Friday, December 29, 2006


Banpresto's Aquapict product features three silicone jellyfish which gracefully flutter inside an illuminated tank. With bulbous bodies and lazy trailing tendrils, the animals swim around in lackadaisical fashion. In the normal operation mode, four colored LEDs in blue, green, purple, and yellow may be selected to change the hue and possibly the mood of the viewer. A deep-sea mode switches the color to a dark blue tint which may serve to relax a twitchy individual.

The water currents in the Aquapict tank cause the jellyfish to move in somewhat predictable patterns. For example, if a jellyfish rises to the top-middle portion of the tank, it'll zoom towards the right and then drift slowly downwards. From there, it may meander along the bottom and then drift around on the left side of the tank. In a darkened room, the movements of the jellyfish are rather mesmerizing and it's possible that someone can sit and stare at the Aquapict for hours on end. The measurements for this item are: 27 cm x 21 cm x 12 cm. That's 10.62 x 8.26 x 4.72" for us Yanks.
All preorders will ship today.

Blanc Neige 1/7 Scale Figure

In the game Shining Tears, Ira Blanc Neige Gardenias is the Princess of Runevale and a mighty ice magic spellcaster. Blanc Neige's repertoire of spells include an Ice Wall, Snow Veil, and Ice Break. To celebrate the winsomeness that is Ms Neige, Max Factory strips off her raiments and places the princess in a barely there bikini bottom. Blanc Neige also crosses her arms in a futile attempt to bolster her bikini top's coverage area. The princess' eyes are colored a deep crimson and her hair shines with a pearl-like finish. Blanc Neige measures 24cm or 9.44" tall and a circular disc is included for display purposes. All preorders ship will today.

Motoko Aramaki 1/8 Scale Figure

At the end of the first Ghost in the Shell series, Major Motoko Kusanagi melded with Kugutsu Mawashi (aka Puppeteer) and became a new entity dubbed Motoko Aramaki. The surname of "Aramaki" is an homage to Daisuke Aramaki who was chief director of the task force known as Public Security Section 9. In Ghost in the Shell 2: Man-Machine Interface, Motoko is director of the investigative division of a multi-national conglomerate known as Poseidon International. Capable of remotely controlling decoy robots (decots), Motoko transfers her consciousness between bodies to complete missions and assignments around the world.

In manufacturer Vice's new 1/8 scale Motoko Aramaki PVC figure which measures 7.87" tall, the womanly cyborg reveals her girlish side. Normally dressed in grungy combat fatigues or a regulation issue uniform, Motoko shows off her taut belly muscles while wearing a frilly blue number.

The top consists of a baby-blue ribbed vest with navy trim which shows off Motoko's ample assets while the bottom is an overly agitated dress which swirls around with a life of its own. Mo's gloved hands are perched on her hips in a stance of defiance and perhaps dominance. A white disc serves as the foundation upon which the Major stands.
All preorders will ship today.

Willy Wonka 400% Kubrick

Johnny Depp's pasty-faced interpretation of Willy Wonka from the 2005 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory movie was unsettling and somewhat artificial looking. Rigid in posture and animated with facial tics, Willy was/is an odd guy.

Medicom takes a stab at recreating Depp's Wonka in 400% Kubrick form and succeeds for the most part. Fitted with a top hat and natty purple jacket, Willy Wonka carries a cane with swirly top and looks the part of a reclusive confectioner. The figure measures 28cm (11.02") tall and features blue eyes and bright red lips. Similar to other 400% Kubricks, the arms and legs of the Willy Wonka figure are posable but we think he looks fine in the factory pose. Inside the retail packaging, Wonka wears a pair of rose-colored glasses which may be removed. All preorders will ship today.

Hard Cover DS Lite

Add Pokemon style to your regulation issue NDS Lite by slapping a Hard Cover onto the top lid. Three styles are in stock:

» Dialga [Clear blue]
» Palkia [Clear purple]
» Hikozaru [Clear yellow]

The cosmetic boost isn't the only function of the Hard Cover. It also serves to protect the lid of the NDS Lite from scratches, smudges, and other unsightly marks. All preorders will ship today.

Naruto DS Lite Silicon Cover

Naruto Uzumaki and Sasuke Uchiha seemingly burst from the top of the Naturo-themed silicon cover for the NDS Lite. The cover consists of a top and bottom portion which are connected with hinges. Installation is very simple and once installed, the cover wraps around the entire NDS and provides a pliable and protective skin to guard against potential dangers. Openings that are cut into the cover allow for easy access to the various ports and inputs on the NDS Lite unit.

In addition to the silicon case, Takara-Tomy also throws in a thick barreled stylus holder that's topped with a little figure of Naruto. All preorders will ship today and new orders are welcome.

Mascot Touch Pen Pokemon v2.0

Plain stylus styles are okay but if you're the type who likes a little something extra, the Pokemon touch pens may be your cup of tea. Each pen features a Pokemon mounted on a spring which bobs to and fro. Three different sets are available today which include two pens in each pack.

» Palkia [white pen] and Pochama [blue pen]
» Pikachu [yellow pen] and Naetoru [green pen]
» Dialga [purple pen] and Hikozaru [orange pen]

General Updates

Late Stragglers
Some shipments of products arrived too late to post up for today but we'll check them out on Tuesday of next week.
Happy New Year
Since there won't be a website update on Monday, NCS wishes everyone a Happy New Year. Based on old school soothsayers and prognosticators, the first half of 2007 should be a booming time for the economy. The second half... not so much. We'll wait and see how the trade winds blow.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Formula One Championship Edition

Drop into the cockpit of a Formula One racer and experience the thrill of rocketing across an asphalt track against the backdrop of the Formula One 2006 season. As competitors muscle for rank, maneuver your vehicle with minute tugs of the Dual Shock controller to do your own muscling. When flying through a course, the buzz of the Formula One racers sound like a nest of angry hornets as everyone throttles their engines. Similar to the recent MotorStorm, cars may collide and break up with impressive effects as tires, chassis, and hulls ricochet off the track and into the cages that lines the stands or in the general vicinity of area impact.

The illusion of speed is well done and more so when trees dot the sides of the track. Watch as they blow past in rapid-fire fashion. The game features 18 courses and 22 drivers such as Michael Schumacher, Juan Pablo Montoya, Nico Rosberg, and more. Formula One CE works fine on USA PS3 consoles and is fairly import friendly. Most of the menus, drivers names, and onscreen information are in English.

Metallic Blue PSP

The PSP looked good in lacquered black and looked even better in ceramic white. According to one of our ceramic-white-buying customers, he described himself as "big pimpin' for real" and we couldn't disagree. Since the dawn of ceramic white, Sony has also released pink and silver PSP color variants in rapid fire sequence. The latest color variant is a tint dubbed Metallic Blue which looks pretty good but we're still partial to the Silver PSP and waiting on the Gold color variant which is inevitable.

Famitsu Wave DVD [Feb 2007]

The February 2007 issue of Famitsu Wave DVD features coverage of the following games:

» X360 Lost Planet: Extreme Condition
» X360 The IdolM@ster
» X360 Winning Eleven X
» PS2 Shining Force EXA
» PS2 Kenka Banchou 2
» PS2 Neosphere of the Deep Blue Sky
» PS2 Wild Arms Vth Vanguard
» PS2 Soul Cradle
» PS2 Destroy All Humans
» PSP Powerstone Portable

and the usual assortment of game challenges, interviews, on-the-street coverage, and Famitsu tomfoolery.

Dragon Quest Monsters Joker

Revisit the world of Dragon Quest with a new 3D adventure where players take control of a silver-maned lad. Since Akira Toriyama designed the character, the hero sports a hairstyle that is reminiscent of DBZ fighters. At the outset of the game, the first monster obtained is a chubby Dracky (it looks like a fat demon with bat wings and a tail) but additional monsters may be recruited into your party during encounters. The hero starts off with 150G and the mission is to enter the Joker Grand Prix with a troupe of monsters to become the top dog of the tournament. In the early part of the adventure, blue slimes are the most common enemies and they'll gleefully bound towards you to attack. As your Dracky levels up however, they'll turn tail and run when they spot your crew.

DQM Joker Protector

Slot your NDS Lite into the protective confines of Hori's Dragon Quest Monsters Joker Protector and it's instantly shielded from the elements, dust, and other airborne motes. As an added bonus, the red-line artwork of the DQM main character looks nifty. The DQM Joker Protector consists of two shells which clamp onto the top lid and the bottom portion of the NDS Lite. Installation is fairly simple but an illustrated guide is included to make sure you're affixing it properly.
If you drop your NDS Lite while encased in the DQM Protector, it might not break apart into a thousand pieces but there is no guarantee that the NDS Lite will survive a 6 foot plunge. As such, keep a sturdy grip on your gear.

The Doko Demo Kanji Quiz

Students learning kanji have a friend in D3 Publisher's Doko Demo Kanji Quiz which features 10,000 questions that test proficiency and character recognition. Input is made on the touch screen where kanji is written on specified retainers. The software is capable of interpreting most chicken scratches as long as the character is written with the proper strokes without overlap or errant criss-crossing.
Three levels of kanji testing are featured in the software for beginners, mid-level students, and seasoned pros. In addition to the standard drills and exams, a total of 20 enjoyable mini-games may be played to test one's kanji skills with a little bit of fun. The mini-games test memory retention, interpretation, fast-paced character recognition, and more.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Samurai Spirits Iroha PVC Figure

Ever since Iroha appeared in Samurai Spirits: Tenkaichi Kenkakuten, toy manufacturers have been busy crafting and shipping their interpretations of the loyal maid. Art Storm by way of Cerberus Project throws their hat into the ring with a rounder, younger, and perhaps sweeter Iroha who swoops in like a crane while brandishing her blades Hourin and Ousai. Originally released as a 1/8 scale resin model kit which required painstaking assembly, glue, and paint, the new release is fully assembled and masterfully painted at the factory. All you have to do is unpack Iroha from the box and display her on the mantle.

Fixed Pose: Iroha perches her entire frame on one foot while her arms swing back to accentuate her majestic figure. She's dressed in her regulation issue maid uniform but her bosom is more exposed than they were in previous sculpts from other artists. Her bottom is just as bare however... At 1/8 scale, Iroha clocks in at 20cm or 7.87" tall. A transparent base is included for display purposes.

Jack Skellington 400% Kubrick

Jack Skellington's day job is the Pumpkin King of Halloweentown. He's tall, dark, and macabre. Take one look at his eye sockets and the word "macabre" instantly springs to mind. In Japan, there's been no shortage of toys based on the Nightmare Before Christmas movie which seems to have resonated remarkably well with the Japanese populace.

Medicom's latest entry in the burgeoning NBC toy library is a 400% Kubrick figure where Jack is decked out in a natty pinstripe tuxedo with a bow that's a bat. His hands are shaped like fixed-pose bear claws in which cylindrical items may be slotted through and grasped. Jack measures 25cm or 9.84" tall and features posable arms and legs which are socketed to his Kubrick-esque body. Preorders ship today and new orders are welcome.

Monsieur Bome Collection Vol. 18

Go to Google. Type in "gunbuster bome" and check out all of the stores that cribbed (read: plagiarized) NCS' write-up for this product from our preorder listing. Even well known shops had to resort to cribbing. So Lam3.

Mech handlers in big-robot-animation-series' generally fit into 2 basic molds. The first mold is that of an ace pilot with innate skills who takes to maneuvering a robot like a duck takes to water. The second mold follows a more humble path where the hero has potential but must work hard to get to the lofty levels of the aforementioned prodigies. In the Gun Buster animation, Noriko Takaya fits squarely in the second mold. Unsure of herself at the outset of the animation, Noriko eventually grits her teeth, finds her impressive abilities within and pushes them forward to help the cause. To celebrate all that is Noriko, Kaiyodo has marked the eighteenth Monsieur Bome for the Gun Buster pilot. The figure measures 23cm or 9.05" tall
and Takaya seemingly thrusts her dukes up as if ready to engage in fisticuffs. She wears the regulation issue Gunbuster uniform with the recognizable design on top and the stretchy red fabric which grips her posterior in a vice-like grip. A circular stand is included in the blister pack which features "Gunbuster" in English and "Top wo Nerae" in katakana on the base.

Illuminate Cube

Back in the day, Rubik's Cube was a toy phenomenon which sold hundreds of millions of units worldwide. Those numbers are unthinkable nowadays since there's so many product choices and such high saturation in the toy market. Even Elmo won't touch those numbers... but we'll never know for sure since Fisher Price doesn't release sales figures. Revisit the old school flavor of the Rubik's Cube with Megahouse's "Illuminate Cube" which looks like the legendary toy but there's something special built into its innards. Instead of rickety plastic pieces inside, the Illuminate Cube sports stereo speakers and an array of LEDs which sync, shine, and blink like a hyperactive Christmas light ornament.

The Illuminate Cube sports a total of 54 squares on its cube surface. Every square's surface may flash one of three colors - red, green, and yellow. Each corner cube features three LEDs inside which are capable of shining independently of each other. The Illumination Cube can stand alone and blink its lights in random fashion but it was designed to accept the output from a music player via physical cable connection (3.5mm stereo mini plug). Once the music starts to play through the built-in 125mW stereo speakers, the lights sync to the beat and blink in unison to the tempo of the tune. Depending on the music, all sides may flash at once with solid colors or colorful patterns will undulate through the surfaces of the cube with near perfect coordination as the music plays.

NCS found pleasing effects when classical music was played while rock and rap produced what we would describe as interesting visuals. Use it in a disco dive and replace the glittering mirror ball of yore. All preorders will ship today and new orders are welcome.

General Updates

PS3 Blu-Ray Remotes
Additional supplies of the Japanese Blu-Ray Remote arrived today and all backorders will ship this afternoon. New orders are welcome. Yes, we're aware that the USA version of the Blu-Ray Remote is sort of available in spotty quantities in select retail shops.
Wii Video Cables
Japanese S-Video and D-Terminal cables for the Wii are in stock today.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

PS3 Railfan

A railfan is a train enthusiast who's passionate about locomotives. When taking the Amtrak in New York City, we occasionally spot railfans talking to conductors and taking photographs of the trains as they roll into the station. Taito shared this passion for trains with a line-up of Densha de Go! games and the latest in their train simulation empire is the aptly named "Railfan." Similar to the Densa de Go! games, players take the reins of a locomotive and travel through miles of track while observing the rules and policies of proper conducting.

As the virtual conductor motors through the three main lines featured in the game, crisp Blu-Ray footage of the world spools by for a mesmerizing look at what train operators actually see while operating. When pulling into a station, the commuters on the platforms walk, shuffle, talk, and do what commuters do because they're actual commuters that were captured when the Railfan team took to the tracks with their cameras and started spooling miles and miles of footage for the game.

PSP Tales of the World: Radiant Mythology

The world of Terejia is under siege by demons and the massive tree that governs the life of the planet is slowly dying. In a last ditch effort to save itself and the world, the mighty tree births a hero to beat back the demons and save Terejia from ruin.
At the outset of the game, players create a male or female character who look strangely alike. They're both androgynous and wear the same burgundy-colored outfit. Once the sex is determined, the new hero may be outfitted with a new hair style, hair color, skin color, and choice of weapon from four possible selections. Players then choose the occupation of the hero from Fighter or Magic User and the story begins.

Spoiler Alert
In the first scene of the game, the camera rests on the hero lying prone on the forest floor. A squeaky voice hails him and he slowly gets up to greet a flying feline that's fluttering immediately above him. The cat with wings is named "Morumo" who does all of the talking for the hero who never speaks during the game. The hero does occasionally yell after a successful battle but dialogue isn't his thing. Soon after the introductions, the two encounter a pink-haired girl named Kanosono who is being accosted by a soldier. Kill him in a newtype 3D battle scenario and meet Chester Burklight who hails from the Tales of Phantasia game. After introductions, head on over to a town where many more familiar characters from the Tales games are met and interacted with. «NCS Game Notes»

PSP MGS Portable Ops Premium Pack

The Premium Edition of Metal Gear Solid Portable Ops includes the following items which are packaged in a largish cardboard box:

» Camouflage-colored Playstation Portable unit (PSP-1000CA)
» MGS Portable Ops game with special variant cover (ULJM-05227)
» Pack of three limited edition Metal Gear Solid pins mounted on a placard
» Naked Snake Hemp PSP Carrying Case
» Naked Snake Hemp PSP Strap
» Metal Gear Portal business card

PSP Tales of the World Premium Pack

The Tales of the World bundle includes the following items which are encased in a decorative cardboard carton:

» Metallic Blue Playstation Portable (PSP-1000MB)
» Tales of the World: Radiant Mythology game (ULJS-00093)
» PSP carrying case with Tales of the World icon art on front
» Tales of the World handkerchief/cloth
» 32MB Memory Stick Duo

General Updates

Week's Release Outlook
No new USA titles are scheduled for this week but Japan's sort of lively. NDS Dragon Quest Monsters Joker and PS3 F1 Championship Edition are both scheduled to arrive on Thursday. No other imports are scheduled to arrive this week.
Japanese Wii Price Update
The price for the Japanese Wii will drop to US$345 on Thursday or Friday of this week when we restock the next batch of consoles. If you have a backorder on file, we will process and ship your order once restock arrives.
Japanese PS3 Price Update
The price for the Japanese PS3 60GB and 20GB models are scheduled to drop on Tuesday of next week. We'll post new prices once they are finalized. If you require a firmware update before we ship your order (because you don't have access to high-speed internet), you may request the service in the notes section of the online shop order form.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

PS3 Armored Core 4

Sometime in the future, the uninterrupted population growth of humanity leads to shortages of food and energy. With the governments of the world unable to contain the consequent strife and rioting, six corporations rise up to exert their influence and power over the planet. The population is divided into a social stratification known as Pax Economica where every citizen is a subject of one of the six corporate entities. In exchange for their labor, each person is guaranteed food and residence in a colony. On the surface, the citizenry appears content with the drudgery of existence but stirrings of unrest are beginning to spread...
The tendrils of the corporations touch all areas of life and some of those tendrils consist of private armies of mecha known as Ravens who do their dirty work. You are one such Raven handler and your story begins in the dystopian future of AC4. In addition to solo mission-based firefights, up to eight players may network together for some serious versus action where the screen explodes with activity, gunplay, and team-up tactics.

PS3 Sonic the Hedgehog

From the publisher

When video game icon Sonic The Hedgehog debuted on the SEGA Genesis in 1991, he shook up the action-platform genre with his signature speed and rebellious attitude. More than 44 million units later, Sonic celebrates his fifteenth anniversary and blazes his way onto next-generation consoles for an epic adventure that delivers the most intense sensation of speed experienced to date. The game is set in the beautiful lagoon city of Soleana. In his first adventure set in the human world, Sonic meets a beautiful princess named Elyse, whom he quickly befriends, but Princess Elyse is abducted by none other than the calculating Dr. Eggman, who is working under dark and sinister motives. In order to restore safety and serenity, Sonic maneuvers his way through a series of adventures and challenges where he encounters and interacts with a bevy of allies and enemies, and ultimately goes head to head against the menacing doctor to thwart his malicious plans.

PS2 Seiken Densetsu 4

Thirteen years after Seiken Densetsu 2 was released on the Super Famicom, director Koichi Ishii and creative staff craft the latest game in full-fledged 3D. The story focuses on a hero named Eldy who travels with a friend named Ritzia and her pet Rabite who answers to "Pukku." At the outset of the game, Pukku is bounding across the forest and is eventually reunited with its mistress who greets it with cheerful abandon. It runs off again later on and Eldy chases after it. Along the way, he picks up a wooden stick on the ground and eventually encounters a group of easily agitated Mushbooms. Smack them around with the stick and each one is dispatched with three hits each.

The game's first level is a "follow the Rabite" mission where the little beast leads Eldy to different parts of the forest in a seek and destroy mission. Pukku bounds to areas where Mushbooms and birds dwell and Eldy's job is to attack them and clear the wilderness of their presence. Upon completion, follow Pukku again to exit the level and proceed further to new adventures. The game is broken up into mission-based levels where objectives are presented to the player and fulfillment is contingent on meeting the tasks at hand. «NCS Game Notes and Spoilers»

Seiken Densetsu 4 Memory Card

Hori is the master of releasing memory cards to match the release of important games on the Playstation 2. Since Seiken Densetsu 4 is one such game, Hori plies its trade and includes a bonus Mana Tree decorated DVD case and four character decals along with the 8M memory card.

X360 Lost Planet

From the publisher
In Lost Planet you control both your human player and a mech unit, in a fight against alien bugs on a cold desolate planet. Human snow pirates navigate VS (Vital Suits) through hostile ice-covered environments, fighting against the indigenous Akrid creatures for the precious thermal energy they need to survive. For one such pilot named Wayne, death almost seemed imminent until he was fortunately rescued.
However, he can only remember a few fragments of his past including the slaying of his father by the monstrous beings. Yet under the veil of ice, a devious plot has been set into motion by NEVEC. What really happened to Wayne and how will his destiny become intertwined with NEVEC's plans?

X360 Sonic the Hedgehog

From the publisher
When video game icon Sonic The Hedgehog debuted on the SEGA Genesis in 1991, he shook up the action-platform genre with his signature speed and rebellious attitude. More than 44 million units later, Sonic celebrates his fifteenth anniversary and blazes his way onto next-generation consoles for an epic adventure that delivers the most intense sensation of speed experienced to date. The game is set in the beautiful lagoon city of Soleana. In his first adventure set in the human world, Sonic meets a beautiful princess named Elyse, whom he quickly befriends, but Princess Elyse is abducted by none other than the calculating Dr. Eggman, who is working under dark and sinister motives. In order to restore safety and serenity, Sonic maneuvers his way through a series of adventures and challenges where he encounters and interacts with a bevy of allies and enemies, and ultimately goes head to head against the menacing doctor to thwart his malicious plans.

NDS Teku Teku Angel Pocket

Back in the day of the Tamagotchi craze, Hudson released a pedometer based game which allowed virtual pet lovers to take care of a little beast known as Gel-kun. By walking around and increasing the pedometer reading, the beastie would eventually become an angel to meet its maker in heaven. A little beast has returned to become your new friend and it lives inside your Nintendo DS and the included Teku Teku Angel pedometer unit. Play puzzle games and walk around a lot each day. By recording the number of steps, the pedometer tallies how many calories you've burned. Can you help the beast become an angel by being mobile?

PSP Parappa the Rapper Pouch

On Sony's new PSP Parappa-themed pouch, a rainbow seemingly flows freely from Parappa's back and dips a little bit before arcing higher. The rainbow terminates at the upper right corner of the pouch. On the left side of the pouch, the rhyme busting rapper lounges without a care in the world. Made of a cushiony fabric, the PSP pouch holds a Playstation Portable unit comfortably but there's little room for anything else.

PSP PJ Berri Pouch

The sloth known as PJ Berri does one better than Parappa and falls asleep in his pouch decoration turn. A rainbow also issues forth from PJ's back and runs higher before dipping into the lower-left corner of the pouch. The Parappa PSP pouch is made of a cushiony material that protects the Playstation Portable from dust, drops, and Parappa hating hoodlums. If such a thug should see PJ Berri, there's no way he's stealing your gear.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Imports In

Got 'em. All preorders for PS3 Armored Core 4, PS3 Sonic the Hedgehog, PS2 Seiken Densetsu 4, and X360 Sonic the Hedgehog will ship today. Some more packages are supposedly on the way and we'll update accordingly if they make it in in the next few hours. We'll update game synopses and scans before 8PM EST today.

All preorders for X360 Lost Planet will include a bonus Visual Book. Unfortunately, we didn't receive enough bonuses to include with new orders submitted today.

Waiting on Imports

All of our import flights made it into JFK earlier this morning but we're still waiting for the packages to be delivered. The high overall shipping volumes this week has delayed processing and flight clearance for all of this week's arrivals. We'll update again once everything's in stock. As long as our shipments are delivered to us before 4PM EST, we'll be able to ship everything out today.

If our deliveries arrive after 4PM EST, we'll try to get as many packages shipped out as humanly possible in the short amount of time we have to work with. We should have an update by 3:30PM EST and we'll post it up on this page.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

General Updates

Import Shipments Delayed
Due to what we can only assume to be crushing holiday shipping volumes, some of our Japanese import shipments have been re-scheduled until tomorrow. All preorders for PS3 Armored Core 4, PS3 Sonic the Hedgehog, PS2 Seiken Densetsu 4, and X360 Sonic the Hedgehog will ship tomorrow. Playstation 3 Official S-Video cables are also scheduled to arrive on Friday.

The remainder of this week's imports such the PSP Metal Gear Solid Portable Ops Bundle are scheduled to arrive on Tuesday of next week due to late release in Japan and the Christmas holiday on Monday.
BD Blu-Ray Remotes
Another batch of PS3 remotes arrived today and all backorders placed prior to Dec 21, 2006 at 05:31AM EST will ship this afternoon. New orders placed after that date and time are expected to ship on Tuesday or Wednesday of next week. Since the USA version of the Blu-Ray Remote is expected to arrive in mid-late January 2007, we'll likely stop stocking the Japanese version after next week and after all demand has been filled.
Parappa the Rapper PSP Pouches
Two Parappa pouches that were released in Japan last week will arrive tomorrow. PJ Berri sleeps like a log on one of them and Parappa lounges on the other. Similar to the LocoRoco pouch from Sony, the Parappa pouches follow the slim design of the standard PSP pouch included with the Japanese Value Packs. We'll post photos on tomorrow's update.
Japanese Wii Accessories Restock
Classic controllers are available for US$29 and the Nunchuk is on stock again at US$35. Pricing for Japanese Wii consoles are expected to drop to US$345 next week after the holiday rush.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Bomberman Bakuhatu Plush

The Japanese word "Bakuhatu" means "Explode" and that's what Bomberman's bombs do. To capitalize on the decades old Bomberman craze, Banpresto has started preorders for a plush bomb which sports a lit fuse on top and a sound chip inside. When the chip is triggered, various sounds roar forth from the innards of the plush which are meant to recreate explosive video game aurals. For example, the product solicitation mentions that each plush makes two sounds: "BOOMB!" and "POM!" which are lovingly sampled from the Bomberman games. We'll perform the obligatory sound recordings once the Bomberman Bakuhatu Plushes are in stock. Two color variants are on offer and preorders are welcome today.

Nintendo T-Shirt Collection

Other than the Dolce & Gabbana Mario T-shirt, official Nintendo-themed clothing isn't widely available. Knock-offs are a dime a dozen however. We've seen misshapen caricatures of Mario and his brethren on t-shirts sold in China and on assorted sites across the web where the concepts of copyright and intellectual property are anathema.
Banpresto bolsters the cause of properly licensed Nintendo clothing by announcing three tees with retro Nintendo themes as follows:

(A) Marios stand facing each other in a 6 x 4 array on a navy blue shirt
(B) A stencil of the original Family Computer atop a red crewneck shirt
(C) Stars, mushrooms, and flowers join a lone Mario on a black shirt

Preorders are welcome to ship in mid-late June 2007.

Yua Aida Trading Cards

The top JAV idol at production studio S1 is Yua Aida, a 22 year-old whose hobbies include tennis and oil painting. When Yua Aida poses for candid shots, she frequently throws out the victory sign or waves for the camera. When posing for professional photo shoots however, she's all business and the hand jive is banished. As in, banished by the photographer. To celebrate Yua Aida's skill at dressing up and appearing photogenic, a set of glossy trading cards have been announced which feature Yua Aida in different settings and in various stages of dress and undress.

The preorder solicitation mentions that 114 different cards are in the set and the cards are packaged 7 per pack. Each factory case includes 12 packs for a total of 84 cards in each case. The types of cards in the set are:

» Regular Cards [72 types] » Clear Cards [18 types]
» Clothing Card [17 types] » Autograph Signature Card [3 types]
» 1/1 Checkicard [1 type] » 1/1 Film Card [1 type]
» Kiss Imprint Card [1 type] » Secret Card [1 type]

Pricing per pack is US$4.50 and preorders ship in Feb 2007.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Animal Crossing Card Case

Yujin releases Nintendo DS game card carriers which feature peachy Animal Crossing themes. Six styles are available and each case opens up like a book and holds three NDS games in transparent sleeves inside. Each Animal Crossing card case includes a sheet of stickers which may be pasted on the case or upon any other suitable surface.
Since the AXing card cases are so petite, gamers may store their monthly rotation of NDS cards (figure about 12 games spread across four carriers) in the little leaflets and throw the lot of them in a gym bag, a satchel, or a man-purse. The red one with polka dots. Preorders ship today and new orders are welcome.

Super Mario Bros Towels

Apparently, the first batch of Nintendo-themed towels that shipped in May 2005 weren't enough to slake Banpresto's lust for retro Ninty exploitation. To fill the coffers labeled "Towel Revenue 2006," the company releases a trio of Super Mario Bros themed towels which measure 35 x 72 cm or roughly 14 x 28" in area. That's enough moisture-soaking cotton to dry any rain-soaked wanderer or any beach bound vagabond. While the black "Game Over" towel might not send the right message with the two plumbers seemingly in their death throes, the other two are cheery enough to use in a public beach or at the local pool.

The towels are as follows:
(A) Mario climbs a vine
(B) Game Over
(C) Bonus!!

Every towel is packaged in a flimsy cardboard cube that's designed to look like a bonus brick block from the Super Mario Bros games. Since the towel inside offers no solidity or resistance to outside pressure, the cardboard cubes are easily crushed so we'll pack them carefully. Preorders will ship today and new orders are welcome.

Gun X Sword Trading Figures

Max Factory pays homage to episode 17 of the Gun X Sword animation series where the girls invaded the Swimsuit Nation. Prior to what we know as the "Wendy Tribulations," the girls visited a department store and shopped for bikinis and swimsuits. To recreate the censorship in the episode, Max Factory also includes burro decals with each figure to hide each gals' attributes if one so desires. The characters featured are:

» Fasalina
» Yukiko
» Wendy Garrett
» Priscilla
» Carmen 99 (the "99" refers to her bust size)

The height of the figures range from 4cm to 11cm depending on the posture. Since Carmen lounges, she's closest to the ground while Yukiko towers above everyone else because she's on her knees. A transparent blue disc is included in each individual box for display purposes. In addition to the five standard figures, a sixth figure is randomly packed in the cartons. Pricing per factory sealed case of 8 figures is set at US$49. Preorders ship today and new orders are welcome.

New Super Mario Bros Water Toys

Japanese toy manufacturer Epoch releases a set of New Super Mario Bros themed water toys where simple objectives are accomplished by gushing a stream of water at little objects. Each water toy ships devoid of liquid inside but fill it with water from the faucet and plug it up with the included stopper. NCS recommends filling the toys up with saline solution which doesn't form the bubbles that tap water invariably forms inside the container. In one of the Mario-themed toys, players use the power of water currents to direct six little spheres into two U-shaped holders. In the Princess Peach toy, rings are pushed around and skillfully hung on rods. It's hours minutes of fun for the entire brood. Preorders ship today and new orders are welcome.

Silver Playstation Portable

Originally released in glossy black and followed by ceramic white and candy pink, the PSP has now been rendered in a lacquered silver shell.

Please note that this new release of the Silver PSP only contains the PSP handheld and none of the Value Pack items. A power adapter, battery, and Japanese user manual are standard inclusions. Please note that we will not accept any returns of the PSP because of dead-pixel problems. Although the incidence of dead pixels have been lowered since the debut of the PSP, they do still occur on Playstation Portable handhelds.

Okami [The Best]

The world has been ravaged and ruined by the power of an eight-headed monster known as Orochi (serpent) but there is hope. The sun god Amaterasu descends upon terra in the form of a white wolf to set things wholesome once again. At the outset of the adventure, a goddess named Sakuya visits and gifts Amaterasu with the Yata no Kagami or sacred mirror which is used as a slashing weapon. Sakuya also sends a little friend known as Issun to help Amaterasu on his quest. Once nigh omnipotent, taking a physical form enforces some restrictions on Amaterasu but heavenly powers may be regained by locating and re-absorbing 15 scattered celestial characters.
Okami uses a beguiling visual style that is striking not only in its fluid animation quality but also in the uniformity of the world. Everyone and everything meshes properly and one imagines that if a stylized Japanese charcoal brush painting ever came to life, Okami would be its embodiment and tell its inner story. Game play follows the simplicity of Okami's art style where Amaterasu runs, jumps, and attacks enemies in swift motion. When enemies are met, they'll perform a little cinematic routine before the slaughter commences.
«NCS Game Notes»

Street Fighter III 3rd Strike [Best]

In SF3, familiar faces such as Ken, Ryu, and Chun-Li are joined by newer fighters such as karate master Makato, the Iori-ish Remy, Q - the man behind the iron mask, and Twelve - a robot capable of giving the Terminator-1000 a run for its money. Select a fighter from nineteen possible combatants, choose super moves, and battle through the ranks for the title of World Champion. For connoisseurs with their own vision of the perfect fighting system, Capcom grafts the "System Direction" option in 3rd Strike where players may enable/disable various moves and tweak the gameplay to their liking.

Vampire Darkstalkers Collection [Best]

Over a decade ago, warriors of the night began their battles and set hearts afire. Or something like that. Capcom reaches into the archive vault and gathers together all five Vampire coin-op games and burns them on one DVD. The contenders:

Vampire (1994) - The original 10 Dark Stalkers start stalking
Vampire Hunter (1995) - Features auto guard mode and two new fighters
Vampire Saviour (1997) - Dark Force system and Bulleta introduced
Vampire Hunter 2 (1997) - Fighters are balanced for well rounded matches
Vampire Saviour 2 (1997) - Donovan, Phobos, and Pyron are back...

The game modes:
Arcade Mode: Test your skills against the CPU
Versus Mode: Battle against your friend who happens to be in the room
Training Mode: If you are not ready, you must practice.
Option: Set controller buttons, adjust screen ratio, listen to BGM
Art Gallery: A nice collection of Vampire artwork, advertisements, etc.

Japanese Import Outlook

NDS Gakken Kagaku DS IE Institute

Hamster to Kurasou Interchannel

Heisei Kyouikuiinkai DS Namco

Mahjong Haoh DS Special Mycom

Nazotte Oberu Otona no Kanji Renshuu Nowpro

Atama no Yokunaru - The Me no Training D3

The Doko Demo Kanji Quiz D3

Tekuteku Angel Pocket with DS - White & Ice Blue Hudson

Tekuteku Angel Pocket with DS - White & Pink Hudson
PS2 Armored Core Premium Box From Soft

Full House Kiss BEST Capcom

Higurashi no Naku Kei ni Matsuri Alchemist

Higurashi no Naku Kei ni Matsuri Limited Edition Alchemist

Seiken Densetsu 4 SquarEnix

SNK Slot Panic Kyuuji SNK
PS3 Armored Core 4 Sega

Railfan Taito

Sonic the Hedgehog Sega
PSP Kanon Prototype

Mach-Modified Air Combat Heroes Vivendi

Mahjong Haoh Portable: Jansou Battle Mycom

Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops Konami

Rockman Dash Hagane no Boukenshin BEST Capcom

Rockman Dash 2 BEST Capcom

Snow Portable Prototype

Tales of The World Radiant Mythology Bandai
X360 A Ressha de Gyouku HX Artdink

Lost Planet Extreme Condition Capcom

Sonic the Hedgehog Sega
Wii Monster 4X4 World Circuit Ubisoft

Need for Speed Carbon EA

Rayman Rabbids Party Ubisoft