For those that have been playing MechWarrior Online, it seems that the same studio Piranha Games has also been working on a new mainline game in the series. Titled MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries it’s now made the shift over to Unreal Engine 4, from MechWarrior Online’s CryEngine. In the latest reveal trailer (shown below), we get to see an old Shadow Hawk taken through its paces (shown above). This particular unit is also one not without controversy, as like many of the early BattleTech designs the Shadow Hawk was actually a straight up copy of the Dougram.
Now, when I interviewed Kunio Okawara, the designer behind Dougram, and Rysosuke Takahashi, the writer and director for the series, fairly recently neither seemed that fussed about this kind borrowing of material. However, Takahashi did make a point to say that it was really Sunrise’s call on whether anything should be done about the situation. That said, when I also interviewed Shoji Kawamori about his designs being used in BattleTech he wasn’t best pleased.
In short, even after all these years the BattleTech and subsequent MechWarrior games are still not free of this Unseen controversy. The fact that MechWarrior 5 went with the Shadow Hawk as part of its reveal seems a strangely unnecessary move, when they can clearly design something fresh and new instead (though this version of the Shadow Hawk has already been reworked quite a bit). This is also something of an ongoing issue with the MechWarrior series, as I covered some licensing issues back in 2009.
Personally, I am glad to see a new mainline MechWarrior game but after all the ineptitude surrounding MechWarrior Online I am not holding out any hope that this will be any good. Currently, there is no news of a release date or platform but I am guessing it will make its way to PC at some point.
The free update and paid DLC for the excellent Macross Delta Scramble is finally out and it is really rather great. To commemorate the release, Bandai Namco unveiled a series of new videos about the new content (shown below). Considering that the initial release was somewhat light on content, even after Macross 30, this update is both welcome and necessary. While the free update adds more Macross Delta story missions, the paid DLC covers the Extra missions that are focused on other Macross series. In order to purchase the latter you will need a Japanese PSN account. In any case, if you have a Vita and haven’t bought Macross Delta Scramble already then you should really correct that oversight.
The excellent Macross Delta Scramble on PS Vita will be getting some DLC on November 30th. Not only will this include a free update with additional Macross Delta missions but also separate paid DLC that will include Extra missions from other Macross series. The later DLC will be priced at 1000 yen and will encompass all manner of new mecha, pilots and missions. Naturally, you will need a Japanese PSN account to access the paid DLC. Considering the reduced content was somewhat of an issue in the original release, I am glad Bandai Namco are funding Artdink to rectify matters. If you haven’t done so already, you can import the game here.
The last major portable Macross game was Macross Triangle Frontier back in 2011, since then we’ve had Macross 30 on the PS3. That was a slower game dubbed as a “flight action RPG”. In the time since, Artdink has been working on a variety of other Vita games, from Gundam Seed Battle Destiny to all sorts of Sword Art Online titles. The result of all this studious work is that Artdink has probably made one of the best Macross games in recent memory.
Macross Delta Scramble is finally released on the Vita in Japan today. This is a continuation of Studio Artdink’s solid Macross games on PSP, as well as their PS3 game Macross 30. From what I’ve played of the game thus far, it is more inline with their older PSP games and is much faster paced as well as more functionally immediate compared to Macross 30. It also looks surprisingly good for a Vita game and runs very smoothly. I can only hope this will be the start of a new series of Vita based Macross games by the studio. With any luck, I’ll get around to reviewing Macross Delta Scramble in the next few weeks. You can import the game here.
The previously released Assault Suits Leynos remake on PS4 is now finally released on PC, via Steam. The remake was developed by Dracue Software, the studio that also made the excellent Gunhound games. However, this remake of Leynos is a mixed bag and while not as bad as the PS2 update to Valken isn’t exactly great either. If you’re an ardent PC gamer then you might want to check out Gunhound EX before delving into this Leynos remake.
The latest and third installment in the Valkyries book series by Hidetaka Tenjin will be released this September in Japan. Like the first and second books, this one will contain new Macross related art by Tenjin featuring a variety of variable fighters from the series. This new book will also be fully bilingual and feature English text. Considering that Macross Delta is the latest series in the saga, it’s clear this new book will focus on this more readily but it will be interesting to see what other pieces of art turn up. Valkyries Third Sortie is released on September 14th in Japan by Kobunsha and you can pre-order it over on Amazon. In the meantime, make sure to check out my review of the second book.
Later this August, the VR Zone exhibit at Diver City in Tokyo will have a Gundam themed attraction added to its ranks. Called Gundam VR Daiba Assault, it’s based around the 18 meter tall Gundam outside Diver City coming to life and protecting you from an attack by a renegade Zaku II. As with all VR Zone events, you will need to reserve a slot to attend this new attraction. Like the amazing VOTOMS simulator, this too is using Unreal Engine 4 and I am curious as to how this will play out. Naturally, Bandai Namco called in Toru Furuya, the voice of Amuro Ray, to help promote the new attraction (shown below). So if you’re in Tokyo over the next month or so, you might want to go and check out the VR Zone at Diver City.
Following the already excellent releases of Turn A Gundam on DVD in the West, courtesy of Nozomi Entertainment, it looks like we’ll be getting BluRay editions too. It’s obvious that the DVD releases have sold well enough to warrant the BluRay versions getting an additional release, which is great news. Turn A Gundam is also a genuinely fantastic series and arguably one of the best standalone spin-offs from the main series. Though, it technically bridges all the various Gundam timelines but that’s a whole other thing. From Syd Mead’s amazing mecha design to Akira Yasuda’s characters, it’s a fascinating anime and has more in common with some of Studio Ghibli’s output than Gundam. While there are no details on when the Turn A Gundam will come out on BluRay, bar sometime next year, I am happy to see that Gundam is finally getting the support in the West it so obviously deserves.