Videos: Xenoblade Chronicles X Doll Update
Nintendo has provided a huge update to their Xenoblade Chronicles X website with a plethora of information about Dolls. From videos showing how the dolls can traverse...
Kits: Matsukaze mdl.2 Announced
Kotobukiya have announced an all new kit from their Armored Core Verdict Day range, that of the massive tank AC the Matsukaze mdl.2. Released in August it will cost around...
News: Real Life Steel Battalion Cockpit
In a wonderful case of Steel Battalion infused nerdiness, David Shuff has made a real life cockpit for the game. It has all manner of cockpit type features from flashing...
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.
The past few days has had the likes of Jamzy at Famitsu hinting at a live demo for Armored Core V, but now it seems that this is true and on March 12th Toshifumi Nabeshima and crew will descend on Akihabara to do a live demo of the game. Specifically at Belle Salle between 4pm and 6pm and attendees will be given an Armored Core V sticker for their troubles (admission to the event is also free). Unfortunately, punters won’t get to play the game but they will be able to watch. Due to Famitsu being somewhat conscientious, they will also be streaming the event. With any luck there will be an uploaded version of the demo to follow shortly after it goes live. This also ties in neatly with a pretty epic 7 page interview with Nabeshima over at Dengeki Online (something we will be summarising in a day or two).
GameSetWatch has found a new trailer for the upcoming Bangai-O HD Missile Fury flaunting the brand new co-op setup. Whilst trying to keep track of one player is pretty challenging, having two missile spewing mecha will make the game even more of a veritable cluster fuck. That said, we’re still buying this on launch. Treasure are also touting the fact the game will have over 100 playable levels, a level editor and leader-boards. The game will be released sometime this Spring.
It’s been reported that veteran director/producer Toshiro Tsuchida will be leaving Square Enix. Tsuchida is effectively the founding father for the Front Mission series. There have been rumours that Tsuchida was quite ill during the development of Final Fantasy XIII, so this departure may be in part due to that. In any case, we dutifully doff our cap to a man that has helped shaped mecha gaming to what it is today and wish him well. Thanks to Chazumaru for the heads up.
Famitsu has a new piece today about the territory defense setup in Armored Core V. Due to the game being permanently online, the player has to setup their base with a selection of territorial defenses (in the form of beefy cannons). It’s nice to see that something that was mentioned in passing around the game’s announcement is actually a pretty cogent concept (as the above screenshot indicates). In addition, the piece also briefly talks about and shows how the operator view works in the game. As it allows players to see the whole battlefield play out in real time. Apparently, you’ll be able to place markers down on the map that other players can see and coupled with voice communications will enable the team to react to enemy threats. Still no word on a release date, though Famitsu thinks it’s still sometime this year.
It turns out Double Fine’s next digital download title will feature suitably retro mecha (circa WWI). Entitled Trenched it looks to be a cool little action game to boot. What most struck us though, was how reminiscent the mecha design were to Konami’s PS2 classic Ring of Red. In addition, what with From Software’s take on a new retro styled Steel Battalion, it seems WWI mecha are all the rage this year. Whilst no word on a specific released date as yet,it does seem to be an XBLA exclusive (unlike the two prior Double Fine digital download games; Costume Quest and Stacking). The announcement trailer is below.
Over at GA Graphic there’s a pretty cool interview with Macross creator and mecha designer extraordinaire Shoji Kawamori, in which he blithely pimps the upcoming 1/60 scale DX Chogokin toy of the new YF-29 Durandal. This is the new variable fighter that was revealed in the just released Macross Frontier film The Wings of Farewell.
Whilst this has yet to be featured in a game, as it’s just been revealed, the fact that Artdink are clearly working on a full blown PS3 Macross game (off the back of Macross Trial Frontier) is reason to think that this will be a playable mecha in the near future. Most are betting that the game will be released around the time of this new movie’s DVD / Blu-Ray release later in the year, though that is obviously still conjecture. In the meantime, you can always play the excellent Macross Triangle Frontier (available here).
The planned release for the toy will be June 30th at the princely sum of 17,850 yen. You can pre-order it here.