Thursday, February 28, 2008
Nintendo bought out Monolith (developer of the Xenosaga games) last year and the first game that the recently acquired crew releases is an action-RPG dubbed Soma Bringer which features music composed by Yasunori Mitsuda. «NCS Game Notes»
In the intro to the game, a damaged spacecraft passes over a blue-tinted planet as it tumbles through space. The ship was meant to dock with a research station on the planet below but it has suffered a catastrophic hull implosion. The spacecraft eventually releases a capsule from an underside hatch which plummets into the planet. After a fiery descent, the capsule projects its landing gear and makes a safe landing. In the next scene, a lad in a protective suit emerges from the capsule and eventually takes to the air with a glider-like contraption. His mission is to locate the research station.
Aerial Planet is the kind of game that requires a dedicated time investment to get the controls down pat. A short tutorial starts the action off which is an invaluable starting point to learn the nuances of how the glider works and wings through the air. «NCS Game Notes»
Despite the fighting nature of the Hokuto no Ken manga and animation, there's been more video games based on the purely Japanese phenomenon of pachi-slot than fighting. To balance the scales a little bit, Arc System Works of Guilty Gear fame creates a fast-paced 2D fighting game which features 10 brusque and bulging bruisers from Hokuto no Ken. There's the mighty Kenshiro, the conqueror Raoh, his brother Toki, Juda, Thouther, and five more muscle-bound combatants. «Game Notes»
1) Drama CD which features the actors who supplied the voices in the game.
2) A 16cm fixed posed Elis Shiho figure which is painted, assembled, and ready for display. Elis wears her uniform from the animated series.
By using both the Nunchuk and the Wiimote, players move the paddle on the bottom of the screen and bat a ball at bricks overhead. A new feature in the Wii version of Block Kuzushi is the "acceleration move" where the Wiimote is whisked upwards just as the ball is about to hit the paddle. The center of the paddle will bulge upwards and hit the ball with extra force so that it zooms through layers of bricks. The effect is temporary and only lasts for about 2 seconds but it's a nifty little power-up that adds an effective attack to the paddle's brick-breaking abilities. «Game Notes»
Newsflash: the Wai Wai Combat won't sell any Japanese Wii consoles. It will however cement D3 Publisher's mediocre record in the run and gun category. Players take control of an agent who explores three expansive stages and shoots at the enemies within. A gun is regulation issue equipment but different weapons may be picked up including a hammer, bombs, a laser rifle, and even a bazooka. In the first level of the game, a space station serves as the setting where ten enemies must be blasted away before you're able to proceed to the sea platform. «Game Notes»
Today's successor to Get Bass! also uses a special controller for fishing - the motion sensitive Wiimote which allows fishermen to stand in front of their televisions and reel 'em in with intuitive flicking motions. The game features 40 stages on which to fish such as the marshes, near a dam, in front of a canal, and in an idyllic country setting. Twenty types of lures of different stripes may also be used to attract the bass including one that's shaped like a frog and another which mimics the movement of shrimp. Factors which change in the different stages include terrain, time, temperature, season, and assorted variables in the setting.
For champion-level fishermen, the SBFA tournament mode allows players to test their mettle against ardent rivals who are champions in their own right. Other modes in the game include the default Get Bass Mode and the Nature Trip Mode where players get to enjoy a fishing jaunt on their own time without the onerous condition of competition. «Game Notes»
Computer-generated idols and the games dedicated to managing such idols are not new. On the Playstation, there was Debut 21 and Dreamcast fans got to manage talent in Super Producers. Namco's Idolmaster from last year has been one of the more popular idol management simulations in the past few years and the sequel released today looks to repeat a commanding performance.
In Idolmaster: Live For You!, players get to manage a troupe of idols who are all invariably chipper, lively, and somewhat lovely. As a producer who's goal is to create entertaining shows, your duties include playing a button-tapping rhythm game that's evocative of Taiko no Tatsujin where the onscreen cues must be hit as they reach the target area so that the girls dance with spirit and verve. «Game Notes»
For the limited edition sequel to Idolmaster, Namco tones things down by a couple of notches. There's no new faceplate nor an updated stage populated with figures but what buyers will receive are:
» An 84 page art booklet which contains illustrations and idol portraits
» Visual Music DVD (Please note: The disc is Region 2)
» A laminated slipcase with variant artwork which stores everything
Bonus Schwag: All preorders will ship with a bonus prepaid card which contains a scratch-off code. By using the card, players will be able to download the first new append song free of charge.
NCS didn't stock up on too many Japanese UMD-Videos. We can count our complete library on one hand. However, for the titles that we did bring in, we were obligated by our supplier to order fairly large quantities. One of those UMDs was Hellboy. We'll be keeping a copy for our private collection only for the cover artwork which is different from the American UMD-Video. We hope to
NCS Sale Offering
Pricing per Japanese Hellboy UMD is set at US$15.90 which includes free shipping by USPS Media Mail. Inventory is new and factory sealed. Please note Japanese UMDs only play on Japanese PSPs. [Larger photos]