I've been a fan of all things mecha since I was but a lad, when a schoolyard chum invited me to his house to play a little game called MechWarrior II. I'd grown up playing flight and space combat simulators on my PC - Wing Commander remains one of my all time favorite series - but there was something inherently, and undeniably cool about the thought of a walking tank. Thus, my love of all things robotic and bipedal began, ushering me into an age of nerdiness that persists to this very day.
As I checked my Twitter this evening, I found some rather glowing impressions of a game called Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor. Made by Capcom, this Xbox 360 title puts you in command of a mech on the battlefield - a rather simple concept, but the game does throw in a rather interesting twist. Gameplay involves both the Kinnect voice controls and the 360 controller; according to the trailer, the former will control the goings-on inside the tank, while the latter will be used for movement and combat. I'm always skeptical of this newfangled "voice control" stuff, but it's an interesting prospect and, for those willing to suspend their disbelief more than yours truly, I can see how busily issuing commands in between firefights could add to the immersion of Steel Battalion.
As an aside, let me address the Department of Defense for a moment:
DoD, I know that in the past, we've had our differences. I've never been tremendously fond of the fact that my country seems to be the only voting member of the "International Blowing Stuff Up Committee," and thus have been reluctant to help (by living here and paying taxes) allocate more and more money toward that end. Still, regardless of the direction of my principle, and the fervor of my political beliefs, there is one issue that tears at my last nerve: the disappointment. $600 billion or so - to channel the late Carl Sagan, that's billions upon billions of dollars - and we've got legions of soldiers, aircraft carriers, Predator drones, nuclear submarines, stealth bombers, and ICBMs that can be launched toward nearly any target on planet Earth. You know what we haven't got? Bi-f***ing-pedal tanks. You may say it's impractical; you may even say it's impossible. Well I say balls to that. Japan has walking robots and creepy women-things with vacant eyes, and you're saying that we can't have walking war machines with canons - that America can't do it?
So take off your crying bonnet and saddle up, Priscilla: It's time to build us some robots.