Toys: Robot Damashii Dunbine and Drumlo
Courtesy of our good friends at HobbyLink Japan we've been sent the Robot Damashii Dunbine and Robot Damashii Drumlo from the classic 80's mecha anime Aura Battler Dunbine....
News: Super Robot Wars BX Announced
So the next Super Robot Wars game to be announced has the suffix of BX and it will be released again on the 3DS. The last game on the system, in the form of UX, was really...
Considering that we’re getting this much love from Bandai towards Hathaway’s Flash and the inclusion of the mobile suits in Gundam Extreme Versus Maxi Boost leads many to believe there are other plans for the series. Especially as we saw a Gustav Karl surface in the final episode of Gundam Unicorn, fans are thinking Bandai might start an all new novel only timeline when it comes to the anime. Either way, we now have a frankly massive Penelope to look forward to and we’ve already pre-ordered ours.
In welcome news, it seems we are to get AirMech Arena released on both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One sometime this spring courtesy of Ubisoft. This is an update to the already released game on Xbox 360, with the PC original still going strong. A fair few months back, the developers hooked us up with a VIP account on the PC version and we’ve been playing it solidly since. It’s a modern day take on Herzog Zwei and that’s nothing but a good thing. Even the freemium setup doesn’t really get in the way that much and that’s a rarity. The 360’s controls also worked great on a pad too, which was a surprise, so these new versions should be equally competent in that department too. In any case, it’s nice to see solid indie mecha game that harks back to classic gaming and does it with real flair and skill.
We’ve tried to avoid doing these kinds of lists over the years. Mainly because they end up being contentious and misinterpreted. That said it’s about time we got around to doing this. Especially as other places have attempted similar lists and ended up being laughably parochial and clearly ignorant with it.
Before we start, there are a few a disclaimers. “Best” in this context means that these games are obviously great fun to play but they also went on to influence other games as well as approached mecha gaming in a unique way. They might have even resolved design issues that had plagued other titles too.
The games listed are also not necessarily based on our reviews either, as some we have yet to even cover, but more how they have defined mecha gaming over the years. These are also games that we regard to be very well wrought, based on our years of experience from playing lots and lots of mecha games.
If you’re wondering what happened to Hawken, well Adhesive Games and their publisher Meteor sold the game in a bankruptcy sale to Reloaded Games. This is the same Reloaded Games that picked up APB after it tanked. So while there is a light at the end of the tunnel for Hawken, it definitely looks like a train in this case.
The real shame is that back in 2011, Hawken could have been something amazing. The final game was decent too but the freemium model utterly ruined it. If they had released the game as a singleplayer only XBLA or PSN game, like they planned to originally, then things would have likely turned out for the better. Shifting to a freemium setup with a customisable mecha game, where you paid for parts, was never going to end well.
So here’s to good mecha games ruined by capricious and short sighted publishers. Hopefully Hawken won’t die off quite yet but it could have been so much more.
Super Robot Wars Z 3 Tengoku-hen received a new promo over the weekend (shown below) and it’s rather marvelous. From showing off new animations and some of the updated game system, it’s all looking rather great. The absence of Final Dancouga is still admittedly disheartening but there’s a lot of good stuff still present and the addition of Rengoku-hen is a pretty big deal if you’ve been playing this series since the first game on PS2. Set for a release at the beginning of April we’ll be picking this up for sure.
A few years back, we heard that something might happen this year to commemorate Virtual On’s 20th Anniversary. Many thought it to mean a new game would be announced and that it would be revealed at this year’s JAEPO. Sadly, nothing surfaced. What with SEGA’s widely documented troubles as well as the ominous shutting down of the various official Virtual On websites, it looks like this might be the end for the hugely influential mecha gaming series. We may yet hear something Virtual On related this year but don’t hold your breath. While the arcade industry is buoyant in Japan, SEGA have seen better days.
The upcoming Dracue port of the classic Assault Suit Leynos seems to be coming along, as we now have a new gameplay video. They still don’t seem to know how to encode their videos in HD, so the image quality is pretty poor. Functionally it looks comparable to the classic Assault Suits games of old but we’re still not sure on whether it will deliver. Hopefully they’ll get this right, as their Gunhound games have been decent. The game is expected to be released sometime this May.
Wonder Festival 2015 Winter has now come to end and it was a good one. Apart from the legion of amazing garage kit figures on show and on sale, the future commercial announcements were decent this time around. The mother of which being Fewture’s transformable EX Gohkin Garland (shown above) from the first Megazone 23. Now we’ve already been graced with toys of this from Yamato back in the day but they all had serious quality issues (the joints often shattered). This will be different though as most EX Gohkins use a lot of diecast and go through rigorous quality assurance. No word on a price or release date but we want this, really quite badly. Apart from the Garland, we had a lot of cool stuff on show from Sentinel and Megahouse. The former had the amazing Metamorforce Dancouga and also showed the prototype Black Wing too, so a Final Dancouga is an option again. The latter showed off the upcoming Orguss toy and it is utterly pristine and will be a definite purchase come its release in March. Arcadia also had a good Macross showing too this year.
If you want to check out some photos then feel free to go here, here, , here, here, here and here. We will also be doing an event report for Forbes in the next few days too, so keep an eye out for that.