Friday, March 30, 2007

Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix+

Square Enix takes the USA version of Kingdom Hearts II and localizes it for the Japanese market. Two DVDs are included as follows:

Disc 1: Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix
The North American version of KHII is retrofitted for the Japanese market. The spoken dialogue in the game is in English with Japanese subtitles. Note that the game menus and unspoken dialogue are entirely in Japanese. Highlights include new event scenes, an updated secret movie, new costumes, new reaction commands to use, and an actual playable battle between Sora and Roxas.

Disc 2: Kingdom Hearts Re: Chain of Memories
Originally released on the Gameboy Advance, Square remakes the game for the Playstation 2 and upgrades it with 3D worlds and Japanese voice acting during cinematic interludes. Take control of Sora and attack, explore, and uses up cards in a lively adventure where Goofy and Donald Duck provide backup muscle. Updated features include the addition of a reaction system, new game cards, and interactive objects such as barrels. «more»

D.Gray-Man: Kami no Shitotachi

The Black Order is a English organization of exorcists who operate under the auspices of the Vatican. Around the turn of the last century, a malcontent known as The Millenium Earl rose to power and set a plan in motion that called for the extermination of humanity. The Earl's fearsome agents of death are known as Akumas which are loosed upon the world to do their master's bidding. To combat the Millenium Earl's minions, the Black Order marshals its forces and marches to war. One member of the Black Order is a silver-haired exorcist named Allen Walker who possesses an evil eye that's capable of seeing the destruction wrought by the Akumas. The exorcists use a substance known as "Innocence" which change into weapons capable of destroying the Akuma... «more»

Puzzle Series Vol. 13: Kanji Puzzle

At first glom, Kanji Puzzle looks like a variation of crossword and in a sense, it is, but the key to solving each puzzle is inference and adept kanji interpretation. The top NDS screen shows the complete play board which measures 8 x 8 squares in area. An aqua-colored outline reticule which measures 4 x 4 is used to move around the board to show the active play area on the touch screen.
The aim of the game is to examine the play board and the kanji characters already arranged therein. Next to the kanji characters are numbers. By using your kanji comprehension skills, replace the numbers with the appropriate kanji characters that link sensibly to the kanji characters already on the board. «more»

Zoids Infinity Fuzors [Best] + Bonus

Originally debuting in 2004 as a System 246 coin-op, Taito's analog-stick controlled fighting game joins the PS2 library courtesy of Tomy. Whereas the arcade originaly featured 29 Zoids to control, the PS2 version includes over 100 mechanical monsters.

Seven modes are playable including a VERSUS mode, HUNTING mode, and STORY mode. In the Story Mode, characters and mechs from Zoids Fuzors appear along with animated cut-scenes where 40 missions are played in succession. Hunting Mode is where players track down Zoids and bag them for the garage. Collecting more Zoids will make new arms and parts available to the player. As one progresses through the game, weapon power ups and parts customization may bolted onto a Zoids mech to enhance its arsenal and performance in battle. In 2-Player mode, the screen is split horizontally where each player views the action from a personal vantage point - just like the arcade original.
The Tomy Best re-issue of Zoids Infinity Fuzors contains the same game as the original release in 2005. The only difference is the variant game cover with the "Tomy Best Collection" imprint. «more»

Zoids Tactics [Best] + Bonus

It's the Empire vs the Republic once again with Zoids battling it out in tactical theaters of conflict. Unlike the action based Zoids games, Zoids Tactics is all about strategy and the movement of units followed by attack options. Similar to the game play found in S-RPGs, players select a unit and a red grid appears around it to show movement range. Choose a space to move onto and then attack a contiguous enemy unit which is then shown in a short animated sequence.

Along with ground-based Zoids, flying Zoids and submariner Zoids are also available for battling across the world. Pilots from the animation source material appear in the game and players go on missions of destruction which require satisfactory completion before heading on to the next assignment. Zoids base models may be upgraded with weapons and assorted parts to enhance performance on the battlefield.

The Tomy Best re-issue of Zoids Tactics contains the same game as the original release in 2005. The only difference is the variant game cover with the "Tomy Best Collection" imprint. «more»

Zoids Struggle [Best] + Bonus

Mechanical beasts shaped like recognizable animals called Zoids clash and battle in fast-paced 3-D fighting action. A little too fast perhaps. There is a learning curve here due to the speed of the game but once that's down pat, Zoids Struggle is fairly enjoyable as a 3-D fighter. Tomy touts the Armor Break system which has been borrowed from Sega's old Fighting Vipers where the armor of a Zoid breaks if blows are heaped upon a certain point. It's an interesting use of a protection system but ultimately moot in Story Mode because of how powerful some Zoids become.
As a Zoids combatant racks up wins, additional weapons may be bolted onto the beast. After a certain point, a Zoid simply becomes too powerful in the firepower department and one-on-one matches stop becoming reasonably balanced and turn into a shooting game where projectile attacks take precedence over close combat. Perhaps Tomy should have staggered out the weapon upgrades somewhat but as it is, superior firepower decides the outcome of every battle, every time. This isn't a problem in Versus matches between two players however and only affects the Story mode of the game which leads gamers through the events and key battles from the Zoids television series . «more»