My first game for SNES emulator, I like this game so much, partially because I'm also a Gundam fan. In term of gameplay however, this game is one of my favourite fighting game back then. The graphics are good, and the BGM are catchy (especially Tallgeese, Sandrock and Epyon BGM). The game system itself is quite simple, and fun to play, especially against other human player.
In this game, we choose between 9 pre-existing mobile suits (MS) to fight our way through in Story Mode, or to survive as long as we can in Trial Mode.
There are 4 attack buttons altogether: Weak punch, Strong punch, Weak weapon, and Strong weapon. 'Punch' deal no damage if blocked, but it is necessary for close-range throws against "turtling" enemies; 'Weapon', on the other hand, cannot be used for throwing your enemy, but it will deal slight (chip) damage when blocked.
The move lists are quite simple; All MS have a similar move list of Quarter-circle-forward (QCF) + punch/weapon, Quarter-circle-backward (QCB) + punch/weapon, Forward-down-forward (FDF) + punch/weapon, and QCFx2 + punch/weapon for super attacks.
The game system itself incorporates a 300-point energy bar in addition of the life bar. Normal moves can be empowered by using the "strong" version of punch or weapon, dealing more damage or hits, but it will take 100 energy.
Super moves would take 200 energy to perform, but done correctly, it can deal massive damage. The energy bar recharges by attacking or blocking your enemy: Each successful hit recharges 15 energy each blocked hit recharges 5 energy to the attacker and 10 energy to the defender. Also, by pressing either strong and weak punch or weapon together, the MS could perform a boost upwards (or, by also pressing forward, a shield charge which allows him to break through suppressive fire), which can then be boosted once more to reach new heights (especially in dodging enemy attacks).
In addition to that, each MS is equipped with a basic machine cannon for long range combat. At about half-screen distance, a crosshair would appear on your enemy; By pressing strong or weak punch, we will shoot a burst of bullets to the enemy, the length of burst depending on the version of attack (weak=short, strong=long). It is worth noting, however, that the machine cannon would consume a little bit of energy per shot, and it deals no damage if blocked. Thus, the enemy can block the machine cannon shots to recharge his own energy without suffering from chip damage.
As an added bonus, if you manage to beat the last boss (Epyon Gundam) in Hard mode, the game would show you how to use Epyon in Trial or VS mode (Not in Story mode).
Quick review of MS:
Wing: Standard MS, good in chaining combos with many hits. However, I find his range rather lacking at times, and he doesn't deal the most damage.
Special: 2 super attacks: By executing QCBx2 (normal super is QCFx2), he can turn into plane mode, which would then fly along the screen 3 times, dealing physical damage while being invulnerable. It is not THAT great, but it could be useful to counter Epyon's super attack.
Deathscythe: Melee-oriented MS, he suffers a bit from the lack of long range attacks. However, once at close range, he could deal heavy damage with relatively few hits.
Special: Cloaking: By dashing forward or backward (Forward-forward or Back-back), he could become invisible (the only MS with this ability), which grants him temporary invulnerability against attacks. He is not immune to grapple throws though.
Heavyarms: A more long-range oriented MS, he is NOT to be underestimated at close range. His melee is as painful as his long range attacks, and his super attack may be one of the most damaging in the whole game. He does, however, suffer from lack of speed and low jump.
Special: Machine cannon barrage: His machine cannon barrage lasts longer than other MS. Also has an alternate grappling throw which must be performed by QCB+punch/weapon.
Sandrock: A melee-oriented MS, his range suffers a bit, as well as his speed. However, some of his moves are just plain painful, and his defense rating is the highest of all MS.
Special: Nothing (that I can think of).
Shenlong: Also a melee oriented MS, he uses a beam spear in battle, which means his weapon attacks could reach a longer range than standard mobile suit. However, I find him rather lacking in long range attacks.
Special: Extra range in weapon attacks due to his spear.
Wing Zero: An upgraded version of Wing, he has the best stat compared to the other MS (only Epyon rivals his stat). This, however, is rather deceiving, as I find him rather suffering from the lack of melee moves (only 1 melee move and 2 long-range weapon move). I find the best way to use him is by attrition combat (dealing small chip damage to kill the enemy slowly).
Special: Like Wing, he can also turn into a plane for an alternate super attack.
Vayeate: A long-range oriented MS, I find him the most difficult to use among the other MS. Despite a powerful long-range weapon and attacks (which could overpower even Heavyarms' barrage), his melee damage is seriously suffering, and his long-range weapon attacks are rather easy to dodge. He is faster than Heavyarms though.
Special: His weapon attacks, when done in close range, would deal extra damage as well as knocking the enemy down.
Mercurius: Vayeate's "brother", I find him rather easy to use, as well as a nasty ability to corner the enemy with little chance of escape. His combos are rather simple and easy to execute (no special move involved, even), and done repeatedly, can quickly deplete the enemy's life bar. His only weakness may be his reach, which some may find a bit short for a melee-oriented MS.
Special: Barrier: He can activate his barrier, which would make him immune to ALL attacks except grappling throws (which are unblockable). This, however, would eat up his energy bar quickly, so at times it may not be a wise choice.
Tallgeese: MY PERSONAL FAVORITE, despite his low stat (comparable to Wing), Tallgeese is a VERY powerful MS. His moves may not deal the most number of hits, but they can deal serious damage most of the time, and even his normal attacks and throws are highly damaging. His melee reach is quite far as well, as he uses his long legs to kick his enemy. Despite of only one long-range attack (the Dober Gun), this is not a big hindrance, as he could use this attack for attrition combat as well (the Dober Gun shoots forward while on ground, and downwards while on air. GREAT for attrition). His only weaknesses are his large size (makes him big target), and his super which doesn't really have anything special about it except for extra damage.
Special: Nothing (that I can think of).
Secret: Epyon: Chosen by entering a certain code while keeping the cursor at Tallgeese's picture, Epyon is the ultimate melee-oriented MS. His reach is next to none, both his punch and weapon attacks; His combos, while difficult to perform, could deal massive damage in short amount of time, and can keep hitting downed enemies for another 7 hits, quickly recharging his energy bar. His super may be the nastiest in the whole game: He summons a barrier around him, and proceeds to shoot 20 homing energy balls to his enemy. If it hits completely, his energy bar would surely be recharged at full, and allows him to perform the super once again. If the enemy gets too close to his barrier, it would damage them. The barrier also prevents small projectiles (eg the machine cannon) from harming him. However, certain attacks (eg Vayeate's long-range attack move) and specials (Wing and Wing Zero's super and alternate super, Tallgeese's super, Heavyarms' super) could break through his barrier and end his super prematurely. Epyon's only "weakness" is his lack of long-range attacks (not even machine cannons), save for his super.
Special: No long-range attacks, except for his super.