Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor Stomps Into Retail. You’ll Need Patience And Practice To Survive, Period

 

And even if you HATE Kinect with a passion, this super-niche game is worth a look because developer From Software has cleverly cooked up a game that uses BOTH the peripheral and the Xbox 360 controller to give players a realistic simulation of being inside and out of that VT (Vertical Tank). The low-tech alternate time period setting adds a nice touch as well to the world war whatever locales you’ll be trying to survive in. That said, be prepared to put in some heavy time with this one (you can read the manual here just to see what you’ll be getting into), as it’s not aiming for the casual gamer at ALL.

Tip: Pay attention to that tutorial to learn the ropes, get fully immersed in the story and don’t do anything stupid to break the mood the game sets up, as the idea is to put yourself into the boots of one of the crew of that VT during some tough combat missions. Before you get to all that, expect to spend a good deal of time calibrating your Kinect and game area so you’re able to get the game to do what you want it to when you want it to. Yes, this will seem strange to gamers used to simpler stuff, but Capcom and From want you to work hard here (as with the first SB game) and this one’s only going to be enjoyed fully by the hardcore that put in the time necessary to learn and play the game. Besides, any game with a live action trailer directed by Mamoru Oshii can’t be all bad, I say…

 

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Steel Battalion Heavy Armor Press Kit: OK, Capcom, You’re Killing Me!

Argh… It’s “bad” enough I’ll soon be getting a Kinect here and knocking over plants and stuff while I’m spazzing out in front of my TV, but Capcom is making me want to see one of these cool press kits miraculously show up at my doorstep. I’m still kicking myself for not snapping up that last Xbox Steel Battalion when I had the chance (hey, it was that or a new console for work, and the new console won). Anyway, they’re giving one of these babies away on their Capcom Unity blog for you non-press folks, by the way. I’m betting From Software is going to surprise a LOT of people with the game, but what else is new? People keep underestimating these guys and they just keep on pulling out surprise after surprise…

Steel Battalion “How To” Trailer: “First, You Buy A Kinect…”

 

Ha ha… Well, that’s how it SHOULD begin for those who still don’t own a Kinect, right? Out of all the games for the thing, this one is the main reason I’m interested in the peripheral. I like that it’s set up as a simulation where you’re not just using the Kinect to do EVERY action. With gameplay taking place in and out of the tank, it looks as if there will be a wide range of things to keep players busy as they tromp and blast through some pretty deadly war zones. The sense of immersion looks off the charts and HOPEFULLY, the jaded folks out there will give this one a try even if they’re still whining for a special (and one use) controller. Look kids – that’s not going to happen, as it would be too expensive to produce and useless just for this ONE game. Sure, the first Steel Battalion got that great big 44-button monster, but Capcom was smart enough not to overproduce it. Still, I;m sure SOMEONE will hack their SB controller to work with the new game (good luck with that project!)…

Tanks A Lot, Capcom! Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor Pre-Order Campaign Rolls Out

 

No, you’re still not getting a big honkin’ 40+ button controller, so quit griping. Of course, getting ALL three bonuses in one shot is a no-go unless you want three copies of the game or have your fingers crossed that they get released as free or paid DLC at some point, so three’s always that to complain about if you’re so inclined. Hey, it’s not ALL Capcom’s fault, kids – that’s just the way thing go in this day and age of every retailer wanting exclusive content and your gaming dollar.

 

 

That said, I keep wondering how much longer the industry can keep this up, given the backlash against other things that are a lot less annoying to those of us who want games to ship with as much content as possible, Granted, if you ask around, you’ll hear most people IN the industry saying “this is how it is” or something like that. However, it’s looking as if this enforced means of content division can backfire if enough gamers put their foot down and start screaming as loudly as possible. As for me, I’ll be playing the game with no bonuses because I think it’ll be fine without them.

 

Steel Battalion Captivate 2012 Footage: Time To Get Kinected, I Suppose.

 

Hmmm. Not only does it look as if I’ll be hopping on the Kinect bandwagon for this game (OK, and the new Fable and maybe some other stuff that doesn’t involve dancing around in front of the TV), I’ll also have to do a Game Appreciation 101 class on artistic stylization choices made by game developers, as way too many people don’t “get” that the game is SUPPOSED to look a bit rustic and aged and not all Unreal-y and shiny up the wazoo. It’s amazing to me that those who don’t get this, but hey… I guess here to educate and it’s a long, hard process for sure. Don’t worry, Capcom and From – I got your back.

 

Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor Tutorial: From Software Shows How To Make The Kinect WORK

One of the near-constant gripes I hear about Kinect from some “core” gamers who hate it is that they feel it’s not for the games THEY want or like (or want TO like, for that matter). Well, thanks to From Software and Capcom, a few of those already made up minds may change a bit. The upcoming Xbox 360 exclusive Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor will be on display at PAX 2012 this weekend and will be playable, so I’m expecting a few folks to be hopping on board for this one once they get their hands on it. No, it doesn’t use the Kinect as the sole means of control – From has integrated both a stock 360 controller and Kinect controls together to make one of the most immersive game experiences using the peripheral to date. Hell, I’d MUCH rather be buying a Steel Battalion Kinect Bundle than that Star Wars deal that’s just a cash cow for Microsoft with a not so hot game strapped into the cockpit. Ah well, in a perfect world, this one would get more hype… Go From! Go Capcom!

Gallery Update: Steel Battalion Heavy Armor

From Software and Capcom are getting set to release what’s looking like the next big Kinect game as well as what’s looking like the first that’s going to have appeal across a few genres. Fans of the niche original will be all over this one (and won’t have to break out that table-sized 40+ button controller the original had), military tank sim fans should be intrigued enough to take the plunge and I can even see FPS players looking for a more emotional (and cerebral) experience wanting to give this one a shot.  Of course, the naysayers are going on about the Kinect’s price point just for ONE game, but that’s when I smack them (gently) on the back of the neck while suggesting a few other titles they may want to play that won’t make them look like marionettes in an asylum puppet show put on by unsupervised inmates

More on this one as new info becomes available…

UPDATE: Want More Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor Footage? Here You Go!

It’s really late, I’m really wiped out and REALLY too tired to run as long a post as I’d like here, but here’s the latest video from Capcom and developer From Software’s upcoming Kinect exclusive that’s set to hit retail in June. All I’ll say before falling into bed is those of you out there who’ve been kicking the peripheral around (or just hate the 360 for some reason) will more likely than not be taking a begrudging glance at the console once this game ships out. Or even before as the gameplay previews drip out…

OK, off to bed for me – I’ll be back later today!

Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor Gets a Heavy Date (Finally)…

That date would be a release date: June 19 in North America and June 22 across European territories. Rats. Now, I’ll just HAVE to buy a Kinect it seems. No more slacking off and hanging out at a friend’s place just because he’s not using his as much as I think he should. Oh well.. but I guess I’ll be a happier camper in the end. Nope, I’m not going near a dancing or exercise game (other than Double Fine Happy Action Theater, as you’ll find yourself dancing, exercising and playing in lava before you know what hit you), nor do I want to get all “pew-pew” with a shooter that works fine with a decent controller. I missed out on the original Steel Battalion thanks to the expense and not enough space here for that ridiculously awesome custom controller setup, but this time, it looks like Capcom will get me. Now, if they’d only sell enough copies of the new game to fund a proper HD remake of the original just so those who’ve missed it can see what was (and still is) a pretty unique game experience. That, folks, would be even more spectacular…

New Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor Trailer Makes Me Want To Knock Down a Wall…

…So I can actually (and finally!) get my own Kinect and play the game. My living room is nicely-sized, but in the wrong way that I’d need to have my TV near the front door and blocking access to the kitchen in order to play any Kinect games. I can do Move stuff just fine, though. Oh well. Go, From Software! I’d say Capcom will have a nifty niche hit here provided that some folks get over the fact that more types of games can be done well on Kinect outside of dance, exercise and “family” titles. So far, color me very impressed with this game (even as a work in progress). I’d be even MORE impressed if Capcom added the original Xbox game and sequel to the disc as bonuses so those who missed out can finally play them without having to pay an arm and a leg for that MASSIVE custom controller (and find out the second game needed a single-player campaign which it didn’t have as an online-only expansion pack).