Reviews: Gundam The 3D Battle (8/10) One of the main factors in Artdink's renaissance as a studio is how it managed to land the Gundam and Macross licenses. Turning them into very capable PSP games and a few...
News: Knights of Sidonia on Oculus Rift DK2
At the upcoming Anime Fest in Tokorozawa they will be allowing punters to experience the opening launch sequence of the Tsugumori from the recent Knights of Sidonia anime...
Reviews: Transformers Tataki (6/10) The Transformers catchphrase "more than meets the eye" is an apt one. Originally used to underscore the transformation abilities of the toys, the catchphrase takes on a different...
Toys: PlayStation Optimus Prime Update
At the recent Hobby Maker show in Akiba, we got another glimpse of the upcoming PlayStation Optimus Prime. Compared to the showing at WonFes, this one was all nicely painted...
Over at Anime News Network they’ve got a cool little story of an unknown cosplayer donning a full blown GN-0000 00 Gundam from Gundam 00 at Melbourne’s Manifest. This being the base unit from the second season before it later combined with the GNR-010 0 Raiser. You don’t normally get the 00 Gundam on its own very often in game, instead most games opt for the beefier 00 Raiser. However, the Yuke’s developed Gundam Meisters on the PS2 did feature the 00 Gundam as an unlockable unit. Still, it’s pretty impressive work on the part of the cosplayer and we tip our steel rimmed hat to them.
Most mecha games offer a pre-set ride of choice with a suitably fixed weapon load out to boot. Affording the opportunity to literally create your own mecha from disparate component parts, isn’t something that was widely available to gamers back in 1997.
This is where From Software saw an opportunity and after their King’s Field games on the PSone, they thought they had the technology to pull it off. However, to create cogent mecha designs that could be literally built from component parts would require a unique talent. That talent manifested itself in the increasingly versatile Shoji Kawamori, who created a slew of base designs in the knowledge they would be disassembled into disparate parts. Thus the original Armored Core was born.
A post on the Mommy’s Best Games devblog almost-but-not-quite announces a PC version of Explosionade, along with a map editor, to be in development. The original Xbox Live Indie Game version was spectacular and we are excited at the prospect of a wider audience being able to play this fantastic game. At 80 Microsoft Points, or one US dollar in real world currency, it was exactly the sort of game we hoped for when the Xbox Live Indie Games section was first announced: insane, amazing, and cheap.
Being able to pop open the hood and design your own maps for Explosionade is definitely an appealing prospect, especially given that the difficulty of the original was perhaps too low in order to accommodate the non-hardcore crowd, but there are some concerns that it might be difficult to do much with the game’s assets that the original game didn’t already do–the game’s design was pared down with a laser to only the bare essentials, and Explosionade made smart use of what it had. When you need to pay employees and are (reportedly) eating wild scorpions to cut personal expenses, selling your product for only a dollar is risky business and you have to make everything you do count.
The trailer for the ExplosionadEditor is enough to convince anyone of the absolute necessity for its release, though, and I’m reminded of just how much fun Bangai-O DS’s level editor was. It really is unfair of them to release this trailer, and lord their ability to make their own levels over us, while we wait patiently for mecha goodness to rain down like manna from heaven.
Following on from the combination attacks in a previous update, 4Gamer now has the scoop on the Cross Over Attacks in the forthcoming Another Century’s Episode Portable. Unlike the the previous attacks of this kind, where only the player had to connect prior to the attack initiating, your ally will also need to be in the vicinity for the attack to work. In addition, once the attack is triggered the player will be momentarily prone; adding more risk to this feature. Following on from this, the update also shows new shots of the GN-0000+GNR-010 00 Raiser, Type-0/0A Shinkirou and VF-25S Messiah. The game is still slated for a January 13th release in Japan and you can pre-order it here.
The magnificent bastards at the Romhacking Aerie told me to drum up support for a possible Christmas release of their Super Robot Wars J translation, and when the 25th of December came and went with nary a sighting of Santa carrying a sack full of binary patch code, the caterwauling of fans crying out in unison caused such a disturbance in The Force that Jedi in a galaxy far, far away could feel it, to say nothing of the psychic pressure our more local Newtypes had to put up with.
However, it was all a ploy to teach us the true meaning of Christmas: being surrounded by friends and family and not by Game Boys. Now that Christmas is over, we can finally get back to ignoring our family again because, yes, the fan translation is now out. Carefully follow the directions included in the readme, which detail the patching procedure and suggest utilities to use if command-line interfaces give you the heebie-jeebies.
The release of Super Robot Wars games into English through fan translations are always marked as grand occasions, because although most fan translations deal with games which are unreleased in English, most of them still have the theoretical possibilities of release through either an updated version or a classic game download service such as the Wii’s Virtual Console. The Super Robot Wars games, however, have no such chance at release because of the legal issues surrounding them. They’re much beloved for their combination of multitudes of fans’ favorite mecha anime series into the same game, but this combination produces a legal snarl of epic proportions as different companies all claim ownership of the rights to these properties in the West, making negotiations prohibitively expensive at best and utterly impossible at worst. As such, make sure to enjoy the fruits of their translation labors.
4Gamer has a selection of new screenshots for the next Artdink developed Macross game on the PSP, Macross Triangle Frontier. From the moe-tastic Academy mode to new shots of various variable fighters strutting their stuff. The Academy mode allows the player to basically attend Mihoshi Academy as a student and build up their character’s attributes there, these then carry over to the game itself. In addition a 1000 plus event triggers are tucked away in the Academy mode, meaning that much of the game will rely on the player having to wade through a dating sim in order to blow up robots. That aside, the game will also still support custom soundtracks as well as a new data install setup. The game is still slated for a February 3rd release next year and you can pre-order it here.
With the upcoming Earth Defense Force Insect Armageddon slated for release next year, D3 have announced three new games in the series. From the plucky PSP port of the excellent second game, shown above, to even a new mobile game (called Earth Defense Force Legend). However, the big surprise is the announcement of Earth Defense Force 4. It seems that Sandlot are still hard at work, as at the very least they’d be needed to port the upcoming PSP version. The news of proper continuation from Earth Defense Force 3 (aka 2017 in the West) is very much appreciated though.
For those somewhat confused as to what these games have to do with mecha, well the simple fact is that without Sandlot’s prior expertise (and subsequent technology base) in the genre the EDF games wouldn’t exist. If you’re at all curious about this lineage then we heartily recommend you read our feature on the subject. The new promo video is also shown below.
We all know that in a perfect world, Super Robot Wars J would have been officially released in English. Its sweet, sweet combination of no less than 13 different anime series joining together to face evil in a strategy RPG set souls aflame. When it became clear that we did not live in this perfect world, however, and would be denied seeing this game’s release, a dedicated team of wizards and mystics set out to right this wrong, using the darkest and most forbidden of arts to scrape away at reality, tunneling into this hypothetical perfect world to extract an English copy of Super Robot Wars J from it.
Luckily, their Great Work is nearly complete, and a cornucopia of mecha tonnage is nearly ready to sortie. What they need for this Miracle is your help–your burning spirit–to pull the Veil of our Universe away for that tiny moment, just long enough to copy data over their 56k modem.
Super Robot Wars J is coming, but only if we are first found worthy. You have been warned: prepare yourselves.
UPDATE: The translation group have turned back their hoods and have decided to make themselves known: when the translation is allowed out of its cage you may find it here. Keep in mind every minute they spend reading “but when, man, WHEN will it be done?” is one minute less they spend on the game’s release, and if possible restrain yourself from melting down their server through furious pressings of the reload button on your browser.
In the latest column it appears that not only will Virtual On Force be localised into English on the Japanese and Asian versions (presumably triggered by your console’s system language settings) but also that it will be entirely region free as well. Whilst there is still no word on an official Western release, this does allow for importers to buy the game without fear of it not working on their 360 (meaning you can buy it here if you want to). This was done intentionally as well it seems, as a sort of thank you to the Western fanbase. In addition to this good news, the column also lays out all 32 of the game’s achievements too.
To mark the release of Break Blade’s fifth “movie” on the 22nd January, Border Break Airburst will allow players to use costumes from the anime via their BB.net service (as shown above). Break Blade is an interesting anime, formerly based upon a manga, as it sets the narrative in what appears to be a pseudo-medieval past where people are able to control quartz with their minds. The main protagonist, that of Rygart Arrow, is the only one that doesn’t have this ability and is thus able to control an ancient and mysterious mecha. The anime also has involvement with one Takayuki Yanase, who has a long and illustrious mecha design career in gaming. From Murakumo to Metal Gear Solid 4, not to mention SRW W and ACE 3, he does get around.
As with all Border Break related news though, we’re still much like a cat pawing at a fluffy ball of wool behind a glass screen. After tasting the mechanical nectar not that long ago, we need our fix again basically. Considering how much of a money spinner the arcade game is for Sega though, we’re becoming less hopeful for a console port. To make up for this sad state of affairs, we’ve linked the Break Blade opening (in HD) below. The opening song is called “Fate”, as written and sung by the hugely talented KOKIA.