Besides the models kits which this site is based on, you can enjoy Gunpla and Mobile Suit Gundam in other mediums and they’re definitely worth checking out!
Table of Contents
Gunpla in Anime
Most of the Mobile Suit Gundam anime series in existence take place in various future timelines where the Mobile Suits (Gundam) are portrayed as modern war machines used by military organizations. In recent years however there have been a couple of meta series which are based around Gunpla, that is the hobby of building plastic model kits. We’re talking about Gundam Build Divers and Gundam Build Divers Re:RISE. These series are a little controversial for some who prefer the grittier political military tales of war we usually get from Gundam series but for Gunpla lovers, there is a lot to like.
Build Divers is loosely based in our own timeline where Mobile Suit Gundam is a media franchise and Gunpla exists as a hobby. The Gundam Base in Tokyo is lovingly featured too with store shelves stocked with the same kits you would see in real life:
Where the world of Gundam Build Divers differs from our own though is that your Gunpla models can be ‘scanned’ into a massively multiplayer VR game where you can battle them against other players.
The bulk of the story involves our protagonist Riku immersing himself into the world of Gundam Battle Nexus Online and of course making a ton of whacky friends along the way. Friendship is magic, believe in the heart of the cards (I mean Gunpla), “I won’t forgive you”… OK all the tropes are there and it’s easy to see why the series gets dismissed for being a Gunpla commercial in an anime wrapper but let’s be honest, all Gundam anime is designed to sell kits right?
The real appeal is seeing the hobby we all know and love represented in anime form. Many of the suits featured in the show are customised kitbashes of older kits essentially made new again. It’s dumb fun and if you enjoy Gunpla, you’ll at least crack a smile while watching.
Gunpla in Gaming
There are a ton of Gundam games but there are also a few specific to Gunpla. A couple of them are even pretty good so we’ll focus on those.
New Gundam Breaker - The Best in the West
We'll start with the best Gunpla game you can easily get your hands on in the UK. This is the latest in a series of Gundam Breaker titles and although is got a more widespread release than its predecessors, it is overall a worse game. Rather than dwell on what this game is and how it plays etc we'll move swiftly on to the good game. Just know that you can pick this one up for cheap these days and its available on PS4 and PC (via Steam) in the UK.
Gundam Breaker 3 (Break Edition) - The Actual Best
The Break Edition of Gundam Breaker 3 includes the main game as well as all DLC released after launch. It didn't get a UK release and is only available on PS4 and PS Vita.
In the Gundam Breaker series you get to build up your own Gunpla model and take it into battle against other models. The main battles are generally just hack and slash mechanics but it means pretty much anyone can pick up a controller and start destroying immediately. The fun part is that as you destroy enemy Gunpla, they drop parts which you can then use to customise your own Gunpla model. Want to build a Barbatos with the head of a Zaku? You can!
Because Gundam Breaker 3 isn’t available in the UK, there is some hassle involved in getting it. The easiest but most expensive option is to buy a physical copy. The game is out of print and the market knows this is a desirable game so you will find some expensive copies on eBay, Amazon and Play Asia. Expect to pay around £40 for a battered up copy.
It’s also worth mentioning you should only consider getting the Break Edition of the game and if like me, you’re not able to read Japanese text look out for the English subtitle version.
The cheaper but more bothersome way of getting the game is via the Singaporean PSN Store. There may be some terms of service breaches in doing this but buying games via a different market place is a fairly common practice. You’ll have to do your own research on exactly how to go about this but the broad steps are:
- Create a Singapore PSN Account
2. Buy Singapore PSN Credit via CDKeys or PlayAsia or similar store and apply to your PSN account. The reason for this is that you likely won’t have a credit card with a valid Singapore billing address to buy directly through PSN.
3. Use the credit to buy the game (make sure it’s the English version!)
4. Sign in to your new PSN account on your PS4 / PS Vita or PS5 (can confirm the game works well on PS5) and download the game as normal from your library!
Buying it this way you can get the game for around £10 – £15 which is an absolute steal for the amount of content you get.
If you can’t be bothered with the hassle of all that then New Gundam Breaker is an OK game to play around in especially if you’re just into customising Gunpla. It is a worse game however because it is much more difficult to acquire parts, there aren’t as many parts, the lockon system is straight up broken making it nearly frustrating to play and the combat sections are somehow less combat focused. It does however have slightly shinier graphics than Gundam Breaker 3. It’s usually on sale for about £7.
These next two games were not originally going to be included as since one isn’t strictly Gunpla related as it falls more under the general Gundam banner and the second is tricky to set up for UK players. The good news though is they are both playable for free!
Gundam Battle Operation 2
This is a Playstation exclusive free to play game where you take on the role of a Gundam pilot, battle other players in a variety of online matches and earn parts to upgrade and customise your Mobile Suits. So although it isn’t strictly a Gunpla game, the parts / customisation mechanics make it so that it may as well be.
Since it is free to play you can expect some heavy micro transactions in the form of loot boxes which isn’t ideal but the game is perfectly playable without buying anything. Check out the trailer and if you have a PS4 or PS5 (it has a full PS5 version available as of Jan 2021) then you may as well give it a whirl!
Gundam Battle: Gunpla Warfare
Another free to play title but unfortunately it isn’t available in the UK at the time of writing (Feb 2021). This is a mobile game which plays out like the previously mentioned Gundam Breaker games. There isn’t a firm UK release date and the game does have some predatory microtransactions in it which is why is almost didn’t appear here.
If you really want to check it out then Android users may have an easier time of it as they can pick up an apk from one of the many directories which offer these up. Do your research though as installing any .apk file can be risky business and the general advice is to just wait it out until it gets an official UK release.