Friday, January 19, 2007

Kaitou Wario the 7

After watching a purple-caped magician perform a twirling costume change on television, Wario gets another brilliant idea and creates a mega-mighty helmet of transformation. When he triggers it, the helmet inexplicably sends Wario into the world of television where the portly miscreant challenges the TV magician across various levels of action-packed platform action.

Wario by himself is an imposing force of nature but even he has limitations. That's where his new helmet comes in handy which gives Wario the ability to transform into different personas. Early in the game, the "spaceman" incarnation is usable where the player draws a circle to change Wario into a raygun wielding hero. «NCS Game Notes»

Tenohira Zettai Onkan Training

As evidenced by mishaps on the American Idol television program, there's a serious problem when it comes to tone deaf participants with possible delusions of grandeur. While Success' Tenihira Zettai Onkan Training software won't banish the delusions, it may improve the ability of aspiring singers to recognize relative pitch. Targeted at children but useful for adults as well, Tenohira Zettai serves up training exercises on chords, musical scales, and recognizing chord progressions. In an early exercise, three keyboards are shown on screen and a chord is played. The player has to listen carefully and tap on the keyboard (with highlighted keys) that played the chord. In addition to the music training, a series of simple mini-games are included to test your rhythm skills and hand-eye coordination.

.hack//G.U. Vol. 3

The conclusive chapter of the .hack//G.U. story comes to an end and all most loose ends are tied up and resolved. Haseo aka "The Terror of Death" is the protagonist once again with a new look and the ability to transform into a powerful Xth incarnation as depicted on the cover of the game. Haseo's Xth form carries a pair of gun-scythes which allow for shooting and slashing action within the same weapon. It's basically the Dual Gunner class Haseo uses in general. Familiar faces from the earlier games in the series return to provide foil and a few surprising revelations. From the first volume to the third, a total of 22 party members have aided Haseo's quest.

At the outset of the game, Haseo's dressed in a spiky black outfit that makes him look demonic. When passing through a crowd, an "x" cursor appears over NPCs to indicate that they may be interacted with. Similar to the earlier .hack//G.U. games, pressing the SQUARE button in the overworld switches Haseo from walking on foot to riding atop his motorbike. The screen goes black for a second and he's high on his hog. Haseo can ram the bike against enemies or bank to stop with a curve. When passing fellow travelers on the road, the bike seems to scare them. «NCS Game Notes»

Dragon Shadow Spell

Sometime in the near future, ancient ruins are discovered in Tokyo. Despite taking place in a modern city, there are magic users afoot known as "Variants" who utilize a magic known as "Matrix." Enter a 17 year-old Variant-in-training named Kaito Amane who was orphaned when he was a child. He would have lost his life too if it weren't for a creature named Suihi who saved him and his sister from certain death. Since he was young, Kaito has been raised by his sister Tatsuki Amane who is 22 years old.

As the story begins, Kaito meets a comrade named Shizui who gifts him with a weapon known as a Matrix Gear which is what Variants use in battle. Soon afterwards, Kaito and Shizui are exploring the ancient ruins and find a wounded person on the floor. Two demons appear and subsequently attack. Despite the odds, Kaito uses the Matrix Gear to defeat the demons but four enemy reinforcements arrive. Things are looking bleak but Kaito is emboldened when Tatsuki and a fellow Variant named Raika Kiriyama appear to help beat the demons away.
Played in standard strategy-rpg fashion, DSS plays like many othersimilar games where movement, attacks, magic use, and item use are entirely controlled through a simple menu system. «NCS Game Notes»

Meitantei Evangelion Premium Box

Acceding to consumer demand, Broccoli and Gainax release a new Evangelion game which puts Shinji in the role of a detective. Players take on the role of Shinji Ikari who uses interrogation skills and a lackluster posture to ferret out the identity of a killer that's loose on the streets of Tokyo-3. By chaining together clues and hints culled from acquaintances and citizens, the unlikely sleuth pieces together a puzzling mystery.

At the outset of the game, Shinji emerges from an outdoor stall while sirens blare in the distance. Wandering over to investigate, he chances upon Rei Ayanami who's being held in the grips of a menacing tentacle-waving teenager. Horrified at first, Shinji musters up to courage to help his friend out. To free Rei, beat down on the attacker with punches and kicks to release an exhausted Rei from its grip. The game is mostly interactive where Shinji picks locations to visit and talks to friends and associates. The occasional action sequences and mini-games load up to break up the tedium of flick-screen game play.

To recreate the world of Evangelion on the PS2, the original voice actors from the animation series were hired to give each character speech.

The Premium Box edition of Meitantei Evangelion includes a limited edition wristwatch and an artwork booklet packaged in a largish box.

Shining Force EXA (Ikusa)

From the Publisher The world of Shining Force EXA has long been steeped in devastating wars and oppression. Two bitter nations wage constant war upon each other by summoning armies of beasts and demons. Now, decades later, neither side has gained any perceivable advantage over the other, while the world and its people lay ravaged and devastated by the ceaseless fighting. Players take the role of two characters in Shining Force EXA; Toma, a warrior who holds the power to wield the Shining Force, is destined to unite the divided world in which he lives; and Cyrille, a powerful sorceress who fights to create a better future for her homeland. Together Toma and Cyrille embark on a quest to bring peace and order back to their war-ravaged world.
Shining Force EXA debuts an innovative Fortress System by which players manage the growth, layout, and defense of the Geo Fortress, the player's home base. As players leave the Geo Fortress to go on missions and quests, they are kept abreast of events at the fortress. If at anytime the Geo Fortress is attacked during the quest, players must switch between parties and use members from the defensive force that were left to protect the fortress from invasion. The Geo Fortress can evolve during the game to match players' personal style and tactics.

Talkman Shiki: Shabe Lingual Eikaiwa

The latest Talkman software for the PSP teaches Japanese citizens the ways and means of conversational English. As usual, the flighty bird known as MAX serves as the guide and intermediary for the language learning. The developers recommend regular practice of at least 15 minutes per day to get the nuances, rhythm, and meter of spoken English.

In the repetition exercise, Max may utter a question such as "Are you traveling for business or pleasure?" or "What would you like to drink?" in his pleasant sounding voice. Along with the spoken words, an English text bubble appears on screen. Underneath the English phrase is a Japanese translation in katakana. Your job is to listen, read the translation of the phrase in Japanese, and then repeat the English phrase as closely as possible. The mic will pick up your intonation and then Max will rank you accordingly with a letter grade.
When Max addresses the user, his text bubble is highlighted with a blue color. When the user's prompts and speaking selections pop up, they appear in red text bubbles to differentiate them. Note however that Max will speak both sides of the conversation so that players can listen to the proper use of English. If you repeat a phrase perfectly, Max will give you an "A" grade which he lifts up on a little sign card. When you speak, a little voice volume meter shows up on the upper right corner of the screen which blinks red and green to show the mic is picking up your speech properly.

Initial D: Street Stage [Best] - In Stock

Sega engineers a portable version of their popular Initial D racing game for the PSP which mimics its big hardware brethren in both visual gloss and speedy action. Whereas the PS2 version of Initial D (Special Stage) was based on the version 2 of the arcade game, PSP owners get one better with version 3. Players roll through the usual courses from the coin-op original such as Myogi (Beginner), Usui (Normal), Akagi (Hard), Akina (Hard), Iroha Slope (Expert), Happogahara (Expert), Shomaru Pass (Expert), and Tsuchisaka Pass (Expert). In the Myogi stage, players get to race three competitors in succession - Iggy and Kenji of the Akina Speed Stars and Shingo of the Myougi Night Kids. After enduring their trash talking, feed them dust by smoking them with expert handling. The next three rivals and the Usui course offers more of a challenge but they're relatively breezy compared to the Hard and Expert courses that await.

A card system is used in Street Stage where a racer wins a card after certain conditions or targets are fulfilled during the course of the game. A card may be a battle card, a rival card, or a tuning card - the former two offer hints on driving and profiles of the racers in the game. A tuning card allows a rocket racer to kick up the specs of his vehicle to boost performance and handling. New to the PSP version of the game are additional Euro-beat music tracks and wireless link-up where 2 players may compete against each other in ad-hoc mode.