Saturday, May 31, 2008
We have just been allowed into the building to physically inspect the damage. Early indications are that the short was in a high-volume wire conduit. We were not allowed to activate our backup generator plan based on instructions from the fire department.
This is a significant outage, impacting approximately 9,000 servers and 7,500 customers. All members of our support team are in, and all vendors who supply us with data center equipment are on site. Our initial assessment, although early, points to being able to have some service restored by mid-afternoon on Sunday. Rest assured we are working around the clock.
We are in the process of communicating with all affected customers. we are planning to post updates every hour via our forum and in our customer portal. Our interactive voice response system is updating customers as well.
There is no impact in any of our other five data centers.I am sorry that this accident has occurred and I apologize for the impact.
In the interest of keeping you updated, tonight at 5:45 p.m. here in Houston, a transformer in our H1 data in Houston caught fire, which required us to take down all generators as instructed by the fire department. All servers in the H1 data center are down, as is our ServerCommand customer portal, which are working to move to another data center. None of our other data centers are affected.Our management team and facilities staff are on site evaluating the situation. In our latest assessment, we have determined that networking gear has not been damaged, but we are without power so assessments continue. All disaster recovery systems are in motion, and we have teams already working in the data center.We are posting messages in our forum, in Orbit and on our customer support phone system.We appreciate your patience. We are working around the clock to resolve these critical issues.This link will give you updates as well:
Friday, May 30, 2008
Konami brings the GA-KO Timer home this summer but the company transitions the product into a more useful GA-KO Alarm Clock which tells time and gets you out of your slumber with insistent "singing" sounds. Note that the duck's wings are on its hips which means you better get up when the alarm sounds off.
The product measurements are H:160mm x W:102mm x D:107mm and the clock runs on two AAA batteries. The clock is constructed of ABS but the timepiece face cover is polycarbonate. The distributor's solicitation notes that only 2000 units will be produced and preorders are welcome today.
Players take on the role of a school teacher named Tamami Kirihara who works at an academy that's been around since the Meiji era. The scions and other blood relations of the prominent Housyou family attend the school but they're all cursed. Tamami happens to be able to view the curse known as "Logos" on the boys and she's also able to lift the curse and free the lads from its effects. Along the way, Tamami may find romance with one of the Housyou sons. Hanayoi Romanesque is a interactive romance adventure that's targeted at girl gamers. By reading a lot of text, looking at nifty artwork, and making a few choices during the story, players help Tamami find love. Some choices will take the Tamami to different scenarios and conclude her story in different ways which opens up the replay potential for the game. Upgrades in the PS2 update of the game include full voice acting for the characters and new CG events.
The mature content in the PC original has been wiped from the console conversion of the game to make it somewhat family friendly. The characters in the game are invariably chiseled, dark, somber, and apparently appealing. The PS2 version features a new character named Yukihito who's voice is provided by Hiroshi Kamiya, a new opening movie, exclusive CG events, and updated music. Every copy of the game will ship with a bonus dogtag and a True Blood Remix audio CD.
Boys Love games aren't screaming up the sales charts but they have their loyal audiences. Sometimes all one can hope for is a successful niche in the wild, woolly, and fickle world of gaming. Togainu no Chi was originally released for the Japanese PC in 2005 and has garnered a devoted (mostly female) fan base over the past few years. The backdrop of the game is a dystopian Japan after the ravages of a third World War. The story follows the tribulations of a reluctant warrior named Akira who fights for his freedom in the Igura Tournament which is administered by a drug kingpin. Fighters in the Igura battle each other to the death and gather their opponents' dogtags as they move their way up to the final conflict against the kingpin of the Vischio mob.
The mature content in the PC original has been wiped from the console conversion of the game to make it somewhat family friendly. The characters in the game are invariably chiseled, dark, somber, and apparently appealing. All orders include a bonus dogtag and a True Blood Remix CD.
Jikkyou Powerful Pro 3 features updated 2008 season data for all twelve professional teams, updated uniforms that the players wear, and the latest player stats. A number of game modes are playable including:
» Success Mode - Create a baseball player who starts his career in high school and makes his way to the major leagues.
» My Life Mode - Join the big leagues as a rookie and be a team player.
» Pennant Mode - It's a new season and the pennant race is on
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 as the pitching and batting 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. Two players can link up wirelessly to play a versus game.
Fast forward two decades later and Bandai's at it again. Emboldened by the recent success of Nintendo's Wii Fit, the company revives Family Trainer for a new generation of gamers. Similar to the original incarnation, Bandai includes a flexible mat controller with the game which looks suspiciously like Konami's dancing pad. The mat is designed for use by one or two players who are able to step lively side by side. This means the entire brood can take turns engaging in gaming exercises which take place upon the mat controller. That's not all folks - the Wii Remote is also used in some games for arm waving antics so the whole body gets a workout.
Bandai touts over 15 cooperative and competitive games in Family Trainer including one where players make like lumberjacks and leap over rolling logs by jumping on the mat.
To commemorate the 15th anniversary of the series, SNK Playmore reaches back in time and collects four Garou Densetsu games and stamps them onto one DVD. Since this is volume one of the Battle Archives, the second volume should contain the Real Bout games and perhaps Wild Ambition. The games in vol. 1 in the order of release are:
» Garou Densetsu aka Fatal Fury
» Garou Densetsu 2 aka Fatal Fury 2
» Garou Densetsu Special aka Fatal Fury Special
» Garou Densetsu 3 aka Fatal Fury 3
GDBA is a near 1:1 conversion overall with online multi-matching mode and character color mods to change Andy from trademark red to nouveau blue.
» Real Bout Fatal Fury
» Real Bout Fatal Fury Special
» Real Bout Fatal Fury 2: The Newcomers
The most impressive game is Real Bout 2 with shiny visual gloss and intuitive, fluid gameplay that plays true to the Neo Geo source code. Plug in a Neo Geo joystick and you're home again. The "Newcomers" in Real Bout 2 refer to Li Xiangfei and Rick Strowd who joined the usual Fatal Fury stalwarts in the 2D, 2-plane fighting action. New to the PS2 game is a Practice Mode and online connectivity where bouts may be fought against other players on the Multi-Matching BB service.
In Savage Reign, a hulking bruiser named Shishioh announces the Battle of the Beast God Tournament where he throws out a televised challenge to the greatest fighters in the world. From all corners of the planet, a motley assortment of nine combatants converge on Shishioh in respective bids to win untold wealth and fame.
Kizuna Encounter takes place after the events of Savage Reign where Shishioh announces another Battle of the Beast God Tournament. In the first challenge, Shioshioh was soundly defeated by the boomerang-wielding Hayate. In the new contest, Shioshioh mandates that the fighters battle in teams of two - thus the "Tag Battle" distinction in the game title.
» King of Fighters '99 Evo (Dreamcast conversion and Neo Geo original)
» King of Fighters 2000 (Playstation 2 conversion and Neo Geo original)
» King of Fighters 2001 (Playstation 2 conversion and Neo Geo original)
KOF '99 introduced Strikers to the fighting action and KOF 2000 and 2001 built on that system where special characters could be called into battle for a momentary burst of muscle power. Along with the games, the PS2 compilation features a character color-edit function, selectable BGM (normal and arrange), and a Multi-Matching Online BB fighting mode where players link up through the internet to bout it out.
Set in the year 2048 in a world where governments have outsourced military operations to private military corporations (PMCs), you play as Shane Carpenter, a newly enlisted soldier seeking fulfillment and thrills by fighting for a good cause. As the leading PMC, Mantel Global Industries offers an array of cutting-edge military equipment, including a high-tech arsenal of vehicles, deadly weaponry, and the performance-enhancing drug Nectar. Your conflict begins in a war-torn country where you have been sent to fight a vicious rebel faction, the Promise Hand. At first all is well, but things quickly begin to look a little strange?
Uncover the truth, switch sides, and break away from Mantel's manipulative grip when you join your former enemies, the Promise Hand.
Thursday, May 29, 2008
English of the Dead
You read that right. Instead of whacking out the undead with a gun, players translate Japanese words or phrases into English and watch as zombies are obliterated. Similar to Sega's Typing of Dead, the English of the Dead uses the House of the Dead 2 game engine for all of its language teaching stages. For players who need help with their English comprehension skills, a hint button may be tapped for clues and cues.
The setting takes players back to Huffman Island where the Oceanic Community Union and the United States of the New Continent are at war once more. A new OCU team led by a lad named Storm tackles assignments on Huffman and skirmishes are fought by touchpen tapping. Character interaction sequences help to relay the story as soldiers and mech handlers go from mission to mission.
Some early preorders will include a bonus Special Drama Soundtrack that Banpresto gave away in 50% ratio.
Publisher Digital Works has adapted Murakami's book to a Nintendo DS game which features a 13 year-old time traveler from the year 2023. She looks like a normal girl but she's really a robot (MIBO) who's capable of handling a wide variety of menial tasks, jobs, and professions. As the story in the game goes, the robot has been sent back from the future to experience various jobs and bring that specialized knowledge back to the future to benefit the world at large.
The 13-sai no Hallo Work game features 30 occupations and 90 types of mini-games that are related to the jobs that people do. Some jobs featured in the game include soccer player, news announcer, boxer, police officer, and private detective. By using the stylus, players will get to cook, groom dogs, build machines, and cure little tykes of their ails. The
soulless melodic voice of MIKU Hatsune (Vocaloid2) is featured in the game for the musician profession.
BMIIDX 14 is all about the bling. Gold. Appropriately enough, there's a highly energetic song dubbed "Gold Rush" by DJ YOSHITAKA-G feat. Michael a la mode where the lines, "Make It Make Money" and the recitation of all the Beatmania game title iterations such as "Shioa Sty!" may be heard. The CS version features roughly 90 songs from the usual suspects such as Sota Fujimori (Andromeda), Kosuke Saito aka kors k, Toshiyuki Kakuta aka L.E.D. and more. New songs include "Golden Cross" by dj REMO-CON vs dj TAKA, "Treasure X Star" from NAOKI & Ryu¤, "Guilt & Love" courtesy of The Plastic Ambition, and "SEQUENCE CAT" by SLEDLAKE (SLAKE & L.E.D.). The standard game modes such as Beginner, Tutorial, Free, Expert, etc make their expected return. New features include selectable difficulty levels for 2-player games and a new points system for unlocking songs.
As the story begins, the school has lost its luster as the premiere vocational institution for aspiring alchemists due to student body apathy and the gradual dissipation of Mana. As a sort of parallel, the academy has also physically fallen from the air to ground level. To rectify its flagging status, the prefects decide to expand the school's specialties to include other disciplines outside the alchemical arts. Roseluxe and Ulrika view alchemy differently and take divergent paths to reach their goals. Roseluxe harbors ill feelings towards alchemy while Ulrika embraces it. The new students spend their time in class and out in the wilds hunting for ingredients, reagents, and monsters. The highly detailed item creation system from the first Mana Khemia returns where weapons and equipment may be synthesized for use by party members.
The PS3 conversion of Battle Fantasia includes the original Arcade Mode along with a Story Mode and an online VS Mode. For battlers who need a bit of training, the Practice Mode is probably where you'll want to visit first to try out different moves and hit combos. A Gallery Mode contains illustrations and artwork for fans to appreciate.
The X360 conversion of Battle Fantasia includes the original Arcade Mode along with a Story Mode and an online VS Mode. For battlers who need a bit of training, the Practice Mode is probably where you'll want to visit first to try out different moves and hit combos. A Gallery Mode contains illustrations and artwork for fans to appreciate.
At the outset of the game, players choose a race from the usual archetypes such as Human, Hobbit, or Dwarf as well as the sex of the protagonist. NCS doesn't want to demean the Dwarves but the women look like sumo. Male sumo. Character features may be edited from a large number of options so that a unique hero/heroine may be crafted.
Valhalla Knights 2 is a 3D adventure game. The protagonist is maneuvered through the world which rotates and winds around in accommodating fashion. Battles against creatures are somewhat reminiscent of Monster Hunter Portable where your hero runs around a beast and strikes at opportune moments. Unlike Monster Hunter however, once a creature is vanquished, its body disappears entirely. That means there'll be no mutton chops to carve from the carcass.
Some early preorders will include a bonus Sound of Valhalla Knights soundtrack which contains melodic orchestrated BGM from the game.
Sega's flagship racing game jumps into the new millenium with a mighty frame, pretty colors and silky moves. Sure, Ridge Racer V looks fancy but it cannot usurp the racing gameplay throne held by Daytona.
Sale Offering: NCS' inventory of Daytona USA 2001 for the Japanese Dreamcast is new, factory sealed, and in mint condition. Please note Japanese DC games cannot be played on a USA DC unless a circumvention device or boot disc is utilized. Pricing is set at US$12.90 per copy which includes free shipping by USPS Media Mail within the U.S. Larger Photos
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Yujin released a Princess Crown Gradriel v1.0 figure on November 19, 2007 which sold well and eventually sold out. For an encore, the company releases Gradriel v1.5 which adds a silvery shield to the princess' repertoire. The posable Gradriel figure appears identical to v1.0 but it's roughly 2cm shorter at 16cm or 6.29" in height. All preorders have shipped as of last week and new orders are welcome. Jan Code: 4904790971938
» Trade Federation Battle Droid with Blaster
» Darth Maul with Double-Bladed Lightsaber
» Anakin Skywalker in Pod Racer Outfit with Tools
» C-3PO Prototype Production Version
» Qui-Gon Jinn with Lightsaber
» Queen Amidala in Red Senator Gown
In addition to the standard figures listed above, rare Chase figures are also randomly packaged in the factory boxes but some Chase figures only appear once in every 4 factory boxes. Good luck in finding them. NCS supplies the Kubrick figures in complete factory boxes of 12 toys.
The beauty of the Revoltech toys lie in the "Revolver Joints" which allow for full freedom when posing the figure. Once a joint is positioned, it'll ratchet into place and stay there until you change its position. The Gunman measures 12cm or 4.72" tall and features a total of 19 joints. Thanks to the many points of articulation, the robot may be positioned into battle stances galore or even into thoughtful repose. An extra helmeted head, a golden drill weapon, and four extra hands are included in the product packaging. Preorders have shipped already and new orders are welcome.
Kanu's Figma turn measures 145mm or 5.70" in height. She wields a big honking Blue Dragon spear and wears a blue and white ensemble that hearkens back to old school Kanu. You know, before she became everything to everyone. Max Factory throws in extra faces, chunks of interchangeable battle-shredded clothing, and additional fists inside each package. Preorders ship in late July 2008 at US$30.90 per figure.
| Nintendo DS Arkanoid Paddle Controller |
After selling out last month, NCS has restocked a small batch of the Silver and White NDS Paddle Controllers from one of our Japanese suppliers. Please note that pricing is set at US$26.90 and new orders are welcome.
| Hori Real Arcade Pro 3 |
Another shipment of HRAP3s is expected on Thursday of this week and any backorders will ship once the stock arrives. We'll also post an update if we're able to get another batch of the Hori RAP2 S.A.
| Playstation Portable Delays |
Suigetsu Portable and Suigetsu Portable Limited Edition have been delayed from June 26 to August 28, 2008. If you've preordered either game, please mark your import calendar accordingly.
The MMS version of Yoko measures 15cm tall and features jointed limbs so the figure may be posed in a variety of action stances. If you look to the left, Yoko may be seen aping Rambo. Preorders are welcome to ship in late July 2008 at JPY3500 or US$38.90 from NCS. Jan Code: 4988602134902
Sale Offering: NCS' remaining inventory of Sheep for the Japanese PS1 is new, factory sealed, and in mint condition. Please note Japanese PS1 games cannot be played on a USA PS1 unless a circumvention device or boot disc is utilized. Pricing is set at US$13.90 per copy which includes free shipping by USPS Media Mail within the U.S. Larger Photos
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Bandai's aqua drop follows the gist of those old handheld games but instead of relying on a metal sphere, drops of water are used and maneuvered through a maze. The maze inside the aqua drop is made of a specially treated surface which causes water to bead and roll like a ball instead of dispersing into a mini puddle. Preorders are welcome to ship in mid-late July 2008 at US$18.00 from NCS.
» Ginga Ojousama Densetsu Yuna (original release: Oct 23, 1992)
» Ginga Ojousama Densetsu Yuna II (original release: Jun 20, 1995)
» Ginga Fukei Densetsu: Sapphire (original release: Nov 24, 1995)
The first two games are interactive adventures which feature Yuna and her coterie of allies and friends. NCS is most interested in the third game, Sapphire, however since it's one of the best vertical shooters from the days of the PC-Engine. If you can find it in Japan, Sapphire can command a price of US$500 per copy but we're guessing that lofty price will take a hit once the PSP Ginga collection ships to market. Each of the three games is a direct port with no enhancements and a special Yuna illustrations gallery is also included on the UMD for fans of art and sketches. Preorders are welcome to ship on July 31, 2008 at JPY2800 or US$30.90 from NCS.
Chocobo's pointy feathers must be causing a snag because Rubber Chocky has been delayed once again to "late June" from an original ship date of April and the revised date of May. We'll continue to track the progress of Uki Uki Chocobo and post another update once a confirmed ship date is announced. Preorders are still welcome at US$13.50 each.
Each factory sealed case of 8 toys contains a complete set of 6 color figures and 2 gray (monotone) figures. Preorders are welcome to ship in mid-late August at US$80.90 per factory box.