Fight or Kite: Love anime, mechs, and battle royale? Super Mecha Champions is probably for you


If you’re anything like me, you love a good, dumb battle against other players. You also love all kinds of action anime. Maybe even some anime that are less than action-oriented (cough My Love Story with Yamada-kun at Lv999 cough). And of course, you love mechs. Armored Core? Never a bore. Gundam? Yes’um. Code Geass? Oh, please.

So when I stumbled across Super Mecha Champions, I literally couldn’t stop myself from downloading it and giving it a run. Honestly. I tried. I said to myself, “Don’t do it! You fool! It’s just a battle royale, and you don’t really even like those much! Don’t click download! No! It’s published by NetEase – you know it’s going to be full of overpriced, over-monetized classes and cosmetics, and it’s not worth it.” Yet, when the smoke cleared and the sun came up, I had actually downloaded and found myself playing it.

Super Mecha Champions is a battle royale published by NetEase that was released in 2019. I found and began to play it on Steam, but once I saw the initial lobby screens, I knew right away this was actually a mobile port. It’s a bummer, but perhaps it’s not the nail in the coffin. I’ve been playing Harry Potter: Magic Awakened by NetEase on mobile for the past few months, and I’ve really had a good time with it. These games have almost no similarities gameplay-wise, but I didn’t want to write it off completely. I did find it on the Google Play store as well, with an apparent 5M downloads, which is another good sign.

Wild, absurd combat – with some nuggets of gold

So with that said, you need to know that everything common to typical BR gameplay is here. After beginning a match, you’ll find yourself flying out of a plane while maneuvering to land in a premium location. Then you run around and pick up various weapons, armor, and items to power-up. Finally, as the map slowly reduces in size, you begin to kill off your opponents.

A nice feature here (that I’ve seen in more BRs lately) is the auto loot feature. Basically, if you’re equipped with a specific machine gun and run over a higher-quality one, then the game will automatically pick it up and replace the weaker version for you. It’s not that it takes much time to realize one color tier is better than another, but it cuts out some of the wasted effort and time.

This is up and running for one reason and only one reason: So I can jump into some sick mechs and blast away at people.
So I don’t really need to sugarcoat this one: As far as gameplay it concerned, this is pretty much your run-of-the-mill BR game. But if you’re still with me, then you don’t care either. That’s what you and I are both here for in this moment. I didn’t load Super Mecha Champions up because I thought this might be a hidden gem lying beneath a pile of moldy clothes in my grandparents’ attic. Nope. This is up and running for one reason and only one reason: So I can jump into some sick mechs and blast away at people.

And that’s the twist on the formula that Super Mecha Champions adds to the standard BR fair. After some decent cooldown period, you’re able to summon your mech and hop in to do battle. You’ve got a number of advanced mech skills that change depending on which mech you summon. So while I think you can customize your normal character’s outfits and such, the real fun comes from painting and skinning the mechs.

Sadly, the mechs play more as heroes than as fully customizable characters. By that I mean there’s a huge roster of mechs to choose from, but their skills and abilities are defined. You aren’t going in and adding a turret to this one and a railgun to that one, which is less than my typical preferred style, but for some reason with mechs it almost feels OK to me. It’s like a Gundam is a Gundam. The Unicorn Gundam wouldn’t be equipped with a whip. Sandstorm wouldn’t have a giant spear. If you want more customizable mechs, you could’ve looked towards Galahad 3093, which I wrote about this time last year (I guess October is mecha month for me?). Sadly, though, judging by the numbers and lack of updates I’ve seen, I suspect it may be on the way to closing out.

Now, if BR isn’t exactly your cup of tea, then you’re still in luck. We’ve actually got a few different game modes to play here: a 5v5 team deathmatch, a capture-the-flag style, four-way battle with teams of three, and a seasonal mode (currently 5v5 without mechs?). The tutorial mode was acceptable and quick. I found it was useful to learn about the mech summoning and some of the other transportation abilities.

Monetization is exactly what we’ve come to expect from a NetEase mobile port

I don’t really need to say it, but I’ll say it anyway because it’s becoming a habit for me to discuss monetization at the end of my columns: Super Mecha Champions is all-in on monetizing every single possible aspect of the game that it can. There’s so many different ways to gamble or buy your way in that it’d probably fill up a full sheet of paper if I were to list them all out.

At a high level, you’ve got the store and the “Lucky House.” No kidding about that name either. It doesn’t take a doctorate to tell that this is where all the lockboxes and raffles make their home. Some of them are straight gacha-style insert-a-token-for-a-random-pull types, and others are quarantined to a set of available loot. It looks like you’ll get some free pulls by completing events, but if you really want all that good stuff, you know there’s really only one answer.

The store has it all, from purchasing new mechs and characters to new skins for each of those and even your weapons. There’s also a Meow Store, which I think contains mostly items and cosmetics for your lobby. I must admit that I don’t hate the name Meow Store. All games should have one.

It’s pretty nutty, but this is what games do to make money these days. That’s what mobile games are known for, and NetEase is a professional when it comes to it.

I suppose I didn’t actually mention it but the game is fun – at least for a little while. And that’s all it’s really about, right? So for the low price of free, why not go and have some fun? No one has ever said, “Geez, if only I could go back in time and not have fun.” Nah. (Just keep a thumb on your wallet.)

Every other week, Massively OP’s Sam Kash delivers Fight or Kite, our trip through the state of PvP across the MMORPG industry. Whether he’s sitting in a queue or rolling with the zerg, Sam’s all about the adrenaline rush of a good battle. Because when you boil it down, the whole reason we PvP (other than to pwn noobs) is to have fun fighting a new and unpredictable enemy!
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