Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Sony's TGS 2008 Lineup

Sony has revealed "their" lineup for the upcoming Tokyo Game Show. And the list is a long one. ...Except for the fact that barely a fraction of the games they are showing are even theirs. Which is like, what?

Of the enormous list of other companies' games, the following are actually published by Sony and are RPGs:

Hands-on Titles
Yuusha no Kuse ni Namaiki da or2 - PSP

Yep. That's it.

You might think you are seeing double here, since YnKnNdor2 was already on Acquire's list, but Sony is publishing it, so you needn't worry.

Though Level 5's Shiro Kishi Monogatari (White Knight Story) is nowhere to be seen on this list, it was said that the game would indeed be playable at the show in some fashion. So yeah.

Additionally, Sony claims that they have 9 more proprietary PS3 titles and 3 more proprietary PSP titles to show off that they aren't spilling the beans on at the moment. One of those is likely White Knight.

You can check out the "full" "official" list here.

Konami's TGS 2008 Lineup

Konami has recently released their showing list for TGS (today seems like a popular day for this). You can check out what RPGs they're planning to show below:

Hands-on Titles
Akumajou Dracula: Ubawareta Kokuin (Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia) - Nintendo DS
Gensou Suikouden: Tierkreis - Nintendo DS

They also are showing off a PC game called Chaotic Eden, which I have never heard of before and doesn't have its own site. I'm not sure if this is an RPG or an MMO or what, but I'm sure we'll find out soon enough.

You can check out the official full list here.

Acquire's TGS 2008 Lineup

Acquire has just revealed (most of) their TGS lineup, the majority of which are RPGs. Take a look at the list below:

???-on Titles
Yuusha no Kuse ni Namaiki da or2 - PSP
Dan - Damu (Dungeons and Dam) - Nintendo DS
Ken to Mahou to Gakuen Mono. - PSP

They also have a "surprise" title to show off that will be revealed at the show. It may or may not be an RPG.

You can check out the full official list here.

Namco Bandai's TGS 2008 Lineup

Well, TGS is just around the corner, and the last few big Japanese publishers are finally posting their showing lineups. Check out what RPGs Namco Bandai is planning on showing off next week:

Eyes-on Titles
Super Robot Taisen Z - PlayStation 2

Hands-on Titles
Fragile: Sayonara Tsuki no Haikyo - Nintendo Wii
Tales of Hearts (Anime + CG Editions) - Nintendo DS
Tales of the World: Radiant Mythology 2 - PSP

The list contains nothing really surprising in any way, but its nice to see that Fragile and ToH will be playable.

You can check out the full official list here.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Continued Arc Rising in Fantasia

As per request, here is the translation for the latest article in Famitsu regarding Marvelous and imageepoch’s upcoming Wii RPG, Arc Rise Fantasia. This article details a couple of new characters, as well as gives an overview of some features of the battle system.

As you will recall from the previous translation, ARF (silly acronym is silly) is set in the Meridian Empire, which, thanks to Light Summoning, has flourished. Unfortunately, the appearance of the Corrupted Dragons and a mysterious condition known as Crystalization has left the citizens of the Meridian Empire in fear.

The hero of the story, Ralk (whose name was originally “Bright” but seems to have been changed) is a member of a military unit dedicated to the destruction of the Corrupted Dragons. However, during an operation, he comes into contact with a mysterious girl named Rifia…

But that’s all old news. Below are the newly revealed characters:

Sarge (33)
“It worked out, so it’s fine, right? Quit being selfish!”
A member of a group of bandits, Sarge is cocky, talkative, womanizing, and unpredictable. He is laid back in terms of speech and action, but actually holds a hidden past.
He uses daggers in battle.

Leslie (22)
“What is it, boy? If you work that hard, you’ll wear yourself out.”

A woman in the middle of a journey, Leslie always maintains a composed attitude, and occasionally throws out arrogant remarks, but is basically an honest person.
She uses dual pistols in battle.

Necromancer (15)
“You don’t need to worry. I’ll come back and kill you later.”

A controller of the dead, she (?) strives to kill Rifia. Her motives are unknown.
She uses her fists in battle.
NOTE: This very well could be a boy (the article doesn't specifically mention the gender). I guessed female due to the slimmer figure, longer, purple hair, dress-like costume, and female voice actor. However, as many of you know, that doesn’t necessarily equal “female” in Japanese popular culture.

Next up, battle system:

ARF’s “Trinity Battle System” allows one team of three different characters. As you use the same characters together, their intimacy or friendship levels increase, giving your team various new effects and abilities. There are various skills that can be unlocked only through this system, so choosing your team will be very important.

Additionally, within the battle system there are attack combos that can activated. A “Single Connect” is a combo used by one character, meanwhile, the party can string a combo together known as a “Party Connect.” It also makes use of 4 different types of “Tandems” (Regular Tandem, Arm Tandem, Light Summon Tandem, and Ley Stone Tandem).

The article shows how chaining these Tandems will strengthen their skills. For example, the Arm Tandem “Steal” will eventually become “Plunder” through stringed use. Similarly, the Light Summon Tandem “Shine” will eventually become the much more powerful “Shine Bullet.”

Finally, the article highlights “Trinity Acts,” which are basically attacks that combine the “Excel Acts” of each active party member into a single powerful attack. There are various Trinity Acts available throughout the game, and using different characters will affect which are available to the party.

Arc Rise Fantasia is being developed by imageepoch, and will be published by Marvelous on the Nintendo Wii sometime this winter in Japan. There is currently no word on North American or European localization.

RPGs of the Week: Nothing to See Here Edition

Welcome to a new week full of RPGs and RPG-related news.

...Or so I thought, but there really aren't any RPGs coming out this week. You can check out the slim-pickings below across all three major regions for the week of September 29 - October 3, 2008.

North America
Harvest Moon: Tree of Tranquility - Marvelous, Natsume - Nintendo Wii
Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood - BioWare, Sega - Nintendo DS
Valhalla Knights 2 - K2, XSEED - PSP

Magician's Academy - Enterbrain - PlayStation 2


Surprisingly few RPGs shipping this week, with North America faring the best (relatively speaking) with Sonic Chronicles, Valhalla Knights 2, and the first (I think?) Harvest Moon on Wii. Really, nothing to get excited over as far as I can tell. Unless you're diehard for Harvest Moon...

Japan gets a mediocre-looking SRPG for the living dead that is the PS2. Surprisingly nothing on DS though.

Well, here's hoping the temporary dry spell is just so that RPG developers and publishers can focus on TGS next week. Right?

Anything worth your money this week?

Friday, September 26, 2008

COMBO BREAKER!! The Last Remnant Feeds Your HD Fetish

So you thought this week was going to all SD and handhelds, did you? Not if Square Enix has anything to say about it. Courtesy of Famitsu (via Gamekyo), behold 10 enormous pages of The Last Remnant screens, details, and artwork.

The massively enormous article details all of the characters and battle system points we've heard of so far, all packaged nicely into one of the most visually appealing articles I have seen from the publication. Take a look at all the goodness below.

The Last Remnant will be available worldwide on Xbox 360 on November 20, 2008 from Square Enix. There is currently no release date set for either the PlayStation 3 or PC versions.

SHOCKING: Level 5 making a Console Game After All

Well, kind of.

At their press conference today, Level 5 announced that they would be remaking their soccer RPG, Inazuma Eleven, for a home console. Titled Inazuma Eleven Break, the game will be essentially the same minus the stylus controls (obviously) and plus better graphics (thankfully). Though no platform has officially been announced, it is assumed that the game will be available for the Nintendo Wii.

There is currently no solid release date announced.

You can check out the game's official site here.

Marvelous Can't Quit Harvest Moon on the DS

Marvelous recently announced Bokujou Monogatari: Youkoso! Kaze no Bazaaru e! (Harvest Moon: Welcome to the Bazaar of the Wind) for the Nintendo DS, along with the launch of the game's official website.

There are currently no solid details on the title, but it is scheduled for release on December 18, 2008 in Japan. This makes probably the 700th Harvest Moon game announced this year alone. Must be doing well, I guess.

There are currently no details regarding a North American release, but we're pretty confident Natsume will get around to it once the other dozen or so in front of it hit our shores.

So, anyone need their fix of Harvest Moon this Christmas?

Kizuna Brings Dark and Brooding to Wii's Sunshine and Lollipops

If you have a Wii, you might be wondering where the dark, mature RPGs are. Well, they are actually on other platforms. But Jaleco means to change that with their upcoming action-RPG, Ougon no Kizuna (Golden Bonds).

Famitsu has recently revealed a new batch of info for the game, including details on the battle system, background story, and some new characters.

You can check out the scans below. Since I've utterly failed at finding the time to translate the previous requested article (I'm very sorry), I'll translate this one instead. It should be up either this afternoon some time or on Monday.

Ougon no Kizuna will be available sometime this winter. There is no word on North American or European release at the moment.

7th Dragon Debut Trailers is... Really Weird

Sega released the debut trailer for their next DS imageepoch RPG (man those guys are busy lately), 7th Dragon, headed by Rieko Kodama (Skies of Arcadia) and Kazuya Niino (Etrian Odyssey).

...And it's kind of really weird. I watched it the whole time thinking, "What the hell were they going for here?" Super deformed characters super-imposed on home videos of someone who did an art pilgimage around Europe? Who gave that the green light?

Anyhow, take a watch and let me know what you think.

Also, note the lack of any actual in-game footage. Worrisome.

Chocobo's Dungeon DS Thinks itself is Epic

Okay, I'm sorry I made fun of Chocobo's Dungeon, Giggity. To make up for it, I've posted the new trailer for Cid to Chocobo no Fushigi na Dungeon: Toki Wasure no Meikyuu DS+ (lit. Cid and Chocobo's Mysterious Dungeon: The Labrynth of Forgotten Time DS+).

The trailer follows the usual patter of DS RPG trailers of late, wowing you with impressive graphics that you will only see in cutscenes in hopes that you will forget that the game actually looks terribly outdated. What sets this trailer apart from its peers is that the latter half of the trailer actually features extensive game footage. Brave.

Give the trailer a watch and let me know if you are going to be buying this game again.

Avalon Code Trailer Tries to Pretend it's Not on DS

Perhaps the funniest part of the whole "every frickin' game is on DS" movement is that trailers for the games try to pretend like they actually aren't DS games. They throw around a lot of artwork, CG/anime scenes, some kind of theme song for 90% of the video to get you thinking "Hey, this looks neat," all the while burying a couple of actual in-game scenes somewhere in the middle.

Well, Marvelous' new trailer for Matrix-developed Avalon Code is no different. Give it a watch and see if you can spot the actual game footage somewhere within the beautiful hand-crafted montage. It's kind of like Where's Waldo, only more depressing.

Avalon Code will be available in Japan on October 16, 2008, with a no-date-confirmed-yet North American release courtesy XSEED Games.

Arc Rise Fantasia Scans will Rise Your Arc

Okay, that is an awkward title. But let's face it: Arc Rise Fantasia is kind of an awkward name. Still looks like it might be fun though.

The latest issue of Famitsu has revealed several new characters for Marvelous and imageepoch's upcoming Wii RPG, including the obligatory busty chick that dresses like a whore for whatever reason (not that I'm complaining).

Take a look at the scans below and let me know what you think. Is the Wii finally getting some RPGs worth caring about? (And no, Giggity, Chocobo's Dungeon is NOT worth caring about.) Or are you unimpressed?

Arc Rise Fantasia will reportedly be available in Japan sometime this winter. No word yet on a North American or European release.

Open for translation request in the comments section.

New Eternal Poison Trailer is Brooding, Poisonous

Atlus' PS2 localization of Poison Pink, Eternal Poison, will be upon us within a few weeks. And just to make sure that you haven't forgotten about it, Atlus has graciously released a new trailer for the game, English voice acted and everything. Take a watch below:

I'm not totally in love with SRPGs (that's an understatement - they generally put me to sleep), but I love Atlus, so I'll of course be picking this up. And hey, the story doesn't look too bad. Maybe this is one SRPG that I own that I might actually play one day.


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Xbox Japan Wants Moar RPGs

Xbox Japan boss Takashi Sensui, in a recent interview with EDGE, has been very optimistic about the Xbox 360's recent success in Japan, much of which he attributes to big name exclusive RPGs (specifically Tales of Vesperia and Infinite Undiscovery).

Sensui said, "The recent launch of Tales of Vesperia was a true catalyst for console sales and in order to bring more gamers from a broader segment of consumers to the Xbox 360, we need to make the strengthening of our RPG line-up a priority."

RPG fans who read Sword Machine probably already know that Xbox Japan has been focusing on big RPGs for quite some time now (beginning with titles from FromSoftware, Q? Interactive, and Mistwalker), but it is certainly nice to see it coming to fruition.

In regards to future titles, Sensui said, "We have similar high hopes for the upcoming launch of other RPGs such as The Last Remnant, Star Ocean 4: The Last Hope and Fable II."

Now, you and I both know that "RPGs sell Xboxes" is not a new idea, and with their success in the past, it's pretty safe to say that there are a lot more titles in the pipeline that we don't know about yet. I would like to think that some of those titles will be unveiled at TGS, but I suppose only time will tell.

That being said, Sensui wanted to make sure you understand the following: "We have no plans to launch Final Fantasy XIII in Japan.


Acquire Announces Dungeons & Dam

I'm not sure exactly what to say for this one. Should I comment on the fact that Acquire makes the Tenchu series? Should I ridicule the game's clearly ridiculous name? Should I complain about yet another DS RPG? I just don't know where to start here.

Anyhow, Dan-Damu (the Japanese shortening of the title of the game) is boasted by the article as the world's first Dungeon Defense RPG. Maybe "RPG" is a little misleading. The game apparently features heavy simulation elements, which, due to the low quality of the scan, I
am having a hard time reading. But they're in there.

Dan-Damu will be available in Japan next Spring.

Once reasonable scans for the game surface I will take requests for translations.

SHOCKING: Level 5 Announces 4 Portable RPGs

Level 5 has come out swinging with a hefty round of new RPG announcements for the DS and PSP, all of which will be self-published (i.e. not published by Sony, Square Enix, or anyone else). I have taken a look at all 4 games, and my initial impressions are thus:

Not impressed.

Maybe you'll disagree with me, though. Take a look and judge for yourself:

Ninokuni: The Another World

The first, and in my opinion, most promising of the announcements is Ninokuni: The Another World (Ninokuni literally means "Two Countries" or "The Country of Two," but appears to be the actual proper name of the world the game takes place in).

The game is being developed in collaboration with the famous anime production group, Studio Ghibli (if you've never heard of them, hit yourself), and focuses on the theme of "the connection between people." The player will take the role of an apparently nameless young boy as he travels throughout the land of Ninokuni.

Ninokuni: The Another World will be available on Nintendo DS sometime next year.

Inazuma Eleven 2

The least surprising of the 4 announcements (and one I totally called), Inazuma Eleven 2 is a follow-up to the recently released Soccer RPG on Nintendo DS.

I haven't seen a scan for this one yet, but there is reportedly a new Alien Team to face off against. Woo.

More details as I learn them.

Danboru Senki

The third announcement, Danboru Senki (lit. Cardboard Tactics) seems to focus on a more contemporary setting, and takes cues from SNES classic Robotrek, allowing the player to build custom robots for battle called LBX.

Danboru Senki will be available sometime next year on PSP.

Correction: I misread the Japanese title as
戦記 rather than 戦機 (the difference between a war history and a war strategy).


The fourth and final announcement from Level 5, Ushiro (lit. Behind) is described as a Horror RPG set in modern Japan. The scans are hard to read, but it seems that the player will take the role of Reiichirou Ushiro (a made-up Japanese name that plays on words). Reiichirou is a death god, or something of that nature, who can possess and steal the souls of others. He has some kind of relationship with Nanako Nishizaki, a 16 year old school girl who can see spirits.

Again, the scans are terrible to read, so I don't have all of the details at the moment, but I'll let you know when I do.

Ushiro is set to be released sometime next year on PSP.

So, there you have it.

Level 5 teased us all that they would be making "shocking" announcements this week, but unless they have something else to announce, I am officially not-shocked. The games all look pretty cool for handheld titles, but in a day and age when every developer and their grandmother are announcing 2 new DS games a week, I fail to see how this is anything special.

Of the 4, the Studio Ghibli collaboration, Ninokuni, certainly seems like the most promising.

I suppose it is nice to see Level 5 come into their own as a publisher, and I know that everyone has to start somewhere, but would it really have killed them to work on one console title?

Maybe you're stoked. If you are, let me know in the comments so maybe I can get over feeling so underwhelmed.

Infinite Space Officially Detailed

A while back when Sega went to town announcing all their projects in collaboration with Platinum Games (made up of former members of Capcom and Clover Studios), they threw in a mention of a DS RPG called Mugen Senro (lit. Endless Voyage), which the English game media named Infinite Line. The game got a couple of ambiguous screens of space ships, but we really knew next to nothing about the game.

This week's Famitsu, however, brings the skinny on the game, which Sega/Platinum are English-naming Infinite Space.

The game centers on a 16 year old named Yuuri who lives with his younger sister Chelsea. The only scan I have been able to find is quite poor quality and a pain to read, so I'll put off detailing too much until I can see some more legible scans.

Infinite Space is due out in Japan sometime next Spring on the Nintendo DS.

Sega Announces 7th Dragon

Sega? They're making RPG now! And, as of the latest Famitsu, the game is officially titled 7th Dragon. And yes, it's a neo-retro 2D RPG for the DS.

...Geez, Sega, are you really that predictable?

Anyhow, the theme of the game appears to be dragon hunting, but since I have only seen a crappy, incomplete scan, I don't want to try to guess at too much right now. When some decent scans surface, I'll take a better look at the game and let you know what's going on with it.

7th Dragon will reportedly be available in Japan in Spring 2009.

Monday, September 22, 2008

RPGs of the Week: A Musical Edition

I hope everyone had a good weekend. Mine was rubbish. Never thought I'd be so happy for a Monday.

Anyways, the new week brings with it a brand new set of RPGs for your mass consumption. The following titles are shipping around the globe this week (September 22 - 27, 2008).

North America
Disgaea DS - Nippon Ichi, NIS America - Nintendo DS
King's Bounty: The Legend - Katauri Interactive, Atari - PC
Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure - Nippon Ichi, NIS America - Nintendo DS

Knights in the Nightmare - Sting - Nintendo DS
Kumatanchi - Vanillaware, Dimple Entertainment - Nintendo DS
Mana-Khemia: Gakuen no Renkinjutsushi-tachi Portable Plus - Gust - PSP
Soul Cradle: Sekai wo Kurau Mono (The Best) - Nippon Ichi - PlayStation 2

Super Robot Taisen Z - Banpresto, Namco Bandai - PlayStation 2
World Destruction - imageepoch, Sega - Nintendo DS
X-Edge - Compile Heart - PlayStation 3
Zwei II - Falcom - PC

Battle Fantasia - Arc System Works, 505 Games - Xbox 360
Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood - BioWare, Sega - Nintendo DS

NIS brings a couple of its classics to the DS here in North America (of the which, only some extreme nostalgia for Rhapsody entices me), and there's a Western-developed SRPG for you PC lovers.

Europe nabs Battle Fantasia a week later than their North American counterparts, but grabs Sonic Chronicles roughly a week earlier.

Japan, of course, has it sweet this week with some interesting DS titles (World Destruction and Knights in the Nightmare), a couple of keep-the-PS2-alive injections, a blasphemous cross-over abomination on the PS3, and a cool new PC title from Falcom (who are awesome).

I'll be getting Rhapsody eventually (not sure if it will be this week or not), and I'll probably look into World Destruction and Zwei II (if my laptop can handle it).

Also, Kumatanchi. It's legitimacy as an RPG is questionable, but it's made by Vanillaware and looks way too adorable to ignore. Don't judge me.

What's looking promising to you this week?

Friday, September 19, 2008

Square Enix Revives GBA Kingdom Hearts for Christmas

I hesitate to report this news, as I dislike Kingdom Hearts and the perception that it has given to the RPG genre. My feelings aside, however, Kingdom Hearts has a rather sizable and very vocal group of core fans, so I feel compelled to at least mention what the hardcore KH fan among us already knows full well.

Via their official website, Square Enix has announced that Kingdom Hearts Re: Chain of Memories will be available on PlayStation 2 in North America on December 2, 2008.

For those out of the Kingdom Hearts circle (where I would recommend you stay), Chain of Memories was a KH side-story that was released on GameBoy Advance back in 2004. The game supposedly bridges the events between the first game and its proper PlayStation 2 sequel.

The game was remade for Japan a while back, included exclusively in a re-release of KH2 called Kingdom Hearts II: Final Mix +, but was never confirmed for international release. Well, I guess the incessant whining of Kingdom Hearts fanatics over here finally convinced Square Enix to release the remake on our shores.

What boggles my mind is that even though these "fans" got their wish and the game is coming over, they are still complaining that they aren't getting the re-release of KH2. Really, are moderate additions to a game something to get so worked up over? I'll never understand Kingdom Hearts enthusiasts.

For the enthusiastic, Square Enix has unveiled the game's official site here, which currently features only a splash page.

Oboro Muramasa Youtouden Coming to North America?

Maybe you've heard of a small Japanese studio called Vanillaware? They've made a few games, the most well-known of which is called Odin Sphere. Last year at TGS, Marvelous announced that they would be publishing a new 2D sprite-based action-RPG from Vanillaware on Nintendo Wii, tentatively titled Oboro Muramasa Youtouden.

Set in medieval Japan, OMY was said to feature classic sidescrolling action combined with RPG elements akin to their previous titles. The game was announced and then... nothing. Silence for nearly a year.

Marvelous said that they would be showing the game at this year's TGS (which was good news), and now we have some more potentially good news about the title.

According to a poster on NeoGAF forums (which I don't put much stock in these days, for the record), Nintendo Power has revealed via an interview with North American publisher XSEED that Oboro Muramasa Youtouden will be localized in North America in 2009. The game will also be getting a finalized name, which the poster claims will be Muramasa: The Demon Blade.

Since I haven't seen the article myself yet, I will caution you to approach this as a RUMOR until I can confirm it. But still, it is a nice rumor, isn't it?

Oboro Muramasa Youtouden has yet to receive a concrete release date on either side of the Pacific.

New Valkyrie Profile DS Trailer is Deceptively Cool

I feel a little torn over Valkyrie Profile: Toga wo Seou Mono (The Accused One). On the one hand, I'm sure my love for all things tri-Ace is already well-known among the regular readers of Sword Machine. On the other hand, I'm sure you also know how ho-hum bored I am with SRPGs and handheld games.

So tri-Ace and Square Enix release this new trailer (embedded below), and it is, of course, smoking hot. It's like, "Hey, it's me, Valkyrie Profile! You like me a lot right?" And so I get all nostalgic and excited.

But then I watch the gameplay for the game (below), and I remember that yes, this is still an SRPG, and yes, it is still on DS. And then I get kind of depressed about it.

Valkyrie Profile: Toga wo Seou Mono will be on sale in Japan and breaking my heart on October 30, 2008 on Nintendo DS. There is currently no word on a North American or European release.

Wanna Watch a New Devil Summoner Trailer?

Well, if you do, Atlus has graciously provided one. I've embedded it below (courtesy of Gamekyo) for interested parties.

Looks like Devil Summoner, right? That was my first impression. Though I'm sure the game will be fun, it doesn't look like it will be changing anyone's opinion of Devil Summoner anytime soon.

Maybe that's alright though.

Devil Summoner: Kuzunoha Raidou vs. The King of Abbadon will be available in Japan for PlayStation 2 on October 23, 2008. Currently there is no word of a North American or European release.

Capcom's TGS 2008 Lineup

Next up in the TGS lineup announcements is Capcom. Their rather small RPG showing is as follows:

???-on Titles
Monster Hunter 3 - Nintendo Wii
Mega Man Star Force 3 - Nintendo DS

Yep. That's it. It would be really nice to hear about a new Breath of Fire on a 7th gen system, if only highly unlikely.

Raise your hand if you are excited about Capcom's TGS RPGs!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

RUMOR: Level 5 to "Shock" Us Next Week

I can't confirm this right now, so it is a rumor until I see some scans with my own eyes, but according to a generally reliable source, RPG developer (and recently gone publisher) Level 5 has taken out ad space in the latest issue of Famitsu to tease their own pre-TGS press conference, titled Level 5 Vision 2008.

The alleged ad supposedly reads:

"A game revolution is beginning...
Wait for shocking announcements from Level 5!"

Now, I don't know about you, but I consider these kinds of teases to be the worst offender of corporate hype. It's like saying, "We totally have something you want, but we aren't going to tell you anything about it until X date. You are going to be soooo stoked! Trust us!" Right. Except that they never actually pan out to be something that I will be "soooo stoked" for, but rather something I would have guessed anyways.

So, in a light mood of poking holes into such teasers, allow me to present to you what would and would not shock me from Level 5:

1. The follow will not only fail to "shock" me, but would be totally 100% ho-hum predictable:
-Dark Cloud 3 on PS2, PS3, or PSP (or any combination of the above)
-A new game in collaboration with Sony
-A Dragon Quest title in collaboration with Square Enix
-Another Professor Layton game for DS, Wii, PSP, PS2, or PS3 (or any combination of the above)
-Inazuma Eleven 2 in any shape or form

2. The follow will impress me, but will not "shock" anyone:
-Rogue Galaxy 2 on PS2, PS3, or PSP (or any combination of the above)
-A new multiplatform IP in collaboration with Square Enix
-A new project in collaboration with EA

3. The following will be surprising, but still not "shocking":
-A new title on Xbox 360
-A new title in collaboration with Microsoft
-White Knight Story being cancelled
-Level 5 hiring a decent writer for a change

4. The following will definitely shock me, and probably everyone else:
-Level 5 being acquired by Burger King
-2 or more members of Level 5's staff executed publicly on stage by the president
-Level 5 quitting game development and working on producing hardcore porn from now on
-Level 5 announcing their entry into the console wars with the Level-5-Machine, which plays 16-bit cartridges in HD
-The staff of Level 5 are actually aliens from a different galaxy sent here to conquer Earth
-Someone taking a dump on the stage

So there you have it. You want to "shock" us, Level 5? I'm sitting down.

Now, to be fair, I haven't seen this alleged ad, so the term "shocking" may have been mistranslated. But in all honesty, I am pretty confident that looking forward to some incredible news from Level 5 next week is a good way to set yourself up for disappointment.

The supposed press conference is said to take place on September 26, 2008.

What news from Level 5 would shock you?

P.S. Do not look up "shocking" on Google images unless you want to be totally grossed out. Just found that out the hard way. =(

Sega's TGS 2008 Lineup UPDATE

Third out of the gate for TGS lineup announcements (at least as far as I am aware) is Sega. There are no surprises in the list (of course), but they have also mentioned the lineups of their partner companies (which I will also list RPGs from).

Take a look and prepare to be not-surprised!

???-on Titles
7th Dragon - Nintendo DS
Blazer Drive - Nintendo DS
Culdcept Saga DS - Nintendo DS
Garnet Chronicle - PSP
Infinite Space - Nintendo DS
Mystery Dungeon: Shiren the Wanderer 2 - Nintendo DS
Phantasy Star Portable - PSP
Phantasy Star Zero - Nintendo DS
Shining Force Feather - Nintendo DS
World Destruction - Nintendo DS

If you haven't heard of Culdcept Saga DS or Blazer Drive before, I apologize for not covering them. Honestly, they looked too boring to bring to your attention. Intrested parties may view their official sites to see what they're all about here [Culdcept Saga DS] [Blazer Drive].

Below are their partners' scheduled titles that fall into the RPG category:

???-on Titles
Item Getter - 5pb. Games - Nintendo DS
Knights in the Nightmare - Sting - Nintendo DS
Mimana: Iyar Chronicle - Kogato Studio, GungHo Works - PSP
...and several visual novel games.

The partners' titles are actually slightly more intriguing to me than Sega's actual lineup, especially since I've never heard of some of them before. Interestingly enough, GungHo doesn't list their other 2 upcoming RPGs for show at TGS (Ragnarok Online DS and an obscure SRPG called Hero's Saga Leavatein).

You can check out Sega's TGS lineup list here, and their partner's lineup list here. (May require a working understanding of Japanese.)

It would be nice to get an RPG announcement for a not-portable system, but I won't hold my breath. I guess I'll just be happy enough to see Bayonetta.

How about you? Anything you're looking forward to from Sega?

Scans Confirms All the Characters You Hate for ToW2

The latest issue of Famitsu has revealed several "new" characters for the upcoming Tales of spin-off, Tales of the World: Radiant Mythology 2 for PSP. Here's the best part though, most Tales of fans love to hate these characters! Yes! All the characters you wanted to punch in the face while playing their various games will be coming back to join your party!

Heading up the pack of hated characters are Tales of Symphonia's Zelos Wilder and Tales of the Abyss' Anise Tatlin! Tales of Innocence's stuck-up gunner chick Iria Animi will also be making an appearance for those of you who know her/care.

Slightly less annoying cameo characters include Tales of Phantasia's underage kunoichi, Suzu Fujibayashi, Tales of Eternia's heroine, Farah Oerstead (who I actually really like), and Tales of Destiny's Mighty Kongman (or whatever his name was in English).

The game looks pretty mediocre to me, as did its predessesor. So here's hoping we bag Tales of Hearts over this garbage ("we" being North American or Europe). Fingers crossed.

Tales of the World: Radiant Mythology 2 will be available for PSP in Japan sometime this winter. Open for requests for translation in the comments.

Capcom Rips the Lid Off Monster Hunter 3

In news that will put your Japanophilia to the test, Capcom and Famitsu have gone full out with new details about Monster Hunter 3 (pronounced Monster Hunter Tri, for whatever reason), there first console entry into the hugely-popular-in-Japan-but-no-one-cares-anywhere-else series.

With a whopping 9 pages of info, Produ
cer Ryouzou Tsujimoto and Director Kaname Fujioka dish out the dirt on new towns and villages, new fields and areas, new monsters, new weapons and equipment, new skills, and other things that are also new. Which is like, a lot of newness.

Even self-admitted Japanophile me
has to admit that I don't give a rat's ass about Monster Hunter. I just can't bring myself to care. Is that wrong?

Anyways, you can take a look at the literal deluge of scans from Famitsu below. I will only transla
te this article if there is mass amounts of interest. It's just too big...

Monster Hunter 3 will be available for Nintendo Wii, though there is currently no set release date.

White Knight gets a Release Date in Japan (For Real This Time)

If I have to write one more story on "White Knight Story gets a Japanese Release Date", I think I'm going to punch someone.

Anyways, according to this week's Weekly Famitsu (yes, I looked at the scans myself to make sure they are all real and stuff), Level 5 and Sony Computer Entertainment's long-awaited PlayStation 3 RPG will finally for really real be released this year (in Japan). In fact, it is set to release on December 25, 2008. What a nice Christmas present! (If you are Japanese, that is.)

The Famitsu article in question reveals not only the festive release date, but also a new sub-title for the game. Officially, the game will be called Shiro Kishi Monogatari: Inishie no Kodou (Japanese = 騎士物語 ~鼓動~) which roughly translates to White Knight Story: Pulse of Antiquity (or something similar, like Ancient Beat, etc). Which is altogether kind of an awkward subtitle, in my opinion.

The Famitsu scans are em
bedded below for your viewing pleasure. As usual, I will be accepting translation requests below (though I won't translate that two solid pages of interview. I'm not a masochist.)

There is currently no word on a North American or European release.

Suikoden Tierkreis Headed to North American

Konami released a press statement via IGN yesterday that their upcoming Nintendo DS iteration of Suikoden (named Suikoden Tierkreis) will indeed see a North American release. The game was announced in Japan a few weeks back, and still has yet to receive a release date on either side of the Pacific. With this press release coming so soon after the Japanese announcement, one has to wonder if the wait will indeed be a short one.

You can read the press release here.