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News: Gundam Side Stories G-Line Light Armor DLC ReleasedNews: Gundam Side Stories G-Line Light Armor DLC Released Another week, another wave of Gundam Side Stories DLC, this time it being the RX-81 LA G-Line Light Armor. A variant of the RX-81 G-Line series, it made it's first appearance...

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Videos: Masoukishin F Second PromoVideos: Masoukishin F Second Promo What with the release of Masoukishin F not far off, Bandai are stepping up with a new promo video. Despite the omnipresent boob jiggle with the various female cut-ins,...

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News: Wonder Festival 2014 Summer Garage Kit CoverageNews: Wonder Festival 2014 Summer Garage Kit Coverage Following on from our first batch of coverage for Wonder Festival, we've now done a piece on all the garage kits that caught our attention. Due to the sheer volume of...

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News: Wonder Festival 2014 Summer Commercial CoverageNews: Wonder Festival 2014 Summer Commercial Coverage We managed to make it to the recent Wonder Festival over the weekend (despite the insane heat). Naturally we took lots of pictures and have done a chunk of coverage on...

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Toys: PlayStation Optimus Prime AnnouncedToys: PlayStation Optimus Prime Announced Following on from the MegaDrive Megatron toy being made by Takara Tomy, they've now also announced an Optimus Prime toy based on the original PlayStation. Like the first...

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Toys: Layzner V-MAX Parts Announced

Posted on : 26-06-2014 | By : | In : Toys/Kits

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Following on from the Layzner Mk2 announced recently, Bandai will also be releasing a Layzner with V-MAX parts early next year. This is a partial re-release of the original Layzner toy from 2007, just with a different set of armor to swap out. This is also a toy of the first Layzner and doesn’t have the parts to build the New Layzner seen towards the end of the show. The base also doesn’t talk or light up on this new version either. In addition to all this we recently finally received the final fansubbed episodes for the show. Whilst we don’t normally post fansub links, Layzner is somewhat special and we’re just happy more people can finally see this great series.

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News: Gundam Side Stories Second DLC Released

Posted on : 26-06-2014 | By : | In : News, Videos

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Following on from the Gundam Unicorn themed DLC for Gundam Side Stories we now have the second set released today on PSN. This includes some new VR missions as well as two new mobile suits; the Pezun Dowadge and the Efreet Nacht. We’re sorta meh on the former but the later is cool as we enjoyed Gundam Senki 0081. This could also mean we might get some 7th Gundam DLC too, which would be pretty nice. Talking of VR missions, the game is actually better without all the story stuff getting in the way. Much like the older PS2 Gundam games, the core gameplay on its own holds up much better than when it has to tell a story. This was true in Journey to Jaburo with the Tactics Battle setup, that later basically made up the backbone of the far better Lost War Chronicles. Without all the manky cutscenes to ruin the ambiance, Side Stories is actually really solid.

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News: Gundam Side Stories Price Cut

Posted on : 09-06-2014 | By : | In : News

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So since Gundam Side Stories launched it’s been getting pretty terrible user reviews. Now in Japan these tend to have more weight with fans, more so than press reviews in fact, but this also means that we’ve already seen some initial price cuts. Whilst this is not an official reduction, a 40% decrease in price is pretty massive. Admittedly this is for the standard edition of the game, as the limited edition is still at full price, but even then this is pretty serious. It’s likely this has happened because outlets like Amazon have excess stock they need to shift, as the user reviews have relegated the game to the online bargain bin. Whether this price cut will shift over to importers is unlikely though, at least for the interim. In terms of sales, the game has done sorta average (at around 80k in its first few days). In any case, we ‘re hoping Bandai Namco will learn from this episode and either give these games a bigger budget or focus the scope to use the budget they already have.

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Reviews: Gundam The Blue Destiny (10/10)

Posted on : 01-06-2014 | By : | In : Reviews

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bluedestiny_coverOne of the biggest mistakes Gundam games make is when they try and put you in the shoes of a Newtype. It always ends up being disappointing as it is an impossible thing to get right. We’re not meant to be Newtypes, not yet anyway, and Gundam games should acknowledge this.

This is where the Blue Destiny trilogy came in. Released across three mini-games, they placed you as a grunt GM pilot on the front-lines. Not only that, you got it all via a faithfully claustrophobic first person cockpit view. Put simply, this approached nailed what the Gundam mythos was about in a way that hadn’t been done before. It’s also one of the best Gundam games ever made.

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News: Gundam Side Stories Review Addendum

Posted on : 01-06-2014 | By : | In : News

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Now that our review for Gundam Side Stories is up, we wanted to add a few more bits that cover the narrative. The reason why these aren’t in the main review is that these are pretty hefty spoilers. Whilst we don’t really care about spoilers some people lose their shit, so this concession is for them. This is by no means comprehensive but more the parts we thought worth mentioning.

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Missing Link – The Slave Wraith team are all ex-convicts that have been drafted into service, so they fight dirty. Their squad leader is Travis Kirkland (played maniacally as always by Keiji Fujiwara). They basically found out some Federation secrets and are then on the run. They later team up with the Zeon Marchosias team. Amongst all this the HADES system and Pale Rider play an important role, this also ties directly into events in Blue Destiny and Yu Kajima et al make cameos in the Slave Wraith arc. Missing Link is also split into four parts; Federation, Zeon and then two flash forwards one in UC 0090 and another in UC 0096, with the latter tying into the events seen in Gundam Unicorn.

Blue Destiny – This is now in two parts, covering the original games as well as Nimbus’ path. The big news, bar the Missing Link tie-in, is that it shows two major new events over the original games. The first is that at the end of the fight between the two EXAM Gundams, BD3 (Yu’s unit) emits a green aura just before it attacks. This then follows onto seeing Yu years later in a Jegan trying to push back Axis at the end of Char’s Counterattack. During this he calls out for Marion to help and she responds that everybody’s warmth is already here. So insinuating that it wasn’t just Amuro and Char’s power that pushed back Axis, but everyone involved. Again this ties into Banagher’s comments at the end of Unicorn saying that the pyscho frame light actually comes from the pilots themselves. This in turn explains that the red EXAM hue is the early stage of this effect with the final form being green. On the Nimbus arc it also sounds as though Marion survives, as she was in a coma and that Nimbus isn’t painted as being quite the bastard he was in the original games and manga.

Rise from the Ashes – The base White Dingo GMs are damn fast. Most of the missions make it into the remake as the original didn’t have many to begin with. There are a few odd changes from the original (no proto beam rifles) but it’s pretty close and was the most fun of all the segments to play. The only real downside is that Pierce Rayer talks, which is weird (doubly so as he’s voiced by Kouichi Yamadera).

Zeonic Front – Just feels wrong functionally but is nicely harder than the other parts, as you’re in underpowered Zaku II’s for the most part. The lack of any unit control and strategy is just very strange though. Nice heads up to Marchosias towards the end, as it is explained that they are sort of a special elite compared to Midnight Fenrir.

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Reviews: Gundam Side Stories (6/10)

Posted on : 01-06-2014 | By : | In : Reviews

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10

gunside_cover1Some of the finest Gundam games ever made have been the “gaiden”, or side story, entries. These are on the whole admired by fans of the Gundam saga, as they place the player as grunts on the front lines. Understandably, when a collection such as Gundam Side Stories was announced many people were obviously overjoyed. As modern day remakes of these classic games would be a wonderful thing indeed.

It then transpired that these classic games wouldn’t actually be remade, instead they would use a new game setup and only be recreated in a narrative sense. Despite this obvious disappointment, the new game is actually rather good but the overall package is very patchy and inconsistent. As such this is one of the more challenging games we’ve had to review over the years.

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News: Gundam Side Stories Release and Impressions

Posted on : 28-05-2014 | By : | In : News, Videos

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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.

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Videos: Gundam Side Stories Cross Dimension 0079 Promo

Posted on : 23-05-2014 | By : | In : Videos

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What with less than a week until release, we now finally have the full blown Cross Dimension 0079 promo for Gundam Side Stories. This was the first Gundam Gaiden game and was released back on the SNES, it was also a turn based strategy game. In addition to this, we also have new promos for both Rise from the Ashes and Space, To the End of A Flash. The promos are shown below. You can still pre-order the standard edition here.

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Videos: Masoukishin F Initial Promo

Posted on : 22-05-2014 | By : | In : Videos

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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.

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Toys: Robot Damashii Full Action Crossbone Gundam X2 Release Details

Posted on : 22-05-2014 | By : | In : Toys/Kits

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As we saw at Tamashii Nations recently, a Full Action Crossbone Gundam X2 is on the way. Released this September at 4,800 the figures looks to have had considerable work done on it compared to the original Robot Damashii release. The ABC mantle is noticeably absent however, though that might end up as an option set. Talking of option sets, the X1 Ka Kai we reviewed recently is getting an option set to match its setup as seen in the Skull Heart manga. In addition to the X2, we’re also getting a majestic God Gundam figure released at the same time and price. So it looks like September will be a costly month.

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