Friday, March 23, 2007

Crayon Shin-Chan DS

The crudely drawn Shinnosuke Nohara (Shin-Chan) is an irascible kindergartner who leers at adult women, raises a ruckus, and generally causes trouble wherever he goes. Join him in an action-adventure game that mixes platform action sequences with simple stylus scribbling puzzles. The early batch of puzzles are intuitive but later scenarios prove to require a bit more trial and error to figure out. One example of an early puzzle is when Shin-Chan has to figure out a way to stop the traffic so Matsuzaka can drive her pink car through. A traffic light at the top of the screen shows green for the traffic at the intersection but red for Matsuzaka. To make the traffic stop, tap the crayon icon on the touch screen and then scribble crimson crayon color over the traffic light to switch it to red. «more»

Front Mission 1st

Return to Huffman Island in an remake of the original Front Mission which was released on the Super Famicom in 1995. Played on isometric grids, various mecha from the Canyon Crow attack squad are arrayed against opposing armies in tactical theaters. In addition to battling enemy mechs, players also purchase weapon and armor upgrades to enhance Wanzers to higher levels of performance. New features include the addition of the character Glen from the Front Mission 5 game and stylus based movement and attack sequences. Fans of the Front Mission series may recall that a Playstation version of the game was released in 2003 and the NDS version includes the cinemas and extra levels from the PS edition. The menus, stats, and mech upgrade text are entirely in English. «more»

Musou Orochi

A purple vortex in the sky is the last thing the heroes of Sangoku Musou and Sengoku Musou witness before being transported into an epic battle royale. A scaly lord named Orochi has split the fabric of time and space which accidentally brings the heroes together and ultimately lays the foundation that seals its doom. Before that happens however, players choose a team from four clans that are selectable at the outset of the game and clash through military campaigns where entire armies are slaughtered.
Musou Orochi represents the first time that warriors from both of Koei's popular Musou series have clashed and collaborated. The commingling of Japanese and Chinese generals + heroes makes for interesting scenarios and sets up toothsome "What If" scenarios.
Two main game modes are featured: STORY MODE and FREE MODE. The latter allows players to select stages while the former gives players control of three heroes and their armies. Once the game starts, players maneuver a hero that rushes into war against other armies with the ultimate goal of defeating Orochi. To switch from hero to hero, tap the L1 or L2 triggers and the swaps are performed on the fly in fluid fashion. The action runs fast and the enemy forces are fairly aggressive in their attacks. «more»

Puyo Puyo! 15th Anniversary

The color-matching antics of the Puyo Puyo games have entertained gamers around the world since 1991 when it was released on the MSX2. Since that first game, Puyo Puyo became pervasive and invaded pretty much every handheld and console with its simplicity, charm, and playability. Sega celebrates the 15th Anniversary of Puyo² on the Playstation Portable with a game that looks like normal Puyo Puyo but there's enough characters, wrinkles and variations to make it a worthwhile investment. For one, there's the water Puyo variant where the familiar blobs with eyes bob up and down in a body of water. Since Puyos are buoyant, they float near the surface of the water and color matches must be made at the top of the screen instead of the bottom per standard Puyo convention. The game features a total of 23 characters but only 16 are playable at the outset - the others require unlocking before their portraits pop up on the roster.

For those who are new to the Puyo phenomenon, a tutorial mode is available to get you up to speed. The gist of the game is quite simple however - Colored jellies fall from the top of the screen in 2-segment configurations and your job is to arrange like-colored Puyos in contiguous groups of at least four blobs. Every four-figure combination disappears from the screen with a crisp jingle and the occasional intonation from the combo-creating characters. The key to winning Puyo Puyo challenges is the creation of chain-combinations where a proper color match triggers an avalanche of Puyo matching action. «more»

Puzzle Series Vol. 1: Sudoku

Sudoku is a popular diversion in Japan where loyal fans consume thousands of published puzzles each year. The craze has spread onto the various gaming platforms and it was only a matter of time before Sudoku invaded the Wii. Success collects 600 Sudoku exercises of varying difficulty and adds Wiimote shaking functionality for a twist on playing the game.

For the uninitiated, Sudoku is a game of numbers where the digits 1 through 9 are placed in a 9x9 play board. That sounds simple enough but the rules dictate that each number can only appear once in any one row or column. Furthermore, the 9x9 board is broken up into nine distinct 3x3 areas that can only hold the numbers 1 through 9 in its squares and no number may be repeated in each 3x3 area.

Sudoku for the Wii is played with one hand on the Wiimote. That's it. The "A" and "B" buttons are used along with the motion of the remote to move around the play board and fill the numbers inside the spaces. Solo players may enjoy the game at their own leisurely pace but two players may engage in time trials to determine who's the fastest Sudoku solver.