News: The birth of Compile Heart

takoron_01.jpg Here we are once again to tell you the news you won’t be finding on any other sites, especially if its arcade-related and involves historical arguments! It’s quite interesting that Idea Factory recently formed up a brand-new group (yeah, yet another one) with the name ‘Compile Heart‘, whose first work was the Japanese localization of the Korean RPG Astonishia Story, in its PSP incarnation.

More surprisingly, the company’s logo bears a clear resemblance to that of the old Compile. Yesterday we learned that it’s indeed related to the legendary Puyo Puyo maker (which, you can say, currently carries the name ‘Aiky‘), and is developing an arcade game (no less) called ‘Takoron‘ which will be based on the Puyo Puyo formula and it’s being supervised by Puyo Puyo’s creator Moo Niitani. The company has signed an agreement with AMI to get its forthcoming arcade games distributed, much like AMI did for Idea Factory’s only arcade game to date, Spectral vs. Generation. Let’s see what happens this time since Aiky’s own Puyo Puyo successor Pochi to Nyaa wasn’t exactly a hit despite its quality. It seems, anyhow, that Takoron has already been confirmed for a PSP version via Famitsu’s pages, along with a third PSP game called ‘Vulcanus’ classified as an ‘action shooting game with robots’.

News: New Valis game

valis.jpgBrowsing Telnet Japan‘s site today (they of Valis and Cosmic Fantasy fame, among numerous other PC Engine and PC/Marty games), I found this. It appears to be a mobile phone conversion and update of the original Valis: The Fantasm Soldier, with quite decent looking graphics. They also introduced a costume system for the heroine. Shame they didn’t bring it to GBA instead, but one never knows. The game was released on Vodafone Live! in may of last year.

Incidentally, it’s quite sad to see a company go from making this many games in 1992 for PC Engine alone, many of which were quite good, to four PS2 games in nearly the full life of the console. Check out Telnet Japan’s game library here. They’re one step away from joining D3, like so many other excellent companies of the 16 bit era have. Those companies that could survive the transition to a 3D-dominated world in the first place, that is!

Although – christian nutt reminded me that Wolf Team split off from Telnet in the mid-90s, so that’s probably what crippled them. Them’s the breaks, I guess…

News: Huge used game store in japan

gameshop.jpg
Australian blogger Jamie Sam (which is actually two people, but I digress), has put up a little expose of sorts. Seems there’s a massive used game store in the gumyo area of togane, southeast of tokyo, off the togane or keiyoo lines. Images of the stops before and after right here. The store, the front of which you can see here, is massive. He claims it looks like an adult shop from the outside, but I say it looks more like a right-wing nationalist organization’s headquarters – the type that rides around in vans yelling pro-japan slogans from the bullhorn on top.

Just look at all this famicom disc system software, or this older hardware. Trouble is, though this place is absolutely huge, and looks quite impressive, the hardware prices all look a bit high, which could bode ill for getting nice deals there. Though the SFC Square Enix RPG collection looks alright at 5,000 yen (bottom right, includes the FFs and DQs), round about here you’ll feel you shouldn’t be paying 2,480 yen for Tales of Phantasia. That said, there are simply rows and rows of the stuff, so this might well be a place to check out if you’re in the area.

News: Everybody loves cavia: episode three: the day the world exploded

i hope the sequel is called 'which bullet?' and the next one is called 'bullet whom' If you’ll kindly click here, and then click on the “movie” tab, you will see a gameplay preview of cavia’s new game, Bullet Witch. The preview alone has propelled the game to kamigee (“God-game”) status on 2ch in record time. It shows things like the heroine fighting a dragon on the back of an airplane, and/or whole buildings exploding. It looks to contain the same level of ridiculous sensationalist B-movie violence as, say, Earth Defense Force 2.

The story is morbidly delicious schlock as well: IN THE YEAR 2013, a virus kills millions, leaving (according to the story trailer also located at the abovelinked page) ENTIRE NATIONS DEAD. This is when MAGIC IS REBORN, and you, the heroine, Alicia, have to defeat legions of dragon-bats and zombified ogres using only a machinegun shaped like a broom. You can also use magic to make things explode.

This will be the first game released by our darling cavia that actually contains the “cavia” logo on the box. It will also be the first “major” game released by AQ Interactive, the fledgling super-publisher headed up by Final Fantasy‘s Hironobu Sakaguchi.

The gameplay seems to blend the massive-scale sometimes-walking, sometimes-flying epic battles of Drag-on Dragoon 2 with the sharp polish and focus of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex. It has running, gunning, strafing, truck-exploding — it looks to be real classic action-game mayhem.

cavia has earned a reputation as a developer of action games with a workmanlike quality about them. Their first wave of fans (hidden in deep corners of the Japanese Internet) tend to be weirdly devoted. Bullet Witch will be their first chance to really make a mark on the world. If the game is actually good (unlike the rather drab, clearly “made-for-money” WinBack 2), cavia could finally make a name for themselves. Their next major work (also for Xbox 360), called Cry On, will feature a scenario written by Sakaguchi and epic production values. It will probably be critically lauded to high heaven. You will see, then, that cavia fans are not merely nuts and/or viral marketers!! We here at insertcredit.com wish cavia the best in the meantime.

Bullet Witch will be released on July 27th — just two weeks from tomorrow — for the Xbox 360, at the stately price of 7,300 yen. Pre-order it through Play-Asia here, if you’re one of those lucky (smart) people who has a Japanese Xbox 360 (which can play the Asian versions of games, also available at Play-Asia, which all have English dubs if your 360 is set to English as the default language, and are about $20 cheaper than their American counterparts)!!

And UHO, it looks like cavia’s other other Xbox 360 game, Zegapain, is also releasing on the 27th! My, what an epic day that will be!! Check out some of the updates on the official site here (including a surprisingly well-thought-out webcomic), or just buy it here.

Also, Senkou no ronde Rev.X also comes out for Xbox 360 on July 27th. It’s not by cavia, though you can buy it here. It’s highly recommended if you already like the game a great deal.

It’s already a hot summer; on July 27th, Akihabara is going to burn.

News: Final Fantasy iii DS lite special edition pack

'crystal' white as in, like, 'crystals,' which are in final fantasy games?
Nintendo and Square-Enix have done it again!! Or, well, someone‘s done something. The something in question this time is this Limited Edition Crystal White Nintendo DS Lite engraved with Final Fantasy III characters. The units will be serial numbered, ensuring maximum online auction prices, street violence, and toothy grins at used game shops!! The engraving is based on original drawings by artist Akihiko Yoshida!!

The picture almost makes it look silver. Unfortunately, no, it is not silver. That’d be fingerprint hell, anyway.

An interesting tidbit from the Famitsu story: “Though it has been confirmed the units will be individually numbered, Nintendo has yet to confirm quantities.” Watch there be like fifty-two of them! I’m serious!

The game is also, incidentally, currently the number-eight top selling game on Amazon.co.jp. It was number one for a while. Japan is quite seriously looking forward to paying 5,980 yen for the game, a whole thousand-some more than the typical DS game. Squeenix, as has been observed many times over, just don’t like releasing software for normal prices. They like to be able to count their customers’ devotion in cash.

Final Fantasy III, for the unitiated, is the Final Fantasy game people who dislike Final Fantasy games are most likely to say is their favorite Final Fantasy game. It’s also number two on insertcredit.com‘s hot list of “top eleven games to say you’ve played when really you haven’t.” Come the time of the North American release, you might find yourself backed into a corner by some friend who says, “Hey, that Final Fantasy III is coming out on DS today! You like it, right? You’re buying it, right? Wanna go buy it together, celebrate the completion of the Final Fantasy series’ releases in official English translations together?” If this happens, here is some basic advice for the after party:

1. It pioneered the job class system, making it more original than Final Fantasy V.
2. The story is better than Final Fantasy VI because it allows me to use my imagination.
yes, i am messing with YOU
That should take care of you.

The special edition DS Lite will launch on August 24th, 2006, the same day as the game. It will cost 22,780 yen. Keep in mind that a normal DS Lite sells (if you can find one) for 16,980 yen. So yeah, the price of the limited edition console equals exactly the price of the game plus the price of the console. Of course, one could include the “engraving” as part of the package. Though for the sake of argument, let’s just put it this way: in Japan, the cost of a six-pack of beer is precisely the price of a single can times six.

In other news related to Nintendo DS Lite in Japan, it seems that the popular black model, previously released only in Europe (and involved in a nasty international-espionage-ish hijack-theft), is coming to Japan on September 2nd.

There’s also a “Noble Pink” model being released on July 20th, though why click on that link when it’s already on sale on Play-Asia.com!?

Stay tuned to insertcredit.com for details as more colors emerge over the following weeks! We will officially change our page background to “Gorgeous Purple” for .108 seconds the day Nintendo announces a purple version. That’s a promise!! no

News: Segagaga End Sequences

Perhaps you’ve heard of Segagaga, a RPG/business sim in which the player must take control of Sega and prevent the company from going under. It was one of the final games released for the Dreamcast and appears to be a goodbye present of sorts to its loyal fans. The whole thing is jam-packed with references and nods to it’s legacy, both obvious and obscure, but due to the nature of the gameplay, most have been unable to really get a proper taste of it all, or even get very far.

But at least now one can view the end sequences via YouTube. Check out part 1 and part 2 and see (and here) how many things you can recognize. Thanks to IC forum-ite “Dark Age Iron Savior” for passing along the links via this thread, which also explains and reveals a bit more about this gem of a game. The videos along are enough to put a tear in the eye to any Sega devotee.

Spam: To Live and Game In NY

I recently filed a special report for another site that I contribute to, and which most folks around here also know, about the gaming scene in New York City, both past and present.

Included is a look at the arcade scene that’s pretty much dead these days (which is true for most parts of the country, but still), the best places to buy a game (outside of the major retail chains, of course), and gaming culture that persist in the Big Apple (yes, there is one).

I should perhaps note that a forum member at the IC boards helped a bit in the research department, when he reported the closure of an arcade not too long ago.