Dark Templar combine, a Dark Archon is produced, and Gundam Century's equivalence to that is Nightingale. 0_0 Imagine a whole squadron of Sazabi and Nightingale being created ^^ Only in game I suppose.

Being a Zeon fan, I always enjoy building many Zaku and send them to wrack havoc against the EFSF with their Heat Hawk ^^

Sieg Zeon!!!

Being original designs, the buildings are no where to be found in any Gundam anime.

I think Gundam Century is the only 'place' where you can see Nightingale in action ^^

Then again, the Dark Archon/Nightingale can only uses its 'spells' and has no attack at all, which so do not justify the power of Nightingale.

As mentioned earlier on, you will need a new set of strategies when you're playing Gundam Century, as many of the units' characteristics and even special abilities are changed. For example GM Cannon II's initial damage is 38, which is more than twice of that in the original game! Furthermore, it's upgraded to be able to attack air units. Other units like Valkyrie which can only attack air units in Brood War can now do damage to ground units and building in its new form, Full Armor ZZ Gundam (0_0). At the same time, it's equipped with beam barrier, similar to the Plasma Shield which only the Protoss has.

ZZ Gundam's HP is 175 with a beam barrier of 75. Its attack is the backpack missiles which deals 6 damage per missile (+3 after upgrade).

Battle Cruiser/Albion's ultimate attack has being changed from Yamato Gun to Mega Particle Cannon XD

Personally, I think that's rather unfair for the other two races ^^;

The Protoss/Zeon on the other hand, received many downgrades :( For example, most of its units are now without Plasma Shield, i.e. damage incurred directly reduces their HP, and I can say permanent as well, since they don't have Medic to heal their wound, and they have no unit to repair the damage, unlike Terran. Many of its units also retained the same limitations from the original game, for example, Corsair/Rick Dom II is still designed to attack air units only, and Zealot/Zaku II is still strictly a ground assault unit. Some advantages for the Protoss now include shorter build time, especially for their air unit, Scout/Dra-C and less population requirement for most of its units as well.

Alpha Azieru replaces Carrier...

... and uses Funnel attack instead of the original Interceptors.

The Zerg retained their original StarCraft form, with the only noticeable difference being on the Lurker. The image of the subterranean spike attack being changed from spikes shooting up from the ground to fires shooting up instead XD The damage point is the same. I'm not sure why the developers made such changes though ^^;

It's a really cool game, and I'm sure you'll love it regardless of whether your main interest is in StarCraft, or in Gundam (best if you enjoy both of them, like me :-D).