News: Tokyo Game Show 2014 Report
First off, apologies for the lack of updates. Things have been pretty bizarre as of late and have only just started to somewhat calm down. In addition, there aren't that...
News: Gundam Side Stories DLC Update
Over the last two weeks, a large number of new Gundam Side Stories DLC has been released by Bandai Namco. Last week saw the release of the RGM-79N GM Custom and RGC-83...
Toys: DX Chogokin YF-30 Review
For those that are interested, we've recently reviewed the DX Chogokin YF-30 Chronos from the PS3 game Macross 30 over at HobbyLink.tv (in addition to a small unboxing...
It goes without saying that pachinko machines in Japan are quite the curiosity. Never-mind the bizarre legal waters that they tread; it’s how hard they try to dazzle one’s senses that’s most amusing. It’s not easy, asking someone to waste away his or her hard earned cash, not on some kick-ass fighter or shooter, but on a game of chance that involves watching little silver balls that rain down. With the goal being to earn even more little silver balls, to then be cashed out for silly prizes that can be exchanged for money by some shifty Yakuza around the corner from the pachinko parlor. One proven tactic has been to tap into popular film, television programs, and anime (naturally); many machines are undeniably amusing, but hardly anything to write home about. Except for Fever Macross…
For years OverClocked Remix, perhaps the most widely recognized fan-based community of game music remixers, has been releasing special collections (albums as they refer to them) that pay homage to a specific game. For the most part, the choice of subject matter has been on a bit of a safe side: Sonic, Castlevania, Final Fantasy, and the like. Hence why their most recent release, which is centered around Armored Core, is particularly noteworthy.
What with Nintendo in the throes of a somewhat epic PR campaign for the upcoming release of their latest handheld, the Nintendo 3DS. It turns out that Bandai Namco haven’t exactly been idle. Whilst we reported a good while ago that a Gundam game was planned for the launch of the system, not much was known as to what type of game it would be. Well, now it seems the aptly titled Gundam The 3D Battle will be something in the same vein as Artdink’s Gundam Battle series, but with the apparent improvement that the 3D will allow players to gauge enemy distances more accurately (though whether that’s actually the case remains to be seen obviously). Whilst the approach they’ve taken is not a bad one, we were more hoping for something cockpit based like the old Blue Destiny games on the Saturn as well as the more recent and suitably panoramic Senjou no Kizuna, as this would have intensified the field of view. The game will feature the narratives from Mobile Suit Gundam, Zeta Gundam and Char’s Counterattack (the latter being pictured above). All said and done though, the game does remind us an awful lot of the PSone games that Bandai did back in the day for Zeta Gundam and Char’s Counterattack. In any case, the game will be released in Japan on March 24th for 6090 yen.
4Gamer once again delivers the goods, this time with an announcement of some interesting DLC for Gundam Musou 3, including a mission consisting solely of Acguys. The lowly mass-produced aquatic unit from the original Mobile Suit Gundam has developed a cult following of sorts over the years, mostly due to its bizarrely incongruous cuteness. Most people – the lucky ones -gloss over the unit on first impression, but eventually you start to see the big ol’ teddy bear underneath that gigantic undersea Zeonic death machine, and nothing ever looks the same again. Welcome to the cult of Acguy.
Bandai, never one to ignore their fanbase, have a very special version of the Acguy in the new Gunpla Builders line, although I dare say that they are playing with fire. You can’t try to modify a cosmic horror/cuteness like the Acguy without putting your very soul into peril. Whatever vein of madness Kunio Okawara struck upon should remain forever undisturbed.
And on the opposite side of the cute/awesome spectrum: there’s also a stage featuring the Einerad support unit from Victory Gundam, because nothing says ‘manly’ like taking your giant bug-eyed robot and putting it inside a giant racing tire, complete with giant guns on the top. It’s a damn shame that Victory Gundam was produced as a cartoon series and not as a heavy metal concept album, because a picture of this as the cover art would have made it go triple platinum. People say that Victory Gundam can be the most depressing Gundam series, but if you think about it, it’s really just the most metal.
The next episode of Gundam Unicorn is around the corner, with its PlayStation Network airing occurring in early March (again in advance of the DVD and Blu Ray release in April). The episode is called “Laplace no Boumei” (or the “Ghost of Laplace”) and features a new song by Chemistry called “merry-go-round”. The promo video is shown below and for those that have been fans of the NZ-666 Kshatriya then you may want to avert your eyes.
4Gamer has a piece on the recent interview with Juro Watari where, apart from drinking beer, he does talk about various aspects regarding the series’ history. Notable points are further information as to why Hajime Katoki was chosen to design the mecha, as V Gundam was also airing around that time, to the almost perennial question about an all new Virtual On game.
Unsurprisingly, Watari is pretty cagey in terms of information for a new game but tries his best to say some positive (though non-committal) things. There have been rumours that G.rev are working on a new Virtual On game, which would make sense as their Senko no Ronde games are very similar in some ways, but Watari has yet to confirm or deny this. The fact that Watari didn’t outright deny the fact a game is in development is reassuring anyway.
It’s also no big secret that post the arcade version of Force, there were at least two attempts to do a new game (once on NAOMI 2 and another on Lindbergh). In many ways Border Break, and the Ring Edge board, were a result of this unnamed sequel’s pre-production. Either way, what with the recently released port of Force and the massive success of the Oratan 5.66 port there’s reason to be hopeful that we might get a new game.
In any case, the piece also has a rather cool gallery of fan collected Virtual On memorabilia too.
In the latest issue of Famitsu, Banpresto have announced a sequel to the successful PS2 game Super Robot Wars Z (a game we liked quite a bit too in case you’re wondering). Entitled “Super Robot Wars Z II: Hakai-Hen” the game will be exclusively released on the PSP on April 14th. Naturally, the big part to these announcements is the introduction of new mecha series to the fold. Well, SRWZ2 doesn’t look to disappoint as it not only includes the likes of Gurren Lagann but also VOTOMS too. So both ends of the mecha spectrum, super and real, have been thoroughly catered for it seems. Interestingly, this will be the first of two games with this entry covering the first half or season for the respective series (with the second game to cover the latter half). Apparently the game has also been in production since March 2009, so at least Banpresto have properly invested their time into this one. The new game will also feature Dancougar again, so we’re naturally pretty happy about that. The full list of series are linked below.
The upcoming DLC pack for Gundam Musou 3 featuring the GNX-Y901TW Susanowo (as piloted by the anachronistically titled MISTAH BUSHIDO) and a new mission called “For the Future” will hit this Thursday. 4Gamer has some nice screenshots of the new mobile suit too. The pack will cost 600 yen (PS3) and 480 MSP (360) respectively.
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.