Thursday, August 31, 2006

Akiyama Jin Kyouju Kanshuu

The Fraggle Rock looking fellow on the cover is none other than the respected Jin Akiyama of Tokai University's Education Development Laboratory. He's known as Jin-Jin to his friends. His in-game representation is rendered much younger than the 60-year old professor but he's just as wild-eyed and wears the same blue headband. Upon starting the game, players are prompted to enter their name and age before a bevy of brain straining exercises are presented. Some questions test the ability of the player to find the progression in a group of characters or numbers while others test perception and hand-eye coordination. Five categories of brain exercises may be attempted including a Beginner's section, an Expert section and three other sections for use at work, at home, and during the daily commute. The full name of this product is: Akiyama Jin Kyouju Kanshuu: Zennou JinJin.

Blood+ One Night Kiss + Bonus

Saya Otonashi returns to the Yokushu killing fields with a new hero named Aoyama who wears a coif inspired by Yankii cohorts. Unlike the mostly interactive Blood+ Souyoku Battle Rinbukyoku that was released earlier this summer, One Night Kiss is a full blown action game where the player has full control over Saya and at times, Aoyoma. ONK plays similarly to the earlier Blood+ in one respect however where sequence events require matching button presses to enact a kill or action. The new Blood+ is directed by Goichi Suda who transplants the stark and stunning art style of Killer 7 to the Blood franchise. Dark walls, deep shadows, and chiaroscuro throughout the world are the order of the day.

Blood+ features an original storyline where Saya and Aoyama provide two perspectives and killing styles - Saya swings her trademark sword while Aoyama makes do with a firearm. Supporting cast members include the ever present cellist Haji and over 20 original characters to the Blood+ world such as Akama, Fukuoka, Shimamura, Momoyama, and Izawa. The cast is rounded out by a legion of Yokushu who burst out of their human shells to reveal the monsters inside. While supplies last, all orders will include a bonus leather bookmark that's embossed with the Blood+ logo.


Ebizo is a thief. Stealthy and able to skulk through the palatial estates of Edo like a wisp, he has the power to snatch valuables on the fly and load them into his nigh limitless sack. Ebizo gave up his life of crime over a decade ago to take care of a little girl named Suzuna. Back then, he was a member of the Gingarasu, a crew of thieves who stole from the wealthy and distributed the spoils to the poor. While on an outing with his partner Ainosuke, Ebizo found and rescued Suzuna from an incident in which her parents were killed by criminals. With new responsibilities, Ebizo raised Suzuna like a daughter and walked away from the Gingarasu.

Returning home one day, Ebizo finds Suzuna collapsed on the floor and in bad shape. Suffering from a mysterious illness, her prospects for adequate treatment aren't high given the meager earnings that Ebizo brings in every day. With no other choices available to him, he decides to return to a life of crime doing what he does best: thievery. Kamiwaza is a game of stealth tactics and Ebizo's abilities exemplify the ways of elite thieves. In addition to creeping motion, Ebizo can lay flat on his belly and slither, hide behind obstacles, wedge himself between tight spaces, disguise his appearance, and literally shadow enemies thisclose as they walk around.

Bubble Bobble Evolution

Twenty years ago, Bubblun and Bobblun were two boys who were transformed into dragons inside the Cave of Monsters. By blowing bubbles which encapsulated enemy creatures, Bub and Bob sailed through 100 levels of platform action to save their girlfriends. Two decades and dozens of derivatives and sequels later, Taito recaptures the magic of the original game with an evolved version. Bubble Bobble Evolution features classic bubble blowing game play with new play fields and enough wrinkles thrown in to justify the "Evolution" portion of the game title.

In the story mode of BBE, two siblings named Bub and Bob are playing by the River Thames and generally having a good time when they get tired and decide to go home. As they walk, the sky darkens and a bolt of lightning strikes both boys. In the next scene, the camera pans in on Bub and Bob who are now encased in dragon suits. Their faces may be seen inside the costumes and the two are sent to menacing-looking towers called "maniac pleasure palace." When the game starts, Bub is in the right tower while Bob is in the left tower. Switch between the two dragons to defeat foes and eventually reunite. By using newtype bubble blowing action and puzzle solving skills, the brothers work together to escape from the towers and return to human form. The original Bubble Bobble featured one static screen per level but Evolution allows the boy-dragons to roam around three connected screens which represent the cylindrical nature of the two adjacent towers.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Famitsu Wave DVD October 2006

The October issue of Famitsu Wave DVD features print coverage and cinema previews of the following games and DVDs:

» PSP Monster Hunter Portable 2nd
» NDS Final Fantasy III
» PS3 Armored Core 4
» PS2 Minna no Tennis
» PSP Jeanne D'Arc
» PS2 God Hand
» NDS Pokemon Diamond and Pearl
» PS2 Apple Seed
» PS2 .hack//G.U. Vol. 2
» DVD Wave Idol Photo Studio Vol. 01 and 02

» And the usual assortment of general interest features, interviews, challenges, and Famitsu tomfoolery.

Nintendo DS Coloring Book

A bushy-tailed chipmunk serves as the emcee for Ertain's digital coloring book titled "Kokoro wo Yasumeru Otona no Nurie DS" where players stare at a colorful image and try to copy and recreate its colors on a monochrome clone of the target picture. For example, the first exercise features an image of an apple and leaves on a branch. By using four types of pens, a color palette, an eraser, and a 2X magnifier, an amateur colorist must copy the subtle colors and nuances. NCS staffers spent 30-minutes on the apple image and we learned that our coloring skills are severely lacking based on the crude final product. Along with the intricate coloring challenges, a number of mini-games may also be enjoyed to add a little variety to the coloring action.

Guitar Freaks Masterpiece [Ag]

When Guitar Freaks V & DrumMania V shipped earlier this year, it marked the first time in four years that Konami had released a game in the series. We're guessing the kudos and success of Guitar Hero in the USA had something to do with Konami's decision to revive the brand for the home market. To bolster the Guitar Freaks franchise even more amongst the Bemani faithful, Konami ships another the same year, which may signal a more regular release schedule for Gitadora henceforth.

Masterpiece Silver features a slick interface derived from the arcade version of Guitar Freaks 11 and a bold visual style with a mixture of metallic hues and colorful Pop'n style. Upon starting either the Guitar Freaks or DrumMania game, players may enjoy the Arcade Mode, Free Mode, Training Mode, or view the Records. In Session Mode, where guitar wranglers and drummers jam together, game modes consist of Arcade and Free. A total of 70 songs are collectied in the game including originals such as "Black Horizon" by Trick Trap, "I'm a Loser" from T. Ichiro, "Fire in the Dark" courtesy of Kevin Vecchione, "Let Me Believe" sung by Brenda Vaughn, and "Twinkle Star" by serena. Our favorites are "TRAIN-TRAIN" by the Blue Hearts and "Sweet Illusion" from iyiyim based on our quick play through this morning.

PS2/PC Phantasy Star Universe

Preorders for the Japanese PC and PS2 versions of Phantasy Star Universe are shipping today. Please note that new orders for the PC version of the game will not ship until tomorrow when our second shipments arrive. As mentioned on Tuesday's main website update, the Phantasy Star Universe branded Net Cash Cards were shipped from Sega to our vendor in Japan and we will receive them early next week. We'll update our customers once we receive the codes and should be able to start emailing them out on Tuesday of next week. Despite the lack of Net Cash, PSU includes an engaging offline mode that we're enjoying this morning. As the offline game starts, the Centennial Celebration is in progress which commemorates the 100 years of peace since the last war. Zooming into view is Ethan Waber, a carefree 17-year old who throttles through corridors and byways on an electronic surfboard. He's on his way to meet up with his younger sister Rumia to join in the festivities.

PSU 8M Memory Card

Hori didn't do anything special for the art on the face of the PS2 Phantasy Star Universe memory card and they simply copied the cover artwork of the game. NCS was hoping for a view of the planets or something... anything... different from the purple PSU art. To make up for their lack of initiative and ambition however, Hori does include a set of four memory card stickers which feature the following characters on white backgrounds:

» Ethan Waber
» Alfort Tylor
» Mirei Mikuna
» Karen Ella

In addition to the stickers, a sheet of black decals is also included which feature Phantasy Star Universe-themed logos and text. Instructions for applying the decals is shown on the back of the product. A cardboard backing inside the blister packaging features an image of Ethan Waber clashing energy swords with a red-armored Cast. Pricing is set at US$35 and all preorders are shipping this afternoon.

Xenosaga III USA in stock

Shion Uzuki discovers some disturbing details about her employer and defects. Although the Japanese version of Xenosaga III didn't sell very well in Japan, NCS sold out of both Asian and Japanese versions of the game in the past month that we've had the game in stock. However, looking over distributor stock lists, we see that there's a lot of XIII stock remaining in Japan waiting to be sold. It might be one of those games that's discounted by 80% eventually... With that in mind, NCS starts selling the USA version of the game today. Export orders have been brisk and there seems to be love for the final chapter in the Xenosaga series around the world. Just not in Japan...

Ultimate Ghosts 'n Goblins USA

Twenty one years ago, Capcom rehashed the age old yarn about a damsel in distress. Instead of sending a plumber to do a man's job however, a more traditional hero archetype was summoned to perform the rescue. Jumping and throwing weapons like a banshee, a knight in shining armor went on a mission to save his betrothed from a demonic kidnaper.

The PSP version of Ultimate Ghosts 'n Goblins recreates the original adventure but with rich and vibrant visuals along with a revamped game engine that runs in 2D but also features 3D sequences as well. In the first level of the game, the action is reminiscent of the classic Makaimura where the knight battles a crowd of enemies that approach on the ground and from the air. A spitting Venus flytrap sends deadly kisses through the air and a gruesome mid-level boss shoots squishy eye creatures. Arthur only has a single jump at the outset of the game but defeating the first boss grants him a pair of winged shoes which add the double jump to his repertoire. Arthur lofts even higher when he picks up a special power-up later in the game...

Enchanted Arms USA in stock

All orders for the USA version of Xbox 360 Enchanted Arms include a bonus 48-page graphic novel which is packaged with the game inside a slipcase. As the story goes, it's been a millennia since The Golem War when the population of the world was brought to its collective knees. After much death and destruction, the golems switched off mysteriously and stopped their swath of carnage. Peace ensued and the remnants of humanity buried the golems and secreted the knowledge of creating war golems away from normal mortal ken. Years pass, the sons of man swell their ranks to fighting strength once again, and golems are still being used albeit for manual labor and mundane tasks...

Disgaea 2 USA in stock

When the King of Demons casts a curse, you can be sure that his targets are going to suffer. Malevolent and spiteful, the demonic overlord known as Xenon curses the home world where the protagonist Adel lives and gradually causes the population to change into demonic creatures with horns, wings, and other appendages that shouldn't be there. Strangely, Adel is not only free from the curse but apparently has the wherewithal and destiny to help the people revert back to normal.

One day in a fit of delirium as evidenced by her untimely laughter, Adel's mother (Ma Ma) puts three of her demonically afflicted children in a cauldron and endeavors to summon Xenon himself to the world. After playing a tune on a flute, fireworks spew from the cauldron but instead of Xenon, they get the overlord's daughter Rosalinde. As she drifts downwards, she's surprised at her manifestation in Adel's world but it's quickly decided that she has to return to her homeworld...

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Saints Row USA in stock

Join a gang dubbed the 3rd St. Saints and live it up like a thug by extorting businesses, thieving, and beating rival gangs. For gamers who want multi-player action, "Blinged Out Ride" features an enjoyable thrill where perpetrators roll across the expanse of the city while pimping up their vehicles in garages. There is a lag factor to contend with in the online mode but that might just be our DSL letting us down this afternoon. Player-characters in the game are fully customizable in the creation function and some laughable "heroes" may be created from scratch. All export and domestic preorders will ship today and new orders are welcome. Note to European customers: Saints Row is region-free and will play on a European Xbox 360.

Star Fox Command USA in stock

Fox McCloud, Slippy Toad, Peppy, Krystal and the rest of the star gang reunite to defend the Lylat System once again from an alien threat known as the Anglor. In the early missions, Fox and Slippy make up a crew of two but are joined by the other members of Starfox later in the game. Fox now pilots the Arwing II while Slippy jockeys around in the Bullfrog. Ship control is handled entirely through the stylus by swishing up, left, down, or right on the touch screen while the d-pad or the L-trigger fires lasers. To execute special commands, stylus scratching is required where a quick circular scribble to the left sends the Arwing II into a barrel roll...

PSU Net Cash Card Update

The PC and PS2 versions of Phantasy Star Universe are expected to arrive on Wednesday or Thursday of this week. Please note however that our vendor in Japan who helped us procure the Net Cash cards purchased the Phantasy Star Universe branded versions which Sega is shipping to them. Shipping as in through the postal service. Which means they won't receive them until early next week. No pickups were allowed.

When we received the news overnight, we checked with some other contacts in Japan to purchase standard Net Cash cards but unfortunately, they wanted an 80% to 100% markup if they helped us purchase them. NCS understands that their time and efforts are valuable but to gouge us a minimum of 80% for a bulk order of Net Cash was unwarranted. As such, we ask that our customers wait for the shipment of Net Cash from our main supplier who only charged a 15% deputy mark up.

Due to the Sega shipping delay, we will ask our vendor to email us the codes from the back of the Net Cash cards when they receive them and we'll relay them to customers who ordered the NCC. This way, we can get the information to customers as soon as possible without waiting for a physical shipment from Japan to New York. An email update will be sent to everyone who placed a preorder for the PSU + Net Cash this morning.

FFIII Crystal Edition Price Drop

As expected, prices for the Final Fantasy Crystal Edition have dropped to US$318.47 based on this morning's Japanese yen to dollar exchange rate. If you are interested in confirming your preorder at the new price, you can reply to the email that was sent out earlier this morning and we will order the bundle for you and ship on Thursday or Friday of this week. Please note that we cannot accept any cancellation once you confirm since we will be paying the higher price for the unit on your behalf.

Our customers may also continue to wait for the prices to drop further as we expect they will in the next week or two. Now that some vendors have started the ball rolling in terms of price depreciation, it'll accelerate if the new price level doesn't find bulk buyers. NCS will keep our customers posted as we receive new offers from our suppliers in Japan. New orders are also welcome to ship this week at the new price.

Capcom Girls Collection Morrigan

The daughters of Lilith are man hungry succubi who alight upon their prey during the twilight hours. In popular culture, Morrigan of Vampire fame is perhaps the sexiest succubus. Ever. Fully aware of her appealing stature, Yamato opens preorders for a 1/6 scale polystone statue where the green-haired and purple-spandex-suited warrior lounges back and crosses her legs. Her shiny stiletto boots look like they could do some major damage if kicked out at the right time. Or the wrong time, depending on your perspective. Preorders ship in mid-late November at ¥19800 or US$195.

Dead or Alive Cushions and Towels

Tecmo has started preorders for huggable cushions and face towels based on the gals of Dead or Alive Xtreme. When sleepy time beckons, fall unconsciousness with one of three cushions which measure 120 cm x 30 cm x 20 cm (47.24 x 11.81 x 7.87") and feature Kasumi, Ayane, or Lei-Fang. After a fitful night of sleep, wake up in the morning and rinse your greasy face with one of five DOA face towels which measure 35 cm x 46 cm (13.77 x 18.11") and feature Kokoro, Hitomi, Kasumi, Lei-Fang, and Ayane.

Rio Cushions and Tumblers

If the gals of Dead or Alive aren't your cup of tea, Rio might be what you're looking for when it comes to near life-size cushions. Measuring 120 cm x 30 cm x 20 cm (47.24 x 11.81 x 7.87"), two versions of Tecmo's Rio cushion are available for preorder today. The first variant features the red headed casino dealer decked out in her black leather work uniform and the other with Rio relaxing at the beach in a 2-piece bikini. Note the tan lines from her previous tanning sessions. Pricing is set at ¥12000 or US$130 from NCS.

Tecmo has also started preorders for two Rio-themed tumblers which measure 15 cm tall and hold about 16 ounces of beverage. The first variant features Rio on the beach in a 2-piece bikini and the second shows Rio in her work duds. Pricing is set at an impressive ¥5800 or US$55 from NCS. Remember, this is just a tumbler. It's not crystal nor does it include a week's worth of Pocari Sweat. No, all you get for $55 is a tumbler. Preorders ship in mid-late November 2006.

RAH Rei Ayanami Battle Damaged

Medicom released Real Action Heroes versions of Asuka Langley and Rei Ayanami earlier this summer. Both figures were wholesome and whole in their plug suits. When December 2006 rolls around, Medicom plans on shipping a battle damaged version of Rei Ayanami under the RAH series where the blue-haired moppet looks all busted up. Rei wears thick, mummy-like bandages on her right arm, more bandages encircle her head, and a patch over her right eye makes her look like a scurvy pirate. The new figure measures 30cm (11.81") tall and an extra pair of hands are included inside the window-packaging. To ensure that Rei stands up and shows off her battle bandages, a display stand with stabilizing bracer is included with the figure. Pricing is set at ¥12800 or US$130 from NCS.

Monsieur Bome Vol. 16 and 17

Kaiyodo has opened up preorders for Monsieur Bome 16 and Monsieur Bome 17 which feature new renditions of Oni-Musume She Devil. Hiroyuki Utattane's fiery heroine has appeared twice before in the Monsieur Bome series (Vol. 1 and Vol. 3) along with repaints.
In Monsieur Bome 16, She Devil prowls on all fours with her right arm wrapped around a cudgel. Her pose allows for a comprehensive analysis of all of her parts. She Devil sits in Monsieur Bome 17 and hikes her legs up to form a neat and compact reverse V shape. Both Bomes are scheduled to ship in mid-late October 2006.

Monday, August 28, 2006

No Guitar ASC for You

The limited edition of Guitar Freaks Masterpiece Silver is expected to ship out of Japan on Thursday night for delivery on or around September 6. Please note that Monday of next week is Labor Day holiday in the United States which will cause some delays with import shipments.

Furthermore, please note that the Guitar Freaks Arcade Style Controller has been delayed by Konami AGAIN to the end of September. The company apologizes on their website and cites that a small gift will be given away with the Guitar ASC once it does ship. We're guessing the gift will be a keychain or a decal. NCS customers may recall that the item was originally scheduled to ship on May 26, 2006.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Rio 3D Mousepad

Mouse pads are generally flat and exceedingly boring. However, when the bodacious body of Rio is transformed into a mouse pad, her ample attributes must be rendered properly or justice wouldn't be served. In addition to providing a smooth surface for mouse manipulation, the Rio mouse pad also prevents carpal tunnel syndrome with its generous pillow-like appendages. Retail pricing is set at a lofty Y8800 or US$85 from NCS. Place a preorder.

Biohazard 4 [Best] + Bonus DVD

Less than a year after Biohazard 4 was released in Japan, Capcom issues the first re-release of the game under the "Best" budget label. In Japan, notable Playstation games usually enjoy three lifetimes. Top shelf software titles enjoy up to four or five before they succumb to the rigors of time and market saturation. The first lifetime is the initial release of the game at full price where ~100,00 to a few million copies are sold. The initial release is where the publisher hopes to make most of its return on investment. Nary six months (or thereabouts) later, the publisher submits the game for "the Best" collection which is Sony's budget banner for older but still saleable games. Other than Sony's standard fees and printing costs, Best games at Y2800 are pretty much pure profit - the development and marketing costs have been factored into the first printing of the game and product awareness is already out there. Should the publisher want to sow its oats for a third time, they'll normally release the game under its own in-house budget label.

To compel buyers to pick up Biohazard 4 Best, Capcom bundles a BGM OST CD with the game and a bonus DVD which celebrates the 10th Anniversary of Biohazard and the 5th Anniversary of Devil May Cry. The chapters on the bonus DVD include previews of Biohazard 5 and Devil May Cry 4.

Biohazard 4 is a Japanese PS2 game. Purchase product.

Biohazard Code Veronica Premium

The "Premium Box" edition of Biohazard Code Veronica represents the third re-release of the game in Japan. With so many copies floating around after the second reissue, one would think that a third wouldn't be necessary. To ensure that their efforts are rewarded and that the game sells like gangbusters, Capcom throws in a bonus BGM soundtrack CD and a bonus Anniversary Special DVD which celebrates the 10th Anniversary of Biohazard and the 5th Anniversary of Devil May Cry. The chapters on the bonus DVD are as follows:

» Biohazard 5 preview
» Devil May Cry 4 preview
» Biohazard 4
» Biohazard Code Veronica
» Devil May Cry 3 Special Edition
» Weskers Report

Pricing for the Biohazard Code Veronica Premium Box is set at US$35 and all preorders will ship on Monday. New orders are welcome. Please note Biohazard CV Premium is a Japanese PS2 game. Purchase item.

Devil May Cry [Best] + Bonus DVD

The original Devil May Cry has already been re-released under the Mega Hits label in July of 2002 but Capcom returns to the till for another round of sales. To goad buyers into paying for the game a third time, Capcom bundles the Best edition of DMC with a bonus BGM soundtrack CD that's packaged with the game. For even more added value, a bonus Anniversary Special DVD which celebrates the 10th Anniversary of Biohazard and the 5th Anniversary of Devil May Cry is also included. The chapters on the bonus DVD are as follows:

» Biohazard 5 preview
» Devil May Cry 4 preview
» Biohazard 4
» Biohazard Code Veronica
» Devil May Cry 3 Special Edition
» Weskers Report

Pricing for the Best version of Devil May Cry is set at US$33 and all preorders will ship on Monday. New orders are welcome.


Guide a shimmering blob of mercury around a mélange of platforms and levels by moving the play board instead of the blob. The mercury is subject to the laws of motion when the board is moved and follows the direction of each tilt and swerve. For example, pivot the platform to the left and the mercury slithers to the left like an obedient dog. However, tilt it too much and the blob will likely fly off the ledge of the platform in expedient fashion. The laws of physics rule the world of Tama-run but there are other troubles to be encountered as well. Once the motion of mercury is mastered in the Training Mode of the game, players can look forward to assault by swinging hammers, hot flames that burst from pipettes, bladed choppers, and shoving mechanisms.

Passive obstructions include bridges that rise up and down, directional conveyers, and toroids that must be maneuvered around by hugging them as closely as possible. The concept of mercury color mixing also returns where seven colors (blue, cyan, green, purple, red, silver, yellow) may be mixed and matched. For example, some gates only allow the passage of yellow mercury. If you have separate red and green blobs, you can join them to create yellow.

Tama-Run features over 160 stages of screen moving action and five mini-games to enjoy. In addition to the single player mode, players may enjoy a wireless Versus Mode where two players compete and a Ghost Mode where an ephemeral twin shadows each blob of mercury.

Tama-Run is a Japanese PSP game.
Purchase Product .

King's Field Additional II

Taking place 10 years after the events of King's Field Additional I, the Pillage King's dungeon has become his tomb. Relative peace has returned to the land but then an earthquake ravages a nearby town. Sinkholes and new openings are revealed which provide new access points into the dungeon. Sightings of the Pillage King are rumored amongst the rabble. Fearing that strange things are afoot, the leadership of the town sends a party into the dungeon to ensure that the Pillage King is still dead.

A few days later, the leader of the party is killed in the dungeon under mysterious circumstances. A fleet-footed messenger relays the bad news to the son of the team leader but when sonny tries to get an explanation of what happened, he gets stonewalled. Saddened, puzzled, and anxious to discover the truth about his father's death, he dons some armor, sharpens his sword, and descends into the dungeon for some answers.

Reminiscent of a late 80s computer dungeon crawler, King's Field Additional II revels in keeping it old school. Move around in the dungeon and watch the walls stutter past you in step-by-step fashion. Attack an animal and check out the single slash animation that appears on screen. The sound effects are rudimentary with shuffling noises that echo off the walls when the hero walks around and a harsh din when the sword is swung. When a door is opened, the bolt of the lock may be heard as it slides open. The music is vibrant and full-bodied however which loops and loops however long one stays inside the dungeon.

King's Field Additional II is a Japanese PSP game. Purchase Product .

Simple 2500 Series Vol. 7: The Kanji Quiz

Practice your kanji reading and interpretation skills by taking a series of tests which range in difficulty level from elementary school to high school. Based on the PS2 software of the same name, the PSP version of Kanji Quiz includes a total of 24,000 questions and a new question review feature which allows a test taker to check out past performance as well as one's strengths and weaknesses. Plow through all 24,000 questions successfully and you're basically as proficient as a second year high school student.

The main mode features standard format test taking with questions that are rattled off in quick succession. A sample question will list a sentence that's in hiragana, kana, and kanji. Translate the kanji portions in the sentence by selecting answers from a few multiple choices to the left of the sentence. Translate correctly and be rewarded with a chime. Answer incorrectly and get razzed. When razzed, the software stamps an "X" next to your wrong answer and circles the correct answer so you'll know next time.

A kanji character examination mode allows a learner to check out a large assemblage of kanji and five mini-games break up the routing of test taking with some fun challenges. One of the more challenging mini-games is one where a 3D representation of a kanji character is viewed from the side as it rotates. By examining the grooves, lines, and surface features of the character, one has to figure out its identity and select from four choices. Kanji Quiz also supports a versus mode where two players link up in ad hoc mode and compete against each other in the mini-games.

The Kanji Quiz is a Japanese PSP video game.
Purchase Product

planetarian ~ The Reverie of a Little Planet

Originally released for the Japanese PC as a ¥1050 download in Nov 2004, planetarian is a digital novel set in a dismal future. An updated version of planetarian shipped earlier this year with voice acting for the heroine, Reverie. The PS2 conversion is based on the new PC edition where voice actress Daisuke Ono provides the spoken dialogue for Reverie.

As the story goes, a nuclear war has destroyed much of humanity and a malaise covers the planet with a dark clouds and endless rain. Combat robots roam the cratered cities and eliminate any remaining humans that they encounter. From this desolate backdrop, a scavenger emerges as the hero of the novel. While exploring the ruins of a city, he is attacked by bots but he escapes and stumbles into a planetarium. Once inside, he meets a robot named Reverie who has been waiting for a guest for the past 30 years. Single minded and programmed to serve guests of the planetarium, Reverie tries to show the scavenger a special presentation but the projector is broken. With nothing else to do at the moment, the hero resolves to repair the projection hardware known as Miss Jena. The story soon unfolds that an old generator provides meager power to the planetarium and Reverie only operates one week each year due to the power issue.

Planetarian is a Japanese PS2 video game. Purchase