«©NCSX» J-Pop popstars are a dime a dozen. It doesn't take much to become a J-Pop star - a presentable appearance, some dancing ability, and a voice that doesn't crack under pressure are ample qualifiers.
Namco's Happy Dance Collection puts players in the role of an up and coming pop star who has to move and dance in time to the beat. An easy comparison would be Idolmaster but that wouldn't really be correct. Whereas Idolmaster puts you in the role of a producer and choreographer of idols, Happy Dance puts you right in the shoes of the idol. Wield the Wii Remote in one hand and perform wave motions, circular gestures, and other arm actions that are reminiscent of J-Pop superstars. Voice actress Mizuki Nana provides the vocals
The game features a 24-song music list including "Choo Choo Train," "POP STAR," I'll be here feat. Aoyama Thelma," and "Go My Way" which hails from Namco's Idolmaster. Fans of KOH+ (Koh Shibasaki) will be pleased to know that KISSして is included in the library. A selection of songs from animation properties such as Anpanman, Doraemon, Precure 5, and Pokemon are also playable.
Friday, October 31, 2008
«©NCSX» J-Pop popstars are a dime a dozen. It doesn't take much to become a J-Pop star - a presentable appearance, some dancing ability, and a voice that doesn't crack under pressure are ample qualifiers.
| Nintendo DSi on the way |
«©NCSX» The first batch of Nintendo DSi units have shipped from Japan as of last night but they didn't arrive today. We expect to process and ship the first batch of NDSi preorders on Monday of next week. All remaining preorders should be fulfilled by Thursday of next week and NCS will be able to clear out everyone's reservation and/or new order.
Pricing as of last night remains JPY26,500 per unit from our Japanese vendors. Our Hong Kong suppliers have priced their supply slightly higher but as mentioned earlier in the week, we fully expect prices to drop by mid-late November. There's available supply in the marketplace but vendors are pricing their inventory at lofty levels at the moment.
| Pikmin Plushes released |
«©NCSX» Sanei debuted the highly anticipated Pikmin Plush Toys in Japan yesterday and our shipments have been sent. We should receive the cartons by Wednesday or Thursday of next week. Due to the large quantity of preorders in our system for the Pikmin plushes, we'll contact customers today and start preparing orders for dispatch in the next few days.
| NDS Valkyrie Profile and Avalon Code |
«©NCSX» Both Japanese Nintendo DS games were released last night and we'll receive them on Monday. All preorders will ship upon arrival.
NCS Product Synopsis - Original Update: July 12, 2001
«©NCSX» NCS stocked Monopoly for the GBA a couple of days ago and today, we stock a game clearly inspired by the basic principles of Monopoly. A board game at heart, Culdcept II utilizes action and event cards to add a random wrinkle to the fun.
Gist: As an adventurer on a board, the player throws the dice and moves the allotted spaces on a preset route. Along the way, instead of buying properties with cash as we saw in Monopoly, the player takes over land (squares) by using monster cards to lay claim. Keeping territory comprises an important facet of the game as it's your key to wealth and thus the required amount of assets and magic points necessary to win the game.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
«©NCSX» An adventurer named Shido and a big 'ol Chocobo are speeding across a sandy expanse in their buggy when they screech to a stop. The two disembark and stand before a tower which reaches into the sky. Once inside, a little taste of dungeon crawling is served up where Chocobo leads and Shido follows.
Gamers who are well schooled in the ways of the Fushigi no Dungeon games from Enix will find the format of the latest Chocobo Dungeon familiar. When spelunking within dank labyrinths, each move is metered by the game engine so that monsters on the same screen will take a matching step for every step that Chocobo takes. Every attack is met with a consequent attack so while the game looks like a free roaming dungeon crawl, it's actually a turn-based adventure like the old school RPGs of yore.
«©NCSX» Chocobo is a merchandising superstar unlike any other. For one, Chocobo is colored bright banana yellow which offers vibrant contrast against his baby blue eyes. Second, Chocobo is a bird. Other than the aptly named Big Bird from a certain children's television show, there aren't many other avian heroes for humans to admire.
NCS peddled Chocobo mugs and Chocobo cushions earlier this year. Then there were the Rubber Chocky toys. Nintendo DS owners will get to wrap their handhelds in a bright yellow Chocobo skin, tap with a Chocobo stylus, and swing around a nifty cell phone strap adorned with Chocobo's bright and breezy countenance.
«©NCSX» Chibi-sized characters of elfin stature play assorted mini games in D3 Publisher's Vitamin Y which features the cast from the Vitamin X love simulation game. VY features 26 challenges. One game that takes place in the "Megane Kingdom" is a simple maze exercise and another in the "Lost Nana Sugoro Park" features vine swinging action. Other areas include "Starship Visconti," "Fairy Popeland," and "Toge Island" which are filled with rhythm games, whack-a-mole fun, a card game, and many more. The "Trick or Scream" location features four games with a Halloween-ish theme which is perfect for tomorrow's festivities.
Early preorders will ship with a sheet of 45 character and stage stickers which were given away by the publisher in 50% ratio.
«©NCSX» It's been 11 years since the last Thunderforce game was released on a home console. That was July of 1997 when Technosoft debuted Thunderforce V: Perfect System on the venerable Sega Saturn. Adjunct: When NCS first got a hold of Thunderforce II on the Sega Megadrive some 20 years ago, we thought the voices were horrible but the gameplay was lovely. We even enjoyed the overhead shooting levels.
Sega takes over production of the latest Thunderforce game which is directed by Tetsu Okano whose previous credits include Gunstar Super Heroes and Astro Boy. TFVI's graphics remind us of the visual purity that was Gradius V. The first level of the game takes place in a ruined space colony that's been overrun by vegetation and guarded by a fire-breathing Gargoyle while the second level takes players planet-side onto a fiery world covered by an ocean of lava. The third stage plunges gamers into a blue world where the attack begins in the sky but the fracas eventually descends into the ocean. Multiple weapons may be used including classics such as the Hunter Shot, Twin Shot, and Wave. One new weapon dubbed "Free Range" is reminiscent of Soukyugurentai where a geometric web serves as a targeting arc where anything within the web is decimated.
«FTP» The “Gran Turismo 5 Prologue Spec III” is a version with all the online updates released up until October 3, 2008, to Gran Turismo 5 Prologue that was first sold on December 13, 2007.
From the start of its sales, 37 cars and 1 track has been added to the game, for a total of 74 cars and 6 tracks. Game modes such as online racing, rankings, drift trials, and 2 player battles, and other features such as the quick-tune, performance point system, and compatibility with the newest steering controllers have been added as well.
The suggested retail price will be 4,980 yen (tax incl.) for the Blu-ray Disc version, and 4,500 yen (tax incl.) for the download version. Customers who own “Gran Turismo 5 Prologue” will be able to update their software to the same content and specifications as “Gran Turismo 5 Prologue Spec III” by performing the free online update.
«©NCSX» Awakening in darkness, the protagonist strains his eyes and a blurry image appears. Struggling further, a gentle voice breaks the silence the image soon resolves into a brightly lit hospital room. A feisty brunette named Karin Miyashiro immediately shows up and engages the fallen hero in light conversation. More friends such as petite blonde Izumi Shinjyou and Yamato Shoichi eventually appear to check up on the protagonist and ask a number of questions. In the midst of interrogation, the interactive adventure proper begins.
As the story slowly unfolds, the lead learns that he is a victim of amnesia but a cast of close friends are by his side to help him regain his memory and some semblance of normalcy. A recurring nightmare also gives some hints about his past where a beautiful but somber gal appears and may hold the key to unlocking lost memories... Characters that may be encountered include Nanami Makino, a long-haired girl with a somber attitude about life, Yuki Kotonomiya, the white-haired mystery girl in poofy maid's outfit, and the pink haired sisters Maria and Alice Kousaka.
Suigetsu Portable is a fully-voiced interaction game where the text located on the bottom of the screen is accompanied by professional voice acting. Occasional sound effects punctuate the drama onscreen and faint music permeates through the game for some added mood enhancers.
«©NCSX» When visiting Hawaii, one must do as the Hawaiians do. That means enjoying a fried Spam sandwich, buying a quart of orange juice at ABC for US$11, and doing the Hula. That's right, the Hula dance where even a gangster can wear a lei, shake his hips, and still stake his claim to being of the male gender. Sort of.
In Hula Wii, potential Hula practitioners get to watch live video of a professional Hula dancer as she sways, sashays, and waves her arms in rhythmic routines. You're supposed to mimic her movements to the best of your ability... or lack thereof while an onscreen Mii keeps track of your performance. A step chart on the bottom of the screen shows where your feet should be positioned during a dance to add to the challenge. The game is played with the Wii Balance Board (not included) and the Wii Remote is held in your hand so that your rhythmic arm motions are registered by the Hula software.
Along with the dancing action, the software also includes tidbits on Hawaii, the culture, and the geography of the islands as provided by the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau.
NCS Product Synopsis
Original Update: April 11, 2006
«©NCSX» Military commander Yamanouchi Kagetora has a secret weapon - a rolling sphere of great heft known as the Odama which mows down legions of soldiers. Unfortunately for your own armies, the Odama makes no distinction between friend or foe and rolls over both with equal aplomb. The launching mechanism consists of a pair of pinball flippers located at the bottom of the screen. Slap the Odama with the right amount of English to curve it at enemy armies and to hit targets on the battlefield. Vocal instructions may be bellowed into the microphone to encourage your troops to press the attack and and to warn them away from the Odama's path of destruction.
Sale Offering: NCS' remaining inventory of Odama for the Japanese Gamecube is new, factory boxed, and in excellent condition. Pricing is set at US$28.90 each which includes "free" shipping by USPS Media Mail within the U.S. SKU: DOL-2-GOOJ / JAN Code: 4902370513509
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
«©NCSX» Square Enix has set their sights on a bit of merchandising to dovetail with the upcoming release of Dissidia: Final Fantasy. We decided against stocking the Dissidia potions this time around due to the lofty transportation costs incurred when importing what's essentially gallons of sugared water. NCS will however import the Dissidia Trading Arts figures which feature five characters from Final Fantasy I, VII, VIII, IX, and X as follows:
| Warrior of Light | Cloud Strife | Squall Leonhart | Zidane | Tidus |
The figures measure between 9.8 to 15.5 cm (3.85 to 6.10") in height and are carved from blocks of PVC. The detailing for each figure appears quite good based on Square's photos. Preorders are welcome to ship in February 2009 at JPY5280 or US$60.90 per factory box of six figures. Each factory box contains all five figures and 1 duplicate. «Photo Gallery»
«©NCSX» When the Wii conversion of Tatsunoko vs Capcom is released in the Japanese marketplace on December 11, manufacturer Exar will be right there with a sturdy Tatsunoko vs Capcom themed joystick. Fighting games that are rendered in 2D generally play better with a joystick rather than a combination of the nunchuk and Wii Remote.
The upcoming Exar joystick connects to the Wii Remote so that it's wireless and operates without any console-tied-tethers. Preorders are welcome to ship on December 11, 2008 at JPY5980 or US$85.90 from NCS. Pricing reflects the recent strength of the yen and shipping costs.
«©NCSX» The legendary warrior of Argus returns wielding a weapon known as the Disk Armor which flails outwards with cutting action and prehensile tension. The latest Argus game from Tecmo features Wii Remote whipping action where the controller is jerked back and forth to simulate the throwing of the Disk Armor at crowds of enemy attackers.
The versatility of the Disk Armor allows it to be used in various attack motions, as a grappling hook of sorts, and as a trigger to activate traps and/or ward off assorted dangers in the environment.
Preorders are welcome to ship on December 11, 2008 at JPY6800 or US$66.90 from NCS.
«©NCSX» A snow maiden (aka Yuki Musume) teams up with a bunny-like familiar and her sister to beat back an onslaught of spirits, snowmen, mummies, and their overlords. Why is a mummy shuffling across the snow with both arms raised? No one knows but there are sights even stranger than the wrapped undead in Yukinko Daisenpuu including huge grubs that fall from trees and purplish imps that pop out of nowhere.
The snow maiden uses the power of winter to meet her goals where oversized snowflakes and pointy icicles are shot at enemies to dispatch them. Power-ups may be picked up to enhance firepower or gain speed. The nunchuk is used for maneuvering and the Wii Remote serves as the launching mechanism for snow projectiles. The enemy generally attacks in waves where they'll approach Yuki like a mob. During certain points in the game, the action stops and a warning indicator appears on the screen. That's your cue to take cover or start firing shots because a powerful wave of enemy attackers are on the way where they sweep through the screen with destructive force. In addition to a single player game, up to two players may collaborate for a concerted attack. Preorders for the Wii conversion of Yuki Musume Daisenpuu ship on December 18, 2008.
«©NCSX» Sheets that are placed on top of mattresses are generally boring. They might have a floral pattern, a single shade of color, or a repetitive motif that's printed throughout the entire sheet.
Japanese manufacturer Taki has other ideas for sheets. They want bold designs. So bold that one of the sheets features Kanu Unchou on top of a bare-breasted Ryofu Housen. There's a third sheet which isn't shown here because it's not safe for work - that one features the full backside of Ryomei Shimei as she's taking off her underoos while Sonsaku stares wide-eyed in the background. The sheets measure 210cm x 140cm (82.67 x 55.11") in area and pricing is set at an astounding JPY10,000 or US$110 from NCS. Preorders are welcome to ship in late Nov 2008.
«©NCSX» The heroes of Tales of Destiny are immortalized (did you know plastic is forever?) in Kotobukiya's upcoming collection of One Coin Grande figures which feature seven characters as follows:
Stahn Aileron, Rutee Kartret, Reala, Kyle Dunamis, Leon Magnus, Lilith Aileron, and a secret cape-wearing figure.
The figures measure approximately 4" in height and are sculpted by Oya Hideaki and Tsukuru Shirahige. Preorders are welcome to ship in mid-late November 2008 at JPY8400 (US$88.90) per box of 10 figures.
NCS Product Synopsis
Original Update: August 3, 2007
«©NCSX» Hit the links with Sony's Minna no Golf Jou Vol. 2 which plays a satisfying game of golf across 34 courses and serves double duty as a digital caddy if you're enjoying a real world afternoon of golf at a supported course in Japan. PSP owners living in Japan armed with the GPS Receiver and a copy of the game can visit one of 34 golf courses in Ibaraki, Shizuoka, or Hokkaido and play golf with a virtual caddy. The game package includes two UMDs - the first UMD contains recreations of golf courses that are located in Ibaraki while the second UMD hosts courses from Hokkaido and Shizuoka. When choosing which course to play on either UMD, a colored map of the prefecture is shown and the location of each golf course is highlighted when you scroll through the different venues to play on.
Old hands to the Minna no Golf franchise will find a friendly game interface manned by affable characters as well as a challenging golf simulation.
Sale Offering: NCS' remaining inventory of Minna no Golf Portable Vol. 2 for the Japanese PSP is new, factory sealed, and in excellent condition. Pricing is set at US$25.90 each which includes "free" shipping by USPS Media Mail within the U.S. SKU: UCJS-10064 / JAN Code: 4948872680134
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
«©NCSX» NCS received the first Valis Gashapon set in September and we supplied them in complete sets of 4 figures (seen in the background of the photo to the left). Millennium also produced a fifth secret figure which was scattered randomly in each factory box of toys. We've received a second batch of Valis Vol. 1 gashapon today and we're offering the set with the secret figure in today's listing.
NCS is supplying the five figures as shown at US$45.90:
» Yuko Asao - full-figured warrior with sword and removable clothing
» Reiko Kirishima in her "evil" persona with skimpy outfit and weapon
» Yuko Asao bust figure where the Vecanti warrior arches upwards
» Reiko Kirishima matching bust figure with similar arching posture
» Yuko Asao - wearing a school outfit and apparently resting/sleeping
Some simple assembly is required to put the figures together and a base is included for display purposes. New orders are welcome to ship today.
«©NCSX» Slide into the frame of a Gundam mech once more and thrust into battlefields where enemy Zaku units are dismantled with beam weapons and buckshot. The latest and greatest 3D Gundam action game on the PSP features superb control. Repeat: superb control where the d-pad is used to jet a mech in all four cardinal directions with pinpoint accuracy. Attacks are also be triggered quickly once a corresponding face button is pushed for lightning fast sword slashes and follow-up gunfire if so desired. To test the fluidity of the game engine, we had our Gundam jetting, firing all three types of artillery, and orbiting a target without a single hiccup or slowdown from the game. It's all very impressive and demonstrative of how far Bandai has come along with the Gundam games since the original gray Playstation days when Gundam v1.0 was a humbling lesson in futility.
Gundam Battle Chronicle features two game modes: the Campaign Mode which links together 120 missions of varying difficulty and the VS Operation Mode which pits the player against three rampaging opponents. The default VS mode pits you against three COM-controlled mechs but up to three human players may link up wirelessly for some local area fireworks. The mech roster is impressive with over 140 robots to pilot, destroy, or use as support. The third mode of interest on the main menu is the Gallery which features five sections where players can view the mech suits, pilots featured in the game, and other fan-centric material.
«©NCSX» At the tail end of 2007, Mint released Juicy Honey Premium Edition 2007 which featured Maria Ozawa, Tina Yuzuki, and Kotono Higashi. The limited edition set sold well to collectors and enthusiasts alike to close out the year.
With 2008 coming to an end, Mint has started preorders for Juicy Honey Premium Edition 2008 which features another three JAV idols as follows (from the top of the photo and going down):
» Aino Kishi
» Yuma Asami
» Miyu Hoshino
The upcoming Juicy Honey set is limited to only 2,300 boxes and 189 types of cards are scattered in those boxes. There's standard cards along with special Jersey cards, Autograph cards, and the highly desired DNA cards. Preorders are welcome to ship in mid-late December 2008.
Suppliers in Japan have posted their prices for the first batch of NDSi which is scheduled to arrive on Friday or Monday of next week. The average listing price is JPY26,500 which means our cost is US$277.64 per unit as of this morning's exchange rate of US$1 to ¥95.43. If we import them for customers, our retail price will be US$292.50.
We're leery of paying such high prices since better deals will be forthcoming in the next 2-3 weeks as additional supplies make it to market. We'll contact customers today with news on the pricing. Please note the following caveats:
1) It is unlikely that we'll receive enough NDSi units this week to fill all orders. As such, it may take up to 3 weeks to fill your order.
2) If the price drops in the marketplace before we fill your order, we will adjust the pricing for you automatically.
3) NCS expects mostly white NDSi units this week due to potential short supplies of the black NDSi from our vendors.
Due to the current level of pricing, NCS recommends that customers wait 2-3 weeks for prices to drop to more reasonable levels. There's a good likelihood that prices will drop $50-$60 when the second batch makes it to market in mid-late November. One factor that might prevent this expected price drop would be the continued erosion of the US dollar against the Japanese yen.
From the Publisher
"The Clone Wars" takes place between "Star Wars Episode II: Attack Of The Clones" and "Star Wars Episode III: Revenge Of The Sith". Jedi Knights Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi continue their journey across the galaxy amongst the "Clone Wars", meeting up with familiar villains, such as Count Dooku, General Grievous and Asajj Ventress. The Grand Army of the Republic, led by Yoda, Mace Windu, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and other Jedi Knights, must fight the New Droid Army of the Separatists.
Dolby TrueHD: English 5.1 EX; "A Creative Conversation: Video Commentary"; "'The Clone Wars': The Untold Stories"; "The Voices Of 'The Clone Wars'"; "A New Score"; "Gallery Of Concept And Production Art"; "Webisodes: 6 Making Of Featurettes"; "Take 'The Hologram Memory Challenge'", Behind The Scenes Featurette, Deleted Scenes, Director Commentary, Trailers.
From the Publisher
The highly acclaimed director of "Finding Nemo" and the creative storytellers behind "Cars" and "Ratatouille" transport you to a galaxy not so far away for a new cosmic comedy adventure about a determined robot named "WALL-E". After hundreds of lonely years of doing what he was built for, the curious and lovable "WALL-E" discovers a new purpose in life when he meets a sleek search robot named EVE. Join them and a hilarious cast of characters on a fantastic journey across the universe. Transport yourself to a fascinating new world with Disney-Pixar's latest adventure, now even more astonishing on DVD and loaded with bonus features, including the exclusive animated short film "BURN-E". "WALL-E" is a film your family will want to enjoy over and over again.
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1; "BURN-E": All-New Animated Short; "Presto": Animated Theatrical Short Film; Deleted Scenes: "Garbage Airlock" and "Dumped"; Sneak Peek: "'WALL-E's' Tour Of The Universe" - 'WALL-E' Takes You On A Real Ride Through Space; "Animation Sound Design: Building Worlds From The Sound Up"; "BnL Shorts" and more.
NCS Product Synopsis
Original Update: June 11, 2001
«©NCSX» Pinobee isn't your average worker bee. No, he's a mecha-bee who's searching for a heart. That's right... a heart. The only Bee who can help Pinobee with a heart is Grandpa Bee who's been kidnapped so buzz off and rescue an old codger-bee from danger.
NCS' remaining inventory of Pinobee: Wings of Adventure for the North American Gameboy Advance is new, factory sealed, and in excellent condition. Pricing is set at US$23.90 each which includes "free" shipping by USPS Media Mail within the U.S. SKU: AGB-P-APBE / UPC Code: 047875802476
Monday, October 27, 2008
The latest DJ Max is a collaborative effort between Pentavision and Clazziquai which features new tracks as well as songs from the first two DJMax Portable games for a 48-song library to explore. Notable tracks include "Dark Envy" by Tsukasa, "I Want You" from Lin-G, "First Kiss" courtesy of BJJ, and "Color" by Clazziquai.
Game Modes include Club Tour, Arcade, Network, Collection, and Link Disk, and Album. Players may elect to play 2-button mode for beginners all the way up to 6-button mode for dextrous gamers capability of handling the extreme flow of falling cues. The Link Disc function allows gamers to use tracks from the earlier DJ Max Portable games.
The game may be played in Korean, English, or Japanese.
In addition to the regular edition of the game, NCS has also received the Special Package edition which is limited to only 5000 copies and ships with a really lengthy wall scroll. There are four types of scrolls which we'll give out randomly. Please note that the scrolls will ship separately.
«©NCSX» In 2007, artist Jun Tsukasa sculpted a "cat" girl named Hanako who dressed herself in a skimpy outfit which invoked a Holstein dairy cow. Fast forward a year later and Daiki Kougyo has announced their own rendition of Hanako Holstein which is similar to Megahouse's original rendition. The main differences are Hanako's leg positioning and her angelic demeanor as she stares directly into the eyes of a butterfly that has alighted on her finger. The original Hanako sculpture featured a Hanako who's expression can be described as somewhat maniacal. The figure measures 21cm or 8.26" tall and preorders are welcome to ship in mid-late Jan 2008.
«©NCSX» The Rance series of role-playing games from Alice Soft have been around for nearly two decades and has captured the fancies of Japanese gamers for a while now. The latest edition of Rance is titled Sengoku Rance which debuted in late 2006. One of the heroines in the game is a princess named Senhime who's appearance is evocative of KOS-MOS.
Senhime wears KOS-MOS-ish headgear, has a full bosom, and may be found in conflict-filled situations... which is uncannily similar to our favorite android from Xenosaga. Alter has started preorders for a rendition of Senhime which steps off of a pedestal while ivory-colored snakes wind upwards. The figure is set to 1/8 scale and measures 19.5cm or 7.67" in height. Preorders are welcome to ship in mid-late February 2008 at JPY7800 or US$93.50. The yen's on the rampage.