The lesser appreciated Gihren’s Greed series of strategy games will receive another iteration in August on the PSP. Entitled Shin Gihren’s Greed, the game will feature new parts of the UC timeline, such as Gundam Unicorn. For those not versed in the series, the Gihren’s Greed games effectively allow players to rewrite Gundam history based off the decisions and outcomes of various battles. So this means you can have Char pilot a red custom RX-78-2 (which also travels three times as fast, obviously). Due to the various licenses involved, these games have never been officially released abroad so much of the narrative nuance and references are pretty much lost on the foreign fanbase due to the lack of localisation. In any case, you can pre-order the game here.
Apologies for the lack of updates as of late. In any case, along with Level 5’s Gundam AGE on the way it seems that the Gundam The Origin manga penned by the artistic luminary that is Yoshikazu Yasuhiko will also be animated. The Origin manga is an interesting choice as it’s not overly popular in Japan (compared to the Crossbone Gundam manga) but it does fill a fan based desire when it comes to re-animating the original series and movies. Narratively, The Origin deviates from the original series in lots of interesting ways and the designs themselves are a bit different too. Whilst the gaming connection with this new project isn’t as overt as with Level 5’s Gundam AGE, we’re already seeing new merchandising rear its very pretty head so gaming won’t be far behind.
Due to the ongoing maintenance on the Japanese PSN, the closed beta test for Armored Core V’s suitably epic online setup has been indefinitely delayed, at least until the Japanese PSN is back up and running again. Thankfully the 360 closed beta is still good to go and will commence on July 19th. Still, considering that in Japan at least the vast majority of gamers would be playing the game on PS3 (as they did for both AC4 and ACFA) the fact that they are out of the loop until PSN is fixed is a bit worrying. As the whole point of this exercise was to stress test the network setup for the game, so the more more people you have online the better. Fingers crossed the Japanese PSN problems are resolved soon.
XSEED Games, quirky localization company and lovable bastards responsible for putting out niche-within-niche Japanese games for the American audience, have ensured their place in Mecha Valhalla with their announcement of a North American release for Solatorobo. The press release says the game is coming out this fall, while the Amazon page, which is taking preorders, lists the release date as September 27.
We’ve oftensangthepraises for Solatorobo, eventually got the game into our own grubby mitts, and when a European release was announced we just about lost it. I wouldn’t call living without a game about a mercenary dog in a transforming steampunk mecha taking on pirate cats in airships as really living, and the game has a new subtitle now, “Red the Hunter,” which shows that neither this game nor XSEED are messing around. This sure ain’t your daddy’s dog-on-cat, floating steampunk island mecha platformer. Unless your daddy played Tail Concerto, in which case then, yeah, he’s played the spiritual prequel.
One of our favourite arcade games, is getting another new and quite substantial update. The recently “released” Border Break Airburst will be updated with all manner of new mecha and maps on June 29th. As well as having a slightly modified but more focused twist to a core game type. Specifically, Border Break works by having opposing teams kill each other and capture spawn points. The more spawnpoints and enemies killed results in a win for that side. However, each team has a well defended base with a vulnerable core. Destroying an opposing side’s core nets a win instantly. This new mode effectively has the focus shifted to directly attacking or defending a side’s core, eschewing all the tactical land grabs from capturing spawn points. From our experience, some of the most heated battles were always around a team’s core so it’s cool that a game mode has sort of taken this into account. In addition, in a partial nod to Armored Core no doubt, players can now also customise emblems for their mecha.
Whilst there is still no news of a home console port of the Border Break games, the fact that the Wii U is on the horizon (with a nice touchscreen setup) could mean we may see this on a console sooner rather than previously, well, never.
Whilst this was sort of announced already at the end of May, Kotobukiya have finally revealed some pictures of their forthcoming Jehuty kit from Anubis (shown above). This is not to be confused with the recently released Revoltech or the forthcoming Riobot figure, as these are both toys. The new Jehuty kit will be 18cm tall with, what looks like at least, impressive articulation. As with all Kotobukiya kits, the sculpt is also clearly excellent. No word on a release date or price as yet but it’s clear that something is happening to the series to warrant all this new merchandising, especially as we’ll be getting HD remixes of the games soon as well.
Sega’s red hot line of rhythm games for the PSP, starring the most popular Vocaloid of them all, Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA, is about to celebrate a third release. In each previous instalment, the singing synth app mascot has a wide variety of costumes to choose from, to aide in her virtual idol duties. A few have paid tribute to past Sega titles; thus far we’ve seen garb that references Space Channel 5 and Valkyria Chronicles. So it wasn’t a huge shocker to learn that in the upcoming ver 2.5, players have a Sonic themed jumpsuit waiting for them, it being his 20th anniversary. But what did come as a shocker was the image above, which seemingly combines Vocaloid and Virtualoid. Nothing has been made official by Sega… according to Game Watch, it was leaked by Famitsu… but a Fei-Yen costume seems very likely. At any rate, it’s curious how Sega hasn’t pimped the character all that much thus far, considering how she’s a staple at pretty much every garage kit show in her native land these days. I can’t believe there isn’t an official Fei-Yen in schoolgirl threads statue already (unless there already is one that I’m totally not aware of… more than likely, some prize for a UFO Catcher game).
Over at 4Gamer there’s a new piece on the forthcoming Ace Combat Assault Horizon. Curiously at the bottom of the page is a picture (shown above) of a DLC specific fighter tentatively dubbed the “F-X” that’s designed by none other than Shoji Kawamori. Whilst it very likely won’t transform, it’s cool to effectively see a VF-9 Cutlass grace a game like this. Admittedly the sound of the Optimum control setup makes us want to gouge our eyes out with a rusty spoon but it’s good to know that the proper “original” controls will also still be available to those that haven’t mated with their closest relatives. The game will be released this October but no word on when Kawamori’s plane will hit DLC.
The upcoming 2nd Super Robot Wars OG has received it’s first promo. Whilst showing some of the very nice CG opening movie, the promo also has a variety of sections from the game itself. The animation, as expected, is incredibly impressive and doubly so as much of it appears to emphasise 3D movement via 2D animation (as in swanky camera pans among other things). Naturally, the final segment is dedicated to The Inspector anime series, that you can buy bundled with the game for crazy money. You pre-order the standard game here though.
Following last week’s leak, the somewhat kiddy Gundam AGE has received its official announcement. From a nice animated promo (shown below) to the news that Level 5 are indeed also helming not only the series’ story but also the game tie-ins (specifically an as yet yet untitled RPG). It seems Bandai have set their money making machine to go up to eleven this time. One of the arcade game tie-ins in particular is rather interesting though. Entitled Gage-ing Battle Base it effectively has kids place their newly built model kits into a reader of some sort that then generates battle stats for them to play with. It’s like Barcode Battlers high fived with the people behind Gunpla Builders. There’s also a card battling game called Gundam Triage on the way too, which will feature all manner of series including the forthcoming Gundam AGE. If we’re brutally honest, whilst we do love Level 5’s output it does feel misplaced here. This is not to say that kid’s in giant real robot mecha can’t be interesting, as Vifam and V Gundam do kinda prove that it can work, but that it’s probably gone too far in this case. The series is expected to start this October.
Update: Seems that Kanetake Ebikawa has done the primary mecha design of the titular Gundam AGE-1. The “mega size” 1/48 scale kit looks pretty cool too.