We’ve been out of the country for the past few days, so updates to this glorious site have been delayed somewhat. Please accept our apologies on that front. Anyway, the recent Revision live stream for Armored Core V was archived pretty recently. The event was a pretty interesting one as it acted as a sort of post-mortem and general update on how the game has done (in Japan obviously). Unsurprisingly, From Software have been pretty on it in regards to listening to players and subsequently balancing the game further. Something that’s been pretty integral to the game, as the Official Partnership forum is actually linked into player’s profiles in game too. Sadly, Namco Bandai have been handling the Western release and they really haven’t been anywhere near as diligent. In any case, they covered a lot of ground in this session and even showed off a new toy prototype (shown above), that of Chief’s AC (with Giga Cannon no less).
Somewhat related, Namco Bandai did finally decided to do a soft patch to the game in the US and Europe a few days ago. This brings the stats up to the 1.02 patch in Japan, which hit in February. This patch also contains the slightly overpowered pulse machineguns, something the Revision live stream referenced when they went through all the patch changes. Unlike the Japanese version though, this seems to be a server side hack of sorts (rather than a proper patch). This means that if the dedicated servers are shutdown in the future (like with Chrome Hounds) we’d regress to the original 1.01 stats, with all the hellish nonsense surrounding gats, shotguns and heavy reverse joint legs. Hopefully, now that Namco Bandai have decided to get involved more, we’ll actually have some decent patch updates in the future. Especially as the Japanese version is on version 1.04 by now.
Anyway, we’ve embedded the full live stream archive below and it has some pretty nice shots of how they built the CG movies too.
Now with a confirmed release date on the horizon for 2nd Super Robot Wars OG, we’re now getting some more details on the game. Such as new mecha and characters that will be present, with the somewhat weirdly named Code “Evil” above (as designed by Hajime Katoki no less). The other new mecha are also penned by Kazutaka Miyatake, so it’s clear at least that they’re spending at least some money on the game.
Moving on from that, there’s mention of a Twin System now. Similar to the formation setup seen in the first Super Robot Wars Z, this distills the units down to simply two per group (rather than three). Like the formations though you can use the Twin System to attack enemy units individually or together. Personally, we liked the scope offered by the three unit formations but this is definitely better than nothing in that regard. Apart from all that, the new level maps look suitably lush and have actual shadows now.
Overall then, this is shaping up to be not only a very pretty looking game but also strategically interesting too. The release of this game really can’t come soon enough for us.
What with this year’s E3 gladly behind us, we now have a few reports to read and taken in. One of these is for Lost Planet 3. Covering the game pretty broadly, it does confirm that the previous mecha nomenclature of “vital suits” has been dropped in favour of “rigs”. Considering the utter lack of imagination shown in the mecha designs (seen above) it’s good to know that same lack of inspiration has also spread to the narrative. Weirdly NEVEC is still present though, which is interesting as this game looks more of a reboot than a sequel. The report talks about the Unreal engine a fair bit too, justifiably espousing its graphical prowess. The sad thing is that the toolset is very comprehensive (from personal experience), yet Spark have chosen to make another generic corridor based shooter. Oh well.
Now with the release date widely known, we’ve now also been treated to a new trailer for Gundam Battle Operation. Specifically focusing on the mobile suits this time, the trailer shows a lot more of the grapple based melee attacks and whilst they look cool we feel that moving the camera out like that tends to fuck things up. Especially as to get that nice camera angle you often have to lock player control out elsewhere (so they can’t move out of shot) and this normally results in a long and very fixed animation sequence. The latter is the death of any decent melee combat, which is a shame as the rest of the trailer looks pretty fluid. Anyway, see what you think of it below.
What with Chousoku Henkei Gyrozetter’s arcade release imminent, on June 21st in fact, a new promo has been released to help get the word out that this game is positively bonkers (yes that’s a transformed Prius above firing electricity, obviously). The driving setup looks pretty cool though, something we weren’t expecting at all. The mecha combat does still appear to be turnbased though. In any case, the full promo is shown below.
A new live stream for Armored Core V has been announced. Entitled Revision its main focus is to cover feedback from the Japanese community on the game, especially in regards to the online implementation and how matchmaking has been dealt with. This will also be an interactive event as well, as it seems viewers will be able to ask questions to the panel. Personally, we applaud From Software’s support of the Japanese community. If only Bandai Namco would learn from their example when it came to the Western release of the game, something they are still wholly responsible for. The new live stream will happen on 11th June at 9pm (Japanese time).
Separately, we will be posting a new post-mortem opinion piece on the game as we’ve been playing the Western version since March. Whilst the review we did still holds true, it was very much based on the Japanese releases. The Western version has had some pretty interesting issues by comparison. So keep an eye out for that over the next week or so.
Finally, we now know that the release date for the new freemium based Gundam Battle Operation will be June 28th. The core game will naturally be free to download but internal content will be monetised. In addition, players will be able to pre-register on PSN pretty soon. Once we’ve put some time into this, be sure that a review will be forthcoming.
As this year’s bizarre clusterfuck that is E3, there’s now finally some (supposedly) in-game footage of Lost Planet 3 in a pretty slick trailer (plus some nice screenshots). Despite the somewhat desperate attempts to emulate a Hollywood film, the whole setup does show the fact we have another middle of the road Unreal powered game on our hands. This is not to say that Unreal is a bad toolset, far from it, but that publishers tend to force developers to play safe and opt for functionally very standardised design. Though in this instance it feels more like Spark are leading Capcom down the garden path due to their lack of inspiration. Considering this developer’s pretty crappy portfolio up to this point and the fact we’re getting a Red Faction: Armageddon vibe from this, we’re expecting something functionally very safe but also deeply lacklustre. Thank fuckity there’s E.X. Troopers on the way. The full trailer is available for your viewing pleasure below.
At a recent event in a Akiba Sofmap, the upcoming Steel Battalion Heavy Armor was available to play by members of the general (Japanese) public. Bearing in mind that a demo is also available online, it’s now fair to say that our initial concerns about the game have in fact developed into fully fledged and pretty justified facepalms. The video below does help to illustrate some of the problems the game has but when you actually pilot one of these bastards yourself you realise that it genuinely has “issues”. From Software, as far as we’re concerned, have just been helpless pawns in all this. We can also only begin to feel the pain the likes of Hifumi Kouno and the rest of the original development team on the first Xbox game must be feeling right about now. In any case, we’ll be definitely reviewing this puppy come its imminent release in the next few weeks.
What with this year’s E3 almost upon us and that means trailers. Hawken is no exception, as it’s clear their new marketing budget has been blown on a swanky live action trailer (shown below). PR crap aside, the last gameplay trailer (circa this year’s PAX) is looking pretty good. Though there’s still a crazy amount of v-sync issues going on, what the deuce is up with that? Functionally we’re still on the fence with Hawken though, whilst it does look pretty none of the gameplay we’ve seen or heard about has us really excited yet. Only time will tell and we’ll all know if the game is any good come the end of the year.