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