Toys: Metal Robot Damashii Hi-Nu Gundam
Courtesy of our good friends at HobbyLink Japan we've been sent the Metal Robot Damashii Hi-Nu Gundam as seen in the novel Beltorchika's Children (one of the adaptations...
Following on from their AGNI kit, Kotobukiya have revealed Vengeance. This is basically the same design as the Super Robot Chokogin toy but is actually a more faithful representation (in terms of colouring and decals) to an enemy seen at the end of Armored Core V. In short this also means it has the Grind Blade (pictured above), which unsurprisingly requires its own stand. The kit will be released this December and you can pre-order it here
What with Gamescom undwerway, lots of games are being shown and available for punters to play. One of which is Respawn’s Titanfall. Considering the fucking idiotic stance by their lead artist, that the titular Titans “aren’t mecha“, we’re very skeptical about how the (very obviously) mecha section of the game will play out. The new footage (shown below) again emphasises this “seamless transition” between Titan and human control – in short, the mecha basically play like people. Weirdly, the on foot mechanics look far more interesting and we’re very keen to try out all the wall jumping and the displayed Titan follow mode looks suitably neat too. In any case, we’ll be picking this up on release and giving it a good once over.
There will be an Armored Core Convention held on the 7th September in Washington DC. Apparently LAN games will be supported as well as the chance to win Armored Core figures (plus the opportunity to drink booze). The convention also marks the series’ 16th birthday, which is nice. More details will be forthcoming closer to the time but you can go to the Facebook page to show your support and interest. Talking of Armored Core, there’s a pretty interesting interview over at 4Gamer about Verdict Day.
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.