Thursday, July 19, 2007

Cinnamon Ball Kurukuru Sweets Paradise

The doughy canine known as Cinnamoroll rides again on the Nintendo DS with a pinball game where Cinn serves as the ball through 10 pastel-flavored stages. By using flippers that are shaped like angel wings, players smack Cinnamoroll around the playfield to hit switches, pop off slingshots, enter caves, and slide through overhead slaloms. To nudge the table, blow into the microphone to help Cinnamoroll's trajectory but don't blow too much since the tilt mechanism will kick in and lock the controls.
A total of eight mini-games are also included in the Cinnamon Ball software along with a paint program where players may color in 10 drawings by using a palette of 32 colors. Each drawing is unlocked after each pinball stage.

Kouchuu Ouja: Mushi King Super Collection

«©NCS» Sega celebrates the fifth anniversary of the Mushi King franchise with a game + scanner bundle which mimics the game play of the arcade version of Mushi King. A pack of 7 beetle cards is included in every copy of the game and the cards are scanned to impart attributes to a beetle warrior. That's right, beetle battling action is the name of the game where players adopt a bug and enter it into bouts against other beetles. The method of attack is by way of janken where a beetle handler taps on an icon for rock, paper, or scissor. Depending on what the opposing beetle chooses, your rock will beat its scissor but if you throw out paper, you'll be cut by the opponent's scissor and take damage from the enemy beetle.

Naruto: Saikyo Ninja Daikesshu 5

Naruto and crew return for a fifth Saikyo Ninja Daikesshu where the ninja engage in missions and techniques are activated by tapping on the touch screen. The new game features 10 chapters filled with enemies, obstacles, and powerful end-level Akatsuki bosses. The cast consists of 17 characters including Naruto, Gaara, Kakashi, and many more. True to form, Naruto and crew are capable of wall running, double jumping, and triggering special chakra powered techniques. New modes of carriage include riding on summoned beasts to reach otherwise unreachable areas. Up to four players may compete at once in the Wi-Fi online mode. All preorders will include an black and red Akatsuki Nintendo DS pouch.

Touch! Bomberman Land: Star Bomber no Miracle

Shiro Bom reprises his role as the protagonist in a new Touch! Bomberman game where he visits a new and colorful themepark which is based on magic and circus motifs. Shiro wanders around the park, encounters the misfits inside, joins the Bomber Circus, and engages in mini-games such as jump rope, racing on a tall unicycle, throwing bombs at enemy tanks, soccer, rolling inside a wheel across a course, and an assortment of mini-games where live bombs are in play. Along with the mini-games, players may also enjoy conventional Bomberman maze action which spans both NDS screens. The mini-games support multiple players where up to 4 competitors engage each other at once.

Jikkyou Powerful Pro Baseball 14

Movie sequels generally don't go beyond a certain number. In recent history, trilogies have been the norm with notable names such as the Matrix, Lord of the Rings, and the Pirates of the Caribbean stopping at film number 3. In the video game market, there's no real restriction on sequels other than market apathy where buyers go on strike after a certain number of the same-old, same-old. This vote of no confidence hasn't afflicted either Hudson's Momotaro Dentetsu series or Konami's esteemed Powerful Pro Baseball series which reaches its fourteenth stride this week.

What's the first impression that the uninitiated receives when staring at any Jikkyou Powerful Pro Baseball game cover? If you mumbled, "It's a kiddy baseball game," you would be correct. This is where NCS schools you on the majesty of Konami's baseball simulation which is built on a game engine that has been refined for fourteen generations. Forget the childish graphics for a minute and immerse yourself in the actual gameplay. The controls rely on a cursor targeting system where every pitch or swing of the bat is governed by a reticule which pinpoints the area of impact. The fielding isn't as precise but players in the infield or outfield can efficiently sidle left and right to home in on grounders as well as fly balls that pop upwards momentarily.

Nodame Cantabile

Shinichi Chiaki is a third year student at the Momogaoka College of Music and plays the piano as well as the violin with impressive skill. However, what he really wants to do is conduct. Megumi Noda is a second year music student who's a piano playing prodigy. Unlike the immaculate Shinichi, Megumi is an unkempt girl who's clothes and detritus generally crowd her piano. When Shinichi and Megumi meet, there's friction at first on the part of Shinichi but their lives change radically when they find a middle ground and make beautiful music together.

Nodame Cantabile for the PS2 chronicles the first meeting and the growing relationship between Shinichi and Megumi in an interactive adventure game setting. That's not all however. There's also a challenging music rhythm game which strays from the conventions of Bemani. Instead of a flat surface upon which cues drop upon ala Pop'n Music and Beatmania, the cue trigger is a rapidly shifting green-line which ricochets on the foreground of the screen. When it shifts, your job is to watch its new direction of movement and push the L-Analog stick accordingly. Follow it in quick succession and you're soon engaging in thumb calisthenics. It's not easy at first but once you get the hang of the mechanics, it gets easier.... or somewhat easier.

Sengoku Basara Double Pack

During the Sengoku Era of Japan's history, warring states set the stage for constant episodes of war and unrelenting bloodshed. As a general serving a clan, players lead troops into battle and clash with the opposing forces of another clan. The two Sengoku Basara games from Capcom are set suring the Sengoku Era where super-powered humans destroy entire legions of enemies with melee attacks as well as special blasts which level entire crowds.

The Sengoku Basara Double Pack bundles together re-releases of the first Sengoku Basara and the second Sengoku Basara. An added bonus is a region-2 DVD-Video which contains promotional material for the games and footage from a special Sengoku Basara event which took place on March 25, 2007. The DVD contains 105 minutes of video content which we skimmed through earlier this morning. All of the Sengoku Basara goodness is then packaged in a laminated slipcase which holds all three DVD volumes and is ready for insertion into a game library.

Jikkyou Powerful Pro Baseball Wii

Konami's flagship baseball game series started on the Super Famicom in 1994 and continued its lengthy run on the Playstation and Playstation 2. Since the Wii is new and doesn't have a history with the Powerful Pro lineage, Konami can't give it a canonical designation. Thus, the reason for the title of Jikkyou Powerful Pro Baseball Wii. We're assuming they'll adopt another naming convention for next year's release since the Wii looks like it'll be around for at least another 5 years.

The data in the Wii version of JPPB features updated with 2007 stats and the usual bevy of game modes are included such as the "Pennant Race" where an entire season is played and "Success Mode" where a custom-built player is created and inducted into a baseball team. The "My Life" mode allows a player to experience the day to day life of a baseball player in the pros where a player can be promoted, traded, retired, and married. Once wed, it's possible to buy a house with his bride which he can call home.
As is the norm with the Powerful Baseball series, the controls rely on a reticule targeting system where every pitch and swing of the bat is governed by positioning a cursor on screen. It's simple, easy to control, and the player knows exactly where the pitch or swing is going.

Momotaro Dentetsu 16

The island of Hokkaido serves as the backdrop for the sixteenth release in the beloved Momotaro Dentetsu series. Summers in Hokkaido are something of a misnomer since temperatures generally don't go above 75° F but winters are aptly named because subfreezing temperatures dominate.
To reflect the reality of Hokkaido, the storyline in Momotaro Dentetsu 16 focuses on bitter cold. A powerful blast of freezing air hits Hokkaido and settles in for a long winter's nap. It's so cold that planes, trains, and automobiles are incapacitated and commerce is suspended. Such a condition can't last lest Hokkaido's economy suffer immeasurably. A world renowned geologist looks at the situation and comes up with a brilliant idea. Let's move the entire island of Hokkaido further to the south so that the island can thaw out...
Similar to previous Momotaro Dentetsu games, the protagonist takes control of a fledgling empire and competes against adversaries to trek across Hokkaido gathering capital and building infrastructure. Along the way, buy up properties and create monopolies in order to build up a business conglomerate. Eight new monsters join the bestiary to provide angst for budding entrepreneurs.