Friday, October 31, 2008

Ar Tonelico II Release Date?

While checking out a site I regularly visit, I saw something that I don't normally see - a banner ad for Ar Tonelico II (posted above). Cool sauce.

However, what makes this ad sighting newsworthy is that it lists a date: January 20, 2009. Sound like a good date to you? Hey, at this point, if NIS is putting dates on banner ads, that's good enough for me.

Since NIS has yet to release an "official" statement regarding Ar Tonelico II's release, good journalism requires that I label this story as a rumor. But it's a pretty damn convincing rumor.

Persona 4 Final Trailer Foreshadows Greatness

Atlus has just released what they are calling the "final" Persona 4 trailer (whatever that means), and it is the first P4 trailer that I've allowed myself to watch (as I worry that their webisodes spoil too much for my liking).

Check it out below:

Mmm, starting to get excited for this game again...

Persona 4 will be available on PlayStation 2 in North America on December 9, 2008. There is no word on a European release at the moment.

Next Elder Scrolls Coming 2010?

In a recent interview with, Bethesda Softworks publishing exec Paul Oughtan spilled some beans regarding the developer's next RPG project following the just-released Fallout 3. Here's the quote straight from the interview so I don't misquote anything:

"At the moment we've got Fallout 3 for this year and potentially there's a new Elder Scrolls title in 2010."

However, for any of you who were praying for a Wii title from Bethesda, Oughtan is out to shatter your dreams:

"At the moment we're not that interested in the Wii. We're going to stick to PS3, Xbox 360 and PC. We'll continue to pursue three or four titles a year and go for big titles."

This certainly isn't a shock as Bethesda has traditionally developed for the PC, with the 360 and PS3 greatly resembling PCs this generation. The Wii? Not so much.

Since this is by no means an "official" confirmation, we're going to slap the trusty "rumor" label on this story so that no one can get mad at me if the next Elder Scrolls comes out before or after said 2010.

Since I haven't even started Oblivion or Fallout 3 yet, I think I still have plenty to do until 2010. What about you?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Atlus Teases a New MegaTen Spinoff

Atlus, always the tease, has taken out another teaser ad in this week's issue of Famitsu, though it isn't as cryptic as the last time they did this. They even gave us the title of the game, so there will be no speculation on that: Megami Ibunroku: Devil Survivor.

Before you wet yourself in excitement, please be aware that the game is officially confirmed for the Nintendo DS, so you can likely expect poor graphics, sub-par storytelling, and tacked-on touch screen functionality (everything I hate about the DS). Hey, maybe I'll be totally wrong and it will be the best MegaTen game yet.
For those interested in some trivia on Megami Ibunroku (roughly: Goddess Alternate Record) and the MegaTen series in general, here is a short history lesson from a confessed MegaTen obsessor:

The title Megami Ibunroku is likely unfamiliar to you unless you are all kinds of obsessed with MegaTen (*raises hand*). As a quick and dirty history lesson, the original NES games were all titled "Megami Tensei" meaning roughly "Goddess Reincarnation." These games were later remade for the Super Famicon with the likely familiar "Shin" prefix attached (literally meaning "True" - a play on the character of the same sound with meaning "New" that happened to stick). Since then, "Shin Megami Tensei" (lit. True Goddess Reincarnation) came to be the main series' official title, but several spinoff series began to appear, including Kyuuyaku Megami Tensei (lit. Old Testament Goddess Reincarnation), and Majin Tensei (lit. Demon Reincarnation).

One subseries that also appeared on the original PlayStation was Megami Ibunroku: Persona, which the diehard MegaTen gamer among you will likely recognize as Revelations: Persona (the first Persona title).

The Persona series lost the Megami Ibunroku title after its first iteration, and Persona has become its own (and actually more popular) subseries in the MegaTen family.

So what does that have to do with this new game? Probably nothing. I just thought you'd be interested to know that Devil Survivor, whatever it turns out being, has been given the same subseries title that the original Persona received. Interesting info or useless trivia? You decide.

We will receive official information regarding Megami Ibunroku: Devil Survivor via next week's Famitsu.

White Knight Scans Introduce Preset Characters

As you are likely already aware, Level 5 and Sony's upcoming (in Japan anyway) Shiro Kishi Monogatari will feature a character creation feature, which will allow you to make a character that looks more or less just how you would like to go adventuring with.

The latest issue of Famitsu shows off characters from the game that have absolutely nothing to do with that character creation feature.

The article also covers a few of the monsters you'll be facing off against, as well as some details regarding item creation and accessories that change how your characters look (similar to Lost Odyssey and Tales of Vesperia).

Check out the scans below:

Shiro Kishi Monogatari: Inishie no Kodou (White Knight Story: Pulse of Antiquity) will be available on PlayStation 3 in Japan on December 25, 2008. There is currently no word on a North American or European release.

Scans open for translation request in the comments.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Garnet Chronicle Opening is Chronicletastic

Forgotten about Sega's PSP RPG, Garnet Chronicle? I did. Seemed really generic to me, and therefore safe to forget about.

Well, while I was out, the game got released in Japan, and GameTrailers was nice enough to encode the opening video for our entertainment. Check it out below:

The anime opening is not bad (not great, but not bad), but fails to disprove my generic feeling towards the game. I guess it has a half-naked elf girl. That's unique, right?

Anyone interested in importing this? Will you pick in up if it comes to North America? Or will you ignore it no matter what? Let me know in the comments!

UPDATE: It seems the game has received an English version, though not technically in North America. Released under the name Crimsongem Saga, the game is for the Asia market and completely in English (so I'm told). For those interested, here is the link for the item on Play-Asia.

Windy Nostalgia

As per request, here is the translation for the latest Famitsu article on the upcoming DS RPG, Nostalgia no Kaze (Wind of Nostalgia).

Set in the world at the end of the 19th Century, Wind of Nostalgia follows the story of 4 young adventurers who board an airship for individual reasons. This article focuses on 5 of the game’s features, in addition to short introductions to the 4 main characters.

First, the characters:

A young man of England’s famous adventurer family, Eddy has inherited a strong sense of justice from his father Gilbert. After his father goes missing during an expedition, Eddy determines to become an adventurer himself and sets out to look for him. Lovingly using his father’s airship, the Maverick, he departs on his journey.

A young man hailing from the slums of London, Padd has been separated from his parents since birth, and has no knowledge of what kind of people they were. He is seen as the older brother of the children from the slums, and is very good at looking out for them. He has a somewhat cold attitude, and is uninterested in dreams or adventures, but out of a desire to search for his long-lost mother, he leaves London with Eddy.

A quiet young woman possessing the power of “miracles,” Fiona is being targeting by an organization known as the “Ancient Fathers Society” due to her ability to draw immense power from lithographs known as Tablets. She is saved from an attack at the beginning of the adventure by Gilbert, but passes out shortly thereafter. She later meets up with Eddy and decides to join him.

A young girl from the village of the few remaining wizards, Melody is strong-willed and often selfish, but possesses great skill in magic. She is asked by Eddy and his friends to create a power source for their airship, but she refuses. However, after a mysterious sorcerer named Hartman attacks her village, she agrees to join the group in order to defeat him.

Next, the game features:

1. Airship Customization
Throughout the game, you are able to change your airship’s blade, cannon, and other parts. New parts may be purchased and fitted at airship docks at various cities. Through equipping more powerful parts, you can swing airship battles more in your favor. The look of your airship will also change depending on which parts you use.

2. Use Points to Expand Your Skills
Eddy and his friends can use special abilities known as ‘Skills.’ Each character utilizes unique Skills playing to that character’s strengths, including sword moves and magic. Skills level up through distribution of SP (Skill Points) which are earned from battle, and new Skills will become available as certain existing Skills reach a certain level.

3. Adventurer’s Society Quests
By visiting the Adventurer’s Society offices in the worlds 7 different cities, you will be able to accept job requests called Quests. Through fulfilling these jobs, you will be rewarded based upon the Quest in question. Through Quest completion, your Adventurer Rank will improve, allowing you to receive new jobs. Quests are not integral to the game’s story, and can be accepted regardless of the game’s story.

4. Seeking out the World Treasures
Eddy and his friends will be asked by an ally named Evans to seek out the remnants of ancient societies known as World Treasures. The resting places of these World Treasures can be found only through meticulous information gathering and searching throughout the world. You will be rewarded based on how many World Treasures you have found.

5. Complete the Adventurer’s Notebook
After passing the Adventurer’s Society Entrance Exam, you will be able to receive the Adventurer’s Notebook. Throughout your various travels this book will become filled with notes from Eddy’s Journal (which records the events of your journey), your battle data, dungeon details, enemy information, and various other things. Filling this notebook will require you to travel around the world, and is one of the game’s features.

Wind of Nostalgia will be available on Nintendo DS in Japan on November 06, 2008. Those who pre-order the game will receive a free select soundtrack and information guide. There is currently no word on a North American or European release at this time.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Blue Dragon Plus English Trailer is Maybe TOO Epic

I liked the original Blue Dragon. It was no second coming of RPGs, but it was rather charming and had it's definite high points.

Mistwalker and AQ Interactive struck out to create Blue Dragon Plus, an RTS-RPG hybrid for the Nintendo DS that attempted to capitalize on the series by expanding on the plot of the origin, in a small, handheld-sized serving.

The 2nd of 3 Mistwalker DS games, Blue Dragon Plus has already been confirmed for North American and European release courtesy of Ignition Entertainment, and they have just released a new trailer for it (below):

As a heads-up, this trailer inevitably spoils the end of the original Blue Dragon, so those who have yet to finish it may want to skip this trailer.

I must say, the trailer is quite cool, and even on the epic side of things. However, as with most DS trailers, it shows no gameplay, and is perhaps a bit misleading in that the gameplay looks nothing like the vid. Tsk tsk.

Blue Dragon Plus will be available on Nintendo DS in North America sometime next March, with a European date likely close.

Ar Tonelico II Pushed Back to 2009

What is this, release delay day?

NIS America has unfortunately pushed the release of their highly anticipated Ar Tonelico II: Melody of Metafalica back to January 2009. Originally slated for mid December 2008, this is unfortunate news for those looking forward to return to the world of Ar Tonelico this Christmas.

With all of the games coming out in October/November/December, my wallet certainly doesn't mind the extension, but my order for this game was made together with Persona 4 from RosenQueen, meaning I won't get either game until January.

Guess I'm off to try and cancel P4 from RosenQueen and pick it up from Amazon...

We'll let you know when a final release has been solidified.

Fragile Gets a Firm Release Date, Slips to 2009

Tri-Crescendo and Namco Bandai's exploration-RPG has been given a firm release date this morning from Namco Bandai via the game's official Japanese site, and has unfortunately fallen into early next year, shipping to stores in Japan on January 22, 2009.

Fragile: Sayonara Tsuki no Haikyo (Farewell Lunar Ruins) follows a young man named Seth who awakens to find that he might be the only human left alive. After discovering a strange silver-haired girl named Ren, Seth determines to find and save her, if only to save himself from being alone.

Developed by Tri-Cescendo (Baten Kaitos, Eternal Sonata), Fragile appears to be the developer's most ambitious title yet, attempting to blur the line between art and gaming.

Fragile: Farewell Lunar Ruins will be available on Nintendo Wii on Japan on January 22, 2009, with currently no word on a North American or European release.

RPGs of the Week: Post-Apocalyptic Edition

Enjoy a little post-apocalypse with your Halloween this week. Here are the RPGs shipping out this week (October 27 - November 01, 2008) across all major regions and platforms:

North America
Fallout 3 - Bethesda Softworks - Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC
Master of the Monster Lair - Global A, Atlus - Nintendo DS
Neverland Card Battles - IdeaFactory, Yuke's - PSP
Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness: Episode 2 - XBLA, PC

Avalon Code - Matrix, Marvelous - Nintendo DS
Bokujou Monogatari: Waku-waku Animal March - Marvelous - Nintendo Wii
Cardinal Arc Portable - IdeaFactory - PSP
Monster Hunter Portable 2nd G (The Best) - Capcom - PSP

Tales of Innocence (Welcome Price) - Alpha Systems, Namco Bandai - Nintendo DS
Valkyrie Profile: Toga wo Seou Mono - tri-Ace, Square Enix - Nintendo DS

Fallout 3 - Bethesda Softworks - Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC
Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo's Dungeon - h.a.n.d., Square Enix - Nintendo Wii
Valkyria Chronicles - Sega - PlayStation 3

Fallout 3 is probably undesputably the biggest release of the week with people swooning over it for the last year or so. It still looks like a shooter to me, but Mass Effect and Fable II taught me that WRPGs have made real progress of late, so I'll probably pick it up sooner or later.

For those who loved the first episode, the latest entry into the Penny Arcade Adventures story is available via Xbox Live and various PC download services.

Japan gets handheld titles almost exclusively this week, with Valkyrie Profile and Avalon Code launching on Saturday with the new Nintendo DSi. Cheaper reprints of Tales of Innocence and Moster Hunter 2 are also available for the RPGamer on a budget, while another Harvest Moon title appears as Japan's only console offering of the week.

Europe snags Fallout 3 a couple of days after North America, along with Sega's shooter-SRPG Valkyria Chronicles a few days ahead of us.

Oh, and uh, Neverland Card Battles (Cardinal Arc Portable in Japan). I hope someone cares about it.

UPDATE: Forgot Master of the Monster Lair. Added it.

Anything looking sweet to you this week?

AWAY Delayed, Shuffling Must Wait 'til December

Any of you who went out to your local video game retailer (or online store) last week hoping to snag a copy of Mistwalker and Artoon's latest RPG, AWAY: Shuffle Dungeon, might have met with discouragement.

In news that came way too late, Majesco has delayed the North American release of the game by over a month, pushing it back to December 02, 2008. The reasons for the delay are unknown at this time, but apparently some people have already got their hands on it as it apparently shipped to some select retailers.

I totally spaced this whole thing until late last week since I've already been playing the Japanese version, but the announcement is still disappointing.

Anyone sad to wait another month for the game? Or have some of you been able to find a copy?

Friday, October 24, 2008

Zwei!! gets a PSP Release Date, Trailer

The PSP port of Falcom's PC action-RPG has finally received an official release date, December 11, 2008, just a few months after its sequel has already hit the PC.

As with the majority of Falcom's titles, Zwei!! is an action-RPG very reminiscent of a simpler time of RPGs, utilizing super deformed character design, and simple game mechanics. It follows the story of a young genius mage named Pipilo and her friend Pokkle, who dreams of following in the footsteps of the legendary holy knight.

The PC version has been available since 2001, but also received a PS2 port in 2004 courtesy of Taito. The upcoming PSP port will apparently be published by Falcom themselves. For those who can remember that far back, Zwei II was released on PC last month in Japan.

In order to let you know that this game is still cool, Falcom has released a new trailer for the upcoming port, which you can watch below courtest of Gamekyo.

Zwei!! will be available on PSP on December 11, 2008, with no word of a North American or European release.

New Arc Rise Fantasia Trailer to Feed Your SD Addiction

Maybe you just can't bear to part with that SDTV of yours. After all, you've had some good times together, and no new-fangled HD technology will ever make you forget all of those great times in SD. Thankfully, Nintendo chose to shy away from the progress of new technology and repackage their GameCube with a fancy waggle-wand that is 500% better than regular old buttons.

And thankfully, companies like Marvelous have continued to embrace low-end technology so that we can feel safe in our retro-active gaming habbits.

Sarcasm aside, Arc Rise Fantasia, though visually stuck in the past, actually looks pretty fun. But don't take my word for it, watch the rather long new trailer below (thanks Gamekyo).

Arc Rise Fantasia will be available for Nintendo Wii sometime in 2009 in both Japan and North America, though no solid date has yet to be confirmed.

More DS RPG Scans Than You Can Shake a Stick at

Trust me, I tried. There were just too many.

Blazer Drive
Nintendo DS
Available December 04, 2008 (Japan)

Gensou Suikouden Tierkreis (Suikoden Tierkreis)
Nintendo DS
Available December 18, 2008 (Japan)

Nostalgia no Kaze (Wind of Nostalgia)
Nintendo DS
Matrix, RED, Tecmo
Available November 06, 2008 (Japan)

Phantasy Star Zero
Nintendo DS
Available December 25, 2008 (Japan)

Ragnarok Online DS
Nintendo DS
Available December 18, 2008 (Japan)

Tales of Hearts
Nintendo DS
Namco Bandai
Available December 11, 2008 (Japan)

Thanks to RPGLand for the scans.

Translation requests go below in the comments. Cheers.

Hardcore RPGamers Only: New Kingdom Hearts Scans

Think you've got what it takes to save the magical realm of King Mickey? Think you're hardcore enough to help Cinderella? Think you're man enough to defend the Hundred Acre Wood? Alright tough guy, then the following scans for the upcoming two Kingdom Hearts handheld titles should be just what the doctor ordered.

That is quite the mess of scans. I have no really good way of determining which screens are for the DS game and which are for the PSP game... Guess I'm just not awesome enough to be a part of the Kingdom Hearts sensation.

Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days will be available on Nintendo DS sometime this winter in Japan, while Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep will be available on PSP sometime next year. There is no word on North American or European versions of either game at the moment.

Riz-Zoawd gets a Release Date, Trailer and Boxart Follow

Media.Vision and D3's Wizard of Oz RPG, Riz-Zoawd, has finally received a release date in Japan. Slated for January 01, 2009, it looks like Riz-Zoawd will officially be the first RPG released in the new year.

(As a side note, I find this date a tad surprising, as New Year's Day is basically the equivalent of Christmas in North America, and I have a hard time imagining people going out to buy a game on that day...)

To go along with the date announcement, D3 has unveiled the game's boxart (above) and released a trailer for the game, highlighting its various features. Check it out below.


Riz-Zoawd will be available on Nintendo DS in Japan on January 01, 2009, with no set release for North America or Europe.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Penny Arcade Adventures Episode 2 Available Next Week

Sorry I haven't really covered the first episode of Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness, mostly because writing out the game's name alone takes nearly an hour. The first episode of the game by the guys that write the popular comic came out on PC and XBLA during the summer, and received surprisingly good scores for a downloadable game.

Hothead Games (the studio behind the game's production) has announced that episode 2 is finished and will be available next week on PC (Windows, Mac, or Linux) for $14.95, and on XBLA for 1200 points, making it about $5 cheaper than its predecessor.

PlayStation 3 owners who wanted to get in on the action can finally download the first episode on PSN starting this week for $15. Though there are plans to eventually bring episode 2 to PSN as well, there is no current release date other than the vague promise that it will be "sometime before Christmas."

I like Penny Arcade, but haven't really gotten around to playing episode 1 yet. Guess I should.

P.S. I've ammended this week's RPGs of the Week column to reflect episode 1 hitting PSN.

Atlus Bringing Ys I + II to North America? UPDATE

According to a GameStop/EBGames listing, Atlus will be localizing Falcom's DS Ys remakes and combining them into one game, titled (according to the listing) Legacy of Ys: Books I & II.

For those out of the Ys loop, these action-RPGs have been Nihon Falcom's flagship series since 1987, traditionally developed for personal computers, but eventually finding their way to consoles. Ys I and II were remade (for like the 20th time) for the Nintendo DS by Interchannel-Holon (it is unclear how much input Falcom had on the projects other than licensing) earlier this year in Japan.

Since GameStop is the only source listing this release at the moment, and with no current official word from Atlus themselves, we need to lable this one as a rumor. We will keep you updated.

UPDATE: Wow, that was quick. Atlus has officially announced the title in question and set it for release on February 10, 2009. Both games (Ys and Ys II) will be available on a single cart, as opposed to the Japanese collector's bundle which featured a box that contained the two separately. You can check out their official site for the games (which includes a teaser trailer) here.

Final Fantasy Agito XIII Scans are Agito-ized

The headline writer's block continues with blurry scans of the now-PSP-only Final Fantasy Agito XIII. Squint really hard and you can pretend like there is a release date.

...You have to be really good at playing pretend though.

To be fair, I have an easier time believing that Agito is going to be released sometime this decade due to the actual gameplay screens present here. Don't quote me on that though.

I will take translation requests once legible scans surface.

Final Fantasy Agito XIII will eventually be available on PSP in Japan. No word on if it will also be eventually available in North America or Europe.

Final Fantasy Versus XIII Scans are Versus-ish

I'm having trouble making up headlines today. Sorry.

Via the latest Famitsu, behold the (blurry) scans for the never-coming-out Final Fantasy Versus XIII.

The images in the article are reportedly using the in-game engine, which would be very cool if I could believe that there is truly a game there. Perhaps some gameplay shots to help my unbelief? No? Fine.

When legible scans surface, I will take translation requests.

Final Fantasy Versus XIII will be available on PlayStation 3 in Japan in the far distant future when video games are obsolete. There is also no word on a North American or European release.

Destiny Links Debut Trailer

Remember that other other Namco Bandai DS RPG? Destiny Links? It's that one that's like... um... an RPG, or something? Wait, what were we talking about?

Oh yeah. Namco Bandai just released the first trailer for Destiny Links, featuring cool cell-shaded 3D models that you'll never get to play as in the game. On the upside, the game is completely 2D, and doesn't look bad! Yay!

Destiny Links will be available on Nintendo DS in Japan sometime this winter. There is no word on a European or North American release.

Valkyrie Chronicles English Trailer is in English

Yes, it is in English... though I must say its dubbing seems like it will be competing with Infinite Undiscovery for cheesiest English voices of the year award. Thankfully, it's supposedly retaining its Japanese audio track, unlike IU (murderous glare at Square Enix).

However, all that purdy cell shading is safely in tact and ready to add a much-needed dose of JRPGing to the PS3 next month. Too bad they couldn't make the trailer very interesting...

Dear Sega: You have a unique-looking game here that has some real potential. Stop treating it like you don't give a crap about it. Also, fail less. Sincerely, RPG fans everywhere.

Valkyria Chronicles will be available on PlayStation 3 in Europe on October 31, 2009, and in North America on November 04, 2009.

LucasArts and BioWare Announce Star Wars: The Old Republic

I am told that people really really liked Star Wars: Knight of the Old Republic. I suppose I can see why. Fantastic RPG developer BioWare + Nerd Seal of Approval IP Star Wars = MASS HYSTERIA. Or something.

Anyways, it has long been rumored that KOTOR (as it has lovingly become known as) would make a triumphant return, and would be all onliney and stuff. LucasArts and BioWare announcing a while back that they had something to announce only added further fuel to the fire.

Well, those rumors have all come true, and LucasArts and BioWare have indeed announced that they will be resurrecting the franchise in MMORPG format, titled Star Wars: The Old Republic.

The game is currently only scheduled for PC release, though representatives have commented on thinking about a console release at some point. There is no set release date at this time, but interested parties are encouraged to join the official mailing list for news and updates on the project.

You can check out the official word plus answers to all your burning questions here.

Though I don't mind them, I'm not desperately in love with either Star Wars or MMOs, so...

Anyone crazy excited for more Star Wars RPGing?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Sword Machine TGS 2008 Predictions REVISITED

Well, Tokyo Game Show has been officially over for just over a week now, what I would consider sufficient time for any straggling bits of coverage to come in. Thus, it's that time again! Time to check how we did with those TGS Predictions.

The original predictions are in italics, while the verdict is in BOLD, and my notes are in regular font. Let's get this bloodbath over with:

10. Oboro Muramasa playable, dated for 2009 near-simultaneous release in Japan and North America
FALSE. Though Oboro Muramasa was indeed playable at the show, and XSEED has announced that it will indeed be making the jump to our shores sometime next year, that is all we know. There was no announcement regarding timing for either the Japanese or North American release. I still think they will be close together in timing, but no such announcement was made at TGS. Too bad…

9. Square Enix teases Final Fantasy Versus XIII, offers no release date
TRUE. Not that we’d really expect otherwise from the FFXIIIs these days…

8. Namco Bandai announces Sword of Legendia for 2009 release
FALSE. Namco Bandai was curiously quiet this TGS, really not announcing anything at all. Well, unless you count Tekken 6. Which we don’t, because it isn’t an RPG.

7. Mistwalker announces Blue Dragon 2 for 2009 simultaneous release in Japan and North America
FALSE. Mistwalker was strangely MIA this year… Curious, as I thought for sure Microsoft would be itching to show off more JRPG love.

6. Sony announces White Knight Story for North American release in mid-2009
FALSE. White Knight wasn’t even playable for Japanese show attendees, forget those dirty North American gamers. These kinds of stunts make me worry about this game…

5. Namco Bandai announces new RPG for Xbox 360
FALSE. No Namco Bandai RPG announcements. I’m sure they have something up their sleeve, but when and where are now questions I haven’t the slightest hope of an answer for.

4. Square Enix announces new RPG for Xbox 360
FALSE. At least, no official announcement. We know they showed something to those raffle winners, but they must have scared them into silence pretty badly as no one seems to have leaked any info yet.

3. Sega announces multiplatform console RPG
FALSE. What you see is what you get with Sega this round. And all we saw were a lot of DS games. Oh and Bayonetta. Not an RPG, but still pretty hot.

2. Square Enix announces Final Fantasy XIII for Xbox 360 in Japan
FALSE. I suppose it’s time to put this speculation to rest.

1. Mistwalker announces Cry On for 2009 simultaneous release in Japan and North America
FALSE. Kind of expected this not to happen, but damn was I hopeful.

Final Score: 1/10

Pathetic. I really expected a lot more out of TGS this year, what with the holiday season being right at our doorsteps, but I guess everyone more or less felt like they were done with announcements for the year.

With such a poor prediction score this round (even worse than my 3/10 at E3), I'm wondering if these big game shows are even worth putting in the effort to make predictions for. Thanks for crushing my spirit TGS. T_T

How did your predictions go?

Monday, October 20, 2008

RPGs of the Week: Too Many RPGs Edition

\I hope you all had good weekends. Though I'm sorry to report that your wallet may be feeling rather light this next weekend, as there is a massive flood of incoming RPGs.

Here are the RPGs shipping to retailers this week (October 20 - 24, 2008).

North America
AWAY: Shuffle Dungeon - Mistwalker, Artoon, Majesco - Nintendo DS
Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia - Konami - Nintendo DS
Eternal Sonata - Tri-Crescendo, Namco Bandai - PlayStation 3
EverQuest: Seeds of Destruction - SOE - PC
Fable II - Lionhead, Microsoft - Xbox 360
Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness: Episode 1 - Hothead - PSN
Star Ocean: First Departure - tri-Ace, Tose, Square Enix - PSP

Akumajou Dracula: Ubawareta Kokuin - Konami - Nintendo DS
Baroque International - Sting - PlayStation 2
Devil Summoner: Kuzunoha Raidou tai Abbadon-Ou - Atlus - PlayStation 2
Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker (Ultimate Hits) - Square Enix - Nintendo DS
Final Fantasy III (Ultimate Hits) - Matrix, Square Enix - Nintendo DS
Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings (Ultimate Hits) - Think and Feel, Square Enix - Nintendo DS
Garnet Chronicle - Matrix, Sega - PSP
Kimi no Yuusha - SNK Playmore - Nintendo DS
Soul Eater: Medusa no Inbou - Namco Bandai - Nintendo DS

Fable II - Lionhead, Microsoft - Xbox 360
Star Ocean: First Departure - tri-Ace, Tose, Square Enix - PSP

Wow that's a lot of stuff.

AWAY and the newest Castlevania are looking quite attractive for the DS this week, while PSP owners should be excited to get their hands on the remake of the original Star Ocean.

PS3 owners who missed the Eternal Sonata boat over a year ago can now hop onboard, while 360 owners will be lining up out the door for Fable II (which is why I'll wait for day 2).

Japan gets a metric ton of Square Enix DS reprints, as well as what might be the last notible RPG on the PS2, Devil Summoner 2. They also score the new Castlevania, along with the visual novel-inspired Kimi no Yuusha for DS, and Garnet Chronicle for the PSP, the spiritual successor to Astonishia Story.

Whoa. I'll be getting Fable II, AWAY, and Castlevania. What about you?

Japanese Scans Ahoy!

Remember those Chinese scans? Y'know, the ones I can't read?

Well, RPGLand has graciously scanned the Japanese versions of both the recent Star Ocean 4 and White Knight Story articles, so they are now officially up for translation requests.

Additionally, they have also included a new article on the upcoming The Last Remnant, so I will take requests for that article as well.

Check the scans out below (thanks RPGLand):

Star Ocean 4: The Last Hope
Xbox 360
tri-Ace, Square Enix
Available February 19, 2009 (Japan), March 03, 2009 (North America)

Shiro Kishi Monogatari: Inishie no Kodou (White Knight Story: Pulse of Antiquity)
PlayStation 3
Level 5, SCEJ
Available December 25, 2008 (Japan)

The Last Remnant
Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC
Square Enix
Available November 20, 2008 (Xbox 360, Worldwide), ??? (PlayStation 3, PC)

As usual, translation requests open in the comments.

Love Mother 3? Buy the Mother 3 Handbook!

The Mother 3 fan translation patch came out on Friday, as I'm sure you are aware.

Hey, maybe you're playing it right now.

Well, if you stop to think, "Man, I love this game, but it's too bad there's not an instruction book/artbook/strategy guide to go with it," then your prayers have just been answered.

The Mother/Earthbound fanatics at and Fangamer have diligently put together a 'Mother 3 Fanbook,' chock full of introductions to the world of Mother 3, walkthroughs and FAQs, and painstakingly crafted artwork, right down to the classic clay models reminscent of Earthbound (Mother 2).

The book is looking to finish development by the end of the year, and Fangamer estimates that the book will ship out in early January. They will be releasing the book online for free sometime after that, but if you want yourself a professionally printed copy, you ought to consider pre-ordering.

Likely a no-brainer for Earthbound diehards.

World Destruction Set to Destroy North America

Out of all the bajillions of JRPGs on the DS right now, what I've felt like is the most complete in terms of storyline is Sega and imageepoch's World Destruction. The graphics leave something to be desired, and the opening video is an enormous waste of memory, but overall, the game is surprisingly fleshed out for game regulated to the shovelware money printing factory known as the Nintendo DS.

Well, along with Phantasy Star Portable, it seems that Sega will be bringing World Destruction to a language that you can read sometime next year. Details are scarce at the moment, and we can't even give you a quarter of the year to watch for it in, but I suppose the very fact that it's coming will be enough to please many.

I have been playing the Japanese version since September, so if anyone is interested I'll post some impressions of the game later this week.

We'll keep you updated on the when and where of World Destruction's release as we learn more.

Better Quality Dragon Quest IX Trailer for the People

Maybe you watched the elusive leaked shaky cam trailer of the upcoming Dragon Quest IX and wondered if there was more to life than just shaky cam. Well, there is.

I don't know how this trailer came to fruition, as last I heard, this trailer is supposed to be for event attendees only. Either way though, someone has somehow posted a pretty-decent-quality version of the aforementioned DQIX trailer. I don't know if it's officially up, but being a lowly blogger, I don't really care.

Watch away and flip off The Man while you're at it.

Dragon Quest IX: Hoshizora no Mamoribito will be released on Nintendo DS in Japan sometime next March. There is currently no word on a North American or European release.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Fable II Launches Next Week, Here's a Trailer to Prove It

Microsoft and Lionhead Studios have released Fable II's "launch trailer," conveniently coinciding with Fable II's official launch next week.

The long-awaited sequel to the well-received original, Fable II looks to right the problems of its predecessor and offer a much broader, more robust role-playing game. It certainly looks cool. Here's hoping it plays cool too.

Fable II launches on Xbox 360 on October 21, 2008 in North America, October 23, 2008 in Europe, and December 12, 2008 in Japan.

Also, you apparently are advised to bring an extra change of underpants.

You Cannot Has: Tales of Vesperia T-shirts

If you like game-related swag (I do) and live anywhere besides Japan, prepare to be upset.

The online shopping site Lalabit Market (owned by Bandai) is selling limited edition Tales of Vesperia t-shirts in 5 different varieties: the white "Kishidan" (Order of Knights) (pictured), the black "Teikoku" (Empire), the violet "Madoushi" (Mage), the grey "Yuuri" (as in Yuri Lowell), and the brown "Go-Dai-Guild" (Five Master Guilds) for 2,940 yen a piece (roughly $30).

The offer is only available to those with a shipping address within Japan, which means NONE FOR YOU. =(

If these were just straight-up character print shirts or something, I wouldn't care. But these shirts are cool. Like, I wouldn't even mind wearing a video game shirt in public kind of cool.

My tears of sadness are on your head, Namdai!

Star Ocean 4 Chinese Scans are in Chinese

Still can't read Chinese. Sorry.

However, there are a few things that I've been able to glean from other people's impressions around the internet. Here's what I know:

-You (Edge) will be given a ship (probably) fairly early on. It is called the Calnus (which is clearly a shout out to long-time fans of the series, and probably has some relationship to the Calnus of SO1 and SO2)
-The Calnus will serve as a base of operations for you and your party
-You will be able to fully explore the Calnus, and interact with your various crewmates
-You will apparently be given much more freedom to customize the ship, including assigning crew to certain living quarters. It has been hinted that you will even be able to assign Edge a roommate. (Reimi ftw!)
-While on the Calnus, your party will split up, and you will be able to engage them in Private Actions (a series staple feature) which will allow you to develop your relationships with them.
-The Calnus is capable of flying to various planets, so you won't be limited to the linear story that was so prevalent in previous games
-Vakkas D-79, a new cyborg character, has been revealed as the 5th playable character

Finally, though the article is Chinese (I didn't even realize Famitsu was available in Chinese), the screenshots are in Japanese (which I can read). One of the more interesting screens is of a Private Action between Edge and Reimi, which goes like this:

Reimi: Hey, Edge? I was just wondering... You do know what day it is today, don't you?
(at which point you are given three response options)
-The anniversary of your dieting success!
-It's your birthday, right?
-....Um, no?

This Private Action alone makes the wait for March unbearable. Maybe I'll buy a Japanese 360 just so I can play this a little sooner...

Star Ocean 4: The Last Hope will be available in Japan on February 19, 2009, and in North America on March 03, 2009 on Xbox 360. There is currently no word on a European release.

If someone knows where I can find Japanese scans, I would be more than happy to translate the article in its entirity.