Posted on : 05-01-2010 | By : Tollmaster | In : News
Sakura Wars: So Long, My Love, the steampunk mecha SRPG from Nippon Ichi America, has a pre-order for the game available at their store, Rosenqueen. Most notable is the fact that Sakura Wars preorders from Rosenqueen include a hardcover art book, which is a different item from the PS2 Premium Package’s artbook, so if you pre-order the PS2′s Premium edition from Rosenqueen you walk away with no less than two different artbooks, as well as a poster and an extra disc containing the Japanese voices (the standard edition is English dub only). Considering that the price point for all this is currently only $50, this feels like one of the old Working Designs packages, just without that old Working Designs premium price. Definitely a good last hurrah for the ageing PS2 platform.
The Wii version is also still a go, but other than the hardcover artbook you get from pre-ordering at their store, you don’t get any of the extras the PS2 version gets. To make up for this, it’s available for $40, pretty nice for a next-gen release and a lot better than the other shovelware that gets released for the system at the same price. There’s also a fan art contest (more info here) for you artistic types.
Posted on : 29-12-2009 | By : Tollmaster | In : News
Valve’s Steam digital download service has been having a holiday sale, with daily deals with extreme price discounts, and one of today’s is Mr. Robot for $1.99, down from the usual $9.99. Mr. Robot isn’t what I would normally term a “mecha game”, per se, but more of an Western adventure/puzzle game with some fairly good mechanic designs, but at the current price point I figured I’d let the terminology slide. It’s developed by Moonpod, an indie company who also produced the excellent Starscape, and Mr. Robot was released to what were excessively positive reviews for an indie title at the time of its release.
Even if you aren’t interested in Mr. Robot, checking out Steam’s daily deals until January 3rd is definitely advised, because some of the price drops are extreme, even for a few fairly recent titles. While I and many others don’t feel secure with the idea of owning a digital copy of a game over a physical copy, getting hot titles for a fifth of the price makes the idea a lot easier to swallow.
Posted on : 15-12-2009 | By : Tollmaster | In : News
Nippon Ichi America sent out a release giving the release date for Sakura Wars in the US as March 23rd, 2010. There seems to have been a bit of confusion early on, as some sites were reporting February, but the March date is the more recent one and straight from the horse’s mouth. I’m actually glad for the delay, as I think it’s wise to give Sakura Wars a bit of space from the other January and February releases, which given the amount and quality of the games coming out after Christmas, I’d be worried an already niche title like Sakura Wars could get crowded out.
Unfortunately, it seems that the previously announced Special Edition will be PS2 only, and that the Wii version will only have a standard edition available. The Special Edition comes with a bonus artbook, poster, and special outer cover, along with both the English and Japanese voices, while the regular edition will only feature the English dub. To try to compensate for the lack of a special edition for Wii owners, however, Nippon Ichi America is saying they’ll offer the Wii version at an “attractive price point.”
Posted on : 25-11-2009 | By : Tollmaster | In : News
Niche gaming news site SiliconEra posted a veritable deluge of Sakura Wars screenshots, this time with English text. We don’t have a solid release date for Sakura Wars’ release date yet other than a vague “Winter 2009/2010″, but the English screenshots imply that the localization is coming along nicely.
The official site for Sakura Wars has been updated fairly regularly, and unlike a few other Nippon Ichi America official sites, it seems to be written by someone with a good grasp on English, so feel free to give it a read. If you’re interested in a strategy RPG with beautiful girls and stubby mecha, it’s probably worth at least a look (fans of beautiful mecha and stubby girls need not apply). Keep in mind the game we’re getting as “Sakura Wars: So Long, My Love” is really Sakura Wars 5 in Japan, as the West have never before received a localized version of the game, and presumably Nippon Ichi America doesn’t want customers getting scared off by the lack of the other four installments. It’s kind of like how America’s Final Fantasy 3 was really Japan’s Final Fantasy 6.
Posted on : 14-11-2009 | By : Tollmaster | In : News
A while back, a bunch of fans of the Space Hulk board game, set in the Warhammer 40k universe, set out to make a freeware single player video game version. Unfortunately, despite what initially looked like some official support for the remake, the team ran afoul of the obvious legal hassles involved and had to take the download down. Well, the remake is back up, now with a new name, ‘Alien Assault’, and all Warhammer 40k terms changed to more generic science fiction space marine vocabulary.
Posted on : 16-10-2009 | By : Tollmaster | In : News
As many had already assumed, it seems that the vague “Winter 2009/2010″ release date that Nippon Ichi America gave to Sakura Wars: So Long, My Love means that we won’t be seeing it this year. I’ve been waiting for a game in the Sakura Wars series to come over since the days of the Sega Saturn, so while I’m sure I can wait a little while longer, it’s definitely going to be a tough sell for many hardcore gamers with all the other highly anticipated titles that have already been pushed back into 2010, such as Bayonetta and No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle. It’s being released on the PlayStation 2 and the Wii, which aren’t exactly the first choices of hardcore gamers these days, which also makes me worry about its success.
Posted on : 15-10-2009 | By : Tollmaster | In : News
The recent post about the Lost Planet 2 Vital Suit kits reminded me of this tidbit. Early last September, Capcom released the Capcom Platinum Hits pack. For $40, you get Dead Rising, Devil May Cry 4, and the first Lost Planet. Those who held off on purchasing the original Lost Planet because of the two expansion packs (like myself) will also be happy to know that the Lost Planet here is the Extreme Condition: Colonies Edition, so you’ll be getting the ultimate version basically.
The Vital Suits, the mecha in the game, handle like the cumbersome workhouses they are; partly out of a bit of reality and mostly for balance reasons (making it so that being on-foot in battle isn’t wholly hopeless). Some of the game’s learning curve is also about working out how to make the most of your mecha’s limited abilities, so don’t expect the graceful swans of, say, Armored Core For Answer.
Platinum releases on the Xbox 360 usually go for $30, so three for $40 is pretty much the deal of deals.
Posted on : 06-10-2009 | By : Tollmaster | In : News
The Entertainment Software Rating Board has rated Armored Core 3 Portable for the PSP in America, making its release highly probable. From Software is listed as the publisher, which would make this the first Armored Core title they published in the US themselves. As the linked article notes, it’s unknown whether this will be a downloadable title. For those of you who have never experienced the Layered for yourself, this website has a review of the PS2 original, though as the reviewer notes at the end, he considers the PSP port to be inferior.
Posted on : 02-10-2009 | By : Tollmaster | In : News
An expansion for the RTS/RPG hybrid game Dawn of War II, titled Chaos Rising, has been announced. The official site, with a few more pretty pictures and such, can be found here.
What we know so far seems to imply the single player campaign is again Space Marine centered, so those hoping for a Dark Crusade style campaign, where every race was playable in single player, might again be out of luck. The only new faction announced (so far) has been Chaos, and I’m sure I’m not the only mecha fan who had their hopes on a Tau or Necron appearance, or at least a playable Ork campaign.
Still, it looks like Relic Entertainment might finally start answering some questions about the Blood Ravens’ hidden origins and the consequences of the events in the first Dawn of War. The last Dawn of War I expansion, Soulstorm, had a total of nine playable factions, so it’s somewhat understandable that they’ve been short on narrative time, but after five installments I feel we’re due some background characterization on everyone’s favourite generic Space Marines.
Posted on : 28-09-2009 | By : Tollmaster | In : News
The Tokyo Game Show brings us another set of hands-on impressions, from Kotaku this time.
There’s not too much in the way of new information, and Kotaku’s impressions take a turn for the negative near the end, but I’d guess some of their complaints could stem from either the playable demo being made easy so as to be more ‘accessible’, or them simply not having enough time to get acquainted with the movement and attack options.
It’s nice to see the wanzers’ rollers making an appearance to speed up the combat and give the player more tactical options. That, along with the previously mentioned on-foot combat will definitely invite comparisons to certain other games, and it looks like the Front Mission Evolved team has their work cut out for them.