Japandemonium - Wake Up (It's 1984)

I am weak. After ending off last week's column complaining about missing features on the recently-announced Game Boy Advance SP, I (just about) immediately set off to preorder a Japanese one. Now I find myself looking for justifications for this spontaneous expenditure, and, you know, I think I've just about convinced myself. Let's find some stuff for you guys to waste some money on, shall we?

With news of the Game Boy Advance SP already a whole week old, Square announced today that it will be teaming up with Nintendo to release a deluxe edition of Nintendo's new console and Final Fantasy Tactics Advance. The pack will contain a pearl white GBA SP, the game, as well as a FFTA-themed strap and pouch. The set will be released on February 14th, and it will set you back a hefty 18,300 ¥ ($155). This is going to be a limited offer, so if you want one, you better place your preorder as soon as possible.

The first Dengeki sales charts for the new year have been released, and it should come as no surprise that Nintendo is still slaying the competition at the register. Not only are Pokémon Ruby & Sapphire still hanging onto the top two spots, but the two games have now sold just under 3.5 million copies. No wonder Nintendo can afford to require the GBA version in order to play the upcoming GameCube series installment. Link's latest offering is holding strong in the seventh place, while Namco's Tales of Destiny 2 actually gained a few places to cross the 800k mark. It's interesting to note that there is not one Xbox title in the top 50 games for last week, despite the fact that weekly hardware sales are on the rise. Check below for a list of notable titles in the top 20 for the week ending January 5th.

    Position; Title (Publisher), Console, Sales this week; Total Sales
  • 1. Pokémon Ruby (Nintendo), GBA, 174,333, 1,709,452
  • 2. Pokémon Sapphire (Nintendo), GBA, 171,308, 1,750,240
  • 3. Kingdom Hearts Final Mix (Square), PS2, 98,450, 269,399
  • 7. Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (Nintendo), GameCube, 70,663, 542,608
  • 9. Unlimited: SaGa (Square), PS2, 60,011, 338,021
  • 10. Battle Network Rockman EXE 3 (Capcom), GBA, 57,927, 331,610
  • 12. Tales of Destiny 2 (Namco), PS2, 40,889, 807,649
  • 17. From TV Animation One Piece: Great Treasure of Nanatsu Island (Banpresto), GBA, 26,070 125,945

At the end of last week, word got out that Square's largest stock holder, Masafumi Miyamoto, was dissatisfied with the ratio of Square shares per Enix share that was previously announced (0.8:1), and that this might possibly put the kibosh on the merger. The companies announced today that they have renegotiated the stock ratio (now at 0.85:1), which means that all systems are go for the mammoth merger. No doubt, a relief for the throngs counting the days till the reunion of some big-name teams.

A couple months ago, I mentioned the limited edition of Shin Megami Tensei Nine Thanks to the fine folks over at NCSX, we have some more detailed images of the package. Seen below are images (click for larger versions) of the game itself, the accompany figure, a C.B.A.S. ID card, a metal tin containing a pocket watch and a four-ring binder containing data sheets and artwork. Some nice swag, if you have a spare $130 or so lying around.

Shin Megami Tensei Nine Deluxe EditionShin Megami Tensei Nine Deluxe EditionShin Megami Tensei Nine Deluxe Edition

Shin Megami Tensei Nine Deluxe EditionShin Megami Tensei Nine Deluxe EditionShin Megami Tensei Nine Deluxe Edition

Shin Megami Tensei Nine Deluxe EditionShin Megami Tensei Nine Deluxe EditionShin Megami Tensei Nine Deluxe Edition

Staying with Shin Megami Tensei special editions, Atlus has announced one for Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne for the PlayStation 2. This one's a little bit different though, as the standout pack-in is an incense burner, as well as five small vials of incense (click image below for larger version), which is modeled after a component from the story. That's not all, however, since the package will also contain the soundtrack for the game. Atlus will release Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne on February 20th, at 12,800 ¥ ($108) for the swanky, deluxe edition, and 7,800 ¥ ($66) for the regular, loser version.

Shin Megami Tensei 3 Incense Burner

Do you miss Nintendo's SNES controller? If so, then Japanese hardware company Hori has just the right item for you. The company today announced its Digital controller (seen below), which will sell for a piddling 1,500 ¥ ($13). The controller has no analog functionality, and no vibration unit either, and it is clearly aimed at folks who are planning on picking up Nintendo's Game Boy Player, which allows playing Game Boy, Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance games on a regular television set via the GameCube high-speed port. Just think, now you can spend a mere $250 or so on a GameCube, Hori Digital controller, Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past and a Game Boy Player so that you can recreate the feeling of playing the game on the SNES. Ah, the wonders of technology.

Digital Controller

That's not all that Hori announced, though. The company also showed off a commemorative memory card for Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne. The card will only be available to those that preorder Atlus's game, and it will retail for 2,500 ¥ ($21).

Shin Megami Tensei 3 Scenter

The last story this week will hopefully serve as a warning to domestic gamers waiting to get their cheat on when Final Fantasy XI (finally) arrives in North America. Square has stepped in to take action on around 1000 ruffians that just couldn't stop themselves from exploiting a bug in the game that allows using an item, gaining its effect, but without actually using it up. The louts that took advantage of the system awoke to closed accounts, and Square has rectified the problem on the servers. Remember, friends don't let friends...abuse glitches.

And there you have it. I don't know about you, but those Shin Megami Tensei deluxe editions looks mighty inviting. Here's hoping that I can show a bit more self-restraint than last week. Although, not being one of the three people on the planet with a modded Xbox helps. See you all next week.

Exeunt all

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by Alex Wollenschlaeger    
Sources: [Impress Game Watch, Dengeki, Magic Box, GameSpot Japan ,]

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