The weather is sunny right now in Hi-no-Kuni, but it's a grey day for me. After months and months of quietly agonizing, I decided to end my relationship of five years. It's been a long time coming, unfortunately. I've done everything I could to hold things together, but eventually enough is enough. The saddest part is, we were together five years, and yet she never really knew about my work on this site. I tried to show her a few times when I started back in 2007, but she blew them off (practically tech-illiterate, she is). After a while, I stopped trying to talk about it.
I'll probably be incommunicado for a few days. Depending on how crazy things get, I might even miss next week's update. I hope not, though.
A few days back, Famitsu's site confirmed a rumor that had been circulating for a little while. Square Enix had a remake up its metaphorical sleeve, which isn't really anything new. The game is a bit of a surprise, though.
While we don't have any screenshots (yet), it is confirmed that Dragon Quest Monsters: Terry's Wonderland 3D was shown at the Tokyo Game Show, and that it will be available in stores sometime next year. It's a full remake of the original Dragon Quest Monsters, and will include refinements introduced in later games in the series as well as a whole lot of critters the likes of which had not been imagined in 1998.
To start things off today, we have some screens for Fate/Extra CCC, the sequel to a title that is to arrive on US shores in early November. There isn't much to say about these that was not said last column, so let's just have a look.
It's a mad, mad world out there, and the people who inhabit it are madder still. At least, that's how things may seem in the soon-to-be-remade Metal Max 2 Reloaded. The Kid, nameless protagonist extraordinaire, will need all the friends he can get.
There's Maria, for example -- so fine a warrior that it's rumored she's unkillable. She's the Kid's mentor and effectively his adopted mother. Next, Illit helps run her grandpa's garage in Mado Town. Not pictured is her little brother, who's convinced that Illit and the Kid would be perfect for each other. Finally, we have Axel and Mithica, or as I know them, Mickey and Tanya. Or as the previous owner of my copy knew them, Tommy and Dynama. Or as the writer of the walkthru on GameFAQs knew them, Ijiru and Anne. Apparently they now have set names. The're the Kid's teammates from the original Metal Max 2, and it seems they're not about to be upstaged by all those other potential party members added to the remake. Their part in the story appears to be roughly the same, as does the Grappler Tower, stronghold of one of the four Generals.
Vehicular customization is a bit more advanced in this version, with cosmetic alterations available on top of a variety of more useful upgrades. There have been some other additions made, like the ability to equip two CPUs at once, but I doubt that would make sense to anyone who hasn't played the series before.
What would a post-apocalyptic wasteland be without some swag, though? First up, we have a wanted poster for that bad boy of Acid Canyon, Ted Broiler. Note that the word "alive" does not show up anywhere.
Next is a tasty treat for everyone's favorite little bio-weapon, Pochi the Gun Dog. In the game, Bow-Wow Gourmet brand dog food is the best way to raise Pochi's stats, though he will eventually get sick of the stuff.
For the human members of the audience, we have a fashionable mug in the shape of one of the traditional Metal Max drum cans. It even has a tank logo stamped on the side.
Even in the far future, there are things that people need. Like key-chains. This little plastic dude is perfect for collecting bounties and guarding keys.
And last, we have a piece of art by the series illustrator, Atsuji Yamamoto. Entitled "Never Forgotten," it features the Kid's mentor, Maria, in a winning pose.
Dangit, I'm tempted to get this game now, even though I know I won't be playing it till the end of 2012 at the earliest....
In the cameo-fest that is Heroes Phantasia, the heroes of the contributing anime series aren't the only ones getting screentime. Their allies are also jumping into the fray. Here's the lineup.
From s-CRY-ed, Ryuhou and his summoned Alter, Zetsuei.
From Sorcerous Stabber Orphen, Cleao Everlasting and Majic Lin.
From Read or Die, Nancy Makuhari.
From Sgt. Frog, Corporal Giroro.
From My-HIME, Natsuka Kuga.
From Blood+, Haji
From Slayers Revolution, Gourry Gabriev.
From this point onward, however, we're dealing with new and original characters. The following two act as the main characters for the game, most likely.
The male lead is named Eiji Watari.
The female lead is Shinobu Fudou (and man, if ever there was a name full of ninja potential...).
Together, Eiji and Shinobu work for Sawada International Research (S.I.R.). While S.I.R. has fewer than thirty employees in all, it is world-reknowned for its investigative work and numbers among its clients the CIA, the Mosad, and the Special Operations Division of the British Library. Due to its reputation and its fortuitous proximity to the breach in space/time, S.I.R. agents are the main focus of the plot.
Like all good games, Heroes Phantasia has Engrish-y names for all the parts of its battle system. There's the "Chain Action" system, wherein a character has a set amount of Action Points to use in a series of attacks. Fast, light attacks take less AP and are more accurate, and heavy attacks are mostly the opposite. That's fairly standard nowadays. The next major system mentioned is the "Cross-over Bonus" system. With this, the player can call for a shift change, switching out different bands of heroes while at the same time greatly boosting the critical hit rate, just as an example. Finally, there's the "Over Charge" system that seems to be based around timed button presses. It raises a character's stats for that battle.
Of course there's also a limited edition box available. This will include special game UMD that allows the player to mix and match battle scenes at leisure. It also has a selection of fully voiced cut-scenes and some behind-the-scenes material. The Dengeki article hints at even more than that, but aside from the UMD there is also a special edition of Newtype magazine dedicate solely to the game. Finally, the obligatory soundtrack is included.
Avast, mateys! It's time for another look at Slime Mori-Mori Dragon Quest 3, a.k.a. the one with pirates. And what good is a game with pirates if it doesn't include pirate ships? Of course, we already knew about the pirate ships, but S-E is doing one better, and incorporating the wireless functions of the 3DS to allow random matchups with anyone in the vicinity. You want to take on random strangers in crazy pirate vessels, right?
To help avoid the confusion caused by too many identical ships of the line, there is a more robust customization system available in this game. Different hulls, figureheads, masts, and other naval equipment are available for the right price, each with their own bonuses.
It's not just pirates that our intrepid blue slime must avoid. Slival, mercenary slime for hire, makes another appearance in the series. He's got his own awesome ship, and a secret pirate base too. The Hero is going to have to work hard to be cooler than this guy.
The cast of baddies has expanded a bit more in this installment, as more new monsters from Dragon Quest 9 and Dragon Quest Monsters Joker 2 make an appearance. I have no idea what they're called in English, however. Would anyone in the audience be able to quickly identify these guys for me?