At this point, any self-respecting male who grew up on Voltes V and Daimos has watched the giant robot vs. giant monster spectacular called Pacific Rim. It was a doozy. Our movie of the year, based solely upon the number of buildings crushed, people trampled upon, and global landmarks demolished by those damned giant lizards.
Now, based on the number of guys who continue to post Pacific Rim-related status updates, and make their own Jaeger designs via the movie’s official website here, we can assume that the excitement hasn’t yet subsided.
But rather than build our own mechs, a more pragmatic way to channel our mech-citement (see what we did there?) is through videogames. In case you missed it, there’s actually a Pacfic Rim videogame out. The bad thing? It got the big monsters and robots modeled right, then sucked up all the excitement.
Know what doesn’t? These other mech games below. We were bummed by the way the official P.R. game turned out, that we had to dig out these titles that really let you feel what it feels like to pilot a multi-ton bringer of death and doom.
Virtual ON had one of the sickest arcade cockpits back in the day. It had two joysticks that had you piloting an agile, turbo-boosting “Virtuaroids” in an arena-type contest where you went one on one with other equally fast robot. The best thing was when you got to go against another human player who sat right beside you, which made possible the now-lost art of face-to-face videogame trash-talking.
Front Mission series
While the series has appeared in a number of iterations since the first Playstation console, by and large, the gameplay has stayed true to the formula. You build mechs called “Wanzers,” and customize their parts and weapons. These are then deployed in a battlefield where you assume the position of battle commander who move the units into position as if in a game of chess. The turn-based strategy action appealed to the armchair general in all of us, while also adopting an early version of Fallout 3’s V.A.T.S. system, which allowed you to target individual body parts for different effects.
The Playstation was a golden age for Jap-style RPGS. None though was more golden than the Squaresoft (now Square Enix) title, Xenogears—especially if you frothed at the mouth for an RPG that let you build robots called “Gears,” which then, as you might have predicted, did battle with other giant robots, and giant monsters. Unlike most mech games though that focused solely on the destruction part of things, Xenogears, like the Squaresoft RPGs of that era also had a gripping tale, a fantastic soundtrack, and an epic story that lasted 60 hours.
NEXT: The kings of robotic customization