Reviews: Super Robot Wars UX (8/10) Considering that the Super Robot Wars games started out on the GameBoy, their most natural state is generally on similar portable consoles. This has been proven time and time...
Since its release in Japan on December 1st, Gundam Extreme Versus has sold over half a million units. What’s interesting about this is that Japan basically shuts down for a week over the New Year, so these sales figures occurred in spite of that. As we saw in the arcades, it has garnered a very large and loyal following. If anything the two versions, console and arcade, have mutually aided one another it seems. The console version’s DLC will also factor into the success of Full Boost, as many of the new units will be appearing in that too. So there’s already some cross promotion going on. Talking of DLC, we’ve been playing around with PMX-003 The O and it’s nice to see the PMX-001 Palace Athene (pictured above) again. In any case, we’re glad to see the game doing well.
The second batch of DLC for Gundam Extreme Versus has been updated over at the official site. Featuring both the ZMT-S33S Gottrlatan and the PMX-003 The O (picture above). Each mobile suit will cost 500 yen each but the additional trial missions will be free to download, as per the first pack. We’ve been playing the game quite extensively in the arcades in Japan as well and we can vouch for the fact that the PS3 “port” is pretty much identical in every way (especially if you have a good arcade stick to hand). Admittedly the arcade version allows you to pimp your HUD out as well as other similarly superficial customisations, but the game itself looks and plays the same. It’s thanks to this that we’ve had a pretty long win streak, as our skills developed at home have been entirely applicable in the arcades here. Naturally, our favoured ride of choice is the XM-X1 (F97) Crossbone Gundam X-1 Kai, as mecha with capes are just plain awesome.
Over at Famitsu, they’ve compiled a pretty thorough breakdown feature for the upcoming Armored Core V. From the different mission types to the suitably massive over weapons. The piece also nicely finishes off with a succinct interview with Toshifumi Nabeshima. There’s nothing really new here, as much of this has been covered before but it does nicely show the game’s equivalent to the Arms Forts as seen in Armored Core For Answer. At present the team at From Software are spending the last month of development on debugging the game as well as fine tuning the online back-end, something that needs to be pretty much pristine as the whole game’s success will rely greatly upon how stable it is. Apparently the beta testing went down very well with both fans and the team at From Software, so it sounds like we might see more of them. Whether they’ll be occurring outside of Japan is still unclear though, likely those will occur through the publisher (which in this case is Bandai Namco). The release date for the Japanese version will be the 26th January, with the European and US releases to follow in the coming months. Weirdly, Europe will get the game before the US with the latter having the game available in April. If you can’t wait that long then you can import the Japanese version of the game here (PS3) and here (360), the PS3 version will obviously be region free like the rest of the console’s software library.
Famitsu has a new breakdown on the forthcoming Gundam Unicorn game for PS3. Not only do we have a release date now, the 8th March next year, but that the price will also be a very affordable 5,040 yen for the standard edition and the limited edition at 7,980 yen. The latter will feature additional bonus content on a separate Blu-Ray disc about the making of the anime as well as a new prequel novel written by Harutoshi Fukui with a luscious cover by Hajime Katoki featuring the prototype Sinanju Stein that we mentioned previously. The game has also had it’s “mode shift” controls clarified too. In that there will be an “assist” mode that will handle the weapon selection based on your range to target and a more “normal” setup where you have to select your sub-weapons manually. In addition, you’ll also be able to upgrade your pilots’ and mobile suits’ abilities with points earned in missions.
4Gamer has the news that both Super Robot Wars Alpha and Alpha Gaiden hit the PSN store yesterday for 1,500 yen a piece. The Alpha series was a shift for the SRW series in terms of the difficulty (as in not fascistically impossible) and used more elaborate battle animations. It was also one of the first SRW games to feature the mighty variable fighters from Macross. As with the other SRW archived games on PSN these can also be played on your PSP. Annoyingly, the PS Vita doesn’t do PSone archived games as yet (though weirdly it does do the PC Engine games) but we’re pretty sure it won’t be long until they’re PS Vita compatible. Finally, the article also talks of a 20th Anniversary event on the 18th March next year. No details really on what the event will be but we’re assuming that JAM Project will be present to scream their awesome lungs out.
A good long while ago, the original trailer for Armored Core V showed a pretty awesome set of flaming chainsaws as one of the game’s new “over weapons”, powerful weapons that could down an AC in one hit but required skill to use effectively. Well, those flaming chainsaws now have a name; the Grind Blade. That’s not all, there are a slew of other similarly uber weapons apparently too. From giant missile launchers to huge cannons and an immense part known as the Multiple Pulse, which looks like a pretty damn deadly area of effect weapon. On top of all this, the “Full Burst” live stream has been and gone (it’s archived below thankfully) and From Software also did another breakdown movie covering the customisation in the game. In addition, there’s now also a team play promo (also linked below) that has a tiny bit of gameplay footage showing off the suitably epic Grind Blade in action. Finally, 4Gamer have also highlighted that a new event will occur on December 23rd to a select throng of 50 lucky fans who will get to play the game (the application details are here). The game is still set for it’s January 26th release and we really can’t wait!
4Gamer has an interesting breakdown of the campaign modes in the upcoming Gundam Unicorn game. We already knew about the Unicorn Mode, which allowed players to choose to play through the narratives of several characters in the anime. The latest addition though is that of Custom Cast Mode, this allows you to create a team of six pilots and a warship and undertake a variety of challenging missions. Considering one of our concerns was the somewhat lean singleplayer, this new mode sounds to beef things up quite a bit. The other element is that of a prequel narrative, written by Harutoshi Fukui (who also penned the Unicorn novels), regarding Full Frontal’s stealing of the Sinanju Stein as well as introducing the Gundam Delta Kai (specifically built for Newtypes). On top of all this, there will also be DLC for the game. The first being revealed to be the forerunner to the pimp-tastic Hyakushiki, that of the transformable MSN-001 Delta Gundam. Finally, there are also some more details as to the gameplay; specifically that there is a mode shift present. This sounds a lot like the controls shift seen in the last two Another Century’s Episode games on the PS2, which would make sense as they were also developed by From Software. The game is definitely shaping up though and we’re keen to get our hands on it when it is finally released sometime next year.
The decade long lineage of the Gundam Versus games started out as a simplified reaction to SEGA’s more complex Virtual On. The latter required the player to keep an enemy’s position in their heads, as the camera would lose your target when you moved past them. In addition, the fixed vectored dashes made managing that even harder. The Gundam Versus games took this premise and distilled it down by removing the fixed vectored dashes and ensuring that the player could never lose sight of their target. What mixed it up was the addition of an extra opponent; two teams of two players a piece. Whilst the core mechanics were more accessible the additional enemy made combat more fluid. All of this was undertaken on a pretty standard arcade stick setup and what with the huge Gundam license attached to it, gamers piled in to play a game that was more immediately accessible but still interesting from a versus standpoint.
Fast forward ten years to the present and the Gundam Versus games have changed dramatically. The accessibility the games once had has evolved into something far more involved and in many ways has gone back to a more discerning setup similar to that of the original Virtual On games. Either way, the latest iteration in the form of Gundam Extreme Versus is nothing short of an arcade versus thoroughbred.
Following on from their various summary videos for Armored Core V, From Software will be hosting yet another live stream of the game on 16th December. Entitled “Full Burst” the stream will be 3 hours long and be suitably thorough by the sounds of it, though we’re not sure what exactly will be covered as From Software are being a tad vague on specifics. You can also follow the stream here on the day.
Considering the arcade heritage behind Gundam Extreme Versus you would have thought that there would a dedicated stick for it. Well, Bandai Namco are going to do just that. Via their Lalabit Market, for the rather large sum of 14,800 yen, you’ll be able to have your very own Gundam styled stick in March of next year. What’s not entirely clear at the moment is who the stick is made by, though it looks like it could be HORI. It’s also a bit odd considering that this will only be available four months after the release of the game itself. We’re already blitzing the game with our Real Arcade Pro. 3 and whilst the Gundam styling of this stick looks pretty nifty we’re not sure what else it really offers to the discerning gamer. As four our review of the game itself, stay tuned for that as we’re writing it now.