«©NCSX» A lackadaisical young woman named Annie Eilenberg sleeps all day but nevertheless dreams of becoming a famous idol. Her parents are perturbed by her lack of initiative and consult gramps who's a wizened alchemist. One day, grandpa goes to Annie's room where she's sleeping and instructs two stout imps to carry her bed (with her on it) to a remote island where she'll work. Not just any work however. Annie will have to use smarts, alchemy, and strength to build a resort that'll boost the economy of the entire island. A romantic possibility in the form of the dashing Hans Ahrens helps Annie keep her motivation up and an elfin helper named Pepe provides assistance. A large cast of characters in town and around the island also give a helping hand to Alice as she shoulders onto the end game. Similar to earlier Ateliers, Annie explores outdoors and battle monsters to obtain ingredients.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
«©NCSX» Annie Eilenberg suffers from a malady known as laziness but Grandpa administers the cure when he spirits her away to Sera Island. Once there, Annie is charged with the construction of a resort that'll tax her mind, body, and fledgling alchemy skills.
The bonus inclusions in the premium edition of Annie no Atelier are a set of super-deformed figures of Annie and Pepe that are fixed-posed, fully painted, and ready for display. The box that holds the Annie game and extras is roughly the size of other Atelier Premium games that have littered our gaming archive vault over the past few years.
«©NCSX» Originally released in March 2007, Konami updates Tokimeki Memorial Girl's Side 1st Love with a full-voice edition where actors provide speech to accompany all of the dialogue in the game. In Konami's twist on the Tokimeki franchise, players take on the role of a female high school student who enters a private school for a three year stint. In that time, she applies herself scholastically as well as athletically to hone her mind and body. The heroine also uses charm, guile, and good clothes to catch a man and perhaps find love. Clothing plays an important factor in the game since it helps attract the opposite sex. Sort of like how a bird's bright plumage helps it attract a mate. To this end, a closet of outfits may be perused to find the right clothes for each social outing. Konami is giving away a bonus Tokimeki Deluxe CD with early preorders of the game in 50% ratio.
«©NCSX» Kazuya Shiranami and the Rune Angel Troupe are back in a new adventure that plays a lot like the earlier Galaxy Angel II games on the Playstation 2. The Rune Angels' mandate is to protect the Milky Way from assorted dangers and when the occasion calls, to save it from crisis when big trouble arises. The lengthy introductory sequence features a healthy amount of non-interactive character interplay and conversation which provides the backdrop for the storyline. Press the "Triangle" button to automate the forwarding of the conversations. Once the premise is established, Kazuya and friends embark on missions where encounters are triggered by moving Angel units on an overhead galactic map. When a skirmish starts, the view changes to a 3D view of space where a Rune Angel's Emblem Frame is coursing through the cosmos and firing ordnance at enemy ships with glittering visual effects . During the movement phase of the game, little communication flashes between the Rune Angels are played to relay information. The Luxiole serves as the mothership for the Angels and it's also where most of the interaction takes place as Kazuya gets to acquaint himself with the girls.
Galaxy Angel II features full voice acting which accompanies all of the dialogue in the game which may explain why the adventure is mastered on two single-layer DVDs. A sizable amount of animation and CG is also featured in the adventure to provide theatrics and eye candy.
«©NCSX» Two special bonuses are included in the Galaxy Angel II Deluxe Pack as follows:
1) Encyclopedia Galaxy Angel which contains character profiles, ship data, and copious amounts of general information on the Galaxy Angel Universe. Please note the text is only in Japanese.
2) Official Galaxy Angel Tie that's colored blue and imprinted with the Galaxy Angel "winged" emblem on the front. The tie is designed in the old school way which is fatter than the slim ties that seem to be trendy nowadays.
Both bonus items are packaged with the game in a shiny cardboard box.
«©NCSX» In the two Musou Orochi games from Koei, warriors from Sangoku Musou and Sengoku Musou joined together to battle a scaly lizard lord named Orochi. In the game, players took control of a team of warriors and their minions who then battled entire legions of enemy soldiers. Sales were pretty good and Koei had another franchise on their hands. A franchise that's going to be exploited and extended and wrought onto various platforms.
Musou Orochi Z for the Playstation 3 gathers together all of the stages from the earlier Musou Orochi games and throws in 12 new stages that were designed exclusively for the PS3 update for a total of 140 stages in all. Two new characters bolster the roster to 96 champions and a comprehensive Dramatic Mode that's playable by every character is also featured in the game. One of the new characters is a bruiser named Benkei who we'd liken to a human tank complete with forward thrusting motion. Benkei uses a versatile gauntlet as his weapon against the hordes. The enemies aren't really aggressive in their attacks though and the action tends to get tedious after the 500th kill. Maybe we're just being jaded again.
«©NCSX» On a small island located somewhere across the sea, there lives a young green-haired girl named Marone. Gifted with the ability to control phantoms, Marone earns her bread and butter by accepting missions from clients who contact her by way of bottled messages. Upon receiving a request for help, Marone gathers together a cadre of phantoms such as Ash - who's a mighty swordsman - and the group ventures forth on battles and various scenarios to make their money. Since phantoms are wispy and have no corporeal form, they must be injected into physical objects to animate them and attack Marone's enemies. Phantom Brave bears similarities to Disgaea and there's good reason for that - illustrator Takehito Harada is the character designer and Phantom Brave fits squarely into the strategy-RPG video gaming genre.
Phantom Brave was originally a hit on the Playstation 2 and Nippon Ichi produces a Wii rendition that's built on the PS2 code but with a few extras. Exclusive features in the Wii game include new characters, new items and customizations, and a new scenario dubbed "Another Chapter Marone."
Preorders for Phantom Brave Wii will ship with a bonus original soundtrack in 1:1 ratio. While supplies last, we'll include the bonus with new orders.
«©NCSX» After much toil and trouble in the first Pikmin adventure, Captain Olimar launches the Dolphin back into space and heads home. To financial distress. Olimar's employer, a rough-looking transportation company with a raggedy sign, is deep in the red to the tune of 100,000 pokos. Nearing ruin and with little prospects for a turnaround without emergency intervention, Olimar is asked to return to the world of Pikmin to raise a little wealth for the company. Ever the loyal and obedient employee, Olimar heads into space once again in a junky jalopy of a ship and marshals the Pikmin population for a greater cause: capitalism.
Olimar is not alone in his new quest - a helper named Louie provides support and Pikmin directing duties during the course of the adventure where artifacts are excavated for resale back home. Olimar's mustached and balding boss also communicates with the duo through a video screen to keep them apprised of the company's financial health. Along with the original blue, red, and yellow Pikmin, newtype Pikmin creatures include purple and white variants which add sumo strength and speed, respectively, to the Pikmin corps. All in all, Olimar is blessed with a formidable new army to tackle the new monsters that seek to impede and eat him. When marching around, the Pikmin sing little songs and make antsy utterances to add to the theatrics.
«©NCSX» IdolMaster is a little cottage industry that's been cashing in on the J-Pop idol phenomenon in Japan. The game allows players 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. You'll also choose the proper showgirl garb for flashy stage visuals. The two IdolMaster games released for the Xbox 360 thus far have proven that there's an audience for J-Pop simulators and Namco's going back to the trough once more. IdolMaster Twins isn't a new game however. It's a bundling of the original IdolMaster game and its sequel Idolmaster Live: For You which are packaged in a special slipcase/sleeve featuring new artwork of the cast of characters.
NCS is curious if anyone who's already purchased both IdolMaster games is going to spend another ~$50 for what is essentially a new game sleeve. Collectors will probably spring for the Twins bundle but it's a pretty good assumption that everyone else is going to skip the purchase. On the flipside, the Twins bundle is a compelling value for new fans who don't have either game and are interested in testing the virtual J-Pop idol waters at a friendly price point. All preorders will ship today and new orders are welcome.