News: Super Robot Wars BX Announced
So the next Super Robot Wars game to be announced has the suffix of BX and it will be released again on the 3DS. The last game on the system, in the form of UX, was really...
News: Gundam Battle Operation Next Announced
In a rather bizarre way, Bandai Namco have announced Gundam Battle Operation Next for PS4 and PS3. This is indeed the follow up sequel to the previous Gundam Battle Operation...
What with the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan, many gaming events were understandably cancelled. With the live demo of Armored Core V being no exception. However, both the official site and Facebook page have had a few little updates. Notably the fact that our friends the flaming chainsaws of doom are still very much present in the game. This, understandably, makes us happy as chainsaws are normally awesome and doubly so when they’re on fire.
There are plans to reschedule the live demo though but what with rolling power cuts affecting most of the Kanto region (which includes Tokyo in case you’re wondering), then things like this do somewhat get put on the backburner. Once we know more we’ll obviously post it here.
To promote the upcoming pachinko cabinet Fever Macross Frontier, Sankyo have released two adverts showing both CG versions of Ranka Lee and Sheryl Nome performing to real world crowds. To those that remembered the prior Fever Macross adverts and the in-game animation, then these are similarly cool. This pachinko cabinet also foreshadows the upcoming DVD / Blu-Ray release of the second Macross Frontier film, the Wings of Farewell, released later this year. Here’s hoping this cabinet gets the same re-animated treatment for the in-game footage as per the previous Fever Macross.
While the past week has been filled with tragedy, there is thankfully some good news to report. During the last flight of the Space Shuttle Discovery before its retirement, the first humanoid robot in space, Robonaut 2, was delivered to the International Space Station. The Robonaut will mostly be running through tests to determine how well its design works in freefall, but it is hoped that with enough data and fine-tuning Robonaut and other robots like him could be used to perform menial or dangerous tasks, freeing the human astronauts for more involved research duties.
We don’t usually report on real life robotics news but the irony here is perhaps too good to ignore. The progenitor of Real Robot anime series, Mobile Suit Gundam, explained their giant “mobile suits” as being upsized versions of the worker pods used in the construction of space colonies. While the concept of these worker machines was mostly an excuse to explain away giant robots as realistic weapons, NASA’s Robonaut 2 will hopefully be fulfilling exactly that role on the ISS: helping construct humanity’s space outpost.
The helmet also reminds us of some of Gundam’s mobile suits in its design, with the stylin’ gold-blinged head being reminiscent of Zeta Gundam’s Hyaku Shiki or the more recent Alvaaron from Gundam 00. And the shape of the helmet visor makes Robonaut look like the smaller brother to the venerable GM (which has inspired other designs, such as none other than Halo’s Master Chief). Most amusingly, Robonaut was developed by a partnership between NASA and General Motors, meaning that there’s a big ol’ “GM” sticker on the bot itself! The classic Gundam fan debate as to what, exactly, “GM” means might finally be over…
Anime News Network has reported that veteran producer and animator Hiroshi Kakoi died in the recent earthquake that has stricken Japan. A key animator on the original Macross TV series and later a producer on Macross II: Lovers Again, he is survived by his wife Kumiko. As with all the thousands that have died and gone missing in this terrible natural disaster, our thoughts are with them and the families they left behind.
Separately, for those that follow this site; I apologize for the lack of updates since the earthquake and tsunami last Friday in Japan. Whilst I don’t currently live in Japan, many of my friends and relatives do. Thankfully none of them have been harmed in this tragedy, but it’s been a pretty tumultuous week nonetheless.
The site’s normal service shall resume in the next few days and we appreciate your patience.
Kotaku has posted a brief interview with team leader Khang Le at Adhesive Games, the developer making the just announced Hawken. Apart from the reassuring knowledge that the game will be very much real robot in focus, Le also cites the mecha designer Kow Yokoyama as a strong influence for the mecha in Hawken (with Maschinen Krieger, aka SF3D, being notable). Yokoyama is a very interesting mecha designer, as his work melds insect like organic shapes with very gritty industrial elements. He’s also no stranger to games, from the original mecha designs in Front Mission to those in Carnage Heart and Phantom Crash/S.L.A.I., with the latter being especially relevant in the case of Hawken. In any case, the more we hear about this game the more we want to play it.
Famitsu has two pieces (here and here) about the upcoming Gundam The 3D Battle on the 3DS. The first covers the various grunt units in the game and the second shows the more flamboyant mobile suits, with the Hi-Nu Gundam (pictured above) being notable. The latter article also covers the re-use of the sub flight system from the PSP games, this allows mobile suits to fly pretty freely across the levels. To be honest, we’re not overly wowed with what we’ve seen thus far but the whole 3D setup may make all the difference on its release on the 24th March.
A new Unreal Engine powered FPS called Hawken has been announced. Whilst no official platforms have been cited, over at the official game’s site the team are keen to release the game on PS3, 360 and PC. The game has been in devlopment for around 9 months already, with a relatively small team. The mecha used are in the similar scale and vein as the Vital Suits in the Lost Planet games, but with a more industrial bent. Interestingly, this will also be yet another digital download title focused around online multiplayer. Visually it all looks suitably sumptuous, but in the trailer below it’s clear the online optimisation still has a way to go.
G4 has a cool breakdown on Double Fine’s upcoming XBLA game Trenched. Whilst there is a very obviously a third person action component, the main setup in the game is actually based around tower defense. For those that played Brütal Legend, there were a fair few RTS nods throughout and it’s well known that Tim Schafer is a fan of the Technosoft classic Herzog Zwei on the Mega Drive. The latter being especially notable as it seamlessly linked a top down shooter with RTS elements way back in 1989, pre-dating the likes of Westwood’s seminal Dune II by a good four years. In many ways, Trenched sounds a bit similar to Herzog Zwei but supplanting the top down view for something more contemporary.
4Gamer has a piece today about Armored Core V’s site re-boot, covering off lots of new ground regarding the operator setup. The epic 7 page Dengeki Online interview with Toshifumi Nabeshima we mentioned previously actually ties in with a lot of this new information thankfully. Specifically, operators are indeed separate from the mecha control entirely. Seeing the battlefield in map form and coordinating their team-mates. Information is actually imparted via the AC’s on the ground to the operator, so the team have to do recon basically. This was done to allow less functionally skilled, though strategically adept, players to help their team. In addition, parts and AC type balancing have been purposefully skewed to make sure that there are complimentary configs in a match. Meaning that certain configs will sympathetically outmatch one another, forcing players to work more in a team in most situations. This means that skilled players will have a harder time if they decide to go up against an AC that’s their config nemesis so to speak. Player skill is still hugely important though and apparently older players will still be able to transfer their skillset over to how ACV works. The reasoning behind this design choice was to emphasise team work in taking and holding onto territories. Despite all this Nabeshima was confident that players can still play the game in a singleplayer way (despite still being online). All in all, this is sounding more and more like ACV is going down the Monster Hunter / Lost Planet 2 route. The 4Gamer piece also has some lovely new mecha design artwork, which is suitably industrial.
Courtesy of our good friends at HobbyLink Japan we’ve been sent the book Valkyries Second Sortie to review, featuring the work of the very talented Hidetaka Tenjin. Unsurprisingly, this new book is very much focused on the more recent work Tenjni has undertaken for Macross Frontier. We’ve naturally taken a few select snapshots to show off the truly stunning content within it.