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.