Videos: Xenoblade Chronicles X Doll Update
Nintendo has provided a huge update to their Xenoblade Chronicles X website with a plethora of information about Dolls. From videos showing how the dolls can traverse...
Kits: Matsukaze mdl.2 Announced
Kotobukiya have announced an all new kit from their Armored Core Verdict Day range, that of the massive tank AC the Matsukaze mdl.2. Released in August it will cost around...
News: Real Life Steel Battalion Cockpit
In a wonderful case of Steel Battalion infused nerdiness, David Shuff has made a real life cockpit for the game. It has all manner of cockpit type features from flashing...
The upcoming G.Rev shooter Seisou Kouki Strania will be present at this year’s AOU show, which to the more astute of you will raise an eyebrow hopefully (in our case, this has the unfortunate result of losing our monocle to boot). The reason this is interesting is that Strania was announced originally as an XBLA only title, however according to this post at 4Gamer it will now also be released via the NESICAxLive system (basically a digital download setup for arcades). This is a fascinating development as it means a new XBLA game will also be available alongside its arcade variant at the same time of its release. Historically ports of arcade games occur after the arcade version, whereas this is a curiously simultaneous release. As for the XBLA version, well that’s still on track for a spring release for the princely sum of 800 MSP.
Considering the renaissance the PSP has had in Japan, it wasn’t going to be long until Banpresto cottoned onto porting the old PS2 Another Century’s Episode games to the PSP. The imaginatively titled Another Century’s Episode Portable consequently covers much of the same functional ground as the PS2 games did (rather than that of the PS3 release, which changed much of the how the core game worked).
For gamers that have played the older PS2 games, then this news will be a great relief. As the somewhat bizarre control choices in ACER definitely hampered the game. The fact that ACEP has eschewed much of what ACER offered has returned the series back to its former itself.
Ultimately, the regression has been a shrewd one as it has made the overall game far more cogent and manageable. Especially considering that any kind of functional inadequacy in terms of controls are normally magnified within the small confines of almost all hand-held consoles. What has resulted though, is a relatively mixed setup that works competently for the most part but at the expense of the production value the series has been known for.
The upcoming Super Robot Wars Z 2 is looking sweeter and sweeter with each succulent release of assets. 4Gamer has a selection of lovely shots from the game and it’s impressive how pristine they are, even over the PS2 original. Our attention, naturally, fixated itself upon the wondrous Final Dancouga. Although it partially bodes for a rather depressing situation; in that Final Dancouga is normally a secret version of the beastly super robot in SRW. The fact it’s so prominent already belies the fact that Dancouga’s narrative may be somewhat cursory in light of the far newer, though arguably crappier, Dancouga Nova. Thankfully, Ryoma’s screenshots redeem this situation with their pure unbridled awesomeness. The game is still set for it’s April 14th release and you can pre-order it here (or here if you’re in Europe).
With the PSP game around the corner, Anime News Network have found a cool promo for the Danball Senki anime set for release at the beginning of March. It seems that the anime will closely follow the events in the game and will act as a companion series of sorts. In any case, the production value from the promo alone is pretty damn impressive and many of the villains have a suitably Mitsuteru Yokoyama vibe to them (which is absolutely a good thing in our book).
From what we played at last year’s TGS, Danball Senki looks to be a spiritual successor to games like Custom Robo Battle Revolution and Gotcha Force. Whilst many gamers have already gone somewhat (and admittedly rightfully) batshit insane over the forthcoming Ni no Kuni, Danball Senki is still a pretty worthy title as far as we’re concerned. Plus this is Level 5 we’re talking about here, so it’s blatantly going to be awesome. The game is still set for its March 17th release and you can pre-order it here.
Battle Armor Division’s mechanical designs follow closely to those of the original Assault Suits Leynos, and this could very well be a case of where ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’ The gameplay in the video that the developer, Crian Soft, has released seems a bit slower than we’d probably like but there’s no use in making judgements until it’s yourself at the controls; hopefully the promised demo is released soon. As it is, the “mecha invasion of Normandy” scene at the beginning of the trailer gives Battle Armor Division quite a bit of hype to capitalize on.
Interestingly, the studio creating this game appears to be Italian, giving yet more support to the idea of mecha games development becoming more of a worldwide effort. Italy also has had their own mecha fans and culture for a while now, and it’s great to see them hitting a critical mass where that pool of talent can be tapped towards further creation.
In an update scheduled for the 27th January, the shiny gold MRC-F20 SUMO will be added to Gundam Extreme Versus. The Sumo, like with many of the Turn A Gundam designs, was penned by renowned futurist Syd Mead. The Sumo is normally of a silver colouring though but the gold variant was exclusively reserved for the somewhat awesome Harry Ord. Both the gold colouring and Ord’s awesome shades were a partial nod to Char’s appearance in Zeta Gundam and his piloting of the MSN-00100 Hyaku Shiki. There’s been no word on a console release for the game as yet but it’s still looking oh so shiny.
Over the years there have been a fair few attempts at making a cogent Eureka Seven game. From the misguided attempts by Bandai, in the form of New Wave and New Vision respectively, to the somewhat better approach seen in Another Century’s Episode 3 and Portable. Well, there’s now a new game made by fans using the Unity engine. Called Lift, it offers some pretty damn cool multiplayer action with suitably comprehensive controls. The latter is important to emphasise, this game has been made without functional compromise; surfing mecha through the sky isn’t meant to be easy. It’s also wonderfully free, so there’s no excuse not to play it really. The playable roster of mecha is pretty focused but there’s more than enough to keep multiplayer games interesting. For those that can’t wait to surf the trapar in their LFO, then you can download the game here.
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.