The Roboblog Chronicles: Episode 8

It's here! It's here! The new Roboblog Chronicles is here! This week's topic: ROBOTECH and Macross video games, the one area of true success you can lay at the feet of Harmony Gold in the modern era ... setting aside the arguable success of The Shadow Chronicles, of course. Oh, and let's not forget the fiasco that was the Invasion video game. Or maybe let's. I'm not sure at this point.

In any case, sit back, enjoy the show, and leave your comments on what angle you think should be taken with the next game. Like I've said before, I think ... well, watch and see what I think. (Someone commenting on an earlier show was in agreeance with me ... Tolarin, maybe?)

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  • If they make another video game, maybe they'll take page from Battle Cry and try do another one like that.

    I'd like to see Southern Cross for once. Veritech Hover tanks, Veritech (Helicoptors), Logans, maybe actually use the non-transformable Battleliods.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 26 May, 2007 09:13  

  • I always thought Robotech Invasion was a good game, but not a great game. While, it does suffer from dropping much of the good things within Battlecry, it still has some good points to it. I have always felt that the biggest flaw is that Invasion did not use the 3rd person view as the primary view. Let’s face it in 3rd person view you got to see yourself and the game was far easier. You could jump and land on Invid’s head with no trouble at all. Even hop away from Invid claw attacks. I had many Robotech moments, despite the soundtrack. The one area that Invasion will always beat Battlecry is in the multiplayer game play. The online gaming with Invasion was a lot of fun. It’s too bad that so little attention was given to it, both by players and the makers of the game. It’s perhaps the best part of the game. I really think any game that people come back to and play again and again are games with good online components. Let’s face it when you beat most games it really holds nothing more for you, but if it has an online component that is really good then that game as much longer life for you. This has always been the case for me. I’ll go play Invasion online with friends, family or strangers before I would play Battlecry offline. …however finding strangers online for Invasion has never been easy.

    Now what if we took the good from Invasion and the good from Battlecry and created Invasion 2 . …Return to Cel shading, 3rd person as the only view unless you are using say the sniper modes. Make more online boards and types of games that could be played. I think it could have a chance. …Maybe instead of using the FPS / halo clone as the template they should look elsewhere for their template.

    A good template for a new Robotech game could be something based around or off the Star Wars Battlefront game. There have always been some balance issues with Battlefront, but I think with good play testing it could be over come. …in fact just playing Battlefront I and II online would point out of a few of the balance problems. Think about it Battlefront lets players play in two different eras of Star wars. Well in Robotech we have three different eras, with a fourth just starting. (I’m dismissing the Sentinels at this time.) Another good template could be the battlefield games.

    Well that’s take on gaming in Robotech.

    Bryan “odyn”

    By Blogger Bryan, at 26 May, 2007 10:47  

  • If anyone wants HG to release a Sentinels-based game, then give me a HELL YEAH!!

    By Blogger Callie, at 26 May, 2007 14:57  

  • If I remember correctly, Opus said that if Crystal Dreams was a success, he wanted to do a Sentinels video game next. Crystal Dreams was a bit of a bridge between the original series and The Sentinels because it featured the SDF-3 and, the Sentinels redesigns of the Macross characters, but all the mecha was from Macross, and there was at least one Southern Cross character in it. Hell, he even threw in a nod to Macross II by making Kyle Bartley a reporter.

    Too bad Gametek went under and Crystal Dreams became vaporware. We really needed a Robotech product at that time. I remember having high hopes for that game and the new (at the time) Antartic Press Robotech comics. lol

    Crystal Dreams was 75% of the reason I bought an N64 (Shadows of the Empire was the other 25%).

    While we're on the subject of video games, I was wondering if you could help me with something. I never got past the part on Invasion where you place an explosive at the base of the 'leg' of an Invid hive. How do you place the bomb there? I tried everything! I am thinking there is a glitch in my copy.

    By Blogger Admiral DMC McKeever, at 26 May, 2007 17:14  

  • Greatest Roboblog yet, thank you!! BTW, What about the A.C.E and A.C.E 2 Games do they qualify for a review too ^_^

    By Anonymous Sdf1macross, at 26 May, 2007 21:38  

  • Can "Battlecry" really be considered a "great" game? Sure, it looked pretty but the gameplay mechanics were very poorly done; instead of actually shooting Zentraedi, most of the action centered around shooting little red "blips" off in the distance that may or may not have been Zentraedi. Additionally, lack of any "real" game cinematics hurt; sure, there were some "in game" cut scenes, but there were also a lot of static screens with text. It was also frustratingly hard -- I didn't actually start to enjoy "Battlecry" until I discovered most of the cheat codes online. I had a far more enjoyable experience with my demo of VFX-2, which just felt the way I expected a Valkyrie-style shooter to play.

    I didn't find "Invasion" as bad as most people thought it was. Yeah, it was a poor Halo clone, and there were some really bad gameplay decisions included (not being able to ride the Cyclone inside tunnels come to mind), but it was fun for the $10 I paid for it.

    I think the problem with RT games is that there are too many variables in play mechanics that have to be dealt with. "Battlecry" had in-city Battloid combat down perfectly, but absolutely tanked when it came to fighter/flight combat; instead of feeling like the mecha was moving in the world, fighter combat felt like the world merely moved around the mecha. The trick is to adequately meld the two play styles, and I don't think anyone knows how to do that.

    As for "The Sentinels," I've always thought a large six-disc RPG-style game would be a great setting for that story. Combine in mecha combat with hand-to-hand and an expansive storyline -- something like that.

    Right now, other than rehashing "Battlecry" with Alphas & Betas, I think the only real option for a RT game would be to go "Southern Cross." Focus on the Hovertank, and do a ground action combat game similar to "MechAssault" (only with transforming mecha). That way players get a new experience; instead of flying through the air or going FPS on a Cyclone, players get to romp around war-ravaged late 2020's Earth. And, you know, maybe we could see some "Southern Cross" merchandise out of it.

    By Blogger JHC, at 27 May, 2007 10:52  

  • JLS
    The way I see it we will never really see a true Robotech game until a game is produced that incorporates all three storylines. Battlecry to me was just a Macross game with the Robotech logo on the packaging, the same goes for Invasion, just a poorly made Mospeada game. Robotech is a unique franchise to deal with because if you ignore the complete storyline as it spans through all three plus generations, then you are merely producing Macross, Mospeada, or (!!GASP!!) Southern Cross material. Shadow Chronicles has the opportunity to mine characters and plotlines from the original series into a cohesive whole that truly could be considered Robotech. Allowing characters from three different series to interact with one another on screen would visually add more support to the framework of the original series. As it stands now if a new game is produced it would most likely be a Shadow Chronicles era game, so in essence we would be receiving a Mospeada game with some veiled references to characters from Macross and Southern Cross. A game I would like to see would be one in which the player could generate their own character who started out as a young pilot during the macros era, fought through the war with the masters, found their way to the battle at reflex point, and eventually joined the effort to find the missing Rick Hunter and crew. It would be interesting to see your character age and change along the way, as well as fight alongside the heroes of the Robotech series, but that’s just my opinion.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 27 May, 2007 11:21  

  • Capt. JLS,

    Well, for starters, Robotech ABSOLUTELY NEEDS to stay away from the RTS and RPG genres--Robotech is not Star Trek; Robotech's an anime at heart that is about action and drama. There's no way I want to be ordering around and babying little Karbarrans on a scrolling map. That would be, as they say, "jumping the shark."

    I think that a Battlecry-style game with a Sentinels motif centering on Jack Baker and Karen Penn would be FANTASTIC if it was given the love and care that Battlecry itself got.

    What made Battlecry stand out was not only the cel-shading, graphics, voices, and gameplay; it had a well-thought out plot with good character interaction and development. I'd argue that Battlecry's Jack, Izzy, Hiro, and the Zentraedi leaders were better and more RT-esque than anything from TSC.

    Invasion: Among all its other problems, Invasion had weak characters, too, as JLS hinted by the box cover. I still don't know who Jesper Kyd is, by the way. It's obvious Invasion was trying to capitalize on Halo, but RT isn't Halo, just as it isn't Star Trek. Plus, why did all the human enemies look alike? Still, as JLS said, some of Invasion's engine worked well, like the bike/armor setup, and could/should be worked into a Sentinels game.

    ...So, again, a Sentinels game that followed the main campaign elements through Jack Baker or Karen Penn would be simply awesome. I just realized that, like Battlecry, you could have strategic jumps in story time to cover the most relevant and interesting moments of the campaign. (And, given the TSC is canon, the campaign might as well introduce Taylor, Marcus, Maya, and Alex, as well.) The more I think about it, the more I think a Sentinels game would be the best way Robotech could go at this point. Sale-point-wise, you get all those newer Robotech fans or fans unfamiliar with Sentinels to get caught up to speed with the events prior to TSC; plus, you'd get a "canon" version of the campaign. Hey, I'm actually getting excited about a Robotech game...I never thought that would happen after Invasion. OK, HG, make it happen.

    Unfortunately, the powers that be will probably do a TSC-centric game, which, in my mind, would be redundant and rather stale–especially considering, no offense, TSC hasn't established itself as very dynamic in its own right yet. Maybe a poll is in order?

    By Anonymous Skull 23, at 27 May, 2007 13:59  

  • DMC: You have to pick up the bomb, and take it to the marked position on the stilt, and IIRC you use the action button to set the charge.

    As far as Battlecry vs Invasion, I tend to disagree, especially about the cell shading. The tone and story of battlecry are almost completely opposite of that of Invasion, so when people say they should look the same it really puzzles me.
    New Gen was a darker and much mopre gritty setting then Macross, it seems an easy choice to adopt a more realistic, gritty, and appropriate look vs the clashing bright and beautiful cell shading.
    From what I've heard on the subject, some of this from one of the developers and the rest from Tom IIRC, Invasion almost didn't get released at all. First the developers were making Battlecry 2, then they were told to stop make a different game for New Gen, but their deadline was not extended, and then they had to rush it out before it got cancelled. I believe they made it from start to finish in about 6 months or so. The only real problem I have with Invasion is the lack of split screen and polish, where as Battlecry, while pretty to look at and arcadey fun had buggy multiplayer and no replay value.

    By Blogger Treiz, at 27 May, 2007 19:15  

  • If the possibility of a Sentinels-based game were to be made, then how about making in into a cross-platform MMORPG (i.e., Final Fantasy XI), which includes Mac and Linux users as well, in the style of the sci-fi based MMOs such as Star Wars Galaxies and EVE Online, just to name a few.

    By Blogger Callie, at 30 May, 2007 22:41  

  • I suggest you mod you PS2 and play SEGA's Macross game developed in house by AM2.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 06 June, 2007 16:58  

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