News : Front Mission Imminent.

Square Enix have turned their turn based mech strategy game into an action game, in the newest title in the franchise, Front Mission Evolved. Most of the strategy games were never given PAL releases, so this is perhaps SE attempting to launch another popular franchise in the west. I have to say, I liked even the old games, which were akin to Advance Wars, but this trailer looks brilliant, look at all that power sliding! I've been waiting for a decent, fast mech game ever since I hopped into the special VS in the original Lost Planet. Lets just hope they keep the difficulty and learning curve down to a particular level so it doesn't become like Armoured Core.


News : Japan anime schedule Q3 2010.

So the first announcements of next seasons anime schedule are in. Sadly, once again, weird lolicon and harem anime seem to be taking the frontseat, with 2nd seasons of Strike Witches and Sekirei, proving that, that kind of crap sells. Some interesting new titles like the popular manga High School of the Dead and one that has a main character who looks like Inuyasha, Nurarihyon no Mago. There's also a 2nd series of Sengoku Basara, the historical superhero samurai anime, which for some reason is very popular with the female audience.
(Click to enlarge)


News : Deltora Quest anime on it's way to AUS/NZ.

The anime version of the popular children's novel by Australia's own author, Emily Rodda, has been announced to air it's full 52 episode series on Cartoon Network. The anime covers the first series of books, where Lief, Jasmine and Barda, journey across the land of Deltora, in an attempt to rebuild the belt of Deltora and destroy the evil Shadow Lord.


Feature : The fall of anime.

The award winning Australian journalistic program Dateline, recently aired a story on the dying anime industry. Explaining what anime is for newcomers, giving a brief history of the industry and the importance of it.

It then goes on to interview animation studios, talking to chief members of staff who explain that they are disappointed that they can no longer make the anime they want as they have to tailor it to the hardcore fan base rather than the general public, as they can't afford to take risks any more. Obviously the streaming of anime on the internet is to blame for the loss of revenue, just like the music industry, this has forced downsizing and restructuring, reducing the amount of anime created each season as well as tailoring it to the smaller fan market to make sure it sells.

You can see this change in the kind of anime we're getting these days, with all the 'softcore' harem and moe shows and a lot less focusing on a well scripted story or narrative. Dateline addresses this too and I have to agree, these particular shows seem to focus more on weird fetishes, not always going to the extent of what I'd believe to be sexual but never too far from it either. Now days the amount of shows focusing on the story rather than softcore are few and run the risk of bankrupcy. Sometimes the studios seem to play it safe, by combining the two but this still segments the market scaring off the general public and only appealing the hardcore fan base once again.

It's clear the anime industry will continue to change, new ways need to be found to increase revenue and make money off online streaming, however, the music industry hasn't managed to pull this off in the last decade and they no doubt had more money and international research at their disposal. The future is looking pretty grim for anime.

News : Play Mechwarrior 4 for free!

Mechwarrior 4 (and it's expansion and a number of fixes and add-ons) has just been released for free. Mechwarrior 4 was the last good instalment in the Mechwarrior series, allowing huge user customisation of mechs, a great single player campaign and intense online multiplayer. If you've never played a Mechwarrior game before or are a grizzled veteran of the older games, this is a great title that you'll be sure to enjoy, especially without a price tag. Download it here.

News : Even Windows has an anime mascot.

It seems even Windows isn't beyond having an anime mascot in Japan. Named Nanami Madobe, themes featuring the character came free with Japanese editions of Windows 7 Ultimate and there are plans in the works for an anime tv commercial.


News : New Call of Duty announced!

Last night the next game in the ever popular Call of Duty franchise was announced, titled Call of Duty : Black Ops. Not much is known about the title, except that it's made by Treyarch (as opposed to Infinity Ward who made the Modern Warfare series) and takes place in Vietnam, or at least during the era of Vietnam. This is the 8th game in the series and is dated for release on the 9th of October this year.


News : BlazBlue gets tournament joysticks.

The 2D HD arcade fighter BlazBlue is set to follow the ways of Street Fighter, with tournament joysticks from Mad Catz retailing at $200 US, in limited quantities.

Specifications :
  • Authentic Japanese-style Sanwa Denshi™ joystick & buttons
  • 8-button layout with additional multi-speed Turbo functionality
  • Premium-quality components with genuine arcade layout
  • Controller lock/unlock switch prevents accidental button presses
  • 13 FT USB Cable with internal cable storage
  • Connect to console via lag free USB
  • Storage compartment for efficient cable management
  • 3-way switch enables joystick to function as left or right analog stick or D-Pad
  • Integrated headset port for use with Xbox LIVE®
  • Officially licensed and designed by Arc System Works and Aksys Games
If you're a huge BlazBlue fan, you might want to look at importing these, as all peripherals are region-less and will work no matter where your consoles is from.


Flashback : Alex the Kidd!

You may remember him as the little guy with the big fist, who rode a motorbike, fought evil crows, collected bags of money and defeated evil bosses with a fast paced game of paper scissors rock. Alex the Kidd is one of Sega's more memorable post-Sonic games. His most famous title, Alex the Kidd in Miracle World, came build into all Sega Master System II's back in the day, until the first Sonic was released and took his place. If you're feeling the nostalgia right now and wish you could play it again, good news! Whilst looking for footage for this article, I stumbled across a java version of the game which you can play right here.