Kidou Senshi Gundam: Senjou no Kizuna (loosely translated to Mobile Suit Gundam: Bonds of the Battlefield) is a first-person mecha combat game developed and released by Namco Bandai (along with Banpresto prior to their absorption) for arcades (using PC-based Namco System N2 hardware) in Japan on November 7, 2006. It received a limited release in Asian regions and was later discontinued on November 30, 2021.
Based on the Gundam sci-fi franchise (namely the original Mobile Suit Gundam), Senjou no Kizuna has players piloting the series' signature Mobile Suits as they battle in team-based multiplayer matches (up to 8v8) between the Earth Federation Space Force and the Principality of Zeon. The game includes online matchmaking and players can use a special IC card to customize their pilot and track their progress.
The game is known for its unique enclosed cockpit housing, known as the P.O.D. (or Panoramic Optical Display), which gives an illusion of piloting a real Mobile Suit. Each P.O.D. features a wide-angle inner-dome display (using a DLP overhead projector), surround-sound speakers (with optional headphone jacks), adjustable seating, and mech-style controls (with two side-sticks for aiming and basic movement, each with triggers and buttons for weapon and gear usage, and two foot pedals for advanced movement). Similar housings were later used for Mach Storm and Star Wars: Battle Pod).
Senjou no Kizuna received three major revisions (REV.2 on December 8, 2008, REV.3 on July 29, 2011, and REV.4 on December 21, 2016), with each version adding new Mobile Suits, battlefields, gameplay features (such as an optional cockpit display that reduces motion sickness), and housing upgrades (such as high-definition projectors, built-in microphones for limited speech-to-text chat, and the use of standardized IC cards with BANAPASSPORT and Amusement IC). The game later received a full-fledged sequel in 2021, with the original discontinued on November 30, 2021.
A handheld port of the game, known as Kidou Senshi Gundam: Senjou no Kizuna Portable, was later released for the PlayStation Portable in Japan on March 26, 2009. Ported by Access Games, this version features wireless multiplayer.
Players choose Mobile Suits in five color-coded categories, based on their intended ranges:
- Kakutou-gata (Red, "Grappling Type") - Intended for close-ranged combat, with a melee focus.
- Kinkyori Senkei (Yellow, "Short-Ranged Battle Type") - Intended for close-ranged combat, with a shooting focus. Later versions focus on rapid-fire shooting (as opposed to Green's higher-damage shooting).
- Chuukyori Shien-gata (Green, "Medium-Ranged Support Type") - Intended for medium-ranged combat. Known in REV.2 and later as Shageki-gata ("Shooting Type"), which is intended for close-ranged combat with a higher-damage shooting focus (as opposed to Yellow's rapid-fire shooting).
- Kouhou Shien-gata (Cyan, "Rear Support Type") - Intended for long-ranged combat, with a focus on base bombardment. Known in later versions as Enkyori Hougeki-gata ("Long-Ranged Bombardment Type")
- Sogeki-gata (Blue, "Sniping Type") - Intended for long-ranged combat, with a focus on anti-MS shooting. Known in later versions as Shien-gata (Purple, "Support Type"), which also includes different types of medium- and long-ranged weaponry.
As the game includes ground-based and space-based combat, some Mobile Suits are only suitable for ground/space scenarios.