News: Mecha Heroness at the TGS

dancouga_heroness.jpgI covered the upcoming 360 bound Super Robot Wars XO in a previous update, but Banpresto have added a movie to the site as well as the news that the game will support Xbox Live versus battles. Despite being similar to the lacklustre GC iteration, the fact that XO will now be online partially makes up for the faults of its progenitor. Though, the main draw here (for me, obviously) is that Layzner and the mighty Cougar get to strut their stuff online.

In other news Armored Core 4 is looking lovely and has had quite the gameplay makeover. The salient points being that; there’s a new HUD with a 3D radar, you have masses of AP compared to the previous games, the entire screen is now the lock-on window, the new vernier thrusters are very spritely and the environments are suitably huge.

The only downsides thus far are that the game speed is equatable to Last Raven, which is no bad thing but is not the step up we were promised, and that the heat mechanic from Nexus et al has been dropped (though the jury’s out on whether the latter is a detrimental loss).

News: Samurai Spirits – Rokuban Shoubu

dokidoki_01.pngThat’s the name of the Samurai Spirits compilation SNK Playmore is developing for its Neo-Geo Online Collection for the PS2. It’ll include 6 titles in the series (presumably all the episodes born on the MVS), according to Famitsu. The already announced World Heroes compilation will get the name ‘World Heroes Gorgeous’ and will include the full series, while rumors of a Fuu-Un Mokushiroku series pack [Savage Reign and Kizuna Encounter in the West] are still in the air. Famitsu also shows us the very first screen of Doki Doki Majo Saiban (Dengeki Online has the second one), one of those games from the new batch of non-action titles for the DS from the company, which we mentioned here. Finally, SNK Playmore has just confirmed brand-new graphics for The King of Fighters XII. That implies ‘true hi-res’ sprites, if you ask us.

News: Yet more Sega Ages 2500

While we’re actually waiting for something like a Golden Axe compilation or a ‘System 32 Collection’, it’s nice to see more of these coming. Phantasy Star I – II – III – IV is now promised for this winter with direct ports of the Mark III/MD games, as well as Opa Opa no Bouken, the follow-up to Fantasy Zone for the Mark III, which is also coming back as ‘Fantasy Zone II DX’. Since it’s a ‘deluxe’ edition and it’s a single (very old) game, we can expect a full remake this time… we believe.

Ollie: Virtual On!

News: Qwak demo released for GBA

2006_09_21_qwak.gifCalled “Team 17’s Finest Hour” by legendary games journalist Stuart Campbell (who has a bit of a history with Team 17, so he wouldn’t say so lightly) the fondly remembered Amiga platformer is in the process of being recreated on GBA, and there’s a demo now available for you to try out on your flash cart or emulator.

We’ve had a go, and it’s a cute and very playable (if not particularly special) little platformer, well worth playing, and well worth registering your interest in owning, as if enough interest is shown the game may be released in full as a cartridge or an online download.

News: MercAttorneys

mercattorneyss.JPG
What happens when you mix grenades and gavels? MercAttorneys. This quick box mockup from drem of the insert credit forums puts the team in the middle of the south/north korean conflict. He had this to say: “I really think Phoenix Wright should become a franchise. The game is pretty ridiculous, and I think it could benefit from getting more ridiculous-er. Sure, there would be the main series of normal attorney games, but then there could be games like this.

Click for largeness.

News : SNK’s new strategy

It looks like being a small developer in Japan today, there aren’t many ways to stay alive. After learning it the hard way, freshly-reborn SNK is going the easy route: 3 new games have been announced for the DS, all moving drastically away from the punch-in-your-face approach the company used to be known for.

The first game is called “Dokidoki Majo Saiban” which, from the name and the description (a very evil girl is tricked by some god to participate to a witch hunt) might try to mix Disgaea and Gyakuten Saiban (mostly the latter, since it’s an adventure game). The second is called “Denshi Maid Techô”, and is a simulation game featuring Iroha, the Samurai Spirits maid created by Yuki. Finally, the last one is “Kimi No Yûsha” and seems to be an RPG aimed at light users.

Cashing on moe and low budget games might very well be the easiest way for SNK to survive, and quite a logical step towards the semi-professional-doujin game market (especially after releasing several copy-and-paste games that looked more and more amateurish, and the excellent KOF XI that sold nearly one tenth of Melty Blood, originally a doujin game). It could also be less risky than the recent addition of underaged girls Momoko and Malin to KOF, which alienated part of the series’ core audience. The recent flow of ports and remakes (the Real Bout compilation or KOF 98 Ultimate Match) might be enough to keep this crowd hanging around during the company’s transformation. Yeah, all 6 of them.

News: PlayStation 3 to get proper controller

virtuastick_highgrade1.jpgWell, by proper I mean an arcade stick with pink buttons. It’s for the upcoming Virtua Fighter 5 and the stick is called the “VIRTUA STICK High Grade”. It’s nice to know, in spite of the collective memegasm surrounding high-definition visuals, that SEGA have cottoned onto the fact that some games need a decent peripheral. Now all we need is a linear seat cockpit setup for Armored Core 4.