Macross Newsletter #20
By Graham Parkes 06/29/00

Yes, the Macross Plus Game Edition for the Playstation is now out. The game was released on schedule today, which must be a first for a Macross product :-)

Attached below are scans of the front and the rear of the box.

I've just got home with the game, so this newsletter is just going to give my initial impressions.

Firstly, the intro. The game starts with white Japanese text scrolling up a black screen. This goes on for about a minute no music or anything. Then however, we get the FMV which basically starts with the scene from episode one of Macross Plus where Isamu Lucy bump into Guld Myung at Star Hill. This is then followed by bits of Sharon Apple's concert interspersed with various mecha combat scenes from the OVA.

After the FMV which lasts about 2 minutes (I didn't time it, just a guess) the game switches to the menu screen which helpfully is all in English. Even the control pad settings are shown in English and are:-

Battroid Mode:
Right D pad button = walk right
Left D pad button = walk left
Circle = Attack (actually fires missile)
Triangle = Gattling (gunpod)
X = DSS (see explanation later)
Square = Defense (Pin Point Barrier)
L2 = Search
R2 = Accelerate (Actually boost)
L1 + R1 = turn

Fighter Mode:

D-Pad = Climb, Dive, bank left, bank right
Circle = Attack (missiles)
Square = Chaff
L2 = Search
R2 = Accelerate
R1 = Brake
L1 = View

There is a choice of either 1 player play, called Story Mode, or 2 player VS play which can either be against the computer or another player (split screen play).

There are two types of battle to choose from in the 2 player mode, these are:

Field battle: in which you can only fight in Battroid mode or

Dog Fight: in which you can only fight in fighter mode. There is no Gerwalk mode that I have found yet.

Seven different arenas (called stages) are available for both Field Battle and Dog Fight modes. These range from Desert, City even the deck of an ARMD spaceship for the Field Battle to near Earth orbit, above the SDF-1 in Macross city and even Saturn's rings for the Dog Fight mode. Once you have selected the type of arena you wish to fight in, you are then given a choice of eight different Macross Plus BGM to choose from including:

1. Fly up in the air
2. Break out.
3. Torch Song.
4. Dog Fight 1.
5. Dog Fight 2.
6. After in the dark.
7. Santi-U.
8. Idol Talk.

After choosing the arena, you can then select your mecha. For Dog Fight Mode, only the Variable Fighters in Fighter mode can be selected. Unfortunately, the Ghost X-9 is not available at the beginning. This means you can only select the YF-19, YF-21, VF-5000, VF-11, or VF-1S.

For Field battle Mode, you can select the above mentioned VF's in Battroid mode and also the Tomahawk, Phalanx, Defender, Monster, Zentradi Glaug, Regult, Queadluun-Rau, and Nousjadeul-Ger power armor. After choosing your mecha you then get the option to alter their color.

2 player Field Battle is pretty fun. Even though you can't transform, you can still use your verniers to boost quite high into the sky. Beware, though the Verniers can only be used for a short time before they run out and need to recharge. Also, the weapon load is quite limited and both the gun pod and missiles run out fairly quickly (unlike in VF-X2). However, your missile and gunpod ammo will slowly recharge themselves. The pinpoint barrier on the YF-19 & YF-21 has unlimited use, although you cannot attack when using it. Controls are pretty good and very responsive without being overly so.

2 Player Dog Fight Mode is not so good and suffers the same non-moving background problem as in VF-X2. Although the controls are quite responsive, the radar is a bit confusing being a 3D triangle which is supposed to point you toward your opponent.

In 1 player Story Mode, I was only given the choice of starting with Guld in the YF-21. The first mission is a training mission in which you fight in Battroid mode against first a Nousjadeul-Ger, followed by a Glaug and then a VF-11. I got killed by the VF-11 and so can't tell you what is after mission 1 :-(

Now onto DSS, which stands for "Dynamic Situation System". When you are fighting, if you get close to your opponent, the letters DSS will flash on the screen. If you quickly press the 'X' button, your mecha will execute a special move, such as a kick in Battroid mode which you get to view. In the Dog Fight mode, there is a nice DSS move where your Valkyrie transforms from fighter to battroid and sprays the enemy with gunpod fire before transforming back to fighter mode. Basically, DSS is reminiscent of the old special attacks in the original VF-X game.

That's all for now as I want to get back to playing. More later,