Friday, December 08, 2006

DS Dengeki Bunko Inukami! feat. Animation

Rotate the NDS counterclockwise by 90 degrees and watch, read, and listen to the three non-interactive stories collected in the Inukami! Digital Sound Novel by Mamizu Arisawa. You're relegated to the role of a passive viewer but you can fetter out 70 special TIPS cards after reading special sentences during the tale telling. When certain cards are found, the reader may engage in mini-games, a card battle, or answer questions in quiz format. The first story consists of 242 pages which you flip through by tapping on the PLAY arrow on the touch screen. Each story features at least 50 backgrounds, 30 illustrations, 20 BGM, and 10 characters from the Inukami! series. The voice actors from the animated series also provide the screeching intonations of the characters in each story. «NCS Game Notes»

Mahjong Kakutou Club DS

Konami couples the clacking sound effects of a normal mahjong game with melodic music for somewhat soothing gaming experience. Upon starting the game, three opponents' mahjong tiles appear in rows on the top NDS screen while the player's 13 tiles are located on the touch screen. The aim of the game is to create sets of suits from circle, bamboo, character, and wind tiles. Dragon and Flower tiles are also thrown into the mix for strategic consideration.
Players may enjoy the game with CPU-controlled opponents but the dimension and depth of the game expands markedly when the Wifi option is triggered to hook up with MJ players online. Up to four players in the local area may also link up with 1 cartridge for multi-player action. «NCS Game Notes»

Otogi Juushi Akazukin

Travel to the land of Fandavale and take on the persona of a Fairy Musketeer who treks through loopy loop grooves that shuffle with the swish of a stylus tap. There's three Musketeers to choose from - a girl in a Viking helmet who holds a jeweled shamrock named Akazukin (translates to Red Riding Hood), a blue-haired girl with glasses named Princess Shirayuki-hime, and a pink-haired girl that's literally a sleeping beauty known as Ibara-hime. The game starts off with a novel-like introduction before the first stage appears. Eight tiles with grooves etched upon them appear on a 9 x 9 playfield. Tap on a tile and push it to the side to move it while your heroine mindlessly walks around. The goal is to use the tiles to guide the gal to target areas before exiting the level. «NCS Game Notes»

Power Pro Kun Pocket 9

The boys of summer won't let winter deter their fighting spirit when the ninth Power Pro Kun Pocket ships to market today. Mixing standard big-head baseball action with a new Story Mode (three episodes), one of which features a brown-cloaked hero/mentor and five highly entertaining mini-games, PPKP9 includes a little bit of something for everyone. We do mean everyone because there's even an automatic baseball simulation mode which plays the game for players who don't even like playing baseball. Just sit back and watch each game blow by in brisk, fast-forward fashion.
When playing the game, outfielders will automatically rush towards fly balls and infielders gravitate to line drives. «NCS Game Notes»

Momotaro Dentetsu 16

The island of Hokkaido serves as the backdrop for the sixteenth stride in the beloved Momotaro Dentetsu game. Summers in Hokkaido are something of a misnomer since temperatures generally don't go above 75° F but winters are aptly named because subfreezing temperatures dominate.

To reflect the reality of Hokkaido, the storyline in Momotaro Dentetsu focuses on bitter cold. A powerful blast of freezing air hits Hokkaido and settles in for a long winter's nap. It's so cold that planes, trains, and automobiles are incapacitated and commerce is suspended. Such a condition can't last lest Hokkaido's economy suffer immeasurably. A world renowned geologist looks at the situation and comes up with a brilliant idea. Let's move the entire island of Hokkaido further to the south so that the island can thaw out...

Similar to previous Momotaro Dentetsu games, the protagonist takes control of a train and competes against adversaries to trek across Hokkaido. Along the way, gain capital, buy up properties, and create monopolies in order to build up a business empire. Eight new monsters join the bestiary to provide angst for budding entrepreneurs. «NCS G-Notes»

Taiko no Tatsujin Doka!

The seventh Taiko no Tatsujin game for the Playstation 2 is another crowd pleaser with an engaging Battle Mode where up to eight players may participate. For solo drum masters, the Story Mode allows a gamer to travel around Waku Waku Bouken Land which is broken up into little areas. Land on each spot and and tackle the Taiko no Tatsujin games within. Four new mini-games are included with our favorite being the challenging Santa Taiko game where a Taiko drum travels over a city dropping presents to sleeping children below.

The game features 42 songs at the outset of the game but an additional 6 tracks may be unlocked as certain conditions are met. The music ranges the genres of J-pop, children's songs, folk music, and familiar anime tracks from Futari wa Puricure and Naruto. The Namco original song, "Bouken Hiyori" is hot and all of the classical music remixes are great including "Beethoven's Turkish March" which is a lively and animated interpretation that plays fast and pounds it out with a driving beat in the background. Other notable songs include "Re:member" of Naruto fame, "Mahou o kakete" which is an Idolm@ster song, "Pecori Love Lesson," "Real Voice," and "Next Level." They're all gems and we're nabbing the soundtrack whenever it reaches market. «NCS Game Notes»

Parappa the Rapper + Bonus

Playstation gamers were first introduced to Rodney Greenblat's illustrations of Parappa characters a decade ago. There was the lead mongrel named Parappa who spoke in a strange manner and spit lines like, "I Gotta Believe!" and the apple of his eye, Sunny Funny. Parappa's love for Sunny Funny is perhaps the first recorded attraction between canine and flower that didn't involve the process of urination.

Other cast members included Parappa's friend Katy Kat, the sloth-like PJ Berri, and the indomitable kung-fu stylings of Chop Chop Onion Master. Parappa was an early rhythm game where players tapped buttons in the sequence and meter of the cues on screen. Perform well and Parappa raps with a smooth staccato and is congratulated with "U rappin' Good" which makes the player feel warm and fuzzy inside. However, if you're off your game and botch the button tapping motions, Parappa won't bust rhymes and receive a soul crushing "U rappin' Bad." That's "Bad" in the bad sense of the word.

The PSP version of Parappa is a direct conversion of the Playstation original with the same story, the same rhythm challenge, the same episodes, and the same characters. What is new is the 16:9 aspect ratio and the ad hoc multi-player mode where up to four rappers may participate in the game.

Piposaru Racer

When the peak-point helmet wearing monkeys of the original Ape Escape first appeared in 1999, the market went... ape.... for the game. Catching roaming simians with a Dual Shock buzzing net was big fun back in the day. Fast forward seven years later and the apes have appeared in enjoyable sequels, academic episodes, and now they try a little racing. All we need now is an Ape Escape role playing game followed by a tactical strategy simulation.

Since the apes are so special and handy, they don't need cars to race. Just strap tires to their arms and legs, hook an engine up, and they're rarin' to go. Crash helmets are already in place. To capture the fascination with drifting, the apes are fully capable of sliding across the track on their racing frames to corner curves and tackle steep hairpin turns. They'll also spin out from time to time however. When accelerating, decelerating, and drifting, the ape racer shifts its body into elongated or deformed modes. While muscling for rank on the road, the apes may also resort to weaponry, ordnance, and gimmickry to derail competitors for a little while and take advantage of the temporary blow-out of a fellow racer.

Courses cut through city roads, jungles, a road surrounded by lava, and other attractive locales for colorful backdrops to speed across. Piposaru Racer supports up to 6 players in the ad hoc opposition mode.

Additional Imports In Stock

«©NCSX» The following items also arrived this morning and all preorders will ship today. We'll flesh out the product synopses over the course of the day. Early preorders for the Blue Dragon game will include a bonus Blue Dragon mousepad and a sheet of decals so that you can make your own "Blue Dragon faceplate." Please note that Blue Dragon is region-coded and only boots on Japanese Xbox 360 consoles.
PSP GPS Receiver Sony US$60
X360 Blue Dragon Microsoft Game Studios US$65
X360 Zegapain NOT Bandai US$65