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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,...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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Reviews: Armored Core Last Raven Portable (4/10)

Posted on : 11-05-2010 | By : | In : Reviews

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For many, Last Raven was the last “real” Armored Core game before the paradigm shift of the next generation entries. It was also a brutally difficult and thoroughly exacting game, expecting nothing short of absolute concentration and a steely set of gaming skills in order for the player to survive. In short, Last Raven was a bit of a bastard (to find out how much of a bastard feel free to read our review of the PlayStation 2 original).

However, like bastards are prone to behaving; it was relatively fair. Almost every time the game spat out your charred robotic carcass onto the heap it was invariably your fault. You’d been too cocky and wasted too much ammo, only to have a Pulverizer introduce you to the business end of several rather terrifying weapons. With enough practice and forethought though, you could endure and eventually triumph.

In this PSP port though, there are problems. Quite serious ones in fact. Despite resolving the input framerate issue via a data install, the entire game is still balanced as it was in the original PlayStation 2 version. Except, this time, you don’t have a DualShock 2 to help you out.

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News: Last Raven Portable released on PSN

Posted on : 06-05-2010 | By : | In : News

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Earlier in the week, Last Raven Portable finally made the jump to the US PSN store. This is obviously the digital version so the disc reading/input framerate issue seen on the UMD versions (without the data install) won’t be an issue. Word of warning though; the original Last Raven, which we reviewed, was a total bastard in terms of difficulty (probably more so than any other Armored Core game to date). The new PSP port hasn’t been sympathetically handled in terms of the controls so expect a greater level of functional anguish. We will be reviewing it shortly though and whilst it’s a competent port (more so than Armored Core 3 Portable was at least) it’s not really meant for those without actual robot fingers.

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News: Senjou no Kizuna 2010 Tournament

Posted on : 06-05-2010 | By : | In : News, Videos

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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).

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Reviews: Gundam Assault Survive (4/10)

Posted on : 05-05-2010 | By : | In : Reviews

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Artdink have been making a name for themselves over the past few years for solid mecha games on the PSP. With the four prior Gundam Battle games, most of which were a lot of fun if a little bit of a slog at times, as well as their two recent Macross efforts. In their latest Gundam based outing though, in the form of Gundam Assault Survive, the design of these games is beginning to wear a little thin.

Considering that the host platform is portable, it makes sense that the main game be based around moderately concise sections of gameplay. The earlier Gundam Battle games executed this approach very well, despite the odd difficulty spike. Assault Survive departs from this concise nature and has undertaken a sprawling approach to its missions instead.

At its core you still have short missions making up the game, the difference now is that there is a map system semi-lifted from the Dynasty Warriors series. So whilst there are brief missions making the game up, they are often chained up together to make a level that’s pretty longwinded and not really suitable for a handheld gaming device.

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News: Aaliyah Kawate on Twitter

Posted on : 27-04-2010 | By : | In : News

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From Software have recently released their new mascot online; Aaliyah Kawate is an interesting masked character that has the head of the AALIYAH frame made by Ray Leonard in Armored Core 4 and For Answer. He generally gets rolled out for the various meets and seems to make a big deal of his skill at the games (despite being a bit crap actually). In any case, he was recently unleashed on Twitter and has been uploading versus videos of him playing Last Raven Portable too. So if you like your mecha gaming mascots a bit wacky then this might be right up your street!

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Toys: VF Hi-Metal VF-1J Preview

Posted on : 27-04-2010 | By : | In : Toys/Kits

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Over at GA Graphic they’ve previewed the upcoming VF Hi-Metal VF-1J toy. The VF-1J, specifically Hikaru Ichijoe’s variant (which this toy is of), is actually quite an important design in the grand scheme of things. Simply due to the fact that it pretty much visually defined the original Macross and subsequently Robotech too. It’s very much an iconic piece of mecha design, if only for the fact that it marked a turning point on how transforming mecha were functionally portrayed.

This had a palpable outcome in terms of toy production as well, as the original Valkyrie toys were wonderfully tactile and beefy with it. Bandai, it seems, are keen to return to that; as the VF Hi-Metal range is technically a reboot of an older toyline. However, the recent Fire Valkyrie toy they released didn’t have much metal in the frame really and also featured a fair amount of parts swapping, this being disappointing when their competitors (like Yamato) have been doing such a brilliant job. Admittedly, Bandai are pricing this much less and are if anything trying to oust Kaiyodo’s Revoltech attempts. The boasted articulation does sound impressive though; a double joint for the elbow for wider articulation of the arm, pull-out mechanisms implemented for the pelvis joint allowing the legs to spread wider for more stable standing, an improved design for the ankle allowing the toy’s feet to be able to touch the surface better, a new the pelvis and ankle joint design to make difficult poses like kneeling possible and the knee joint can be turned horizontally to create lovely poses for the legs in GERWALK mode. Despite the size, the toy will also feature retractable hands too, which is pretty cool.

Naturally, the VF-1J has graced many a game over the years; with the two recent PSP games Macross Ace and Ultimate Frontier being notable. Though our favourite iteration is probably either in Another Century’s Episode 3, as that included the armored variant. In any case, this new VF-1J toy is released in June for 5775 yen and you can pre-order it here.

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News: Wolf Fang released on Japanese PSN

Posted on : 26-04-2010 | By : | In : News, Videos

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The classic run and gun shooter, Wolf Fang, was recently released on the Japanese PSN. This was an arcade game from the early 90’s in the same vein as Assault Suits Leynos and Valken, it also received both a PlayStation and Sega Saturn port (though the version on PSN is obviously the former). Wolf Fang has also been getting a bit of a resurgence as of late, as we reported the release of the Video Game Robotics gashapon not that long ago and it featured one of the mecha from the game. In any case, we’re big fans of Wolf Fang and the ability to play it on our PSP is most welcome.

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Toys: Metal Composite Unicorn Gundam

Posted on : 17-04-2010 | By : | In : Toys/Kits

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Certain mecha designers have quite the reputation for pushing boundaries, not only in terms of the technical veracity of their craft but also in regards to the subsequent engineering of the related merchandise. Hajime Katoki is unique in many regards, as he not only helms various toy and kit lines at Bandai but also for being a cheeky scamp. Katoki is also one of the most important mecha designers when it comes to gaming, as he wrestled what was once an incompatible and wayward discipline with the stringent limitations of polygon counts to pen the original VR designs for the ground breaking Virtual On.

So when, after nearly a decade, Katoki was announced to be designing an all new Gundam to grace the UC timeline many people got quite excited. However, the initial reveal of the Unicorn Gundam was a clever ruse; as it showed only Unicorn mode. So not very Gundamy at all really, not until Destroy mode was revealed to the expectant throng with its gilted V-fin and pink psycho-frame innards was it obvious that the Unicorn had been a Gundam all along. Katoki had managed to design something that was, yet again, amazingly intricate but obviously tactile.

Unsurprisingly, the Unicorn made it into the recent Gundam vs Gundam Next and the PSP port Next Plus, along with the its first nemesis the Kshatriya. The Unicorn is a potent unit in the game as well and when in Destroy mode can undertake some pretty epic melee combos.

After much fanfare though, Gundam Unicorn has finally started its animated run as well. To commemorate this event, Katoki has literally fired up one of his toy lines to make the the ultimate toy based incarnation of his design.

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Kits: Crest CR-C98E2 Announced

Posted on : 15-04-2010 | By : | In : Toys/Kits, Videos

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For the Armored Core inclined, this is quite an important kit. If only for the fact that it defined and adorned the original Armored Core 3 Silent Line’s box cover – a game we rate as being the best Armored Core game of all time (something the recent PSP port really fails to live up to). Not only did this design equip the lethal Karasawa laser rifle but also the highly controversial stealth extensions (which were banned in all Japanese tournaments in case you were wondering). Despite sharing the same core as the updated Nineball, this is an all new kit. Like with all the Kotobukiya kits, all the parts are interchangeable from other mecha in the same range and the sculpt is superlatively good as well. This kit is out in August and will be charged at the very reasonable price of 4,725 yen. Here’s the original game’s opening and it features the above design quite prominently too.

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Videos: Latest Peace Walker Video Reveals What Might Be The First True Metal Gear

Posted on : 07-04-2010 | By : | In : Videos

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The internet is currently abuzz over all the details that were disclosed at yesterday’s Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker event, like the appearance of creatures from the Monster Hunter series, or the wacky in-game product tie-ins, including Doritos, Pepsi, and AXE body spray. For those interested in learning more, Google will service those needs quite nicely, but let’s focus on the latest trailer, which highlights the new cast, and also features the three heavy machinery that the action will revolve around. I’m talking about the AI units, two of which we’ve already covered due to their apparent connection to the mecha in Snake Eater.

But near the very end, we also get a quick glimpse of something that can only be described as a real deal Metal Gear, since it fulfills one of the core criteria, that being a bipedal tank. Up till this point, the first unit to actually stand on two legs was from the very first title, the TX-55. And the Metal Gear before that, from the game that immediately precedes Peace Walker (timeline-wise), Portable Ops, is the RAXA, which had four legs. Hence why this latest mecha might be, in fact, the first true Metal Gear. Then again, it could be revealed that it has zero nuclear capabilities, another important criteria. In that case, it can only be viewed as a Metal Gear successor, which is still significant nonetheless.

As for what it’s called, apparently it’s the Basilisk. At least according to the documentation that accompanies the shot of the Square Enix Play Arts toy, which was also revealed at the same event, from above. Try and see if you can spot the mystery machine:

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