Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Chocobo to Mahou no Ehon

When a Book of Magic comes alive and creates a vortex that sucks Chocobo's village companions and friends into an alternate reality, it's up to the yellow-feathered hero to rescue them. True to its Final Fantasy roots, Chocobo to Mahou no Ehon is an adventure game that uses familiar FF music samples for the prologue and the victory screens. Chocobo may be controlled through the d-pad or the stylus where it motors towards a tapped point on the touch screen. At the outset of the game, Chocobo is sleeping on a field while three Chocobo friends stand nearby. A redheaded gal named Tsuroma sits on a log and reads from a book when a Dark Mage named Kuroma ambles into the screen. He's carrying a big and old book that Chocobo later unlocks which ignites trouble...

Naruto Shinobi Retsuden + Bonus

Naruto crew hit the NDS in a 3D fighting game where sprightly ninja battle it out on sparse 3D battlefields. As is the case with many Naruto games, Kakashi and Tsunade introduce the story to the viewer before the action gets up to speed. The fighting action takes place on the top screen while the touch screen depicts six icons that may be tapped to trigger health recovery, activate techniques, or recuperate chakra. A Story Mode follows Naruto through a battle adventure where opponents are met in sequence. The Versus Mode eschews any tale-telling and gets right into the meat and potatoes of the fighting action. The Wifi function of the game allows up to two players to bout it out but please note that each player must have a copy of the game. All orders include a bonus strap + stylus.

Puyo Puyo! 15th Anniversary

The color-matching antics of the Puyo Puyo games have entertained gamers around the world since 1991 when it was released on the MSX2. Since that first game, Puyo Puyo became pervasive and invaded pretty much every handheld and console with its simplicity, charm, and playability. Sega celebrates the 15th Anniversary of Puyo² on the Nintendo DS with a game that looks like normal Puyo Puyo but there's enough wrinkles and variations to make it a worthwhile investment. For one, there's the water Puyo variant where the familiar blobs with eyes bob up and down in a body of water. Since Puyos are buoyant, they float near the surface of the water and color matches must be made at the top of the screen instead of the bottom per standard Puyo convention.

SNK vs Capcom Card Fighters

Originally released on the Neo Geo Pocket many moons ago, the SNK vs Capcom card clashes resume on the battlefields of the Nintendo DS. A pink-haired gal named Riko introduces the story and players take control of an orange-haired lad named Taiki. If you don't like his name, you can enter your own moniker in katakana or English. Once a card battle begins, players start with a deck of 50 cards that contain characters from the various Capcom and SNK franchises such as Garou Densetsu (Fatal Fury), King of Fighters, Vampire, Biohazard, Samurai Spirits, Rockman, Gyakuten Saiban, Street Fighter, and more. Cards must be moved into an active hand before they are ready to be used on the playfield. Once activated, the cards may attack the opponent and do damage.

All Star Yakyuken Battle

In the first ever Blu-Ray Yakuyen game, nine lovely Japanese idols play strip rocks-scissors-paper with PS3 or Blu-Ray Player gamers in the comfort of their living rooms. Glare at the screen with mouth agape as the idols strut their stuff in hi-definition video where every detail is revealed in stunning clarity. Repeat: stunning clarity so get your HDMI cables plugged in and put the power of the PS3 to work. The idols will wiggle or do a short spirited dance when playing Yakyuken so it's highly entertaining for the entire family to enjoy. That's right, even the family dog will get a kick out of the onscreen antics. It really is family-friendly since there is no nudity, just a lot of swimsuits, smiling idols, and skin. The nine AV idols featured in the game are: An Nanba, Rei Amami, Kaho Kasumi, Kaede Matsushima, Mihiro Taniguchi, Akiho Yoshizawa, Ran Asakawa, Sora Aoi, and Yua Aida.
The region-free Blu-Ray disc runs for a total of 120 minutes and supports 1920 x 1080p resolution.

PS3 Accessories

All preorders for the PS3 BD Blu-Ray Remote Control, Sony branded PS3 component video cables, and the PS2 Memory Card adapter will ship today. Please note that you must upgrade to firmware v1.30 in order to use the Blu-Ray Remote Control which supports Blue Tooth functionality.

All Star Yakyuken Battle

Not content with only releasing All Star Yakyuken on Blu-Ray disc, Gebet also unleashes the rock-scissors-paper antics on the PSP. In the UMD-Video, nine lovely Japanese AV idols play rocks-scissors-paper and the goal is to win enough hands to get the idols out of their clothes and into their skimpy swimsuits underneath. There isn't any nudity however and swimsuits are as bare as the girls get. Glare at the screen with mouth agape as the idols strut their stuff in crisp 16:9 aspect ratio. The idols jiggle and wiggle or do a short spirited dance when playing Yakyuken so it's highly entertaining to watch. The nine AV idols featured in the game are:

Akiho Yoshizawa
An Nanba
Kaho Kasumi
Kaede Matsushima
Mihiro Taniguchi
Ran Asakawa
Rei Amami
Sora Aoi
Yua Aida

All Star Yakyuken runs for 120 minutes and is a region-free UMD that is playable on any version of the Playstation Portable hardware.

Bleach Wii: Hakujin Kirameku Rondo

In the virtual Bleach universe, sword swinging shinigami move their arms with a lot of force and motion. In past Bleach games, gamers tugged a d-pad and pushed a button to make their heroes swing. No more. Thanks to the motion sensitive controllers of the Wii, players get to swing their arms and slash like their lives depended on it. We're talking energetic sword slashes here so move the glassware and vases to the next room because they'll be victimized if your swinging rocks a little too hard. Bleach Wii features a roster of 40 characters with most of the popular Soul Society captains represented.

Movement is controlled through the Nunchuk and sword slashes are triggered by Wiimote waving and motion. Every attack and hit is accompanied by the fighters yelling and groaning under the strain of the attacks. Before each battle, the fighters also talk trash before they get down to business. The voice actors earn their keep during these interludes since they sound sinister and convincingly hateful. Short cinemas and time-sensitive mini-interactions occur from time to time to break up the flow of the 3D battle.

Pokemon Battle Revolution

When Pokemon clash on the small screen of portable gaming systems, the attacks are underwhelming. A melee attack is depicted with maybe two frames of animation and the consequent damage effects on the target pushes about three frames. The Nintendo 64 and Gamecube versions of Pokemon showed the battles in vibrant and fully animated 3D battles but the games never gained the critical sales numbers that the portable Pokemon games amassed.

With the Wii Pokemon game, Nintendo tries a new tack where they meld portable and console Pokemon together. Although Pokemon Battle Revolution supports full Wiimote and Nunchuk control, players may also battle with a Nintendo DS that connects to the Wii wirelessly and serves as the base of operations and as well as the Pokemon management system. Please note that either Pokemon Diamond or Pearl is required.
When a battle starts, a trainer throws out Pokeballs and beasts manifest themselves. The opposing groups are then shown on a slowly rotating battlefield where the dynamic camera take in the action. Select an attack and the Pokemon will haunch back and unleash an animated charge attack or launch a projectile blast that races across the battlefield.