You may have noticed that I'm calling this a half-review. Well that's because I haven't completed the game, and I don't plan to. I can also summarize the entire game rather briefly because the game itself is barely a full game anyway. The game is in japanese, but menus are all in english and you don't need to know anything else because the game is as straight-forward as Tetris. Basically, its import-friendly.
I had very high hopes for this game, mainly because of the gorgeous cel-shaded graphics and the selection of playable Gundam. These things were obviously pretty easy to get right, and certainly they did. The cel-shaded Gundam 3D models are indeed pretty impressive, though its considerably fuzzier and lower resolution than the screenshots would have you believe. Unfortunately, that's as far as the pros for this game go.
Environments are bland; you'll mostly be seeing empty space, with nothing but black and stars. We get it, space is pretty black and empty, but god damn it, they use that as an excuse to put absolutely no effort into creating vivid environments. They could have created some pretty impressive cutscenes with those cel-shaded models, but they don't bother with that obviously. Story is just half-assed re-tellings of each featured Gundam series in Super Robot Wars style. What I mean by that is, its still-pictures of the characters chatting it up with never-ending dialogue. You'd best skip all this because its boring, a waste of time, and you probably can't read Japanese anyway.
Well, if the visuals are bland and the story is near non-existent, at least we have the variety in missions right? No you idiot, are you joking? Every single missions consists of "Destroy All Enemies! Mission Complete!". I'm not kidding. Start mission, shoot and slash mindlessly, end mission. This is why you don't need to read any Japanese; nothing ever changes. You turn the game on, go to the only game mode besides the multiplayer modes, and you'll find a list of missions. That's how straightforward it is. But that's enough of that.
Who cares about all of this, ALL of this, if you have fun, flashy gameplay?! That mentality often flies, but not in this case! Somehow, they ACTUALLY managed to fuck up the gameplay too! The one thing it could have had going for it. The gameplay is the typical fly and shoot format you'll find in absolutely every Gundam game in existence. But unlike games like Another Century's Episode, where the gameplay is actually fun and responsive, the gameplay in Gundam Memories is stiff and just total bullshit. A classic strategy is to maneuver side to side while shooting, but in this game you are stopped dead when you shoot. This means your maneuvers are completely restricted, and you'll find yourself immobile and open to all kinds of damage while you're trying to shoot your RANGED weapon.
There is also a dedicated block button, for melee battles. But the whole concept is bullshit and it doesn't work at all. There's no way of detecting enemy movement, and it just becomes a total mash-fest that requires no skill whatsoever. Overall, the game is stiff and frustrating. You'll likely find yourself retrying missions over and over again because all of these stupid limitations will prevent you from playing the game properly. Oh, and I forgot to mention that there are quick time events! Yep, every now and then you'll enter a little quick time event and you have to time a button press. While they actually manage to show off the Gundam visuals, its completely unnecessary and just interrupts your flow.
Overall, Gundam Memories is a total disappointment and not worth your time at all. The first thing I noticed when I got this game was that it was only 300mb. Normally, proper PSP titles are at least 1gb, so it striked me as a bit odd. But now I understand why. There is no fucking content in this game. No cutscenes, no extra game modes, no expansive or remotely interesting environments, nothing. It's just a couple of pretty, cel-shaded Gundams, and that's about it. Ugh, I'm just so utterly disappointment. I guess I was expecting too much. Still, it wouldn't be wrong to say that Gundam Memories is just.plain.awful.
[C.Jin's Overall Score: 3/10]