Thursday, May 31, 2007

New Zealand Story DS

Way back in 1988, a doleful sneaker-wearing kiwi bird named Tiki waddled across platforms in a quest of epic proportions. As the story goes, an evil leopard seal has kidnapped Tiki's kiwi pals as well as his girlfriend Phee Phee. That won't do. By using jumps, arrows, and bird skills, Tiki scales challenging stages, mounts obstacles, and vanquishes a motley assortment of enemies to save his kinsmen. In the NDS version of the game, Tiki can now perform a double jump to grab more air and unleash a power-up attack to smack enemy agents. New to the NDS remake of New Zealand Story is a collection of mini-games which require touch screen tapping and stylus swiping motion. A VS Mode allows up to four players to engage each other in competitive action. «more»

Simple DS Vol.14: The Jidoushakyoushuujo

Obtaining a driver's license in Japan is sort of like getting one in the United States. First, there's a test to check your knowledge of the road and your understanding of the various signage that appears on highways and streets. To help Japanese citizens prepare for the new licensing system that will be implemented next month, D3P releases an NDS software tool that contains 4000 questions that'll test one's road ken. Ten types of vehicle licenses are supported by the software including the necessary training to help a driver get a passenger license for a medium-sized auto or a large-sized auto, a motorcycle license, a tractor trailer, and more. In addition to the testing regimen, users can also learn how to roll by using the rudimentary driving simulator included in the software. «more»

Guilty Gear XX Accent Core

When the Naomi version of the GGXX Accent Core kit was released in December 2006, NCS filled a healthy amount of preorders at US$1850/pop. More orders flowed in afterwards but by that time, our coin-op vendors were already sold out and no stock was forthcoming. Less than six months after hitting Japanese arcades, Arc System shows love to the GGXX elite by releasing a faithful conversion of the game on the humble Playstation 2 for a measly US$49.

Built on the Guilty Gear XX game engine, Accent Core may be considered the latest and greatest tweak/upgrade of the original game. The cast of 23 default characters all have new moves as well as specials and many of them control differently. The engine also features EX moves aka Force Breaks, Throw Breaks, and Parrying which radically modify the way the game played by seasoned GGXX fans. Arc System also throws in new stages, new character and announcer voices, and new character artwork.

Casual gamers may look at the past few GGXX updates as minor in scope but the system updates made in Accent Core are significant and greatly enhance the gameplay experience for the hardcore fan.
Early preorders will include a bonus solar-powered Guilty Gear AC strap.

S2000 Vol. 118: Ochimusya - Dokakubu Samurai

Originally under the employ of Oda Nobunaga where he ascended to the rank of General, Akechi Mitsuhide was an educated warrior who had a falling out with his former liege. Mitsuhide eventually marched against Nobunaga and forced Oda to commit seppuku.

In D3P's latest Simple 2000 game, Tamsoft revisits the story of Mitsuhide where the shiny-pated warrior faces off against hordes of swordsman all by his lonesome. Think of it as D3 Publisher's interpretation of Sangoku Musou... without the Musou. At the outset of the game, Akechi is alone but two objects on the map may be visited and shattered to reveal the bonuses within. Soon afterwards, menacing samurai appear with swords drawn and everyone seems to have a yen for Akechi's blood. Our hero is armed with only a sword in the beginning but he may upgrade to dual blades, a spear, or a club by taking them from defeated enemies. Projectile weapons are also available to use including a rifle with a freakishly elongated barrel and a bow to hit foes lumbering in the distance.

The enemy AI in Ochimusya hearkens back to the later Sangoku Musou games in that the crowd is fairly aggressive and attack in concert whenever Akechi draws near their ranks.
This makes for a challenging game. «more»

Minna no Golf Ba Vol. 1

Hit the links with Sony's Minna no Golf Ba which plays a satisfying game of golf and serves double duty as a digital caddy if you're actually at a golf course in Japan. PSP owners living in Japan armed with the GPS Receiver and a copy of the game can visit one of 31 golf courses in Chiba Prefecture and play real golf with a virtual caddy. Chiba Prefecture was once called "the Golfers' Ginza" because of the surfeit of courses dotting the landscape. The game package includes two UMDs - the first UMD contains recreations of golf courses that are located in southern Chiba while the second UMD hosts courses from northern Chiba. When choosing which course to play on either UMD, a map of Chiba is shown and the location of the golf course is highlighted when you scroll through the different venues to play on.

Old hands to the Minna no Golf franchise will find a friendly game interface manned by affable characters as well as a challenging golf simulation. Select one of four possible virtual golfers (2 guys and 2 girls) to use as your onscreen agent and modify their appearance with different hairstyles, clothing, and accessories such as glasses or bows. Players may also decide to play on a sunny course or a rainy one to mix up the atmospherics. Once the golfer has been created, mosey onto the golf course and swing your way to eagle or maybe just bogey. For players who utilize the virtual caddy GPS function of the software, the distance to a hole may be calculated in real time to determine which club to use.

Biohazard 4 Wii Edition

Leon Kennedy sits in the back seat of a vehicle as it speeds through a forlorn looking road somewhere in Europe. In the front seat, two local policemen banter a bit as they motor towards their destination. Leon has been given an assignment to locate the President's daughter who has been kidnapped. Unsure of what awaits him, Leon carries a gun as well as a communication device to receive intel from a fellow agent named Ingrid Hunnigan. Once Leon reaches the target village, gamers will notice that the police aren't too anxious to investigate with him. That should be the first clue that something is amiss...

The Wii version of Biohazard 4 features nunchuk + Wii remote control which makes for a new interactive experience. Early in the game, Ingrid sends Leon a communiqué which contains a few pages of Wiimote controller functionality to shoot, kick, and otherwise beat back enemies in expeditious fashion. The first house that Leon visits where the guy tending the fire suddenly plays the role of maniacal killer will have you aiming the Wiimote feverishly to blast him away. Occasional Wiimote wagging is also required of the player where the remote must be shaken from side to side to break free of the grip of an enemy or to run from a large boulder ala Indiana Jones in the Raiders of the Lost Ark movie.