The Praedian Records

J.G. Phoenix

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Gundam Battle Operation Code Fairy: First Impressions

by | Nov 7, 2021 | GBO Code Fairy, GBO2, Pinned

It took me a while to get around to this, but I’m glad I did. Gundam Battle Operation Code Fairy is the latest Battle Operation title, and something I’ve been hoping Bamco would get around to for a long time. This type of game engine and style is perfect for PVE and Code Fairy proves it. CF also does a few other things while it’s at it.


The Story

The story is typical of Gundam sidestories, and I mean that in a good way. Forming a squad of mostly fresh pilots and sending them out on missions is a classic approach and something Gundam rarely screws up, especially in the Universal Century timeline. I’ve got access to all three volumes, but I wanted to take a break after Volume 2 to get this first impressions post up while my thoughts on Volume 1 were still fresh.

The squad consists of Alma Stirner, the Raid type pilot that you control, Mia Brinkman, the General type pilot, and Helena Hegel, the Support type pilot. Alma gets in people’s faces and stun combos them to death, Mia lays down several different kinds of ranged argumentation, and Helena picks off stragglers with a sniper rifle. It’s the kind of well rounded team that reflects Gundam Battle Operation 2’s rock-paper-scissors mechanic perfectly.

To no one’s surprise, the new(est) girl, Alma Stirner, is slated for the position of team leader, more or less from the get go. I feel like the game is dropping little hints here and there that Alma could become a newtype, but that doesn’t always happen in these stories. Still, UC Gundam has trained my brain from youth to expect newtypes to blossom sooner or later.

Things start off in September of the year 0079, so well into the war and just as the White Base is starting to become a serious pain for Zeon in the original series. After the introductions–and I just say that ‘Killy’ is a hilarious name. I’m sad the CO isn’t piloting these days–we’re familiarized with the all too familiar controls and do some mock fights. The first real mission comes up afterward and I loved it.

See, Gundam, and UC in particular, has this thing about war that feels so ‘all aspect.’ We’re told that our base needs to stay hidden at all cost, so whatever units were just detected need to be discouraged from coming any closer or outright destroyed. It does not matter if they’re friendly units or not. That kind of mission, and one dropped on pilots like Alma, Mia, and Helena of all people, is really interesting. Imagine if your first mission involved firing on your own side. It was the right amount of tension and mystery to start things off. The Federation and Zeon are both kind of crazy at their core and the side stories in the UC timeline always make sure to touch on that when and where they can.

Fortunately for Noisy Fairy, what they thought was a friendly Zaku was anything but.

Aside: It may look strange, but having vulcans on one side is a real space saver.

So we started blasting. The Zakus went down. The tanks went down. The tension went down. It was a great time.

I will say that the individual volumes are way too short. There’s no way I can really justify the price point for the amount of content (story included) that’s here, but considering it was based off the engine of a free-to-play title, there was probably some kind of reasoning for it. Ideally, Code Fairy could have been the PVE portion of GBO2, an expansion, basically. The problem with that is that GBO2 is a free-to-play game. There aren’t even premium subscriptions like on some of today’s MMOs to help with upkeep. Recouping the cost of making this game without having it be a standalone title seems unlikely. As it stands you’re paying for a full priced game and getting 6 missions, some simulator extras, and a handful of short animations. They could definitely add more to this in the future if they want, so here’s hoping.

The Gameplay

The gameplay is already well established in GBO2, so it’s all around solid. The mobile suits play exactly the same here, so I picked up the controls almost instantly. The only thing that gave me trouble is the Y-axis controls, which I have inverted in most games. Yeah, I’m one of those guys. Anyway, once I got past the first tutorial fight I was able to change it and we were golden.

In GBO2 it’s next to exclusively Player vs Player, so the suits are balanced with that in mind, and most of the mechanics reflect the delicate balance of capturing, defending, or destroying key locations. You can also directly repair your mobile suit with a repair tool while you’re in the field.

In Code Fairy, all of this is simplified and rolled into one key feature: capture points. Once you hop out of your MS, you begin the capture process. When that’s done and you hop back in your suit, it will automatically start repairing.

There’s a limit to how much repairing can be done, and a percentage gauge will deplete from 100% to 0% as your HP goes up. It also works on your squadmates. I don’t have a good idea of how much you can repair at most, but I’m guessing at least one full repair and maybe some extra. Again, I haven’t gotten a good fix on this or done any testing. All I know is that, while repairing per capture point is limited, it’s very generous.

Like GBO2, Code Fairy’s fights boil down to piling on as much damage as possible before the enemy’s I-frames kick in, and being ready to repeat the process as soon as those I-frames stop. Since it’s PVE and not PVP, the enemies are hopelessly predictable. That doesn’t mean it’s always a cakewalk. In Volume 2 I ran into some trouble when these hopelessly predictable mobs tried to pile up on me the same way players would. Support types can be difficult if they’re up on a perch; they will not hesitate to shoot you in the face while you’re climbing up after them.

Never underestimate the high ground.

The Graphics


I have this game for PS4 and it looks great for what it is. More importantly, it looks exactly how Gundam is supposed to look. The way the human character models are rendered is different from GBO2 but I’d say that’s a good thing. CF’s characters are more vibrant and lively. In hindsight, I wish they’d gone with this stylized look from the start. They look a lot better than the uncanny, almost-not-quite realistic look of GBO2’s character models. There’s also a touch of Valkyria Chronicles in Code Fairy here and there.

The mobile suits all move perfectly considering what they are. These things weigh 100 tons and you can feel that weight being expertly balanced by the UC’s cutting edge technology. The animations are just as smooth as before, and the addition of cutscenes really shows how expressive the models can be. Honestly, I’ve never seen such ‘cutesy’ Zakus before (mainly Alma and Mia). No not even ‘Lacus Clyne’s’ pink Zaku Warrior holds a candle to the Fairies.

Simulator and Data Link

The simulator has three modes, Situation, Cost Match, and Training. I haven’t had time to really break into this, but after the story missions, I think this will be one of Code Fairy’s main draws. Cost Match is simpler and more reminiscent of GBO2’s PVP matches. The units you can use are restricted by their point cost. Simple as that. Training is just the tutorial mock battles from the story. You can replay them to brush up on the controls or certain mechanics.

You can also link your GBO2 save data with CF. The only point of doing it (as far as I can tell) is to get the CF units, but that beats the crap out of an event gacha in GBO2. I’m so glad they didn’t do that for Code Fairy’s release.

The Characters

I’ll end this first impressions with some of the characters. I can’t say there are any duds in the cast, but I’m slow to make those kinds of judgements with how little screentime there is to go around. Part of the reason I’m only covering some of the characters is because there’s almost nothing I can say about some of the others until I’ve seen more of them. That’s just how it goes sometimes.

Alma: Interestingly, while Alma gets the most screentime, I can’t say she’s the most interesting overall. For me that’s got to be her CO, Killy Garret. As for Alma, she’s fun. Energetic, reactive, always ready to get in and get her hands dirty. I used to picture raid type pilots as edge lords, but Alma’s showing me a brighter, cuter alternative. She also keeps the tension down so I’m not constantly on guard for sudden tragedy and character deaths … so if CF decides to spring that on us later it’s going to hit like a truck.

Mia: She’s not just a pilot, she’s an engineer from Zimmad. That’s definitely going to be important later, if it isn’t already. As for her personality, she’s shy but excitable. She’s also noticeably responsible, seeing how she tried to take the blame for her slow reaction time during an important phase of an escort mission. Given the circumstances, she did fine. Like Alma said, everyone survived so it’s all gravy. Also, can I just say how hilarious it is for this girl to have so much firepower bolted onto her Zaku and still be carrying auxiliary equipment like the ground sonar? It’s hilarious.

Helena: The most experienced of the current pilots, and the only one prior to their formation that had seen actual combat. Helena’s not too quick to trust Alma, Noisy Fairy’s team leader, but she also wasn’t too miffed about the appointment itself. Once Alma proves herself, Helena moves on to ‘other’ matters that could use some work, like Alma’s conduct outside of battle. Honestly I think Alma riding the Gallop like a giant turtle was adorable. Anyway, while Helena’s normally all business, she’s usually got some good commentary to go along with whatever’s happening. She’s also a great shot. Just stay out of her line of fire. You’ve been warned.

Killy: She’s a gentle but strong presence in Noisy Fairy, always ready to bear the burden of any questionable actions the fairies have to take in battle. I get the feeling she’s a true Zeon, and by that I mean someone who genuinely believes in Zeon’s cause and hopes the Zabi family can bring it all to fruition. She’s also the most interesting character to me so far because not only did she used to be a pilot herself, but that past is having a huge effect on how she views Alma, Mia, and Helena. She’s not just trying to make sure she trains them well enough to survive the war, but she’s thinking very long term, if only vaguely. She’s a big sister type in the foreground, giving lots of leeway and guidance, and a battle mom in the background, making sure everything runs smoothly.

I’ll find some time to go through Volume 3 next week and do a follow up to this post. As for my overall first impressions? Pretty good. I hope they keep coming out with more content for Code Fairy.

Seriously, come on.

A special thanks to Sunday, the best day of the week for all things random.


Recent Pinned Posts

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2023 ended weirdly abruptly for me, but I got the shot in the arm I needed in order to hit the ground running in 2024. This year's going to be absolutely crazy, but for me personally, I feel my worst years are finally behind me. I'm ready to stop drowning in a sea of...

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