«©NCSX» Ever have to run to the bathroom because an emergency situation was developing? An urgent situation that required immediate relief? That's one of the racing themed mini-games featured in Alpha Unit's Rhythm de Run Run Run where a distressed lad runs after a mobile bathroom while leaping over lying dogs, garbage cans, and even yankii youths squatting in the middle of the street. Another running game takes place on an athletic track where the player has to leap over gangs of penguins, an emperor penguin, pools of water, and dead fish. Still another mini-game has the player chasing a mischievous student with an eraser as the truant marks up a chalkboard. By moving in time to the chalk lines, players erase the chalk marks with each and every successful cue hit. The various running games may also be played by tapping upon the touch screen. A mic function in the program allows players to record a sound before each mini-game and when the game is in progress, the sound that you made will play throughout the stage in a warped sort of way.
Thursday, April 09, 2009
«©NCSX» Car tuning and customization is a global industry where drivers pimp out their rides with performance boosters and aesthetic accoutrements such as spinners. Driving games such as Gran Turismo have featured vehicle tuning as a complementary feature but Super Auto Salon is the first game to focus on tuning and mods as the main theme.
Players take on the role of a gearhead named Takuya who works as a vehicle modder extraordinaire. By plying his trade at various car shows around the globe, he eventually wins renown and love from fellow tuner fans who recognize his work and stature in the tuning community. Takuya's partner is a car designer named Erika Hayama who provides interaction, advice, and encouragement as the two forge ahead in their car modification travels. Along with the tuning simulation, a decent racing game is also included which features all manner of racers including chickens and standard street pilots who motor their mobiles across metropolitan throughways.
«©NCSX» Heart Aino returns to the fighting fold with her "girlfriend" Saki Tsuzura in tow to battle it out against other femme fatales. The original cast is joined by new girls including a gun-toting ginger named Petra Johanna Lagerkvist, a winged demonic nun named Clarice di Lanza, and a cat-eared moppet named Nazuna Inuwaka who rides on top of a snarling white wolf.
Suggoi! Arcana Heart 2 features a total of 20 playable characters, nine of which are new to the fighting fold. The Arcanas in the game now number 20 to bolster the duo combinations that are possible. Three new elements have also been added to the fighting engine including the "Arcana Blast" which uses up 1 power unit and gives the fighter a few seconds of invincibility and "Critical Heart" which is a powerful Super Attack which docks three units from the Super Gauge. Mei-Fang's Critical Heart move puts her in the pilot's chair of a mech which then pounds out the hurt. The Playstation 2 upgrade of Arcana Heart 2 also includes a bonus Gallery which contains illustrations and artwork featuring the cast of characters.
Early preorders will include a bonus Arcana Heart 2 Drama CD that is being given away in 50% ratio. The Drama CD features the voice actresses from the game in an original dramatic episode related to the Arcana Heart story.
«©NCSX» Powerful and somewhat preternatural generals return to the battlefields of Warring States Japan once again in a new offshoot of the Sengoku Basara franchise from Capcom. Where earlier games in the Sengoku Basara series featured large battlefields brimming with seemingly endless enemy hordes, Battle Heroes is a more intimate affair. The battlefields are still expansive but the amount of enemy soldiers that appear at any one time have been pared down drastically to only a handful. For example, in the battles that we fought this morning, the most enemies that appeared at a time was four. The lower head count allows for more thoughtful sword slashing and use of technique rather than the wholesale butchering found in earlier Basara games. The end of each stage is also defended by one or two bosses who are not accompanied by any minions or henchmen which again makes for a more intimate slashing experience.
A total of 30 generals/warlords are featured in the game and players may choose the default Story Mode which follows the adventures of a chosen protagonist or the Mission Mode which features 150 stages where targeted objectives must be met. Every general is paired up with an AI-controlled partner who provides some offensive support during each round. We did notice that the partner tends to hang back so that you get a chance to hack and slash to your heart's content instead of him hogging all the action. The game also features a four-player wireless option (fifth selection on the main menu) for cooperative team bouts. The sixth option on the menu allows players to set the options such as computer AI (five levels between easy and hard), set sound volumes, and adjust the controller configuration.
«©NCSX» A mysterious attack hits Tokyo-3 during a night raid. Oddly, NERV does not scramble Evangelion to the scene. The next day, a new transfer student named Mana Kirishima appears in Shinji's class and fawns upon him heavily. Annoyed by Mana's affections towards Shinji, Asuka's suspicions are raised by the new student's actions and she questions her true intentions...
Gainax originally released Shinseiki Evangelion: Koutetsu no Girlfriend for the Sega Saturn on March 26, 1998 and NCS still has a few cases of the game in stock. It's been a while since we've played the game but we remember the Saturn version used static images, voice acting, and dialogue to move the story along. Although Koutetsu no Girlfriend fits into the interactive gaming genre, it's really more of a story that players watch and participate in the mildest of ways. During the course of the adventure, you'll be able to choose actions from three options: "LOOK," "TALK," and "MOVE." When navigating through NERV headquarters, a layout of each floor that you're on is shown when moving from elevator to corridor to walkways. Beyond the simple button presses here and there, you're not expected to contribute much as the story unfolds. During the adventure, it is learned that Mana is actually one of the three pilots for a new generation of Evangelion-alikes known as TRIDENT.
The PSP conversion of Koutetsu no Girlfriend features an additional scenario, a gallery mode, replay mode, and the ability to skip entire chapters by pressing the "R-Trigger." The PSP version also includes an auto-save function and cleaner visuals than the somewhat muddy Saturn graphics.
«©NCSX» The limited edition of Evangelion Koutetsu no Girlfriend includes two bonus items in addition to the game UMD as follows:
» Rei Ayanami case
» Asuka Langley lanyard
Gainax originally released Shinseiki Evangelion: Koutetsu no Girlfriend for the Sega Saturn on March 26, 1998 and NCS still has a few cases of the game in stock. It's been a while since we've played the game but we remember the Saturn version used static images, voice acting, and dialogue to move the story along. Although Koutetsu no Girlfriend fits into the interactive gaming genre, it's really more of a story that players watch and participate in the mildest of ways. During the course of the adventure, you'll be able to choose actions from three options: "LOOK," "TALK," and "MOVE" which are all you need to navigate through NERV HQ, school, and assorted social situations.
The PSP conversion of Evangelion Koutetsu features an additional scenario, a gallery mode, replay mode, and the ability to skip entire chapters by pressing the "R-Trigger." The PSP version also includes an auto-save function and cleaner visuals than the somewhat muddy Saturn graphics.
«©NCSX» The 2D platformer is dead. Long live the 2D platformer. Marvelous eschews the allure of 3D and does 2D proud with an action game that's packed with lush hand drawn visuals and fast-paced swordplay. A dainty kunoichi heroine dubbed Momohime and a dashing ninja hero named Kisuke star in this 2D side scrolling hack 'n slasher which takes place in olde Japan. Not post-war Japan but way further back when weapons called "Demon Blades" were actually bandied about. Enemy underlings and magnificent end-level bosses such as a club-wielding demon, a giant samurai, and a massive millipede that stretches across multiple screens serve as the opposition.
Upon starting a game, players may choose either Momohime or Kisuke from a simple selection screen that lists their names but not their portraits. We chose Momohime (left selection) because kunoichi are much cooler than ninja. Kunoichi are also more presentable at cocktail parties. At the outset, a simple tutorial teaches players the basic moves where the "A" button attacks and pushing up on the analog thumbstick makes the hero jump. An impressive assortment of moves is available including a rolling slash and a dashing aerial attack where the kunoichi's entire body serves as the weapon. When performing the aerial dash, a total of three sequential attacks may be made before the game engine resets and calls time out. «NCS Game Notes»