I'll get my criticisms out of the way and then do the rest of the review:
1. Bandai images make the kits look better than they do in real life and here I think they're going a little over the line.
A lot of the shown gold is not as shiny, but is metal injection plastic which is ugly, brittle and more prominent on the kit than you're lead to believe.
For example the the wing joints behind the head and the hands are prominent spots that are in this brown-yellow metal flake gold.
The reason I bring this up is because this kit costs as much as some Perfect Grades and it boasts that the "Extreme" point is the gold, when in reality most of the gold is the same notorious and ugly metal flake injected plastic that we've seen for decades.
2. All the hands are low resolution parts compared to the rest of the model kit. They look like they're from 15-20 years ago and I know for a fact that Bandai has made nicer looking hands and if they went a little extra, they could've plated the hands like they did with the PG Unleashed. Disappointing.
3. The shields feel like they're made out of convenience store meal box tops. They look fine, but they feel cheap. I'll be charitable and assume that it's so the 'spikes' are flexible and don't break as easily.
There are far worse things you can experience with a model kit than these points, if anything Bandai suffers from their own excellence so when they don't meet their own standard it can feel a little annoying, especially if you've paid a lot of money.
These points don't invalidate the kit, but the point of a review is to inform you who's considering a purchase and for a lot of people this kind of plastic is a bother.
I'm still giving it 5 stars, because these are geeky nitpicks and you'll still have an excellent looking and working kit when you're done.
The kit has around 500 parts and does more with them than the 739 on a PG Mk-II, which is considerably larger, a testament to how far Bandai has come in visual model design in 20 years, leaving competitors in the dust.
It is competently made, highly detailed/color separated and goes beyond a 2.0 remake, though at a considerable price point.
The goal of this MG Extreme sets out to make a fantastic looking inner frame that shines through the armor and for the most part it succeeds, with the caveat mentioned above. The parts that do shine, do look good.
Too many plastics to note, but there are ~13 different colored/plated plastics and 3 of them are differently plated golds.
There's so much detail variety that there are almost no flat surfaces and the few of them there are, have panel lines for you to fill in. It's so detailed it can look at little busy and the three major transparent parts in red can distract a little from the very nicely detailed head, which should be a focal point.
A major point are the gem stickers, which are foil stickers with a hard plastic surface, as well as etching stickers, both seen on the PG Unleashed.
Personally I like them, but I could see some people think they're a little too 'extra', but they are entirely optional, even all the camera lenses are colored transparents, so none of the stickers are necessary and I've left the ones on the gun cameras off, with one exception.
Besides those two, there's a large waterslide decal sheet.
Above standard articulation with double tilting ankles, opening shoulders, opening wings and more.
The chest section stands in for an ab crunch and the torso tilts side to side.
I can't believe I'm saying this, but there's *too much* articulation going on in the hip and waist section, where the hips move on too many points, which makes them fiddly and annoying to work with. Safe to say though that if you want to spend time setting the perfect pose, the kit enables you to do that.
If you've built the Burst Mode or RG version, you know the gimmicks, like the hip guns, sliding skirts, extending/combining rifles and there's an opening cockpit too with a tiny Kira Yamato inside.
8 Funnels but no options to put them on stands or any exhaust/flame parts
2 Beam Rifles which can be stored on the hips or combined into one long rifle
2 Beam Saber hilts that can be 'Darth Maul'ed into a single double bladed saber, comes with 2 standard saber effect parts from 2008
2 transparent Beam Shields attachable on the forearms
2 Ver Ka Nu Gundam pre-mold Hands with articulated fingers (struggle to hold the rifles, but can hold the sabers)
2 Closed Fists
2 Spread Open Hands
2 Sandwich Hands for holding either beam rifle.
1 Kira Yamato mini-fig
1 Lacus Clyne mini-fig
1 Action Base A (the good one, without screws)