Phillip Clayton - August 1, 2004 - 11:37 Eastern Standard Time
First off, our sincerest apologizes for the lateness of this column. Apparently, Andrew Duff has been kidnapped by the Penguin. And seeing as Batman and Robin have been on vacation in Palm Springs for the last three weeks, our only course of action is to give into their demands, which is a shiny preview copy of Final Fantasy XII. And well, this is a feat we've yet to accomplish, as it is guarded by mutant Japanese businessmen and high tech motion detection lasers at the top of Square Enix's corporate headquarters in Tokyo. So until he comes back, you're stuck with me.
Anyhoo, we have some interesting stuff to cover tonight, so let's just get right into it, shall we?
Atlus has announced the development of a few new games in the Shin Megami Tensei series. The first game, titled Shin Megami Tensei Online: Imagine will, obviously, be a MMORPG. According to the game's recently opened official website, the game will take place in an alternate 21st-century Japan, where a recent unprecedented earthquake has done a good job of causing chaos throughout the country. Characters will either serve to protect the country or fight to break the country apart. To make things even stranger for the virtual people of virtual Japan, people from other worlds have been suddenly appearing. As of yet it's unclear whether they are the bad guys, the good guys, a mix of both, or play a completely different role.
Players will have the choice to become soldiers working for the "Law" side, the "Chaos" side, or fight as a neutral mercenary. Players will be able to play as one of three types of fighters: the vanguard, who will be a close-combat fighter, the rearguard, who will rely on ranged attacks, or the exorcist, who will primarily use magic.
The other two newly announced Megami Tensei games come with little info, I'm afraid. Atlus has announced that they're developing a game titled Shin Megami Tensei DS for Nintendo's upcoming portable system the DS, and according to a financial report, an as of yet un-named title in the series will see release in Japan this year. Hopefully we'll hear more about these games soon.
In other Atlus related news, their upcoming fantasy RPG StellaDeus will hit Japanese retailers on October 7
Japanese gamers will be receiving an upgraded version of Nippon Ichi's strategy-RPG La Pucelle on October 21. Renamed La Pucelle Hikari no Seijo Densetsu, the game will feature a "New Game+" mode which will let players who complete the game go back through the game with their high level party, or replay specific missions. Extra stages, new enemies for existing stages, new bosses, an expanded companion monster system, a tweaked interface, expanded configuration options, and a sound test mode which will allow players to play back the game's soundtrack will also be added to the new and improved game.
In honor of the release of Pokémon Emerald, the newest Pokčmon title, Nintendo will release a limited edition Pokémon Emerald themed GameBoy Advance SP in Japan. The special edition GBA SP will be released in Japan on September 16 for 12500 yen. The system will be sold exclusively at the Pokémon Center Online.
Fans of the Xenosaga series should get a kick out of this. Namco has released a game for the Japanese Vodaphone 256k cell phone entitled Xenosaga Pied Piper. Pied Piper tells a story dating 100 years before the start of the original Xenosaga. You will play as Jean, Ziggy's former all human self. Other characters from the series will also appear, and some mysteries are promised to be cleared up.
It is said that Pied Piper will span across multiple chapters spread across multiple releases. This release will be chapter one of a three part story.