19 March 2012
Ace Combat x Macross Collaboration
Project Aces of Namco Bandai Games and Macross is doing a rather interesting collaboration. To celebrate the 30th anniversary of Macross franchise, two F-14D skins based on Macross VF-1 Valkyrie will be available as DLC for Ace Combat: Assault Horizon on 21st March 2012.
This is the original VF-1J Valkyrie that appeared in Macross. This particular colour variant is piloted by Hikaru Ichijyo, who is the main character in the anime.
And here's the F-14D in VF-1J livery that will appear in the game as DLC.
UN Spacy emblem can be clearly seen below the cockpit.
The VF-1 Valkyrie design was based on the F-14 Tomcat, which had been a very iconic aircraft in its service lifetime. As far as I know, its most famous appearance would have been in the movie Top Gun.
While it's far from being the first aircraft to incoporate such design, a distinctive feature of the F-14 is its variable-sweep wing, which means the aircraft can change the positions on the wings depending on the speed it is going at.
However, advances in technology mean that variable-sweep wing may soon to be a thing of the past.
Now onto the second skin. Here's VF-1S Valkyrie from the same series. This one is piloted by Roy Focker and later by Hikaru Ichijyo.
VF-1S Valkyrie in-game.
While the VF-1 Valkyrie is a single-seater, F-14D Super Tomcat that the game features is a dual-seater fighter.
And no, apart from sweeping the wings back and forth, the F-14 cannot transform into Battroid mode like the VF-1 and its successors can do ^^;
Also unlike VF-1, the F-14 does not carry its payload under the movable wings, but that is achievable as seen in planes like the Tornado.
The Jolly Roger sign can be clearly seen on the fin. Being a member of the Skull Squadron in the anime, the team is based on squadrons with the same insignia in US Navy, notably VF-84 (now disbanded) and VF-103.
Speaking of Jolly Rogers, a F-14D skin based on the real squadron is also available as DLC, along with the squadron's successor plane, the F/A-18F Super Hornet.
Both skins will be available as a set for 600 Yen on PlayStation 3 or 400 MSP on XBOX LIVE. Here's the catch: This offer is limited to Japanese accounts only. Some people accuse Haromony Gold being the reason behind such restriction, saying that it holds the trademark and rights of distribution for Macross content outside Japan. I do not know how accurate this statement is to the reality, but I'm sure that overseas fans would be disappointed to hear this news. Unfortunately I have not yet touched the Macross franchise at all, so my sentiment towards the skins is relatively neutral.
As for the game itself, I still play it now and then (mostly for co-op). Assault Horizon feels more like a spin-off from the previous titles in the series, settings-wise and gameplay-wise.
On the other hand, more iDOLM@STER skins are announced for the same release date as well (this is a long time collaboration since Ace Combat 6 actually). Can't say I appreciate the looks at all, but others may think otherwise ^^;
Images from 4Gamer.net