Kits: Shizuoka Hobby Show 2013
This year's Shizuoka Hobby Show is under way and as always it has a huge amount of new model kits on display. With Hasegawa's new Myzr Eta kit (shown above) from Virtual...
News: Masou Kishin III Valsione Bonus
In the upcoming Masou Kishin III players will be given a special bonus code in the initial run of the game. This will give a different version of Valsione as seen in the...
To commemorate the year since the XBLA port of Oratan 5.66 was released, Yamashita-san has posted a somewhat vague but interesting entry to the official blog. Now, we already know that the port did very well but it turns out that the sales figures also exceeded SEGA’s own internal expectations (though actual concrete sales figures weren’t specified unfortunately). Couple this with the various online questionnaires over future Virtual On ports as well as newer entries into the series and this starts to make more sense. The most obvious follow on from Oratan is a home port of Force, something that Marz tried rather dismally to cater for. Despite SEGA not supporting Force in terms of updates, the arcade community is still very active across Japan so a proper home version (with online multiplayer) would make a lot of sense. It would also help justify the crazy price tag of the limited edition HORI twinsticks that were released not that long ago. Considering that After Burner Climax is also doing quite well, a game that Yamashita-san’s team also worked on, there’s probably an understandable amount of chin stroking going on within SEGA when it comes to their pretty epic arcade gaming back catalogue. Apparently, there will be one more final Oratan 5.66 column quite soon and with any luck some more overt announcements might surface. We’re hoping for an all new game, as that’s what most fans actually wanted (scroll down to see the questionnaire results).
Updated: Turns out SEGA are already planning a Force port for the 360. Thanks to Excellen Browning for the heads up.
Those indomitable people over at FrontMission.info are in the process of finally translating one of the most interesting entries into the Front Mission saga. Specifically, the far more RTS focused Front Mission Alternative. Unlike most other Front Mission games, Alternative didn’t use the fixed turn based approach to strategy, instead it opted for a real time command system using a form of waypoints. In terms of development Alternative was actually meant as a means for Square Enix to recoup the very large development costs for Front Mission 2 at the time, as it shared much of its core technology. As a consequence, the game was released less than three months after Front Mission 2 (a game that the above translation team are also studiously working upon). In any case, it will be wonderful to think that more people will be able to appreciate Front Mission Alternative in the not too far off future, especially with the far more action focused Front Mission Evolved around the corner. The team have also been kind enough to put together a trailer for their upcoming release, which we’ve linked below.
For many, Last Raven was the last “real” Armored Core game before the paradigm shift of the next generation entries. It was also a brutally difficult and thoroughly exacting game, expecting nothing short of absolute concentration and a steely set of gaming skills in order for the player to survive. In short, Last Raven was a bit of a bastard (to find out how much of a bastard feel free to read our review of the PlayStation 2 original).
However, like bastards are prone to behaving; it was relatively fair. Almost every time the game spat out your charred robotic carcass onto the heap it was invariably your fault. You’d been too cocky and wasted too much ammo, only to have a Pulverizer introduce you to the business end of several rather terrifying weapons. With enough practice and forethought though, you could endure and eventually triumph.
In this PSP port though, there are problems. Quite serious ones in fact. Despite resolving the input framerate issue via a data install, the entire game is still balanced as it was in the original PlayStation 2 version. Except, this time, you don’t have a DualShock 2 to help you out.
The much anticipated Lost Planet 2 has been released today in Europe and the US (the Japanese release will follow next week). This is the sequel to Lost Planet: Extreme Condition released way back in 2006, a game which bore many thematic similarities to Robert A Heinlein’s Starship Troopers. Due to the player having to battle large insect aliens, called Akrid, in a variety of mecha. We will be reviewing the game shortly as well as covering the new Kotobukiya toys on their release, so keep an eye out for that.
Over at AmiAmi they’ve shown the new Robot Damashii RGM-79SP GM Sniper II that’s set for a September release this year. Effectively a special forces GM, it comes very close to and exceeds many of the RX-78-2 Gundam’s abilities in the saga. This toy, like the others in the Robot Damashii range, boasts some impressive articulation yet it still retains a remarkably faithful sculpt. This is also one of Yutaka Izubuchi’s most loved mobile suit designs and one that played a vital role in the latter parts of Dreamcast game Rise From The Ashes (and the Premium Disc too). The above version is actually the colour scheme seen from the design’s original version in Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket though. The White Dingo livery, from the Dreamcast game, has yet to be given a release date (though it is planned). In any case the GM Sniper II has graced multiple Gundam games over the years and is, in part, responsible for the aesthetic direction for the Master Chief in Halo as well (something the Sniper II also shares with the RGM-79G GM Command). You can pre-order the toy here.
As we previously reported, a location test for Gundam Extreme Versus is currently underway in two Japanese arcades this weekend. Naturally, a bunch of videos have sprouted up online to cover this. Despite looking very shiny, it’s clear that the team behind the games hasn’t dropped the ball in a functional sense. In that, those that have enjoyed the recent delights of Gundam vs Gundam Next Plus will see that much of the core combat is remarkably familiar.
As for the hardware itself, as we’ve said before the System 357 board that’s being used for the game is basically a PS3 in a box. In many ways, this appraisal is actually quite literal as this video shows the PS3′s XMB in action prior to the game booting up. Put simply, a PS3 port is a clear given at some point in the semi-near future.
The line-up of suits in the videos is suitably varied too, from the lovely V2 Gundam and its Assault Buster variant (which recently received an excellent Robot Damashii toy), to the new Crossbone Gundam units and finally the 00 Gundam. The latter has sensibly separated out the 00 Raiser setup, as it was hugely uber on the recent PSP iteration. In any case, enjoy the videos below.
Earlier in the week, Last Raven Portable finally made the jump to the US PSN store. This is obviously the digital version so the disc reading/input framerate issue seen on the UMD versions (without the data install) won’t be an issue. Word of warning though; the original Last Raven, which we reviewed, was a total bastard in terms of difficulty (probably more so than any other Armored Core game to date). The new PSP port hasn’t been sympathetically handled in terms of the controls so expect a greater level of functional anguish. We will be reviewing it shortly though and whilst it’s a competent port (more so than Armored Core 3 Portable was at least) it’s not really meant for those without actual robot fingers.
Game Watch has just covered the recent Senjou no Kizuna 2010 Tournament, as well as hosted a brief interview with the developers of the very successful arcade game. Though the real meat of the coverage is the in-game video coverage taken from the live feed that’s often displayed to punters in the arcades (of which we’ve linked a fair few below, in HD no less). In many ways Senjou no Kizuna laid the ground work for games like Border Break to follow, though it’s still nice to see a game succeed despite its pretty dated hardware. You might also want to keep tabs on Namco Bandai’s YouTube Channel, as they’ve been pretty diligent with uploading much of the tournament replays. There is a PSP port of the game and, all things considered, is actually moderately decent – though it does lack any form of online multiplayer capability (something that ultimately defined the arcade version, along with its amazing cockpit obviously).
The latest iteration in the successful Gears of War franchise, Gears of War 3, will now be featuring small bipedal mecha. Shown in recently in a Russian games magazine, the C.O.G. Silverback (pictured above) will be featured in the game. For VOTOMS fans this may look a bit familiar as it uses a fair few aesthetic and functional cues from the ATH-06-WP Diving Beetle, which was prominently featured in the Kummen story arc in the TV series. Even the scale of the Silverback is pretty close to the Diving Beetle too, though the former is closer to power armor as the pilot effectively wears the mecha really (rather than sit inside a defined cockpit). Gears of War 3 is set for an early April release next year.