News: Samurai Spirits ~Tenkaichi Kenkaku Den~

One of the first titles announced by SNK Playmore for the Atomiswave arcade platform is finally going to appear in location test form this saturday, according to this official advertisement.

<Brandon’s note: The game is apparently not being developed by the acclaimed Yuki Enterprise, which reinvigorated the series with SS Zero and Zero Special. The development seems to have been moved back in-house, but this is not confirmed. SNKP USA also has a little poll to see what next-gen system you would like them to develop for, but word is it’s already been skewed.>

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News: The next Ys gets a limited edition

Falcom (and Gpara) unveiled what contents will be avaiable in the (traditionally absurd) limited edition of their upcoming game. Released at the end of this coming June, Ys ~ The Oath in Felghana ~ will be avaiable in a package stuffed with eight audio discs, including everything Falcom ever released concerning the soundtrack of YsIII.

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News: Moe money

Akadot has a translation of a recent article breaking down the “moe market” into cold, hard numbers. “The market for publications, visual media and games capitalizing on the emotion of “moe” – the lovable personalities of characters in anime – has risen to 88,800,000,000 yen (about $88,800,000) in 2003, according to the Hamagin Comprehensive Research Center (based in Yokohama prefecture).” Other such notable observations include: “…There are an increasing number males remaining unmarried past 30 – a demographic group comprising a dominant force in the moe market – which can lead one to believe that perhaps there is a desire for a partner that surpasses the human realm.” Can you imagine the business meetings centered on profitable levels of moe?

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News: Shikigami no Shiro ~Nanayozuki Gensoukyoku~ advertisement

nanayozuki_01.bmp While the official website‘s countdown didn’t reveal anything substantial at the end, Alfa System has opened an online advertisement with some tiny screenshots and bits of information. Nothing especially relevant, though, besides that the game will combine classic adventure parts with shooting sections, and will explain the scenario 6 months after Shikigami 2.

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News: Freeware/indie releases’ roundup

A bunch of interesting freeware and indie games have been released in the last few days. Credits go to the IndieGamer forums, TIGS and Vector for reporting them.

Wild West Wendy is a saloon owner simulation, complete with its western ambiance, bar fights, numerous beer servings, cattle catastrophes and risky ranch alliances. There’s a demo avaiable, and the full game costs about 20 bucks. For Mac and Windows.

Glow Worm is a well produced color-matching puzzler that takes the concept of Puyo Puyo to a new level by adding a secondary color for “blocks” that triggers their evolution as butterflies. Same deal as Wild West Wendy: a demo is avaiable and the full game costs about 20 bucks.

Namonaki Shima (v1.03) is a RPG which doesn’t focus as much on a story as on having numerous dungeons to explore. Finishing a dungeon allows you to meet new people, visit other places on the (quite big) map and trade treasures for some better equipment. So the unique demon stone system notwithstanding, the game is quite classic. Namonaki Shima (“The Nameless Island”) is free, in japanese and avaiable here for download.

Mission Missyo from G.R.C. is a visually unimpressive yet catchy puzzle game mixing Adventures of Lolo with Blizzard’s Lost Vikings, and it got a new version released early this month. The game’s goal is to lead three ninjas with different and complementary skills through numerous puzzle stages. Mission Missyo (actually pronounced “mishomisho”) is free and avaiable here (v1.02).

Finally two good RPGMaker games surfaced lately (meaning you’ll need according versions of RPGMaker/RPGツクール to play them). Hallucination Ringdom ( which runs on RPGMaker2000) is your everyday japanese amateur RPG in various aspects, but is cleverly based in an alternate modern world in which fantasy has not disappeared. Quite funny and reportedly well written by those who went through the whole game.
On the other hand, Trico & Lore (which runs on RPGMaker2003) is a cute and thoughtful puzzle crawler not unlike Mission Missyo (characters with different abilities, time limit, you know the drill…). Both games are obviously free and in japanese.

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News: ArmJoe v1.3

Behold mere mortals, for a new version of ArmJoe is out. Takase seriously tweaked the fighting engine, added some BGM and included some of the characters’ brand new full french voices. The dubbing crew Jaune Frères (AKA Chaz and our journo-champion friend Tanguy! ~Brandon) is still in post production with their work on the remaining speechless protagonists, and the results shall be avaiable to all quite soon. For those who missed the hipster train, ArmJoe is an offbeat and flashy 2D fighting game set in the universe of the japanese version of the popular musical based on Victor Hugo’s masterpiece Les Misérables. An interview of Takase is avaiable in english at Roni’s site.

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Blog: Puppytimes

For those of you with interest in Nintendogs, here’s a blog…thing…about that very game, and the activities of the puppies therein. Chris Kohler asked me to link it, since he’s contributing. There are also some other persons writing in it, and it’s not my fault if you’ve heard of them. So there it is, I did it.

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News: Shikigami no Shiro ~Nanayoduki Gensoukyoku~

An adventure game based on Alfa System’s Shikigami no Shiro series is in development, which is not extremely surprising since the series already has one RPG for Japanese mobile phones. The official site will be ready in less 13 hours. For now, it just has a release date (August, 2005), a target system (PS2) and a publishing company (Kids Station).

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