News: Virtual On No Show At JAEPO
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...
Videos: New Assault Suit Leynos Promo
The upcoming Dracue port of the classic Assault Suit Leynos seems to be coming along, as we now have a new gameplay video. They still don't seem to know how to encode...
News: Wonder Festival 2015 Winter Coverage
Wonder Festival 2015 Winter has now come to end and it was a good one. Apart from the legion of amazing garage kit figures on show and on sale, the future commercial announcements...
In a recent blog post, the team working on the anticipated Hawken link to a selection of new videos that show more of the game in action. Whilst there are no confirmed platforms (bar a tentative “PC”) or release dates as yet, the team are in apparently a number of talks to figure out how best to get this game to market. The new level, pictured above, looks suitably lovely though.
Battle Armor Division, a mecha action sidescroller, has been released by developer Crian Soft. As we’ve noted before, Battle Armor Division’s gameplay runs in a similar vein to the classic Assault Suits series, which inspired other recent efforts at recreating the Assaults Suit magic such as Gunhound and Gigantic Army. It’s always a pleasure to see a Western-developed mecha game (European, no less) that’s not afraid to combine elements of both Japanese mecha anime and Western military science fiction, especially when it leads to gritty Real Robot conflicts filling the screen with explosions.
On the official site you can find a demo, and the full game is available via digital distribution for 8.90 Euros (around $12.50). Along with the game, a new trailer has been released, asking: “can you survive at the war in 26° century?” Ah, it just wouldn’t feel like a mecha game without a slightly awkward localization.
TimeGate Studios has released Section 8: Prejudice to the Xbox Live Marketplace today. This of course being the sequel to the not so well received Section 8, released in 2009. Listening to criticism from critics and fans alike, TimeGate has promised to fix or totally revamp much of what was wrong with the previous installment, while retaining, that which made the original…well, original.
So, while all of that is yet to be seen, one thing is for sure; power armor mayhem. Like its predecessor Prejudice will have wonderful Landmate-esque powered armor, to stomp, crush, and blow away your competition. Add to that a cacophony of vehicles, weapons, and customization options and you have yourself one hell of a game (or so we hope).
Now for those of you who actually own and have played the original Section 8, TimeGate has announced that they will be giving away “Loyalty Rewards” based on your player level in the first Section 8. The rewards are: For simply playing the original you get the Aegis Armor and Reactive Plating for your character, if you made it to level 25 then you get the Ablative Plating upgrade, and finally for those who reached level 50 you receive the Explosives Amplifier upgrade.
A very nice gesture on TimeGate’s part if you ask me, and I’m fairly excited to play. Sadly, however, I will not receive any rewards. While Xbox owners can enjoy Section 8 today, PC and PS3 owners will have to wait a little longer. May 4th for PC users, and sometime in summer for PS3 users. You can purchase and play Section 8: Prejudice on your Xbox, right now for 1200 MSP. Additionally upon release on PC (through Steam and Games for Windows Marketplace), it will be $14.99 USD.
Stardock’s Impulse game download service is currently having a sale on a game named Metal Brigade Tactics, a turn-based mecha strategy game. To be completely honest, it’s not all that impressive, but with the current sale price at $3.00, it’s probably worth looking at for curiosity’s sake. There’s also not much else available on the PC in terms of turn-based mecha strategy games, and with its low system requirements this might just be the sort of game to play on a low-spec netbook.
The mecha designs are fairly original, and while the game system was obviously inspired by both Western turn-based games as well as Super Robot Wars, there are a few unique tweaks added to the mix, such as artillery being fired off at the beginning of a turn and landing at the end of it, making them very effective area denial weapons, as foes need to decide between taking damage or wasting a turn taking the long way around. There is a demo available from the official website.
A new gameplay trailer for the recently announced Hawken went live yesterday. This shows the game from a first person cockpit view. In short, it’s looking bloody impressive and the mecha appear to handle very nicely too. What’s interesting is that due to the size of the mecha (as in a couple of metres) they’ve managed to keep a solid FPS framework and still infer some weight, without doing the dumb thing of treating 20 metre tall mecha like a human being. In any case, the trailer is shown below.
Kotaku has posted a brief interview with team leader Khang Le at Adhesive Games, the developer making the just announced Hawken. Apart from the reassuring knowledge that the game will be very much real robot in focus, Le also cites the mecha designer Kow Yokoyama as a strong influence for the mecha in Hawken (with Maschinen Krieger, aka SF3D, being notable). Yokoyama is a very interesting mecha designer, as his work melds insect like organic shapes with very gritty industrial elements. He’s also no stranger to games, from the original mecha designs in Front Mission to those in Carnage Heart and Phantom Crash/S.L.A.I., with the latter being especially relevant in the case of Hawken. In any case, the more we hear about this game the more we want to play it.
A new Unreal Engine powered FPS called Hawken has been announced. Whilst no official platforms have been cited, over at the official game’s site the team are keen to release the game on PS3, 360 and PC. The game has been in devlopment for around 9 months already, with a relatively small team. The mecha used are in the similar scale and vein as the Vital Suits in the Lost Planet games, but with a more industrial bent. Interestingly, this will also be yet another digital download title focused around online multiplayer. Visually it all looks suitably sumptuous, but in the trailer below it’s clear the online optimisation still has a way to go.
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.
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).