Latest Posts

Videos: Starwing Paradox Finally Gets Some Proper Gameplay FootageVideos: Starwing Paradox Finally Gets Some Proper Gameplay... Over at 4Gamer, they have a new interview with one of the developers behind the upcoming arcade mecha game Starwing Paradox. Released later this year in the Japanese arcades,...

Read More

News: Gundam Extreme Versus 2 Initial Roster And Location Tests AnnouncedNews: Gundam Extreme Versus 2 Initial Roster And Location... As the rest of the world has Gundam Versus on the PS4, Japanese arcades are gearing up for the upcoming Gundam Versus Extreme 2. On May 12 and 13, stores in Tokyo and Osaka...

Read More

Reviews: Super Robot Wars X (9/10)Reviews: Super Robot Wars X (9/10) Since the end of the Z series, the Super Robot Wars games have tried to change up the setup somewhat, such as including series without mecha in Super Robot Wars V. Well, the...

Read More

Videos: Mobile Suit Gundam Extreme VS 2 Announced For 2018Videos: Mobile Suit Gundam Extreme VS 2 Announced For... Bandai Namco have recently announced that Mobile Suit Gundam Extreme VS 2 will be hitting arcades in 2018. Unlike Gundam Versus, this is being positioned as a true sequel...

Read More

Videos: Build Strike Gundam, Farsia, Gundam Pixie, and Efreet Schneid Coming To Gundam VersusVideos: Build Strike Gundam, Farsia, Gundam Pixie,... Several new DLC units have been announced during the Gundam Games Announcement stream on January 16. Aside from revealing God and Master Gundam gameplay, we saw Missing...

Read More

News: ACE R OG Screenshots

Posted on : 25-06-2010 | By : | In : News

Hardware:

4

Over at Gpara and Game Watch, they’ve covered the recent announcement regarding the new OG (or “original generation”) mecha to feature in the upcoming Another Century’s Episode R. In addition, there are a slew of new screenshots for a lot of the licensed mecha – with the Macross Zero and Frontier shots looking jaw-droppingly amazing. What’s interesting thus far is how conspicuously absent the Nu Gundam has been. Considering that this is the only unit from the epic Char’s Counterattack to be featured in ACE R it seems odd that no press materials have covered this iconic design. The eternal optimist in me hopes that this is due to the fact that the game won’t just feature a single Nu Gundam but also all its multitudinous variants. In short, we’d be ecstatic at the chance of having the Hi-Nu Gundam featured in the game.

Facebooktwitterredditpinterest

Videos: Front Mission Evolved E3 Multiplayer Footage

Posted on : 16-06-2010 | By : | In : Videos

Hardware: ,

14

Over at Gametrailers they’ve managed to capture some surprisingly steady hand camera footage for a multiplayer game in Front Mission Evolved. Much like the older videos, it seems the mecha handling still has no real discernible weight. As such there’s no penalty with momentum between dashes, which makes the movement look very jerky. On the one hand the reasoning behind this choice is pretty obvious; as it means more gamers will have an easier time with the mecha handling learning curve but the downside to all this is that the mecha control will plateau very quickly in terms of player skill (something not entirely ideal for a game with online multiplayer). Naturally, we’ll reserve judgment on our review come September but these videos do continue to fill our robotic hearts with a palpable sense of foreboding.

Spoiler

(Either JavaScript is not active or you are using an old version of Adobe Flash Player. Please install the newest Flash Player.)

[collapse]
Facebooktwitterredditpinterest

News: E3 2010 Mecha Musings

Posted on : 16-06-2010 | By : | In : News

Hardware: , ,

5

The swirling chaos that is E3 is almost over, and while it will be some time before anyone can make sense of what this raw data pulse from the games industry actually means, there have been a few mecha-related sightings and announcements for the observant mechanical fanatic.

One of the biggest surprises of the show came in this trailer for the campaign of Halo: Reach, which revealed the presence of space fighter combat. While a lot of FPS fans were shocked by the news, Halo has always had an emphasis on using vehicles, so this is really just an extreme extension of that. More interesting to mecha gaming fans, perhaps, is how Real Robot the Spartan designs now look. While we have talked about the Spartan design and its similarities to Yutaka Izubuchi’s work before, specifically the GM Sniper II and GM Command, the comparison to Japanese Real Robot design is even more pronounced now. The squad of Spartans we see all have different kinds of equipment, and therefore distinct visual looks, which describe their role type on the battlefield. This is something that mecha games have been doing for years and now more mainstream games are finally catching up. Some of the interviews and information being leaked out talk about being able to customize your player character Spartan with different weapons, equipment and aesthetic features, making the character more like a human wearing powered armor and less like a generic guy with guns (something we talked a bit about last week with Vanquish).

Speaking of Vanquish, there’s a gameplay video from the E3 floor which shows the protagonist hopping on and controlling what reminds me of the Regult battle pod from Macross. Vanquish continues to look as amazing as ever and the interesting mixture of Western and Japanese game ideas will hopefully inject some much-needed lifeblood into the ‘third person shooter’ genre.

And more directly mecha related, I was happy to see in the new Warhammer 40,000 MMO trailer some of the massive robotic weapons the Warhammer 40k universe has to offer. While actual details on the game are currently light, and no one seems to be able to tell us whether we will control some of these mechanical monstrosities or if they’re just the 40k MMO equivalent to World of Warcraft’s raid bosses, it does seem as if the developer is trying to incorporate some of the more epic-scaled elements of the 40k universe rather than just making the WoW clone that everyone else is trying to make. I refuse to believe there can be anything bad about a fictional universe that agrees with Mobile Suit Gundam’s assertion that vehicles painted red go faster, at any rate.

Facebooktwitterredditpinterest

News: OG mecha announced for ACE R

Posted on : 16-06-2010 | By : | In : News

Hardware:

9

In the latest Famitsu, the new “original generation” or OG mecha have been finally shown for the upcoming ACE R. This is quite common in the ACE games, as the first game had a Cloudbreaker (from Murakumo) and the Gespenst Mk.II (from SRW). Following on from this in ACE 2 and 3 were the Gunark and the Ixbrau (the latter designer by Takayuki Yanase of Gundam 00 fame). These new designs are interesting, not only stylistically but also in the fact that it shows that the “base” ship is not one from any given anime. Called the Ark Alpha, it has shades of the Novis Noah from Brain Powerd. The Alphato also bears a few uncanny similarities to the mecha in Argento Soma. In any case, we’re happy to see the OG tradition carry on through to ACE R.

Facebooktwitterredditpinterest

News: Killzone 3 to feature mecha

Posted on : 15-06-2010 | By : | In : News, Videos

Hardware:

3

The upcoming Killzone 3 will be featuring an interesting new power armour of Helghast design. For those that played the last game, this shouldn’t be too surprising as the latter parts of the campaign also featured playable mecha too. What’s interesting, in the wider sense at least, is that Killzone 3 is another entry in an increasing list of upcoming games games that are folding in mecha based functionality into their make-up. From Gears of War 3 to the continued usage of Walkers in Red Faction Armageddon, not to mention Vanquish as well. It seems that the benefits of mecha are finally being explored and appreciated in the broader gaming context.

Spoiler

(Either JavaScript is not active or you are using an old version of Adobe Flash Player. Please install the newest Flash Player.)

[collapse]
Facebooktwitterredditpinterest

Toys: War for Cybertron Optimus Prime Reviewed

Posted on : 14-06-2010 | By : | In : Toys/Kits

Hardware: ,

3

Over at HK-TF they’ve undertaken a picture review of the new Optimus Prime toy from War for Cybetron. First impressions is that this is a toy done on the cheap and whilst the sculpt looks more or less accurate it’s still very basic. To be fair the price of this toy costs a lot less than most of the Japanese equivalents, so a reduction in quality is to be expected. That said, it does seem odd to aim the game at an older demographic yet pitch the toys beneath that in terms of price bracket/quality. In any case, for those that have a hankering for all Optimus/Convoy type toys then go here and pick one up. Alternatively, you could save those pennies up and get something properly brilliant.

Facebooktwitterredditpinterest

Kits: GA GAN01 Sunshine L Announced

Posted on : 08-06-2010 | By : | In : Toys/Kits

Hardware: ,

0

One of the most beefy designs from Armored Core 4 and For Answer has been announced to be making an appearance in kit form, courtesy of those brilliant people at Kotobukiya. The GAN01 frame is probably one of the most heavily armored set of parts available in the games. Built by the corporate remnants of North America, in the form of Global Armaments, they specialise in the “hammer” and “nail” type of engineering finesse. Where the bigger the hammer is obviously better. Unsurprisingly, they also make some of the best solid ammo weapons in the games. This kit, despite its somewhat straightforward appearance, will feature numerous gimmicks; from the seamless overboost mechanism to actual missiles in the CHEYENNE02 missile packs. It’s also worth pointing out that this kit is made from an all new mold, rather than built from pre-existing parts. The kit will be released in October for 5,565 yen (inclusive of tax).

Facebooktwitterredditpinterest

Toys: PTX-140R Hardballer

Posted on : 07-06-2010 | By : | In : Toys/Kits

Hardware: ,

0

Courtesy of our good friends at HobbyLink Japan, we’ve been sent a toy from the Lost Planet series of games to review. Specifically, the PTX-140R Hardballer vital suit. In addition, to give the toy some context, we’ve also linked some gameplay footage of it in action in Lost Planet 2 at the end of the review.

Facebooktwitterredditpinterest

News: Vanquish Has Powered Armor, Gundam Space Colonies

Posted on : 06-06-2010 | By : | In : News, Videos

Hardware: ,

6

With the latest trailer for Vanquish, we finally see what the game looks like in action and I have to say that my initial skepticism about it has all but vanished. The game’s pedigree is excellent, being created by Platinum Games (Bayonetta, Mad World) and headed by Shinji Mikami (Devil May Cry, Resident Evil) but the early screenshots and teaser trailer released to the gaming public made the game seem, at best, an interesting take on the overused “space marine” trope all too common in current-gen titles.

The new trailer puts any doubts to rest because not only is the action as frenetic as we would expect from Platinum Games, but rather than simply using space-age armor to explain away the amount of damage these characters are capable of soaking up, we can see in the trailer that the main character’s powered armor provides him with additional movement options as well–one scene shows him boosting from one set of cover to another almost instantaneously, while another has him using his thrusters to gain enough vertical range to smash a foe.

It’s nice to see designers thinking about what ways these wonderful “space marine” armors could change combat, and while the scale of powered armor doesn’t exactly match that of mecha, and thus is really a whole different kettle of fish, a lot of the solutions are the same–just as giant robots shouldn’t be treated as human analogues, humans in powered armor should have different skillsets following from their upgrade. While Vanquish isn’t the only game in recent memory to play with the trope (Section 8 being a good example) it’s good to see some of the most talented people in the action game business working on the problem.

On more firmly mecha-related territory, I’d also like to point out some interesting similarities between Vanquish and Mobile Suit Gundam. Both deal with humanity expanding into space not onto different planets, but rather in O’Neill cylinders floating freely in space that use rotation to generate an approximate feeling of gravity, and both have these colonies eventually being used as weapons, by taking advantage of the plentiful solar energy resources of outer space.

While it’s hard to tell where the homage ends and genuine cultural absorption begins with the Japanese and their (perfectly reasonable) obsession with Mobile Suit Gundam, I do find the use of Gundam as a reference point interesting, because much as the mobile suit’s use in Gundam is to provide a vehicle that can operate equally well in space, under Earth’s gravity, and in the artificial “gravity” of O’Neill cylinders, Vanquish is taking the commonly used Western term “space marine” quite literally, as Vanquish’s power armor seems to be designed both as a spacesuit and as body armor, used to infiltrate a structure floating in space. Most of what are called “space marines” in the press tend to be neither, operating on planets rather than in space and not being any more mobile than regular troops being shipped to a far-off planet.

Hopefully Vanquish will be the great game that it looks like it will be, and that it will create a renaissance in the West regarding the Men In Space Suits, Holding Guns, Shooting Aliens genre, maybe even something a bit closer to the original Western concept; when the West made Starship Troopers into a movie we kept only the fascism, while Japan kept only the robots. Needless to say, Mecha Damashii supports robots over fascism.

Spoiler

(Either JavaScript is not active or you are using an old version of Adobe Flash Player. Please install the newest Flash Player.)

(Either JavaScript is not active or you are using an old version of Adobe Flash Player. Please install the newest Flash Player.)

[collapse]
Facebooktwitterredditpinterest

News: War for Cybertron Pre-Order Trailer

Posted on : 01-06-2010 | By : | In : News, Videos

Hardware: ,

4

Possibly our favourite Transformer, Shockwave (aka Laserwave, Astro Magnum etc.), is getting offered as a pre-order bonus for GameStop customers who buy the upcoming Transformers: War for Cybertron. Now, we know this news isn’t that current but this trailer showing off the pre-order bonus in game (and suitably voiced) is rather wonderful – though much of that is also down to the music being used.

Shockwave is an interesting design as it mirrors much of the similarities to the cyclops monster seen in Ulysses 31, a series that Studio Nue also worked on. Whilst Nue also worked on Diaclone, the Japanese toy line that birthed Transformers as we know it, Shockwave was an interesting anomaly to that as the original “Astro Magnum” toy wasn’t made by Takara. Whoever penned the original toy design, and we’re inclined to think it may have been Kazutaka Miyatake, we’re suitably chuffed that the new game will feature the mecha.

Spoiler

(Either JavaScript is not active or you are using an old version of Adobe Flash Player. Please install the newest Flash Player.)

[collapse]
Facebooktwitterredditpinterest