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News: Border Break Hands-On

Posted on : 03-10-2009 | By : | In : News




The newly released arcade mecha game, Border Break seems to be on the right track. The same Mecha Damashii reader that gave us a lowdown on the upcoming Front Mission Evolved also ventured down to the arcades to check out SEGA’s new mecha gaming effort for himself. From the extensive amount of videos that have been posted online, via SEGA no less, Border Break looks to be superb in almost every way. Thankfully, the following impressions back that up and then some.

There’s a lot to talk about but basically it’s like Gundam vs Gundam married with FPS style controls, but still managed to keep the game feeling very mecha-like. The basic game type is capturing points across the map, there were 5 points in the maps that I played. You can spawn at points you captured, and holding points for a long time fills up a bar for your team, etc. However you can also win by destroying the enemy’s core, which is protected by some fixed emplacement guns that you can also disable (I think they are repaired by the support class). When you respawn you can pick the point you want to respawn at with the touch screen.

The controls are heavenly, because you have the precision of aiming with a mouse (with the added joy of getting those sweet headshots) but all of the boosting and dashing of a Gundam vs game. Unlike the Capcom series there isn’t a huge lag when you impact the ground, so it’s a bit easier to experiment with boosting around. You can duck to the ground to make your shooting slightly more accurate. The boost has separate buttons for jump and a lateral movement, so it’s really easy to move and dodge attacks. There is a targeting system where the enemy closest to your cursor is kind of “locked onto” with a push of a button, the camera zooms in a bit on the targeted enemy. When you get a hit, the indicator flashes green, but a crit. hit (on the head, usually) flashes purple. It’s really nice when it flashes purple many times in a row:). When you kill something, a special effect displays “破壊” above the enemy, so you know it was you.

There are four classes, Scout, Assault, Support, Sniper. I tried the first three. Your actual machine does not change, just your loadout of weapons/tools, but I am not sure if your class gives bonuses to armor/speed/boost. I didn’t unlock all four tools per class, just three. Scout had a sub-machine gun, grenade and sword. Assault had a machinegun (has more ammo in the clip but takes a longer time to reload), rocket launcher (splash damage isn’t that powerful, direct hits are where it’s at) and mortar (mortar is great, you load it up and then touch the screen where you want to fire it, but FF is an issue). Scout had a shotgun, healing robot that could heal you and other players over time (separate gauge powers that), and mines. Sniper has the rifle and some kind of shield they can put up but I didn’t try it, only watched it. You can change classes whenever you respawn.

I didn’t get to try out the physical combat, but there are swords in the game. I had just unlocked my first sword, and it looks really fun. From what I can tell only the scout class has a physical weapon, but maybe assault does too. There are objects you can interact with strewn throughout the stage. Healing stations regenerate your armor and I believe your ammunition. Catapults can propel you closer to the points to capture. There are fixed emplacement guns.

The matches were all online, with human players against a CPU team I didn’t feel any sort of lag. It was very quick to get into a match and start playing. However if you didn’t put in enough money and the match drags on without a winner, you will be prompted to put more money in when your play points start to run out. When they run out completely your guy just sits there dormant until you put money in or cancel out.

One thing that will blow people away is the customization. You can actually purchase parts with points and equip them on your machine, and customize everything (down to the weapons). The points are what you receive when you put money in the machine though, so you are really … paying for equipment! But it’s so well integrated, I almost didn’t mind. You can also change the look of your avatar slightly.

The biggest thing that blew me away was the presentation. At the end of a match it shows a mini cutscene with the winning team’s mecha dashing in, and the best 5 players are featured (with their names above the mecha). It’s so well done and cool, I was really impressed. They need to get this on console somehow… so help me god! After the battle you get points to your rank based on your performance and if your team won or lostï¼› when you rank up you can use more classes, items, etc. On the next screen you open these item boxes via the touch screen, they have ingrediants that I think you need in order to create new parts for your mech (it felt like a gambling game, as you can’t open all of them). Menus and the obligatory busty commander chick were all great looking. You can press the screen and issue voice chat commands. There is a headphone port (really awesome), so I could enjoy the music and everything else. This baby is VERY expensive, that’s the main thing. I really wish it was on PC or PS3 or something.


Comments (5)

Some notes from my playthrough:
-You start at D4 ranking: Those battles are all Player Team vs. CPU team. When you hit D3 Ranking (Think the Initial D arcade games), you’ll start fighting Human Team vs. Human Team battles online. Still no lag experienced.

-I thought the sword targeting was too loose and not enough damage for when it hit. My favorite so far is the Assault.

-BTW, at the sides of the canyon are repair facilities you can capture and use to repair yourself… remember, each death takes away from the Team’s Status Bar.

What board is this running on? I sure it gets ported to consoles, seeing how it will never find it’s way to North American arcades.

Ring Edge, SEGA’s new arcade hardware.

Sure hope this gets a console releaee as I doubt anyplace outside japan will carry it

You wouldn’t be able to play it on the current systems because it uses touch screen techonology.

SEGASammy is planning a console from the RingEdge hardware as well so it will be a launch title.

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