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Hugh Likes Video Games: Gundam Wing Endless Duel

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HLV-Gundam Wing Endless Duel
Bandai
Super Famicom

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Invariably, Nostalgia Pilots’ deep dive into the series lead me back to the ephemera and tie-ins to Gundam Wing, including the Super Famicom fighting game. Bandai hasn’t had the best track record with Gundam games, but Gundam Wing Endless Duel turned out to be pretty great.
A late 16-bit era fighting game in the vein of Street Fighter II, “Gundam Wing Endless Duel” never made it to America. This is almost certainly because the anime it is based on wouldn’t be localized for another three years after it was released. But it’s also a shame, because it’s a great 2-player fighter, with tight controls, gorgeous pixel graphics, and a merciless difficulty curve.
Roughly following the plot of the show, the game features nine characters, plus a hidden playable boss. Each giant robot has a pair of light and heavy attacks, can rocket boost into the air, and fires machine guns from a distance. They also have a fuel meter, and all special and super attacks drain the gauge. Successfully blocking attacks or landing hits refills the gauge, but it doesn’t fill back up between rounds. This prevents a player from just leaning on special attacks for victory and provides some nice game balance.
The personality and capabilities of each pilot and robot are well displayed. Wing and Wing Zero have giant guns, their signature beam sabres, and can even transform into their jet modes to ram the enemy. Deathscythe is fast and excels at close-combat, Qatre has access to his army of bodyguards, etc. The stages are all pulled right from the show. Each one is incredibly detailed and downright beautiful. Heero fights inside a colony, Zechs’ stage is an Antarctic ice sheet, and Wu-Fei fights in the wilderness he spends most of the first half of the show moping in.
“Gundam Wing Endless Duel” looks and feels just right, but it isn’t a walk in the park. The computer A I is brutal and merciless. The challenge is further amped up by the fact that unlike other tournament fighters, players can hit their opponent when they’re down.
If you’re a serious fighting game player, and you need something to tide you over until the next big thing comes out, I recommend taking a look for this overlooked gem.

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Podcast: Nostalgia Pilots 6

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Episode 6: Those Kids Have to Die

This week, Hugh, Jason, and Jurd watch episode six of Gundam Wing: Party Night!

Join us as Heero goes to great length to avoid a school dance, Relena has a non-conventional grieving process, and Lady Une is barely holding it together with all this insubordination about her orders to murder civilian children.

Plus: Wu-Fei takes up puppetry, Trowa has an Allen Iverson moment, and Duo does literally nothing this episode.

And, Jason tells everyone how he really feels about Eureka Seven.

Podcast: CCRC21: Gundam Wing

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Listen to me geek out at Jurd and Opopinax as we watch “Mobile Suit Gundam Wing, Episode 1: The Shooting Star She Saw.”

Click HERE to download the commentary track!

And HERE to watch along with us!

Thanks for listening! If you enjoyed this podcast, please share it. You can also support me on Patreon for bonus episodes, fiction, and more!

This podcast was originally posted at Skinner.FM on March 21, 2017.

Podcast: CCRC19: Voltron

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Watch along with Hugh, Opopinax, and Jurd as they watch the first episode of Dreamworks’ “Voltron: Legendary Defender!” It’s lion-robot-tastic!

Click HERE to listen to the commentary!

“Voltron: Legendary Defender” is available on Netflix Streaming in the US and Canada!

This podcast was originally posted at Skinner.FM on February 9, 2017.

Thanks for listening! If you enjoyed this podcast, please review or share it! You can support Hugh on Patreon for more great content!

 

Podcast: CCRC18: Naruto S1E1

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Join Opopinax, JRD, and Hugh as they take a quick jump in the Chronotheater to the heady days of 2002 with a commentary for the first episode of the original Naruto anime.

Click HERE to listen along.

Naruto is available to stream from Netflix, Crunchy Roll, Hulu, and Viz.com!

This podcast was originally posted at Skinner.FM on January 19, 2017.

Podcast: CCRC9-Fist of the North Star(2015)

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Watch along with the full compliment of chrononauts as we comment on the first episode of the new “Fist of the North Star.”  Times may change, but you’re still already dead.

Click HERE to listen!

And Click HERE to watch the show on Youtube!

This podcast was originally posted at Skinner.FM on July 18, 2016.

If you enjoyed this podcast, please share it or leave a review.  You can also support me on Patreon!

Hugh Likes Anime: MS Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans

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Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans
Bandai/Sunrise
Streamed via Crunchy Roll

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With science fiction credentials that date back just as far as “Star Wars,” the Mobile Suit Gundam franchise has gone through its ups and downs across every conceivable kind of media.  From anime and manga, to literally hundreds of games, to more toys and models than even the most hard-core collector could hope to assume.  These offerings have varied wildly in tone, from the shocking, gritty depictions of war in the original Mobile Suit Gundam, to the “Street Fighter”-Inspired G Gundam, to the downright kid-friendly SD Gundam.
As the 40th anniversary of the franchise approaches, Bandai’s latest offering, “Iron-Blooded Orphans,” may be the most shocking and adult iteration of the series to date.  Nearly all of the Gundam series’ protagonists are in their teens or early twenties, but IBO certainly goes the farthest with a harrowing depiction of the child soldiers.
Set on a terraformed and colonized Mars, the series takes place about three hundred years after a catastrophic war that depleted Earth’s resources.  When teenage heiress Kudelia Aina Bernstein begins calling for Martian independence, she becomes a target of Gjallarhorn, Earth’s theoretically independent peacekeeping force.  She turns to paramilitary army CGS, and their unit of indentured child soldiers for protection.  After reviving one of the long-lost Gundam Frames, the children stage an uprising and form their own company, agreeing to take Bernstein to Earth, the one place where her voice can produce results.  As they travel, she begins to really learn how desperate the lives of these ‘human debris’ children really are, and grows close to Gundam Barbatos’ laconic pilot, Mika.
While Gundam has not shied away from serious issues before, this is probably the most consistantly dark and serious entry in the series, but it does an excellent job, for the most part, in addressing the themes of the show.  The character and mech designs are well drawn, and the plot, for all its darkness, is engrossing.  Season one recently finished and can be found streaming on the Crunchy Roll streaming service.

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