Thursday, July 31, 2008

NDS Doki Doki Majo Shinpan 2 DUO - New Import, In Stock

In the original Dokidoki Majo Shinpan! game from last year, a lad named Akuji Nishimura was recruited by an angel to ferret out a witch who had hidden herself in the population of Seirei Takagamine Junior High School. Sounds easy right? Just look for the pointy hat, the snaggle-tooth, and the oily boils on her face.

Alas, it wasn't that easy and Akuji had to touch, fondle, and inspect a number of girls to find a "witch's mark" to verify the witch's identity. One interesting dynamic we noticed in the original game was the way breasts behaved when touched with the NDS stylus. In the world of Dokidoki Majo Shinpan, merely touching a girl's bosom would send the twins wobbling as if they had been juggled and jostled by a mysterious force. The game sold well (big surprise) and the sequel lands today.

Doki Doki Majo Shinpan 2 DUO LE - New Import, In Stock

The limited edition of Doki Doki Majo Shinpan 2 DUO includes the following bonus items:

» Doki Doki Majo Shinpan 2 Special CD
Seirei Takagamine Junior High School Student Guidebook
» Cell phone strap which is tethered to miniature figures of Kuro and Lulu
» Two fixed-pose figures of Koron (school outfit) and Akari (cheerleader)
» Kureha heat-sensitive trading card (swimsuit underneath)

All preorders will ship today and new orders are welcome.

Rhythm Tengoku Gold - New Import, In Stock

The original Rhythm (Heaven) Tengoku game for the Gameboy Advance sold over 300,000 copies. We recall having to restock the game many times until there was no more to be had from Japan. Fast forward two years and Nintendo releases a sequel which features more simple rhythm games with singular objectives.

In the original Rhythm Tengoku, the mini-rhythm-games were trifling in scope but challenging in practice. To register hits, the button tapping had to be very precise. Any lag was generally registered as a miss as aptly demonstrated in the introductory beat meter exercise. Rhythm Tengoku Gold features another collection of simple yet challenging mini-games that require exacting stylus tapping and swishing. «NCS Game Notes»

Steal Princess: Touzoku Oujo - New Import, In Stock

When Satan steals a boatload of treasure, someone's gotta steal it right back from the big galoot. Enter Anis, the "Steal Princess" who's brunette, not-really-royal, and light-fingered. Anise has a dominatrix-pirate vibe about her since she wields a whip and wears an eyepatch.

At the outset of the adventure, Satan's castle is shown with a purple glow emanating from it. Inside, Anis is at work, moving towards the treasure room with jumping action, a bomb, and stealth. A big boulder however forces her onto an underground river which washes her away. Although she didn't steal any treasure, she did gain a pixie companion by the name of Kukuri who appears over her like a purplish orb. Other interlopers into Satan's lair weren't so lucky. «NCS Game Notes»

Ginga Ojousama Densetsu Collection - New, Restock Mon

Better known as Galaxy Fraulein Yuna stateside, Ginga Ojousama Densetsu was a big deal in the 90s but the franchise has since faded from the mainstream. Unlike the everlasting phenomenon known as Evangelion, Yuna is an example of a once popular property that was pervasive at one time but its endurance petered out eventually. Hudson won't have any of that however. They don't care that Yuna is a fading memory. They're going to gather together three Ginga Ojousama Densetsu games from the PC-Engine, stamp them onto a single UMD, and sell it for the budget price of JPY2800. The games included in the collection are:

» Ginga Ojousama Densetsu Yuna (original release: Oct 23, 1992)
» Ginga Ojousama Densetsu Yuna II (original release: Jun 20, 1995)
» Ginga Fukei Densetsu: Sapphire (original release: Nov 24, 1995)

The first two games are interactive adventures which feature Yuna and her coterie of allies and friends. NCS is most interested in the third game, Sapphire, however since it's one of the best vertical shooters from the days of the PC-Engine. If you can find it in Japan, Sapphire can command a price of US$500 per copy but we're guessing that lofty price will take a hit this week now that Sapphire is widely available on the PSP. Each of the three games is a direct PC-Engine port with no enhancements and a special Yuna illustrations gallery is also included on the UMD for fans of colorful artwork and sketches.

Phantasy Star Portable - New Import, Restock Monday

Phantasy Star Universe fans get to live/relive the galaxy-spanning adventure on the portable confines of the PSP this summer. Based on information from Sega and Alfa System, the game touts the following notable features:

» New single-player Story Mode and four-player ad-hoc cooperative mode
» Over 1500 items, weapons, shields, and armor to find and use
» Network data import from the PS2 and PC versions of the game - please note that you must have a Japanese PlaySEGA ID to utilize this feature.
» New mission downloads will be released periodically

Upon starting a new game, you'll create a character by choosing a Human, a Newman, a Cast (robot), or a Beast. Once your race is selected, move the cursor down to choose the sex. The option below that is for customizing your character's skin tone, face, eye color, eyebrows, ears, hairstyle, clothing, and other distinguishing features. The next option allows you to name the character and select a job class from Hunter or Ranger Force. The fifth and final option allows you to start the adventure.

Note that the game is in Japanese and is not multi-language. However, if you've played Phantasy Star Universe, the same basic menu structure is used in PS Portable.
The actual game itself is also very familiar if you've invested time in the PC or Xbox 360 versions of Phantasy Star Universe.

Tengai Makyou Collection (PC Engine Best)- New, In Stock

Return to the wilds of Jipang with Hudson's Tengai Makyou PSP compilation which gathers together four PC-Engine CD2, Super-CD, and Arcade Card games from the legendary Japanese RPG series as follows:

» Tengai Makyou: Ziria (Original release: June 30, 1989)
» Tengai Makyou II: Manji Maru (Original release: March 26, 1992)
» Tengai Makyou: Fuun Kabukiden (Original release: July 10, 1993)
» Tengai Makyou: Kabuki Itouryodan (Original release: February 24, 1995)

The first three titles are RPGs but the fourth title, Kabuki Itouryodan, is a 2D fighting game of no particular consequence. We played it when it was first released over 10 years ago and we weren't impressed. While the game wasn't horrible, it wasn't very good or memorable either. In addition to the four Tengai Makyo games, a bonus illustrations gallery featuring the main cast of characters is also viewable on the UMD.

Since the compilation features the original PC-Engine versions of Tengai Makyou and not remakes, there's no new development cost on behalf of Hudson so they're pricing the collection properly at JPY2800 or US$30.90 from NCS.

Zero: Tsukihami no Kamen - New Import, Restock Monday

Tecmo's Zero (Fatal Frame) franchise returns with a new adventure that takes place on the spooky and misty island of Rougetsu. On that island sits an equally spooky mansion which has its own multi-table dining room and a museum dedicated to Kunihiko Aso who invented the Camera Obscura. A few years ago, five girls were brought to the island against their will but a detective named Choushiro Kirishima tracked them down and brought them all home. In the years since the ordeal, two of the girls died of mysterious circumstances. Years later, the three remaining survivors return to Rougetsu island to determine what exactly happened and come to terms with their traumatic ordeal.

The Camera Obscura remains the weapon of choice in the new Zero game which is controlled by the Wii Remote. The nunchuk is used to maneuver the heroines in the game as they explore dank areas haunted by vengeful spooks. Early in the game, players will learn how to perform a quick swivel move by swishing the Wii Remote in a jerky motion. To look up and down, the remote is tilted in the direction you wish to view for an intuitive control scheme that allows for fluid movements, sightings, and ghost busting with the Camera Obscura. «NCS Game Notes & Spoilers»

Greatest Nine '98 for Sega Saturn - Clearance

A somewhat enjoyable baseball action game from Sega that's known as World Series Baseball in the USA. This is the 1998 season version with Japanese teams. We have a laughable quantity of this game in stock. Laughable because there's so many copies in storage that we can probably build a little comedy stage with the plastic jewel cases. The discs can be used as coasters or glittering frisbees that catch the sun.

Sale Offer: NCS' remaining inventory of Greatest Nine '98 is new, factory sealed, and in mint condition. Price: US$8.90 per copy which includes "free shipping" within the United States by USPS Media Mail Service. If you wish to order 5 copies, we'll drop the price to $5 each with free shipping.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Static Arts: Kingdom Hearts 2 Sora - Import Preorder

Sora swings a Keyblade in Square Enix's upcoming Static Arts: Kingdom Hearts 2 toy figure which features the spiky-haired hero of the KH2 game from 2005.

Sora stands on an ornate pedestal and seemingly twirls in place with kinetic energy. A good artist can make an inanimate object appear as if it's full of movement when it's really not. The sculpture measures 31cm or 12.20" in height and preorders are welcome to ship in late October 2008. Pricing is set at JPY9400 or US$108.90 from NCS.

Lineage II Human Mage 1/8 Scale Figure - Import Preorder

Mages in old adventure games were generally male, wrinkled, and looked a lot like Gandalf from the Hobbit. An old school mage also wore robes and carried around a wooden staff that was as old and gnarly as he was. It wasn't a pretty sight.

NCsoft wouldn't have any of that when developing the Lineage MMORPG. Their mages would be young. Supple. Half nude. With sandy blonde hair. Good Smile Company has opened up preorders for the second figure in their Lineage II toy line and collectors are treated to the vision of a Human Mage who works her magic with a "metal" staff and apparel that we can only describe as medieval beach wear. The figure is set to 1/8 scale and measures 22cm or 8.66" tall and the sculpture is by
Nakao Yoshimasa. Preorders are welcome to ship in late November 2008 at JPY6800 or US$68.90 from NCS.

Nendroid Shakugan no Shana - Import Preorder

Shana of Shakugan no Shana fame isn't human. She's really a Flame Haze that's been embodied into the frame of a teenager who goes to class, interacts with classmates, and looks very much like an average schoolgirl. An average schoolgirl who carries a sword and finally gets inducted into Good Smile Company's popular Nendroid line-up of toys. Preorders ship in late November 2008 at JPY3500 or US$35.90.

General Updates

NDS KORG DS-10 Update
Another shipment of the KORG DS-10 Synthesizer will arrive tomorrow and we'll be able to process and ship 95% of our backorders on Thursday. Any remaining backorders and new orders will ship within a few days when our third batch arrives. As mentioned last week, we had to stagger our import shipments in batches due to the exclusivity of the title in Japan.

The KORG DS-10 software is entirely in English. There's not even a lil' bit of Japanese anywhere to be found.
Doki Doki Majo Shinpan 2 DUO Deluxe Box
Surplus stock of the limited edition of Doki Doki Majo Shinpan 2 DUO will be available tomorrow and new preorders are welcome. All reservations will ship on Thursday.
The limited edition of the game includes a number of goodies such as a special CD, a student guidebook, and angel/devil mascots. Photos of the bonuses in the bundle will be posted in tomorrow's website update.
GA-KO Alarm Clock
All preorders for the Metal Gear Solid 4 GA-KO Alarm Clock will ship tomorrow. The production was limited to only 2000 units from Konami but we'll be able to fill all of our reservations. We're all pre-sold out but if additional stock is made available to NCS next week, we'll update our websites accordingly.
Rhythm Tengoku Gold
Our vendors in Japan who aren't jaded by the business already and still play games are telling us that Nintendo's Rhythm Tengoku Gold is a work of genius. We're not sure if they're just trying to sell more product to us or if Ninty's latest really is a masterwork. We'll get to check it out tomorrow morning and we'll post our own impressions.

Crossed Swords for Neo-Geo CD - Clearance

Travel upon a medieval landscape and attack opposing knights and end level bosses in full-frontal action. The perspective is behind your on-screen protagonist and the player gets to attack, defend and use magic to progress to the end game.

Sale Offer:
NCS' remaining inventory of Crossed Swords is new, factory sealed, and in mint condition. Price: US$16.90 per copy which includes "free shipping" within the United States by USPS Media Mail Service.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Thunderforce VI - Japan Import Preorder

It's been 11 years since the last Thunderforce game was released on a home console. That was July of 1997 when Technosoft debuted Thunderforce V: Perfect System on the venerable Sega Saturn. Adjunct: When NCS first got a hold of Thunderforce II on the Sega Megadrive some 20 years ago, we thought the voices were horrible but the gameplay was lovely. We even enjoyed the overhead shooting levels.

Sega takes over production of the latest Thunderforce game and the screenshots released thus far are stunners. They remind us of the visual purity that was Gradius V. The first level of the game takes place in a ruined space colony that's guarded by a fire-breathing Gargoyle while the second level takes players planet-side onto a fiery world covered by an ocean of lava. The third stage plunges gamers into a blue world where the attack begins in the sky but the fracas eventually descends into the ocean.

Preorders are welcome to ship on October 30, 2008 at JPY5800 or US$58.90 from NCS.

Princess Maker 5 - Import Preorder

A newly orphaned young girl has been rescued by the Man-Animal known as Cube but he's not very good with children. Instead of looking after the tyke himself, Cube requests your help to raise the girl from lil' orphan to a strapping young woman who's ready to conquer the world...

Princess Maker 5 was originally released on the Japanese PC last year and for the PS2 earlier this year. Taking place in modern day Japan, the little girl has access to contrivances such as television, cell phones, and the internet which may affect her pathway to adulthood. Similar to previous PM games, players interact with their adopted daughter and give her guidance as well as instruction so she grows up a certain way. Outside influences include friends that she meets at school and the aforementioned internet. A total of 102 different characters that populate the game world will provide the little Princess with advice, encouragement, and other feedback which all contribute to her growth.

New to Princess Maker 5 is the ability to play as a matronly mother or a doting father. It's not all work however since leisure time comes in the form of vacations which include a scuba diving sojourn, a visit to hot springs, a ski trip, and even a safari adventure. Depending on the girl's upbringing, she can become a gravure idol, wrestler, a musician, model, soldier, nurse, fortune teller, blushing bride, and many others for a total of 50 possible endings. In addition to the regular edition of the game, NCS is also accepting preorders for a limited edition which is bundled with an art book.

Relakuma Hokori Frying Pan - Import Preorder

In Japan, it's not uncommon for manufacturers to license a character and then produce mountains of merchandise that have nothing to do with said character. Nada. Over the weekend, System Service opened up preorders for a wide array of Relakuma products including bath mats, pillows, straps, and more which bore the image of the friendly bear. It was like the "Mother of All Relakuma Products" had dawned upon Japan.

By the time we glared at the fifth Relakuma product, our eyes were glassy but then the Relakuma Frying Pan popped up on the solicitation list. A nonstick frying pan in the shape of Relakuma's head. We had to have it.

The Relakuma Hokori Frying Pan (with handle) measures 25cm or 9.84" in length but the actual cooking pan measures only 8.89cm or 3.5" in diameter. That's good enough to cook an egg, some vegetables, and even small pancakes - which is one of Relakuma's favorite foods. The long handle is conducive to the cooking procedure commonly known as "flipping" so you'll be able to flip eggs and flapjacks with ease. Preorders are welcome to ship in late November 2008 at US$20 from NCS.

Yattaman Doronjo Collection Figure - Import Preorder

The yellow-haired maiden named Doronjo is the active leader of the Dorombo Gang. She works under the auspices of the mysterious Dokurobe who gives her orders from behind the scenes. There's only two other members in the gang - Boyakki, who's a lanky and goofy henchman with a wispy mustache and Tonzura, a brutish ogre of a man who follows Doronjo's lead.

We've received roughly a hundred Yattaman product offerings thus far this year but we've dodged most of them. Japanese manufacturer System Service however recently presented a compelling Yattaman product which features Doronjo in two different sculptures that we allowed through our filter. Each fixed-posed figure measures 17cm or 6.69" in length and preorders are welcome to ship in late November 2008 at US$20.90 each.

General Updates

USB Power Cable for Wii Balance Board [Jan Code: 4580275160518]
Japanese manufacturer Linx has started preorders for a special USB cable for the Wii Balance Board which eliminates the need for batteries. Simply connect the cable to the Balance Board and the other end to the Wii console and you're golden. Preorders ship on October at US$16 each.
Dreamcast Dux Delayed
The new ship date for DC DUX is August 2008 but if it's pushed back once again, we'll update accordingly. Preorders are still welcome.
Persona 4 Konamistyle
NCS expects our Konamistyle shipment of Persona 4 in the next few days. Due to the special arrangements required to import the game bundle, we had the game shipped to a residential address in Japan and then forwarded the parcel to our location in New York City.

[Hg] Hydrium for Playstation Portable - Clearance

From the publisher:

Maneuver colorful orbs of liquid mercury by tilting them through 3-D mazes and moving them in a particular direction around infinite obstacles. It seems simple, but you must take advantage of the orbs while they're still in a viscous state and try not to spill too much of the liquid. With 72 levels, you can also experience this game in two-player mode with PSP's Wi-Fi capability while fighting against time limits and traps that increase with each challenge.

Region Compatibility
PSP games are region-free and may be played on any version/variant of the original and slim Playstation Portable hardware.

Sale Offer
NCS' remaining inventory of [Hg] Hydrium is new, factory sealed, and in mint condition. Price: US$18.90 per copy which includes "free shipping" within the United States by USPS Media Mail Service.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Bomberman [ボンバーマン] - Import Preorder

Every year or thereabouts, Hudson can be relied upon to wheel Bomberman out for another bombing foray. This year's model ships on September 25 and it's a Wii exclusive. The major game modes are:

Story Mode - Bomberman finds himself in an interplanetary drama where his help is needed to restore peace to the galaxy. Bomberman traipses around lush isometric mazes and bombs enemies. All in the name of peace.

Battle Mode - Up to 8 participants may engage in classic Bomberman action where an expansive maze provides the backdrop for the bombing tactics. Players may choose a Bomberman as their onscreen action hero or select a Mii to do their dirty work. Each maze measures 17 x 11 and different themes such as the Bowling Stage and the Pitstop Stage make for interesting sights to see.

For players who are a little rusty after years of Bomberman inaction, a Tutorial Mode teaches the basics of bombing. Preorders are welcome to ship on September 25, 2008 at JPY4800 or US$48.90 from NCS.

Suzumiya Haruhi no Gekidou - Import Preorder

When we watched a preview of Suzumiya Haruhi no Gekidou a couple of weeks ago, we immediately thought of Idolmaster. Conjure up images of dancing girls backed up by ear-piercing J-Pop and you have the general idea behind both games. In the case of the incoming Suzumiya title, it's three girls on impromptu stages with choreographed moves that's strangely mesmerizing. Once you begin watching, you can't take your eyes off the theatrics. Sort of like watching a car accident or a drunken bum fight in the middle of some metropolitan nowhere.

The dancers are Yuki Nagato, Suzumiya Haruhi, and Mikuru Asahina and their moves are basically syncopated together with Suzumiya serving as the superstar. That makes Yuki and Mikuru the backup dancers who follow the leader. To succeed in the game, players watch the cue bar on the bottom of the screen and wave the Wii Remote at the right time to control Haruhi so she dances in time to the music.

A Free Mode in the game allows gamers to choose the music, the high school background where the girls dance, and the costumes that they wear.
Preorders are welcome to ship on November 27, 2008 at JPY6800 or US$63.90 from NCS. A limited edition which includes a posable Haruhi figure in her school uniform (which sort of looks like a FIGMA figure) is also available for preorder at JPY8800 or US$98.

Batman Kubrick and Bearbrick - Import Preorder

Even though the upcoming Batman Kubrick toy makes the Gotham City crusader appear constipated, we're going to keep a set for our Kubrick collection. Batman measures 7cm or 2.75" in stature and is decked out in the new battle armor from the recent Dark Knight movie.

According to a short scene in the film, the new armor allows Batman to turn his head which makes it easier when "backing out of the driveway." Along with the Batman Kubrick, Medicom also includes a translucent blue Bearbrick figure which features a golden bat silhouette across its chest. Sort of like a Bear Wonder sidekick of sorts. Preorders are welcome to ship in mid-late January 2009 at JPY3000 or US$30.90 from NCS.

Joker Kubrick and Bearbrick - Import Preorder

Whereas the Batman is straight-laced and numbingly sober, the Joker is loosey-goosey. If he were candy, he'd be two packs of Twizzler. Jokey doesn't need libations to get the party started and you can always count on the former Arkham inmate to sport a big red smile. Medicom's upcoming Joker Kubrick measures 7cm or 2.75" in height and is dressed in a green vest that's covered by a purple trench coat. Thick eye shadow gives his face the raccoon look that Goth girls strive for while bright green hair provides a vibrant contrast to Joker's pallid complexion.

The Joker Kubrick figure is accompanied by a ghastly Bearbrick with a bloody smile and a body that's charred in select spots. The words, "Why So Serious" are etched across its chest in jagged red letters. In the
Dark Knight movie, the Joker recounts a story from his childhood where his father says those words to him before performing minor surgery. Preorders are welcome to ship in mid-late January 2009 at JPY3000 or US$30.90

Iron Man Cosbaby - Import Preorder

In the Iron Man movie from earlier this year, viewers got to see Tony Stark work on his mechanical reactor-powered prototype as well as the final version of the Iron Man suit. Hot Toys of Hong Kong has announced a Cosbaby production of the Iron Man suits and their maker Tony Stark. Six different figures are featured in the set along with a secret seventh toy as follows:

» Iron Man Mark I
» Iron Man Mark II
» Iron Man Mark III » Tony Stark Prisoner
» Tony Stark Mark I » Tony Stark Mark III

The figures measure 7cm tall and feature 9 points of articulation for posing purposes. Preorders ship in October 2008 at JPY12000 per factory box of 12 or US$105 from NCS.

Japanese Import Outlook - Arrivals on Wed-Thurs


Dokidoki Majo Shinpan! 2


Dokidoki Majo Shinpan! 2 DUO Limited Edition


Rhythm Tengoku Gold


Steal Princess


Windy x Windom Success
PS2 Drastic Killer Bandai

Drastic Killer Excellent Box


Secret Game: Killer Queen Yeti
PS3 Soul Calibur IV Namco

Soul Calibur IV Stick


PSP Ginga Ojousama Densetsu Collection Hudson

Phantasy Star Portable Sega

Phantasy Star Portable Accessory Set


Tengai Makyou Collection - PC Engine Collection Hudson

Tengai Makyou: Dai Yon no Mokushiroku - Best Hudson

Soul Calibur IV


Soul Calibur IV Stick


Wii Dokapon Kingdom for Wii Sting

Wii de Tokoton Kanji Nou

IE Instit.

Zero: Gesshoku no Kamen Nintendo

USA Release Outlook - Arrivals on Mon-Tues

NDS Air Traffic Chaos [Delayed to Aug 12] Majesco
PS2 MLB Power Pros 2008 2K Sports

Summer Athletics

PS3 Soul Calibur IV Namco
Wii King of Clubs Crave

MLB Power Pros 2008 2K Sports

Summer Athletics

X360 Soul Calibur IV Namco

Spectral Force 3 Atlus

Summer Athletics