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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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Toys: Temjin Ver. Ka Site Update

Posted on : 25-06-2010 | By : | In : Toys/Kits

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The wondrous news of a MBV-04-G Temjin toy on the way has finally manifested itself via an official site from Bandai. Despite specifying both the release date for October this year and the price of 5,040 yen, the site also sports the “theme tune” of sorts for Temjin (or more accurately the stage music where you face Temjin in the original Virtual On). Called In The Blue Sky it’s been a recurring anthem of sorts for the series as a whole. The site also shows a curious lighting effect for the beam sword, whether this is a photoshop special (most likely) or an actual feature remains to be seen. In addition to the site going live there’s also an interesting interview with Juro Watari (effectively the “creator” of Virtual On) over at the official Virtual On site about this new toy.

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News: E3 2010 Mecha Musings

Posted on : 16-06-2010 | By : | In : News

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The swirling chaos that is E3 is almost over, and while it will be some time before anyone can make sense of what this raw data pulse from the games industry actually means, there have been a few mecha-related sightings and announcements for the observant mechanical fanatic.

One of the biggest surprises of the show came in this trailer for the campaign of Halo: Reach, which revealed the presence of space fighter combat. While a lot of FPS fans were shocked by the news, Halo has always had an emphasis on using vehicles, so this is really just an extreme extension of that. More interesting to mecha gaming fans, perhaps, is how Real Robot the Spartan designs now look. While we have talked about the Spartan design and its similarities to Yutaka Izubuchi’s work before, specifically the GM Sniper II and GM Command, the comparison to Japanese Real Robot design is even more pronounced now. The squad of Spartans we see all have different kinds of equipment, and therefore distinct visual looks, which describe their role type on the battlefield. This is something that mecha games have been doing for years and now more mainstream games are finally catching up. Some of the interviews and information being leaked out talk about being able to customize your player character Spartan with different weapons, equipment and aesthetic features, making the character more like a human wearing powered armor and less like a generic guy with guns (something we talked a bit about last week with Vanquish).

Speaking of Vanquish, there’s a gameplay video from the E3 floor which shows the protagonist hopping on and controlling what reminds me of the Regult battle pod from Macross. Vanquish continues to look as amazing as ever and the interesting mixture of Western and Japanese game ideas will hopefully inject some much-needed lifeblood into the ‘third person shooter’ genre.

And more directly mecha related, I was happy to see in the new Warhammer 40,000 MMO trailer some of the massive robotic weapons the Warhammer 40k universe has to offer. While actual details on the game are currently light, and no one seems to be able to tell us whether we will control some of these mechanical monstrosities or if they’re just the 40k MMO equivalent to World of Warcraft’s raid bosses, it does seem as if the developer is trying to incorporate some of the more epic-scaled elements of the 40k universe rather than just making the WoW clone that everyone else is trying to make. I refuse to believe there can be anything bad about a fictional universe that agrees with Mobile Suit Gundam’s assertion that vehicles painted red go faster, at any rate.

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News: Front Mission Evolved Release Date

Posted on : 25-05-2010 | By : | In : News, Videos

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Over at Game Watch it seems that the Japanese release date for Front Mission Evolved has been confirmed as the 16th September. Interestingly, the article also talks of a release on Steam. The US release, confirmed in the trailer below, is two days before the Japanese one; on the 14th September. Naturally, upon release, we’ll be reviewing the game – so keep an eye out for that.

Spoiler

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News: MechWarrior 4’s Free Release is GO

Posted on : 03-05-2010 | By : | In : News

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After almost a year of waiting, Mektek X has released MechWarrior 4 to the public. The gates were actually opened to the free release a few days ago, but the flood of MechWarrior fans crushed the MTX client with their sheer enthusiasm, but it now appears that the problems are (mostly) worked out and the client is now chugging along fine. If you do have any additional problems, they do offer a beta release of their client in addition to the current version, which is supposed to be less dependent on the client being able to connect to the website, in case the problems that the original flood created show up again. Obviously there are still a lot of bugs for the MTX team to work out, but their hard dedication seems to finally be paying off: MechWarrior is back. Polish up your Death From Above skills while waiting for the upcoming new MechWarrior game.

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News: Mechwarrior 4 Free Release Cleared to Go

Posted on : 25-04-2010 | By : | In : News

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The guys at MekTek have recently re-announced the free release of MechWarrior 4, saying that the issues with Microsoft’s legal team have been resolved. As the team’s update notes, it has been nearly a year since the original announcement of the free release, and rather than being upset by the long wait, I have to give serious kudos to the members of the MekTek team for continuing to work on this project despite all the obstacles they’ve faced. In an era where community projects unexpectedly rise and just as suddenly fall, the MechWarrior/Battletech community have really stuck together and with this upcoming free release, other amazing fan projects, and the official MechWarrior franchise reboot coming soon, MechWarrior/BattleTech’s destiny looks brighter than it ever has since the release of Mechwarrior 2: Mercenaries, all the way back in 1996. Hopefully this gathering of excitement and creative energy can revitalize the flatlined state of Western mecha gaming development.

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News: Total Annihilation Now Available for Digital Download

Posted on : 16-03-2010 | By : | In : News

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It’s a good time to be a Supreme Commander fan. Supreme Commander 2 was just released and now Stardock’s Impulse service is selling Total Annihilation for $9.99.

Total Annihilation was a real-time strategy game released all the way back in 1997, considered to have been ahead of its time and which won considerable acclaim from critics. However, the game never gained quite the foothold or presence that Starcraft did in the minds of the average gamer, and remains mostly a forgotten classic, only living on in occasional critics’ lists of favorites and in the free Spring RTS engine, an attempt by fans to clone the original Total Annihilation’s gameplay (anything with a Gundam RTS mod deserves mention).

Supreme Commander was a “spiritual successor” to Total Annihilation, an attempt to bring its massive scale of combat, large selection of units, an interesting economy/base construction model, and the crowd-pleasing nuclear superweapons back into the minds of gamers, and it being re-released at the time that Supreme Commander is getting its own sequel allows fans to relive history as they step into the future.

More importantly, though, Total Annihilation’s early geometric 3D mecha are simply way, way cool. Most early 3D is considered terrible by the standards of today, but the low-poly units of Total Annihilation seemed to have been designed with the day’s limitations in mind, and thus they still hold up today as somewhat abstract art. The tanks and mecha in Total Annihilation ooze style out of every jaggy line.

Both games feature a “Commander” unit, a giant mecha, which uses atomic-level manufacturing to build an entire economy on far-off planets literally from the ground up, which is an interesting inversion on how mecha usually are used in games: the “Commander” is more or less the player character, and while their large mecha is by no means weak, it’s a central unit because of its production capabilities, and not because of its arsenal, which as a mecha fan I always thought was a nice way to work the idea of a “hero mecha” into an RTS, because you can relate to the Commander mecha’s role as, well, a Commander on the battlefield rather than as simply a powerful named “hero” unit as exist in most other RTSes.

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News: Updated Lost Planet 2 Trailer

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

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A new trailer for the upcoming Lost Planet 2 was release a few days ago, so if you missed it we’ve linked it below. The wonderful vital suits are shown but in a somewhat limited capacity unfortunately, normally on account of the showboating giant Akrid. That aside, like the demo confirms, this could be just bloody amazing. The game is released on May 18th and don’t forget to pre-order either the 360 and PS3 versions!

Spoiler

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News: Val Force Packs A Two For One Punch, Mecha And Girls

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

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What do you get when you combine Sega’s Virtual On and generic anime babes? Why, you get Val Force of course, a doujin game from Yumesoft (it appears to be their one and only release thus far). I tried all morning in vain to get the demo to work on my end; after a lengthy download session… it always takes me forever to nab anything from Japan… the game simply wouldn’t run, and I’m not sure why, since I don’t understand Japanese. But I think it has something to do with me not having the latest DirectX installed, though being on a Mac via Bootcamp might be the real culprit. Anyhow, going by the video alone, it appears to be a thoroughly competent VO clone, provided if you don’t mind the extra dose of X chromosomes.

Spoiler

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At least the cast isn’t all moe, which is somewhat of a surprise, given the archetype’s popularity as of late. Though to be honest, instead of girls that vaguely resemble Temjin or Bal-Bas-Bow, most appear to be from shmups, either from Triggerheart Exelica or Otomedius, primarily the blue haired character. You’ve also got one that has shades of Anubis, from Zone of the Enders, along with this other one who vaguely resembles Eika Ichijo, from Sky Girls, or at least the mecha suit. Sorta. Okay, not really. Anyway, for those that wish to give it a try, the demo can be attained here (hope you all have better luck than myself). Via Select Button.

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News: Supreme Commander 2 Released

Posted on : 08-03-2010 | By : | In : News

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The much anticipated RTS sequel, Supreme Commander 2 has hit the shelves. Many improvements over the last two games have been implemented (SC2 runs much smoother than the original and Forged Alliance). The most notable changes maybe those of the economic model, tier system, and the large focus on the economy. The economic model has been simplified, so rather than the complex system of mass and energy gain/drain, the whole drained portion was chopped.

Instead of distributing the resources earned each second amongst all working engineers, they have replaced it with a credit system. If you want to build something, you must pay the full price for the item up front, then send one engineer off to build it. You can no longer have 50 engineers rush build something in a couple seconds. The whole tier system was removed. Instead of upgrading your factories to build more powerful units, you instead earn “research points.” Your ACU will slowly accumulate RP over time. You can build research facilities, or kill enemy units to get RP faster. You can then use your RP to improve your units, or unlock new ones. This all boils down to a larger focus on commanding your army. Chris Taylor promised us all of this and did not fail to keep his word. You can grab Supreme Commander 2 on both PC and the 360.

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News: Kinuyo Yamashita needs your help!

Posted on : 07-03-2010 | By : | In : News

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The wonderfully talented composer Kinuyo Yamashita is in a bit of a pickle over her English Wikipedia page. Despite being a credited composer on multiple games and having her own Japanese Wikipedia entry, it seems that the English side of things refuse to acknowledge her large body of work.

The reason we mention her here is that she recently composed the score for the PC shooter Gunhoud (which we will review soon, we promise). A few peeps, including the indomitable Eric Caoili over at Game Set Watch, noted that the Gunhound’s music bore a striking similarity to the various Castlevania games. Well, that’s because it was written by the same very gifted lady.

In any case, get on over to Wikipedia and help sort this nonsense out. It might also be worth showing that full blown orchestras have performed her work too, just saying. After all, what the world be without the wondrously memorable Vampire Killer?

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