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2:48 PM on 10.01.2011

NIS America: Black Rock Shooter Figma. You Interested?

Over at Siliconera, there is a poll set up to see just how many fans are interested in premium box package that is exclusive to the PSP game, Black Rock Shooter: The Game.

Yes, it will include the figure you see here, so if you fancy the figure, cast your vote over at the site here! The poll closes on October 2, so make haste!

Just be sure to note that if NIS America does decide to release this set that it will not include the UMD version of the game. You would still get the figure, an artbook, and a soundtrack CD (the track by One OK Rock excluded, sorry!). Kind of an odd way to present goodies with a game without a copy of the game itself, unless, they're planning to include a digital code of some sort? Details of that and the price are not disclosed, as this is just to see how many are interested in the set, but stay updated on NIS America's Newsletter to see how things go down.

If things don't pan out for the North American release you can still import the game with the figure at AmiAmi for 8,560 yen, or look at the pretty pictures at Mikatan's Blog for free!   read

1:33 PM on 08.30.2011

XSeed Games is bringing YOU to a Corpse Party!

Or rather they're bringing the PSP horror game, Corpse Party, to YOU sometime in the future.

XSeed Games made a video of "Tom" announcing not so much the game, but that YOU are going to die.
They linked it through their Twitter feed, but just have a look at the link:

Yes, that is something! Thank YOU, Tom.

Now, how would one know this is Corpse Party? Take a close look at the trailer and you'll see a cute drawing of kids stabbing a dude repeatedly. Compare that picture to the article at horror game fansite, Chris' Survival Horror Quest, and YOU got yourself a confirmation! Although, when XSeed has pretty much been hinting at bringing over a horror game on the PSP, I mean, there can only be so few, yeah.

If YOU have a Japanese PSN account you can play the demo of the game, but the story is basically kids get stuck in their school and ...things start to happen.

No word on the release date, but YOU can out for this possibly before the end of the year.   read

5:06 AM on 08.11.2011

Stab Charlotte in the ass in Madoka Magica Dungeon RPG!

This is Charlotte. She done you wrong. Have at it.

Namco Bandai and Nitroplus are banding together to bring us Madoka Magica Portable for the PSP. Andriasang says the game has two main features; adventure and dungeon. Judging by the screenshots it seems to have a similar setup to a game like how Persona 3 Portable is laid out. Shaft, the animation studio behind the anime series, is even making new transformation sequences for the game!

Check out what they have in store for the limited edition set!

There's the Madoka figma figure to cheer you on, a Blu-ray disc, a cute pink handkerchief to wipe the sweat after your intense battles, a Kyubei pouch to tuck away your game after a long night of slaying witches, and a picture label - all presented to you in a kickass looking box with Mami ready to shot your kneecap out.

If you already capped your Madoka Magica budget for the year, you can grab the standard release that also comes in a cool box and a DVD version the Blu-ray disc the LE set had. Get ready to collect Grief Seeds when the game is released on the PSP on March 15, 2012.

Oh, but your Madoka Magica gaming contract isn't up, yet! In a DLC pack released in Japan, you can play as Madoka herself in God Eater Burst. I'm not sure if this DLC is compatible with the N.A. release (word on the street is D3 Publisher won't release this pack in N.A. due to licensing issues), but it's worth checking into if you can't wait for Madoka Portable.
Check out these mad stats!

And for those wondering, "the hell is Madoka Magica?". Aniplex USA has licensed the 12 episode anime series that aired in Japan last Spring. It should hit retail in the U.S. relatively soon, but check it out. Don't let the magical girl premise throw you off. The show is seriously badass   read

9:44 AM on 07.27.2011

Level 5 Wants YOU to Vote!

Time Travelers

Independent developer, Level 5, has been hustlin' quite a bit lately. Recently, they revealed their new international HQ office they just opened in North America, and now that the shop is up they want to know what you want to see them cook up! Or, rather, which one of the their games seems "most exciting" to you. We can assume this is to give them an idea of fans outside Japan are like and possibly direct them to the type of games we would want to see from them.

It's not a shabby selection, either! Level 5 is known for making engaging games that have a nice style to them (they worked with Studio Ghibli on a game, for goodness sakes), and, of course, the ever popular Professor Layton games.

If you have a Facebook account you can cast a single vote here. You can vote on one of the seven choices available. I'll try to list them here:

Ni no Kuni (PS3)

The Little Battlers (PSP)

Professor Layton vs Ace Attorney (3DS)

Inazuma Eleven Strikers (Wii)

Ni no Kuni

Inazuma Eleven (DS)

Time Travelers (3DS)

Professor Layton and the Mask of Miracle

Fantasy Life (3DS)

Girl's RPG Cinderelife

So, which one are you most excited for?   read

6:51 AM on 07.20.2011

Idolm@ster 2 Starts Touring on the PS3

One of the Xbox 360's saving grace in Japan has been The Idolm@ster series, the game where you take the role as a producer and guide a young girl into idol stardom. Grace be gone with the Xbox because The Idolm@ster 2, the latest in the franchise, is set to appear on the Playstation 3 on October 27. A regular edition and limited edition is set to appear on that date.

What makes this a remarkable thing is because ever since the original Idolm@ster game was first released on the 360 in 2007, fans who didn't have the means to import the region locked system had to settle for the PSP games or the DS one that only offered a scaled down experience of the main games. While the vanilla release of IM@S 2 at 7,980 yen is nothing to scoff at, you can bet that's a lot easier to swallow than getting that PLUS a Xbox 360 that you have to import. You can say what you want about the music and dancing, but you got to admit, there are very few cel-shaded games that look as good as this:

To pour salt on the Xbox 360 Idolm@niacs' wounds, the PS3 version will get a few of the DLC released so far on disk. That speaks volumes for fans (and Namco Bandai) as that includes clothes, accessories and even songs. There is no shortage of DLC for the series in general.
You can't say you didn't see this coming, though! Besides the PSP games (that Namco Bandai generously separated into three retail games) IM@S has already debuted on the PS3 for a "concert" in PS Home. Or maybe it was timed to coincide with the Idolm@ster anime series currently airing? (how are people enjoying that, by the way?)

Those who begged high and low on publishers forums to localize the game, well, keep begging, but at least here's your chance to at least play the game if you have a PS3 on hand. (and about a hundred bucks on the other hand to buy the game, of course.)
Although we missed out on classics such as "Colorful Days" and "Ippai Ippai", we can soon share the experience with the next generation. With 100% more hamburger:

Source: Siliconera and NeoGaf via Famitsu.   read

3:02 AM on 05.12.2011


Don't speak. Just listen...


The voice of our generation? Well, maybe not, but it's a far cry from The Black Out Band.


Jesus Christ.

Via @Triphibian   read

3:51 PM on 03.28.2011

Focus Group act like numbnuts, rejects horror DS game

For those who don't know, Nanashi No Game ("The Nameless Game") is a horror title for the Nintendo DS by Square-Enix. I wondered for a while why such a fantastic game was not brought across the Pacific with the amount of potential and unique experience behind it.


Well, turns out that the creator, Takahashi Tokita, actually did seek out to bring this game over. Sadly it was rejected by a focus group. Hey, it happens. What made this into something that made me literally shake my head was the reason why they turned down a brilliant game. Takahashi explains:

"We talked to a focus group and they thought it wasn't good for the market, so we didn't do it," Tokita replied. "Maybe as a downloadable title it's possible." I was surprised since Japanese and Korean horror movies were on the rise, so I asked Tokita to elaborate. "The opinion was you couldn't shoot anything. Maybe we shouldn't have been too concerned about it."

Nanashi No Game revolves around characters in Japan who end up missing or dead and the root of it appears to be caused by a cursed video game. Throughout the game you search through different isolated locations to search for clues behind the mysterious and deadly game. Your leads can be interrupted by angry spirits who were unfortunate enough to meet their demise in their previous life by the game and will not stop till you join them in death.

You're not without hope, though.


To help solve the case and save your life you have a "TS" system where you can play the cursed game. The game is in 8-bit set in a typical RPG setting. However, you're not grinding or slaying monsters. You are set up in scenarios that will mimic your real world settings and slowly uncover how such a seemingly friendly game became so evil. When you're not running around in the 8-bit world you are running for your life from the ghosts in the real one. If you don't solve the mystery in seven days you die.


Having imported the game, its sequel and the mini games available from Japan on the DSiWare I have to say that not sharing this game in the west really feels like a lost. It would have surely make those who thought horror games on a portable system simple doesn't work think otherwise because of how well the game was presented and the fourth wall that immersed players throughout the game. Since there are a few that tossed the game aside for such a silly reason we'll miss out on that and that's that. I personally enjoy horror games where you're not SHOOTAN things with an abundance of weaponry, but apparently that's just me.

Source and thanks to Siliconera for not forgetting about this game.   read

12:55 PM on 01.25.2011

Gal Gun: Lock, Stock and A Pair of Smoking Panties

I'm going to skip any potentially offensive, but chuckle worthy snarks about school shootings and get straight to the game :3


Title: Gal☆Gun (ぎゃる☆がん)
Developer: Inti Creates
Publisher: Alchemist
Released: January 27, 2011
Platform: Xbox 360 (JPN)
Genre: Rail-gun

You can actually play this game right now, but first here's the gist of the story; rookie, pink-haired angel, Patako, is set out to do a simple task of shooting an arrow at average high schooler Tenzou in a way similar to Cupid. Patako must have set her love gun to full blast because she fills poor Tenzou full of [s]lead[/s] hearts instantly making him the school's heartthrob. Sounds like any guy's fantasy, right? Not unless you want to find your true love, so Patako loads up on pheromones to fend off the female frenzy and gets to work.

Now, how can you take part in the love bang action? First you need an Xbox 360. There, that's the hard part! What you need to do now is set up a Japanese account to use on the Japanese market place to download the demo. Just fallow the instructions laid out in this video:


It's quite simple. Basically, you just need to create a Live account on the web with all the settings set to Japan (country, zip code, etc.) and then create a Gamer Tag that is liked to that account. As of now, this is the only way to create a legit Japanese account on Xbox Live, but it's a lot less time consuming (and hundreds of bucks cheaper) than importing another Xbox system from Japan - not that there isn't a reason to import one anyway, but I'll save that for another time ;-)

Once you have your Japanese account on XBL set up, head to the demo section. It's the last box to the far right once you're in the Market Place, set up exactly like the American counterpart. You're almost there! Just scroll till you see the title (there aren't many), download it, load it up and get to work. The best part; you can also load the demo from your regular Xbox account, using your Japanese one to download whatever exclusive demos that may come your way there!

The game itself is incredibly fun. It's plays out the same way as your standard arcade on-rails shooter, like House of The Dead and such. Instead of shooting for the brain for an instant-kill, you have to shoot the "sweet spots" on the teenage horn-dogs, or what the game calls Ecstasy Shot. These spots can be discovered on several parts; the head, ankles, but the most common spot for the shot I noticed was the abdomen and thighs...


You'll notice these spots while you aim on the lasses when you see a yellow "ビクッ". Shooting a pink "doki" seems to do the trick and let them down with an orgasmic expression, as well.
Master this technique and you'll be able to avoid the girls painful love letters pushed to your gut or their shouts of "キスした" and "スキです" that pierce your soul before they knock you out.

So, what does happen when the love is just too painful to bear?

( ゚Д゚)



In the words of Jonathan Holmes' Sagat I say FUNK DAT. Kumi and I have other plans, but try the game out yourself. For a demo you get a chunk of time with about 30-40 minutes of gameplay and while the game isn't crisp, it is absolutely ADORABLE and CUTE. Not the words used to describe games involving shooting people, but there you have it. Gal Gun.
In the full game you chase after four gals and tinker with your stats ("ecchi" is one of them. Still not sure if that directly affects gameplay or not). Also, if an unwanted intruder barges in during gameplay, press the select button on the controller to use as an escape key and it ushers in an oldschool RPG screen. Very handy if you have shame, unlike me.

BTW, Kumi and I just got engaged and you're all invited to the wedding. Now, commence the ceremonial dance.


My love...

There's only you in my life...

The only thing that's right...


Originally posted at Japanator!   read

9:38 AM on 09.19.2010

The Resident Evil 3D film You SHOULD Have Saw

If you have seen Resident Evil: Afterlife this should make up for it. If you haven't, skip Afterlife and be glad you did. Check this out:



Ho-ly shit. Where's that in my Resi material these days? Well, that was Biohazard 4D-Executer and according to Wiki it was shown at theme parks in Japan and then later added 3D. Unfortunately, the 3D glasses I nabbed from my Toy Story 3 trip doesn't work with these clips, but you could probably make a safe bet that the blood would have squirted towards you as that dude's face was being literally torn apart. Damn... Sorry, Captain EO.


Street Fighter II: THE RIDE!


This was a simulator ride (think Star Tours at Disneyland with the chairs shaking, throwing and choking you). Neither of these films are in high quality, even then, but it does have the campiness that I enjoyed in the two games series I once loved.

"This place is weird, man!"   read

3:58 AM on 09.15.2010

Grasshopper Manufacture's new game is "DMD"

That's the abbreviation that Suda51 wants people to use for "Shadows of the Damned", the action-thriller game. The game was announced at Electronic Arts's conference in Tokyo with Goichi Suda, Shinji Mikami, and Akira Yamaoka presenting their collaborative project.

The game has Garcia Hotspur, hunter of demons, venture into the City of the Damned to rescue his girlfriend and tear into demon orifices with this:

Not too much else was revealed, but expect the game to be released sometime next year for the PS3 and Xbox 360.

You can watch the trailer and see more images at the official site.

Source via Grasshopper's Twitter feed.   read

8:57 AM on 08.08.2010

Arc System stuff, BlazBlue stuff, cute stuff all around

Who doesn't enjoy cute stuff once in a while? Well, retailers, it seems. Cutesy stuff are a hard sale. That's why we turn our perked noses towards over the Pacific, specifically, Yokohama, Japan.

Arc System Works opened their own English site, and who's better to great you than one of the cutest buttons on the BlazBlue roster than Noel? She'll guide you through the swanky/Flash offices where there are some pretty interesting graphs and documents about the company. They're pretty easy to understand, but the real fun is clicking on the random objects (Rachel and Ragna don't like being touched?).

Keeping up with Arc, a promotional video was released for Record of Agarest War 2, and this one has a short dance routine on par with the IM@S gals.


Lastly, I'd like to share my thoughts on Arc's latest, and arguably most adorable, release on the DSiWare, BlayzBloo: Super Melee Brawlers Battle Royale.

As the title suggest, you are thrown into a pit to battle your opponents with your fists, sword, or any weapon that that an unseen but ever present force bestows upon you, 'ala Gladiator. The battles are quick, yet brutal. Why must they fight? Why must they suffer? WHAT ARE THEY FIGHTING FOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAURRRRRRR­RGH?

Five characters from the BlazBlue series (Ragna, Jin, Noel, Rachel, and Taokaka) are here to fight in their super deformed glory in a 3D environment. You have a few game modes. In single player you play through five stages; point (collect the most soba bowls), life (be the last one standing), flag (have Litchi Faye-Ling's panda hairpiece, Lao Jiu, on YOUR head before time runs out), a special stage (a variation of one of the previous stages. Invisible flag, melting point, and such), and a boss battle. Boss battle (I'll refrain from spoiling who it is, but it's not someone you haven't fought already) is a single amp-up character, and the game would have had quite a bit more replayability, or at least challenge, if the AI were able to fight on this level more often, but que sera sera.

Free Battle also has two more battle modes; Free Battle to just fight the AI in custom battle matches, and DS Wireless Play. You can play with your friends in Wireless Play, but they must also have had to purchased the game.

Controls: directional pad moves your little fighter, A is your "Drive" attack, B is jump, X to use item, and Y is your normal attack.

Yes, the "Drive" attack! Not quite as brutal as the home console equivalent, but it does add a pinch of depth more than just running around like chickens pecking your foes. Tao's "Dancing Edge" is a piercing dash forward, so aim toward your opponent (or head off the ledge). Noel's "Chain Revolver" has her shoot you POINT BLANK ON THE CHIBI FACE. Ragna's "Soul Eater" is a slash forward of the mighty sword, but I found it as a bit of a disadvantage as it leaves you completely open from the animation action for your enemies to completely pounce you, more so than the other character's Drives from my experience. The reward here is hearing Ragna yell "MOVE IT" like a spoiled kid at a party. Really, pick yourself and three other Ragnas, I always get a kick out of that.
Jin's Drive, Reitou (Frost Bite), is a page taken from Sub-Zero's Ice Blast. IT WILL BREAK YOU. You won't see it coming, either. When it hits you you're screwed. Or, rather, frozen. You can use the directional pad to shake it off a bit, but if you don't shake like hell... Depending on what mode you're playing you can be royally screwed. x10. Not only Jin can freeze you, but if he uses the same Drive you again while you're frozen, you blast back. See ya~
The most interesting Drive to me is Rachel's. "Sliphead" is her controlling the "wind" and blows you in the direction she's facing. It could be towards a ledge, but that wouldn't have much effect. The true purpose of this move is you start whacking your opponent, push the Drive button and send Rachel off to knock down several opponents, and if you're able to land it they get pushed back a further distance. It's tricky, but it pays off, especially since Rachel moves slower than the others. Her Drive by itself is practically useless, otherwise.

To change up the gameplay you have several items you can obtain by smashing open chests. Inside you can use bowling balls, a frog (George XIII), kunai, and bombs. The Arms you can acquire are S-medals, mushroom, curse, bunny ears, and Big B. You can knock down one or all opponents if you're lucky.

There are five stages that appeared in the original game available here in miniature form, each with varying layouts. The Graveyard has a couple moments where the tombstones slide open for you to jump in to avoid getting struck by lightning. What I particularly liked were the remixes for each stage. Nothing fancy, but it's neat.

All in all, BlayzBloo is a little wacky fighter that has a bit to offer for a quick (really quick), simple bout. Serious fighter players who aren't looking to put a little sugar on their tooth won't be sticking around for this too long. That wasn't the intent, anyway. It comes off more like something for fans of the BlazBlue universe to nibble on. You can see there's potential here to become a high tier DSiWare title just by what they presented. What came through was a little short of what could have pleased a lot more people. Even if they added (raugh...) friend codes it would have pushed this game a little farther than where it landed. That said, I can't deny that they brought some elements into the game that made it fun for me. I enjoyed the game and hope to see it continue as a reoccurring series! Maybe even as a complete DS cart game? At the very least we now know what BlazBlue looks like in 3D! (kind of)

BlayzBloo get's a

Light-orange! Burrr-ba-buurr! The energy and ambition of orange, while white sets the tone for a bright beginning!

Gameplay footage provided by IGN.   read

6:45 AM on 07.24.2010

I'll stick to being a "gamer", thank you!


Go to any gaming site and you'll see a couple hopeful souls that want to break into the gaming biz. I don't want to say 'hope be gone with you' just yet (I'll leave that to the happy campers at Gamasutra in bit :P). It takes a lot out of you to get what you want - whatever it may be. Not to mention some of that inspiration builds some great communities all across the board (like this one?).

I can't say I'd ever want to make a retail game. I lack the drive, talent and I would be a little scared to after reading some stories (wait for it..) But, If someone were to ask me what game I'd like to make I'd say "what makes a game". No, not in the same vain as Little Big Planet.
Alright, check this out!: how about game where you take the mechanics of the latest Grand Theif Auto title, even the nitty-gritty atmosphere of the underbelly world, but center the characters at a game company trying to make a deadline? Eh? Eh...? Maybe I should just stick to Neptune...

That's just an idea I got after reading and listening to the men and women who sweat months to bring some of our favorite games to us to spend hours a week playing for pure enjoyment.

That said, I don't think most fans still believe in the "play games all day" thing when they think of working at a game company. If anyone did, they might want to take the time to read through this article from Gamasutra:

Analysis: Is The Game Industry A Happy Place?

Yes, I know, not the most lively place to talk about games, but the news director of the site, Leigh Alexander, kind of tells why:

"...the fact is that the game industry is actually quite a deceptively-stressful place, and fresh-faced younguns with dreams of "playing video games all day" are in for it. And there are some difficulties that are not exaggerations: unfortunately, there are major-title studios where an 80-hour week isnt a melodramatic legend, but a light schedule. And when that game ships? A sea of arbitrary, tepid reviews from an apparently-jaded reviews corps, and endless forum threads stuffed with one-liners from an audience comfortable contributing only "failget" to the discussion."

That's only the surface. The article veers into several topics on why the gaming industry is or at least can be a gloomy place. Work isn't always fun, much less one in an industry like gaming, but one has to think how things go down sometimes.

The article itself touches on three points that might contribute to the circle;

Developer Culture:
"This is one of the reasons for the industrys high burnout and turnover rates, and it means the developers that work their way up at these studios are either the most determined or the most stubborn but not necessarily the most creative or the most fulfilled".

"The average end user might not have any idea how games are made, but they may, on some level, be reacting to a thread of unhappiness on the creators side when they respond with constant negativity or dissatisfaction. Or not. Games media and developers alike know that gamers couldnt give a damn."

Gamers and the Media:
"They want big explosions and they wanted them yesterday. Give it to them simply and immediately and they complain its too shallow or slapshod; take your time and they whine its too slow and too overwrought. They are a distractible breed, easily confused, and thus the success of a title has less to do with how hard developers worked on it and more to do with how good marketing teams are at manipulating them."

"Core gamers are demanding, entitled, obnoxious, sexist forum trolls. Of course, thats not entirely true, and its probably not even a small part of the picture. But it sure seems like a sufficient summary sometimes from the view of a games journalist, whos tasked with navigating the gap between an unhappy developer culture and a consumer culture that seems equally toxic."

I should probably take this personal, but I have agree - a lot of us are assholes, and sometimes for no reason other than just to be one. Plain and simple. However, even the author has a reason for this that even us jaded gamers might overlook sometimes:

"Like it or not, though, consumer hostility points to important facts: the audience isnt being served well by the products it buys or by the media tasked with addressing it. Just as many developers are thrown young and underqualified into a pressure cooker, so are many writers."

The Evil Overlords:
"Of course, all three parties developers, gamers and consumers can glance in the general direction of "up the ladder" to the industrys investor-driven corporate side."

"Its the Men In Suits, after all, who make the decision to treat their studio staff as expendable. Theyre the ones who determine that its time to clamp their lips shut when the media wants information, who manipulate an often young and inexperienced press corps with shameless ease."

"The culture of secrecy and opportunism was born at the top among the publishing execs but even then, "blame our dark corporate overlords" is too simple and largely misplaced. Executives have a job to do, too. In fact, a CEO has only one: add value for shareholders. And as irrelevant as that objective seems at a glance to everyone else in the industry ecosystem, its actually crucial unhappy gamers are jerks, unhappy games media are lazy and unprofessional, and unhappy developers make crappy games. But unhappy investors mean a company cant survive."


Yikes! It doesn't seem way cool to make games now. Wait, I don't want to generalize here. There are some folks out there in the industry that would say they are "happy" being at the spot they're in, and I sure as hell have no right to take that title away from them. If there weren't people up to the task to help create these games doing who knows what for who knows how long, I wouldn't be here. YOU wouldn't be here. Maybe even this site wouldn't be here. No, no, these people don't deserve anything less than the utmost respect from me. I'll never meet any of them, but in some small way whenever I talk about a game with others that they "should really check out" I'd liked to think of it as saying "thanks! It may not be a game that pleases your boss when they see the overall score at Metacritic, but, thanks!".

If you read the comments under the article you'll see that the unfortunate tales don't stop here. One commenter, Joel Payne, shares his two decades of working in the industry. He tells some grim events that he has seen. One part made me feel one those mixed emotions of sadness and anger when he mentions that a friend and gaming vet took his own life on his birthday "because nobody would listen to his brilliance". That has to sting in anyone that would hope gaming wouldn't and shouldn't go down this path. Ever.
He goes on to say, "...through it all I always remembered something Chuck Jones told me.. 'Joel, the entertainment industry is 90% pain and suffering and 10% pleasure, Just make sure the pleasure shows in your work and you'll be fine.' He was right."

Don't let us tell you about Chuck Jones! Here he is:


In response to someone who contemplated the thought of leaving the industry because of all the stress, Mr. Joel Payne comes back and tells her, "You don't need to leave the industry to be happy, you just have to start your own company like I did and do things right. The game industry should be about fun and getting creative people like yourself to enjoy the birthing process of the dreams.".


Source: Gamasutra   read

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