A new trailer for the upcoming Lost Planet 2 was release a few days ago, so if you missed it we’ve linked it below. The wonderful vital suits are shown but in a somewhat limited capacity unfortunately, normally on account of the showboating giant Akrid. That aside, like the demo confirms, this could be just bloody amazing. The game is released on May 18th and don’t forget to pre-order either the 360 and PS3 versions!
What do you get when you combine Sega’s Virtual On and generic anime babes? Why, you get Val Force of course, a doujin game from Yumesoft (it appears to be their one and only release thus far). I tried all morning in vain to get the demo to work on my end; after a lengthy download session… it always takes me forever to nab anything from Japan… the game simply wouldn’t run, and I’m not sure why, since I don’t understand Japanese. But I think it has something to do with me not having the latest DirectX installed, though being on a Mac via Bootcamp might be the real culprit. Anyhow, going by the video alone, it appears to be a thoroughly competent VO clone, provided if you don’t mind the extra dose of X chromosomes.
The much anticipated RTS sequel, Supreme Commander 2 has hit the shelves. Many improvements over the last two games have been implemented (SC2 runs much smoother than the original and Forged Alliance). The most notable changes maybe those of the economic model, tier system, and the large focus on the economy. The economic model has been simplified, so rather than the complex system of mass and energy gain/drain, the whole drained portion was chopped.
Instead of distributing the resources earned each second amongst all working engineers, they have replaced it with a credit system. If you want to build something, you must pay the full price for the item up front, then send one engineer off to build it. You can no longer have 50 engineers rush build something in a couple seconds. The whole tier system was removed. Instead of upgrading your factories to build more powerful units, you instead earn “research points.” Your ACU will slowly accumulate RP over time. You can build research facilities, or kill enemy units to get RP faster. You can then use your RP to improve your units, or unlock new ones. This all boils down to a larger focus on commanding your army. Chris Taylor promised us all of this and did not fail to keep his word. You can grab Supreme Commander 2 on both PC and the 360.
The reason we mention her here is that she recently composed the score for the PC shooter Gunhoud (which we will review soon, we promise). A few peeps, including the indomitable Eric Caoili over at Game Set Watch, noted that the Gunhound’s music bore a striking similarity to the various Castlevania games. Well, that’s because it was written by the same very gifted lady.
In any case, get on over to Wikipedia and help sort this nonsense out. It might also be worth showing that full blown orchestras have performed her work too, just saying. After all, what the world be without the wondrously memorable Vampire Killer?
While doing a bit of research on the commercial version of Bootfighter Windom XP SP-2, a freeware mecha game similar to the Gundam Versus series of game with an English fan translation, I found that not only was the commercial version already out, but it had received an official English translation all the way back in July of last year. While it unfortunately falls into the massive gulf that exists between “free” and “not free”, with the $20 price tag not doing anything to close that gap, it’s a rare example of a Japanese doujin game seeing official release outside of Japan.
Looking around a bit more, though, led me to discover that CuriousFactory, the fellows involved with that English release, have brought over a few other mecha games in the past (link may not be entirely safe for work, depending on how your employer feels about little cartoon girls wearing only a belt for a shirt), specifically three different shmups.
I can’t speak to the actual quality of these games, because I’m not much of a shooting game aficionado, but what’s most interesting to me is that all three of the mecha shmups are from the same doujin circle, ASTRO PORT, and all three feature entirely different mecha art styles. Armed Seven has a distinctly Armored Core/Real Robot feel, Supercharged Robot Vulkaiser looks like it would have fit right in with the cartoonish 70s Super Robot animes, and Witch-bot Meglilo has a cute female robot girl as the protagonist.
Over at Hobby Stock there is some nice photo coverage of the current Wonder Festival. Apart from cool stuff like an SD White Glint kit, Kotobukiya also announced their intent to make a kit of SAV-07-D Belgdor from the original Virtual On. Belgdor is an interesting design both functionally and aesthetically, as it was the most real robot VR in the game (as it used solid ammunition amongst other things). It was also one of the weaker units too but that didn’t stop the versus community from coming up with a variety of techniques to keep Belgdor competitive, with the usage of rowing being notable. Belgdor also received various updates in both Oratan and Force; from Grys-vok, to Stein-vok and finally the Vox series. No word on a release date or pricing as yet but like the other Kotobukiya kits it probably won’t be that expensive.
For fans of augmented reality and Virtual On, this will be quite cool. The ARToolKit has been used to render a Virtual On type HUD with an ultrasound distance measurer. The video is quite innocuous to begin with, as it just shows how the device works but when a small “T” card appears that designates the 1/100 scale Kotobukiya model kit of HBV-502-H8 Raiden as just that – then it opens fire with its lasers (to which the cameraman wisely dodges). Admittedly this is just a tech demo of sorts but its nice to see this kind of technology used in a manner partially sympathetic to a game such as Oratan. What’s especially classy though and something not overly obvious to most people, is that the HUD used is actually the RNA variant (as in 2P). Why is this noteworthy? Well, the Raiden colour scheme of the kit is actually the DNA variant (or 1P) so the logical follow on from that would mean the cameraman would have to be an RNA player. The video is linked below and thanks to Saur for the heads up.
Valve’s Steam digital download service has been having a holiday sale, with daily deals with extreme price discounts, and one of today’s is Mr. Robot for $1.99, down from the usual $9.99. Mr. Robot isn’t what I would normally term a “mecha game”, per se, but more of an Western adventure/puzzle game with some fairly good mechanic designs, but at the current price point I figured I’d let the terminology slide. It’s developed by Moonpod, an indie company who also produced the excellent Starscape, and Mr. Robot was released to what were excessively positive reviews for an indie title at the time of its release.
Even if you aren’t interested in Mr. Robot, checking out Steam’s daily deals until January 3rd is definitely advised, because some of the price drops are extreme, even for a few fairly recent titles. While I and many others don’t feel secure with the idea of owning a digital copy of a game over a physical copy, getting hot titles for a fifth of the price makes the idea a lot easier to swallow.
The Crysis mod almost three years in the making, MechWarrior Living Legends is now finally out in Beta form. For those eager to get cracking with the mod, a list of download mirrors is available here, though you’ll need an account on their forum to access the thread in question. Admittedly, the mod has been delayed over a year now but considering that this is being done for free by a collection of dedicated fans means that the rest of us should learn to be more patient. In any case, they’ve done a truly splendid job and it shows that fan based work is by no means to be sniffed at. It’s also worth noting that this mod is not to be confused with the upcoming multi-platform MechWarrior reboot, though it does seem to give Piranha Games’ effort a graphical run for its money.