This went completely under my radar until the latest Famitsu scores were released on tuesday: Bandai is releasing a Gundam-themed mahjong game on December 29th for the Nintendo DS. As its name suggests, Kidou Gekidan Haro Ichiza: Gundam Mahjong DS ~Oyaji ni mo agarareta kotonai noni!~ is part of the Haro Ichiza collection, which we already mentioned last july with Kidou Gekidan Haro Ichiza: Haro no Puyo Puyo. Once again the game will be based on the original Gundam “0079” series starring Amuro Ray, Bright Noah and Char Aznable. Twelve characters in total will be playable, each with their own special attack to upset play if they fill their power meter enough. One of the three different modes is a Mobile Suit model kits collection challenge that should appeal to Bandai’s target audience. There is also a huge amount of voice acting involved, and also a bunch of classic songs from the original TV series. The size of these sound files unfortunately prevents Gundam Mahjong DS from being playable in multiplayer sessions with a single cartridge but gives the game a nice atmosphere, as the official trailer shows well (and mahjong-loving Gundam fans probably don’t have many friends anyway). Bandai probably has the same costumers in mind as Sunrise did with Oekaki Puzzle Battle! Yuusha-Ou Gaogaigar Hen. The Haro Ichiza website and Gundam Ace magazine are organizing a big contest around the game to celebrate the new year, with prizes ranging from a Gundam-themed ‘card mahjong’ deck to exclusive autographs from the voice actors.
Jiji’s done up a nice review of Minstrel Song which warrants a look if you simply want to know how the game plays, and the ways in which they affect a person like jiji. Works for me!
Could be old for all I know, but minus the fruity lovey-dovey beginning, this flash is an excellent pairing of Street Fighter and MK combos, with a little extra impossibility thrown in. Here’s an interview with the creator (proxide – if someone can find his site, mail me), if the bandwidth isn’t exceeded. Thanks to Comic-Kaze for the link. As a bonus, here’s an older one by the same author. He wasn’t quite as good at sound effects at the time, and the action is similar in bits, but hey – it’s an iterative process, and both are quite nice!
3DO Interactive Multiplayer is a new blog from some fellow in the UK who’s hell bent on playing through each and every 3DO game, giving a rather clever 2-3 paragraph review of each. Gamesetwatch points out a notable wentry – Cyberdillo. Is it me, or are there a lot of furry games on failed consoles – Trevor McFur did his time on the Jaguar, after all.
For those of you whose appetites have not been sated by the release of Londonian Gothics, VitaNuova will sell a complete version of Typing Lolita ~ Misa in the Tarot World ~ at Comicket 69 (the demo version is still available). It’s a typing game heavily focused on cosplay, thus claiming to have about eight hundred different parts in total to customize your own gothloli. The menu on the left of the website allows you to check a few possible customizations depending on the cards and parts you unlocked. There are a few easter eggs to be found, it seems.
Oretachi Geesen Zoku – Hamster’s smaller retro gaming release series – is getting a fourth batch, according to Game Star shop (although the guys at Hamapika seem to have known of it for months). Nekketsu Koukou Dodge Ball Bu [Super Dodge Ball], was Technos’ first Dodge Ball game (in 1987), and the one which started that well loved Kunio-kun sports series, more successful in the home market than it was in the arcades. Rabio Lepus [Rabbit Punch], a shooting game also from 1987, was Video System’s very first arcade game, who would be better known later for its Sonic Wings [Aero Fighters] series. No known release dates for the moment.
X68000 fans rejoice as Sprite’s hit ZugyA returns in the spotlight unexpectedly. ZugyA was one of the greatest games of the system and one of the rare successful multidirectional shooters of the nineties, and it is now back on PC with Chousetsu Hakai ZugyA DX (v5.00) four years after its first Windows port, thanks to Sprite’s spiritual successors Chinchilla Softhouse. You can download the game or at least see some promising screenshots on their page.
Chinchilla Softhouse has actually been quite active lately. We’ve already mentioned the recent port of Ayu Ayu Panic on GBA in early december, and since then they also released Chitei Senki Advance – eight years after the original game.
Squenix opened a site for Dragon Quest Shounen Yangus to Fushigi no Dungeon, a new PS2 game revealed at JumpFesta 2006 and scheduled to come out sometime next year. The site has a trailer, which is quite impressive and deals better with character artist Toriyama’s style than Dragon Quest VIII through better choices in colors and a miryad of new graphical effects. As the title suggests, Yangus’ youth will serve as the subject of this sidestory, and the gameplay sticks to the traditional Fushigi no Dungeon gameplay: randomly generated dungeons, items to find and bring back to the surface, etc. Interestingly, ChunSoft – traditional Fushigi no Dungeon developer – isn’t mentioned on the website, and this time only Armor Project appears in the credits. Nintendo recently released a Pokémon Fushigi no Dungeon for both DS and GBA – it sold equally well on both systems for a cumulated 700,000 units sold. The Dragon Quest series actually already has a Fushigi-style spin-off series, Torneko no Daibouken.
So yeah, Next-Gen.biz is a loopy, wacky website. I know you love it, because I love it, too. Anyway, my twin brother William has just recently posted a feature over there detailing what he believes are the ten most significant Japanese videogames released in 2005. While I agree with the list almost entirely (especially the top pick), I wonder why he didn’t put Resident Evil 4 on there. I mean, that’s a pretty big one to forget. That, and I still don’t know why he likes Ikusagami more than Drag-on Dragoon 2. Oh well. You can’t win them all. Go check it out, anyway!
In other news, this week’s year-end Famitsu reports a lot of wacky stuff, including the information that Hideo Kojima’s making a brand-new Metal Gear Solid game that is “just like a regular action game — with one thing radically different.” Even bigger than this, Famitsu also interviews Final Fantasy‘s own Hironobu Sakaguchi about his recent acquisition of up-and-coming superstar development house cavia (whose games, including Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex and Drag-on Dragoon 2 I have quite a thing for. Anyway, my twin brother William has written a splendid column about Sakaguchi, his first Mist Walker game with cavia (something of a mix of Shadow of the Colossus and Katamari Damacy that sounds too crazy not to work), and his status as the “Man of the Year,” also over at Next-Gen.biz. You’d be wise to check it out. I guess there’s some other stuff in there, too.