News: Gundam Side Stories Ez8 DLC Released
Following on from the somewhat improved set of DLC for Gundam Side Stories, there's now a new mobile suit out. Specifically that of the mighty RX-79[G]Ez-8 Gundam Ez8...
After much wait Gundam Side Stories is released today in Japan. However, because we’re awesome we got a copy of the Limited Edition a day early (pictured above). So from playing about fifteen or so missions on the Slave Wraith side of Missing Link this is what we think of it thus far. In terms of controls and gameplay, it’s actually pretty great. It’s fluid and simple but with some nice weight to it. It feels like an amalgam of the old Blue Destiny games mixed with Lost War Chronicles and Zeonic Front. In terms of the latter, you have three units per team and you can switch mid-combat between them (like in Zeonic Front somewhat). These also act as your “lives”, as once one is taken out it has to recharge and you can switch to the others in the team. Once all units are down then that’s game over. Missions are short and simple but still quite varied. The game is quite focused as a whole, in that you don’t really have to customise the mobile suits or their load-out. You also have access to two weapons from the off, normally a machine gun and a bazooka/beam rifle but this varies from unit to unit. All this makes the controls and combat feel very direct and almost arcade like. The story and voice acting is also good and suitably interesting. All this aside though, this game looks really quite ugly in places. The majority of the cutsenes clearly weren’t done by an animator and the engine itself looks very dated indeed (worse than 0081 did in fact). The terrain especially looks like something from the PS2 era. We’re guessing this is because the budget was small and the content in the game as a whole is pretty massive (as they had to make seven games in one package). Once we’ve played it some more we’ll post our review but in the meantime it plays well but looks pretty disappointing. There are also some new gameplay videos, which we’ve linked below. You can buy the standard edition here.
Well that didn’t take long; Masoukishin F now has its first promo video (shown below). This will indeed be the final entry to the Masoukishin saga and the engine has had a fair bit of improvement. Now with a modified forced perspective, it makes the 2D models almost appear 3D. It looks quite impressive in fact. That aside, the game has been scheduled for a release on August 28th. There will be two versions available; a standard release at 7,120 yen and a limited edition at 10,930 yen. The latter will have a full soundtrack set for the series and a 100 page artbook included. The standard version will also be available to download from PSN on the day of release.
In a nice move, Bandai Namco have announced what appears to be the last entry in the Masoukishin series; Masoukishin F: Coffin of the End for PS3. Considering all the prior games have been helmed by winkysoft, it’s likely this will be too. If that’s the case, then the “F” suffix harks back to their SRW glory days on F and F Final. No news on a release date or price as yet but an interesting omission is the lack of a Vita version. That aside, we’re looking forward to this quite a bit!
In an interesting move, Hidetaka Miyazaki (pictured above) has been made the new president of From Software. Following on from Kadokawa’s recent acquisition of the company, long time president Naotoshi Zin is stepping down to an advisory role. The latter is the interesting part; Zin has been at the helm of the company since its inception during the mid-80s (back when it made business software). So this change in leadership does fall squarely into the big deal category. However considering Miyazaki’s prior experience working on Armored Core and the Souls games, does make this appointment a good one. As he does have an understanding of how games are made firsthand (you’d be surprised and disappointed at how few execs in the games industry have a clue about game development). Anyway, all that aside we wish him luck in the new role as the industry is in a funny place at the moment.
We now have two new videos for Gundam Side Stories, this time covering more gameplay from the Blue Destiny and Zeonic Front segments. The good news is that the Blue Destiny arc will get the full treatment, covering the spaced based segment of the story. The bad news is that unlike the previous videos, these ones look clunkier and heavier. Considering the game is out next week, we’ll keep our fingers crossed in the hope that it turns out good. You can pre-order the standard edition here.
This year’s Shizuoka Hobby Show is now in full swing. As such, the likes of AmiAmi have been covering it. The big announcements are a new kit line (called Reborn One Hundred) and the MSN-04II Nightingale being the first kit in the range (pictured above). To make matters even more fabulous, we’ll also be getting a Ver Ka MG of the RX-93-v2 Hi-Nu Gundam as well as the announcement that a Beltorchika’s Children manga will be serialised in Gundam Ace. Bar that, there will also be a new 1/48 scale kit of the live action Ingram. All in all, it looks to be a pretty kickass show this time around. If you’re at all curious, there is some additional coverage here, here, here, here and here.
It’s been a while since the last entry in the Z series, Saisei Hen, not to mention the noticeable lack of a full blooded Super Robot Wars game on current console hardware. Admittedly we’ve had the odd side story game but no real proper 2D multi-anime series game on either the PS3 or 360. Jigoku Hen pretty much changes all that.
The first in a two part finale for the Z series, Jigoku Hen is also the first major release to have both a home and portable console version. This has produced some very interesting design aspects to the game as a whole. It’s also one of the prettiest Super Robot Wars games around and an enormous amount of fun.