Archive for January, 2011

Persona 2: Innocent Sin Update
January 28, 2011

While we anxiously await an announcement from Atlus of a U.S. localization of Persona 2: Innocent Sin for the Sony PSP (not that we’re not grateful for everything they have done for fans of the series so far!) feel free to jump on over to Siliconera and feast on the latest screens from the game showcasing it’s  battle interface and new character portraits.

We’re all jazzed about this already but seeing the presentation here has ramped my enthusiasm up to a whole new level. Everything looks amazing, from the character sprites to the new character models. The battle system looks far better than I had expected and I’m really looking forward to seeing how the demon negotiations play out as I haven’t had the chance to test drive the PSP remake of the original Persona and don’t know how the emotion meter plays in to the negotiations yet.

And if the screens weren’t enough to get our attention, check out the cover art for the Japanese release:

(click the box art to enlarge image)

[Images courtesy of Siliconera]

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Kirby Returns for the Wii!
January 28, 2011

Nintendo Japan announced today that everyone’s favorite ‘super tough pink puff’ will be making his way to the Nintendo Wii once more, and in a form that will be more recognizable to fans of the classic Kirby games than his last outing might have been. Innovative titles like Kirby’s Epic Yarn (Wii), and Kirby: Canvas Curse (DS) are always more than welcome as far as I’m concerned as they’ve obviously made for very successful games, but I’m also happy to hear that a full-fledged console Kirby title is on its way and that it is a return to the conventional side-scolling style that my wife and I have enjoyed so much over the years.

Here’s what we know about the game so far:

また、星のカービィについては、昨年『毛糸のカービィ』を日本とアメリカで発売しましたが、据置型ゲーム機の吸って吐いて変身 する本編のカービィの新作について、大変長らくお待たせしていました。Wii向けの『星のカービィ』の新作を、ハル研究所のチームで開発しています。これ もムービーをご覧ください。

この『星のカービィ』の最新作についても、今年の発売を予定しています。

Ha, but seriously, thanks to a Japanese friend of mine this basically tells us that we can expect the return of classic Kirby to the Nintendo Wii and that we will see the game’s release (in Japan at least) in 2011. It also encourages us to check out the (tiny) video preview here, as the larger YouTube version looses a little something in the translation.

I’ll definitely be sure to update you with new info, such as the name of the game, once it becomes available. Can’t wait!

[Source: Nintendo Japan]

Your Mission: Download Astroman!
January 27, 2011

I had the good fortune of speaking briefly with Astroman’s game designer Michael Stearn, and musician Jeff Ball after posting my original entry about the Xbox Live Indie Arcade game and it’s free original soundtrack and both creators were extremely gracious, and glad to hear that the game is getting more online attention.

So to that end, I wanted to again take a moment to steer anyone that might be interested in the game to the Xbox Live Marketplace where Astroman can be purchased and downloaded for 240 Microsoft Points ($3.00). The more support they can get for the game early on, obviously the better. A free demo is available for anyone wanting to try the game first.

And yep, I’m still kicking myself that I can’t download the game at the moment (which is what you get for halving the cost of a system) but you can bet that I’m going to get this downloaded as soon as possible so as to put my money where my mouth is. In the meantime, I can definitely spread the word as this is a whole lot of great stuff in this little indie game by every indication.

[Astroman “Lost in Space” art by gsilverfish]

Valkyria Chronicles: Design Archive (Udon)
January 26, 2011

The original Valkyria Chronicles (Sega) was one of the best SRPG’s, let alone games, of this generation (it certainly resides in my own “top-ten”) and from all indications it still has teeth! The ‘little game that could’ was a huge critical success here in the states and did well enough for Sega that they publicly thanked fans for the support in making up for initially disappointing numbers, and promised the follow up to U.S. audiences, which we received last year on the PSP in the form of Valkyria Chronicles 2 (also not to be missed).

Japan was treated to a huge 400-page Valkyria Chronicles artbook featuring hefty amounts of the gorgeous water color-inspired art heavily featured throughout the game, as well as the concept art, and now it appears that Sega and Udon (now there’s another match made in heaven) are bringing that to fans here in the U.S. as well. What’s more, you can get it for nearly half it’s $49.99 retail price if you quickly jump over to Amazon, where they’re offering it at the pre-order price of $28.41.

The Design Archive product description from Udon:

In Valkyria Chronicles, SEGA’s critically acclaimed tactical RPG, Welkin and the members of the 7th Platoon struggle for freedom as the fate of the world hangs in the balance. Valkyria Chronicles: Design Archive takes you behind the scenes, showcasing the gorgeous artwork of this truly epic world. The book features 400 pages of character designs, vehicle and weapon designs, maps and promotional art, all accompanied by detailed background information and creator commentary.

It looks as if the book arrives in February so get this at the discounted price while you can. I’ll definitely try to follow-up with my impressions once my copy arrives!

Proto Man (or “Rockman Bruce”) Kit Now Available!
January 25, 2011

Kotobukiya’s Proto Man (aka “Blues” aka “Rockman Bruce”) kit is now available from AmiAmi and is still surprisingly affordable at 2,170 yen. Though with only 7 left in stock at the site, you might want to jump on the offer fairly quick.

[My order ended up rounding out just over $50 dollars after adding in the shipping charges so keep that added cost in mind.]

Kotobukiya’s initial Rock Man kit blew me away so I’m really looking forward to displaying Proto Man (in my regulated portion of the house) as well!

DOA: Is Samus Far Behind? No, However…
January 24, 2011

Last week Team Ninja teased an image of Samus Aran (& Nemesis Ridley) in their most recent trailer for the upcoming 3DS title Dead or Alive: Dimensions. Needless to say more than a few fans – myself included – wondered if Samus, herself, might be a playable character in the game given Team Ninja’s involvement with Metroid: Other M. Well, according to Team Ninja’s Yosuke Hayashi, Samus will not be a playable character.

However, it’s not all bad news for Metroid fans as according to Hayashi:

So talking about Samus Aran, is she playable or not? This time she’s not playable. But Samus Aran will be shown in the game. She comes to help the player. That’s the collaboration shown there [in the trailer]. But how you can unlock Samus Aran? Please find out by yourself.

This is still something I’m excited to see. I’m already a fan of the DOA series so purchasing the game was a given, but having Samus make an appearance, and even help the player, is indeed icing on the cake…disappointing as it may be that she will not be playable “this time.”

[News courtesy of Nintendo Life]

Earth Seekers (Wii; Japan)
January 21, 2011

Earth Seekers (アースーシーカー) was announced in Japan as a Nintendo Wii title last June, but for one terrible reason or another it never made a blip on my radar and I’m only catching wind of it now. Though after diving into the details, seeing the battle system, and drooling over the concept art, developer Crafts & Meisters definitely has my attention.

Instantly appealing to the Legend of Zelda fan in me, the game looks to be a world I’d love to explore between it’s vibrant landscapes, lush fields, the giant beasts that roam its surface, and the various nooks and crannies we’ll be searching out alongside the game’s protagonist. Why all the exploration? It appears that in response to a threat to Earth’s very existence, refugee ships are charted into space carrying Earth’s inhabitants as well as their history with them, but when these ships crash on a vast alien world it is up to the game’s heroine to gather up the treasures once more .

Described as an action RPG that will appeal to a broad range of players, Earth Seekers is a meaty game with loads to accomplish and even takes advantage of the DSi to help round out the experience.

Or as Andriasang succinctly explains it:

Earth Seeker will have a companion DSi Ware mini game called “Odekake! Earth Seeker.” This app can be used to do such things as produce new items for use in the Wii version, and clean artifacts that you find along your adventure. Further details will be shared shortly.

As for the amount of time players can expect to potentially get from the game:

Funamizu is currently going through a test play session to check the game. He said that he’s managed to play for 60 hours and believes that he hasn’t even reached the half-way point. It looks like there will be plenty of volume in this latest Wii RPG.

Thus far Earth Seekers hasn’t been announced for North American shores, but there is hope for a Western release so assuming I catch wind of that news (particularly now that I’m looking) I’ll definitely be sure to share it. This would mark my first RPG experience for the Wii should it make it here so I’m crossing my fingers that it does. Looks like good fun.

Visit Earth Seekers‘ official JP site here and enjoy the newly released trailer below!

Metroid in DOA: Dimensions, Is Samus far Behind?
January 19, 2011

A long time fan of the Dead or Alive franchise I wouldn’t hesitate to pick up Dead or Alive: Dimensions for the 3DS as is, but it appears that Team Ninja is trying to sweeten the deal even further with the addition of at least one Metroid-themed level, featuring none other than our friend Ridley!

What’s more, there’s even a surprise appearance at the end of the stage for those that patiently wait until the end of the video…

Is it possible that Samus is a playable character?! I hate to speculate, but that’s awful bold of them and I have to think that Team Ninja (who developed Metroid: Other M for Nintendo) would rather not deal with the ramifications of showing as much and not delivering on everyone’s favorite female bounty hunter.

Here’s hoping right? And certainly this level is awesome whatever happens in the end.

The 3DS & Resident Evil: The Mercenaries DS
January 19, 2011

Neither Nintendo nor Capcom (Team Ninja, Hudson, you name it) are making my decision whether or not to purchase the 3DS at launch any easier.

Don’t get me wrong, I’d absolutely love to be the first in line for the system, particularly with the slew of great games planned, but Nintendo has a real dastardly habit of announcing new and improved editions of their hand-held systems mere month(s) after fans have invested in the initial system and first hand experience has made me more than a little weary of making purchases like this day one.

I’m awful excited though, so it’s not a question of “if” I’ll buy the system, but “when” and there are so many announcements I can take before I’ll break.

Anyhow, Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D. Not unlike it’s sibling Resident Evil: Revelations, this is a must buy for me. Here’s a brief description followed by the new trailer:

Featuring Mercenaries missions from Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil 5 now fully realized in stunning 3D, Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D will deliver relentless action with players competing against the clock to defeat as many enemies as possible in a set time. Launching this summer, Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D will include  brand new modes and well known characters. Furthermore, the title will take advantage of the WiFi connectivity of the Nintendo 3DS, allowing players from around the world to join forces in co-op gameplay.

Miles to Go Before Final Fantasy XIII-2
January 19, 2011

I’m actually still playing through FFXIII (where so many fans find 120+ hours to play through these blockbusters seemingly each week is beyond me) and have enjoyed my time with the game so far. I can understand the linear criticism that many have leveled, but I really haven’t felt any negative impact as of yet and have enjoyed learning the battle system, particularly the paradigm shifts and summon assists.

Granted, I’m still getting to know the characters but I do have an early fondness for Lightning, so the news that she will be back in Final Fantasy XIII-2, which Square-Enix broke yesterday, is very welcome indeed. The new “getup” looks great as well! I’m just hoping I’ll have original finished by the game’s “Winter 2011” release here in North America.

A little more from Square-Enix on the announcement:

Production on FINAL FANTASY XIII-2 is underway, and builds upon the best aspects of FINAL FANTASY XIII. In particular, a brand new story and evolved battle system promise to stand out markedly against the standard for high-quality content established by the previous title.

Product overview

Title: FINAL FANTASY XIII-2
Platform: PlayStation®3, Xbox 360
Genre: RPG
Release date: Available Next Winter
MSRP: TBD
Copyright: © SQUARE ENIX CO., LTD. All rights reserved. CHARACTER DESIGN: TETSUYA
Website: http://na.square-enix.com/ffxiii-2

Of course, more news as we learn it.

"Why does mankind defy its fate?"