Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Trigger Heart Exelica

NCS started preorders for the Naomi version of Trigger Heart Exelica in early 2006 and found exactly three international players willing to pay US$1750 for the disc and dongle. Those orders were fulfilled in late May 2006. Fast forward to the beginning of 2007 and Warashi recoups some more of their Trigger Heart development costs by way of the defunct (?) Dreamcast. With a relatively small print run for both versions of THE, NCS expects a short retail lifespan since some suppliers in Japan have already sold out of their stock allocation.

The two versions of Exelica are packaged in DVD cases similar to Under Defeat and the insert is different for each version. In the artwork for both covers, Exelica takes the foreground while Cruel Tear hovers in the background with a casual pose.

The protagonists in Exelica are two heavily armored maidens named Cruel Tear (pink hair and purple eyes) and Exelica (purple hair and blue eyes) who wing their way through metallic levels while weaving a swath of destruction. Despite their heavy armor and weaponry, both girls still manage to reveal a lot of leg.

Play mechanics at first glom appear routine where the gals blast away at their foes with standard vulcan shots and flit through mazes of enemy shots. That's not all however. Warashi adds the "Anchor Shot" to the game system where either Cruel Tear or Exelica may lash out a hook and tether an enemy ship. Once captured, the enemy vehicle may be launched like a projectile at other enemies for added scoring. An enemy ship may also be hooked and then used as a barrier against enemy shots. It's a new shmup wrinkle to explore and revel in. Warashi touts the V.B.A.S. (Variable Boss Attack System) where end-level gargantuans change their attack patterns based on the skill of the player.

New to the Dreamcast version of Exelica is a Story Mode, an Arrange Mode, and in-game voice samples which add to the atmosphere and excitement of the action.

Two versions of Exelica arrived today:
- Trigger Heart Exelica Regular Edition: US$53.00 (SOLD OUT!)
- Trigger Heart Exelica Limited Edition: US$73.00 (+OST and Booklet)

All preorders will ship today and new orders for the LE are welcome.

Boku wa Koukuu Kanseikan: Airport Hero Shinsensai

When sitting inside the control tower of an airport and pushing tin any which way but loose, no one will fault you for getting frazzled. Scenario: Two departures are ready to taxi down their respective runways and three incoming flights are about to land. By using deft 3D spatial rationing, your job is to make sure arrivals and departures flow smoothly as the planes move in and out of the airport. Once the first batch of planes have landed or cleared for takeoff, more planes queue up for their turns. It's a tough and mentally taxing job that air traffic controllers contend with every day.

The latest version of Boku wa Koukuu Kanseikan puts players in the role of an air traffic controller who guides plans in and out of New Chitose Airport (新千歳空港 Shin-Chitose Kūkō) located in Hokkaido. The IATA Airport Code for New Chitose is CTS and it is the largest airport in Japan. The U-shaped design of the airport terminal building is recreated along with the surrounding barren landscape in the game for authentic visuals. Players get to guide aircraft during the clear skies of summer as well as the snowy conditions of winter where flakes drop in incessant waves. To clear the runways of frost, players can send snowplows out to do their jobs so the big birds can land safely.
Airport Hero Shinsensai features a special record and playback function which allows players to capture their gameplay to memory stick duo and then review it later. If you spot something amiss in your aircraft handling, you can make a mental note to improve in a later session. «more»

Fire Emblem: Akatsuki no Megami

In the previous Fire Emblem game (Soen no Kiseki aka Path of Radiance), armies from Dayne invaded Crimea but were eventually beaten back by fractious forces led by the Greil Mercenaries. As the story in Akatsuki no Megami begins, Crimea has begun reconstruction and troops from Begnion are sent to Dayne to ensure that the peace is kept. However, a group of young freedom fighters known as the Dawn Group disavow the sanctions imposed by Begnion and join together in the capital of Nevasa to plot an uprising...

Familiar faces from the previous Fire Emblem game return including Sothe, Elincia, Zelgius, and Jill. New characters introduced in the game include a silver-haired female mage named Micaiah, a blonde archer who answers to Leonardo, and a brown-haired sword handler named Eddie. The gameplay follows the conventions established in previous Fire Emblem games where player-heroes interact with cohorts and then engage enemy forces on a map. When it's time to move, the screen lights up with squares which show range of movement. Select an attack and the screen shifts to a 3D action sequence where blows are meted out in fluid motion. «more»

Naruto Shippuuden: Gekitou Ninja Taisen EX

The fifth Naruto GNT game graduates to the Wii after strong and reliable sales on the Gamecube. Taking place in the second Naruto series subtitled Shippūden (Hurricane Chronicles), Naruto and Sakura involve themselves in new intrigues and adventures while looking for their teammate, Sasuke.

Play mechanics and attacks on screen look very much like the action sequences from the earlier Naruto GNT games but player-side input has changed radically. Grasp the Wii remote with one hand and the Nunchuk in the other and get ready to shake, slice, wag, and wave the Wiimote like a genin possessed. You'll also perform windmills with both controllers to unleash powerful Rasengan attacks on opponents. It's all very kinetic, frenetic, and outright loony. Characters who appear in the game include Deidara, Gaara, Kankuro, Itachi Uchiha, Neji Hyuga, Rock Lee, Sasori, Temari, and many more. Up to four players may join in the action for an all-out battle royale or a solo gamer may go through the story mode to beat back fighters in one-on-one bouts. Interactive battlefield objects such as tree trunks and barrels may be used to hide, climb upon, or used as jumping points to launch fevered attacks. «more»