Toys: PlayStation Optimus Prime Announced
Following on from the MegaDrive Megatron toy being made by Takara Tomy, they've now also announced an Optimus Prime toy based on the original PlayStation. Like the first...
Apologies for the delay in posting this, as we’ve been somewhat busy as of late. In any case the fourth livestream for Armored Core Verdict Day is now archived and linked below. In addition, there are all manner of new promos and adverts that have been unleashed online. The promo is especially interesting as it covers more the narrative side of things, which seems to be a bigger deal in this game compared to the previous one. Following on from that news of a Raven’s Meeting has surfaced. This will be held on August 8th in Shinjuku. Not only will the in-house From Software band FreQuency be playing live but the next livestream will be hosted there too.
Over at 4Gamer there’s a new piece about the world in Armored Core Verdict Day. Despite doing the obvious staple corporate round-up, we now also have Reapers (picture above and that sound a lot like the Zodiac ACs you faced in the previous game) and on top of all that, it seems that the AI controlled UNACs are also part of the story too. That in itself is actually a nice little touch, especially with all the Nineball stuff we’ve had in the past (an army of Nineballs you say?). However, the biggest thing (literally) that’s been highlighted is that of the giant and equally mysterious tower we’ve seen in all the media for the game. For those that are familiar with VOTOMS, this tower should look narratively familiar and considering Armored Core’s narrative history with AI overlords we expect something similar again (something the UNACs are likely part of too). Obviously I could talk more here about all this but some people go apeshit over spoilers, so alas I shall abstain. Anyway, it seems that Verdict Day’s narrative is more grounded than the previous game and September can’t come soon enough.
The third livestream for Armored Core Verdict Day will be happening on the 12th July (you’ll be able to watch it here). The previous livestream is also online here if you want to watch it. This livestream appears to be more focused on the singleplayer story side of things, which is meant to be far more substantial over the previous game. It will also be nice to hear those lovely people at From Software talking about a mecha game without having an identity crisis.
In a recent interview with Game Informer, Respawn’s Joel Emslie said something disappointing and worrying in equal measure regarding the mecha in Titanfall. The main quote being “Mech is kind of a dirty word with us, we don’t like it. These aren’t mechs” (screenshot above). Despite the very obvious and widely acknowledged aspects that define the game’s Titans as mecha, it seems that this is another attempt by a game studio to re-brand mecha as something else and new (though with Hawken, Adhesive to their credit did change their tune). This is likely intended as a means to distance the game from any form of Japanese inspiration. Doing the typical American thing of making out that this was some kind of immaculate creative conception, which in itself is still worthy of copious eye rolling. Whilst this is a pretty shitty thing to do, what’s more worrying is how the mecha are being described as a “second skin” for the pilots. In that we may likely see the game with more human controlling mecha, which is basically the same route Front Mission Evolved went down. In short, that didn’t work out too well. Anyway we’re now somewhat skeptical about Titanfall, especially as the lead artist is saying stuff like this. Thanks to Bonk for the heads up.
Bandai have done the decent thing and announced a BluRay boxset for Blue Comet SPT Layzner. This will include the TV series and OVA as well as a variety of other trinkets (such as a 32 page booklet). However, all this will come at a price as the boxset will cost pretty close to 50,000 yen when it is released September 18th in Japan. Unlike the recent Macross Plus BluRay Boxset, this release of Layzner sadly won’t come with English subtitles. This begs the question on whether any Western distributor will do the right thing and pick this classic series up. As to why Layzner matters, well when it comes to gaming the series has been consistently and hugely influential. From Anubis to Armored Core For Answer to Omega Boost and even Bangai-O, Layzner’s functional parameters have inspired all manner of mecha games over the years. That aside the series is also thoroughly excellent in its own right and considering that the last release of Layzner (on DVD) was over 10 years ago now, this announcement is very welcome.
The third livestream for Armored Core Verdict Day has been archived and we’ve linked it below. As you’d expect, a lot more was shown and discussed about the new UNAC AI system and it’s looking quite comprehensive. In addition, the game will also come with a new death animation for all ACs (with them tumbling to their respective dooms). This is somewhat reminiscent to the more ostentatious deaths seen in Last Raven. This new death animation was compiled into a new YouTube video, accompanied by suitably Shaft-tastic music, and we’ve included this below too. If we’re honest, the new rolling death looks a bit odd but maybe this is due to the camera angles they’ve chosen.
Whilst it was leaked recently that Respawn Entertainment were working on a mecha themed FPS, it has now been officially announced. Called Titanfall, it’s a sci-fi FPS set on what appears to be a far off future colony world. On foot combat seems to have parkour and quick boosting elements (so quite interesting) but the mecha look like something else entirely (as shown above). Whilst we did berate Front Mission Evolve’s idiotic standardisation between human and mecha handling, it’s not entirely clear if that’s the case here. That aside, the mecha designs have some nice nods to Yutaka Izubuchi’s and Kow Yokoyama’s work though, which we entirely approve of. Whilst this was premiered along with the Xbox One, apparently there will be a 360 and PC release too. The announcement trailer is linked below.
Oh, and to our readers from Respawn (of which there are a few), “hi!”.
Over at 4Gamer there’s an interesting update for Armored Core Verdict Day. On the one hand it shows the new and nicely shiny boxart but also covers the game’s singleplayer component. Specifically, we have a fleshed out Story Mode that has you play single player narrative focused missions. The purpose is to clear all 60 missions and reach the plot’s conclusion. This is slightly different from the handful of story missions in the previous game followed by the the Order filler missions. This seems to be far more substantial in terms of content. Two player coop play is also possible for all missions and a UNAC or a mercenary can be selected as a partner. Once the story is cleared another mode, Hardcore Mode, will appear. This mode changes a number of things, such as clearing the story with higher difficulty conditions, from limitations on your AC to increased damage taken. There are a total of 10 different modes with a variety of conditions in Hardcore Mode. Beating Hardcore Mode will also result in your details being listed on online rankings. In addition, you can create a single player team and battle with UNAC (AI) AC as the team members. Not to mention that it is also possible to send only the UNAC units and participate in the battle as an operator. The mercenary setup is also very much still present and whilst you’ll lack voice communication you can still participate in the story mode missions just fine. Finally it seems the western release of the game will also get the same collector’s edition, which is pretty cool.
Sentinel have finally revealed their upcoming Riobot Jehuty figure in all its glory. It’s considerably larger and more detailed than the previous Revoltechs, so this obviously comes with a larger price tag (of 13,500 yen) and will be released in September of this year. That said, this figure will come with a good amount of diecast too apparently so that’s good to know at least. You can pre-order yours here.
The third livestream for Armored Core Verdict Day will be happening on the 21st June (you’ll be able to watch it here). The previous livestream is also online here if you want to watch it. From what we’ve been seeing it seems that the game is going to be very good indeed. In addition, there are lots of rumours flying on Japanese boards about merged servers. If true that would make a huge and very positive difference to the game’s online community and potential longterm success.