Kits: Shizuoka Hobby Show 2013
This year's Shizuoka Hobby Show is under way and as always it has a huge amount of new model kits on display. With Hasegawa's new Myzr Eta kit (shown above) from Virtual...
News: Masou Kishin III Valsione Bonus
In the upcoming Masou Kishin III players will be given a special bonus code in the initial run of the game. This will give a different version of Valsione as seen in the...
It seems that Bandai have decided to produce what looks to be a very nice 1/60 scale DX Chogokin of the VF-171EX Nightmare Plus in Alto Saotome’s colours. Priced at 14,700 yen and out this June, it will apparently be using much of the newer engineering that has been spearheaded by the VF-25 “Renewal” toys. From the site it’s not clear whether the full weapon set seen in the anime will be present, as the current gunpod in the shots is only that of the standard MC-17A rather than the AVPAGC/MEDC30-EX-A Anti-Vajra MDE anti-gravity particle cannon. Hopefully, the super parts will also become available at a later date too. Either way, this is an interesting choice on the part of Bandai as the design, whilst obviously very nice, is pretty short-lived in the anime and it would have also required them to create all new moulds for the toy too.
After a fair while, Kotobukiya have finally revealed their release plans for the forthcoming Vic Viper LEV kit from Anubis. Coming in at 5,670 yen and released this June, the kit will also come with its own stand. The latter makes a lot of sense as the design itself doesn’t have feet in the traditional sense and it also transforms into the classic Gradius inspired fighter the mecha takes its name from. As with all Kotobukiya kits the detailing and the sculpt look suitably impressive and considering the engineering at work here we’re surprised the price tag wasn’t higher. In any case, if you’re a fan of the design then you can pre-order the kit here.
At a recent display of upcoming Kinect games in Japan, a slew of titles have finally been properly revealed (notably that of the Panzer Dragoon-esque Crimson Dragon, which looks to be pretty exciting). However, whilst the production team for Steel Battalion Heavy Armor where present the demo they showed was the same as last year’s TGS. Doing their best to stress the fact that the game is perfectly fine, it seems that it very likely isn’t. Bear in mind that this is a joint venture between Capcom and From Software so the recent releases of Dark Souls, Armored Core V and soon Gundam Unicorn means that From Software’s resources have clearly been stretched pretty thin already. Hopefully this is more Capcom trying to take time to help From Software get things right, as Bandai Namco have had a habit of rushing the developer resulting in a fair few cut corners (the respective framerate issues in both Dark Souls and Armored Core V are very clearly testament to that). That or they’re having trouble showing the underside of a vertical tank’s foot?
Whilst the current roster of mobile suits in the forthcoming Gundam Extreme Versus Full Boost is basically a combination of the current game’s lineup plus the PS3 version’s DLC, there aren’t that many new units for the game. Well, that’s changing already as apart from the scant few new additions we’ll also have the LM312V04 Victory Gundam, ZGMF-X56S Impulse Gundam and the GSX-401FW Stargazer Gundam added to the game’s playable selection on release. We always quite enjoyed using the standard Victory Gundam on the older Gundam Versus games as it was quite a resourceful, yet cheap, unit. Hopefully that same economical ass-kickery will be present in its re-introduction.
After a fair bit of ambiguity regarding Armored Core V’s toys, we now finally have some concrete details as to what and when is getting released. Over at From Software’s official site for the game, it’s now clear that the prototype figures we saw will actually be released as part of two separate packs. The first, is the mecha itself with a fairly default weapon loadout. This will cost 5,040 yen and be comprised of ABS, PVC and diecast metal. The second pack is for the Grind Blade overed weapon, which will cost 2,940 yen and only be made of ABS and PVC (bit unfortunate that). Both packs will be available sometime this June, which is quite a way away really.
Considering that the last set of Armored Core toys we got were the pretty horrific Kaiyodo monstrosities for Armored Core 2 and Another Age, the fact Bandai are finally handling this and in their Super Robot Chogokin line no less is making us very happy indeed. The paint job looks to be suitably decent too.
What’s really interesting is that the mecha design for the game was actually partially handled by a group known as BEE-CRAFT. This is comprised of multiple members who have worked at Bandai for years, specifically helping design the various model kits for the Gundam franchise. Of these, Junichi Akutsu is especially notable as he was one of the main mecha designers for the wonderful Gungriffon games too. The latter being ironic as these were originally a direct competitor with Armored Core, so in that sense the mecha design has come full circle at least. The reason BEE-CRAFT’s involvement in Armored Core V is notable is because it means that these toys will likely have been designed by very nerdy professionals. This is something we wholeheartedly approve of.
No word on whether more figures will follow this initial set in June, as it will likely depend on their sales. With any luck these toys will also make it to the West but that will again depend on how well the game does come its March release.
The upcoming Gundam Unicorn PS3 game had some new footage uploaded to its official site recently. Showing the game’s cover system, with the MSN-06S Sinanju positively fraping its opponents followed by the MSN-001 Delta Gundam being pretty superfly. Overall, the combat is looking really quite fascinating still and we really can’t wait to play it for ourselves. Both videos are shown below.
If you missed out on the crazy short run for the last 1/60 scale DX Chogokin YF-29 Durandal then you’ve now got a second chance. Coming in May, the toy will be reissued. Still no word on whether the super pack set will resurface, as that was an online only purchase originally. Considering that the original toy now goes for almost three times the original asking price, this reissue is a good thing. Admittedly, this will still cost 17,850 yen but it’s a very nice toy indeed. The mecha itself was featured towards the latter part of the Macross Frontier movie The Wings of Farewell and was playable in Macross Last Frontier too. We managed to nab one of the original toys, with super pack, at release so we may get around to doing a toy review of it as some point (if people are interested). You’ll be able to pre-order the reissue YF-29 from here.
At the recent AOU 2012 show, more Gundam Extreme Versus Full Boost content has surfaced. Notable of which is the addition of the Extreme Gundam “Leos” type (pictured above). The Extreme Gundam being the boss mecha you face at the end of each of the arcade paths in the current game, as well as in the Trial Missions on the PS3 port. It also sounds like this will be playable unit. Admittedly, we won’t be getting the gattai-tastic variants seen in the original Extreme Versus but instead something a bit more streamlined. The official site has also been updated a fair bit too as of late, with a current roster of all the playable mobile suits. Much of the PS3′s DLC will be making it into Full Boost, especially that of the wondrous RX-79BD-1 GM Blue Destiny Unit 1. Full Boost is expected to hit Japanese arcades this spring.
Day One Studios, creators of the two MechAssault games on the original Xbox, have announced a spiritual successor going by the name Reign of Thunder. While the game is missing the BattleTech license, it appears that the MechAssault “feel” of fast third-person action is still present, with the promised addition of tons of customization options.
Day One Studios says “mech fans have been asking us for years to return to the genre and we’ve been listening”, which is perhaps an overstatement. The games reviewed exceptionally well, but the BattleTech fans who thought they would be getting a nuanced game in the vein of MechWarrior were sorely disappointed. With a MechWarrior reboot and Hawken still on the horizon, as well as a certain “core” mecha series adding an unprecedented amount of online content, there may not be room for another freemium mecha game based on a series with simple, action-oriented game mechanics.
If there’s a silver lining, it’s this: the press release claims the game will also incorporate the ”customization and RPG elements of the early MechWarrior PC and board games” in addition to the instant action feel of MechAssault. If that wasn’t just hapless PR speak, this project could turn out to be something interesting, though Day One Studios still has everything to prove.
Back in 2004 From Software released a suitably bonkers Xbox game, where you played the usurped President of the United States of America who also happened to have his own power armor. Called Metal Wolf Chaos, it was a brilliantly executed shooter that also had a wonderfully satirical bent to it. Mentioning it here is pertinent though, as the game’s scale and functionality bear a very large resemblance to that of Armored Core V.
Set in a depressingly apocalyptic future, Armored Core V has humanity waging war with all manner of weaponry but the most lethal of these are the newly discovered Armored Cores; mecha dug up from deep underground that retro-actively antiquate all modern day warfare. The premise is a more gritty take on Panzer World Galient as the setting is very close to our own present day. That said, From Software are still continuing to go the rounds on Ryosuke Takahashi’s works when it comes to inspiration for Armored Core it seems.
Considering that the game has been in production now for over 2 years, we weren’t sure what to expect. As normally the duration between releases is around a year but this is meant as a reboot of sorts and coupled with a pretty immense online setup, it’s a good thing they took some time with it. In any case, after the disappointment of Front Mission Evolved, this game is simply wondrous by comparison.