Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Jet Impulse

Take to the skies in one of 20+ jetfighters and take on enemy squadrons in a somewhat routine flight combat action game. An invading air force is on the rampage and launches an assault on your country. To beat back the marauders, lead an offensive and engage the enemy in dogfights and other sorts of aerial conflict. Weapons that are available include missiles, artillery fire, and bombs along with more exotic ordnance. A total of 19 missions are featured in the game including simple seek and destroy skirmishes, bombing runs where enemy bases are taken out, and attacks on a massive enemy aircraft carrier. Before each mission starts, a primer and explanation is shown which details mission objectives and method of attack. Day and night missions are playable to mix up the theaters of war.

Luminous Arc

The strategy-rpg genre hasn't been well represented on portables but there's been glimmers of brilliance. Recently, we fell in love with Jean D'Arc on the PSP and this week, Luminous Arc carries the torch with a beautifully rendered S-RPG.
Take control of a hero named Alph who leads a team of adventurers caught between a conflict between the supposedly righteous Luminous Church and a Witch who leads an army of monsters. Viewed on conventional isometric battlefields, players move units, attack monsters, and imbue weapons with elemental power. Conventional weaponry, magic spells, special skills, and cooperative attacks from a total of 160+ spells / skills / tactics are available for use on the battlefield.

OutRun2 Special Tours

Slither into the cockpit of a Ferrari and make sure your sweetheart in the passenger seat is comfy. Once settled, throttle onto winding highways which cut through scenic backdrops. Outrun 2 SP features 15 courses from OutRun 2 and 15 courses from the arcade version of Outrun 2 SP. Throw in the reverse-courses and a total of 60 tracks are available for reckoning.

New to the nuts and bolts of OutRun racing is the "SlipStream" element where following in a competitor's wake allows your vehicle to accelerate with smooth energy. Hairpin turns that twist in vicious angles may be navigated by tapping the brakes and wheeling the vehicle into the direction of the turn. Perform the maneuver well and you're drifting sideways while your passenger finds love in her heart for your skills. Botch the race however and you'll find yourself being assaulted by the once loving girlfriend. When the Ferrari makes contact with the sides of a race course, it'll bounce off like a bocce ball. If the Ferrari crashes and swivels 360°, it's no big deal - simply tap the accelerator and you're on your way again. Overlook the unrealistic nature of the game and you'll find yourself enjoying the ride with melodious tunes and an overly enthusiastic passenger.

Real Arcade Pro 3 Joystick

New orders are welcome for Hori's third (canonical, not chronological) Real Arcade Pro Joystick which uses the same form-factor and case of the other Real Arcade Pro sticks. Similar to earlier HRAPs, the new stick uses actual arcade buttons and a clicky lollipop-style joystick to give gamers an authentic coin-op experience at home. A heavy duty base completes the package to give the controller a weight of nearly 6 lbs or 2600g.

The RAP3 features the same button arrangement found on the RAP2 with the eight standard buttons (face and trigger) in red and the START and SELECT buttons in a bright yellow patina. The RAP3 does away with the row of slide levers on the upper left corner of the stick which controlled rapid-fire on the RAP2. Hori uses a more elegant solution this time around and adds a "PS" button. The RAP3 connects to the PS3 by way of USB cable and the analog thumbsticks on the SixAxis controller may be emulated by toggling a slide lever which switches from D-pad, L-analog, or R-analog control. Preorders are shipping today and new orders are welcome.

Cooking Mama

Cooking Mama returns to the gaming wilds in a cooking contest where players prepare international dishes with a skilled hand, a chef's eye, and the ever-versatile Wiimote controller. As an all-around kitchen worker in addition to a cook, players cut ingredients, open cans, crack eggs, roll dough, boil vegetables, slice luncheon meats, and sautée morsels. If you're into seafood, you'll get to chop the pincers and legs off of an upside-down crab to prepare it for the oven. Various tools of the trade may also be used to prepare assorted foods including a meatball maker which squeezes ground beef into compact spheres of beef. A total of 300 dishes from 10 different countries may be prepared and created for true international flavor and diversity.

Some dishes take more preparation time than others. For example, a cake requires the mixing of flour and eggs, forming the cake, and then applying a layer of frosting on top and on the sides. All of the tasks may be accomplished with steady Wiimote manipulation within the time limit provided. The Wii version of Cooking Mama features a cook-off mode where two players compete against each other for the title of top chef. He who cooks the fastest and with the fewest mistakes, wins.