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.