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News: Macross Last Frontier Hands-On Impressions

Posted on : 30-10-2011 | By : | In : News

Hardware:

2

Following on from Macross Trial Frontier, Artdink have produced a new mini-game, entitled Macross Last Frontier, as part of the Sayonara no Tsubasa BluRay hybrid pack. Unlike the first entry, this one is more substantial and features a save system now. The latter is a byproduct of the fact the game is more than just a few missions. What follows is our hands-on impressions with the new game.

It’s clear that Artdink have been busy since Macross Trial Frontier. There are now land based missions as well as all manner of new graphical improvements, from bloom to another pass on all the explosions. It’s clear though that this is still a work in progress, as the framerate can drop in more hectic encounters.

The controls are basically the same as the PSP games that Artdink have made. With the second “B” type configuration basically being identical, this was the setup we used (for familiarity’s sake). The type “A” setup didn’t gel so well with us, as the transformation was on the right analogue stick. Considering that the weapons controls were on the face buttons, taking your thumb off fire to transform jarred for us.

Missions follow the narrative of the first and second films, now with land missions present it also means these are much more faithful to the anime. This is especially noticeable as the final dofgight from Itsuware no Utahime around the industrial barge has been recreated quite impressively (as the holographic “sails” also animate in terms of their texturing).

Capital ship encounters are also more of challenge now, especially compared to the PSP games. This is down to them firing missiles that actually track the player now. This means you can’t just fly into a collection of Vajra destroyers without consequences, knowing what’s behind you is crucially important as you can get pummeled if you’re careless.

Each of the main campaign missions have a fixed load-out in terms of the variable fighters and their additional armament. There’s also still no upgrade system present. Once the main campaign is complete however a separate simulation mode is available that allows you to pick what variable fighters you want. In mission you also get animated segments from the movies too. Admittedly you rarely notice them in combat but it’s a nice touch anyway.

Overall this is definitely a big step up from Trial Frontier and closer to the PSP games. However, it’s still very clear that it’s not “done” yet as the framerate is inconsistent and the land environments look pretty rushed. The big issue though is that whilst the PSP games could get away with capital ships that just appear without warning and rarely move, having this same behaviour in a PS3 game is a bit underwhelming. It’s clear a full blown PS3 boxed Macross game is in the works but it’s still a way off yet. That said, after watching the new film and playing through the game Artdink have done a lovely job. Screaming around a level with the new YF-29 Durandal is a lot of fun and the main narrative encounters are handled very nicely. Considering that for the price of the film’s admission you get a pretty decent mini-game too, we’re pretty impressed with the whole package.

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Comments (2)

I’m impressed. Back in the PS1 days 8 mission would have been considered a full release.

i’ve seen a small amount of videos regarding the game throughout the internet and because of that, may i ask u cacophanus sir, to upload a video of the gameplay using ozma’s and isamu’s durandal?

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