Monday, July 02, 2007

Transformers Limited Edition Necklace

Japanese manufacturer Beagle has started preorders for a pair of limited edition necklaces to celebrate the live action Transformers movie which bows across the USA this week. Two designs are on offer: A Destron Army Necklace (left side of photo) and a Cybertron Army Necklace (right side of photo) which depict the recognizable symbols of both robot camps. Each necklace is limited to only 50 units each and pricing is set at JPY18,000 (US$185). Preorders are welcome to ship in mid-late August 2007.

Transformers Limited Edition Ring

When a student graduates from high school, she might purchase a class ring to commemorate the occasion. After a Transformers fanatic watches the new Transformers live-action movie, he might get so excited that he'll shell out nearly US$200 for a Transformers Ring. Depending on personal allegiance, buyers may purchase a Destron Army Ring or a Cybertron Army Ring in three available sizes. Each ring is limited to only 50 units each and preorders are welcome to ship in mid-late August 2007.

Transformers G-Shock Wristwatch LE

Casio's G-Shock watches are pretty tough and durable. Sort of like the popular Transformers robots that morph into vehicles. Japanese manufacturer and licensee Beagle mixes the G-Shock with Transformers and comes up with two watches featuring Convoy of the Cybertrons and Megatron of the Destrons. Each wristwatch is limited to only 1000 units each and pricing is set at JPY15000 or US$155 from NCS. Preorders are welcome to ship in mid-late September 2007.

Transformers Limited Edition Messenger Bag

You don't have to be a messenger to appreciate the reversible Transformers Messenger Bag from Beagle. Big and roomy with a handy flap to keep its contents of flying out, the Transformers Bag would be desirable for shoppers, campers, and maybe even survivalists. A shoulder strap allows the bag to be slung to one's side and two latches on the flap close with a snap. Since the bag is reversible, stencil artwork of either Destron or Cybertron symbols is etched onto the front of both sides of the flap. Note that only 100 pieces are being produced. Pricing is set at JPY18000 or US$185 from NCS. Preorders are welcome to ship in mid-late August 2007.

Transformers Limited Edition Sunglasses

Summer is the perfect season for shades and plastic vanilla varieties will set you back about $5.39 at any sidewalk vendor. However, if you're looking for something unique - perhaps glasses with Transformers logos stenciled onto the temples, you're in luck. Limited Edition sunglasses featuring tastefully small Destron or Cybertron symbols are on the way and each style is limited to only 100 units. Preorders are welcome to ship in mid-late August 2007 at JPY12000 or US$125 each.

King of Fighters XI [SNK Best]

Invitations in white envelopes sealed with a crimson imprint are sent out once again, calling upon the world's mightiest fighters to join the eleventh King of Fighters tournament. Familiar faces such as KOF stalwarts Kyo Kusanagi and Iori Yagami are joined by nine fighters such as Mai Shiranui, Tung Fu Rue, and Magaki that are new to the PS2 version of KOF XI. PS2 exclusive game modes include Endless Mode and Challenge Mode which features 40 mini fighting games. A Gallery Mode brims with full-color artwork and sketches while gamers in search of a challenge may hook up with other fighters in the Network Match Mode. Two new systems are introduced in KOF XI - the first is the Judgment System which decides the winner not by the amount of HP remaining but by the quality of your attacks and combinations. The second new system is the use of Skill Stocks which deplete when evasive moves are pulled off.
Upon starting the game, 33 fighters are shown in the character selection screen which are grouped in four batches of six along with a batch of nine in the middle of the screen. After selecting three fighters and designating team leader and order of battle, a match starts. Movement may be directed with either the D-pad or L-analog stick.

Metal Slug [SNK Best]

Ten years ago, an unknown contender to the Contra franchise was released on the Neo Geo and surpassed its source of inspiration. That's right, surpassed by leaps and bounds with crisp visuals, tight control, and a little vehicle known as a Metal Slug. Over the past decade, SNK rode the franchise to five canonical releases on the MVS and Neo Geo hardware. Then there were the various conversions on the Gameboy Advance, the Playstation, Saturn, and Xbox.

To mark the tenth anniversary of Metal Slug, SNK calls up four grunts named Eri, Fio, Tarma, and Marco and sends them into a 3D war zone for the first time in the game's history. As the story goes, in the year 2030, an invading army is on the march and it's up to heroic soldiers to take on the entire enemy force with guns, moxie, and fleet footed moves. Every soldier has a primary weapon in the form of a gun and a secondary weapon which may be a bomb, a rock, or other ordnance. The camera takes in the action from a behind-the-soldier view as he/she charges into battle. When attacking, it's possible center the targeting cursor on a soldier and run 'n gun around him while avoiding gunfire.

Rurouni Kenshin [The Best]

The red-haired assassin Himura Kenshin is joined by former Shinsengumi member Saito Hajime and brawler Sagara Sanosuke in a 3D hack 'n slasher. The background of the storyline hews close to the Kyoto episode arc (ep28 to 62) in the animated television series. In the transition from the Bakumatsu Period in Japan's history to the Meiji Era, samurai were a dying breed and foreign trade was opened up with the West. The Meiji government set out to kill a malcontent named Shishio Makato who had aspirations of toppling the government and positioning himself in the seat of power. During the assassination attempt, Shishio was shot and burned but miraculously survived. Bandaged from head to toe like a mummy, Shishio conspires with ten warriors known as the Ten Swords or Juppongatana to set his plan of conquest in motion. To counter the threat, Himura, Saito, and Sagara trek out to put an end to Shishio's goals of kingship.
At the outset of the action, players may choose any of the three swordsmen and go through their individual stories. The game is played in fast-paced hack 'n slash action with standard slicing strokes that are coupled with special attacks which light up the screen.

Tales of the Abyss [The Best]

Lead heroes Luke fone Fabre and Tear Grants are joined by a supporting cast in a story which ties together ancient prophecies, factions, and the possible re-release of a wafting terror. The battle system is dubbed the Flexible-Range Linear Motion Battle System where the fighters are able to attack and then wander around the battlefield after blows and magic strikes. The environments in Abyss are interactive - trees may be felled to create bridges to cross bodies of water and rocks may be destroyed to gain passage to other parts of the game world.

Mini games in Abyss include kitchen detail where dishes ordered by customers are shuffled out by pressing the proper buttons, a card game, and other games of chance held inside a casino. For retro gamers who still occasionally boot up Namco Museum Vol. 5 for some Dragon Buster love, there's a remake of the game in Tales of the Abyss with updated graphics and Luke as the wandering platform action hero.

Please note "The Best" re-release of Tales of the Abyss is the same game as the original that shipped in December 2005. The only difference is "The Best" packaging and the lower price.

Valkyrie Profile Silmeria [UHits]

Centuries prior to the events of Valkyrie Profile Lenneth, the youngest Valkyrie incarnation named Silmeria clashed with Odin and was sent into the body of a princess named Alicia. With two souls and two distinct personalities occupying a single body, the town folk thought Alicia suffered from madness and delirium. Rejected by society at large and unable to control herself, the princess of Dipan is condemned by the king and banished into exile. Alicia eventually escapes her imprisonment but with no home and little prospects, Alicia resolves to return to her kingdom with the aid of a powerful inner ally...
In the early part of the game, Alicia is traveling along a country road towards a town called Solde. When she enters the town, she speaks with her own voice but Alicia shares her thoughts with those of Silmeria. She's able to control her inner duality for the most part but there's an instance in the early going where she's conflicted and onlookers stare at her with soulless eyes.
Please note "The Ultimate Hits" re-release of
Valkyrie Profile Silmeria is the same game as the original that shipped in 2006 The only difference is "The Ultimate Hits" packaging and the lower price. «more»

Super Robot Wars MX [The Best]

Super Robot Wars MX was originally released on the PS2 last year and NCS was able to bundle a SRW MX Ultimate Giga Disc with early preorders. Sadly, for the PSP port of the game, Banpresto neglected to include any bonuses.
Exciting episodes of tactical strategy battles erupt once again in Banpresto's latest in the SRW series. In the first mission, dubbed "Visitor from far away," a powerful Vegan UFO saucer beast arrives near Earth and the Federation sounds the clarion call for Super Robots to fend off the attack. With the might of the Vegan forces renowned throughout the galaxy, it's a suicide mission... Banpresto spices up the action with crisp animation sequences which show off the attacks in the game as well as mech handler communication flashes to move the storyline along. Robots and characters featured in Super Robot Wars MX include participants from Rahxephon, Evangelion, Nadesico, Gear Fighter Dendoh, Dragonar, Zeorymer, Gundam (assorted), and many more.
Players who thought the original Super Robot Wars MX on PS2 was too easy will find more of the same here since the missions don't appear to have been tweaked for a higher difficulty level.
New to the PSP edition is the ability to save one's progress anywhere in the game, allocation of player points to a selected unit, and a battery economy mode where movies, voices, and background music may be toggled off to conserve the battery.

Animal Fur Wrap - Preorder

You're an animal lover. When you spot a wounded but rabid raccoon, you rescue it without fear for your own safety. The neighbors call you the "Mother Theresa of the Woods" because of your compassion towards animals. When your Significant Other pleads for a mink stole, you feel a little part of yourself die because a beautiful rodent must be sacrificed. It doesn't have to be that way. Taito competes against the fur industry with a trio of synthetic 110cm fur foxes that are almost as good as a mink stole. Wrap the luxurious fox around SO's neck and bellow out loudly, "Hey honey, that looks like a dead animal carcass GREAT on you!"

Japanese Import Outlook

NDS Dokidoki Majo Shinpan leads import preorders for the week.
NDS Chibi-Robo DS Nintendo

Dokidoki Majo Shinpan SNK

Puchi Puchi Virus Keys
PS3 Boku no Natsuyasumi 3 Sony
PSP Jeanne D'Arc - Best Sony

USA Release Outlook

PS3 Ninja Gaiden Sigma leads export preorders for the week followed by X360 Vampire Rain.
NDS Deal or No Deal DSI Games

Platinum Sudoku Ubisoft

Vegas Casino Bold Games
PS3 Ninja Gaiden Sigma Tecmo
X36 Vampire Rain AQ Inter.