Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Pop'n Music - Japanese Import Preorder

©NCSX» The last Pop'n Music game for the Playstation 2 was released two summers ago in 2007. NCS is fairly certain that Pop'n Music 14 Fever was the series' swansong on the PS2 since the console is ancient and software sales have been dwindling for years. It's unclear however if Konami will make the PS3 the console of choice for canonical Bemani releases but until that's sorted out, a new Pop'n Music is headed home. Not for the Xbox 360 nor the PS3 however. This one's exclusively for the Wii where rhythm-loving gamers will wag the Wii Remote and Nunchuk to hit the onscreen cues. The basic gist of Pop'n Music is pastel-colored Beatmania. Cues rain down the screen and a corresponding button must be slapped when each cue reaches the baseline below.

The Wii rendition of Pop'n Music features a little over 40 songs that are included on the game disc but additional songs may be downloaded for a small fee. That's Konami's way of milking the Bemani faithful just a little bit more after the initial sale. An assemblage of familiar characters and a four-player mode dubbed "Score March" allows party people to play the game together. Preorders for the Japanese Wii import Pop'n Music are welcome to ship on Aug 6, 2009 at JPY5524 or US$59.90 from NCS.

Kororinpa 2: Anthony to Kiniro Himawari - Import Preorder

©NCSX» One of the earliest games we recall that featured the control of a rolling ball was Marble Madness from Atari. The MM coin-op featured a trackball controller which had to be spun like the dickens to maneuver the onscreen marble through grid-laced levels. Over the years, ball-control games have been consistent sellers including Super Monkey Ball for the Gamecube and GooBall on the Mac. When the original release of Kororinpa reached the Wii back in 2006, we were in familiar gaming territory with the novelty of a new control scheme via the Wii Remote.

Hudson has started preorders for a sequel to Kororinpa which features the same Remote control to move the protagonist marble but the Wii Balance Board may also be used instead of the Remote. The Balance Board is likely to add an extra measure of difficulty to the game since it's not as incrementally precise as the remote. Kororinpa 2 features over 200 stages which gradually ramp up in difficulty as earlier levels are conquered. If that isn't enough, a level editor is also included so players can create their own stages and share them with others via WiiConnect24. Preorders for the Japanese Wii import Kororinpa 2 are welcome to ship on August 6, 2009 at JPY4800 or US$50.90 from NCS.

Nihon Yakyu Kikou Batting Revolution - Import Preorder

©NCSX» Professional pitchers train for years to perfect their throws to the plate with a dizzying array of fastballs, sliders, and curveballs. Amateur batters would be hard pressed to hit an experienced pitcher's full repertoire. They need training and honing in order to swing wood and connect with a ball that can move at over 90mph or break at a precipitous angle just before it reaches the plate. To help hapless batters out there, Alpha Unit has announced Batting Revolution which allows gamers to swing a Wii Remote like a bat and hope to connect with blazing balls. Modes include "Home Run Derby" for up to four players and a "Competition Mode" which tracks the best hitters. Preorders for Wii Batting Revolution are welcome to ship on Aug 6, 2009 at JPY4800 or US$50.90.

Terminator Salvation Fuel Cell Lighter - Domestic Preorder

From the Distributor
In post-apocalyptic 2018, Skynet prepares its army of Terminator's to destroy mankind. At the heart of each Terminator is a Nuclear Fuel Cell embedded in its chest. This lighter is a replica of the Terminator's Nuclear Fuel Cell, and also a fully functioning lighter! Made from chrome-plated, die-cast metal, each lighter measures 3 1/2" in overall length and is presented in a metal Terminator Salvation collector's box.

NCS Preorder Offer
Preorders are welcome to ship in August 2009 at US$19.90 from NCS. If this lighter ever makes it to Japan, we expect it to be priced at JPY5000 or approximately US$53 according to this morning yen/dollar conversion rate. Why you ask? Just because everything's more expensive in Japan and the savings of the citizenry must be exhausted somehow.

Resident Evil: Outbreak Mints -Domestic Preorder

From the Distributor
Fight zombie breath with the Resident Evil: Outbreak Mints! Each tin, shaped like the Umbrella Corporation logo from the Resident Evil: Outbreak video game, is filled with 0.6 ounces of mints that will keep zombie breath at bay. Available only in the United States, Canada, and U.S. Territories.

Dextrose, Magnesium Stearate, Natural and Artificial Peppermint

NCS Preorder Offer
Preorders are welcome to ship in August 2009 at US$45.90 per complete display case of 18 mints as shown in the product photo. We're not sure why there's a mix of "natural" and "artificial" peppermint in the ingredients list but we'll give the mints a taste test when they arrive.

Jabba the Hutt Supreme Edition Costume - Preorder

From the Distributor
Become one of the richest gangsters of a Galaxy Far, Far Away with the Jabba the Hutt Supreme Edition Costume! This full-body costume will transform you into the famous Hutt with a body piece (complete with tail), headpiece, and a battery-operated fan to keep you cool.

NCS Preorder Offer
Preorders are welcome to ship in September 2009 at US$70.90 per Jabba costume. The manufacturer doesn't state what the costume is made of but we're assuming highly flammable plastic. It's also unclear where the built-in fan will located. NCS will probably hire someone to wear the Jabba outfit and a sandwich board whenever the Playstation 4 is announced so we can get some local pre-sales.

Domo-Kun Jumbo Plush - Domestic Preorder

From the Distributor
Domo-kun, Japan's favorite monster mascot, is now available is the largest, most huggable Domo plush ever. With his extra huggable size and signature nubby plush fabric, this is one Domo that you won't be sorry to have around!

NCS Preorder Offer
Preorders are welcome to ship in September 2009 at US$70.90 per Domo. The jumbo Domo-kun measures 42cm or roughly 16.50" in height and appears to be somewhat misshapen based on the manufacturer's product photo. NCS sold a bunch of perfectly shaped Domo-kun plushes from Japan a few years ago in three different sizes. That was a time when the brown beast wasn't as global as he is now but those toys were priced at about thrice what the domestic Domo toys will be retailing for.

Fatal Frame 1, 2, and 3 - Restock

«©NCSX» The USA releases of Fatal Frame II and Fatal Frame III for the Playstation 2 have been restocked and new orders are welcome.

» Fatal Frame II Crimson Butterfly
Price: US$43.90

» Fatal Frame III The Tormented
Price: US$49

The games are the "black label" releases and not "Greatest Hits" variants. NCS will also restock the first Fatal Frame game by tomorrow or Friday at the price of US$49. New orders placed before 5PM EST will ship today. Please note the cover image for FFII shown to the left is a stock photo. The rating is "M" on the cover.