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Showing posts with label Tech Romancer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tech Romancer. Show all posts

A Quick Look At Tech Romancer

You have to hand it to Capcom. The Japanese firm really did pull it out of the proverbial bag when it came to putting top notch games out on the Dreamcast. Man, just imagine the Dreamcast without Capcom. There'd be no Power Stone, no Street Fighter, no Resident Evil. Gunbird 2, Mars Matrix, Marvel Vs Capcom...they're all a result of Capcom throwing pretty much everything and the kitchen sink at Sega's system. Capcom were pretty damn cool back in the late 1990s and early 2000s, eh?

One game that rarely gets a mention though, is mecha fighter Tech Romancer; a 3D one-on-one brawler with a slightly ridiculous name but which exudes a level of production value rarely seen in an original franchise without an anime or manga heritage to fall back on. Furthermore, it might sound like a game in which Metal Gear Rex sends C-3PO a bouquet of roses and a box of chocolates, but to dismiss Tech Romancer on name alone would be a big mistake.
Upon booting Tech Romancer (known as Chronicle of Super Steel Warrior Kikaioh in Japan), you're greeted with an overly enthusiastic title screen and intro sequence that feels straight out of a 1980s Saturday morning cartoon that was appropriated from the Far East and syndicated; but only after being dubbed dubiously into English without a single fuck given. The only thing missing is the tracking interference regularly seen on VHS tapes you used to get from Blockbuster that had already been watched and rewound several thousand times before you rented it.
Herein lies the great deception though, for this game and all of its perceived heritage is nought but folly. Just like Wainhouse Tower, Tech Romancer and all of its apparent lore is a fabrication of something grander. While it may appear to be a game based on some obscure cartoon series you didn't know existed (because you're just not cool enough, frankly), Tech Romancer is a totally original IP that was created just for the arcade original, and this subsequent console release. All of the robots and animation sequences were designed by Studio Nue, a well-known animation studio responsible for some of the most widely regarded and respected anime productions around; and it's down to this mastery that you be forgiven for thinking you'd completely missed something awesome.
As an example of pure aesthetic genius, in which pedigree and kudos is demanded from its audience from the off, Tech Romancer is an unadulterated lesson in how to get things totally spot on...

SEGAbits Swingin' Report Show podcast interviews SEGA tournament champ and former Capcom employee Chris Tang



This past weekend was the culmination of SEGA Week at Galloping Ghost Arcade in Brookfield, IL. The week consisted of ten tournaments on new (well, new to the arcade) SEGA arcade machines as well as other special events which were held on SEGAbits Saturday. One big happening on the big final day was the reveal of Strike Harbinger, a very early look at an upcoming indie title from HitSparks Games which is led by competitive gamer and developer Chris Tang.

In the past, Chris took part in the historic 1990 Nintendo World Championships and was the winner of SEGA's Sonic & Knuckles Rock the Rock competition in 1994. Since then, Chris has worked on games at Atari and Capcom, including Gauntlet IV, Primal Rage, Street Fighter III, Rival Schools, Tech Romancer and Power Stone. Now, Chris is hard at work on a new game inspired by classic SEGA titles like Space Harrier and Phantasy Star. The game, titled Strike Harbinger, combines the fast paced forward flying gameplay of Space Harrier with the RPG and combat elements of Phantasy Star while utilizing a unique control structure that evokes Virtual On.

I had the pleasure to meet Chris and the game’s Senior Artist Kiyoshi Okuma, whose past work includes Gauntlet: Legends, World Series Baseball 2K2, The Sims 2 and Darkspore. I also had the honor to be the first member of the public to play the game, and following that experience I chatted with Chris about his life as a tournament gamer, his career, and his plans for Strike Harbinger.

I wanted to share this episode on the 'Yard as I thought fans of Capcom's Dreamcast titles would enjoy some of the stories Chris shared. So give it a listen and enjoy!

More ways to listen:
[Download] [RSS] [iTunes] [Archive]

Father K's Dreamcast Round Up!


Well, dear readers!

What a great time it is for the Dreamcast Junkyard! Our esteemed leader, Tomleecee is back and posting again. The Gagaman(n) is coming out with some amazing posts including Fideo Friday, Dreamcast DIY furniture guides, and another bout of sublime Bleem analysis. Caleb (The American Dreamcaster) has made his first stunning post regarding Scumm Emulation, so I think its about time I chipped in my 'two penneth's worth' and updated you all on what's been happening in my Dreamcast recently.




First off, Caution Seaman. If you've never experienced this title, then its high time you did... Indeed, the first time I ever posted on this hallowed blog, it was to postulate on the virtues of this particular title. However, I only got approximately half way through the 'game' before I gave up. This summer, I decided to play the game through it's conclusion. Believe me, that's quite a commitment. It means being attentive on a daily basis, being careful about your care package and the order in which you do things.




The care and attention has reeped rewards however. My Seaman is now in the final stages of its evolution and become the frogman merely hinted at on the cover of the box. Like all good naturalists, I have taken photos of these rare and sought after creatures. So enjoy! There are loads of pictures on the Internet of Seaman in his fish stage of evolution, but until I'd raised the little tyke myself, I had never seen his amphibious persona... If you don't know about this game, have a look here... and here...



OK next up, Chef's Luv Shack. This game is somehing of a 'virtual game show', with South Park's Chef as your genial host. I love South Park, but having been extremely underwhelmed by South Park Rally, I wasn't expecting much. The game pits opponents against each other in a 'first to the buzzer' quiz, with crazy categories, and general knowledge questions. In between rounds, opponents have to play simple arcade mini games against each other. This is a perfect party game, something which non-gamers can pick up and play, and a title which actually delivered far more than I had hoped for. I played it at about four in the morning with a mate, after a few ales, and I would suggest the game is best appreciated in this manner. For a better review look here...







Third is Fighting Vipers 2. Originally a Saturn game, this fighter was given a second outing on the Dreamcast. Because I'd enjoyed it so much on the Saturn, I was very keen to accquire its Dreamcast incarnation. I ordered it for (I think) £6, from the wonderful Chips. However, like Daytona USA 2001, when I eventually got it, it didn't live up to my expectations.



First of all, it felt 'light'... a strange description I know, but it's the only way I can describe it. Punches and kicks didn't seem to connect in the way that other Dreamcast fighters like Soul Calibur, Dead or Alive or even Virtua Fighter 3tb did. One of the great and innovative features of this game is it's characters. Unlike the usual stereotypical fighters we see in the affore mentioned games, Fighting Vipers has a skater, buxom rollerblader, BMX rider, guitar axe-man and so on... And they'll use those attributes on you, whilst performing show boating tricks at the same time. Its also rather nice when you smash your opponent through the 'ring' thanks to a particular lethal combo. I re-evaluated my opinion, when playing it against my games nemesis Tay. Its much more fun in 'versus mode' than playing it on your own... For a much better review, look here...











Number 4. Ikaruga. No, I've not re-mortgaged my house to buy an original copy, but I have had a CDR of the game for years, which has never been played. My recent purchase of Last Hope has turned me into a bit of a 'shmup' fan, and finally popping into my Dreamcast left me very pleasantly surprised. This game is fan-fucking-tastic! The first thing you notice is the visual gourgeousness of the 3D backgrounds.





Depsite it's retro gameplay, the visuals look very current gen. A top down shooter, (based on the switching between black and white enemies and your response to them...) Ikaruga rocks... The trick is, using the L and R trigger to switch your absorbtion potential... If your enemy is white, then you become 'white' and you can absorb the white enemies attack. Geddit? I only found this out after several plays, where I died repeatedly... Literally translated as 'speckled dove', Ikaruga was released in 2002, and was heralded as the LAST Dreamcast game, ensuring it sold out almost instantly. It eventually got a release on the Gamecube, but still remains a much sort after title for the Dreamcast. Warning!





This game is fucking ROCK hard, but worth the perseverance... For a much better review, look here...


High five? Tech Romancer... This is a 'mech' game from Capcom. If you don't know what a mech game is, its a giant robot game. Think Transformers or Ed 209... Beautiful anime graphics, Japanese dialogue with English sub-titles and lots of weapon based combat. Each character comes with its own story mode. You can also play in 'vs. mode' against a pal... I've only dipped my toe in the water of this title, but I like what I see so far... To find out more look here...


So there you have it! That's my recent Dreamcast activity in a nutshell. I've recently scored Ill Bleed, and am about to receive Zombie Revenge and Godzilla Generations (plus the Space Channel 5 soundtrack CD) , so I should have something else to talk about soon... Incidentally, my Wii really hasn't seen much action... I did think it was gonna rock my world, and so far it hasn't. The Dreamcast still holds my attention and the lion's share of my console love. However, for my musings so far on Nintendo's run away success, please check out Father Krishna's Wii-kly Sermons. If I may also shamelessly plug another couple of sites, for all Saturn related nonsense, please check out mine and Caleb's, Saturn Junkyard. For anything Master System (the Dreamcast's great grand father) related, please check out a collaboration between me and Gnome... The Master System Junkyard!



This is FK, for News At Ten, signing out! Good Night dear children, wherever you are...

Ying/Bang

Well shit in my eye - it's Friday the 13th! AAARGH!

Ahem. Following on appropriately:

You know, they say (whoever the fuck 'they' are) that for every good thing that happens in life, another thing just as astonishing - but in a shit way - occurs to readdress the balance. A bit like when that Newton fellow decided that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

After the last few days' events, I'd like to find this Newton geezer and knock his fucking head off.

Some of you reading this may have been privy to one of European football's most spectacular displays of brilliance earlier this week. Yes, Manchester United's systematic destruction of Roma at the Theatre of Dreams, Old Trafford. Twas a night to remember and signal of intent to all of the lesser teams daring to attempt to win the Champions League. I for one was making merry after the final whistle. As I'm also sure (blue scum) Father Krishna was :-)


So far, so good.

Imagine my horror then, when not so long after those (Spartan-esque) heroic events on the hallowed turf at Old Trafford, I discovered that while moving my beloved Dreamcast stuff from my mother's old hovel to her new...erm...hovel (I keep my stuff there because I have no space for it!), the shaven monkeys masquerading as removal men had virtually destroyed every single jewel case in my possession. Quite how, I'm still not sure - but rest assured that every single mother-humping case is in some way broken. Not a big deal you may think, but after taking so much care of the boxes for so long...and to have them all smashed to bits by fucking ignorant Neanderthals is extremely annoying.

Nay - heart rending.

Nevertheless, life goes on (whereas my old Mum's nearly didn't when she remarked "they're only games..."). As such, let me illustrate two of my newest Dreamcast purchases:

Tee Off Golf
The Dreamcast's only golf game (I believe), Tee Off is a twee little title in which massive-headed cartoon characters battle it out for golfing domination across several generic courses. It's certainly no Tiger Woods or PGA Tour Golf (Mega Drive version), but it's playable enough and has a multitude of game modes (including a rather strange virtual reality bit). Oh, and the graphics are quite pleasant - look:


Unfortunately, listening to the 'music' is akin to letting Thor smash bolts of lightening through your ear drums with his Thunder Hammer (TM).

Tech Romancer
A frankly brilliant fighting game that has you smashing the shit out of each other...whilst controlling fuck-off massive robots! Heaven! It sort of reminds me of GASP!! on the N64 (is that a good thing?), only...erm...better. The controls are pretty simple and it's really easy to pull off some epileptic-fit inducing special moves. The best thing about Tech Romancer though (no, it's not the name), is the way each battle has the feel of an episode of a Manga-style cartoon. All round brilliance, make no mistake. Not Soul Calibur by any means, and the in-game graphics are hardly stellar, but still...Tech Romancer is a highly decent game of robotic fisty-cuffs.


Hopefully, I'll be able to keep at least these two games in some sort of semi-complete state, and even retain the little plastic tabs that hold the cases together. Hopefully...


Finally, whilst perusing Google (utilising somebody else's unsecured wireless network, I might add) I found this rather nifty (read: Geekish) Dreamcast-oriented word search! Cool or what?!


Not that I can be arsed finding all the words, mind.

Adios!