Monday, May 12, 2008

Dragon Quest V: Bride of the Sky - Preorder

Enix originally released Dragon Quest V for the Super Famicom in 1992 and followed up with a Playstation 2 remake in 2003 which was priced at a healthy JPY7800. Fast forward five years and Square Enix re-releases the game again on the Nintendo DS.

Dragon Quest V tells the story of the royal Papas family across the span of three generations. The NDS conversion is based on the PS2 remake and features a 3D game world, more monsters to recruit into your party, and the possibility to travel with four party members instead of three. Preorders are welcome to ship on July 17, 2008.

Metal Slug 7 - Preorder

Most games released this year won't see a sequel. The same thing happened last year and the year before that. The marketplace is fickle and it won't suffer fools more than once. With the hit rate so low year after year, it's always heartwarming when a game reaches its seventh stride with no signs of letting up.

Meet Metal Slug 7 which is the latest release in a series that originally debuted in 1996. Six army grunts are featured in the game including Slug stalwarts such as Marco, Fio, and Eri. Similar to the previous MS releases, the soldiers run from left to right across seven horizontally scrolling battlefield stages and shoot, jump, and lob bombs at enemy forces. The end of each level is blocked by a boss which is generally challenging. In the NDS game, the top screen shows the platform action while the touch screen features a map of the stage.

The Metal Slug formula has worked for over a decade and MS7 follows the template to a tee. A combat instructor named Cynthia works in the Combat School where various missions teach the basics of the game. A Ranking Mode allows the best players to upload their scores and pit their records against a global pool of Metal Slug players. Preorders are welcome to ship on July 17, 2008.

NGOC: Samurai Spirits Rokuban Shoubu - Preorder

SNK has compiled nearly all of their fighting games onto Neo Geo Online Collections over the past few years including King of Fighters, Fatal Fury, and even World Heroes Perfect. Love for Samurai Spirits was lacking. Until now. A collection of six Samurai Spirits titles mastered on a single DVD will ship this summer at the price of JPY4800. The games are:

Samurai Spirits
» Shin Samurai Spirits:
Haohmaru Jigokuhen
» Samurai Spirits:
Zankuro Musouken
Samurai Spirits: Amakusa Kourin
» Samurai Spirits Zero
» Samurai Spirits: Tenkaichi Kenkakuden

Succinctly, that's Samurai Shodown 1-6. Features include 2-play online bouts, original and newly arranged BGM, character color editing, a practice mode, and the ability to check out special moves at any time by pausing the game. Early preorders will ship with a bonus Samurai Spirits Towel in 50% ratio. Reservations are welcome to ship on July 24, 2008.

Siren: New Translation - Preorder

NCS didn't think the original Siren game needed an encore but Sony disagrees. They're remaking the game for the Playstation 3 with highly polished visuals, Dual Shock 3 support, and the same storyline that shook PS2 gamers when Siren first shipped in 2003. In case anyone wants to check the game out, the Japanese Playstation Network has a playable demo available for download. It's fairly short but somewhat enjoyable and relatively import-friendly. One complaint that we have concerns the dark environments that you'll wander around in. They were also dark in the original PS2 version and we get that the designers wanted to instill an overwhelming sense of dread. However, it's so dark that you can barely see anything. Early preorders will include a bonus "Original Siren Handbook" in 30% ratio and reservations are welcome to ship on July 24.

Gundam Battle Universe - Preorder

Bandai has released three Gundam Battle games on the PSP thus far and their fourth title Gundam Battle Universe continues the tradition of fast-paced 3D action. Players control mobile suits on the side of the Earth Federation or the Zeon and venture into missions where swords are swung and beam weapons are fired to complete various objectives. In addition to search and destroy missions, there are also escort mission and protection missions as well where a base or ship is guarded from attack. The original Gundam Battle Tactics is still our favorite game in the series with its perfect control and varied missions but we're always open to trying more PSP Gundam action which may surpass the seminal release.

Players of Gundam Battle Chronicle may transfer data over to Gundam Battle Universe and the wireless mode allows for multiple players to engage in campaigns. A full write-up and game notes will be posted once the game arrives and we're able to give it our full attention. Preorders are welcome to ship on July 17, 2008 at JPY4800 or US$48.90 from NCS.

Phantasy Star Portable - Preorder

Phantasy Star fans will get to live/relive the adventure on the portable confines of the PSP this summer. Based on information from the preorder solicitation from Sega and Alfa System, the following details have been divulged thus far:

» 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
» New mission downloads will be released periodically

Preorders are welcome to ship on July 31, 2008. NCS is also accepting preorders for a Phantasy Star Portable Accessory Pack which includes a clear PSP protective case, a pair of Phantasy Star headphones, and two UMD storage cases. Pricing for the Phantasy Star game is set at JPY4800 or US$48.90 from NCS and the Accessory Pack is JPY2800 or US$28.90.

USA Release Outlook - Arrivals on Tues-Thurs

NDS The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian Disney

Drone Tactics Atlus

Myst Empire
PS2 The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian Disney
PS3 The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian Disney
Wii Castle of Shikigami III Aksys

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian Disney

Deca Sports Hudson

We Ski Bandai
X360 The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian Disney

Japanese Import Outlook - Arrivals on Wed-Thurs

NDS Luminous Arc 2: Will Marvelous

Mahjong Navi DS NCS

Nanatsuiro Drops Touch de Hajimaru Hatsukoi MWorks

Nanatsuiro Drops Touch de Hajimaru Hatsukoi LE MWorks
PSP Bleach: Heat the Soul 5 Sony

Ikuze! Gen-San: Yuuyake Daiku Monogatari Irem

Raycrisis - Clearance

The third and final Rayforce game features more of the same vertical shooting action as the previous entries in the series. Take to the skies and dominate both land and air with your airship in this 3-D shooter from April 2000. Power-ups and lock-on capability allow for multiple enemies to be tracked and destroyed efficiently. PocketStation owners may enjoy a mini-game titled "Pocket Ray" which features lock-on firing action.

Sale Offering
NCS' remaining inventory of
Raycrisis is new, factory sealed, and in mint condition. Pricing is set at US$22.90 per copy which includes free shipping by USPS Media Mail within the U.S. View Larger Photos.