Friday, July 10, 2009

Dragon Quest IX: Hoshizora no Mamoribito - In Stock

NCS Product Synopsis
«©NCSX» Japanese patrons of gaming shops will be waiting on long lines later today for their chance to purchase a copy of Dragon Quest IX. Despite some misguided fears from distribution agents concerning a potential lack of inventory to go around, there's many thousands of copies available in the distribution channel to meet demand. We checked.

Dragon Quest IX marks the first time that a canonical game in the legendary series has debuted on a portable gaming system. This tells us that the Nintendo DS has reached such a massive user base that it's the only viable platform upon which Square can release a game that will eventually surpass a million units sold. That's no small feat in the current global climate of fear and reckoning. We've been asked to write a spoiler-free synopsis for DQIX today but we might update the shop listing with details and notes over the weekend as we explore the game.

Dragon Quest Slime Speaker Stand - New Import

NCS Product Synopsis
«©NCSX» NCS has known for a few years that Slime are useful and versatile beasts. Hori is also cognizant of this factoid and they've put their knowledge to work by producing a Dragon Quest Slime Speaker Stand for the Nintendo DS. "What exactly is that $#!&," you may mutter under your breath so as to not awaken your roommate. Well, it's exactly what the product title states. It's a DQ Slime Speaker but it's also a Stand which will hold your Nintendo DS upright and aloft like a little desk would.

The NDS speakers are generally of good quality but if you're the type who needs a quirky external speaker shaped like a Slime, then this is for you. The product sales sheet indicates that the Slime is covered with a pliable satiny material that depresses when touched. The stand attachment seems pointless but who are we to question Hori's wisdom? They've been around for decades and will probably outlive us all. Pricing for the Speaker Stand is set at JPY4800 (US$58.90) from NCS and all preorders will ship today. NCS expects restock by next week for new orders.

Smile Slime Bud Earphones - New Import, In Stock

NCS Product Synopsis
«©NCSX» A few years ago, the news was thick with stories of thieves targeting commuters and pedestrians by checking out the earphones they were wearing. Thugs were looking for the distinctive white Apple iPod earphones to determine if their potential victim was carrying an expensive bit of slim-line audio kit.

NCS is certain that iPod theft still occurs in cities across the world since the hardware is small and desirable. A single thief can steal iPods by the dozen without weighing himself down or impairing his mobility. To protect yourself against the criminal fraternity that robs citizens of their iPods, ditch the Apple earphones and grab a pair of Smile Slime Bud Earphones. When a thief spots them, it's likely that he'll conclude that they're toy earphones that are undoubtedly connected to a portable audio player from about 20 years ago. The type that was as big as a tissue box and only played cassette tapes. Said thief will then shuffle along and look for another more worthy victim to assault.

Smile Slime Touch Pen - New Import, In Stock

NCS Product Synopsis
«©NCSX» When the Nintendo DS was first released and became a worldwide phenomenon, accessory manufacturers flooded the market with touch pen replacements. At one point, NCS juggled preorder offers for 20-30 different ones each month. We stocked some but ignored the rest due to well-deserved apathy.

Square Enix is a little late to the touch pen party but they've released two Smile Slime models for the NDS Lite (to the left) and the NDSi (on the right) which appear to be standard stylus styles. However, if you peek at the top of each pen, you'll be greeted with the jolly visage of a Blue or Silver Slime. The stylus is styled sleek so that it pops into the touch pen receptacle on the right side of the Nintendo DS Lite or Nintendo DSi handheld units. Both styles are in stock and shipping to all preorders and new orders today.

Dragon Quest IX DSi Pouch - New Import, In Stock

NCS Product Synopsis
«©NCSX» Dragon Quest IX ships in Japan this week and it's accompanied by an assortment of merchandise that's branded with the DQIX logo. Normally, a third party manufacturer such as Hori would handle something like the DSi Pouch: DQIX but Square Enix is taking over production duties instead of farming it out.

The Dragon Quest IX DSi pouch is colored black and is decorated with a gold-colored silkscreen which depicts two DQ monsters. On the left is a Slime while a big-eared beast appears on the right. The pouch can hold an NDSi handheld and up to three game cards in individual storage pockets. The pouch measures 150 x 100 x 40mm (5.90 x 3.93 x 1.57") in dimension and is made of a cloth material of some sort. We're guessing polyester.

Dragon Quest IX Protect Case DSi - New Import, Restock Soon

NCS Product Synopsis
«©NCSX» When Square Enix proclaimed that Dragon Quest IX would be a Nintendo DS exclusive earlier this year, Hori was one of the first companies to sign a licensing pact which allows them to produce and peddle assorted products based on the DQIX juggernaut.
The first DQIX product is a Nintendo DSi Protect Case which features the likeness of two Slimes on the front. Since the NDSi has a little camera on its lid, the upcoming case features a cutout so that the eye of the camera may peer through. The compatibility chart on Hori's product sheet states that the case is only for the Nintendo DSi and won't be compatible with the original Nintendo DS or the NDS Lite. This will undoubtedly put a crimp on potential sales but NCS expects all future Protect Case accessories from Hori to be NDSi exclusive since that's the current sales wave.

Weekly Famitsu Vol. 1075 - Annual Subscriptions Only

NCS Product Synopsis
©NCSX» The latest issue of Famitsu features coverage on the following games and events in the Japanese marketplace:
» In the "News Head Line" article, Famitsu photographs the three bonus Pokemon figures that are being given away with preorders for the upcoming remakes of Pokemon (Heart)Gold and Pokemon (Soul)Silver.
» Preview for Square's upcoming NDS RPG titled Hikari no 4 Sensi which is part of the Final Fantasy lineage.
» Famitsu reviews PS3 Pro Yakyu Spirits 6 (10/9/9/9), PS2 Pro Yakyu Spirits 6 (9/8/8/8), and NDS
Awatama (7/7/7/7).
» PSP Undead Knights is expected in October and features zombie smashing antics in a 3D action game.
» Coin-op coverage on Haunted Museum and Music GunGun!.
» Famitsu takes a trip to some Game Creator Schools and checks out the up and coming talent who'll be crafting the games of tomorrow.
» The "Pick Up Food" section for this week inspects Pocky-like snacks and other sweet treats that might hit the spot this summer.

System Bag DSi Black - New Import, In Stock

NCS Product Synopsis
«©NCSX» When the original Nintendo DS was released many moons ago, manufacturers in Asia and Japan flooded the market with storage pouches and carrying cases for Ninty's new handheld. There hasn't been the same amount of carrying cases for the Nintendo DSi but that's mainly because standard NDS cases can also be used with the DSi. Don't tell that to Hori however since they're releasing the System Bag DSi Black this week which is designed to store the NDSi, the AC adapter, and up to five game cards in its cozy confines. Upon opening up the System Bag, players will be greeted with a number of form-fitting pockets that'll keep the Nintendo DSi and accessories secure and safe from danger.

The System Bag closes up by way of a wraparound zipper and a little pouch on the outside of the bag allows users to store small items such as coins, candy, and other minute objects of no particular consequence.

Bleach Heat the Soul 5 [The Best] - New Import, In Stock

NCS Product Synopsis
«©NCSX» In Bleach Heat The Soul 4, the primary game mode was "Character Master" where players selected a champion and 2 supporting partners. In Bleach Heat The Soul 5, it's all about the "Tag Master" mode where Shinigami, Humans, Arrancar, and others engage in tag team fighting action that runs fast and fluid.

Players select two characters from a roster of 31 combatants and then go to war against another duo. Similar to previous Bleach HTS games, the action takes place on a 3D battlefield where a versatile camera zooms in and out as the fighters draw close to each other and range far away. When special attacks are triggered, a short cinema takes over which shows the blazing theatrics to bombastic effect. Intuitive controls and a simple evasion system make Bleach HTS5 an easy game to get into without much time investment required.

The other game modes include Time Attack, Free Battle, Soul VS, Survival, and Training for rusty captains who need a little practice. In addition to the aforementioned 31 character roster, two new fighters join the tried and true cast - the fearsome Cirucci Thunderwitch in all of her garter-wearing glory and a pink-haired lad named Zaeruaporo Granz. Either the d-pad or the analog nub may be used for control. We found the d-pad more precise. Pushing up or down makes the fighter run in that direction for evasive maneuvers or tactical positioning. Pushing forward and back on the d-pad moves the fighter likewise.