Wednesday, January 31, 2007
With the promise of a better life, immigrants will visit your pristine shores and possibly settle down. The game mandates a population limit of 100 people but inhabitants aren't set in stone and may leave and arrive at any time which allows for a constant state of flux. «NCS Game Notes»
Meet the strangest axe ever in the annals of guitar technology. With 16 chords to use at any time from a library of 120, users may strum out a song relatively easily if you're familiar with basic guitar playing. We were able to play the Main Riff I for "Fast Car" by Tracy Chapman and "Torn" from Natalie Imbruglia this morning by following guitar tabs found on the web. In addition to its function as a guitar, the software also includes a library of 20 songs and a listening-then-repeating exercise. «NCS Game Notes»
1) Story Mode: Join Pegasus Seiya and Mu in the first chapter where they face off against Death Mask and Specters.
2) Versus Mode: Choose a fighter from five possible characters (at the outset) and battle through a total of 26 combatants.
Three additional game modes are hidden by question marks. Along with the two game modes, a Gallery Mode which contains exactly one available piece of artwork may be viewed but additional works, animations, and BGM may be unlocked by meeting certain conditions while playing the game. All orders for the Saint Seiya Meiou Hades game will ship with a collapsible Saint Seiya Memory Card holder which features Dragon, Phoenix, Pegasus, Cygnus, and Andromeda on its five viewable sides. «NCS Game Notes»
NCS stocked white, pink, and black Silicon Covers earlier this month and Hori releases light-blue and light-green versions this week.
The standard face and trigger buttons are located in two rows across the face of the base while the following buttons span the top portion of the stick: TURBO, HOME, L3, R3, SELECT, and START. Three gradations of turbo-fire are available with speeds of 5, 12, and 20 shots per second.
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
The original version of Monsieur Bome Vol. 16 features Oni Musume with red hair and yellow tiger print wisps of clothing. The Vol. 16 repaint gives her a light purple do and white tiger print threads. In the sculpt, Oni is on all fours and drops an arm lazily around her weapon of choice. A pair of ivory-ish horns protrude from the top of her head and seemingly match the waves of her hair. When viewed from a head-on stance, Oni Musume reveals a generous amount of cleavage. The kind that's pushed together like a package of Drake's coffee cake.
Preorders are welcome to ship in mid-late March 2007 at JPY4500 or US$39 from NCS. Note: A USA localization is highly likely from Diamond.
1st Row: Bob Fett, Darth Vader, Storm Trooper
2nd Row: Yoda, R2-D2, CP-3O
The figures measure between 5-6 cm in height. The prototypes are monochrome but rest assured that they'll be colored with bright paint when shipping to retail The product solicitation states that the 6 figures are randomly packaged in factory cases of 12. Preorders are welcome today.
| Aquapict Update |
We love our drifting silicone jellyfish but we emptied the tank yesterday. When we originally filled the Aquapict up, we used regular tap water in our rush to check out the show and suffered through bubbles and stuck jellyfish. We're going to refill it with distilled water that's been boiled and then cooled which eliminates the bubble problem along with the fluorine and chlorine from the tap. End result? Possibly healthier jellyfish.
| Idolm@ster Limited Edition |
Another batch of Idolmaster LE is scheduled to arrive tomorrow and all new orders submitted on Friday of last week will ship upon arrival. Please note that we're unable to accept new orders at this time.
| Dreamcast Last Hope Update |
The game may be released tomorrow based on an email this morning from Max Scharl of Van Basilico / redspotgames. Place your wagers.
Monday, January 29, 2007
1st Row: Saruo, Boy in Green "6" shirt (Secret figure)
2nd Row: Kappei, Tanukichi, Tsunekichi
3rd Row: Alberto, Dalman, Futa
Each character stands upon a base and is encased inside a 45mm plastic case that's fitted with a removable green floor. Each Axing container sports four pegs and peg holes so that each one may be hooked to another container and displayed in vertical or horizontal arrangements. All preorders are shipping today and new orders are welcome.
1st Row: Toy Story, a bug's life, Toy Story 2
2nd Row: Monsters, Inc, Finding Nemo, The Incredibles
The product solicitation mentions that the figure-dioramas measure 12-14cm (4.72 to 5.51") tall and will be packaged eight per factory carton. Furthermore, secret characters (mono repaints?) will also be randomly packaged in each sealed case. Pricing is set at US$79 per factory box.
The sterling silver Tachikoma pendant measures 2cm in length and nearly that much in height. A silver chain which attaches to the Tachikoma's pod is also included with the pendant which measures 45cm. Since the Tachikoma pendant can be considered jewelry, it's packaged in a velour-covered jewel box. Preorders are welcome to ship on or around February 28, 2007.
1) New Super Mario Bros Crystal Attack Game
2) New Super Mario Bros The Tower Game
We'll post up more details and information on how to play once we receive them and give them a go. Pricing is set at US$45 for the Crystal Attack game and US$35 for The Tower game. Preorders are welcome.
Friday, January 26, 2007
In Yokohama City, students attend an institution that teaches the art of Enchant - a magic technique which allows the caster to create golems of various forms and abilities and imbue objects with magical properties. The lead in the game is Atsuma who has the power of removing enchantments from objects. One day, his power accidentally releases a buried golem named the Ice Queen from her deep slumber... «Official Press Release»
1) Xbox 360 faceplate with a green, pink, and purple design.
2) Visual Music DVD (approximate length of 90 minutes).
3) Eleven idol figures dressed in matching pink outfits that may be mounted on a blue stage which features an "IdolM@ster" marquee above the stage.
4) An art booklet which contains idol portraits and interviews with the voice actresses featured in the game. B4 Size, 20 pages.
We're well aware of the brouhaha concerning the difficulty in stocking this particular item but our Japanese suppliers didn't encounter any problems this time around. It seems that as long as we submitted our preorders on time and paid our 35% deposits, ample stock was reserved for us. We're sold out to preorders today. Update: 4:35PM EST The restock batch expected next week is also now SOLD OUT.
Sion Eltnam Atlasia
Each figure measures 4cm or 1.57" tall and the preorder solicitation mentions that three color variants for each figure are possible in each randomly packaged box. NCS supplies the figures in factory sealed boxes of 10 figures at US$39.50 per box.
| Aquapict Again |
The highly desired jellyfish aquarium was restocked today and all backorders will ship this afternoon. Sadly, we don't have available stock for new orders but we may be able to restock additional quantities again in 1-2 weeks. Thanks.
| Portable GPS Receiver |
A partial shipment of the PSP GPS Receiver arrived today but the remainder will arrive on Monday. We'll be able to fill all backorders by Monday afternoon.
| Japanese Wii |
Any backorders for the Wii console will ship today. We're sold out again as of this morning but restock will arrive by Thursday of next week.
Thursday, January 25, 2007
A new diversion in DDR SuperNOVA is the 2-Player Battle Mode where the player challenges the COM or a second player in a side by side competition. As you collect PERFECT and GREAT rankings, a laser from the top of the screen attacks your opponent by blinking out the cue arrows at the top of the screen, speeds up arrows, shuffling arrows around, and causing arrows to stutter-step in tricky ways. The Diet Mode allows players to enter their weight and track caloric expenditure when dancing to songs. For beginners who haven't the foggiest idea of how to play DDR, the Tutorial Mode patiently guides dancers through the basics of stepping, double-stepping, freezing, and step sequencing. «NCS Game Notes»
» King's Field I [Playstation]
» King's Field II [Playstation]
» King's Field III [Playstation]
» King's Field IV [Playstation 2]
» Memorial Disc [DVD-Video]
» Best Soundtrack [CD-Rom]
» Premium Visual Book, Operating Manual, and Verdite World Map
Although the game features 40 tennis players, only 20 of the boys are fair game for love and romance. The scenario length for each character is lengthier than in the original DokiDoki game so there's more time to enjoy special moments and view magical screenshots. Or something to that effect. To add to the atmosphere of being inside the world of Tennis no Oji-sama, the voice actors from the animation series were hired to provide the copious amounts of speech in the game. Everyone talks except for the heroine who has dialogue but her voice is silent to maintain the illusion of you being her... even though she has blue hair, gray eyes, and a lime-green smock. «NCS Game Notes»
Konami collects five Parodius games on a single PSP UMD and throws in screen adjustment facilities, in-game modifiers, and a convenient save/load function. The music in the Parodius games are bright, lively, and crisp so Konami included a BGM player in the software so gamers can listen to the tunes without having to play through the different games.
The five games contained in Parodius Portable are:
1) Parodius (1988, 2007) MSX Remake
2) Parodius Da! (1990) Coin-op version
3) Gokujou Parodius: Kakou no Eikou wo Momomete (1994)
4) Sexy Parodius (1996)
5) Jikkyou Oshaberi Parodius - forever with me - (1996)
The five games collected in Salamander Portable are:
1) Salamander (1986) Coin-op version
2) Gradius 2 (1987) Coin-op version
3) Life Force (1987) Coin-op version
4) Xexex (1991) Coin-op version
5) Salamander 2 (1996) Coin-op version
The game versions used in Salamander Portable are the original coin-op releases with the "Deposit Coin" text on the title screens. The default game screen for the shooters is a square viewing area surrounded by borders but the screen ratio may be changed to fit the PSP widescreen.
The games in the PSP collection hail from the arcade originals except for Twinbee Da! which is a remake of the Gameboy original. The remake is a visual feast of pastel and widescreen shooting action.
The titles included in Twinbee Portable are:
1) Twinbee (1985) Coin-op version
2) Twinbee DA! (1990) Gameboy Remake
3) Detana!! Twinbee (1991) Coin-op version
4) Pop n' Twinbee (1993) Coin-op version
5) Twinbee Yahho! Fushigi no Kuni de Ooabare (1995) Coin-op version
Special PSP features include a screen modification facility, game setting toggles, and a save/load feature.
To commemorate the Gradius series, Konami collects Gradius I, II, III, IV, and Gradius Gaiden on one UMD and also offers the ability to play the games in original screen aspect mode or stretched to fit the entire length of the PSP LCD. New to the PSP port is the ability to save your progress in any of the Gradius games for resumption at a later date. For example, you're on level 3 in Gradius 2 and suddenly the dinner bell rings. It's pizza night. With your favorite topping. Should you give up on the game and lose your progress or continue playing while growling sound effects echo from your stomach? The save feature removes such conundrums from your life. The PSP processor is capable of running the Gradius code at full speed but those hankering for true-to-original slowdown when many enemy ships amass on screen, there's an option to retain the original bottlenecks for authentic Gradius gaming.
A gallery mode includes movies from Gradius Deluxe Pack from the PS1 and Gradius III & IV from the PS2. A music gallery includes music from all five of the Gradius games and from the X68000 version of Gradius.
Final Fantasy X International is a re-issue of last year's Final Fantasy X game with a few extras and bonuses as follows:
1 - Japanese subtitles and text, English voice acting
2 - New Sphere Grid arrangements
3 - A new scene dubbed Eternal Peacetime which occurs 2 years after the conclusion of Final Fantasy X
4 - Previews of Kingdom Hearts, FFXI, Final Fantasy Unlimited, Square Masterpiece Series, and the FF Movie DVD.
5 - Interviews with voice talent from the Japanese and English games
6 - A recap of promotional videos for the launch of FFX last year
7 - Rikki's Suteki Da Ne, the FFX theme song, is included
Two new costume modes are featured in the game: Psychicer - where players may use arcane arts in battle and an "Ultimania Omega" mode. The "Last Mission" mode takes place 3 months after the events of FFX-2 where players take on the Tower of Yadonoki. Although the voices in the FFX-2I game proper are in English, note that the voices in Last Mission are only in Japanese.
A Monster Taming Mode in the game gives players the chance to capture enemy monsters and corral them into the party. Monster hunting is accomplished by laying traps on a world map. Eventually, a hapless beast will fall into your trap and become a guinea pig for your monster raising exercise. Once trained, a monster may be pitted against others in a fighting arena for winnings and acclaim.
For example, one may select an original fighter from Street Fighter II (1991) and pit it against a stronger Ryu, Chun-Li or Ken from Super Street Fighter II Turbo to determine rank. The character versions represented include the original Street Fighter II World Warriors (1991), Champion Edition (1992), Turbo (1992), Super Street Fighter II (1993) and Super Street Fighter II Turbo (1994) which break down into five possible versions of each character as follows: World Warrior (Normal), Dash, Turbo, Super, and Super X. The speed of the game is selectable and may be toggled between four levels of turbo speed.
To follow Naruto's story from the beginning with the 9-Tailed Fox Demon threat through important scenes from the animation, the Story Mode provides gamers with a roundup of Naruto's greatest hits. The first battle against Kakashi is a training match where sensei reads a book and hums to himself as Naruto tries his darndest to beat sensei with a flurry of punches and doppleganger chains. Similar to previous Narutimett games, each fighter has a standard attack, a shuriken throw, a guard move, and rapid-fire combos that may be chained together in fluid motion.
Narutimett Hero 3 also contains an adventure game mode and mini-games including one where Naruto races up a tree against another player or a COM-controlled Sakura. The mini-game is viewed in 3D from behind Naruto so he's seen running upwards into the tree and moving from left to right while grabbing 1-up bonuses and avoiding falling rocks. If Naruto smacks into a branch, he'll stop for a spell while Sakura continues higher.
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
For example, if you're working on a 5x5 grid of blocks and one of the cues has the 5 number on the side, the entire row of blocks is filled in. From there, look at the top and side numbers to hunt and peck the blocks and fill them in appropriately. Further, if the number on the side is 1 2, that means there's one block filled in on the row followed by a 2-block fill-in elsewhere along the line. By using reasoning and process of elimination, the rest of the blocks are gradually filled in by way of common sense and row/column inspection. «NCS Game Notes»
01) Space Chaser 1979
02) Grand Champion 1981
03) Time Tunnel 1982
04) The Athlete 1984
05) Ben Bero Bee 1984
06) Return of the Invaders 1985
07) Gladiator 1986
08) Kick And Run 1986
09) Scramble Formation 1986
10) Exzisus 1987
11) Super Qix 1987
12) Rainbow Islands 1987
13) Operation Thunderbolt 1988
14) Continental Circus 1988
15) Chuka Taisen 1988
16) Asuka & Asuka 1989
17) S.C.I. 1989
18) Darius II 1989
19) Champion Wrestler 1989
20) Fighting Hawk 1989
21) Space Gun 1990
22) Ninja Kids 1990
23) Dino Rex 1992
24) Rayforce 1994
25) Bubble Memories 1996
Bonus Item: All orders will include a bonus 28-page booklet which checks out old flyers and historical data on all of the games featured in Taito Memories II.
At the outset of the adventure, players may select a hero from four archetypes (as shown on the game cover) and edit colors accordingly. There's a character called High Lander who's muscular and carries a magnificent sword, a red-headed Amazoness who hefts bow and arrow, a Gladiator who looks like an Onimusha hero, and an almost naked and full-bosomed Dark Sercher who fights with a sword and carries a big shield. Once the character choice has been selected and given a name, head over to the dungeon to the southwest of your current position and battle rodents who bite and leap like Mexican jumping beans... with teeth.
The action runs fast and vicious with enemies approaching in steady waves and collaborating with each other to gang up on the player. When attacking a group of monsters that attempt a swarming tactic, the hero can move around like a whirling dervish swinging a weapon. Low-to-the-ground creatures which look like rodents are called Chumps, muscle-bound bruisers are called Skull Maniacs, insect-like creatures are Dark Rustle, zombie look-alikes are Residents (interesting), and there's a red-skinned fighter called a Minotaur which is exactly that - a minotaur. «NCS Game Notes»
Mahjong pits four players against each other in their respective bids to build hands of three matching or sequential tiles. At the start of the game, an invisible dealer doles out 13 tiles to each player which are automatically assembled in rows. From there, each player takes a turn taking a new tile per round and then keeping it to build a hand or throwing it back out into the communal pile for anyone to take to complete their own hand.
The Wii version of Mahjong Taikai features one-handed gameplay where the Wiimote is used to control the entire function of MJ-playing. The opponents in the game consist of 23 hard-edged professional players who all wear poker faces. In this crowd, a smile is difficult to find. Players may set the rules of the game and also enjoy a Free Mode.
On the left, Rebecca Streisand sports a pair of ruddy pigtails tied together with yellow ribbons and wears a pink/white ensemble. Rebecca has what we have come to know as "crazy eyes" which are generally signs of insanity. On the right, Avalil Van Freul keeps her wheat-colored locks in place with a hair-braid and dresses up in a fancy schmancy green-blue-yellow outfit with matching boots. She hefts a sword in her right hand and peers at the world with a pair of sedate eyes. Less crazy. The two figures are bundled together in the Wild Arms Vth Vanguard Pinky Street set which includes the weapons shown and display discs for each figure.
In addition to all of the fighters from the Atomiswave coin-op original, hidden characters in the PS2 conversion game include Champuru (Mina Majikina's pet critter), Paku Paku (Cham Cham's simian friend), a coiffed version of Gaira aka Kim Ung Che, Shikuru & Mamahaha (Nakoruru's pet wolf and hawk), Rasetsu Galford, Poppy, and EX versions of Mina, Kusaregedo, Yoshi, and Yunfei. The referee with red and white flags returns to the background, watching the action like a hawk. The running courier also reprises his role and throws goodies onto the battlefield. Along with the selectable fighting styles from the Atomiswave source game, the PS2 version also includes three new fighting styles - Beast style for all the pets in the game, Fiesta Style, and Evil Style. «NCS Game Notes»
The characters that are fought and usable in the first few levels of the adventure portion of the game are as follows below. Once they are beaten, they join your ranks. All of the fighters listed below are usable at the outset in the fighting portion of the game:
Chouji Akimichi, Gaara of the Desert, Gai Maito, Hinata Hyuga, Ino Yamanaka, Kakashi Hatake, Kiba Inuzuka, Naruto Uzumaki, Neji Hyuga,
Rock Lee, Sakura Haruno, Shikamaru Nara, Shino Aburame, and Tenten.
Bonus Item: All orders will include a black Naruto pouch.
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
» Cerberus (15cm length)
» Keyblade (18cm length)
» Squall's Gunblade (23cm length)
» Seifer's Gunblade (26cm length)
Pricing is set at JPY3800 each or US$39 from NCS. Preorders are welcome to ship in mid-late May '07.
The Chocobo Cushion is filled with a soft yet resilient material that should provide years of service. If you're afraid of scuffing up Choc's brilliant yellow patina, we'd recommend wrapping it in plastic before squatting down upon it. Preorders are welcome to ship in mid-late March 2007.