«©NCSX» The Card Live-R property in Japan is a triple threat with representation in an animation series, a card game, and manga. Better make that a quadruple threat with a Nintendo DS game shipping in July 2009. The story follows the adventures of a lad named Kakeru Amato who rescues a wounded pup. As a sort of reward, Kakeru gets something known as a "Live-Change Card" which imparts the ability for Kakeru to transform into a powerful monster. That makes him a Card Live-R who's a card flipping player that summons monsters from cards to battle other monsters from cards called forth from other Card Live-Rs. Compelling. Preorders for the Nintendo DS Live Battle Card game are welcome to ship on May 18, 2009.
Thursday, April 30, 2009
«©NCSX» The latest issue of Famitsu DVD features print and video coverage of the following game software and/or events:
» PS3 Ninja Gaiden Σ2
» PSP Zettai Zetsumei Toshi 3
» PSP Fate Unlimited Codes Portable
» PSP Yuusha 30
» Wii Oboro Muramasa
» Wii Bouken Jima (Adventure Island) WiiWare
» PSP Persona
» PSP Sunday x Magazine Shuuketsu! Choujou Daikessen
» PS3 Ryu Ga Gotoku 3
» ARC Shining Force Cross
» Wii Monster Hunter G
Every copy of the magazine also includes a bonus 32-page Hunter's Report Special Edition Vol 1 for Monster Hunter G fans to relish.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
«©NCSX» Hibiki Karin isn't your average sniper. She doesn't wear fatigues, eye paint, or peer into an unnaturally large scope. Hibiki is a seemingly normal girl who attends Aoba University but she's been pushed into the sniping life by circumstances beyond her control. As if to accentuate how much of a normal girl Hibiki is, the first shooting exercise in the game is of the carnival variety where toy prizes including a teddy bear are shot at with a toy rifle. Hibiki's handler is a bespectacled man named Tsukasa Sakuma who gives her missions and objectives to accomplish. In the first proper mission, Hibiki's target is an enemy operative's weapon which he holds upright in front of his face. If Hibiki fires and hits the operative instead, it's a failed mission. We found that moving the scope ahead and waiting for the operative to come into view before shooting resulted in an S ranking for destroying the hapless agent's weapon.
«©NCSX» A blade-wielding brunette named Shion and a ginger known as Vier are part of a vanguard force who destroys robots and monsters with weapons and water. They control a cylindrical dam which is capable of pouring out streams of rushing water which washes away monsters who are burrowing in the tunnels below. These creatures are invading the overworld but that can't be allowed to continue. By opening the spigot at opportune moments, the party has an unstoppable force at their disposal to rid the world of invaders. At the outset of the game, the player's party performs sentry duties on three locations to protect the city walls from attacks. Close combat is used in the beginning since the dam isn't ready yet. After each successful stint, a character interaction sequence opens up which relays some background information and moves the story along.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
«©NCSX» If you're a creative type who wants to design games but refuses to invest the time required to build an RPG, you might fare better with micro games. Nintendo's Made in Ore allows designers to create 5-second games that are primitive, simple, and potentially likable. The software includes a music editor, a simple graphics program, and the engine to bind all the components together to create an interactive challenge. A tutorial (in Japanese) also gives basic pointers on design mechanics and rudimentary tips on making an enjoyable micro game.
Sample micro games featuring Nintendo stalwarts such as Mario, Goomba, and Starfox are included on the game card to show players and designers how the professionals at Ninty do it.
«©NCSX» Goku, Piccolo, and other DBZ superheroes participate in an action-adventure game that follows the arc from the beginning of the DBZ anime. As the story goes, Goku has wed a lassie named Chi-Chi and they have a son named Gohan. One day, a badass known as Raditz kidnaps Gohan which forces Goku to team up with Piccolo to trek through assorted challenges to rescue his baby boy.
The game looks good with sharp hand-drawn graphics and battles are fought in classic RPG style where Goku and friends are assembled on the right side of the screen. Enemies are arrayed on the left side of the screen and the two contingents bout it out in a turn-based fisticuffs and power-blast theatrics. When traveling, the camera takes in the action from overhead where Goku is shown as a diminutive hero walking the Earth.
«©NCSX» One-on-one Naruto fighting action revisits the Nintendo DS with the latest Naruto Shippuden Shinobi Retsuden III game. Players choose a combatant from a sizable roster of 42 characters and fight it out in 3D action that runs at 60fps. The battles take place on the top NDS screen and are accompanied by touch screen elements that are triggered during battle by tapping on icons. Along with conventional bouts, Naruto and friends may also challenge mighty creatures which dwarf their frail human frames such as a galloping blue wolf and a bear with razor-like claws.
Gamers may enjoy the Story Mode where Naruto travels through towns and meets up with assorted friends and fights foes, a Versus Mode, or wireless VS modes where two players battle against each other.
«©NCSX» The Death Smiles Hori Real Arcade Pro Joystick is an Amazon-exclusive product which was released last week and our shipments arrived today. The controller is basically a Hori RAP EX (Sanwa stick) with Death Smiles artwork on top. NCS generally covets this sort of stuff so we're working with a number of Japanese agents to order the sticks from Amazon. Sadly, this level of manpower means increased costs in addition to yen conversion and deputy charges. Preorders are welcome to ship on April 23, 2009 at the lofty price of US$239.90 each. Please accept our sincere condolences. Note the Death Smiles Arcade Stick does not include a copy of the Death Smiles game.
«©NCSX» The Japanese PC was the first platform that Tir Na Nog (Land of the Young) reached a few years ago but the game gets ported to two more platforms this week. According to legend, Tir Na Nog is where the gods once lived but they were defeated in battle and forced underground. The gods became known by later generations as fairies. The PS2 version of the game features dungeon crawling action that hearkens back to the early 90s heyday of action-adventure games when graphics were sorta gritty and sounds were kinda rudimentary. Tir Na Nog is built on Celtic mythology and features a fantasy world where heroic archetypes travel the land and explore, roust up some treasure, and battle armies of enemy warriors.
The PS2 conversion features two brand new scenarios that aren't in the PC original, new events, and big bosses to battle. The interface has also been streamlined for more efficient control of the action. Upon beginning a new game, the "Scenario Generation System" kicks into gear and creates a set of scenarios, characters, items, structures, and dungeons that are unique to each game. The publisher touts 10 billion possibilities so it's a good bet that every new adventure is unique. A large assortment of weapons is also available including daggers, swords, axes, halberds, and more to slay malcontents.
«©NCSX» When Atlus released the original Persona in 1996, the portable handheld of choice was the Gameboy. The very first Gameboy. It didn't have color nor a backlight but that didn't stop Nintendo's wunderkind from dominating the portable gaming landscape. It wasn't until 1998 that the Gameboy Color arrived on the scene. The GBC didn't have a backlight either.
Fast forward 13 years and technology has gotten to the point where games like Persona can now be played on portables such as the Playstation Portable. In living color and backlit to light up the night. Atlus upgrades the game with new cinemas, visual updates, brand new dungeon levels, and user-friendly options such as a quick save feature. A stylish new intro is also featured in the game which is replete with stark, dark imagery with a peppy background track sung by Yumi Kawamura. The chipper song is designed to provide contrast against the morose visuals. Shoji Meguro provided director and composer services while Kazuma Kaneko served as art director.
The heroes of Persona are a group of high school students who all possess special abilities that allow them to utilize offensive magic. Battles are fought on an isometric platform with two sides arrayed against each other while melee attacks and magic blasts ripple through the ranks. The PSP update doesn't feature voice acting but the cast of characters do make yelping sounds and other utterances when fighting enemy agents. The first production of the game will ship with a bonus Persona Soundtrack CD which was given away in 30% ratio from the publisher.
«©NCSX» The Japanese PC was the first platform that Tir Na Nog (Land of the Young) reached a few years ago but the game gets ported to two more platforms this week. According to legend, Tir Na Nog is where the gods once lived but they were defeated in battle and forced underground. The gods became known by later generations as fairies. The PSP version of the game features dungeon crawling action that hearkens back to the early 90s heyday of action-adventure games when graphics were sorta gritty and sounds were kinda rudimentary. Tir Na Nog is built on Celtic mythology and features a fantasy world where heroic archetypes travel the land and explore, roust up some treasure, and battle armies of enemy warriors.
The PSP conversion features two brand new scenarios that aren't in the PC original, new events, and big bosses to battle. The interface has also been streamlined for more efficient control of the action. Upon beginning a new game, the "Scenario Generation System" kicks into gear and creates a set of scenarios, characters, items, structures, and dungeons that are unique to each game. The publisher touts 10 billion possibilities so it's a good bet that every new adventure is unique. A large assortment of weapons is also available including daggers, swords, axes, halberds, and more to slay malcontents. Character classes in the game have attributes that determine their performance in battle and the overall adventure such as strength, technique, wisdom, and charm. Attack and defense values are also imparted to each character depending on the weapon or armor that's equipped.
Monday, April 27, 2009
«©NCSX» Sega's upcoming Hatsune Mike Project Diva for the PSP is going to be a big deal when it's released in Japan this summer. Hori wants some of that action so they're preparing an accessory set for the PSP which ships on the same day as Project Diva. Three items are included as follows:
» Protective clear case with flip-top lid for the PSP-3000
» Green-colored PSP carrying pouch for PSP-3000 and a pair of UMDs
» A pair of UMD storage slipcases decorated with Hatsune Miku imagery
Preorders are welcome to ship on July 2, 2009 at JPY3000 or US$33.90.
«©NCSX» Japanese animated serials come and go every year. Some become legendary like Evangelion but most just serve their primary purpose (ad revenue), tell an engaging story, and then lay dormant for future generations to rediscover. Along the way from birth to retirement, an anime might engender gobs of merchandising for additional revenue.
Disney cracked into the Japanese animated serial market earlier this year with a little number called Fireball which is designed to appeal to Japanese tastes. The main character is a robot-girl named Hatsune Miki who also goes by "Drossel" and she's accompanied by a spidery robot named "Gedächtnis" which is the German word for "memory." Drossel is a mech-girl, speaks with a strong yet feminine voice, and wears a twintail "hairdo" which is the similar to the one that's planted on the popular Hatsune Miku of Vocaloid2 fame. Drossel should have ruled Japan by the 13th episode but we're guessing she won't be gain much traction now that the series has concluded unless season 2 is announced.
Despite the obvious design conventions that appeal to lovers of robo-anime, Drossel doesn't really have a likable personality. Maybe she's too curt, too forgetful, and too discourteous. The episodes we've watched are dry with subtle jokes and Japanese wordplay involved. Either you get the humor or the jokes will fly over your head at 90mph. Every episode begins with Drossel calling Gedächtnis a different name such as "Sancho Panza" and Gedächtnis correcting her. From there, Drossel and Gedächtnis banter about varous subjects for less than 2 minutes until the abrupt conclusion of the episode. Despite our doubts about Drossel becoming a superstar, Max Factory starts the merchandising ball rolling with a Drossel figma figure which looks pretty good. The design is clean and the usual figma articulation allows the figure to be posed and tilted into various action poses. An assortment of accessories is also bundled in the package including a flight attachment called the Obruchev as seen in episode 3 and the Prospero reference book which Gedächtnis used in episode 7 to demonstrate some examples of human salutations which included a snippet of Ebonics. Preorders are welcome to ship in mid-late June 2009 at JPY3000 or US$32.90 from NCS.
|NDS||Super Robot Taisen OG Saga Endless Frontier||Atlus|
|PS2||Backyard Baseball '10||Atari|
X-Men Origins: Wolverine
|PSP||Dynasty Warriors Strikeforce||Koei|
| || |
X-Men Origins: Wolverine
NCS Sale of the Week Offering: April 27, 2009
Original Release in Japan: October 1992
«©NCSX» New and factory sealed Guide to Dragon Quest V Monsters CD+ Bundle which debuted in early October 1992 to dovetail with the late September 1992 release of the Dragon Quest V game on the Super Famicom. Those were the days when gamers stood on line for hours to get a chance to buy their own copy of the latest and greatest Dragon Quest game. The queues still appear whenever a Dragon Quest game is released but the mania is more subdued nowadays. The bundle contains a number of nifty Dragon Quest V items as follows:
1) Dragon Quest V Monster Cards - Deck of 60 monster cards
2) Monster Card Storage Booklet - Holds all 60 cards in clear sleeves
3) Monster Data Book - Info on the DQ5 game; 32 pages, B6 size
4) Dragon Quest V Special World Map - 36.4cm x 36.4cm size
5) Dragon Quest V Original Sound Selection CD - 2 Tracks (Overture at 1 min 16 sec and Beyond the Horizon at 58 seconds)
The monster cards feature the stats of a creature but there's four cards that are blank "Mystery Cards" which you can fill in when you discover the secret monsters in the DQ5 game. The goodies are stored inside a flat cardboard box that's wrapped in shrinkwrap. NCS' remaining inventory is brand new and in overall excellent condition but please note that some boxes may be slightly warped on the front tray. We've deduced that the warping is caused by the tight shrinkwrap which applies tension to the cardboard and has forced it to bend inwards over the course of the past 17 years.
Sale Offering: Pricing per Dragon Quest V Monster bundle is set at US$29.90 per copy. If you reside in the USA, you may select USPS Media Mail shipping on our shop which is about $2.50. International customers are encouraged to select USPS First Class Airmail at a cost of approximately US$10 to most destinations. «Photo Gallery»
Friday, April 24, 2009
«©NCSX» Architects are respected professionals who build towers, castles, lairs, and even dungeons. The hero in Nanatama is a professional architect whose specialty is designing dungeons. To that end, his job is to venture into the Krete Ruins and carve out a labyrinth that'll attract monsters of all stripes. The goal is to build a dungeon that's so irresistible to beasts that they'll flock to it like bees to honey and reside within its comfy confines. The architect isn't really in the business of "better-homes-for-monsters" however. Once the monsters are in residence, the architect wants to kill them, rob them of their treasures, and capture a few of them.
At the outset of the game, players are in the burg of Krete which houses a number of merchants, citizens, and appears to attract a good amount of commerce. Krete has also started to attract monsters who roam around the perimeter of town but what they really need is a home to call their own. What they need is a dungeon. One that's deep, dark, dank, and filled with places to hide. Although Krete is a walled city, there's an entrance to the ruins below which is located to the north of town. After making niceties with the shop keepers, it's time to head for the ruins which are relatively unkempt and pockmarked with crumbling structures. There's not many monsters since the dungeon isn't very appealing initially but a few creatures that look like turnips roam around the top level. Further along, an elvish girl trapped in an Orb may be rescued and added to the hero's party. She can be summoned by pressing right on the d-pad. «More»