Mobile Suit Gundam Battle Operation: Code Fairy
(Available on PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4)
(PlayStation 5 version used for review)
For the ease of this review I will be referring to this game as only “Code Fairy” and not it’s full title of “Mobile Suit Gundam Battle Operation: Code Fairy”.
This also applies to “Mobile Suit Gundam Battle Operation 2” being referred to as “GBO2”)
My experience with Code Fairy is that I have got 100% of the trophies and received S ranks on almost all missions across all 3 volumes, and I have spent easily over 40 hours on the game.
I played the game exclusively on my PlayStation 5, so all of my experiences (both positive and negative) may not reflect your experience playing on the PlayStation 4 or 4 Pro consoles.
The developers are B.B. Studio Co., Ltd. a subsidiary of Bandai Namco Entertainment and in the past have been lead designers on a lot of the past Gundam games, the Super Robot Wars series and surprisingly Digimon World: Next Order (which is one of my favourite Digimon games that I would recommend every Digimon fan play).
Code Fairy is a single player 3rd Person action mech game spin-off based off the base engine, art assets and control scheme of the Free2Play (F2P) multiplayer action game GBO2 (which is available on PS4 and PS5) which was released back in July 2018 in Japan, and October 2019 in English.
The story of Code Fairy takes place during the One Year War of the Universal Century as seen in the original Mobile Suit Gundam anime from 1979. The game sees the conflict in U.C.0079 where the Principality of Zeon launched a near genocidal war against the Earth Federation in a bid for liberation from control of Earth and have full autonomy. The plot starts on September 18th Universal Century 0079 when the main character of the story Alma Stirner transfers into the Noisy Fairy Squadron on Earth.
This is the best story of the any recent Gundam focused games that is easily accessible outside of Asia.
There’s 2 forms of storytelling in Code Fairy, as there’s the anime cutscenes and in-engine cutscenes with full voice acting that have a very high production value which are always a treat and really make me want a full blown anime adaption. The second is using visual novel style textboxes that convey the rest of the dialogue of the story and exposition, so if you get bored of the dialogue boxes then they are replaced by anime cutscenes or in-engine cutscenes that will immediately grab your attention soon after.
During the conflict in U.C.0079 we see the Principality of Zeon launched a near genocidal war against the Earth Federation in a bid for liberation from control of Earth and have full autonomy. The plot starts on September 18th when the main character of the story Alma Stirner transfers into the Noisy Fairy Squadron.
Noisy Fairy is a new squadron formed within Zeon when they claimed North America and was created as the first all-female squadron and due to this it led to the new squadron being called “Noisy Fairy” due to the misogynistic nature of the other members of the Zeon military that knew of their existence.
The rest of the story follows the rest of the One Year War as Noisy Fairy cover Zeon’s retreat (mostly across the battlefields of North America gameplay wise) from Earth due to badly losing the war effort against the Earth Federation’s superior numbers and advancing technology.
The characters in this game are great and all feel unique from each other with each of their personalities.
Across the nearly 30 hour campaign missions and cutscenes we see the main core trio of women soldiers develop as they come across a variety of issues in the invasion of Earth, and how they grow with each conflict and resolution.
You also get to control each of the core cast across several missions so you aren’t just limited to the main character with each character fulfilling a different role in combat from each other and their custom Suits are also very unique and match their personalities.
The core team is squadron leader Alma Stirner, Mia Brinkman the engineer, and Helena Hegel the most experienced team member. Each character is a great addition to the 40+ year history of Gundam and would love to see their story expanded upon in an Anime or Manga to explain more of their backstories or other missions.
If you are a fan of the original Mobile Suit Gundam anime then you will enjoy seeing the war from the other side of the conflict as we rarely saw the perspective of Zeon troops on the ground, since most of the time we were following the exploits of the “heroes” with Amuro and The Federation with Zeon just being the villains.
Whereas Code Fairy does a great example of showing both sides in war as not everything in conflict is black and white, while not everyone joins the conflict for the same reason as this is reflected great in its main cast.
It also dives into more real world focused topics as of late, with an emphasis placed on the mental health of the pilots and also the discrimination that women can be forced to deal with in a male dominated society. This is reflected in that most Zeon soldiers and enemy Federation soldiers in game are Male (and most of them are antagonists) and those in higher positions of power in the Principality of Zeon are also Male and how they view the Noisy Fairy Squadron and use them as pawns and propaganda.
The core gameplay is carried over from GBO2 (As they are virtually the same framework and code on the same engine), so if you enjoyed the fast paced Mecha based combat then you will right at home in Code Fairy.
There are also some small tutorials to help new players get used to controls that do a valiant job in explaining the basics.
Code Fairy also features a large amount of map variety for your missions so the gameplay feels fresh for every mission as you tackle new terrain and new hazards e.g. one mission may have you providing covering fire in the rubble of a ruined city as your troops retreat and another can see you facing down a giant landship boss battle as enemies drop in from the sky and hunt you down.
Another great feature of this game is that you can customise the “Parts” for all the Mobile Suits depending on the parts you unlock via the missions.
You can upgrade the weapons and stats for the Suit. These include damage reduction via Ballistics, Beams and Melee damage. Boosting your own Ranged and Melee damage and increasing your amount of thrusters available for boosting and your Suits turnrate.
These upgrades all help you on the harder difficulties and in the Simulator missions and cost matches, so you can deal more damage and take more damage before your Suit is destroyed.
In conjunction with the customisation of the Suits your pilots also level up as you gain experience from missions, as your pilot levels up it will increase the stats of your Suit. Then as you level up and get further in the story you unlock several new skills to help you out and turn the tide in combat and they recharge after a set amount of time so you aren’t punished for using them too often.
This system also allows you to make your own Suit feel distinct from another player’s as you are free to build your suit to match your playstyle e.g. You can max out your melee resistance and melee damage if you like to get up close and personal and slice the enemy up with your Beam Saber or Heat Hawk.
As you get S ranks in missions and complete mission objectives you will unlock new parts, Mobile Suits and concept art.
For the normal rewards you normally unlock high levels of weapons and equipment which you use to customise your Mobile Suit throughout the story and also the simulator missions.
The unlockable Mobile Suits are normally the reward for Hard mode and are used exclusively in the simulator mode and in cost matches, and the later unlockable Mobile Suits usually are better for the simulator missions and cost matches
Through the use of mission rewards and rank you unlock a fantastic gallery of artwork that shows off the different designs for the characters that appear in the story mode along with all their variations for the holidays that pass with each mission (There’s a great Halloween mission for instance) and for these holiday missions each of the characters dresses up to match the holiday, so they are not in all the same uniforms throughout the story.
All missions can be replayed at the same difficulty or a higher difficulty with unique rewards for both Normal and Hard difficulties.
So if you miss out on the S rank or getting the optional mission rewards then you can always replay and skip cutscenes.
Another great replay feature is using the Simulator for Cost matches, as this allows you to use Suits that you may not own in GBO2 yet. I used this feature for instance to test out the new White Rider and Black Rider Suits introduced in this game as they will be added to GBO2 down the line like the Dom Gnomides was.
Then due to the replayability you can redo all these cost matches as much as you want to really learn a Mobile Suit before you unlock it in GBO2, so you can really learn how a Suit controls (as Suits play very distinctly from one other).
This is also really useful because you will be in a match against A.I opponents and not real people, so you can learn to be better at the game (and make plenty of mistakes with new Mobile Suits) without the potential threat of a random person being toxic to you in your DMs on PlayStation.
Code Fairy is a great purchase if you currently play Gundam Battle Operation 2 because just completing Code Fairy on Normal and Hard difficulties will unlock 6 Mobile Suits for use in that game that cover costs from 200-500, so if you are new to GBO2 then these suits definitely help you until you get better Suits (a personal favourite of mine is the GM Spartan which is a 450 Cost General Suit that really holds its own).
Then if you purchase the Deluxe Edition of Code Fairy you will unlock another 2 Mobile Suits and 30 tokens for use in GBO2 (Normally valued at £21.99 alone) and for further crossover with GBO2 you can unlock new Simulator missions in Code Fairy that add to the total playtime of Code Fairy, so you are definitely rewarded if you play both games and get far enough in both.
The theme song for Code Fairy aptly called “Fly high the Fairy” plays during the anime styled opening that accompanies every chapter and is sung by the talented Japanese singer Maon Kurosaki.
An artist who anime fans may recognise as the singer/writer behind other great anime openings and endings for example “Toaru Majutsu no Index aka A Certain Magical Index” where she wrote the lyrics for season 2 and 3 where she also performed vocals for season 3 and also performing all 12 ending songs for “Highschool of the Dead”.
The opening for Code Fairy is fantastic as not only does it work as an anime opening but also really sets the mood for the game and for Gundam as a whole with its amazing visuals and song. I find it most similar to the second opening to Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn with its visuals.
Uses the same game mechanics from GBO2.
So if you’re not a fan of how that game plays then you will still not enjoy the control mechanics in Code Fairy as they are nearly identical.
Story in an already established Universe.
This is a Gundam game with a story set during the OYW (One Year War) from the original Anime, so if you are not familiar with the story then you may feel lost in the plot as not a lot if explained as the game takes for granted that you know the backstory of the OYW and both factions.
While Code Fairy does have some great unique music tracks (See the opening theme above), it does unfortunately recycle quite a lot of music from Gundam Battle Operation 2 such as the briefing meeting song and cut scene music.
This mainly occurred during Volume 3 in Chapter 12 that several names were misspelt like the squadron known as the “Black Dogs” being called the “Black Doog” for one of their troopers.
Simulator S ranks.
This is a weird problem that sometimes happens in that even if I destroy all enemy Mobile Suits and clear the mission then I still wouldn’t get the S rank and would instead only get an A rank even though there were no more enemies to destroy. This could be fixed by just lowering the point requirement for the S rank as sometimes it has made the difference between getting an overall S rank or A rank for a mission meaning that I missed out on the extra rewards for no reason of my own.
If you are a fan of Gundam especially the OYW and GBO2 then this game is instantly worth it due to its expansion on the lore.
Code Fairy is currently available on PS4 and PS5, so you don’t have to own a PS5 in order to play Code Fairy but if you have a PS5 (Which I would recommend for the best playing experience) and are a Gundam fan then I would highly recommend Code Fairy as a solid 3rd Person action game that ties into a rich history of the Gundam franchise.
7.0 (As a new player with no knowledge of Gundam or Gundam Battle Operation 2)
8.1 (As a standalone game for a fan of Gundam without using the cross compatibility with Gunfam Battle Operation 2)
9.3 (As a player of Gundam Battle Operation 2 and a fan of Gundam)
Anime Amigo and Nerd Consultant
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