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Videos: Atlas Gundam Gameplay Trailer in EXVS Maxi Boost ONVideos: Atlas Gundam Gameplay Trailer in EXVS Maxi...   Bandai Namco have released a gameplay trailer for Atlas Gundam in EXVS Maxi Boost ON. As the unit is also releasing in Gundam Versus as well, we can at least use this...

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News: Atlas Gundam DLC Coming To Gundam VersusNews: Atlas Gundam DLC Coming To Gundam Versus If you were hoping for more Gundam Thunderbolt units, there's good news! Atlas Gundam will be joining the Gundam Versus roster as DLC in late November. This will more than...

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Videos: Phantom Gundam and Nightingale Coming To Gundam Versus on September 26Videos: Phantom Gundam and Nightingale Coming To Gundam... Phantom Gundam and Nightingale will be coming to Gundam Versus on September 26 in Japan. As mentioned in our previous post, Phantom Gundam is a 400 cost unit and is taking...

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News: Gundam Versus To Add Phantom Gundam As DLC UnitNews: Gundam Versus To Add Phantom Gundam As DLC Unit As we await the upcoming Western release of Gundam Versus on September 29 on top of unreleased units such as Pale Rider and Gundam Guison Rebake, Phantom Gundam has been...

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Videos: Gundam Versus Adds Pale Rider, Gundam Guison Rebake, G-Self Perfect Pack and More As Upcoming DLC UnitsVideos: Gundam Versus Adds Pale Rider, Gundam Guison... Hot on the heels of Update 1.03 launching later this week, Bandai Namco have recently provided the latest set of playable Gundam Versus DLC units that will arrive in August....

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News: Armored Core, Tron Bonne On Sale At PSN

Posted on : 28-04-2016 | By : | In : News

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As part of their Golden Week sale, Sony’s PSN store is offering deep discounts on the original PSone Armored Core and The Misadventures of Tron Bonne. Each are available for $2.99, and 25% cheaper than that with PS Plus. I’m not sure what mechanical war machines have to do with Golden Week, but it’s clear evidence that Japan has cooler holidays than anyone in the West.

For those of you asking if Tron Bonne counts as a true mecha game: if it’s a machine, if there’s a pilot, if it has legs, and if one of those legs could stomp a human skull into mash, then that’s a mecha. Sale ends on May 2nd.

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News: Iron Brigade Gets Steamed

Posted on : 10-08-2012 | By : | In : News, Videos

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Finally relenting to the wailing of thousands of fans the world over, Double Fine announced that previously XBLA exclusive Iron Brigade would be coming to PC on the Steam digital distribution service. Effective August 13th, those of you without Xbox 360s now have no excuse to not play one of finest surprises in Western mecha game design. We talked a bit about the game back when it was still called Trenched, so those of you with a sense of deja vu can rest assured that you’re not going crazy–you already were when you imported those Super Robot Wars games despite not knowing a lick of Japanese.

Iron Brigade plays like a cross between a straight mecha action game and a tower defense title: a stream of enemy waves come through generators towards a target you need to defend, and all you have to hold your ground with are deployable turrets powered by super-science and a creaky WWI-era mecha with some truly fearsome heavy artillery haphazardly pasted on. These mecha (“mobile trenches”) don’t just hit the sweet spot between a lumbering machine and an agile player character avatar that all mecha games aspire to, but the fact that your ride is an absolute behemoth means the turrets make sense. Your mobile trench carries enough firepower to devastate a small country, but you can’t waste that firepower on small fry when you have an entire map to defend, so the game’s tactics are all about choosing where you need to get involved personally and when your automated turrets can handle things alone. Thus Iron Brigade neatly avoids the common tower defense trap of giving the player nothing to do once a wave begins, while the necessity for strategic turret placement means the player needs to keep track of the big picture rather than just aiming and shooting as necessary.

The loot system is well designed, with most pieces of new equipment not being straight increases in damage but rather tweaks to old weapons that make them feel new again, and Iron Brigade definitely has the trademark feel that Double Fine has become known for, with titles such as critics’ darling Psychonauts and unapologetically metal Brutal Legend demonstrating their ability to craft the creatively bizarre. Mecha series as of late have become entrenched (pun unintentional) in either Gundam clones which miss the mark of what made the original series special, or entire seasons of cute girls doing cute things in giant robots. Seeing something come out of left field like Iron Brigade, which is based on WWI-era futurism and 1940s men’s magazines, is a breath of fresh air. Any mecha game which challenges you to make no man’s land into Real Man’s land is an inherently noble endeavor and a fitting entry in a genre that practically invented badass.

The PC version will thankfully include the original XBLA’s DLC, “Rise of the Martian Bear,” because there’s simply nothing cooler than sending robots to Mars.

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News: Mecha RTS Airmech in Alpha

Posted on : 31-03-2012 | By : | In : News, Videos

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Released in 1989 to little fanfare, Herzog Zwei, an action/strategy hybrid, was one of the most influential titles in video game history despite remaining relatively unknown to this day. Its major innovation was strategic gameplay in real time, with bases creating units that would be carried by your commander mecha’s fighter form into battle. This real-time aspect, the management of resources, and construction of units would inspire what is generally considered the first Real Time Strategy game, Dune 2, which would inspire Command & Conquer, which would in turn inspire Warcraft. Despite helping launch an entire genre, Herzog Zwei has unfortunately never received the modern update it so rightly deserved, other than an indie spiritual successor in Cyber Wing and a stealth homage by way of the brutally underrated Brütal Legend.

Thankfully, Carbon Games is bringing Herzog Zwei to the 21st century with a freemium game called AirMech. While still in alpha, and currently only playable in the form of an add-on for the Google Chrome browser, the game already has all the charm of the original and then some. Many were put off by Herzog Zwei’s almost impenetrable game mechanics, but the short tutorial and simple controls of Airmech allow you to get right into the action. Thankfully, this doesn’t mean the game has been dumbed down; it remains the same hectic mecha shmup crossed with the grand tradition of screwing your friends with a lightning raid of tanks right outside their headquarters.

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Videos: GDC MechWarrior Trailers

Posted on : 16-03-2012 | By : | In : Videos

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Two new trailers have been released for MechWarrior Online in a move that will surely leave fans salivating every waking moment until the game opens up this summer. The first continues the hardcore soundtrack responsible for breaking thousands of necks as viewers headbanged in excitement during a Mech launch sequence, while the second features the developers talking about the game types that will be available at launch and how they’re designing the game so that the Mechs will fulfill certain roles on the battlefield. The two game types seem to be just the standard deathmatch and a variant with a limited number of spawns, which is admittedly somewhat disappointing.  Better news is that the developers are well aware that past games have overwhelmingly favored the heavier assault-class Mechs, leaving humble scouts such as the Jenner at a severe disadvantage. While no concrete information was given, the devs claim the smaller, faster Mechs will have an important place on the battlefield. Here’s to hoping that the game comes with the infamous Narc missile, which allowed the other players on your team to get faster and more accurate lock-ons on targets you marked.

There was also a trailer released for MechWarrior Tactics, which I forgot to mention last time around because I thought it was the same thing as MechWarrior: Tactical Command for iOS. Mea culpa. How did we go from having no MechWarrior games in development to having three different ones so quickly? Is this what the Mayans predicted for 2012? Anyways, MechWarrior Tactics is a hex-based, turn-based, browser-based strategy game hewing more closely to the original Battletech tabletop game than the action-oriented MechWarrior interpretations, and allows players to put in their commands asynchronously–you can log in quickly, move your Mechs, and then log out without needing to wait for the other player’s response. If you’re interested, make sure you reserve your handle at the game’s official site — it’s a different registration than the one for MechWarrior Online.

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Videos: MechWarrior Online’s New Mind-Melting Teaser Trailer

Posted on : 02-03-2012 | By : | In : Videos

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Not only is MechWarrior Online still in development, the latest teaser trailer contains a weapons-grade payload of multiple fangasms. I won’t spoil it, but if you’ve been a fan of the MechWarrior series for a while now, you’ll be instantly having flashbacks of hitting Group Fire and preemptively mashing down the Reactor Shutdown Manual Override button. It’s been a long time, but it feels like we never even left the cockpit.

The newly mecha-curious among you will be pleased to know that it’s not all Old Guard fanservice. If the actual game looks half as good as this cinematic, this is quite possibly going to be the most beautiful free-to-play game out there. And it’s not just pixel counts on textures, either–the attention to detail on the DropShip’s prepping of the ‘Mech while it undergoes its startup sequence shows that someone truly cared. That Atlas isn’t unceremoniously dumped from a polygonal hanger bay, it’s got a proper launch sequence  that can set a man’s soul aflame. The Atlas itself is redefined with the sillier elements cut out, striking an imposing figure as the Inner Sphere’s personification of death. Someone has done their homework; this could very well be a product that can compete directly with the mecha output of Japan.

The game is still slated for this summer, and if you’ve been following along at home with the amazing curiosity that is the official MechWarrior Twitter account, you might have a good idea why. Due to MechWarrior’s origins as the tabletop RPG BattleTech, the universe has an amazing amount of definition that makes even the venerable Mobile Suit Gundam saga jealous, and the Twitter account has been reporting on events in that universe in real time. This August will be the BattleTech universe’s August of 3049, a pivotal moment in BattleTech history where the shit hits the proverbial heatsink. If you’re new to the series, don’t look it up; i’s much better to experience the terror firsthand. But if you find yourself in the Free Rasalhague Republic when the game opens, run.

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News: MechAssault Successor “Reign of Thunder” Announced

Posted on : 23-02-2012 | By : | In : News, Videos

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Day One Studios, creators of the two MechAssault games on the original Xbox, have announced a spiritual successor going by the name Reign of Thunder. While the game is missing the BattleTech license, it appears that the MechAssault “feel” of fast third-person action is still present, with the promised addition of tons of customization options.

Day One Studios says “mech fans have been asking us for years to return to the genre and we’ve been listening”, which is perhaps an overstatement. The games reviewed exceptionally well, but the BattleTech fans who thought they would be getting a nuanced game in the vein of MechWarrior were sorely disappointed. With a MechWarrior reboot and Hawken still on the horizon, as well as a certain “core” mecha series adding an unprecedented amount of online content, there may not be room for another freemium mecha game based on a series with simple, action-oriented game mechanics.

If there’s a silver lining, it’s this: the press release claims the game will also incorporate the “customization and RPG elements of the early MechWarrior PC and board games” in addition to the instant action feel of MechAssault. If that wasn’t just hapless PR speak, this project could turn out to be something interesting, though Day One Studios still has everything to prove.

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News: Armored Core V’s Inexplicably Abominable DLC Preview

Posted on : 16-01-2012 | By : | In : News

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Famitsu has a preview of Armored Core V’s downloadable content, and it is not for the faint of heart. It appears there will be both regular DLC and a cross-promotion deal for the official strategy guide, which will net you some nice looking parts. The community is likely to be divided over the issue of DLC if the DLC-only parts convey a clear competitive advantage to the purchasers, and given Armored Core V’s multiplayer focus this is especially problematic. But we can also say that paid DLC might encourage From Software to continue supporting their product through updates, as Relic Entertainment has done, with the sale of DLC being used to fund entirely new features for all players.

What is somehow more worrying (horrifying, really) is what seems to be purely cosmetic DLC in the form of new pilots. It seems that under certain circumstances (such as when your AC has been knocked out, but your team is still in the fight?) you’ll be able to traverse the battlefield as your pilot, since human models running around in a mecha game has always gone over well. Being able to see human beings in Last Raven was a great change of pace, since it gave you a proper perspective on the sheer scale of the ACs, but the three pilots they’re showing to sell us on this idea aren’t what I would have expected. The first is a woman in a pink jumpsuit and overly large jetpack, and while bright pink doesn’t seem to fit my idea of a bleak and perpetual war for resources, in a wonderful show of constraint, she’s not in a miniskirt nor a bra, and there’s a good ratio of jetpack-to-woman, so it’s a Net Good. Next, we have a ninja flying around in the clutches of a giant raven. In a world exclusive, Mecha Damashii can reveal that Armored Core V will explain how the Raven’s Nest began as a school for ninjas with a talent for falconry. And then we have a giant skeleton with akimbo Uzis lazily soldered onto this 3D model. In case you did not realize that he was, in fact, a skeleton, he conveniently has two giant flaming skulls located next to his shoulders to reinforce the point home. Another world exclusive: the dead will rise from their graves to play Armored Core V.

While I see no problem in allowing other people to customize their own experience as they wish, an integral part of the appeal of Armored Core has always been its dark narrative of a future society which has lost itself to the commercialization of war. If ninjas riding on giant birds and skeletons from heavy metal album covers are buzzing around in my character’s campaign to express his identity as a merc-for-hire, I’d better brush up on my Dadaism before the game’s American release on March 20th.

Americans who preorder from GameStop will also be in on the DLC game, with the ominously capitalized “HEAVY ASSAULT PACK”. Who knows what horrors From Software will choose to include? Yesterday, I thought that weapons from the excellently absurd Metal Wolf Chaos or Solaire of Astora’s armor from Dark Souls was asking too much of the strait-laced Armored Core series. But today, we live in a world where anything–everything–is possible. A giant, ambulatory hot dog bun named ‘Herbert’ for your wingman could be a part of the “HEAVY ASSAULT PACK”. Can we, as a society, take that chance? Will you master the HEAVY ASSAULT PACK–or will it master you?

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News: Tau Commander DLC Added to Dawn of War II: Retribution

Posted on : 09-11-2011 | By : | In : News

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Relic Entertainment recently added the Tau Commander to their survival-style mode “The Last Stand” in Dawn of War II: Retribution. This development came out of left field, since the original game didn’t include the Tau race in the first place, and while only a single hero unit represents them here, it’s still very nice to have a frequent fan request added, especially this late in the game’s lifecycle.

The Tau Commander plays much like veterans of the Tau’s previous appearance in Dark Crusade expect: amazing at ranged combat, but defenseless up close. The Commander actually deals no damage in melee, so keeping him out of stand-up fights is imperative, and to aid him in that he has a very effective jetpack which allows him to boost around the battlefield. Keep him out of harms way, though, and he’ll light up enemies with gatling lasers or a minor Itano Circus of missiles.

There are two points of contention regarding the fellow, however. First, there’s the perennial “Tau Are Too Anime” debate which always crops up, and while you cannot deny that the Tau were designed with at least some Asian influence, their vehicles and armor are a far cry from anything an anime fan would remark as traditional mecha design. Their humanoid (Tauoid?) mecha look more like a particularly blocky MT from Armored Core than they do even the most Real of Real Robots. Second, the price for this single new character in a single mode of the game costs $9.99, a full third of what the whole of Retribution originally launched for. While this seems like it could be the beginning of a DLC nightmare, Relic has done an exemplary job with keeping patches coming to their games and even adding new content (including the original Last Stand!) for free to their games, and they’re likely just trying to earn back their investment by charging what hardcore fans are willing to pay.

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News: Solatorobo Coming Stateside

Posted on : 27-06-2011 | By : | In : News, Videos

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XSEED Games, quirky localization company and lovable bastards responsible for putting out niche-within-niche Japanese games for the American audience, have ensured their place in Mecha Valhalla with their announcement of a North American release for Solatorobo. The press release says the game is coming out this fall, while the Amazon page, which is taking preorders, lists the release date as September 27.

We’ve often sang the praises for Solatorobo, eventually got the game into our own grubby mitts, and when a European release was announced we just about lost it. I wouldn’t call living without a game about a mercenary dog in a transforming steampunk mecha taking on pirate cats in airships as really living, and the game has a new subtitle now, “Red the Hunter,” which shows that neither this game nor XSEED are messing around. This sure ain’t your daddy’s dog-on-cat, floating steampunk island mecha platformer. Unless your daddy played Tail Concerto, in which case then, yeah, he’s played the spiritual prequel.

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News: LittleBigPlanet 2 Gundam Wing Survival Training

Posted on : 30-05-2011 | By : | In : News, Videos

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From the incomparable gevurah22, creator of many other LittleBigPlanet mecha creations, has outdone himself yet again with a LittleBigPlanet 2 stage entitled The Gundam Wing Project: Survival Training. The video below shows the Wing Gundam unbelievably well-animated for something put together in a game’s somewhat simplistic editor, and the author is continuing to add content to the stage, including a boss fight against the Wing Gundam’s nemesis, the Tallgeese. The Tallgeese might have a silly name and a silly red hat, but those backpack verniers will make any Gundam come down with a case of thruster envy.

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