Tuesday, March 30, 2010

RPGs of the Week: So Long, March Edition

April is quickly approaching, meaning that if you had a monthly goal of buying an RPG in March, your days are numbered.

Check out what's hitting shelves during the March-to-April transition week (March 29 - April 3, 2010):

North America
Mimana Iyar Chronicles – GungHo, Aksys – PSP
Monster Rancher DS – Cing, UFO – Nintendo DS
Sakura Wars: So Long, My Love – RED, NIS America – PlayStation 2, Nintendo Wii

Sacred 2: Fallen Angel – Ascaron, E-Frontier – PC
Sekaiju no Meikyuu III: Seikai no Raihousha – Atlus – Nintnedo DS

Rune Factory Frontier – Neverland, Rising Star – Nintendo Wii

North America's featured release this week is the ill-advised half-a-decade-late Sakura Wars: So Long, My Love, complete with a sub-par Wii port alongside the PS2 version. Flying only slightly lower on the radar is the latest Monster Rancher and a quaint old-school-ish RPG for the PSP called Mimana Iyar Chronicles.

Japan finally gets around to the PC version of Sacred 2, as well as Atlus' third Etrian Odyssey.

Europe, meanwhile, finally gets around to taking care of a farm while also trying to save the world in Rune Factory Frontier.

Anything looking worth your cash this week?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

RPGs of the Week: Strangely Late Edition

I am a terrible person because I have been bad at updating. This is no means an appropriate attempt at absolution, but I present to you the RPGs that will/have already arrived on shelves this week (March 22 - 27, 2010):

North America
Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey – Atlus – Nintendo DS

Nobunaga no Yabou Online: Shinsei no Shou – Koei – PC
Lineage Eternal Life: Dragon Slayers 1st – NCSoft, E-Frontier – PC
Bokujou Monogatari: Sugar Mura to Minna no Negai (The Best) – Marvelous – PSP
Yggdra Union (The Best) – Sting – PSP
Romancing SaGa 2 – Square Enix – WVC

From the Abyss – Sonic Powered, Nobilis – Nintendo DS
Infinite Space – Platinum, Sega – Nintendo DS
Pokemon: HeartGold/SoulSilver – GameFreak, Nintendo – Nintendo DS
Last Rebellion – Hit Maker, Koei – PlayStation 3
Ogre Battle 64: Person of Lordly Calibur – Quest, Nintendo – WVC
Resonance of Fate – tri-Ace, Sega – Xbox 360, PlayStation 3

Between nothing but a single DS dungeon crawler (albeit the latest iteration of a cult-followed series of dungeon crawlers) and reprints for Japan, Europe has unquestionably the best haul this week. The DS gets From the Abyss, Infinite Space, and MOAR POKEMANS! tri-Ace's latest hits the 360 and PS3, and Koei is bringing NIS' first 3D HD RPG to European PS3s. Also, Ogre Battle 64 is getting a Virtual Console release for those who like to pay for games they probably already own.

I don't know if I will get Strange Journey or not. I'm not extremely pleased with Atlus' HD feet-dragging, and even less pleased to see their main franchise on the sub-par DS, so I'm in no hurry to pick it up at full price.

Anything for you this week?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Namco Bandai Announces Solarobo

What is this I don't even

CyberConnect2, the developers behind the quirky .hack series have again teamed up with Namco Bandai for a new DS action-RPG called Solarobo: Sorekara CODA e (And from There Towards CODA), which appears to be a game about furries vs. robots.

I'm going to just stop there and put $5 on the table that says this won't see a North American release. Call it a hunch.

The game follows a 17 year old dog boy named Red Savarin, who lives with his young sister and gets by as a Hunter. His adventure apparently begins when he enounters a robot named DAHAK-AZ103.

Okay, I'll give you that dog people living on floating islands with robots is certainly more original than some JRPGs lately, but I just can't imagine who thinks this sounded like a good idea. No wonder I've been having a hard time wanting to write about RPGs lately.

Solarobo is due for Nintendo DS in Japan sometime this year.

Old News: Capcom Announces Monster Hunter Portable 3rd

Quick, act really surprised that Capcom has just announced yet another Monster Hunter title for PSP! OMG! THIS IS SO SHOCKING!


Seriously though. More Monster Hunter. Um, yay?

I admit that I'm no Monster Hunter fan, so maybe this is all lost on me, but from the announcement trailer, it looks exactly the same as the previous Monster Hunter games. I'm really struggling to see how this stuff still appeals to Japanese gamers. But from Famitsu's reaction, you would think the entire country just won the lottery.

Either way, Monster Hunter Portable 3rd will be available for PSP by the end of the year in Japan.


Old News: Bethesda Announces Hunted: The Demon's Forge, Might be an RPG

Since every game from Call of Duty to Cooking Mama has RPG elements in it these days, I'm finding deciding what games I should cover more and more challenging.

So, enter Hunted: The Demon's Forge, a new 'dungeon-crawler' from inXile (developers of the oft forgotten A Bard's Tale) and Bethesda. Certain things about it make it look like it might be an RPG. Maybe. It has swords and dungeons, which are usually present in RPGs. It also has magic and elves, which are often helpful in determining an RPG. However, I can't find character progression, character or equipment leveling, number-based stats or battle systems, or a centralized story.

But then, I guess it resembles Demon's Souls and Too Human in some respects, two games which I consider RPGs (albeit not very good ones), so I suppose I'll give this the benefit of the doubt for now.

Hunted: The Demon's Forge will be available for Xbox 360, PC, and PlayStation 3 at some point that has yet to be decided.


Old News: Ubisoft Announces Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes in HD

I know this announcement is now a week old (equal to about 2 years in internet time), but I thought I'd mention it officially here too.

Following on the heels of its highly charming (and even more addictive) puzzle-RPG hybrid for the Nintendo DS, Ubisoft and Capybara have announced that they will be remaking Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes using HD hand-drawn sprites for Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network.

Additionally, it appears that the gameplay is being tweaked for the new release, and online play has also been confirmed. Furthermore, it has been confirmed that there will be a co-op mode, allowing players to have battlefields beside one another, as well as a new game plus for those who want to go back and play completionist.

While the game is confirmed for XBLA and PSN, Ubisoft apparently hasn't ruled out a WiiWare or PC release.

Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes will be available for Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network sometime this Summer.


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

RPGs of the Week: Fragile Eternity Edition

Now that we live in a world where Final Fantasy XIII is officially old news, it is time to look ahead towards future RPGs. As a certain industry figure once described, we, the "core gamers," are insatiable. There is never enough. And to prove it, feast your eyes on the RPG horde of this week (March 15 - 20, 2010):

North America
Dragon Age: Origins – Awakening – BioWare, EA – PC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3
Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon – Tri-Crescendo, XSEED – Nintendo Wii
Infinite Space – Platinum, Sega – Nintendo DS
Mount & Blade: Warband – Taleworlds, Paradox – PC
Resonance of Fate – tri-Ace, Sega – Xbox 360, PlayStation 3

Darksiders: Shinpan no Toki – Vigil, Konami – Xbox 360, PlayStation 3
King’s Bounty: Armored Princess – Katauri, E-Frontier – PC
King’s Bounty: Gold Edition – Katauri, E-Frontier – PC
Moe-moe 2-ji Daisenryaku 2: Yamato Nadeshiko – System Soft – Nintendo DS
Ys I & II Seven Set – Falcom – PSP

Dragon Age: Origins – Awakening – BioWare, EA – PC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3
Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon – Tri-Crescendo, Rising Star – Nintendo Wii
King’s Bounty: Armored Princess – Katauri, Focus – PC
Mount & Blade: Warband – Taleworlds, Paradox – PC
Torchlight – Runic, Tradewest – PC

The major Dragon Age: Origins expansion, Awakening, is available in North America and Europe this week for the HD machine of your choosing, as is Tri-Crescendo's melancholy Wii RPG, Fragile (curiously renamed Fragile Dreams, as if that sounds more 'Western,' 'mainstream,' or 'RPGish' or something). Also, those who enjoyed the indie-ish WRPG Mount & Blade might be interested in the expansion Warband for the PC.

Meanwhile, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 owners in North America have the opportunity to pick up tri-Ace's first true multiplat RPG, End of Eternity, again curiously renamed Resonance of Fate, which is decidedly less catchy. Those who prefer their JRPGs portable and graphic novel-ish might instead be swayed by Platinum's Infinite Space for the DS.

European gamers, on the other hand, have a chance to pick up a boxed version of King's Bounty: Armored Princess, or the well-received MMO Torchlight for PC.

Japan also gets a double dose of King's Bounty for PC, yet another Ys reprint/bundle for PSP, Moe-moe 2-ji Daisenryaku 2 for DS this time, and the Zelda for people who like to punch treasure chests in the face, Darksiders.

What's on your shopping list this week?

Monday, March 8, 2010

RPGs of the Week: Finally Edition

After years of delays, platform changes, unnecessary hype, and a few blatant lies, Square Enix's Final Fantasy XIII is finally hitting stores in North America and Europe this week (though anyone who reads this blog certainly knows that already).

Just in case you aren't interested in Final Fantasy XIII, or are wanting to get a different RPG, check out what other titles are hitting shelves this week (March 8 - 13, 2010):

North America
Final Fantasy XIII – Square Enix – PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Foto Showdown – Konami – DSiWare
Spectral Force Genesis – Idea Factory, Ignition – Nintendo DS

7th Dragon (Low-Price) – imageepoch, Sega – Nintendo DS
Battle Spirits: Hero’s Soul – Namco Bandai – PSP
Blade Chronicle: Samurai Online – DWANGO, E-Frontier – PC
RPG Tsukuru DS – Enterbrain – Nintendo DS
Summon Night Granthese: Horobi no Ken to Yakusoku no Kishi – Flight Plan, Banpresto, Namco Bandai – PlayStation 2
Yuusha no Kuse ni Namaiki da or3D – Acquire, SCEI – PSP
Zettai Hero Kaizoku Keikaku – Nippon Ichi – PSP

Avalon Code – Matrix, Rising Star – Nintendo DS
Final Fantasy XIII – Square Enix – PlayStation 3, Xbox 360

Besides Final Fantasy XIII for PS3 and 360, North America is getting a DSi downloadable RPG from Konami and Idea Factory's Spectral Force Genesis, while Europe gets Matrix's Avalon Code for DS.

Japan - who already got their FFXIII a few months back - gets a few PSP RPGs, a hard copy of Blade Chronicle, RPG Maker for the DS, and a new PS2 RPG from Flight Plan, who apparently can't get with the times. Oh, and a budget reprint of Sega's 7th Dragon.

So, anything for you this week?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

RPGs of the Week: Moonlighting Edition

Welcome to a new week and a new month!

There is a dinosaur-load of RPGs headed to various consoles this month, though this week is a little slow. Check it out for yourself below.

Here's what's coming out this week (March 1 - 6, 2010):

North America
Alganon – Quest Online – PC
Fallout Trilogy – Black Isle, Micro Forte, Interplay – PC
Lunar: Silver Star Harmony – GameArts, XSEED – PSP

.hack//LINK – CyberConnect2, Namco Bandai – PSP
Dragon Quest IV: Michibikareshi Mono-tachi (Ultimate Hits) – ArtePiazza, Square Enix – Nintendo DS
Dragon Quest V: Tenkuu no Hanayome (Ultimate Hits) – ArtePiazza, Square Enix – Nintendo DS
Dragon Quest IX: Hoshizora no Mamoribito (Ultimate Hits) – Level 5, Square Enix – Nintendo DS
Final Fantasy IV (Ultimate Hits) – Matrix, Square Enix – Nintendo DS
Gundam Network Operation 3 – Namco Bandai – PC
Keroro RPG: Kishi to Musha to Densetsu no Kaizoku – Namco Bandai – Nintendo DS
Pokemon Ranger: Hikari no Kiseki – Game Freak!, Nintendo – Nintendo DS

Sacred 2: Gold Edition – Ascaron, Deep Silver – PC
Star Wolves 3: Civil War – X-bow, 1C – PC

North America's most high-profile title is yet another remake of Lunar, this time for the PSP (GameArts really needs to make a new, good Lunar), yet another MMO, and a repackaging of the first three Fallout games.

Japan gets CyberConnect2's return to the .hack series, Namco Tales Studio's Keroro RPG (which does, in fact, play like a Tales of game with Keroro characters), and a new Pokemon Ranger title from Nintendo. Oh, and a small fortune in budget editions of Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy DS remakes.

Europe gets a Sacred 2 compilation for PC, and a spaceship RPG that I'd never heard of before.

Anything looking interesting to you?