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MWO moving to Steam photo
MWO moving to Steam

MechWarrior Online is coming to Steam in December

Stomping on up
Nov 13
// Nic Rowen
After what seems like years of rumors and speculation, the free-to-play shooter MechWarrior Online is finally making the move to Steam. According to a news post on the MWO website, the Steam launch will happen on December 10,...
MonHun X photo
MonHun X

Monster Hunter X has nods to Wind Waker and Macross Delta

Link with a tail and whiskers!
Nov 09
// Jordan Devore
Capcom has a habit of putting crossover characters, outfits, and weapons in Monster Hunter and that amusing trend continues with Monster Hunter X. The upcoming 3DS game has tie-ins with The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker and Macross Delta. Here's a look at them.
BattleTech photo

BattleTech Kickstarter stomps to the homestretch

PVP for a few dollars more
Nov 01
// Nic Rowen
The BattleTech reboot Kickstarter launched a little more than a month ago and by all appearances has been a total success. Harebrained Schemes smashed through the original funding targets, and now in the final days of the cam...
BattleTech photo

BattleTech Kickstarter begins, immediately secures funding for 'stage 1'

Turn-based stompy robots live again
Sep 29
// Nic Rowen
[Correction: Contrary to what I reported earlier, Harebrained Schemes did not fund the initial $250K goal of basic funding on its Kickstarter. All of those funds came from backers. Harebrained has invested $1 million into the...

BattleTech Kickstarter photo
BattleTech Kickstarter

Harebrained Schemes to Kickstart a BattleTech game this fall

Back in the cockpit
Jul 29
// Nic Rowen
The studio behind Shadowrun Returns, Harebrained Schemes, is planning to resurrect another classic PC series in the near future, trading in net-running cyberpunks for the towering mechs of the BattleTech universe. The studio ...

My favorite Morpheus game so far is RIGS

Jun 22 // Jordan Devore
Combat isn't anything new for the genre, but after you take enough people out and pick up orbs from fallen foes, you're put into an overdrive mode. It's at this point you need to make a mad dash toward the top of the map where there are ramps leading up to a giant hoop. Jump down through the goal as if you were a basketball to score, but watch out for incoming fire and melee attacks. If and when your mech is destroyed, you'll eject and skyrocket to the top of the map. You can take in the scenery, or get straight back into the action by looking at one of a few colored spawn points and confirming with a button press. Given the immersion of VR, free-falling felt awesome. Had the game just been standard team-based combat centered on blowing up mechs, I wouldn't have thought much of it. This mode, Power Slam, really was the best way to introduce it. RIGS won't be a compelling enough reason to own a Morpheus by itself, but it's a good starting point.
Virtual Reality photo
'Basketball with guns'
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain and virtual reality -- those were the two things, by far, I most enjoyed at this year's E3. Steven did an exceptional job of capturing the essence of the former, so now it's on me to ...

RIGS photo

Sony debuts cheesy-as-hell trailer for VR-experience 'RIGS'

Jun 15
// Chris Carter
Do you want VR? Sony wants you to want VR. If you're down with it, you can watch a ton of people absolutely "loving" VR, with the newest game on the block -- RIGS. It's an action mech game that will debut on the PS4 at some point. Um, okay. Is there still time to ask for a new Virtual On?
MWO update photo
MWO update

Mechwarrior Online retools its MechLab again

Hold the phone, NEW MENUS!?
Jun 05
// Nic Rowen
Have you seen a commercial where a company basically throws its last product or several years of service under the bus to promote its new stuff? Like those bizarre ads for Domino's Pizza a few years ago which basically boiled...

My greatest gaming regret is never making it to one of those ridiculous BattleTech Centers

May 29 // Nic Rowen
While BattleTech Centers were a video game experience, I'd say they had more in common with a laser-tag joint than an arcade. It was a production; one part video game, one part fantasy. They'd sit you down inside an overly-complex facade of a mech cockpit they called a “battle pod,” complete with WWII bomber-style tail art and mock technical information plastered on the side. Inside were a dizzying array of peddles, throttles, joysticks, and an assortment of quasi-functional warning lights and buttons. The pod was totally enclosed, fully immersing the pilot in the fantasy of actually being in command of a giant war-machine. They'd give you a call sign, have you watch poorly acted in-universe tutorials of how the game worked (staring Jim Belushi of all people!) and print out “after action” military reports (scorecards) of your performance. Mechwarriors would play a networked multiplayer death match, piloting their giant mech against with other real live humans piloting their own mechs from separate pods. All of this in the year of our Lord 1991. It was astounding for the day. In just a few short years, they'd have the technology to allow players in different BattleTech Centers around the country play against each other, likely the first introduction to online multiplayer for many mech nuts. Again, this is in the early '90s! [embed]292997:58730:0[/embed] Even voicing the idea out loud, I have no idea how it got off the ground. It sounds like a pipe-dream. A mad fantasy scribbled down in the margins of a high school notebook during the last few minutes of a particularly boring English class. Not something real people would spend real money on. It sounds exactly like the product of one of the “wouldn't it be cool if...” head-in-the-clouds conversations I'd have with my brother when we were kids. Even at the absolute height of the franchise's popularity, I can't imagine dedicating an entire building to mechanized combat. Nowadays, The Avengers are about the most popular thing on Earth, with their combined movie franchise making more money than some national GDPs. Still, I can't imagine getting any investors jumping on board to make Iron Man Centers where you strap on some fake Tony Stark gloves and a helmet and shoot repulsor blasts at other players. It's insane. Still, BattleTech Centers happened. There was a time when you and 15 or more friends could pile into a couple of vans, drive to a BattleTech Center, and spend the afternoon recreating the 4th Succession Wars of the early 3000s from the comfort of your personal cockpit -- and I fucking missed it. Nothing gold can stay. As the popularity of BattleTech as a whole began to wane, and the general market shifted away from arcades in favor of home consoles, BattleTech Centers around the world began shuttering their cockpits. There were reattempts at the idea. BattleTech: Firestorm came out in early 2000s with improved Tesla 2 cockpits (capable of “Advanced Mission Mode” which actually turned on all of the extra switches and controls in the cockpit, changing them from a cute cosmetic affectation to necessary instruments). But despite a small hardcore audience of enthusiasts, battle pods are on the brink of extinction. There are a few places still running BattleTech pods, but they are scattered throughout the country and operate on a much smaller scale. A few half-functioning pods tucked in the back of an arcade at a Go-Kart track in New Mexico. A small mech cache in Houston that is only open on occasional weekends or by appointment. Or the Fallout Shelter Arcade's wandering BattleTech exhibition that travels between conventions and events, dropping pods in the middle of a show floor for curious attendees. Even with these last few preservationists, the clock is ticking. The machines are getting older, spare parts and the knowledge to repair them increasingly scarce. Soon, the few remaining pods around may suffer the “lostech” fate that befell the advanced Star League technology of the BattleTech series (an end that is deeply depressing to the part of me that still wants to climb into a cockpit, and bizarrely exhilarating to the part of me that is a bone-deep MechWarrior nerd). Look, I know these centers are dead for a reason. I get that they were cheesy as hell even when they were new. I know the games probably haven't held up. The once quasi-mystical LAN multiplayer experience is completely unnecessary these days and there are any number of better mech games and pilot sims to spend your time on. [embed]292997:58731:0[/embed] But good lord, I just would have loved to have gone to one back in their heyday. Just the idea of dragging a few of my friends and family (who aren't obsessed with giant robots) to one of those centers puts a smile in my heart. Sitting through the terrible videos, climbing into one of those big fake cockpits, it's just the right blend of something I would enjoy both ironically and completely sincerely. Of course I would immediately switch it to the so-called Advanced Mission Mode and spend most of the time flailing about trying to figure out the controls and basically waste the opportunity. I know myself, I'm exactly that kind of jerk. I guess I should start planning a road-trip to catch up with one of the few remaining clutches of pods scattered around the country. The big, silly BattleTech Centers of yesterday are gone, and I'll never get the chance to go to one, but their legacy is still around -- at least for now. I don't want to add another regret to the pile. 
BattleTech Centers photo
They'll never bury me in my robot
I've done a lot of things I'm not proud of in my life. I've made a lot of mistakes, missed some opportunities that still feel like a cavity in my heart, know that I've done wrong. But if I'm being honest? My number one regret...

Titanfall photo

PSA: Best Buy gives you an excuse to get Titanfall

Xbox One version currently $8
Apr 24
// Robert Summa
For those rare Xbox One owners that still haven't experienced Titanfall, Best Buy is running a sale that certainly limits your excuses for not owning the game. As of now, the game is available for only $7.99. Seems like a good value to me, but I suppose if you hate fun, then it isn't. Titanfall [Best Buy]
Xenoblade Chronicles X photo
Xenoblade Chronicles X

Furries, mechs, and an octopus lady in Xenoblade Chronicles X

Apr 22
// Jed Whitaker
A fresh new trailer for Xenoblade Chronicles X can be seen above that looks more like Gundam and Metal Gear Solid to me than a JRPG. I couldn't quite decipher what is going on in the above trailer, but I'm just happy th...
Titanfall photo

A Titanfall sequel is coming and surprise, it will be multiplatform

Bro, have you seen Titanfall?
Mar 12
// Robert Summa
At last, it looks like PlayStation 4 owners will finally be able to see Titanfall. That initial sting of denial will be wiped away with a second installment as IGN confirmed the same information we already knew -- even if it ...

Mecha Trigger made me feel real dumb before it made me feel (kind of) smart

Feb 05 // Nic Rowen
Mecha Trigger delivers an insidious two-stage payload of knowledge. At first it may seem like another typing-trainer-by-way-of-game kind of a deal, a Typing of the Mech if you will. While the threat of being skewered by a railgun the size of a city bus is a pretty good motivator to learn how to type quickly and accurately, the real core of what Mecha Triggeris teaching is actually the rock-bottom basics of coding and scripting. There are no such things as joysticks or control pads in the world of Mecha Trigger. And while you use a keyboard to control your TypeFighter mech, the secrets of WASD have never been revealed to the engineers who made these giant robots. Instead, every single action your mech makes needs to be typed into a DOS style command line. Want to walk forward? You need to specifically type out (with proper spelling and format) the code to move your legs and the distance you want to travel. “legs move -d 10” for a few short lurching steps. An enemy to your right is pelting you with a mech-sized shotgun? Better type in “legs turn -a 90” to face right and look at him (you'd type in “legs turn -a -90” to look to the left), and so on. If this already seems like a huge pain in the ass, you have no idea how bad it really is. I only got to play with Steel Battalion’s infamous twin-stick, 40-plus button control surface once at a kiosk that was displaying it like some novelty act, and it was infinitely easier to grok. Even with that massive layout, there was the comforting familiarity of triggers and peddles, and when you pushed a button, while the mech might not have done what you wanted it to do, it did something. The command line prompt gives you nothing. Mistype a line, use the wrong format, whatever, and the mech remains stubbornly, perfectly, inert. Incredibly frustrating, especially when you're being picked apart by enemy fire. Even after reviewing the tutorial, I still managed to forget important commands -- like say the ones for controlling your guns and laser cannons -- in the heat of battle. The first time I actually managed to shoot something, my machine gun farted out a single impotent shot. Clearly there was room for improvement. [embed]287185:57169:0[/embed] Fortunately, you can create your own custom macros in the game that can activate a command with much fewer button presses, or even carry out multiple actions. This quickly reveals itself as the holy guts of the game. After a bit of fussing around I wrote scripts that would fire my laser beam for a nice controlled 2 second burn, or one that would empty my machine gun clip and automatically reload it. I destroyed an A.I mech or two, things start to click. For the first time in a long while, I go and grab a pen and jot down some notes. Any time a game makes me break out the ol' yellow legal pad, it's a sure sign of a burgeoning obsession, or at least a brief but intense infatuation. Soon I have a page full of abbreviate commands and reminders. I have my weapons figured out, I even come up with (what I think was) a fairly clever script to automatically switch to the cloaking device and activate it for emergencies. I'm no ballerina, but I've wrangled the controls enough to generally trundle my mech where I want to go. I can scan the enemy, get within optimal range, and unleash a holy rain of – oh wait, he activated his jump jets. How the fuck do I look up again? More notes, more macros. Over an evening of play, I slowly stumble my way towards something resembling competency. I create a slew of macros -- basic controls, weapon systems, responses to every typical situation I can think of. I try them out in the field, find holes in my battle-vocabulary and fill them. I streamline the commands that work by trimming down unnecessary keystrokes, shortening command lines to as few button presses as possible. I experiment and find out I can string more than two commands together in a single macro, instantly obsoleting more than half of the commands I've already written. I toss them out, rewrite them into tighter, more efficient, little bunches of code. My mech stops trudging about with a noticeable stutter-pause between every action, and soon I'm moving around about as smoothly as a multistory death-robot can. The process of writing macros and the logic of the game becomes so familiar that I start writing the occasional script in the middle of a fight whenever I notice something I'm missing or have an idea that would speed things up. I'm embarrassed to admit it, because I know writing macros is the most basic kind of scripting imaginable, but a thought occurs to me. “Is this how developers feel when they really understand the tools they work with? When instead of doing some menial task by hand they hack in a clever little line of code that does it for them?” I remember how Rock Band, with its simplified five button plastic guitar, gave you that little glimmer of understanding of what it's like to actually play an instrument when you got into the zone. Mecha Trigger is opening up the same conduits in my brain, but instead of a more nuanced appreciation of bass-lines and chord structure, its giving me a peek into the world of development. Just a tiny bit, a crack in the door with a weak beam of light spilling through. This is the most surface-level simple stuff, but for me, a guy who has never even considered writing a line of code in his life, it's like learning the first few words of a new language. It left me wanting more. What if I could write a script that could respond appropriately to different contexts? What if I instead of having to build my mechs around my scripts, my scripts could work with my mechs, allowing me to change up the equipment without having to write up an entirely new group of macros? These are questions the developers probably hoped people would have after playing. Sneaky bastards, teaching me things. Even if you don't feel Mecha Trigger will inspire some new-found interest in scripting for you, it's still worth checking out. It's free, offers a very different way to play than conventional shooters, and there are always worse ways to spend a lazy evening than turning giant robots into scrap.
Mecha Trigger photo
Okay, I'm just going to make the joke, 'Typingfall'
When people say “educational game” I instinctively clench up. I was raised in the heyday of Canadian educational software, with all the impenetrable geography-teaching trucking simulators and embarrassingly stilte...

MechWarrior Online's Community Warfare has taught me what it feels like to be the frustrated parent

Dec 17 // Nic Rowen
[embed]285078:56683:0[/embed] I realize MWO probably isn't the hottest game perched at the forefront of your mind this holiday season, so let me indulge in a little history lesson. When the game was first announced way back when in the heady days of 2011, and started hitting up fans for crowdfunding pledges and sight-unseen dollars, Community Warfare was the biggest ace up their sleeve. It was robot-nerd catnip. Being able to pledge allegiance to one of the Great Houses from Battletech lore and reshape the flow of history for the galaxy alongside thousands of other players was something fans of the franchise have always dreamt about. I still get goosebumps when I think about the idea. This grand vision of a galaxy on fire was supposed to be released 60-90 days after the start of open beta. Yeah, as you might have inferred by now, that didn't happen. Without belaboring the point, those 60-90 days stretched on further than anyone would imagine. For three years now, MWO players have been spinning their wheels, picking away at little more than an arena deathmatch game when they were promised the galaxy. All the while the dev team has constantly reassured players that they've toootally been at work on Community Warfare behind the scenes. Some people moved on a long time ago, others have stuck around to become gnarled and bitter old men who've given up hope for goodness in this world. Then there are the saddest of all, the true believers who never lost the faith, desperately pinning their hopes on PGI making good. They've spent the last three years rocking back and forth in the corner whispering “Krusty is coming, Krusty is coming...” believing their hero would swoop in at any moment to make things right (there really is a Simpsons reference for everything). It's certainly been a long road, so what does three years of work and anticipation look like? Not freaking much, as it turns out. There is a new game mode called “Invasion” to facilitate all the galactic conquest, and it comes complete with an astounding TWO WHOLE NEW MAPS to play on. A bumper crop of confusing menus with a lot of options and scary-looking long-term contract things for you to sign that make you feel less like a space-faring warlord and more like a nervous 24-year-old leasing their first car. On the plus side, there is a cool holographic map of the solar system that makes me feel like I'm on the bridge of the Normandy again (and has the downside of reminding me that there are far more fun and less broken games out there to play). Of course I still played MWO. I booted it up, downloaded the patch, and started my first foray into a universe at war. By which I mean I opened up a chat service. You see, the very first thing Community Warfare asks you to do is to sign a contract with a particular faction for a period of time ranging from seven days, to a month, to a lifelong pledge. There are warnings of DIRE penalties for breaking your warrior oath, and once you join a faction, you can only play with homeboys from said faction. So that means getting on the same page with your friends, who of course all have different ideas of which faction is the coolest, which has the best long-term prospects, and such. The bickering is further compounded by the divide between Inner Sphere and Clan mechs, which according to Community Warfare rules are not interchangeable. If you've stocked your garage with nothing but the superior Clan mechs since they were released, but all your poor plebeian friends (such as myself) are still riding their bronze-age Inner Sphere rust-buckets, you have to choose between your friends and your cool new toys. Community Warfare's first casualty were some sore feelings. So I signed my contract with our mutually (sort-of) agreed-upon House and then tried to join my friends' mercenary group. At this point, the game balked and informed me that even though I was married into the same House, my contract was for a different length than the groups, which invalidated me from joining. Cue a hefty million-and-a-half dollar fee for breaking my contract and trying again. Off to a great start already. Finally ingratiated into the mighty House Marik, it was time to stake our claim and defend our precious homeworld against the invading Clans! We eagerly arranged our fighting forces, strategically examined the map of the solar system, and clicked the find-match button. Then we waited. And waited. And (omg, is this thing busted?) waited. As I sat in that interminable lobby, watching the clock tick through minutes I'd never get back, I thought about the epilepsy inducing, wub-step-filled trailer for Community Warfare. I thought about the criss-crossing laser beams, the streams of missiles flying through the sky, the triumphant explosions. A single tear rolled down my cheek. I've had a revelation. MWO has taught me what it feels like to be the parent of a disappointing child. Because I desperately want to be proud and happy that MWO released Community Warfare (misshapen Frankenstein of the vision that it is). I want to say nice things about it, but all of the praise I can think of is parsed in terms of “hey, they finally fixed this glaring flaw” or “well, it still isn't very good, but it's getting better, right? RIGHT?” I'm glad that there are now objectives more interesting to fight over than glowing patches of ground. I think the new dropships add a cinematic flair the game has never enjoyed before. I think that holographic map is really freaking cool. But at the end of the day, all Community Warfare seems to be is two maps, some weak stat tracking, and a broken lobby system. It isn't much to write home about. You want to give people the benefit of the doubt, but it's hard to believe them when they say they've been working on this for three years. At what point does over-promising turn into dishonesty? When do pleas for patience and understanding veer into stalling tactics to milk a gullible audience? When do you own up to the idea that your son might not be a misunderstood late-bloomer, but just a run-of-the-mill shitty person? I can't keep making excuses for you MWO, you're over three years old.
MechWarrior Online photo
I'm not surprised, I'm just disappointed
In the land of MechWarrior Online, Christmas came early last week. Or severely, massively late depending on your perspective. Much like my relationship status with MWO in general: it's complicated. Community Warfare, the long...

Project HON trailer photo
Project HON trailer

Project HON's mech combat trailer is amazing and confusing

Mecha got a booty like DAYAM
Nov 25
// Nic Rowen
I wish everyday started with over 20 minutes of gorgeous mech combat. Project HON's impressively long trailer includes everything you could ask for from a game inspired by mecha anime: senseless destruction, giant guns, metal fisticuffs, weaponized grappling hooks, and transforming robots. Best breakfast viewing ever.

If you like spaceships, Fractured Space could be your jam

Nov 16 // Steven Hansen
It's probably worth laying out those Team Fortress and League of Legends nods first off. Like the latter, structurally, this (eventual free-to-play game, mind) is a MOBA. You start in your star base, the enemy in theirs, and you head off to jump between sectors of space and meet somewhere in the middle for giant space dogfights. There's also resources to be had on the battlefield, stations to capture and in-match upgrades.  Unlike more clicky strategy games--and herein lies the stretching for a Team Fortress 2 reference point beyond pricing--there is also a skill-based shooter here as you pilot these behemoths and fire off rockets and lasers and the like.  Ships are differentiated by manufacturer, ship class and individual loadouts. The Hunter, a Zarek Industrial ship, and Sniper, a United Space Research ship, below are only medium-sized attack ships at 750 meters in length. The latter is great at range, while the former has a "blink" ability for fits of teleportation.  This is where spaceship fans can have some fun, as the team has paid insane attention (look at that detail) to these different styled (NASA-inspired, Soviet-inspired), modular ship designs wherein you can mix and match bits to come up with a ship that suits your style. Maybe something that can deliver massive damage, but only from the front, or, on the other end, something nimble. The unlocks and progression are all about play variety, adding options to your engines, weapons. Maybe the standard blink is replace by one with shorter cool down that only goes short distances, or one with a massive cool down that gets you the heck out of dodge. Brooksby made another recognizable comparison in explaining the crew, which act "like Final Fantasy VII's Materia," adding even more diversity and abilities to your individual ship, some of which won't be completely divulged. Crew members are also part of an overarching story and lore that will change based on player input; for example, a popular captain choice among the player base, that captain could become a hero to their faction.  Fractured Space is coming to Early Access at the end of this month. Brooksby calls it, "living the next stage of the dream," to be able to, "make a game with the people that play the game." That is Early Access at its ideal, at least. I saw a bit of the game running with placeholder art, but nowhere near enough to get a real feel for it (though I can tell you the ship models are crazy detailed), so I'm interested in seeing what it looks like later this month.
Fractured Space photo
Crazy customization, Team Fortress 2 and League of Legends influence?
The makers of Strike Suit Zero are increasing the scale of their space battles with a new game, Fractured Space, which features 5 vs 5 matches between massive ships. The newly minted Edge Case Games, comprised ...

Fractured Space photo
Fractured Space

Strike Suit Zero dev brings bigger space fights with Fractured Space

'Fractured Space' is also what I call my brain
Oct 22
// Steven Hansen
The makers of Strike Suit Zero are increasing the scale of their space battles with a new game, Fractured Space, which features 5 vs 5 matches between massive ships. "Above all else we want to transmit a sense of scale to the...
Brigador photo

Matador is now Brigador, still a cool looking mech shooter

Matador Gundam is no Tequila Gundam
Sep 30
// Steven Hansen
I decided to do some checking on Matador, which won me over early this year. This proved confusing, briefly, as some legal issues have pushed the isometric mech shooter to be renamed Brigador. I kind of miss the name, but al...
Oculus Rift photo
Oculus Rift

There's a Pacific Rim virtual-reality experience for Oculus Rift

Cool idea, lame video
Jul 28
// Jordan Devore
Legendary Pictures and Reel FX brought a Pacific Rim virtual-reality experience to San Diego Comic-Con last weekend and gee, doesn't that seems like a worthwhile idea for a full game? Pacific Rim: Jaeger Pilot puts players i...

Review: Dynasty Warriors: Gundam Reborn

Jul 09 // Brittany Vincent
Dynasty Warriors: Gundam Reborn (PlayStation 3)Developer: Omega ForcePublisher: Bandai Namco GamesReleased: July 1, 2014 MSRP: $39.99 Of course, I couldn’t quite discern the quality of the release at a glance. Given the fact that this was my very first Dynasty Warriors Gundam departure, Dynasty Warriors: Gundam Reborn conjured images at first of executives attempting to cash in on the series one last time before the eventual demise of the PS3. Fortunately, I knew within my first few minutes of evaluation that I was wrong. This game flows so well in every aspect that, despite its eventual repetitiveness, it actually does an excellent job of quenching the thirst of this parched Gundam fan. And while fundamentally there isn't much in the way of classic Dynasty Warriors-styled battles here to coerce longtime fans of the series, there's plenty here for a Gundam diehard to get excited about. [embed]277640:54761:0[/embed] Despite being a hack-and-slash adventure of the Dynasty Warriors ilk, there are actually quite a few strategic elements to be found within the game. In the first few missions of each mode you find yourself simply killing enough enemies or capturing enough fields to progress. Later missions find you completing a myriad of objectives at once.In one particular mission in the original Mobile Suit Gundam story mode I found myself with simultaneous objectives, tasked with both rescuing White Base and securing the Jaburo control room. It was times like these I had to check the map and determine the ratio of enemy units to friendly units and make an executive decision as to which objective truly took priority. This lent an interesting lilt to the immersion factor of being in a Gundam on the battlefield and replicated many of the series’ most thrilling moments. In addition to Official Mode, where you follow the plot outlined in Mobile Suit Gundam, Zeta Gundam, Char’s Counterattack, Gundam Unicorn, Gundam SEED, and Gundam SEED Destiny, there’s Ultimate Mode. Here, you can follow a series of original missions and choose your own pilot and Gundam. I found this to be the more disjointed of the two, with pilots and mobile suits chosen seemingly at random for the stories. Maybe it’s just the purist in me, but I found it odd to see GMs and Zaku IIs fighting for the same side. The Ultimate Mode does add a lot of replay with unique scenarios and several “what-if” scenarios. The stars of the game are the mobile suits, though, and there are a lot of them. Over one hundred mobile suits and armors are waiting to be unlocked and upgraded. The upgrade system is simple, but can be frustrating, as it’s based on receiving plans and parts. Plans can be used to upgrade the general characteristics of your mobile suit such as melee, armor, thrusters, and more. Parts are used to upgrade your weapons, and the higher upgrades can take massive amounts of the higher-end golden parts to upgrade. Frustration sets in with the seemingly random nature of receiving parts and plans. It seems like the rule is the higher the difficulty, the better the drops, but I have received Class E plans for 8-star difficulty missions and Class A plans for one-star difficulty. There’s also a collectible card system in which you receive cards for accomplishing certain tasks that also reward you with parts and plans. I personally was playing mostly just to kill giant robots, but these aspects could cause some major headaches for completionists. Fortunately, while you’re eliminating said giant robots, you can enjoy crisp graphics, which are impressive both for the PS3 overall and how many units are on the screen at once. Each unit is lovingly rendered, although their textures can be a bit plain and muddled. I forgave this as there are hundreds of them rendered at once and the PS3 is a little long in the tooth. The backgrounds are varied and although plain, in my opinion out of necessity for the playstyle, they really give the feeling you’re not playing in the same old arena over and over. Particle effects are also rendered well, be it a beam sword or a funnel bit firing. The audio, in all honesty, is probably going to be the great divider when it comes to Dynasty Warriors: Gundam Reborn. I love the original Japanese with the English subtitles, but this might turn some off to the game. With it being a budget-priced title I understand Bandai Namco’s decision not to hire a whole new team to translate voice audio into English. However, in the middle of battle it can be somewhat distracting to have to focus on fighting and reading subtitles, which definitely resulted in me missing out on some of the story. The background music, as an aside, is subdued but engrossing. It lends itself well to the pace of the game and is quite reminiscent of the soundtracks to the various Gundam series. All in all, I was quite pleased with this entry into the Dynasty Warriors Gundam series. However, I’m a Gundam fan and have been for a decade or more. I would have no problem recommending the game to other fans of Gundam or mecha in general, but for players who haven’t heard of either of those things, I’d be hard-pressed to even broach the topic. Additionally, the entry price for DLC is much too high for what you get and doesn’t add a ton to the game, which was one of its biggest turn-offs. For $30 USD you can get all the DLC, which brings the total up to $70. I purchased it because of my interest in the source material, but I suggest that people mix and match the DLC if interested in purchasing it at all. While to some (myself included), taking to the battlefield piloting the RX-78-2 Gundam and slaughtering thousands of Zaku and Dom pilots and facing off against Char himself sounds like heaven on Earth, a lot of people just don’t care about that sort of thing. Also, with the emphasis on Gundam SEED this game has, many of the other Gundam series are underrepresented, with the noticeable omission of an Official mode for Gundam ZZ entirely. It is possible that non-Gundam fans could enjoy this game on the merits of “beating up the bad guy robots” alone, but they’d end up missing out on the charm of what makes Gundam special. I can only hope with the new generation of gaming consoles we'll continue to see titles like this that are worthy of the legacy of the original IP.
Dynasty Warriors Gundam photo
Go psycho with Gundams
When I was a kid, I loved watching Gundam Wing and the original Mobile Suit Gundam on Cartoon Network. The mecha genre has always been a personal favorite of mine so I tried to capture the same feeling while playing a video g...

Mechrunner photo

Mechrunner is hitting the PlayStation 4 and Vita this summer

40-foot tall mode-changing mechs
Jun 12
// Chris Carter
Developer Spark Plug Games is ready to show off their newest game -- Mechrunner -- that's coming to the PS4 and Vita later this summer. Said mech can transform between a tank and a robot on the fly, to fight against an invadi...
Japanese indie games! photo
Japanese indie games!

Mecha shooter Gunhound now available on Steam

Blow up all the robots!
May 10
// Kyle MacGregor
Side-scrolling mecha shooter Gunhound EX is out now on Steam for $14.99. Developed by doujin studio Dracue Software and localized by the folks at Playism, Gunhound EX is a throwback to the shooters of the 16-b...
Titanfall review coming photo
Titanfall review coming

Our Titanfall review is coming soon

And our Dark Souls II review will go up at midnight tonight!
Mar 10
// Chris Carter
[Update: Here it is!] As you may have seen, the official Titanfall review embargo has just lifted. Where's our review? It's on the way, and here's why we're waiting to publish. In short, with how big of an online focus T...
Doujin Games photo
Doujin Games

Mech shooter Gigantic Army now available on Steam

A surprisngly satisfying six dollar side-scrolling shoot-'em-up
Mar 06
// Kyle MacGregor
Doujin shooter Gigantic Army is out now on Steam for a measly $5.99. You should check out our review and buy it maybe. That is, if you like fun things. You do like fun things, don't you? I mean, seriously, what els...

Titanfall leaks: Maps, Generations, Achievements, and more

The Achievements all look so easy
Mar 03
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
We're one week out from the launch of Titanfall, and there's been so many leaks on the game over the last few days. All the leaks come from reddit, where a user has released several photos of the maps, including top down imag...
Do you think fashion can bloom on the battlefield?
Hey, did you see those Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes track jackets and sneakers that Puma's making? They're pretty cool, but a franchise with such awesome character and mechanical designs really deserves more creative merchandising. Here are a few ideas.

Titanfall photo

Titanfall beta tips will have you playing like a pro

If you can actually pull this stuff off
Feb 14
// Brett Makedonski
Titanfall's highly anticipated beta formally kicks off today, and if you're lucky enough to have an invite, there's a lot to learn in a short amount of time. The game has its own set of quirks, and once mechs get introduced ...

Why Titanfall will be my next big gaming obsession

Feb 12 // Hamza CTZ Aziz
At first, your instincts will kick in when you start a round of Titanfall and play it like it's any first-person shooter that's been released in the last few years. It can't be helped. FPS games have always followed what was successful before them. It started with the Doom formula, then Quake, GoldenEye 64, Halo, and Call of Duty 4. They were some of the biggest trendsetters, and now we have Titanfall changing up the status quo. Time will tell if Respawn ultimately strikes gold again in the genre, but personally I believe they will. Titanfall has captured this nice middle ground where it's just fast-paced enough to please Quake and Tribes fans, but not to the point where it will turn off what the ultimate target audience here is: Those millions of players buying Call of Duty and Battlefield year after year. That said, I had a very hard time going back to other shooters after Titanfall as they felt just too slow, and so limiting. Speed is one thing, but it's not until you experience something like running alongside a wall for a few seconds, jumping to an adjacent wall, using your jetpack for a short boost up, automatically grabbing the edge of the roof to hoist yourself up, then running off the roof in order to jump down onto an opposing Titan below so you can effectively unload your gun into its circuitry that just feels so, well, freeing. Then of course there's the Titans themselves. Piloting them just feels like an extension of you, like a second skin to the player. It's actually a shocking feeling at first, especially if you've played mech simulators in the past like say Gundam 0079, Steel Battalion (the good one), and the like where it feels like you're controlling a big hulking slow piece of machinery. The action gets even more fast-paced in a Titan, yet still balanced so you're not just an unstoppable behemoth. Titanfall does a good job of making you feel like a badass, even if you're not the best FPS player around. Wallrunning, using the Titans -- it's all intuitive and designed to reward the player, as opposed to punishing you for making a mistake. Check out some of my wall running from the video commentary to get a good sense of it. [embed]270332:52546:0[/embed] More importantly, it all feels balanced. Titans don't come across as extremely overpowered, and you don't feel totally helpless as a pilot since there's enough avenues of escape from how open the environments are when there are Titans around.  And whatever your feelings are towards the six-versus-six nature of the multiplayer, it still feels like there's a lot going on during matches. There's always some fighting taking place, even if it's against the AI enemy players. You will know when you're up against the AI, and while they aren't the brightest, they can take you out if you're being careless. It can even get claustrophobic when there are multiple Titans duking it out. So yeah, I think the multiplayer is great if you couldn't tell. The campaign, on the other hand, doesn't sound like much. We've known from the start that Titanfall has no real single-player -- it's one in the same with multiplayer as you're playing with others. While there will be specific things that can only be seen in the campaign mode (set pieces, etc), the story levels will be taking place on the same levels you'll get in multiplayer. You'll play through the story from each of the rival faction's perspective (IMC and Militia forces), and the entire campaign will take around four to five hours to complete. If you're okay with just a primarily multiplayer experience, you won't mind the length. I'm getting into Titanfall for multiplayer, and with the way things are looking for the rest of the year it looks like Titanfall may be one of the only major competitive FPS games launching in 2014, giving it the potential to really grow a player base. It will at least hold me over until Destiny is released in September. No idea if the multiplayer will be any good with that one, but it is Bungie after all.
Titanfall preview photo
Plus gameplay commentary covering the contents of the closed beta
It was the beginning of 2013 when I finally just got tired of the competitive aspect of first-person shooters. It's been my favorite genre ever since the GoldenEye 64 days, but over the last few years I've just been losing mo...

Good luck!
[Update: The Titanfall beta kicks off on February 14 for the Xbox One and PC as revealed by this new trailer. There will be two maps available, and three modes which are Attrition (team deathmatch), Hardpoint Domination, and...

Hawken photo

Hawken is moving to Steam this month

More players?
Feb 05
// Jordan Devore
Adhesive Games is in the process of transitioning its free-to-play mech game Hawken to Steam. Going forward, a Steam account will be required to access and play the title. New player accounts cannot be created currently and e...

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