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Super Robot Wars EX is not only the first Gaiden Game for Super Robot Wars, it's an odd one at that: looking like the love-child between Super Robot Wars 3 and Super Robot Wars 4 in terms of its visuals, EX's battle engine is slightly less crippled than 3, but nowhere near what 4 offers. Fortunately, Banpresto decided to add in unit weapon upgrades, after the blatantly Nintendo Hard scenarios that plagued nearly early player in 3.
Unlike its predecessors, EX is the first SRW to set itself in Another Dimension, more specifically, the subterranean home of Masaki Andoh, "La Gias". EX offers a new direction at letting players see where the interrupting Masaki comes from, after helping the heroes out in Super Robot Wars 2 and 3. At the same time, more original characters are introduced, namely the rest of the Masou Kishin cast that reappear in subsequent SRWs.
Tropes common to this game are:
- Bag of Spilling (Averted for first time in SRW: characters from previous games start with their upgraded Mecha instead of their usual starters (the "trinity" of Getter Robo, Mazinger Z and Mobile Suit Gundam start with the Getter Dragon, Mazinger Z JS and Nu Gundam)
- Fighting Your Friend (Early in Masaki's storyline, Judau Ashta and Seabook Arno are forced to fight your team since the villains hold Judau's sister Lina as a hostage)
- And with certain choices, you can fight Shu Shirakawa's forces in Lune Zoldark's storyline and vice versa
- Gaiden Game (The first for SRW. You don't really need to play 2 or 3 to enjoy EX, but it does help establish parts of 4/F/F Final and Alpha Gaiden)
- Necessarily Evil, Well-Intentioned Extremist (Feilord's plans to conquer the whole of La Gias in the climax of Masaki's storyline. Turns out he has a terminal disease and won't live long, so he wishes to unite La Gias to ensure everlasting peace. Also, General Kalx, who's cooperating with Luozol so he can complete the Cho Masouki "Euclid", believes it will provide the Langran Kingdom with enough power to oppose the Shutedonia Kingdom.
- Original Generation (Aside from the recurring Masaki, his Masou Kishin buddies Hwang Yang Long, Tytti Noorbuck and Mio Sasuga make their debut, including many other characters of La Gias that reappear in future Masou Kishin-centered storylines)
- Scrappy Level (Shu's storyline is rather hard to begin, with most allies being optional and no battleship is present for resupply purposes. However, the worst is definitely the stage that pits the player against hordes of strong mooks...without Shu. Even if you use a cheat to bring the Neo Granzon, it won't make it any easier)
- Too Cool to Live (You can use Feilord's Cho Masouki "Duraxyl" once in Masaki's storyline. It reappears for a second time as the Final Boss)