News: Assault Suit Leynos on PlayStation 4
If you remember those nice people at Dracue, of Gunhound fame, well they are taking the next step by releasing a port of the classic Assault Suit Leynos on PS4. Announced...
News: Gigantic Army Released On Steam
For those that have been a reader on this site for a while, you'll remember we talked about Gigantic Army a good while back. Well, due to Nyu Media we now have the game...
News: Gundam Side Stories Screenshot Update
Over at 4Gamer we have a new update on the forthcoming Gundam Side Stories collection of games. First though, let's talk about the above screenshot. As it basically shows...
That said, the line-up for this game is pretty thorough (see list below) and prior to a Gundam Extreme Versus port this game may partially satiate our Unicorn Gundam fixation. At present Gundam Musou 3 is scheduled for a Japanese release this Winter on both the PS3 and 360.
At the PAX convention in Seattle, Red 5 Studios released a gameplay trailer of their upcoming free-to-play online team-based shooter, Firefall. Notably, the studio has staff who previously worked on World of Warcraft and Starsiege: Tribes, so it’s not just an online team-based shooter with an amazing gameplay trailer, it’s one by some of the people behind the world’s biggest online game and an online team-based shooter held by many to be a classic, respectively, so the sheer potential this game has is simply staggering.
More mecha related though are the player characters’ armor, which from all appearances seems to work like that of Tribes’, where a character’s role would be determined by the armor, weapons and equipment they had equipped, rather than by having specific classes. And again like Tribes, these are suits of powered armor that allow a limited form of flight through the use of jetpacks, replicating the kind of combat in the novel version of Starship Troopers. While the Starship Troopers movie, which had a radically different plot from the book, muddies this a bit, the original novel had a huge effect on both the mecha anime genre (more specifically, Real Robots) and the “space marine” trope that simply cannot be overstated–they wouldn’t exist in their present forms without it.
In the West, the “space marine” interpretation is obviously the most popular, while Japan adopted the mecha aspects of the novel’s powered armor as their own, but it has only been recently that we’ve started to see the two different genres, which share the same common ancestor, sharing ideas. Games like Lost Planet and Vanquish are starting to take elements from both sides and are creating something new and original, and Firefall seems to be a part of that trend, with even Gears of War getting a piece of robot action these days.
The Firefall armor, for instance, not only looks like the earlier Tribes’, but incorporates a number of features uncommon in the West but more common in Japan–the armor is in general more colorful rather than ultra-gritty gray and includes glowy verniers in addition to more standard thrusters, much like Japanese mecha of today, versus the “space marines” we see more often in the West which de-emphasize these mechanical aspects. The glowy verniers themselves seem to be inspired by Gundam 00′s GN Drives or perhaps some of Gurren Lagann‘s “spiral” imagery, and according to the little data we have available on Firefall, they might even share a few more similarities to them other than looks: they seem to be related to “repulsor technology” a bit like how GN particles (or UC Gundam’s Minovsky particles) could be used for shielding or improved movement. It seems like the powered armor can also use an ability similar to Armored Core: For Answer’s “Assault Armor” in the cinematic trailer (which also shows off deployable robot drones, and the most painful-looking asstacular female ‘armor’ seen to date). The gameplay trailer, with its ten minutes of awesome, follows:
Whilst we know Darius isn’t strictly part of the mecha pantheon its recent entry, that of Darius Burst, had its designwork helmed by two renowned mecha designers; Kanetake Ebikawa and Takayuki Yanase. What with the new arcade version around the corner (and 4Gamer has an interesting interview with the developers on that) the rather small model manufacturer PLUM/PMOA (who also made those lovely Silpheed kits not that long ago) are making a 1/60 scale injection plastic kit of one of the latest Silverhawk fighter’s from the game.
GAGraphic has a very nice preview article showing the kit off (including its landing gear) and it is clear to see Ebikawa’s style shine through, especially from his recent designs from Gundam 00 (specifically the Exia, 00 Raiser and 00 Quan[T]). The kit will be released in September at a very reasonable 4,500 yen, you can pre-order it here and the PSP game is also still available here.
IGN posted some impressions of a pre-alpha version of Bangai-O HD: Missile Fury, coming to Xbox Live Arcade. It sounds like the new game stays true to the formula used by Bangai-O on the Dreamcast and Bangai-O Spirits on the Nintendo DS, and notably includes a level editor like Spirits did, which will allow users to send their creations to their online friends, although without the DS version’s really cool/really finicky Sound Loud feature.
The new game returns to the Dreamcast version’s control setup, with one stick being used to move your mecha and the other controlling the direction of your shots, which likely means a return to a completely manic pace, as opposed to Spirits’ methodically and strategically manic pace. It’s a setup that should likely be familiar with the rebirth of arena shooters after the popularity enjoyed by Geometry Wars on the XBLA, and thus hopefully can attract a larger audience than the cult classic originals.
The original Bangai-O managed to incorporate a number of important and intrinsically mecha elements into its gameplay, such as the Itano Circus of missiles being unloaded and the use of shots and missile fratricide to carve out areas of relative safety. The control of the titular robot Bangai-O itself also had a certain amount of heft and weight to it when you weren’t actively dashing, and its ability to shoot more missiles the more imminent danger the Bangai-O was in was a decidedly Super Robot mechanic. The more intense the danger, the hotter Bangai-O’s spirit burns! If you’re curious about the series, then make sure to check out our feature on the games.
The current price point seems to be 800 Xbox Points, which likely averages out to be less than 1 Point per missile onscreen at once.
To accompany the latest promo video, 4Gamer has a veritable onslaught of in-game screenshots for the upcoming Super Robot Wars L. From Macross Frontier to Dancouga Nova, the screens show off the new shows that will grace the game. Our favourite is probably Linebarrel, as we have a soft spot for the manga (the Alter toy is also utterly magnificent). In addition, in some fervent quarters of the net mecha gamers have mistaken the word “some” with “all” in our previous post regarding the re-using of animation assets for the handheld Super Robot Wars games. It’s plainly obvious that Banpresto do re-use assets between the various SRW games, arguably more with the recent handheld outings, but this doesn’t obviously equate to “all” the assets in the games. So as King Gainer’s overfreeze attack would suggest, chill.
The upcoming Super Robot Wars L has received its first promo video (which was shown at C3xHOBBY over the weekend). Despite the nice new Macross Frontier shots, the remaining animation does look awfully recycled and in some instances almost GameBoy Advance in sprite quality. It will be interesting to see what this entry will be like though as SRWK was really quite short, though with any luck it may utilise some of that version’s game system. The game will retail at 6,090 yen on November 25th.
Amongst a bevy of other games, SEGA will also have a playable version of Virtual On Force at this year’s Tokyo Game Show. Whether they’ll have any of HORI’s sticks at the show remains unconfirmed but rumours are that a select few will be present for punters to try out. Considering that these are pre-order only items it seems a tad unfair to show people something they can’t actually buy. With any luck the aforementioned fetish unlock code won’t be present at the show.
The upcoming Super Robot Wars OG anime directed by none other than Masami Ōbari has finally received its first PV (shown below). Despite the somewhat unnerving character design, having the cockpits shake and rattle in both the PTX-007-03C Weißritter and PTX-003C Alteisen is rather refreshing. The PV is also quite long too and shows a good chunk of footage.
Over at this year’s C3xHOBBY show, all manner of new kits and toys have been displayed. Of note are the figures made by Griffon Enterprises, as they will feature prominent mecha from various Armored Core games. The first of which will be the updated Nineball as seen in Armored Core Ninebreaker in the spring of next year, shortly followed by Dual Face from Armored Core Nexus. Both of these will be around 12cm tall and made from PVC. It must be said though that even in prototype form, the Nineball toy has a wonderful sculpt to it and it also seems the grenade launcher will be articulated as well.