In a cool community based move, From Software are running an emblem design contest for Armored Core V. The winners will receive a “special award” as well as have the emblems included in a free DLC emblem pack. Unfortunately, the means by which you submit the emblems requires you to use the ACV Link feature. This is something that’s only available in the Japanese release of the game and links the game to your profile over at the Armored Core Official Partnership site. The contest will finish on the 10th May at 3pm.
Before people get all pissy at this, first blame Namco Bandai for removing the feature and second shout at them (not From Software) to include it. Since the game’s release abroad, From Software have been blamed for a bizarre amount of the community issues with the game. When in reality that’s Namco Bandai’s responsibility, something they massively dropped the ball on no less.
That said, Namco Bandai did manage to sort out a preview of all five of the bosses this weekend. Normally bosses only trigger due to territorial disputes but considering the fact that we’re still waiting for the patch, they unlocked them a little early to help appease the now pretty pissed fanbase. The bosses are a partial nod to the Arms Forts in Armored Core For Answer but more a reference to the old massive MT’s players used to face in the original games. Whilst it’s recommended to play against them with four players, you can actually take them out on your own (normally with some judicious usage of Overed Weapons).
For those that buy the first release of the forthcoming Macross Do You Remember Love BluRay Hybrid Boxset, they’ll also get a nice PSN download code for the original PSone shooter. Originally released on the Saturn and then ported to the PSone, it was actually a pretty damn good shoot-em-up and we very much enjoyed blasting our way through it back in good old 1999. It even came with demos for Macross VF-X2 and Patlabor: Game Edition. What was very notable about the game however was its use of some lovely reanimated cutscenes (as produced by Gonzo).
There’s also a pretty cool exhibition going on in Shibuya, Tokyo regarding Macross. Starting today and running until May 13th, tickets cost 500 yen each (400 yen if you’re a student and free if you’re a kid at elementary school) and it covers pretty much the whole gamut of the saga. If you’re in the area, then check out the Parco Museum page about the event for more details.
In addition to this news is the fact a lovely 5 minute HD promo for the BluRay was released yesterday (shown below). Voiced by non-other than Mika Doi (of Misa Hayase fame), the promo also has footage of the game in action too (around the 3:25 mark). Don’t forget you can still pre-order the pretty damn awesome boxset here.
In a move that’s quite inspired, Capcom have seemingly hired veteran anime and live action film director Mamoru Oshii (pictured above) to helm a trailer for the forthcoming Steel Battalion Heavy Armor. In a teaser trailer (shown below) it shows some snippets of behind the scenes action. Considering that Oshii is a huge gun nut and has directed some pretty brutal films on occasion, we’re expecting some pretty epic hardware to be displayed. How they’ll handle the VT’s remains to be seen though.
Following on from the first part, we’ve been waiting for Saisei Hen with baited breath for quite a while. Unlike previous Super Robot Wars releases, the sequel to the first Z was planned in two parts. This was moderately cunning on the part of Banpresto; as not only would it allow more modern mecha series (often with two story arcs) to be portrayed in more detail but it also meant we could be charged twice for effectively the same game.
However, this isn’t quite the case. Whilst Saisei Hen is very much the second of two gaming parts it still has a huge amount of new content on offer. It’s also noticeably easier throughout too, though your mileage may obviously vary on that point. Either way, we’ve been thoroughly enjoying ourselves with Saisei Hen and it was very much worth the wait.
On April 26th the RX-0 Unicorn Gundam “Banshee” will be added to the playable roster of mobile suits in Gundam Extreme Versus Full Boost. The version in the game is also that of the OVA rendition that was teased at the end of the last episode, rather than the one from the novel. The screenshots do show similar (green) psycho-frame resonance as per the Unicorn too, which is a nice touch. This version will also be piloted by Marida Cruz, who initially pilots the Banshee before Riddhe Marcenas gets his hands on it. Whilst the design does look boss, black Gundams generally do to be fair, we had hoped to see more of the Blue Destiny units teased in the new intro.
For the second week running Super Robot Wars Z 2 Saisei-hen has topped the Japanese charts again, with 39,403 sales (for a total of 299,842 sales). This popularity is thoroughly well deserved though and we’re still relishing the game in all its brilliance. With any luck, our review will go up sometime next week and we hope you don’t mind the wait. In the meantime, you can buy the game (if you haven’t already done so) here.
The second alpha test for Mobile Suit Gundam Online is now underway. With 5,000 or so testers the game now has a few more interesting features to boot. From the use of strategic weapons, such as nukes (that knowingly breach the Antarctic Treaty), to reinforcements in the form of battelships. They’ve also confirmed that if the number of players falls below the maximum amount that bots will make up the difference. What’s still the most compelling thing about all this though is that the game can have over a hundred players squaring off in one battlefield and sagely they’ve not opted for a photo realistic art-style either, so most people can run this on a semi-decent PC. It will be interesting to see how this does once it’s finally released to the public and it goes without saying that a Steam version would be totally sweet (as well as wholly unlikely).
What with the release of Steel Battalion Heavy Armor looming, some more trailers (shown below) have been released. Despite being adult rated, we’re beginning to get more of a Chrome Hounds vibe from this. There’s also another camouflage pack outlined too, that of the Carbon Assassin Pack. What’s more interesting though, in a nostalgic sense at least, is that the bundle pack for the game (which includes a Kinect set) will retail in Japan at 19,800 yen. That’s the exact same price tag that the original Xbox version had, though this time we won’t be having to bike over Japanese mountains in the pouring rain to pick our copy up.
The recently released Super Robot Wars Z 2 Saisei-hen has managed to top the Japanese charts quite nicely, to the tune of 265,439 sales. If you’re wondering why we didn’t report this sooner and why the site has been a bit quiet as of late, that’s purely down to the fact that we’ve been playing the game pretty solidly since we got it last week. Thus far it’s sublimely brilliant and we will be doing a review once we’ve completed at least one playthrough.
It seems another Lost Planet game is on the way next year, as a CGI trailer for it has been leaked (shown below). If you’re wondering why the styling is a bit Gears of War-tastic and the mecha looks like something from BattleTech, that’s because it’s being developed by a Western studio this time. Specifically that of Spark Unlimited, who also developed Legendary and Turning Point: Fall of Liberty. If we’re honest, we’re not sure about the styling (as it’s a bit also-ran and there are plenty of similar themed shooters out there). This is not to say that we don’t think a Western developer can do it justice, as Red Faction: Guerrilla was hugely enjoyable and nailed the mecha aspect beautifully. It’s just that Lost Planet has always been a really interesting and different type of game and this comes across as something we’ve all seen before. After all, we loved the last game and we’re just hoping that this holds true to that in some way.
Updated: In-game screens are here, though some of these look more than a little touched up. Sadly, the mecha seems to be controlled in the first person.