THE CRAVE GAMING CHANNEL
V'lanna
 






Affiliates
metacritic
AnimeBooks
AnimeNation
Play-Asia.com

Dengeki Rankings I Twelve Targets the PSP Part I I SD Gundam Battling on Cellular Phones I Banpresto and Gust Making New RPG I LostMagic Found on DS I DS Puts Iron Feather in Its Cap I Tenkabito Battling on PS2 I Culture Corner: Ask Sensei I Sayonara
JAPANDEMONIUM
Tsukimi September 19, 2005


Konnichiwa

I've blinked again, and suddenly it is Monday night again. It's been an amazing week with the Tokyo Game Show going on just a few hours away. It breaks my heart that I couldn't go, but that's what happens when you have to work. I suppose there is always E3. But for those of you that aren't aware, I'll recap the stories that I found interesting: Final Fantasy IV is coming to the GBA; there is going to be a special edition of Devil May Cry 3 that looks like it will convince me to finally pick it up; Metal Gear Solid 4 is looking REALLY nice and I'm even thinking of picking up Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence for the bonuses; Xenosaga is coming to the DS; and last but not least, Nintendo finally announced the Revolution's controller. So yeah, I'd call it a pretty exciting week indeed.

In gaming news, I finally got to start playing Super Robot Wars: Scramble Commander. It does appear to be pretty cool, but it's not what I was expecting. I don't really input commands to my characters. In this way, it's kinda like an MMO. I just tell them where to go and they start attacking nearby enemies. The FMV is pretty neat, and I have to say it IS pretty cool to have the Zeta Gundam beating up on a Leo while Wing Zero Custom is thrashing a Hizack. And that's only the second stage! I haven't gotten to mix the series yet. It should happen soon.

Also, I said I'd mention Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children. I have to say it was some of the best graphics I've ever seen. It's amazing how real some of the characters looked at times. The movie is pretty much everything great that Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within wasn't. It's paced MUCH better, and it has some great fight sequences. It manages to build up the tension pretty much all the way until the end allowing you to be really excited by the time the movie hits its climax at the end. And speaking of the end, keep watching after the credits roll. Oddly enough, that's where the image song is, and it's pretty good. I almost missed it, but I'm glad I didn't. I'll be renting the OST when it comes out. It also ALMOST makes me want to go out and buy a DoCoMo P900iV mobile phone. There's a scene where it zooms in on one for several seconds. I have to wonder how much DoCoMo paid for THAT product placement.

The only major shortcoming in my eyes with the movie is the way the characters show up. Not spoiling anything, but it just didn't seem right to me. But that's a pretty small gripe compared to all the things I think they finally got right. I can advise just about all of you to go out and buy it when it comes to your country of origin. It's not the BEST movie I've ever seen, but it was entertaining enough. And if nothing else, it sure is purty.

For those of you wondering where this week's title comes from, Tsukimi is a tradition where people go out to view the first full moon of the autumn season to pray for a good harvest. It literally means Moon Watching. Many people make an offering of tsukimi dango, a special rice dumpling made for the occasion. In times when everyone seems busy and stressed due to one reason or another, it's nice to just step outside and view the full moon and take note of its beauty. I think we sometimes take nature for granted, and that's a sad thing.

That said, let's get this moon-viewing party started!



 Dengeki Rankings

The charts were a bit on the strange side this week. Usually games that hit the charts and fall off do not come back weeks later, and they especially do not take the top spot. But this week, the top two games in Japan were educational games: Professor Kawashima's Train Your Brain and another similar game whose title I do not know. It makes me wonder how many games must be sold to take that coveted top spot sometimes, because some games stay in the top 50 week after week. I'd imagine that sooner or later every person in Japan would have several copies of these games unless it doesn't take many sales to make the chart.

In RPG news, this week breaks all previous records that have been set since I've been doing this column. A whopping 17 RPGs are on this chart. This was of course helped by the re-release of several Square Enix titles at reduced prices, but still. That means that almost one out of every three titles was an RPG. Not bad at all.

Every week, I keep thinking that the chart's bound to shrink soon. Here's hoping it can get even bigger next week. That said, let's see the biggest Dengeki chart I've ever made.

Position Title Publisher Platform
4 Tales of Legendia Namco
7 Gundam SEED Destiny Generation of C.E. Bandai
8 Mushiking: Battle of the Beetles Sega
12 Kingdom Hearts Final Mix (Ultimate Hits) Square Enix
15 Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness Nintendo
17 Rockman Dash Episode 2 Capcom
19 Final Fantasy X (Ultimate Hits) Square Enix
25 Kingdom Hearts (Ultimate Hits) Square Enix
26 Super Robot Wars Alpha 3 Banpresto
26 Boktai 3 Konami
27 Sega Ages 2500 Series Vol. 18: Dragon Force Sega
31 Final Fantasy X / Final Fantasy X-2 (Ultimate Hits) Square Enix
32 Naruto RPG 2 Tomy
36 Grandia III Square Enix
39 Pokémon Emerald Nintendo
44 Twelve ~Sengoku Fuushinden~ Konami
49 Gladiator Road to Freedom Remix Aatein


Source: Dengeki Online



 Twelve Targets the PSP Part II
Twelve

Last week I started covering a new TRPG from Konami called Twelve ~Sengoku Fuushinden~. There was so much information that I could just about do an entire column on that one game. The game has more characters than I can shake a stick at, and there were tons of screenshots for it. For those that missed last week, the game is about a hero that rescues a young woman from being a sacrifice to evil gods. This hero just happens to carry a sword containing the Zodiac spirit of the Rooster, one of the 12 items powerful enough to oppose the evil gods in their world.

As for battles in this game, it uses a grid map like most other games of the genre. What sets this game apart is before each battle the player can set which character will be "Shogun," the leader of the fight. Depending on which character is chosen, different status effects such as regeneration of HP or EXP bonuses will affect all deployed fighters.

Within battle, when two characters are engaged in combat, the game shifts to a different screen like Namco X Capcom, but it lacks that game's action elements. Battles also include a "combo" system that allows powerful attacks if the circle button is pressed at certain times.

As mentioned last week, Twelve ~Sengoku Fuushinden~ was released on August 25 for the Sony PSP. So far, there is no announcement of a Stateside release, but if one is made, English-speaking RPG fans will have an interesting game to look forward to.
















Benkei - A friend of Kurou's that is actually a living doll. He carries a short knife that houses the spirit of the Boar.

Juri - A man with a fondness for slinky dresses and heels, he is actually a master of western magic. He wears a glove powered by the spirit of the Snake.

Masahime - A peaceful girl that values life of all kinds. She carries a fan containing the spirit of the Dragon.

Bask - A pragmatist and champion boxer who wears gloves that bear the spirit of the Ox.

Masanaga - The main villain of the story. He is attempting to gain power dealing with the evil gods.

Fujiyoshi - Nicknamed the "Monkey Woman," she always wears a monkey mask.

Ranmaru - A foul-mouthed man that usually insults someone every time he opens his mouth. He is powerful enough to be considered an army of one.

Minaru - A disciple of Fujiyoshi, she is a quiet, serious child and an excellent strategist.

Takemasu - The assistant and servant to Minaru, he is an excellent fighter that serves as a sort of older brother to her.
Sources: Famitsu




 SD Gundam Battling on Cellular Phones
DoCoMo

Bandai Networks and Namco recently announced a new Mobile RPG called SD Gundam RPG for the DoCoMo 900i series cell phones at TGS. The game's story takes place during the One Year War in the U.C. timeline, and players can side with the Earth Federation or the Zions.

Missions will be conducted with other players on the same side and will have more than 60 different Mobile Suits. As players gain levels, they will learn how to pilot more types of suits, and as players outgrow their current suit, there will be an economy allowing them to sell their old suits to other players.

SD Gundam RPG will go online this winter and will cost the standard 525 yen per month.

Sources: Gamewatch



 Banpresto and Gust Making New RPG
Ar Tonelico

Gust and Banpresto are joining forces to create a new RPG called Ar Tonelico. The game will take place in a world called Sol Sheil, a small floating world with a single, tall tower on it. Below that is the Deadly Sea of Clouds and above is the Blast Line, a miasma of plasma that cannot be traversed .

But that's not the only world that the player gets to explore; there are also the inner worlds of the Levatiel, an inhuman race that takes on the form of human girls. Levatiel speak with the surrounding world through songs and use powerful magic. But to improve their magic, they must consume a poisonous material called "Glasno," but "consuming" means far more than just eating it. Someone precious and highly trusted by the Levatiel in question must carry it to their inner world. This is where the player comes in; they assume the role of that precious and highly trusted person. By doing so, they interact with and construct their own perfect Levatiel heroine.

Constructing a Levatiel heroine is done with the appropriately named "Heroine Creation System" that players interact with by using "Dive" or "Install" commands. To Dive, players go to "Dive Shops" that are scattered throughout the world. Here, players can enter their Levatiel's inner world, and by creating a stronger bond between the player and the Levatiel, they can explore deeper and deeper into that world. In it, players can find out their heroine's true thoughts and hidden feelings, which in turn, allow for players to further strengthen the bond between themselves and the Levatiel.

Installing is the process of getting your Levatiel to consume Glasno and use their magic to help you in your adventures. How much and how willingly the Levatiel consumes the Glasno is directly tied to the strength of the bond that the player has with their heroine.

As for the battle system, the most important weapons are the "Songs," since Levatiel use magic by singing. But each spell requires time to cast, so players function as a guard to keep enemies at bay long enough for her to finish casting her song.

Currently, Ar Tonelico is set for a winter release with a pricetag of 7140 yen. Look to RPGamer for continuing coverage as details come to light. In the meantime, you can check out the official site for yourself.


Raina Balselt - The hero of the story, Raina is a high-spirited adventurer with a bit of a mischievous streak. Once he gets an idea in his head, it's hard to get it back out again. He's a very straight-forward youth with a strong sense of honor, but when it comes to dealing with women, he's extremely pliable and an easy pushover.

He was born to the ruler of Platiina, a town at the top of the single tower in Sol Shiel, but he did his best to shirk off his duties relating to politics to join the Platiina Knights to find adventure. He finds it in his job to guard Shuleria, the ruler of the entire tower, and he quickly finds himself in the middle of a fight against a deadly virus that threatens the world.

Orika Nestomire - One of the heroines of the story, Orika is a Levatiel that used to be a bright, cheerful girl until a traumatic event in her past turned her into a quiet, distant person. Both of her parents were killed in an attack years before, so she entered the church of Myul for shelter. To this day, she is very fond of and old friend named Clare that protected her as a child.

Misha Altselk Ryun - The other heroine of the story, she is also a Levatiel, and she possesses incredible power due to her rare blood type of B. She talks and acts like an adult on the surface, but in reality she has a very childish streak. But she is extremely intelligent and commands an impressive vocabulary. She is also a good cook that is very dextrous and capable with mind-related tasks, but she is very clumsy when it comes to physical activity. She also has a deep fear of heights that is the likely reason she moved from her birthplace at the top of the tower to a town on the very bottom.






























 LostMagic Found on DS
LostMagic

Taito is working on a new Action RPG for the Nintendo DS called LostMagic. The game is set in a magical world where monsters hold a frightening amount of power. The player then becomes a magician that will use magic to direct monsters of his own to fight for him.

The story kicks off thousands of years ago when the Creator of the world died but left his powers behind in the form of six kinds of magic and seven rods. Each of these rods was entrusted to a special bearer that had to become one of the World's Protectors as part of accepting the rod.

Everything was fine until as luck would have it, a great disaster threw the whole world into chaos. The only hope for the world is a young boy that is entrusted with one of the seven rods.

Like other DS games, this one will use the touch pad to create magic using the Touch Pen system. To cast a spell, a rune must be traced with the stylus. There are over 100 basic spells, and each can be combined with any others to form new spells just by combining their runes into one. Luckily, forgetful magicians can look in a menu that stores each and every one after it is cast.

But that's not all. The touch pad will also be used to lead parties of ally monsters into battle, but the specifics aren't known yet. What is known is that battles will be real-time, and the characters that aren't being controlled directly by the player will be controlled with AI.

LostMagic was shown off at TGS with a playable demo, but no release date has been set. Look for more information as it is unveiled in the coming months.

















Sources: Jeux-France I IT Media



 DS Puts Iron Feather in Its Cap
Iron Feather

In other DS RPG news, it seems that Konami has another game in development for Nintendo's newest handheld called Iron Feather.

Not much is currently known about the game, but it is known that the game will use the touch screen for item management and special abilities.

Iron Feather was displayed at TGS in playable form, so more details should be coming down the pipe soon. Currently, it is set for a December 15 release in Japan with no mention of a North American release.






Source: Game Watch



 Tenkabito Battling on PS2
Sega

Sega is bringing a new real-time strategy RPG to the PS2 called Tenkabito. The game takes place during the 'Sengoku Jidai' period of Japan known in English as the 'Warring States Period'. As for gameplay, the player will pick one of many famous shogun to lead an army to become the supreme ruler of Japan. For instance, the player might pick Oda Nobunaga to lead an army consisting of foot soldiers, calvary, gun squads, and more. As battles progress, soldiers and their weapons gain experience allowing them to "rank up." The game also features many historical battle locations allowing the player to rewrite Japan's history in your path to conquest.

Tenkabito was also displayed at TGS in playable form and is set for a Winter release this year.



Sources: 1 Up



  Culture Corner: Ask Sensei

This week I got two emails, and neither of them were actually Japan specific. I suppose I don't mind in times when my column is late due to an ever-increasing amount of stuff that I add to it. It's ok. I didn't need sleep anyway.

That said, let's get started!



Sorry


Hello,

You mentioned that you were playing Scramble Commander and I thought maybe you could help me. I am on the board where there is a life bar on the lower left corner and evertime I engage the enemy somehow this life bar keeps getting lower and lower until it explodes and it's game over for me. How do I beat this board. It is closer to the beginning of the game. My knowledge of the Japanese language is next to nil but the game is so cool. Another gem that won't make it to the states.

Thanks,

Eric pass the kimche D.


Sensei

You're actually further than I am. It is pretty neat though. I'm looking forward to when the game really opens up and I get to mix characters from different games. It's got a LOT of potential.

At any rate, sorry I can't help. But thanks for the letter!


Contrast in Length

Hi jordan! I was wondering are they ever going to release darkcloud 3?

Yugiohfan1986


Sensei

I wish I could give you a solid answer on this one, but if we had news it would be posted as soon as we had it. The game was announced, but that was some time ago, and there has been no word from it since. In an attempt to help, I will now consult the only two forms of divination I trust: the Magic 8-Ball and a nickel. Why the nickel? Thomas Jefferson was the smartest president on a coin, so I use him to make my hard decisions. Heads = yes, and tails = no.

The 8-Ball says "Reply Hazy. Try again later." but the nickel seems to think you're in good shape. The best you can do is wait it out. Sometimes you have to wait a long time, but this one might be worth it.

Thanks for the email!



 Sayonara

Another column finished, and it's only half of a day late. Sorry about that. On top of more drama in my personal life cropping up, there is also the issue that Japandemonium has been growing lately. It's HUGE. I'm losing my ability to keep up with it. I'll do my best though.

Catch you on the flip,


Jordan "I need scissors! 61!" Jackson




Discuss these stories Previous Updates Lovely In-House Translator
RPGamer Message Board 09.12.05| 09.05.05| 08.29.05 | Archive Adrienne Beck
© 1998-2013 RPGamer All Rights Reserved
Privacy Policy