News: Hawken is coming to Xbox One
Remember Hawken? The game that promised so much, only to dash all of that against the jagged rocks of an abysmally implemented free-to-play business model. Well, Hawken...
News: Gundam Breaker 3 Gets DLC In June
The recently released Gundam Breaker 3 is getting its first set of DLC in June. The main part of this being based around a new set of missions featuring the Hyakushiki...
So out of nowhere you can now buy the original PSone Armored Core on the US PSN store. Costing a very reasonable $5.99, it’s compatible with the PS3, PSP and Vita. Due to the way the Vita is setup you can also force the game to use dual analogue controls but we don’t recommend it. Simply because the camera isn’t at all set up to work with those controls and makes the game pretty much unplayable. That aside, this is a fantastic addition to PSN and we’re hoping that both Project Phantasma and Master of Arena will join the first game sometime soon. It would be nice to see the whole trilogy released on the European PSN too but that’s unlikely as the last two games never received a European version. As these games are already on the Japanese PSN we can vouch for them quite happily. Considering you can play this classic game on a modern HD display, as well as via a variety of portable devices, is pretty damn great. So definitely pick this up, as the game is still fun to play even today.
Considering that we’re getting this much love from Bandai towards Hathaway’s Flash and the inclusion of the mobile suits in Gundam Extreme Versus Maxi Boost leads many to believe there are other plans for the series. Especially as we saw a Gustav Karl surface in the final episode of Gundam Unicorn, fans are thinking Bandai might start an all new novel only timeline when it comes to the anime. Either way, we now have a frankly massive Penelope to look forward to and we’ve already pre-ordered ours.
In welcome news, it seems we are to get AirMech Arena released on both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One sometime this spring courtesy of Ubisoft. This is an update to the already released game on Xbox 360, with the PC original still going strong. A fair few months back, the developers hooked us up with a VIP account on the PC version and we’ve been playing it solidly since. It’s a modern day take on Herzog Zwei and that’s nothing but a good thing. Even the freemium setup doesn’t really get in the way that much and that’s a rarity. The 360’s controls also worked great on a pad too, which was a surprise, so these new versions should be equally competent in that department too. In any case, it’s nice to see solid indie mecha game that harks back to classic gaming and does it with real flair and skill.
We’ve tried to avoid doing these kinds of lists over the years. Mainly because they end up being contentious and misinterpreted. That said it’s about time we got around to doing this. Especially as other places have attempted similar lists and ended up being laughably parochial and clearly ignorant with it.
Before we start, there are a few a disclaimers. “Best” in this context means that these games are obviously great fun to play but they also went on to influence other games as well as approached mecha gaming in a unique way. They might have even resolved design issues that had plagued other titles too.
The games listed are also not necessarily based on our reviews either, as some we have yet to even cover, but more how they have defined mecha gaming over the years. These are also games that we regard to be very well wrought, based on our years of experience from playing lots and lots of mecha 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 Games that picked up APB after it tanked. So while there is a light at the end of the tunnel for Hawken, it definitely looks like a train in this case.
The real shame is that back in 2011, Hawken could have been something amazing. The final game was decent too but the freemium model utterly ruined it. If they had released the game as a singleplayer only XBLA or PSN game, like they planned to originally, then things would have likely turned out for the better. Shifting to a freemium setup with a customisable mecha game, where you paid for parts, was never going to end well.
So here’s to good mecha games ruined by capricious and short sighted publishers. Hopefully Hawken won’t die off quite yet but it could have been so much more.
Three new suits will be added this month to Gundam Extreme Versus Maxi Boost, Gundam Harute from Gundam 00: A wakening of the Trailblazer, and Deathscythe Hell and Heavyarms Kai from Gundam Wing TV. The first is essentially a brand new entry in the 3000 category and looks to be much more in line with the fighting style of Allelujah/Hallelujah Haptism with a nice mix of long, mid, and close range attacks. His previous entry with Arios felt too tame both at the 1000 and 2500 cost in Full Boost and Maxi Boost respectively. The next two units are like the clone units we’ve seen come into the fray since Full Boost DLC came into play last year for the Playstation 3 version. Both Deathscythe Hell and Heavyarms Kai are 2000 cost units that appear to have very similar movesets to their Endless Waltz versions with some apparent changes, such as a drop in speed and the inclusion of the Buster Shield attack for Deathscythe Hell and the inclusion of the famous twirling knife melee attack for Heavyarms Kai. It will be interesting to see if the drop in cost and gameplay changes make them formidable, similar to how the Gold Frame Amatsu Mina Custom clone at 2500 cost is well received in comparison to its original 2000 cost version. Hopefully we’ll hear of a home console version soon, but until then check out the teaser videos for each of the units below!
Super Robot Wars Z 3 Tengoku-hen received a new promo over the weekend (shown below) and it’s rather marvelous. From showing off new animations and some of the updated game system, it’s all looking rather great. The absence of Final Dancouga is still admittedly disheartening but there’s a lot of good stuff still present and the addition of Rengoku-hen is a pretty big deal if you’ve been playing this series since the first game on PS2. Set for a release at the beginning of April we’ll be picking this up for sure.
Filling out the Gundam AGE roster slots this month in Gundam Extreme Versus Maxi Boost comes Gundam AGE-3. Piloted by Kio Asemu, the 2500 cost AGE-3 has the usual mode-shift gimmicks found in the show and can switch from Normal to either its Fortress or Orbital armor for tactical variety. As of now, it seems the Orbital version needs a little nerfing as its beam rifle has hilariously ridiculous tracking. But like anything, Bandai Namco have been very astute in attempting to balance the game on a consistent basis. With this addition, perhaps we will see either the AGE-2 Dark Hound or AGE-FX come in the near future! Until then, check out the release trailer for AGE-3 below.
A few years back, we heard that something might happen this year to commemorate Virtual On’s 20th Anniversary. Many thought it to mean a new game would be announced and that it would be revealed at this year’s JAEPO. Sadly, nothing surfaced. What with SEGA’s widely documented troubles as well as the ominous shutting down of the various official Virtual On websites, it looks like this might be the end for the hugely influential mecha gaming series. We may yet hear something Virtual On related this year but don’t hold your breath. While the arcade industry is buoyant in Japan, SEGA have seen better days.