In this long-delayed feature episode of MisanthroPlay, Alvin Chua and Robert Fenner sit down to talk about NCS Masaya's influential Assault Suits series and the impact its had on the mecha platformer genre.
Starting in 1991 with Assault Suits Leynos (AKA Target Earth) on the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis, the series strove to differentiate itself from its forebears. Previous mecha platformers used the genre as little more than window dressing; a game like UPL's Atomic Robo Kid could easily replace the eponymous Robo Kid with a flying human and not alter its gameplay; But NCS Masaya's games added a believable sense of weight and physics to its character movement that worked to bring the illusion of piloting a giant robot to life with very successful results. Just as the debut of Mobile Suit Gundam would see the "Real Robot" genre overtake "Super Robot" in terms of popularity, Assault Suits arguably brought Hard SF to the platformer meidum for the very first time.
In this episode, we discuss Assault Suits Leynos and Assault Suits Valken, as well as its spiritual successors Metal Warriors, Front Mission: Gun Hazard, Gigantic Army, Gunhound EX and the forthcoming PS4 remake of Leynos by Dracue. Unfortunately, we don't touch on Leynos 2 or Valken 2 as we were unable to obtain either of them.