Nerd-o-rama ([personal profile] nerdorama) wrote2013-07-26 11:29 pm

Let's Play SRW Alpha: Information Post

What is Super Robot Wars?

lmwtfy. Just kidding. Super Robot Wars is a long-running series of video games produced by Japanese developer Banpresto and usually published by Bandai-Namco Games (or, previously, just Bandai). The basic mechanics of the game are that of a turn-based tactical game wherein you order around units on a playing field to accomplish specific objectives, bearing the most similarity to Strategy/RPG hybrids like Fire Emblem or Disgaea. Unlike Fire Emblem (but not really unlike Disgaea when you get down to it), the "units" in Super Robot Wars are the giant robots from a staggering variety of giant robot-themed anime (and occasionally manga or other video games) all mashed together into a crossover of epic proportions.

Basically, it's mecha nerd fanfic that you can play. Which is awesome.

I thought it was called Super Robot Taisen

Technically that's the Japanese title. It's also the official English title due to a copyright conflict with that old garage-build robot fighting show, but, well, translator's note: Taisen means Wars, and Wars is easier to type.

What is Super Robot Wars Alpha?

Super Robot Wars Alpha is the tenth or so "proper" Super Robot Wars title (not including re-releases and related games in other genres like Real Robot Battle Line and the SD Hero series), and the beginning of the second multi-game continuity within the series, the first having appropriately ended with Super Robot Wars F Final. It was released for the Sony Playstation in 2000 and re-released for the Sega Dreamcast in 2001.

It's also never been localized into English, because frankly, the licensing would be an absolute freaking nightmare.

Super Robot Wars Alpha tells the story of an alternate continuity of the mecha mashup world first proposed in Super Robot Wars 2, wherein the mankind of the future is besieged by aliens and robotic beasts even as wars between spacefaring and Earthbound nations threaten the entire planet. There's a whole big text crawl about it later, but what you need to know is it's a story of growing up, of betrayal and intrigue, of SCIENCE!, of magic, of explosions, of love, and...you know what, just read the LP.

What anime are in this game?

SRW Alpha was a truly massive crossover for its time, featuring among other things the entire oeuvre of Universal Century (original continuity) Gundam shows that had been animated at the time of its release, perennial favorites like Getter Robo and the Mazinger series, and a host of international hits from the mid to late 90's like Giant Robo, Gundam Wing, and Neon Genesis Evangelion.

A complete list can be found here, but if you'd like to be surprised, I won't spell everything out just yet.

What is a Let's Play?

A Let's Play is when someone plays a video game and lets an audience watch. It's kind of like sharing pictures of your food, but flashier and less hunger-inducing. Often, audience participation is requested for games with meaningful choices in them (as it will occasionally be here). The short answer to this question is probably just read and find out.

So where are you going with this, and also how are we supposed to understand anything if it's all in Japanese?

The particular goal I'm going for here is to show my readers the story and feel of a game that's unavailable in the English language, and to show everyone how much fun the game is. I don't speak Japanese myself, though the nature of SRW's crossover plot and a few other coincidences means I don't really have to to understand what's going on. Any representation of the games (enormous freaking walls of) dialog is my best guess, a quote from an anime, or a joke. Probably a joke.

Why does this look incredibly lazy?

I'm a storyteller and a Windows sysadmin, okay? Not a graphic designer. If you don't like default formatting options you're probably not going to like anything I post on the internet.

Why no videos?

Well, I used an emulator to record myself playing this, and I have a computer that was new two Popes ago. While it can play the games just fine, I'd need to add additional hardware to my sound card before I could record sound, and videos without sound are dull. As are SRW missions if you have to watch me fumble through menus all the time, so this will be a text-and-pictures RP that I might go back and add videos to someday with I have a couple spare dollars lying around for a cord to plug my headphone jack into my mic jack.

How often will you update?

However I answer this will inevitably be a lie, so I heartily recommend using Dreamwidth's tracking feature or some other technological solution to let you know when I do. I will aim for around once a week, though, and try to let people know myself.

How are you making this LP?

For the sake of recording, I'm emulating my Playstation on my PC using ePSXe. Screencaps are taken frame-by-frame with Hypercam 2 (which I will eventually use to record actual videos maybe) and split into images with a program called AVCutty. No savestates will be used in this LP, because frankly, it's a turn-based game. If I botch and reload, though, or savescum intentionally, I'll let you know.

Where are the robots already?????

Here.

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