Toys: Soul of Chogokin Gaogaigar Release
We've been keeping an eye on the upcoming Soul of Chogokin Gaogaigar and even played with it at a few events. Despite being utterly massive it's also simply gorgeous....
Toys: Riobot Tsugumori (Anime Version)
Courtesy of our good friends at HobbyLink Japan we've been sent the Riobot Tsugumori (Anime Version) from the anime adaptation of Knights of Sidonia (based on the manga...
News: Heavy Gear Assault Interview
Over at Joystiq they have an interview with Vince McMullin, a producer at Stompy Bot. If you remember, this was the studio that was making the new Heavy Gear Assault game...
Toys: Megahouse Orguss Previewed
At a recent mini-show for Megahouse products, they revealed a bunch of lovely new toys. Most of these had been shown previously at places like WonFes but many of these...
In a nice new update on May 29th, Gundam Extreme Versus Full Boost will have the suitably villainous CB-0000G/C Reborns Gundam added to the playable roster. Due to its Tau drive config, it can only activate its Trans-Am system once. Though we still love the fact that Ribbons Allmark’s voice actor was none other than Tohru Furuya. Basically this chap has been the iconic voice of Amuro Ray in the classic Gundam series, so to have him play the villain in a new Gundam series was really rather delicious. Separately, when Ribbons and Amuro face off in the recent Saisei-hen they have some pretty cool dialogue together too (as it’s the same actor). In any case, the Reborns Gundam was always a potent unit and it’s no surprise that it has the 3000 point cost tag in Full Boost.
In a recent Tweet, Yuji Korekado posted a new screenshot from the Zone of the Enders HD Collection. From the second game Anubis it shows the early boss fight with Ardjet. As you can see above, it looks pretty good. This is also from a forthcoming demo meant for the event on the 25th and they are almost trying to recreate the same setup as was seen in the TGS 2002 demo (this was later included in the very nice Anubis artbook). It’s also worth clarifying that this version of the game is not really the same as the one we reviewed. Whilst a few people think our appraisal of the second game is a tad harsh, the review was done back in 2003 on the initial Japanese release. This was a very badly balanced version of the game and suffered lots of problems. Multiple silent revisions followed, culminating in the Special Edition. The latter is a very different game functionally and one day we’ll hopefully get around to covering that version in a new review (as we like it a lot more).
This year’s Shizuoka Hobby Show is now in full swing. Among the many new items shown, with a mention of a Kagekiyo kit being pretty cool, is the reveal of Yamato’s next 1/60 scale variable fighter toy. Specifically that of the VF-4G Lightning III. The mecha itself has an interesting history, as it was originally (though very briefly) shown as a toy in the original Macross TV series. A more substantial display was then later included within Macross Flashback 2012. In both instances though the mecha was only shown in fighter mode. For years this produced all manner of speculation as to its transformation sequence, as well as what the battroid mode would actually look like. In 1995 the questions were answered as the variable fighter was featured (fully transformable) in Macross Digital Mission VF-X. Whilst the game was a steaming pile of bobbins (despite having a damn sexy intro) it did at least lay much of the fan inquiry to rest. Since then, the VF-4 has been a staple of pretty much every Macross game since. All that aside though, it’s one of our favourite designs from Macross and we’re so very happy that Yamato are doing the decent thing and making a toy out of it. No word or pricing or release date as yet but considering that the VF-4 was operationally rolled out in the Macross timeline around September 2012, expect Yamato to try and hit that date. Yamato also have a very nice page detailing the toy’s engineering in regards to its transformation. If you want to have a look at the rest of what the hobby show has on offer, then feast your eyes on this, this and this.
Following the new promo for Gundam Battle Operation, we now have a new update with some new screenshots as well as the slew of fixes on account of the recent closed beta. One of the most important of these obviously being the improving of the game’s netcode in order to reduce lag. On top of this there are all manner of gameplay tweaks and balances mention, with the slightly floppy grapple being firmed up and more immediate being notable. Despite being free to play, they’re really making an effort to make the game more palatable to its (Japanese) audience, as well as openly communicate that. That in itself is reassuring. Still no word of the game’s release date though, bar sometime at the end of June.
In a move that’s more than a little bit uplifting, Capcom it seems haven’t entirely abandoned the Lost Planet series. A new Capcom developed cel shaded and anime styled game called E.X. Troopers has been announced. Both 4Gamer and Famitsu have the scoop, along with a nice promo trailer (shown below). Functionally it looks a bit more arcadey in places, with the player dashing around a bit now, but it’s still very much a Lost Planet game. Especially as many recognisable Akrid are present not to mention the all important Vital Suits. Released on both PS3 and 3DS, the game will also be playable at this year’s Capcom Summer Jam. Interestingly, Shintaro Kojima (the game’s producer) also worked on the Monster Hunter series so expect even more of that type of functionality in this game. It also seems that May’n, of Macross Frontier fame, will involved musically too. In any case, our faith in Lost Planet has been reaffirmed and we can’t wait for this when it’s released later this year.
Hasegawa have announced the first of possibly three new Myzr kits from Virtual On Marz. Specifically that of the YZR-8004 Myzr Delta IV Type R “Fair Bianca” as piloted by Sylvie Fang. One of the Three Splendid Roses, the the mecha were distinctly moe (even back in 2003) and having them swing their sassy mecha hips was pretty odd even back then. In any case, we’re just glad another splendid Hasegawa VR kit is on the way. This is also obviously based on their prior Myzr kit and as such will similarly transform. Our personal favourite VR from Marz is still the godly Shirokis Temjin. In any case this Fair Bianca kit is out in June for a reasonable 6,720 yen and as always you can pre-order it here.
Gundam Battle Operation has received a new ground combat trailer. Showing off the human sized combat, the trailer doesn’t exactly help to assuage our fears. Whilst it’s the same team behind Gundam Senki 0081, we’re definitely getting flashbacks to the pretty awful Gundam Operation Troy. That said, since the beta a bunch of changes have gone in. From visible enemy life gauges to more easily visible hit markers and stun grenades for foot soldiers (the latter being in the trailer). The stun grenades look to be a pretty handy option but seem a bit overpowered in the trailer, as they cripple a mobile suit pretty effectively. The game is meant to be released sometime at the end of June but no specific date has been set as yet.
One of our most anticipated kits is that of Volks’ upcoming IMS LED Mirage V3 from the wondrous Five Star Stories. Now we know that not only will it be released early next year but the price tag comes in at 23,100 yen. There was also a recent pre-order bonus, that finished yesterday, where you not only got a small price reduction (at 19,950 yen) but also a nice die-cast metal speid included too. Unlike the other Volks garage kits, this is part of the injection plastic range and is consequently a lot cheaper than if it were made of resin. The final kit is also pretty damn large as it clocks in at around 30cm in height. In any case, this kit looks to have a truly exquisite sculpt and we can’t wait to get one of our own when it’s finally released.
A nice new promo for Gundam Extreme Versus Full Boost has been uploaded by those nice people at Namco Bandai. At over 6 minutes it features a variety of new mobile suits as well as many familiar ones. The latter are also pretty interesting as it seems that many of them have had some new moves added, which is a nice touch. We also got pretty excited to see the MS-08TX(EXAM) Efreet Custom shown in a cool intro movie (something that each series got in the previous game) but our hopes were dashed against sharp pointy rocks when it wasn’t shown in game. Hopefully we’ll get to see it in action sometime soon. In any case, the full promo is shown below.
The recent alpha test for Mobile Suit Gundam Online has been given a full on report, coupled with a pretty interesting in-game video. In short, the game plays like a standard TPS, with WASD and mouse control (something you can pretty much deduce from the video below). Whilst it does look a bit dated what the game is doing technically is no mean feat; as it handles over a hundred online players per match. Our only real concern is the strange and rather excessive use of motion blur, hopefully that will get toned down at some point. Still no news on a release date for this but it’s expected sometime this year.