The recent Armored Core Championship Tournament 2009 Season 1 Finals were held in Tokyo over the weekend. This was for the recent release of Armored Core 3 Portable. There were over 40 participants with only 13 qualifying. The three levels used for the tournaments were “Arena”, “Wasteland” and “Abandoned Factory”. Even Toshifumi “Mr. Armored Core” Nabeshima himself was there for the fans and thanked them cheerfully for their diligence in terms of their mad skillz. The winner was a rifle user, one who manually fired shots (something that was prevalent at the final for the PlayStation 2 version back in 2002). For more info Dengeki has the scoop.
The hugely expensive HORI TwinStick EX for Oratan 5.66 has been prototyped for the team at SEGA (in Japan). The cheerful column over at the official game blog has a few up close action shots of the peripheral. The release is still slated for around November/December for those that were brave enough to pre-order it.
Here is the latest promo video for the upcoming PSP game Macross Ultimate Frontier. This is the sequel to the previous Macross Ace Frontier, also developed by Artdink (who in turn have helmed the Gundam Battle series as of late, though the older of us will most probably remember them for making Carnage Heart). Ultimate Frontier boasts even more variable fighters to choose from now and the addition of several extra Macross series (notably that of Macross Dynamite 7, Macross Zero and the somewhat ill-fated Macross II). The game is out at the beginning of October in Japan and like the previous game it most likely won’t make the jump abroad, as the rights surrounding Macross are quite awkward (courtesy of Robotech and Harmony Gold). The music in the video is also a new Fire Bomber track made specifically for the game as well, as anything involving Yoshiki Fukuyama makes everything so much better.
The successful Capcom Gundam arcade games are finally getting a decent console port for this generation, in the form of Gundam vs Gundam NEXT. The last iteration of Gundam vs Gundam got an admittedly quite competent PSP port but it lacked online multiplayer and it had a few minor performance issues in AdHoc versus. The NEXT update will now get an exclusive PlayStation 3 release and considering the recent Gundam Senki boasts some pretty impressive (and thoroughly stable) online multiplayer options it’s logical to assume that a series of games based on the quality of its human versus setup will follow suit. Not much is known about the release as yet though, as in date, pricing and any additional mobile suits but the base set of playable mecha will obviously make the transition. So, for those that have been gawping at the awesome potency of the Unicorn Gundam in various shaky cam videos it’s nice to know we’ll get to initiate Destroy Mode within the comfort of our own homes in the near future.
At the recent CEDEC conference venerable anime director and writer Yoshiyuki Tomino weighed in on the state of games. Now, Tomino is all about the context of his statements and whilst he proclaimed games to be “evil” this was wholly meant in relation to a game’s creative worth. In that, without the creative quality to back up a game’s existence it’s very much a waste of resource and hence “evil”. He cited Tetris as qualitative benchmark to this and that functionally games haven’t really outmoded this, which is actually pretty accurate. So his comment was in relation to games themselves and not something unrelated.
Naturally, a few places have got a little carried away and focused purely on the “evil” comment without comprehending the context of his speech. Some have even gone as far to think Tomino actually hates games, which is pretty facile considering the fact he wrote and directed Overman King Gainer in which the main protagonist is a very skilled gamer and hence able to pilot the titular mecha. Finally, some have said the comment is hypocritical in relation to the creation of multiple Gundam games over the years but Tomino has no involvement in these tie-in games whatsoever so the linkage is not at all valid to be honest.
After all the location tests, SEGA have now finally released their new Ring Edge powered 10 vs 10 mecha brawler, Border Break. For those that have been following the blog and news of upcoming model kits, the fact the game is finally out (in Japan) is a wondrous addition to that. Naturally, there are no announcements as to its Western release but considering the game’s extensive use of touch screen functionality it probably wouldn’t last longer than five seconds in an arcade outside of Japan.
Back around the time of Armored Core 2, there were a fair few issues with the game not only in terms of its pretty awful frame rate but also in regards to the unbalanced parts list when it came to human versus. One part in particular, the Karasawa Mk2, was cheese incarnate. In the original Armored Core the Karasawa was a meaty laser rifle that fired needle like shots of immense power, to the extent that it could kill an enemy AC with around 10 shots (it had a total capacity of 50 in case you’re curious). In Armored Core 2 it kept the shot potency but also increased the shot velocity and also had an additional stun for each shot. This meant all you had to do was land the first shot and the Mk2 would take care of the rest.
Fast forward to today and the upcoming PSP port of Armored Core 3 Silent Line now features an almost identical inclusion of that dreadful weapon (though with a slightly reduced ammo capacity). The weird thing is that Silent Line already had it’s own Karasawa, so having another is a bit of an overkill. Whether this will unbalance the new port as much as it did with Armored Core 2 remains to be seen however.
Back in the 80’s when the early iterations of Battledroids (then later Battletech) surfaced, many of the designs had been not very surreptitiously lifted from various anime shows. Notably that of Dougram and Macross. FASA were suitably sued for their troubles. That said, over the years FASA did their best to throw several olive branches in the direction of the anime industry. Especially when they hired Shoji Kawamori to pen the designs for the Japanese edition of Battletech.
Fast forward to the recent trailer for the MechWarrior reboot featuring a Warhammer (or a destroid Tomahawk from Macross in case you’re wondering) and it seems that this has opened up the legal can of worms all over again. Considering the original case was with FASA it is interesting that the same designs can come under dispute when the rights are owned by another institution.
Personally, I don’t understand why they just didn’t get Hajime Katoki, Yutaka Izubuchi or Junji Okubo to pen new designs for the reboot and be done with it. At the very least they’d have had mecha that at least looked awesome.