It turns out, that after this year’s TGS, that HORI put their limited run of TwinStick EX peripherals back on sale for a few days last week. As we said in our impressions, we weren’t keen on HORI’s sticks and so if you missed the chance to nab these, you really shouldn’t feel hard done by.
Separately, Juro Watari has been posting on the official blog about a new 144 page artbook that chronicles the 15 years of Virtual On’s mechanical lineage (as penned by Hajime Katoki). This seems to be part of the Memorial Box setup too.
The next episode in the anime adaptation of Harutoshi Fukui’s Gundam Unicorn novels is still set for release at the end of October. To commemorate the upcoming release of the “Red Comet” a new promo video has been going the rounds. Despite showing off the RX-0 Unicorn Gundam and MSN-06S Sinanju in more luscious detail, it’s really quite something to hear Shūichi Ikeda’s voice again. Now only if the episode could get here three times as fast…
On the final public day of TGS, the SEGA booth was graced with a rare showing of one of the most important figures in mecha gaming; Juro Watari. Effectively the father of Virtual On, Watari has never been one for the limelight and as such hasn’t really been one to conduct many interviews, so seeing him on stage like that was really rather wonderful. He was also joined by Takanobu Terada, of Super Robot Wars fame, and many had thought that it was going to amount to a massive announcement regarding a new Virtual On themed Super Robot Wars game. Alas, nothing of the sort happened and they instead spent the time talking about how much they like robots and breasts. 4Gamer has some nice coverage of this too.
One of the most popular games at this year’s TGS, apart from Monster Hunter Portable 3rd, was that of Platinum Games’ upcoming third person shooter Vanquish. Unlike the already released demo, the TGS version had different bosses amongst other things. We also played the game on both the PS3 and 360, with the PS3 version seeming to run a bit smoother (which isn’t surprising considering that was the game’s lead platform during development).
In short, the game really was stupendously good and it did honestly feel like Casshern the game, with guns and set inside O’Neill cylinder. Our impressions after the jump.
One of the first games we played at this year’s TGS was Front Mission Evolved. Despite being readily available in the shops in Japan, the game graced at least three separate booths across both formats (that in itself was pretty damn crazy to be honest). As such saying that the game we played was a “demo” and that there’s room for improvement doesn’t really hold true here, the code shown at TGS was utterly final in the released sense of the word. So what follows is pretty much an overture for our review most probably, in short we weren’t that impressed.
Tucked around the side of D3’s booth was one machine playing Bangai-O HD Missile Fury, due to its unfortunate placing it didn’t receive much attention but that at least meant we got to have a go. It’s worth saying up front that this was just plain raucous fun throughout and considering the series’ lineage there’s no doubt that this new game will be absolutely bloody amazing.
We managed to not only have several playthroughs on the upcoming port of Virtual On Force but also try out the HORI TwinStick EX peripheral that will be compatible with the game on its release in December. From what we saw, pretty much all the VR and their variants were playable and the following impressions were undertaken using Temjin 747. We’ve also linked a video at the end of the post to show the sticks in action with the game (we aren’t the ones playing though, in case you’re wondering).
From the number of tweets we’ve been getting, it seems only fair to answer some of your questions. The recurring questions we’ve got regard the absence of Armored Core 5, Bumpy Trot 2 and Macross Trial Frontier. In the case of the latter, there is a looping movie being shown at the Bandai Namco stall but despite the game being finished there’s nothing playable at the show (though the game footage does look lovely and it’s pretty clear that the game is indeed very similar to Artdink’s recent PSP games). In addition, Irem have quite a nice presence this year but when we quizzed them about Bumpy Trot 2 they simply had a “no comment”. As for Armored Core 5? Absolutely nothing, not even a video preview and due to From Software not having a presence at the show we’ve been unable to quiz anyone about it.
Considering that Front Mission Evolved is playable in about three separate booths this year (despite being available in the shops already in Japan) it may be that From Software decided to wait this one out, as Armored Core 5 is potentially quite similar in approach. In any case, it’s not as though From Software needed to be worried as after playing Front Mission Evolved quite a bit its is really quite painfully average.
4Gamer has the scoop from Capcom’s press briefing today. In short From Software are developing a new Steel Battalion game for Capcom that uses Kinect to control the vertical tanks. This looks like a reboot as well, as the tech seen in the previous games is narratively absent apparently. Naturally, there aren’t many functional details at present but of all the developers – bar the original Nudemaker – who could handle Steel Battalion well it would easily be From Software (especially considering that Chrome Hounds pretty much went down that route already). No word on who’s penning the new mecha designs as yet, as the original games used mecha designed by the very talented Junji Okubo, but we’ll hopefully know more on that in a day or two. In the meantime, here’s the teaser trailer.
Update: It’s been confirmed that Junji Okubo is not penning the mecha designs for this, which is a pity, but the good news is that the Chrome Hounds team are developing this Kinect only game – so we’re very cautiously optimistic about this.