News: Tokyo Game Show 2014 Report
First off, apologies for the lack of updates. Things have been pretty bizarre as of late and have only just started to somewhat calm down. In addition, there aren't that...
News: Gundam Side Stories DLC Update
Over the last two weeks, a large number of new Gundam Side Stories DLC has been released by Bandai Namco. Last week saw the release of the RGM-79N GM Custom and RGC-83...
Toys: DX Chogokin YF-30 Review
For those that are interested, we've recently reviewed the DX Chogokin YF-30 Chronos from the PS3 game Macross 30 over at HobbyLink.tv (in addition to a small unboxing...
Both 4Gamer and Famitsu have posted their reports of the recent and now finished closed beta on Gundam Battle Operation. Despite a reassuringly good time had by all, it sounds like the game will need some further balancing work. Mainly because both sites openly state that the moment the MS-07B Gouf came on the scene, much fraping of the Feddie forces did ensue. However, on foot human players were also able to make a difference as blowing up an enemy’s base was in some ways easier on foot. In addition, 4Gamer made a big point of citing how similar the game looks and feels to Gundam Senki 0081. This is very much a good thing. Still no precise details on the game’s release date, bar sometime this June, but by all accounts the game could end up being actually quite decent.
Released in 1989 to little fanfare, Herzog Zwei, an action/strategy hybrid, was one of the most influential titles in video game history despite remaining relatively unknown to this day. Its major innovation was strategic gameplay in real time, with bases creating units that would be carried by your commander mecha’s fighter form into battle. This real-time aspect, the management of resources, and construction of units would inspire what is generally considered the first Real Time Strategy game, Dune 2, which would inspire Command & Conquer, which would in turn inspire Warcraft. Despite helping launch an entire genre, Herzog Zwei has unfortunately never received the modern update it so rightly deserved, other than an indie spiritual successor in Cyber Wing and a stealth homage by way of the brutally underrated Brütal Legend.
Thankfully, Carbon Games is bringing Herzog Zwei to the 21st century with a freemium game called AirMech. While still in alpha, and currently only playable in the form of an add-on for the Google Chrome browser, the game already has all the charm of the original and then some. Many were put off by Herzog Zwei’s almost impenetrable game mechanics, but the short tutorial and simple controls of Airmech allow you to get right into the action. Thankfully, this doesn’t mean the game has been dumbed down; it remains the same hectic mecha shmup crossed with the grand tradition of screwing your friends with a lightning raid of tanks right outside their headquarters.
What with another Tamashii Features event set for this weekend, both Hobbystock and GA Graphic have had the chance to get a sneak peak. From the off, it seems that the Robot Damashii line is really in ascendance. From all manner of classic Gundam mobile suits, with a very odd appearance of the PMX-002 Bolinoak Sammahn being notable, to mecha from the suitably new Rinne no Lagrange. What’s also interesting is that there will be a new sub-line of toys called “Ka Signature”, featuring styling and decals by Hajime Katoki. What’s especially interesting for us though is the appearance of a new Dunbine toy (pictured above) and the news that previously announced Billbine will indeed be able to transform into wing caliber mode as well as sport a large aura sword extension. Even the Super Robot Chogokin Armored Core V toy was on show, but the Grind Blade looks a bit wobbly if we’re honest.
A second alpha test for the upcoming Mobile Suit Gundam Online has been announced and outline over at 4Gamer. Set within the caves and jungles of Jaburo, players will have access to 6 new mobile suits as well. Whilst you can’t sign-up for the new alpha as yet, the report says that the official site will afford this sometime soon. It’s still looking pretty solid but what with the newly announced Gundam Battle Operation already undergoing it’s first closed beta, it will be interesting see how this visually bland version will fare.
What with the release of Super Robot Wars Z 2 Saisei-hen barely a week away, 4Gamer has done a repost of Famitsu’s prior screenshots as well as done a piece on the official Super Robot Wars site getting a makeover (making it more compatible with mobile browsers, amongst other things). We’re still super excited about this game, so a review will be forthcoming after we receive our copy. Don’t forget you can still preorder it here.
As of a few days ago, a third DLC pack was released for the Gundam Unicorn game on PS3. Containing a lot more free content this time, the only really paid element (bar some emblems and a weapon pack) is another new mobile suit. Specifically that of the ARX-014 Silver Bullet (pictured above). Like much of the previous DLC mobile suit content, this too is also from the Bande Dessinee manga tie-in. Of all the MSV entries in Unicorn, this is probably one of the most interesting though. The design originally stems from the ORX-013 Gundam Mark V seen in Gundam Sentinel, which in turn produced the AMX-014 Doven-Wolf from Gundam ZZ and that in turn created the Silver Bullet. It’s also one of those mobile suits that looks like a Gundam but actually isn’t (much like the RGM-79FC Striker Custom, that’s actually a pimped out GM Striker). What’s curious about the Silver Bullet, in a functional sense at least, is that it has INCOM units. These are remote units attached via wire that can either reflect mega particle beam shots or create their own. Somewhat like funnels or bits, they historically don’t require a Newtype as a traditional psycommu system is rarely involved in their control and this means mass production is (in theory) more viable as normal pilots can handle them instead. In any case, we’re just happy we have even more mobile suits to play with.
Update: A fourth DLC has also been recently released, featuring a rather epic looking Full Armor Unicorn Gundam, at the princely sum of 500 yen.
For our readers that are now finally playing Armored Core V, we’ve set up some Mecha Damashii teams for you. Due to the server split, we’ve created a team pretty much in each region. However, the US and European teams are only on the 360 version (Tollmaster runs the US team and I run the European one in case you’re wondering). So, come on and join up to have some fun with us. If that wasn’t enough, our own Tollmaster is also in the game’s credits. Requiring a truly gilded brofist to celebrate the occasion.
Moving on from that, there has been a lot of (Japanese fan) speculation about an official Armored Core series timeline since Armored Core V was released in late January. Whilst there is a timeline in Armored Core Mechanical Guidance and Armored Core 10 Works Complete File that covers the PSone and PS2 games, the newer games (even including Chrome Hounds) haven’t really been officially explained as yet. We’ll be collating this over the next few days and doing a post on it most likely but in the meantime join in the fun on Armored Core V.
As expected, PLUM have finally announced their ASS-117A Valken kit from the classic Super Famicom mecha shooter Assault Suits Valken. Prototypes were previewed a while back and after the success of the various AS-5E3 Leynos kits, this was only a matter of time. Actually set before the events in Leynos, the first Valken game features much grittier mecha designs. These were similarly penned by Kazutaka Miyatake under the auspices of Studio Nue. This particular kit is also of the unit used by the main character, Jake. On sale this July at a very reasonable 6,900 yen, you can pre-order it here.
It’s been reported that veteran anime director Noboru Ishiguro passed away recently at the age of 73. A monolithic figure in anime, he helmed all manner of classic mecha anime from Macross to Orguss as well as Megazone 23. Not to mention his amazing work on the original Yamato and the utterly epic Legend of Galactic Heroes. Considering that Hiroshi Kakoi only died last year (though under very different circumstances obviously), to have yet another Macross alumni pass away is so very sad. As always, our thoughts are with his friends and family during this difficult time.
It’s been announced that the long awaited Blu-Ray release for Macross Do You Remember Love? will also in fact be a hybrid game disc like the last two Macross Frontier movies. The game, very likely developed by Artdink, will be called “My Boyfriend is a Pilot 2012″. Not only is 2012 an important year for the saga, as it marks its 30th Anniversary, but it also is the date in which Macross Flashback 2012 is set (this will also be included in the Blu-Ray box set apparently). This isn’t the first time the classic movie has been rendered in game form either, as there was an excellent 2.5D shooter on the PSone and Saturn as well as the rather wonderful PS2 game (not to mention all the PSP games too). The disc will be released on the 26th July this year and come in two versions; standard and a boxset. The standard disc will cost 7,140 yen and the box set at 13,800 yen.