Monday, April 20, 2009

Super Robots Fetish

20th April 2009, Monday

While my Playstation 3 had remained dormant since the turn of the year as Chan mentioned my account was offline for like 100 over days now.

From the beginning I had mentioned I ain't a big gaming person, and now with the console now gathering dust at alarming state; it further emphasized that I shouldn't had spent on that luxury item.
Fortunately it was before the economic crunch as this year performance bonus looks bleak.

One stumbling factor for my less than enthusiastic interest to hook up my PS3 again is that when I'm at home, I tend to be more attracted to my PC (something which the missus frowns upon for course); my tolerance while playing a long-winded game on PS3 is truncating as time goes which is bad since most games have to be decently length to make any penny worth.
Once you lost the zest for a particular game, it's hard to pick them up again (i.e. Metal Gear Solid 4 and Disgaea 3 which I don't fancy picking up from where I have left them).

Meanwhile portable gaming console is so popular due to the fact that during the mundane traveling hours, it can be a great companion.
My 2 years old NDS Lite has always managed to deliver and with that wide array of games, I am always spoiled for choice.
Recently I am hooked to the latest offer from a game series which always made me go ga-ga over, "Super Robot Wars".

My first contact with this Banpresto series which feature an orgy of who's who in the animated robot series world was the Alpha and Alpha Gaiden on Playstation back in 2002.
That was a time when my knowledge of the robots featured were very much limited to Gundam W, Evangelion and Macross but I soon my interest grew to those Go Nagai's classic Super Robots like Mazinger Z and Getter Robo as well as Combattler V and Voltes V from the Robot Romance Trilogy. Not forgetting my all time favorite Reideen, the bow and arrow carrying, falcon-changing robot with a highly addictive theme song.

While I have been a sucker for turn-based strategy role playing game, Super Robot Wars just bring a notch further with beautifully animated battling sequence (which can get bored after repetitive viewing and thank god for the option to de-select it) and the respective theme songs of the various series which one can never get sick of.

The only down part of those 2 games and all the other games in the series spawned prior and after, it is strictly Japanese based due to licensing issue which restruct it to be port over to the North American scene.
It would be more fun if you actually can understand their dialogue especially since the creators ingeniously tied the famous storylines of various series up (such as Kamiyu going crazy in Gundam Z).

The nice battle map with fully colored 3D pawns of the robots in Alpha really got me hook as well and when I see that the processing power for the PS2 engine for the next incarnation "SRW Impact" I was tempted to just get PS2 to play that, maybe it was a blessing in disguise I didn't.

One reason for me to get my NDS was also to play a newly released "Super Robot Taisen W" back in 2007 as well.

Sadly I didn't had the endurance to keep my interest in it and halted midway through the mundane battles despite having familiar mechas from Full Metal Panic which I was watching back then.
The lack of voice acting and the dull blue-red icons on a flat battle map was a big turn off from the Alpha days (look more like the classic SD Gundam Generation series).
Then again the size of the game was very much dwarf as compared to what the Playstation counterparts can produce (even as compared to those ported to PSP for sure).

Therefore when Super Robot Taisen K was released just a few weeks back I was skeptical I would kept up my interest for it for long but was pleasantly surprised I was still hyped about especially when a walkthrough is easily acessible online when any fellow gamer has bothered to upload the information.

This incarnation caught everyone's surprise by excluding many usual big names like Great Maziner, Mazinkaiser, Getter Robo (and it's kinship) as well as none of the Robot Romance Trilogy.
There was also no UC Gundam series with the uber popular SEED trilogy holding its flagship (thank goodness for no Turn A or G Gundam).
In replacement are some young upstarts which inclusion might have some mix reviews such as "Sokyu no Fafner: Dead Agressor", "Gun X Sword" and even "ZOIDS Genesis" which belong to rival company Takara-Tomy.
Some Super Robots to beef up the line up with Mazinger Z includes modern sequels of classic series, Kotetsushin Jeeg and Gaiking: The Legend of Daiku-Maryu.

Rumours are sprouting about the development of a "Super Robot Taisen PS3" which surely will perk my interest considering the kind of engine PS3 boasts which also allows Namco Bandai (who took over development from subsidary Banpresto) to take advantage of.
Mahy recent mecha anime series may fancy a chance to add their names in the long list of series featured in the SRW such as Gundam 00, Macross Frontier, Code Geass and of course Gainax's Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagaan.
Would be good to have some returning series like Gundam W Endless Waltz, Reideen, Gravion which have some of coolest themes.
Well we shall see...perhaps it will make me wipe off the thick layer of dust off my PS3...

Japanese words of the day: スーパーロボット(Super Robots) Think the fetish began when I have some classic Popy diecast Super Robots when I was a kid



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