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Thread: Steel Battalion..

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    Pear (Level 6) scorch56's Avatar
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    Default Steel Battalion..

    Just got mine in the mail today (via eBay).

    Man!

    I'm..

    speechless..

    and..

    overwhelmed.

    Definitely.. mostly overwhelmed.
    "Kooch56.. you is a MEAN man!"
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    Pac-Man (Level 10) Nez's Avatar
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    Sooooooo good or bad? I've been tempted to buy it but is it worth it?
    (Oo (xxx) oO) (Oo (xxx) oO)
    .o xxxxxxxx o . o xxxxxxxx o

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    Pear (Level 6) scorch56's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nez
    Sooooooo good or bad? I've been temted to buy it but is it worth it?
    Hard to say so far.. really.

    Being a MAJOR "mechead" myself.. I must admit.. I always liked the old Mechwarrior 2 PC title because of the way you had to manage your mech using a KB and joystick as opposed to the more "mouse-centric" based recent MW PC titles; and as for Mech Assault.. we won't even go there.

    The graphics are awesome.. and that big-assed controller certainly helps immerse you in the game; but I was expecting some kind of tutorial as I recall being mentioned in a few reviews.. but was thrown right into the game full force from the get-go.

    The mechs are HUGE, and somewhat slow (not sluggish though) but that's how 10 story mechs are supposed to behave. I could barely get my ass out of the hangar before I was obliterated.. then the narrator would come on and tell me to "RTFM" ( how did he know that I didn't? ).

    I think I'm gonna' love it.. it's just gonna' take some time and patience.

    Oh yeah.. and the Dolby 5.1 rocks!

    I took it over to my friend's house and plugged it into his big-screen and he just kept shaking his head.. didn't even wanna' touch the damn thing.. wuss.

    Half the buttons are only utilized during the "start-up" sequences.. but that still leaves about 20 or so for in-game.. not to mention the two joysticks; shift knob and three foot pedals.. sheesh!

    I CAN see how reviewers said the start-up sequence got repetitive and boring after awhile.. especially since you die alot at first. Must remember to use that "eject" button.

    One nice feature is most buttons flash when you need to use them.. but you're so damned busy.. it's hard to notice.

    Oh well.. I can always get a job driving a tank now.. if I lose my job at the "factory".

    Needless to say.. I can give you a more accurate review of the actual game and gameplay itself in a couple of weeks. This may take some time.
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    Cherry (Level 1)
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    I have been wanting this game forever, I don't know how much longer I can refrain. So how much is it going to set me back, what are good, average, and exorbinate prices for the setup. Are there any good places to get it, I can't beleive ebay is my best bet, is it?

    The only problem with getting one is that I would be very inclined to get to (bad impulse control problems). Should I finally satiate my desire, should I just give in to my... obsession and buy it? Ah what am I saying, of course I should.

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    Pear (Level 6) robotriot's Avatar
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    I don't like the fact that you can lose your savegame easily, by either not pressing eject at the right time or having no more points left to buy a new mech. At least the former doesn't happen to me anymore, I'm pretty quick in pressing eject by now ;) What I don't like about it is that the hud is difficult to read, even when changing colour - also the instruments are a bit on the blury side and so small. Overall I wouldn't say the graphics are very good, especially for that tiny window, the Xbox should be capable of a lot more. But the gameplay can be fun, when you're getting new mechs and weapons to equip later on in the game. Also the supply chopper comes in handy in later missions. The AI of your teammates is really bad though, most of them they'll get stuck on a corner of a canyon or just stand in your way and make you trip over :( Still, I think everyone should get it for the feeling of the controller alone, that's definetly worth it ^^
    Wii: 8285 8147 1575 6278

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    Bell (Level 8)
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    if I ever going to replace current plasma screen I'm using with the newer one down the track it's going into a small room with the controller! And 5.1 speakers around the wall and close door for some serious action

    cheers

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    Pear (Level 6) scorch56's Avatar
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    I read several reviews of the game before I bought it. It really didn't matter to me if they liked it or not.. I HAD to have it. Your points ARE valid.. but sound a lot like most of the reviews verbatim.

    One said that the developer's wanted to more realistically penalize you for losing your life (dying in-game; i.e. NOT pushing the eject button); hence.. if you die.. you lose your game.. game REALLY over.. pretty much sounds like death to me. All one has to do is buy an Xbox mem card though and transfer your saves to it. Erased game? Copy it back and resume.. problem solved.

    As for the view window being small.. once again.. attributed to realism and "game immersion". As you upgrade and acquire better level mechs.. you also get a bigger view port.. so things get better near the end.

    Granted.. the graphics are a bit "muddied".. but that wqas also attributed to the "setting" in which the game takes place (industrial & urban areas). The particle effects are spectacular and I was particularly impressed with the way a building collapsed in front of me when another mech was trying to get to me. Ever seen a building collapse from an explosive demolition? I was speechless.

    I haven't really reached a point in the game yet where my wingmen kick in; so I really can't comment on the A.I. but from about 85% of the games I play nowdays.. I often think that in-game A.I. is still in it's "semi-infancy".. so that would neither surprise me.. or disappoint me.

    Halo was a disappointment to me. I didn't see what the big deal was.. but I'm not into multiplayer either.. which is why I won't be buying "Line Of Contact" either.

    I just hope that Capcom makes a few more SB games.. then I'll feel this eccentric; rather exhorbanent purchase was worth it and not feel so guilty. I hear the game is kind of short.. and I want the fun to last.
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    Bell (Level 8)
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    how much is it going for on ebay anyways? i really been wanting one for a while now
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    Yeah, how much, and which versions are out there?
    "Four o'clock and all is well.....wish I was in bed, Sir."
    -- Guard in the Imperial City, Oblivion

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    Bell (Level 8)
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    Quote Originally Posted by SoulBlazer
    Yeah, how much, and which versions are out there?
    Can't you guys check ebay yourselves? Stop being lazy. :P
    Cool people I have bought stuff from on this board: orrimarrko kyosuke75 dave2236 video_game_addict cloudstrife29661 NESCollector75

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    Pear (Level 6) robotriot's Avatar
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    scorch56: About the realism ... I don't think it's realistic that you can't read the meters in your mech because they're so tiny and the video output so blury. I don't mind the bluriness of the actual game view, just the instruments should be crisp and easy to read. Also, the objects (buldings especially) are rather lowpoly from what I've seen so far, and the drawing distance is very close, that's where I think the Xbox is capable of more. Also, returning to realism, I don't find it realistic at all that the smallest mech only has b/w cameras - I mean, in 2000something colour cameras ought to be standard ;)

    Concerning the AI, I read in a walkthrough that they're really useless, all you ever need the comm channels for is the supply chopper. It's true that AI is difficult to code, but at least path-finding techniques should be advanced enough by now for your teammates to be able to walk around rocks ;)
    Wii: 8285 8147 1575 6278

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    Great Puma (Level 12) captain nintendo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SoulBlazer
    Yeah, how much, and which versions are out there?
    2 controller versions.
    Original release has green buttons on the controller and the re-release has blue buttons.

    The only down fall to this game IMO is that you need a good place to set it up.

    I have Line of Contact and the first game and really like it. I havent played L.O.C. yet because I havent splurged yet on the Live kit (but I will buy a 200 dollar controller. Go figure)

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    Great Puma (Level 12)
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    Nez: If you are a mech-head, then SB is definitely worth it. Just don't be expecting the VTs (mechs) to be flitting around like in Zone of the Enders. They are . . . ponderous. At least until you unlock some of the quicker ones.

    PhoeniX, EnemyZero, Soulblazer: It's generally going for about $130 to $180 on ebay, with shipping usually about $30 additional.

    Kai: No doubt.

    Soulblazer: There are two versions. The originally released controller had green buttons. The reissued controller (released when SB: Line of Contact came out) had blue buttons. I've heard rumors that the blue button controllers are slightly less durable.

    robotriot: What size TV are you using to play the game? I use a 27" TV and have no problem with blurriness wrt the on-screen gauges. Additionally, did you play far enough into the game to unlock the second and third generation VTs? I found them to be (especially the 3rd gen) a vast improvement, cockpit-wise.

    Also, if you're having trouble with supply points, you should rip through the 2080 campaign in Rookie mode a couple of times, since you get twice the supply points for each mission that you'd get in Normal.

    As far as the Vitzh having a B&W monitor, I think that was just for laffs and to emphasize that the Vitzh really sucks. If you want the cheat for toggling between B&W and color mode for the monitor screen (ooh--color Vitzh!), I can dig that out for you. I usually just use the m-Vitzh (unlocked in the 2082 campaign) if I want to drive a garbage can with firepower and a color screen.

    Yeah, the AI has trouble getting through cities, but it's really not that bad in open terrain, once you realize that you have to "lead" Oscar 1 by getting next to him and then calling for assistance. He'll follow you from that point on.

    scorch56: You cannot back up your data to a memory card unless you mod your Xbox. Nude Maker was feeling particularly hard core about that aspect of being killed.
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    I've had this since the blue-led re-release, and I've played it pretty much to death. The game is fantastic, but definitely not for everyone. The online community for it is also one of the most active & hard-core I've ever played with. I get schooled regularly by these guys, they're not joking around.

    Let's get the glaringly bad parts out of the way first: The cinematics in the game suck rocks. The main character you'll interact with is referred to by most players as "Paper Sarge." All the cinematics are done in 2d SNES-style, and are seriously weak. The other bad thing about Steel Battalion's graphics is the trees, as they look almost like 2d sprites. In addition, the enemy (and friendly) AI is none too bright at times, and can be easily exploited. For instance, in one mission that takes place in a series of underground corridors, you can position yourself behind an open door so that only one arm is sticking into a room. The enemy mech will target your torso, and shoot at the wall, doing you no damage, while you smoke it with your explosed gun.


    Okay, on to the rest of it: The best way to describe this game's feel is maybe to compare it to the old hardcore PC flight sims from back in the day. Where those sims would drop you in the cockpit and say, "Here's a hundred-page manual, now fly an F-16," Steel Battalion drops you in the cockpit of a Mech and says, "Here, drive a giant walking robot tank." As you might imagine, the learning curve is gigantic, and you will likely start over completely more than once, until you're good enough to make it through the entire game.

    Let's just use level 1 to show some of the immersion. This level (like each level) opens with a 1st-person view in an open cockpit. There's a detailed world outside. A technician is standing on a gangway waving at you frantically to get out of the robot you've just hijacked. You press the flashing button on the right side of the controller, and a canopy closes and slides shut locking into place. Then another button starts flashing, so you press it, and power up the main screen. It's not very big, maybe 1/5 of the total game screen real estate, and there's lots of scanlines and interlacing. This is intentional. Nothing's flashing on the controller now, but there are 5 meters on the screen, all empty, all with names that corellate to 5 rocker switches on the left side of the controller. Using these, you power up the mech's subsystems. Finally, the ignition button starts flashing, and there's a mini-game in which the 5 meters all grow & shrink at different rates and you have to press the ignition key when they're all above 75%. Once all this is complete, the 'mech is powered up, and now you can get down to the business of putting it in gear and walking out of the hangar to blow things up.

    Some have said that the graphics in SB are lacking, and I want to take some time to address this. While the main screen is smallish and muddy, especially in 1st-generation Mechs, it gets much larger and clearer for 2nd & 3rd generation mechs. This same graphical muddiness does not apply to the inside of the mech's cockpit, the meters on the mech (there are several to keep track of), or the external shots of the mechs fighting during mission replays. The graphics on the main screen look awful because they're coming from a camera mounted on the outside of the mech, and they're strictly utilitarian, as the camera on this mech would be if it were real, built by a government contractor. The camera mounted on the mech that provides the main video feed is also susceptible to some dirt, and takes interference when the mech is running at full speed. The camera will start bouncing around almost uncontrollably as the mech moves over varying elevation, and snow will fill the screen until the mech is slowed down. It's a great touch, and really adds to the immersion.

    Everything in the game is about immersion. There's no in-game music until the player buys a boombox from the PX between missions. While in the cockpit, if you point the camera to the extreme left & right, you can watch the different weapons cycle into place on the mech's arms, and the arms will move around as you move the targeting reticle, sometimes obscuring your view. Both of the player's hands are constantly busy, with one hand taking care of turning the mech (the left joystick only has an X axis) and changing gears, and the other manipulating the camera via the thumbstick and aiming with the joystick. There's a lock-on control that automatically targets a mech's torso, although very skilled pilots will be able to shoot the legs out from under mechs with much less ammo and effort than a lock-on kill will require. You'll also need to eject spent fuel pods, fire flares & chaff, reload weapons, change sub-display screens, bring out the manipulator claw, change weapons, communicate on the radio, etc. using the center console on the giant controller.

    The mech's speed is controlled via three foot pedals, and speed is important. Trying to push a first-generation mech into a 90' turn at more than 15Kph or so will cause it to fall over, kicking up dust everywhere, and forcing you to stand it back up before you're fragged. In fifth gear, at top speed, the mech can do about 100Kph downhill, and at this speed even a slight alteration in direction can cause the mech to tip over, taking damage and digging a deep furrow in the ground as it slides to a stop. In these situations, the camera lens is covered with grime that must be washed off after you stand back up. To counter this, you have the dodge/balance pedal, which is located where the clutch would be on the foot pedals. This fires off a high pressure hydraulic that allows you to either stabilize your mech if it is about to fall over, or jump sideways to dodge incoming fire. Use of this pedal is limited to about twice every ten seconds, so a player can't abuse it, but it is crucial to surviving.

    The online game is also really amazing. Players create a character and then pick a side in an ongoing, 180-day (realtime) war. Territory is traded on a hex map based on the outcome of individual matches, and different factions move into play as the war progresses, offering players the opportunity to trade sides should they feel the need. Each side has specific mechs, and there is a vibrant and active economy in rare mecha. It's also possible to steal a player's mech out from under him by blowing its legs off, and then winning the match. Most matches are a capture-and-hold variant, with one team defending a position while another attacks it.

    I should also mention that the Line of Contact expansion includes support for 720p high definition displays.

    On the whole, SB is really, really cool, especially LOC. I'll leave it up to you to decide if it's $250 worth of cool, but I can say I don't regret it.

    I should also mention for collectors that this game has an extra level of packaging before being considered 'complete,' as each copy of the game was shipped individually. Many people received their games still packaged in the shipping box, which has custom SB logos & the like printed on it, and fits snugly around the (gargantuan!) game box.

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    Great Puma (Level 12) captain nintendo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nez
    Sooooooo good or bad? I've been tempted to buy it but is it worth it?

    You can come over and play mine or Tynstars

    "until all are one" - Optimus Prime
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    I like it, but the learning curve is brutal. First mission I ended up getting stuck on a tree, and losing track of where my fellow mechs went, so I got lost.

    I figure one of these days I'll sit down and put some serious time into it.
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    Default Re: Steel Battalion..

    Quote Originally Posted by scorch56
    Just got mine in the mail today (via eBay).

    Man!

    I'm..

    speechless..

    and..

    overwhelmed.

    Definitely.. mostly overwhelmed.

    Yes...Very Overwelming I'd say..


    I love it..

    I play it usinfg a Code though that lets you play all missions in Free mission/practice mode..

    Just don't play it with Socks on.... x_x



    This code has been tested to work on both SB and Tekki, if it doesn't work try again.

    At the title screen, move the tuner to the following positions and keep it there for one second each position.

    1-9-7-9-0-9-0-6

    The numbers above are the positions, like a clock, except this clock starts on the right where the printed numbers start.
    (i.e. 9 o'clock on a normal clock is 0 in the code.
    12 o'clock on a normal clock is 4 in the code.
    Etc.)

    When you complete the code you will hear a sound effect then you will be able to use all VT's and play any mission on any difficulty in free mission mode.


    http://www.tekki.jp/

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    Alex (Level 15)
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    I'd love to try this, but that price tag -- OUCH! That's more then I paid for my XBox!
    "Four o'clock and all is well.....wish I was in bed, Sir."
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    Default steel battalion

    i think they need to do another mechwarrior. i loved mechwarrior 2 on the mac .
    mechassaults garbage though.the thing is you cant do a mech sim type game on a console without either usb keyboard support or a weird controller . like commandos 2 on xbox is like impossible to play . it used every key on the keyboard for the pc version and the xbox version has all these crazy menues and a 3 hour tutorial. steel battallion sounds great from this thread. im just curious as to how long the game is? if its a really short game id like to know. also with the xbox live you can go on www.xbconnect.com and play xbox live for free if you have a router and a spare network cable. (yes now you can play halo multiplayer)

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    Apple (Level 5)
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    It's a really cool game. I wouldn't buy it for the price it's at now, however. Just not worth it. The controller's not made too well, either.

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