Mobile Suit Gundam SEED: Never Ending Tomorrow Beloved by Metacritic Users, Loathed by Critics in General
Do you remember the Konami smash hit for the Playstation 2, Zone of Enders?
If you don’t, do not be hard on yourself, most of us don’t remember Hideo Kojima’s lesser known masterpieces, but this one has grown in prominence since its original release back in 2001.
Why I mention this obscure Konami mech game is that you can see a lot of its gameplay in Mobile Suit Gundam SEED: Never Ending Tomorrow, also for the Sony Playstation 2.
While not quite as polished as Zone of Enders, nor sporting its trademark insane Kojima plotline, Mobile Suit Gundam SEED: Never Ending Tomorrow is a worthy title in the mech combat genre that draws upon the vast world of Gundam, to many the premier name in mech suit fantasy entertainment.
Mobile Suit Gundam SEED: Never Ending Tomorrow follows the traditions established by its predecessor Mobile Suit Gundam: Encounters in Space and puts players in control of mobile mech suits in a variety of environments.
Critics criticized its underutilized gameplay mechanics and confusing execution but players loved the game’s loud, brightly colored graphics and anime-true presentation. What critics see as something exclusively for fans, the fans see something that is not appreciated within context.
Many of the critics cite the need to be a fan of the Gundam series, but this discounts the game’s many inspirations, all of which are considered mainline successes by the gaming press and none of which require an ardent fandom to support.
Comparing the game to Zone of Enders again, critics see the flaws in Mobile Suit Gundam SEED: Never Ending Tomorrow’s presentation that were also present in Zone of Enders. While Mobile Suit Gundam SEED: Never Ending Tomorrow does require a bit of background in the lore to appreciate its story and the conventions it places the player through, Zone of Enders similarly requires some degree of investigation and introspection on the part of the player to make sense of its sprawling, strange world.
Again the critics seems to be biased against Mobile Suit Gundam SEED: Never Ending Tomorrow because of the depth of its lore rather than focusing on its gameplay, which is not very innovative beyond 2001’s Zone of Enders format.
Hot and fresh in 2001, by 2005 ZoE’s combat had become stale and its gameplay was refined in other similar titles like Armored Core, titles that seem to have passed the Mobile Suit Gundam SEED: Never Ending Tomorrow development by entirely. One area that is somewhat unforgivable but understandable is the camera.
Mobile Suit Gundam SEED: Never Ending Tomorrow’s camera is one of the worst you will encounter in a mobile mech combat game, but few of this genre get this right even today, let alone in 2005.
Given this, it is appropriate that fans are more forgiving of the title than critics would be as the world’s presentation and its cohesiveness of plot and presentation mark it as one of the more enjoyable licensed titles on the Playstation 2. If you’re a fan of Gundam, or mobile mech combat in general, Mobile Suit Gundam SEED: Never Ending Tomorrow is more than worth your time.