Friday, 26 July 2013

Nostalgia and Year of the Mech

Recently I've been hit with a massive dose of this nostalgic feeling. I was scrounging through my pile of old games and found an old favourite game of mine, Phantom Crash. I almost forgot about this game, but once I saw it, couldn't stop tearing up. This was probably the first Mech game I ever played.

I may have been introduced to BattleTech at a relatively young age, but I never actually played a proper Mech game till I played Phantom Crash.

What is Phantom Crash anyway? Well it's a high-speed Mech combat simulator released by Genki in 2002 for the Xbox. It featured massive amounts of customisation; you could choose what right or left arm you wanted, what right or left shoulder weapons you wanted, what kind of torso you wanted and what kind of legs you wanted. You could also choose between 3 different kinds or brands of Mech (SV as the game calls them). You had the super fast but fragile Photon, the super tough but slow Aeron and the "Jack of all trades master of none" Holy.

It was Mech game that focused on stealth and ambush, and hiding and escape. It was relatively easy, but super fun. You even had a little pet, known as a "Chip". Sort of like a co-pilot. They had their own personalities and whatnot.

What was really awesome, was that the game had it's own soundtrack with many songs. Some of these songs were taken from real life, but others were composed specially for this game.

The iconic song from Phantom Crash, "Awake to Love"

Bloody hell, I seriously loved the game. Yeah it had its flaws, but it was a true Mech game with massive customization. Wish it was turned into an anime, some of the characters were absolutely awesome!! Screw and his Chip "Time", Roy and his Chip, "Nichola", Shinku and her Chip "Blue" and a helluva lot more! Damn they were pretty cool characters.

Another game I found was Chromehounds. Hell that's why I called my Heavy Metal "Chromehound". Not sure if anyone picked up the reference. I never actually played this game that much. I never bothered with Xbox Live, to me it wasn't worth it. Having to pay money to play games on the internet. It's like subscription games, pointless. I have no issue with paying for cash shop items, but I do mind having to pay for a game, even when I'm not playing it!!

Anyway, Chromehounds was also pretty darn cool. Again, it has massive customisation. You could choose what kind of Body you wanted, what kind of legs you wanted. Then came the weapons, in which there were a massive amount!! There were 6 roles you could choose from or take. The Soldier, the Sniper, the Scout, the Defender, the Heavy Gunner and the Tactics Commander.

Anyway, I know we have MechWarrior: Online and Hawken as the current and largest Mech games of recent, but I reckon we need more. Much, much more. Each year we have games surrounding a certain genre, just like movies. One year was the year of the Zombie, where there was nothing but Zombie games and movies. Hell I think that was the most recent.

There was another year surrounding Vampires. Unfortunately Vampires in general were screwed over by... those movies. But we had a Vampire year.

I reckon we need a Mech year. A year where many, many games orientate around Mechs. Mech games that give you co-op or Single Player Campaigns. Mech games with a crazy amount of customisation. Mech games where you control a squad of Mechs (not MechWarrior: Tactics). I dunno, we just need more.

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