News: Exelica website updates

exelica_05.jpgWarashi’s forthcoming arcade game Trigger Heart Exelica got a proper website recently. There’s not much it in aside from an MP3 file for the nice stage 1 music to download, which shows that the game’s throwbacks to the 80s don’t end with the title and the character design. Just today though, the game system, coupled with some screenshots, has been explained. It’s here.

News: AOU 2006 flyer collection

wotg_01.jpgThanks to Alpha Station’s website and Ojakan we can see all of the new videogame flyers from the AOU convention at high resolution (which included the announcement of a new Chase HQ arcade game from Taito, by the way). War of the Grail (Capcom’s first game for Taito’s Type X + system), Exelica, Soul Calibur III Arcade Edition, Pink Sweets… some really good artwork there. You even can get a printable version for the full Ibara Web Manga from Ojakan. Check them out.

News: Ibara Web Manga and more

ibarawebmanga_01.jpg The first episode is now on-line here. Not top quality, to be honest, but hey, it’s free. To complement it, Taito has uploaded (in two parts) the promotional video for the PS2 version of the game, confirming that the Arrange Mode is the basis for Kuro. There are only some minor cosmetic differences, from what we can see. And finally, don’t miss Cave’s own report for the AOU 2006, full of (pink) pictures.

News: Radirgy Precious

raji_01.jpg Milestone’s Radirgy has just been released on Dreamcast, and some game shop workers have annouced that it’s coming to the Game Cube (March 30th) and PS2 (May, 25th). The latter will extend its name to ‘Radirgy Precious’ (our guess from that crappy romanization from the source), so we can expect some sort of extras. And so the story repeats as it did with Chaos Field. As you can see, Metal Slug 3D is also scheduled for May (no, it’s not cancelled, sadly) as is Ryuuko no Ken ~Ten-Chi-Jin~.

Old news: Bomberman bakufuu sentai bombermen

bomberman gets gorgeous!! or: viewtiful bomber Everyone — and I mean everyone (note: linked entry is just two slots beneath this) — is guilty of going nuts over this new Bomberman game for Xbox 360. I do believe Brandon Sheffield and myself got all of the giggles out of our system after the Xbox 360 press conference at Tokyo Game Show 2005 (it took us about an hour of constant references to “(Insert Game Name): Act ZERO!!”). The first important thing to note about the game is that the Bomberman character as we know him was originally a compromise on the dark sci-fi vision of the game makers, who, you know, had originally just wanted to make a game about robotic beings trapped in an underground arena, forced to fight against one another with bombs. Remember that, at the end of the Famicom game Bomberman, your character turns into a human. Meditate on that for a while; now realize that Hudson Soft is trying their hardest to get the Bomberman we know up to speed with their original vision. Or at least, just pretend, okay?!

Now see this. This is Bomberman Bakufuu Sentai Bombermen, which is a really dumb title. This game is being released by Sony Computer Entertainment Japan on the PlayStation Portable, uh, on March 9th, 2006. It is, essentially, Bomberman. It has apparently flown under everyone’s radar, probably just because they hear the name and think, yeah, it’s another attempt to cash in on people’s money by putting a pseudo-popular puzzle game on PSP. Which, well, it is. However, what’s most interesting is the character design. For me, at least, first seeing these characters was a bigger “What the hell?” than first seeing Bomberman: Act Zero. They’re big, brawny, muscular, multi-colored “superhero”-like Bombing Men and Bombing Women. They recall some kind of “Power Rangers” aesthetic. Have a look at the screenshots at that Game Watch article and wonder. I’d thought originally that this game was some kind of knock-off, though no. Hudson is definitely behind it. Curious.

It’s as though the character designs are positioned as the step between the Bomberman we enjoyed while listening to anime theme songs and drinking fruit punch, as children, and the Bomberman we’re going to control while listening to black metal and drinking Mountain Dew, as bitching adults, come this May. Note that, in this game, you can choose an original Bomberman, though if you do, he looks overtly, artistically “pixelated.” This is Hudson’s way of telling you: “If you want to play as this little guy with a clear conscience, just play it on Sega Saturn. The future is here.”

The game is being released simultaneously with remakes of Intelligent Qube and XI (aka Devil Dice 2). Each one includes a demo of the other; you can play the demo version of one game wirelessly against someone who has the full version. Hey, that’s not money-grubbing at all!

News: Bomberman madness on X360

A first person bommer?Alright so Hudson did warn us they would go for something “different” with the Xbox 360 version of their Bomberman franchise. But really… This? And this! What the hell!?

Bomberman Act: Zero will heavily focus on Xbox Live battles. There will be two different rules, the “standard bomberman” mode and a most peculiar “first person bommer” mode. It is not a typo, since the katakana confirms the pronunciation. This mode apparently mixes Bomberman with FPS-style deathmatches, although it doesn’t look like the game is played with an actual first person view. Head-scratching, to say the least. On a related note, Hudson recently updated their Tengai Makyou Ziria page.

[edit] Microsoft notices the game, changes its top guy in Japan.

News: Dark Resurrection on PSP

Notice the '5' missing in the title.
As announced last week, Famitsu has some new information on Tekken’s PSP version. The game is a port of Tekken 5 Dark Resurrection, an arcade evolution of Tekken 5 mostly known on the fashion front for introducing the gothlolicious Lili. However the “5” figure was removed from the PSP title, possibly to entice people who already bought the PS2 port of Tekken 5 to get that version as well. As is tradition, Namco will add a bunch of extras such as new customization items and a mini-game. Tekken 5 and Tekken 5 DR are both quite popular and praised, so there are reasons to be hopeful. Via Duckroll.

News: DS conference! Spring 2006 session

The soul of the Game Gear lives on.Nintendo held another of those DS press conferences last night and, as their own website reports, a bunch of interesting information was revealed there. While Nintendo is facing serious hardware shortages in Japan with the current DS, they plan to ship a million units of the new model in its first month. The DS Lite will be released on March 2nd, accompanied by titles such as Squenix’s Seiken Densetsu DS Children of Mana and Mitchell’s Shunkan Puzz Loop. Satoru Iwata of course went back over Nintendo’s successful results of last christmas and confirmed that their new flagship handheld now has seven “million sellers” in Japan (and two more games should reach the mark soon). Among those, Doubutsu no Mori was the first DS game to reach the two million units mark in Japan, Nintendogs has sold over five million units worldwide and Bandai’s Tamagotchi is the first third-party million seller on a Nintendo system in years. The DS is now expected to become the fastest system to ever reach ten million units sold in Japan, and a bunch of big games will be released throughout the year to make this happen.

Nintendo announced the much awaited New Super Mario Bros. would be released in May, whereas Tetris DS will be released (at a lower price than most other games) in April. Of course, the company is aware of how popular its Touch Generation series has been with the japanese audience so far. Three new titles have been anounced: Kanji sonomama DS Rakubiki Jiten, DS Bimoji Training and Shaberu! DS Oryouri Navi. The first one is a kanji learning utility, the second one a calligraphy practicing software, and the last one an interactive cooking guide (not to be mistaken with Taito’s Cooking Mama). The previously announced Tabi no Yubisashi Kaiwachou DS will be released in march for a budget price. The first five volumes of this “assisting and translating tool for japanese tourists in vacation on a foreign country” will focus on China, South Korea, Thailand, Germany and the USA.

Third party developers naturally have much more faith in the system than in the Gamecube – hence Gyakuten Saiban 4, Super Robot Wars DS, Shin Sangoku Musou DS, Mario Basket 3 on 3, A.S.H., Final Fantasy III, Tales of the Tempest and sequels to Tamagotchi and Mushiking have been mentioned during the conference – including new screenshots for some of them. For instance, those tiny pics of Winning Eleven hint that KCET is porting the engine of its late PlayStation versions (which, from WE4 to WE2002, mark when the series dramatically ramped up in Japan and Europe). Judging from the popularity of the series worldwide and the successful sales of the PSP version, Konami has a major card to play here, and they unsurprisingly confirmed the game would support the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection.

Finally, Nintendo announced the upcoming release of two new peripherals. In june, they will release a Nintendo DS Browser for 3,800 yen, in cooperation with Opera Software (they have their own announcement page on the subject), so you can rub insert credit news with your tactile screen from anywhere you want. And Game Gear fans will shed a tear with the release of the “1-Seg” TV Tuner, which allows to surf channels on the touching screen while watching TV on the upper screen. That one will likely not make it outside Japan, though.