Posted on : 05-09-2009 | By : Cacophanus | In : Reviews
Back in the day, many a Gundam game had the player pilot the RX-78-2, and consequently steer the neurotic Amuro Rey, through a treacherous future of civil war and political intrigue. This stuff sold, by the bucket load. They were generally pretty abysmal games, however. Thankfully, somebody at Bandai decided to correct matters.
This epiphany in Gundam gaming came in the form of Gundam Gaiden (aka “The Blue Destiny”). There were a total of three games released for the Sega Saturn that enabled the player to control a bog standard Federation “GM” mobile suit. A far cry from the uber-powerful eponymous Gundam. In short, the player was a grunt, and had to work their way through a series of particularly tough campaigns. Each “game” was merely a chapter in the overall plot as well, and also saw the player being awarded with progressively more powerful mobile suits as they progressed. The Gundam Gaiden trilogy of games is very much respected by many a mecha gamer, so you can imagine the fervour when Bandai announced a successor for this superb series of games on the (then) new Dreamcast console.
Despite the obvious graphical improvements, the biggest modification to the series was how you could directly control the actions of your wingmen. Admittedly the game’s focus was predominantly action based, but the real time tactics element added a whole new dimension to the, already very solid, gameplay.
Posted on : 05-09-2009 | By : Cacophanus | In : Features
What with the latest TV series, Macross Frontier, finishing a fairly recently ago and the new PSP game Macross Ace Frontier being released with another on the way, it seems that now is a good time to talk about a series that has often been given a somewhat unfortunate gaming treatment.
Of all the mecha franchises out there Macross is one of the most badly represented. This isn’t because developers want to sabotage the series but more down to the fact that each Macross game is actually comprised of three disparate gaming genres all vying for dominance via one control method.
To clarify, Macross is a series based around love triangles, giant aliens, music and, of course, planes that can transform into large robots. Naturally, each game focuses on these variable fighters, which results in a game that has to offer control for each of it’s three modes; fighter, GERWALK and battroid.
To say that that this is a pretty tough undertaking isn’t in any way an understatement. It’s actually, almost utterly impossible.
Posted on : 03-09-2009 | By : Cacophanus | In : Reviews
There are a few anime series tie-ins that are almost always functional travesties when it comes to gaming adaptations. One of those has been Ryosuke Takahashi’s Soukou Kihei VOTOMS. Every single game has treated Armored Trooper (AT) combat with a fastidiously rigid approach and missed the actual functional parameters of the mecha themselves. The problem lies with the Scopedog, the Gilgamesh’s multi-purpose and mass-produced AT.
In each of the AT’s feet you have hidden wheels that, once engaged, allow the mecha to effectively roller-skate at high speeds. In the series, the momentum of the AT has a direct role in how the mecha “banks” into corners, but the literal idiocy that ensues is down to the fact that, in the anime, the mecha are manually driven. This means tracking a target and rolling are controlled independently. Now in an AT you have sticks and pedals, so this approach makes sense. The sticks control the torso, turning and target tracking, but the pedals handle the rollers. All of this fits with that control setup, but mapping that directly to a pad will produce the functional equivalent of wrestling with a ferret. It’s overly complex and incredibly frustrating, something that multiple PS1 games have confirmed on numerous occasions.
Posted on : 02-09-2009 | By : Cacophanus | In : Features