Kits: Shizuoka Hobby Show 2013
This year's Shizuoka Hobby Show is under way and as always it has a huge amount of new model kits on display. With Hasegawa's new Myzr Eta kit (shown above) from Virtual...
News: Masou Kishin III Valsione Bonus
In the upcoming Masou Kishin III players will be given a special bonus code in the initial run of the game. This will give a different version of Valsione as seen in the...
A rather interesting animated gif has appeared over on the Tamashii Web front page. Despite talking of a collaboration with Hobby Japan, the interesting aspect is that the font used for “Ready” as well as patented SEGA blue sky background (not to mention the green hatching) makes us think that a Virtual On Oratorio Tangram toyline could be on the way. Bear in mind that the Tamashii brand is squarely aimed at collectors so we could be in store for something rather wonderful. In any case, we’ll know more on the 25th June.
We meant to cover this a good while back but lots of new games have been kicking off, so it got lost amongst that. In any case, the wondrous Border Break has been receiving numerous updates via the BB.tv channel, showing off the new blast runners as well as the new maps. What’s most striking in the video below is how much faster the game has become since we reviewed it. Whilst we greatly enjoyed the slower pacing before the Ver 1.5 update, as it made matches feel very tactical, it seems that this speed increase is something that’s quite short range and localised. As such we’re inclined to think that this development is actually a positive one, as it’s merging both the tactics that occur at range and a more instinctive approach to closer range combat.
The model kit manufacturer Hasegawa have announced that their next Virtual On kit will be the VR Myzr from Force. Myzr was the follow on unit from Cypher from Oratan, as Myzr can also transform (something this kit will apparently do as well). This is all suitably timely considering the upcoming 360 port of Force on the way. For those confused as to why Kotobukiya aren’t making this kit, that’s because they only have the rights for the original Virtual On and Oratan. Hasegawa, on the other hand, have the rights to both Force and Marz – as they’ve been making kits alongside Kotobukiya’s output for some time now. No word on when the Myzr kit will be released but it will most probably be before the port hits the shops.
Gpara has some new coverage regarding the upcoming arcade game Gundam Extreme Versus. Specifically, on some of the newer units such as the 00 and Cherudim Gundam. The former will also have the option to switch to the 00 Raiser (this is a sensible balancing consideration as it was pretty uber in Next Plus). The ability to use options like Trans Am will also be linked into the new “Extreme Boost” function as well, which is tied to the EX Gauge. The Next Dash is also still present but will also have greater affect in melee, where attacks can be cancelled and combined on the fly. The update also talks about the ID card system and its compatibility with mobile phones (in Japan).
GA Graphic has a preview of the upcoming Zebra kit from Border Break. This is one of the new blast runners from the Ver 1.5 update that was released in the Japanese arcades not that long ago. As with Kotobukiya kits, the sculpt is wonderful and the price won’t break the bank either. The kit will be out in September and you can pre-order it here.
To commemorate the year since the XBLA port of Oratan 5.66 was released, Yamashita-san has posted a somewhat vague but interesting entry to the official blog. Now, we already know that the port did very well but it turns out that the sales figures also exceeded SEGA’s own internal expectations (though actual concrete sales figures weren’t specified unfortunately). Couple this with the various online questionnaires over future Virtual On ports as well as newer entries into the series and this starts to make more sense. The most obvious follow on from Oratan is a home port of Force, something that Marz tried rather dismally to cater for. Despite SEGA not supporting Force in terms of updates, the arcade community is still very active across Japan so a proper home version (with online multiplayer) would make a lot of sense. It would also help justify the crazy price tag of the limited edition HORI twinsticks that were released not that long ago. Considering that After Burner Climax is also doing quite well, a game that Yamashita-san’s team also worked on, there’s probably an understandable amount of chin stroking going on within SEGA when it comes to their pretty epic arcade gaming back catalogue. Apparently, there will be one more final Oratan 5.66 column quite soon and with any luck some more overt announcements might surface. We’re hoping for an all new game, as that’s what most fans actually wanted (scroll down to see the questionnaire results).
Updated: Turns out SEGA are already planning a Force port for the 360. Thanks to Excellen Browning for the heads up.
As we previously reported, a location test for Gundam Extreme Versus is currently underway in two Japanese arcades this weekend. Naturally, a bunch of videos have sprouted up online to cover this. Despite looking very shiny, it’s clear that the team behind the games hasn’t dropped the ball in a functional sense. In that, those that have enjoyed the recent delights of Gundam vs Gundam Next Plus will see that much of the core combat is remarkably familiar.
As for the hardware itself, as we’ve said before the System 357 board that’s being used for the game is basically a PS3 in a box. In many ways, this appraisal is actually quite literal as this video shows the PS3′s XMB in action prior to the game booting up. Put simply, a PS3 port is a clear given at some point in the semi-near future.
The line-up of suits in the videos is suitably varied too, from the lovely V2 Gundam and its Assault Buster variant (which recently received an excellent Robot Damashii toy), to the new Crossbone Gundam units and finally the 00 Gundam. The latter has sensibly separated out the 00 Raiser setup, as it was hugely uber on the recent PSP iteration. In any case, enjoy the videos below.
Game Watch has just covered the recent Senjou no Kizuna 2010 Tournament, as well as hosted a brief interview with the developers of the very successful arcade game. Though the real meat of the coverage is the in-game video coverage taken from the live feed that’s often displayed to punters in the arcades (of which we’ve linked a fair few below, in HD no less). In many ways Senjou no Kizuna laid the ground work for games like Border Break to follow, though it’s still nice to see a game succeed despite its pretty dated hardware. You might also want to keep tabs on Namco Bandai’s YouTube Channel, as they’ve been pretty diligent with uploading much of the tournament replays. There is a PSP port of the game and, all things considered, is actually moderately decent – though it does lack any form of online multiplayer capability (something that ultimately defined the arcade version, along with its amazing cockpit obviously).
Hot on the heels of the recent 1/100 scale Metal Composite Gundam Unicorn (which we’ve reviewed), Bandai have announced that they’re releasing the Full Armor variant shown at the end of the novels. This new toy will be part of the Gundam Fix Next Generation line (or GFFN for short) and as such be at the smaller scale of 1/144, rather than the Metal Composite’s 1/100. There’s also no word on whether this toy will complete the transformation between Unicorn and Destroy modes but we’re guessing not on account of the smaller scale and lower price point.
To the more eagle eyed of you, the fact that the internal psycho frame is green rather than pink may have raised an eyebrow. This colour shift is to do with events that also occurred in Char’s Counterattack, where two psychoframe mobile suits (the Nu Gundam and Sazabi) were in close proximity with one another resulting in a form of Newtype resonance. In the Unicorn novels, this resonance is kicked off when the Banshee enters the fray – which is basically a more powerful clone of the Unicorn.
As for the “full armor” nature of this suit, that is somewhat questionable. As FA mobile suit variants are normally, as the title implies, covered in an extra layer of bespoke armor. Not to mention having custom weapons attached on hardpoints as well. To give a good example of this, take a look at the FA-78-1 and the original RX-78-2 Gundam. You can see, despite the colour changes, that the suit has been pretty heavily re-worked. In the case of the FA Unicorn, well all it’s using are standard weapons and parts and just strapping them onto the main body. In any case, this toy will be available in August for 8400 yen and you can practically guarantee that it will make an appearance in the upcoming Gundam Extreme Versus.
Over at Famitsu they’ve released a bunch of very shiny in-game screenshots for the upcoming Gundam Extreme Versus. This is the first game in the series to use the System 357 board, effectively a PlayStation 3 in a box – so the texture detail and geometrical complexity are obviously going to be a pretty big step up from the older games.
No word on an exact release date for Gundam Extreme Versus as yet but it’s still slated for an Autumn release. However, the Famitsu article does also state that the game will be using a new card system as well as boast HD 16:9 displays for each of the cabinets. Due to the host hardware, it’s fairly safe to assume that a PlayStation 3 port will swiftly follow.