News: Hawken sold to Reloaded Games
If you're wondering what happened to Hawken, well Adhesive Games and their publisher Meteor sold the game in a bankruptcy sale to Reloaded Games. This is the same Reloaded...
Sakura Wars is a popular series of strategy RPGs mixed with elements of dating sims and visual novels, and the jump to Web 2.0 is all the more inexplicable considering how story- and character-driven the original games were. Sakura Wars was defined by its pioneering use of character relationships affected by the player’s choices, as the main character attempted to woo one (or more) of the female actors/mecha pilots he was leading into battle against demons, and any attempt to scale what was a personal experience into a multiplayer one is going to be an uphill battle, if it wants to stay true to the series.
Luckily for us mecha nerds then that we care far more about making robots slice bloody swathes through the Enemy than we do about making cute girls blush, because the mecha for the browser game are looking just fine. The mecha of Sakura Wars have an interesting aesthetic, combining the extremely realistic elements of the VOTOMS series with the characteristic boilerplate feel of steampunk, and as what little we know of the game suggests it will be battle focused, this could turn out to be an utterly superb multiplayer mecha strategy RPG, albeit one that is likely to cause purists to tear their hair out.
Of course, with the reportedly poor sales of Sakura Wars in the West, the chance of this being localized for English speakers is astronomically small. However, the language barrier hasn’t always stopped us foreigners from trying to play Asian multiplayer games before, and really: those mecha have different production versions, with all sorts of different tubes and doohickeys going every which way: how can you not be excited for that?
The official site for the game has a very short but also very Super Robot Wars-looking video on it, teasing us yet more with a fruit us Westerners might never taste (those of you having trouble with that link, try this one).
The near launch title for the 3DS, Gundam The 3D Battle has received its first promo video via the official site (shown below). It also turns out that this game is in fact being developed by Artdink and will be part of their ongoing Gundam Battle series. Whilst we weren’t impressed with the recent Gundam Assault Survive, the other games have been mostly excellent (with Gundam Battle Universe being notable). What does slightly freak us out though is the insanely large lock-on icon seen in this new game and whilst we get it’s meant to be in 3D you do feel they’ve overdone it a bit. It’s also painfully obvious that the game will re-use much of the same content seen in the PSP Gundam Battle games too, however we are happy to see that Gundam Unicorn will be represented in the game (which is at least something). Famitsu also has a selection of nice screenshots and it also seems that the cover art has been penned by Naochika Morishita yet again. The game is scheduled for a March 24th release at 6,090 yen.
In any case, from what we’ve been playing the new ACE P is a vast improvement over ACE R and we’re happy to report that the original boosting setup from the PS2 games is definitely back. With any luck our review will be up over the weekend. In addition, you can still buy ACE P here.
Back in the fall of 2009, TimeGate Studios released Section 8. A fairly robust, though nearly totally ignored, multiplayer shooter title for the Xbox 360, PC, and later the PS3. Although the game suffered from poor controls, it remained popular with those who had discovered this gem.
The game itself featured power armor clad soldiers, a variety of vehicles, weapons, custom load outs and even larger powered armor akin to Gasaraki’s Tactical Armors.
Although Section 8 was passed over by many. TimeGate, being an independent studio saw fit to make a sequel. Bigger. Better. Cheaper. Section 8: Prejudice seeks to correct many of the design flaws of its predecessor. The game will feature much of the same core game elements as the last and then some, as well as an all new single player campaign.
One feature that seems to be getting a little more focus is the heavier mecha you can purchase through play. Playing similar to some sort of Halo: Reach/Planetside mash up, Section 8: Prejudice promises to be a fun, engaging sci-fi shooter. Prejudice is set to come out early this year at a very affordable 14.99 (USD).
4Gamer is showing that the next DLC pack for Gundam Musou 3, that’s released tomorrow, will feature the NZ-666 Kshatriya from Gundam Unicorn. This suit is a successor of sorts to the NZ-000 Quin Mantha and the ORX-013 Gundam Mark V (with the latter forming the basis for the AMX-014 Doven-Wolf). However, much like with many of the ill-fated designs in Gundam ZZ, the Neo Zeon mantra of “more power” rarely seems to work out for them, as the lighter and nimbler mobile suits often take them to the cleaners. As with many of the Unicorn mecha, there is a strong ZZ connection though. Especially as the pilot of the Kshatriya, Marida Cruz, is actually a grown up clone of Elpeo Puru. The DLC pack will cost 600 yen (PS3) and 480 MSP (360) respectively .
Not that long after the release of Oratan in the arcades, rumours of a four player version surfaced. Considering the breakneck speed at which Oratan operated, a four player version sounded suitably insane. However, it wasn’t long until a new Virtual On game graced Japanese arcades running on the then somewhat notorious Hikaru board and sporting the rumoured four player setup. Titled Virtual On Force, with a massive “4” in its logo to denote to the less astute that there were more than two players now, the game was to be the last of the Virtual On arcade lineage.
There is good reason for this finale though and much of it was, and still is, attributable to the decision to make the game accommodate two extra players. Many thought that the red-headed stepchild of the Virtual On series would never see a home release, especially after the pretty catastrophic Virtual On Marz, yet in commemorating the 15th Anniversary of the series we seem to be faced with a painstakingly faithful port of the game.
What with the Macross Triangle Frontier’s release around the corner, we’ve been treated to a new promo video for the game. Voiced by Ranka and Sheryl, it spends an unnerving amount of time enthusing about the new Academy Mode. Where the player will be able to live the life of heady student in the Macross Frontier fleet. 4Gamer also has a slew of brand new screenshots too, showing off a variety of new variable fighters for the player to use. We’re just happy to see the VF-9 Cutlass (pictured above) and the VA-1SS Metal Siren in game. The game is still set for a February 3rd release in Japan and you can pre-order it here.
The upcoming Super Robot Wars Z 2 has received it’s first promo video, shown below. This is comprised of the game’s opening cinematic, so nothing gameplay related but it looks very cool nonetheless. 4Gamer also has some coverage regarding the fact that this game will be part of the 20th Anniversary of SRW (as the first game was released on the GameBoy way back in 1991). To commemorate this announcement, three PSone SRW games will be released on the 26th January via the Japanese PSN store. These are SRW2, SRW3 and SRW EX. For those that want to pre-order SRWZ 2 then you can do so here, in advance of its April 14th release.
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.