It appears the next version of the Gundam VS series is currently in development! Thanks to some keen redditors, a recent Famitsu article has a provided a Q&A session with series producer Ryuichiro Baba and other staff members regarding the future of the Gundam VS series. They mention their understanding of Gundam EXVS Force’s misgivings with the fans and plan to address those issues in the latest installment. They also mention console specs and infrastructures are now ripe to take advantage of connecting players, and that possibly includes a more global focus. They also mention the new VS game as the 5th generation of Gundam VS, with EXVS series being the 4th. Perhaps we’ll hear more about this in the upcoming Tokyo Game Show, but this news definitely has us salivating while we continue to wait for a Maxi Boost console version.
The latest and third installment in the Valkyries book series by Hidetaka Tenjin will be released this September in Japan. Like the first and second books, this one will contain new Macross related art by Tenjin featuring a variety of variable fighters from the series. This new book will also be fully bilingual and feature English text. Considering that Macross Delta is the latest series in the saga, it’s clear this new book will focus on this more readily but it will be interesting to see what other pieces of art turn up. Valkyries Third Sortie is released on September 14th in Japan by Kobunsha and you can pre-order it over on Amazon. In the meantime, make sure to check out my review of the second book.
Later this August, the VR Zone exhibit at Diver City in Tokyo will have a Gundam themed attraction added to its ranks. Called Gundam VR Daiba Assault, it’s based around the 18 meter tall Gundam outside Diver City coming to life and protecting you from an attack by a renegade Zaku II. As with all VR Zone events, you will need to reserve a slot to attend this new attraction. Like the amazing VOTOMS simulator, this too is using Unreal Engine 4 and I am curious as to how this will play out. Naturally, Bandai Namco called in Toru Furuya, the voice of Amuro Ray, to help promote the new attraction (shown below). So if you’re in Tokyo over the next month or so, you might want to go and check out the VR Zone at Diver City.
Following the already excellent releases of Turn A Gundam on DVD in the West, courtesy of Nozomi Entertainment, it looks like we’ll be getting BluRay editions too. It’s obvious that the DVD releases have sold well enough to warrant the BluRay versions getting an additional release, which is great news. Turn A Gundam is also a genuinely fantastic series and arguably one of the best standalone spin-offs from the main series. Though, it technically bridges all the various Gundam timelines but that’s a whole other thing. From Syd Mead’s amazing mecha design to Akira Yasuda’s characters, it’s a fascinating anime and has more in common with some of Studio Ghibli’s output than Gundam. While there are no details on when the Turn A Gundam will come out on BluRay, bar sometime next year, I am happy to see that Gundam is finally getting the support in the West it so obviously deserves.
Following the initial announcement regarding Macross Delta Scramble, we now finally have a promo video of the game in action. It’s clear Artdink has improved a lot since Macross 30, not least because they’ve been tasked with working on the Sword Art Online games. The result is that Macross Delta Scramble looks a lot like the earlier PSP Macross games they did but far more polished and competent. While the game only covers the initial batch of episodes in Macross Delta, it will also include guest pilots and mecha, with the YF-19 from Macross Plus (above) being notable. Personally, while I enjoyed Macross 30 I felt that their earlier Macross handheld games were more arcadey and fun to play. In that sense, Macross Delta Scramble is a nice continuation of that. Released on October 20th for Vita in Japan, you can pre-order Macross Delta Scramble here.
Hot off the recent release of Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt: December Sky comes the addition of the Full Armor Gundam in EXVS Maxi Boost ON! Described as an all-rounder unit with a penchant for ranged attacks, this 2500 cost unit is definitely no stranger to missile spam. From the video, it initially feels somewhat reminiscent of Full Armor Unicorn in its first form but with some good mobility. It also does not seem shy about getting in your face with a special melee move that blocks projectiles in front of you as you dash. We also get to see it purge its armor during the burst attack, but whether or not it remains off afterwards is another story. Once again, if you’re lucky to be living in Japan or Asia where they have Maxi Boost ON cabinets, you’ll be able to mess around with the new unit on August 16 on an early release. At the very least, check out the teaser trailer for it below!
It seems that Artdink are still with us and will be making the PS Vita exclusive Macross Delta Scramble to released on October 20th. Now, for those with a good memory Artdink came to mecha gaming prominence with the Gundam Battle series on PSP. They then shifted over to Macross on the PSP, with the likes of Macross Triangle Frontier being one of my favorite games on the system. Then after several BluRay Hybrid games for Macross Frontier and Do You Remember Love? we got a full-blown “flight action RPG” in the form of Macross 30. While fun it was technically quite limited and in that sense I am happy to see Macross Delta get the Vita treatment.
The game will cover the first 13 episodes of the series and will also feature guest characters from other Macross shows. The Delta focus makes sense, as Vita games require more asset work than PSP games do. The result being you can’t feature every variable fighter in existence, which is something Artdink’s Macross games did a pretty good job of. The game will also come as a standard or limited edition. The main difference between the two looks to be the number of featured songs, with the limited edition having 50 songs over the standard’s more minimal 20. Pre-orders for the game aren’t up yet but will be soon at places like Play Asia.
On July 25th, the Tieren Taozi from Gundam 00 will join the Gundam EXVS Maxi Boost ON roster. This will be Soma Pieres’ first foray as a solo competitor in the series, not counting her earlier outings as a co-pilot in the Gundam Arios and Gundam Harute. As a 1500 cost unit, it appears to be your run of the mill support unit in the vein of Gun-EZ and Dual Gundam Assault Shroud with a good balance of long range attacks, melee, and a slew of assists involving other Tieren. Considering there hasn’t been a console version of this game or the previous title announced, it’s going to be a long time before players outside of Japanese and Asian arcades will be able to get a hold of this unit. As always, we’ll let you know more when we find out!
While it wasn’t what most EXVS fans in the West were expecting, the long wait has finally ended as the English-localized Gundam Extreme VS Force released in the US and EU on July 12th for the Playstation Vita. Right out the gate, you’ll also get access to all the recent game updates that have been released in Japan that include new single player modes and brand new units. Make sure you check your updates list on your Vita before playing as the updates do not come pre-installed. Interestingly, the OST appears to be rather intact as the non-vocal versions of the respective Gundam shows still exist, unlike previous Gundam games that have been localized with generic soundtracks. Hopefully this will be well received in the West and will be the first to come in many more Gundam game localizations. Until then, check out the launch trailer below!