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News: Gundam Breaker 2 Boss UpdateNews: Gundam Breaker 2 Boss Update In a recent update covering the forthcoming Gundam Breaker 2, we get to see all manner of new bosses. Such as the Adrastrea from Victory Gundam (as shown above). Bandai...

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News: Gundam licensed by Right StufNews: Gundam licensed by Right Stuf In a surprising turn of events, it looks like Right Stuf have brokered a deal with Sunrise to bring Gundam to the West. The first series of which being Turn A Gundam,...

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Toys: Robot Damashii God GundamToys: Robot Damashii God Gundam Courtesy of our good friends at HobbyLink Japan, we’ve been sent a toy from Mobile Fighter G Gundam to review. Specifically, the Robot Damashii God Gundam that’s on...

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Toys: Robot Damashii Dragonar 1 CustomToys: Robot Damashii Dragonar 1 Custom Courtesy of our good friends at HobbyLink Japan, we’ve been sent a toy from Metal Armor Dragonar to review. Specifically, the Robot Damashii Dragonar 1 Custom that’s...

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Toys: Soul of Chogokin Spec Layzner Mark II ReviewToys: Soul of Chogokin Spec Layzner Mark II Review Over at HobbyLink.tv we've reviewed the recent webshop exclusive Soul of Chogokin Spec Layzner Mark II. It's a glorious good toy and likely the nicest one we'll ever get...

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News: Gundam Musou 3 Announced

Posted on : 08-09-2010 | By : | In : News

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In the latest issue of Famitsu, yet another Gundam Musou (aka: Dynasty Warriors Gundam) game has been announced. Whilst we’re not overly fond of the games, as they’re functionally Musou games with a mecha based veneer, we do enjoy them nonetheless.

That said, the line-up for this game is pretty thorough (see list below) and prior to a Gundam Extreme Versus port this game may partially satiate our Unicorn Gundam fixation. At present Gundam Musou 3 is scheduled for a Japanese release this Winter on both the PS3 and 360.

Series List »

Update: Game Watch has covered the fact that this new Musou game will be using a form of cel-shading for the rendering. The official site has also been updated.

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News: Bangai-O HD Bursting Onto XBLA

Posted on : 03-09-2010 | By : | In : News

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IGN posted some impressions of a pre-alpha version of Bangai-O HD: Missile Fury, coming to Xbox Live Arcade. It sounds like the new game stays true to the formula used by Bangai-O on the Dreamcast and Bangai-O Spirits on the Nintendo DS, and notably includes a level editor like Spirits did, which will allow users to send their creations to their online friends, although without the DS version’s really cool/really finicky Sound Loud feature.

The new game returns to the Dreamcast version’s control setup, with one stick being used to move your mecha and the other controlling the direction of your shots, which likely means a return to a completely manic pace, as opposed to Spirits’ methodically and strategically manic pace. It’s a setup that should likely be familiar with the rebirth of arena shooters after the popularity enjoyed by Geometry Wars on the XBLA, and thus hopefully can attract a larger audience than the cult classic originals.

The original Bangai-O managed to incorporate a number of important and intrinsically mecha elements into its gameplay, such as the Itano Circus of missiles being unloaded and the use of shots and missile fratricide to carve out areas of relative safety. The control of the titular robot Bangai-O itself also had a certain amount of heft and weight to it when you weren’t actively dashing, and its ability to shoot more missiles the more imminent danger the Bangai-O was in was a decidedly Super Robot mechanic. The more intense the danger, the hotter Bangai-O’s spirit burns! If you’re curious about the series, then make sure to check out our feature on the games.

The current price point seems to be 800 Xbox Points, which likely averages out to be less than 1 Point per missile onscreen at once.

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News: Virtual On Force at TGS

Posted on : 31-08-2010 | By : | In : News

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Amongst a bevy of other games, SEGA will also have a playable version of Virtual On Force at this year’s Tokyo Game Show. Whether they’ll have any of HORI’s sticks at the show remains unconfirmed but rumours are that a select few will be present for punters to try out. Considering that these are pre-order only items it seems a tad unfair to show people something they can’t actually buy. With any luck the aforementioned fetish unlock code won’t be present at the show.

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Videos: Front Mission Evolved Interactive Trailer and PV

Posted on : 27-08-2010 | By : | In : Videos

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As the release date for Front Mission Evolved looms ever closer, the marketing campaign is going into overdrive. From appearances of the game at GamesCom to a somewhat spurious “interactive trailer” (linked below). We’re still a bit sceptical about the game, as the wanzers appear a tad twitchy. In any case, we’ll know for sure when it’s released at the end of September.

Watch Interactive Trailer »

                     

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News: Virtual On Force to receive “fetish unlock code”

Posted on : 26-08-2010 | By : | In : News

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Game Watch has announced that on release of Virtual On Force in December customers who pre-ordered the game will have access to a “fetish unlock code”. This will allow players to increase the chest size of both Fei-Yen and Angelan, effectively giving the VR’s larger robotic breasts (pictured above).

Being a long-term player of the games, I find this “feature” palpably creepy and more than a little unsettling.

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News: Vanquish’s Space Colony Inspired By Gundam

Posted on : 14-08-2010 | By : | In : News

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Up at the PlatinumGames official blog, there’s a post from the lead background designer of Vanquish, talking about the influence of Gundam’s space colonies on their game’s visual design. We’ve talked about this obvious influence before but in particular his comment about the team being mainly of “Gundam age” is very interesting. Most of them grew up with this shared cultural experience of Mobile Suit Gundam and other mecha series spawned from the Real Robot explosion that followed in its wake, and this affects Japanese video game development to this day, just as Western video game developers share their own cultural experiences, such as Star Wars and Dungeons & Dragons.

Japanese video games can do very well in the West, but much of the time the peculiar differences that Japanese games can have from Western ones is ignored in the press or simply passed off as “Japan is weird”, without exploring the particular background these differences came from, rather treating game development as if it exists in a vacuum. It’s good to see these differences explained, and this in particular is a good example of the scale of influence the mecha animation genre has had in Japanese video game development.

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News: Even More Front Mission Evolved Screenshots

Posted on : 12-08-2010 | By : | In : News

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4Gamer have again got a nice new selection of screenshots for the upcoming Front Mission Evolved. It’s clear that the PR campaign is in its last desperate throes, as the game is released in September. From more angry characters, minus gratuitous bewbs, and surprisingly large mecha (though somewhat meagre when compared to Armored Core For Answer’s Arms Forts) there’s definitely lots of interesting and shiny content to peruse though.

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News: Front Mission Evolved Screenshots Update

Posted on : 09-08-2010 | By : | In : News

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4Gamer has a nice new batch of HD screenshots for the upcoming Front Mission Evolved. Overall, the game is still looking nice and the September 28th release date seems to be still on track. The update also covers the game system setup a bit as well, though with nothing really new to report since we last talked about it. As the awful acronym for the game’s bullet time (as in “E.D.G.E.” or the more idiotic “Emergency Defense Galvanosynaptic Enhancer”) is still receiving large amounts of PR spooge. Though it seems that Square Enix will be doing something right in terms of releasing toys for the game, for that we happily tip our cyborg top hats in their direction.

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News: Virtual On Force EX Option

Posted on : 06-08-2010 | By : | In : News

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What with the release of the Xbox 360 port for Virtual On Force getting ever closer, it seems that there are concerns that this series of games may not entice newcomers. With this is mind, 4Gamer has covered the announcement of a new EX Option. This effectively allows the player to grade the difficulty of the offline singleplayer campaign as per their burgeoning skill level (such as increased health, as pictured above). To be honest these kind of difficulty nullifying features tend to rub me the wrong way, especially considering the previous 360 release of Oratan 5.66 succeeded off the back of its untainted learning curve. Admittedly, this EX Option is entirely at the player’s discretion but this addition to Force reeks of management not development, as any gamer with half a cognitively active brain wouldn’t bother with this.

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Toys: Robot Damashii Zegapain Altair Released

Posted on : 02-08-2010 | By : | In : Toys/Kits

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One of the more interesting Robot Damashii toys, that of the Zegapain Altair, has finally been released in Japan. Interesting in the sense that this mecha was the titular protagonist in the similarly titled Zegapain and that the series itself was strongly funded by Microsoft in Japan. The plan was to tie in two exclusive Xbox 360 games, Zegapain XOR and NOT, that were very plain ZOE clones alongside the series. Despite the insane amount of product placement in the anime, the most obvious sign of Microsoft’s handiwork was the revolting colour of green they picked for the mecha itself. Despite being a rather innovative mecha design, penned by Rei Nakahara, the saddest thing about the whole thing was that Microsoft hired Cavia to develop the games and it was patently clear their heart wasn’t in it. Though to be honest, who could really blame them when the host work featured a hideously bright green mecha. This then is the testament to the design itself; as this toy is a palpable reminder of when Western intervention in Japanese anime and gaming pop-culture just doesn’t work.

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