Archive for March, 2010

how do i get a slim ps2 to play japanese games?

March 30, 2010 - 5:45 pm 1 Comment
zelda geek asked:

i have a slim ps2 and I want to play a japanese game on it, the game is call Blade Battlers 2. Is there any thing i can do or buy to let me do it.

Learn Japanese Now

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Important Importables: 10 weirdest examples of Japanese DS boxart

March 28, 2010 - 2:00 am No Comments

Hot Japanese Imports: 10 weirdest examples of Japanese DS boxart

Section: Exclusives, Originals, Features, Columns, Japanese Imports, Handhelds, DS & DSi & DSi XL, Genres, 2D, Action, Board, Puzzle, Game-Genres-Other

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Sometimes North American box-art can be, well, let’s say questionable. But when it comes to outrageous and outlandish game covers, Japan will always win. Sometimes the covers barely even relate to the game in question, other times they just feature such outlandish characters that you have to really stop and stare to be sure what you’re seeing is real and not some kind of mirage.

So this week, Hot Japanese Imports is going to do its first Japanese box art feature. We’ll take a look at 10 examples of incredibly weird, sometimes disturbing, DS game covers. Of course, there’ll be mocking as well.

English of the Dead DS10: Zombie Shiki – Eigo Ryoku Sosei Jutsu : English of the Dead

Weird, yes. Weirdly awesome! It’s an education/zombie killing application from Sega that’s a lot like House of the Dead and it’s educational spin-off Typing of the Dead. Here, Japanese speakers learn to speak English through zombie slaying. The cover is appropriately epic, with a zombie wearing a graduation cap and glasses adorning the cover.

It’s not really that good for learning Japanese though. Some parts of it are, but other parts have you trying to match kanji to English words, and that only works if you know what the actual kanji is.

Gakkou no Kowai Uwasa Hanakosan ga Kita9: Gakkou no Kowai Uwasa: Hanako-san ga Kita!!

Gakkou no Kowai Uwasa: Hanako-san ga Kita!! gets a spot on the list partially for it’s incredibly strange cover designs, and also partially because of the origin of the game and series. How often do you see a post-apocolyptic setting, along with a badly dressed little girl and floating dust bunny? Not often enough! It’s a visual novel with some mini-game elements and, oddly enough, it’s actually a port of an old Sega Saturn game from Capcom! And yes, the DS cover art is nearly identical to the Saturn’s art. Also, it’s based on an anime series of the same name.

As for the series, it’s based on a Japanese urban legend passed along by school kids. The legend is that the girl’s school bathrooms are haunted by a ghost named Hanako-san, who opens and closes the doors and brings misfortune to (or kills) students who disturb her or call her by name. She has a haircut and outfit similar to the girl on the game’s cover. She supposedly stays in the third floor restroom, if there is one, in the second stall.

Puyo Puyo 78: Puyo Puyo 7

Puyo Puyo is a great series of puzzle games. Match the colored blobs, bring down a rain of colorless blobs on your unsuspecting opponent, sometimes see a storyline with cute characters – lots of good stuff. The Japanese box art for the latest Puyo game leaves something to be desired.

I mean, sure, it showcases all the puyos. But they all look so surly! Only one kind has a naturally mean expression, and here they all look like they’re out for blood. It’s the kind of cover you’d expect to see on a Killer Tomatoes game box. Those puyos are out for blood!

Yume wo Kanaeru Zou7: Yume wo Kanaeru Zou

This one’s weird simply because it looks pretty sacrilegious. There are probably a lot of people out there who wouldn’t be too happy to see a badly-drawn representation of Ganesha chilling on a DS box, smoking a cigarette.

As for the game itself, well, I haven’t been able to find too much information on it. It seems like it is strongly related to a Japanese self-help book called Yume wo Kanaeru Zou. The book also inspired a Japanese comedy series out there by the same name. One part of it was about a worthless man who meets Ganesha and then decides to make something of himself. The second part was about a woman who’s both dumped by her boyfriend and loses her apartment in a fire on her birthday, wishes for happiness and then meets Ganesha. There’s also supposed to be an anime based on it too.

Nihon Keizai Shinbunsha Kanshuu DS6: Nihon Keizai Shinbunsha Kanshuu: Shiranai Mamade wa Son o Suru Mono ya Okane no Shikumi DS

It’s actually an economic and finance application designed to teach people about managing money and understanding how the economy works. How a picture of a horribly drawn man and his dog falling into a pitfall explain that, I don’t know. It’s just weird.

5: Bikkuriman Daijiten

For number five we’re turning to sacrilege again with Bikkuriman Daijiten, a DS game that’s a bit of an enigma since there’s no intelligent information anywhere online desribing it. So, we’ll have to go solely on boxart.

Apparently, it’s a game with religious themes, since we’ve got God (complete with halo, star and impressive beard) smacking a demonic, vampire-esque, umbrella wielding man with a cane. He also has an angel at his side, and some kind of masked man on his back.

In short, Bikkuriman Daijiten‘s cover depicts one of the most comical scenes of divine retribution and judgement.

Juggler DS4: Juggler DS

This is the reason people are scared of clowns. Need I say more?

Nobody needs to have Mr. Creepy-Clown watching them while playing slot machines. I’d say its a punishment no one deserves.

Go Sukashi Kashipanman3: Sukashi Kashipanman DS

Bikini-clad girl with gills? Check.

Warrior dude with starfish mask, belt buckle and protective cup? Check.

Incomprehensible box art filled with tons of text and weird images, including two dudes who look like jellyfish hanging out in the background? Check.

Yup, Sukashi Kashipanman DS has got it all. It’s supposedly a mini-game collection where Sukashi Kashipanman, a parody of all those Japanese superheroes, does super-deeds to help people.

The game’s based on an actual character, which actually has his own anime and manga series. In fact, you can even see the series in English! There’s an American live-action version of it called Go Sukashi!

Akko de Pon Ikasama Hourouki2: Akko de Pon Ikasama Hourouki

These people need help. Just look at them. They are bonafide freaks of nature, and have all been compiled and shoved into a single DS cartridge. Looking at it, you’d like its a plastic surgery simulation where you have to help fix these people so they can fit in with the rest of society. It’s not, by the way. It’s a mahjong game, and those lovely people are the characters you can play as, or against.

I can’t even imagine what it’d be like to play Akko de Pon Ikasama Hourouki. Somehow, I think it’d be like playing Mahjong with an uglier, Japanese version of Mr. Bean.

Watashi no Pony1: Watashi no Pony

And Star-Fish’s wildly pink Watashi no Pony takes first place! You may not agree with me, but it’s my column, so there. For this cover art, it’s all about the color choices and the pony. First of all, it’s a pink explosion! I don’t think I’ve ever seen so much pink, and so many hearts, on a game cover before! We could have a contest, asking people to guess how many hearts are on the cover! (Hint: there are more than 70!)

Of course, nothing tops that pony’s expression. Those soulless eyes and that forced smile. That pony knows its being humiliated and ridiculed. And one night, when you least expect it, it is going to rip itself off of that game box and wreak pink havok upon the world.

Oddly enough, the game is a pretty normal horse-pet simulation. With normal colored horses.

COMING NEXT WEEK: Hot Japanese Imports samples some Japanese candy.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Last week Hot Japanese Imports talked about Vanillaware

Site [Play-Asia] Site [YesAsia] Site [NCSX] Site [Himeya Shop] Site [Strapya World]

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Japan Import: Love Plus + DSi XL bundle announced

March 26, 2010 - 2:00 am No Comments

Japan Import: Love Plus + DSi XL bundle announced

Section: Gaming News, Features, Japanese Imports, Handhelds, DS & DSi & DSi XL, Game-Companies, Developers, Publishers, Genres, 3D, Sim

Love Plus + DSi LL XLKonami is once again going to be exploiting all of the Love Plus junkies in Japan. You remember Love Plus, the DS real-time dating simulation game that’s inspired unsettling devotion among fans. One guy even went so far as to marry his copy of the game, while others bought multiple copies of Love Plus to obtain all the different preorder items. First, Konami announced an updated edition of Love Plus, called Love Plus +, to snatch more money away from these people. Now, it’s announced Love Plus + DSi XL bundles.

More accurately, they should be called DSi LL bundles, since that’s what the latest version of the DSi is called in Japan. And the word bundles is plural because there isn’t going to just be one. There are going to be three Love Plus + DSi LL bundles, each with a DSi LL that has one of the game’s three girls on the front. This means Love Plus fans can choose a system with their favorite character on it and get a Manaka Deluxe, Nene Deluxe or Rinko Deluxe DSi LL. I think the DSi LL on the right is the Rinko Deluxe version.

If you’re thinking of importing one for yourself (don’t deny it, I know you’re all just fighting to resist this DSi LL’s charms), be aware that the DSi LL/XL is a region locked system. You’ll have no problem playing normal DS games on it, but you won’t be able to play any North American games that are DSi-enhanced or DSi-exclusives.

Read [Famitsu (Japanese)] Via [Andriasang] Also Read [Siliconera] Site [Love Plus + (Japanese)]

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Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker characters appear on Mountain Dew cans

March 26, 2010 - 2:00 am No Comments

Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker characters appear on Mountain Dew cans

Section: Gaming News, Features, Japanese Imports, Handhelds, PSP & PSPgo, Gear, Gear-Other, Game-Companies, Developers, Publishers, Genres, 3D, Action

Metal Gear Solid Peace Walker Mountain DewDo you love Metal Gear Solid so much that you’d buy a can of soda just because a character from one of the games was on the can? This isn’t just a hypothetical question. Konami and Suntory have teamed up in Japan to promote Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker with Mountain Dew soda.

There are eight different Mountain Dew can designs, each prominently featuring one of the Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker characters on it. For example, you can enjoy a Dew with Snake, Huey, Miller or Paz. They won’t have any special flavor – just plain old Mountain Dew. They also will only be sold in Japan, starting April 27, 2010 and cost ¥115 ($1.25). Don’t worry, if you really want a Metal Gear can of Mountain Dew, I’m sure that you’ll eventually be able to find some online store stocking them.

A similar promotion hasn’t been announced for North America or other regions. While it could be a stretch to see Metal Gear Mountain Dew cans in your local store, you never know. Drink promotions aren’t unheard of and there have been God of War and Halo 3 Mountain Dew promotions in the US. Plus, Mountain Dew actually appears as an item in Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker. We may not get to see the exact same cans, but maybe we’ll see some Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker Mountain Dew: Game Fuel in June, 2010 when Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker is released here.

The big question is, do you find a can of Mountain Dew with Snake on it more appetizing, less appetizing or just as appetizing?

Read [Konami (Japan)] Via [Andriasang] Also Read [Siliconera]

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Japanese McDonalds employees to learn their jobs with a DS

March 24, 2010 - 2:00 am No Comments

Japanese McDonalds employees to learn their jobs with a DS

Section: Gaming News, Features, Japanese Imports, Handhelds, DS, Genres, Educational, Game-Genres-Other

McDonalds Monogatari Game Boy Color GBCJapanese McDonalds restaurants are hoping to start training their employees in a more high-tech manner. Well, if you consider using a DS to train people high-tech. Yup, if you’re in Japan and you want to work at a McDonalds, playing on a DS is going to be part of your training sessions.

Nikkei reported the news that eSmart, McDonalds Japan’s DS training program, is currently in development. Once finished, each Japanese McDonalds store will have two DS units with eSmart in them to train part-time employees. The whole affair will cost about ¥200 million, around $2.2 million.

There’s no news on how the eSmart program will work or function. I know it’s silly, but I hope it works a bit like McDonalds Monogatari. See, there was this old, Japanese, Game Boy Color game called McDonalds Monogatari which was essentially a McDonalds simulation. You’d get to be an employee and make the food, serve customers and such. Wouldn’t it be awesome if eSmart was like that? Oh, who am I kidding. It’ll probably be a text-based, educational program.

Read [Nikkei (Japanese)] Via [Andriasang] Also Read [Kotaku]

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Important Importables: Vanillaware

March 20, 2010 - 2:00 am No Comments

Hot Japanese Imports: Vanillaware

Section: Exclusives, Originals, Features, Columns, Japanese Imports, Consoles, PS2, Wii, Consoles-Other, Handhelds, DS, PSP, Game-Companies, Developers, Publishers, Genres, 2D, Action, Adventure, Role-Playing, Strategy

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Princess Crown PSP

In this week’s Hot Japanese Imports, we’re going to look at one of my favorite Japanese video game developers, Vanillaware. The company may not be one of the most prolific developers out there, but they do make some of the most gorgeous video games available.

In a way, that works out better for us today! We’ll take a brief look at Vanillaware, and then another quick peek at all five games Vanillaware has created so far!


What’s Vanillaware?

In short, Vanillaware Ltd. is a Japanese video game developer that focuses on making high quality, artistic, 2D games.

Vanillaware’s games are quite distinctive, due to their visuals. They almost always have what appear to be hand-drawn, or painted, characters and backgrounds. Also, they often are genre bending, encorporating a number of different styles and traits from action, RPG, fighting and sometimes even strategy or simulation games.

The company hasn’t existed for too long as Vanillaware, but has been around in some form since around 1997, when the game Princess Crown was made for the Sega Saturn. Back then some of the founding members of Vanillaware worked for Atlus, and created the game. The developer originally was called Puraguru, but is now known as Vanillaware and has only developed games under that moniker.


Vanillaware’s games

Princess Crown (Sega Saturn, PSP)

Princess Crown is quite similar to Odin Sphere in terms of presentation, so this may all sound familiar. The opening segment has a little girl who grabs books, and then takes them to her grandmother to read the stories of Princess Gradriel, Edward, Portgus and Prosperina. The main story is that of Gradriel, the crown princess of a kingdom who heads out into the world to learn to be the proper queen and aid her kingdom. After you finish her storyline, the secondary characters’ stories pop up and can be played at your leisure.

Princess Crown was never released outside of Japan. However, there was a pretty complete English walkthrough created (check GameFaqs) and the PSP version is region-free and available in a best price edition. It’s a side-scrolling, action RPG, and if you’re familiar with Muramasa or Odin Sphere you’ll be fine.

GrimGrimoire (PS2)

GrimGrimoire is a magical, time traveling mystery game that’s reminiscent of the movie Groundhog Day. New magic student Lillet Blan comes to her new school and, five days after arriving, finds that everyone’s been killed by an evil force. Right before she’s defeated by this entity, she’s sent back in time to the day she arrived at the school. So now she must keep reliving those five days, each time around becoming a stronger magician and getting closer to preventing the disaster.

You can pick up GrimGrimoire and experience it for yourself, if you’d like. NIS released it in the US and Korea, and Koei released it in Europe and Australia. So as long as you have a PS2 and live in one of those regions, you can play. It’s a real time, strategic RPG.

Odin SphereOdin Sphere (PS2)

Odin Sphere is the tale of five intertwined characters, Gwendolyn the Valkyrie, Oswald the dark knight, Cornelius the pooka, Velvet the witch and Mercedes the fairy princess. All the stories lead up to the end of their world as they know it, and you can switch off between as you’d like. They’re all segmented into chapters of their own books, but the final book has all five characters as playable heroes and heroines. It’s largely inspired by fairy tales and mythology.

Like GrimGrimoire, Odin Sphere has received a worldwide release. Atlus brought it to Japan, North America and Korea, and Square Enix brought it to Europe and Australia. It’s very similar to Princess Crown in terms of gameplay, as its also a side-scrolling, action RPG.

Kumatanchi (DS)

Kumatanchi is essentially a pet simulator. You’re a zoo keeper who is taking care of Kuma-tan, a little bear girl, while her zoo is being fixed. It takes place in real time, and so for two weeks you have to watch over her and guide her using the touch screen. You can make money by taking pictures of her and having her perform successful shows, alter her environment, direct her to interact with her surroundings and watch as she talks with other

Kumatanchi hasn’t been released in English, but don’t despair. It’s a DS game, so it’s region-free, and import friendly since controls mainly rely on icons and images.

Muramasa The Demon Blade

Muramasa: The Demon Blade (Wii)

Muramasa: The Demon Blade is Vanillaware’s most recent release and follows the adventures of an amnesiac ninja named and a princess named Momohime who’s possessed by the swordsman named. Both characters are searching for the legendary Muramasa for their own means, and completing both stories unlocks additional endings.

As long as you live in Japan, North America, Europe or Australia, you can experience Muramasa: The Demon Blade for yourself. Marvelous released it in Japan, while Ignition took care of North America and Australia and Rising Star Games handled Europe. It’s an action RPG somewhat similar to Princess Crown and Odin Sphere, though there are fewer characters and more platforming elements.

COMING NEXT WEEK: Hot Japanese Imports looks at 10 of the weirdest Japanese DS boxarts.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Last week Hot Japanese Imports reviewed Sakura Wars 3: Is Paris Burning? for the Dreamcast

Site [Play-Asia] Site [YesAsia] Site [NCSX] Site [Himeya Shop] Site [Strapya World]

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Ass Effect

March 18, 2010 - 2:00 am No Comments

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Spoiler Alert: Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep

March 18, 2010 - 2:00 am No Comments

Spoiler Alert: Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep

Section: Exclusives, Originals, Features, Japanese Imports, Nostalgia, Handhelds, PSP, Game-Companies, Developers, Publishers, Genres, 3D, Action, Role-Playing

gamertell spoiler alert logo

There are times where a game is released where you really want to know what happened but you either can’t or don’t want to buy or play it. To help you out, Gamertell offers Spoiler Alert. We’ll play the games and tell you what happened so you don’t have to spend, or waste, your time on it. This week, we’re looking at Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep. Prepare to be spoiled.

The latest Kingdom Hearts game, Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep, is a prequel that’s technically three stories in one. Players follow the adventures of Terra, Ventus and Keyblade Master Aqua as the three battle Unversed monsters that are appearing in all the world and track down Keyblade Master Xehanort, who’s suspiciously disappeared with his apprentice Vanitus.

Since the game is divided into three parts, let’s break down the spoilers into three parts:

Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep Terra


Terra doesn’t become a keyblade master because he has darkness in his heart, and ends up unwittingly assisting multiple Disney villains in his quest to find Master Xehanort. Xehanort also has tried to convince him that he must accept the darkness within him to get stronger. He does help Aqua when possible, telling her to assist the Princesses of Heart, and urges Ven to return to the Land of Departure, but also tries to keep away from both Ven and Aqua to keep from harming them with the darkness within him. He meets Riku at the Destiny Islands, and agrees to make him his apprentice when the time comes. Near the end of his story, he comes to the Land of Departure just as Eraqus is about to erase Ven, and defeats him. After this happens Master Xehanort kills Eraqus, destroys the Land of Departure and tells Terra to meet him at the Keyblade Graveyard.

Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep Ven


Ven’s story begins with a memory/dream of him at the Destiny Islands, with Master Xehanort hovering over him. His Awakening area is also incomplete, until Sora offers to assist him. Xehanort brought him to Eraqus, where he became the third apprentice. He isn’t allowed to take part in the Keyblade Master examination, like Terra and Aqua, and can only watch. After the exam, Vanitus approaches him and hints that Terra will be consumed by darkness. This prompts Ven to leave the Land of Departure, even though he shouldn’t. His adventures are largely more exploratory and light-hearted, though he does often find himself assisting the various worlds’ denizens in the battle against Unversed. We eventually learn that he was initially Master Xehanort’s apprentice, and that Xehanort made Vanitus out of Ventus’ darkness. Xehanort wants to use Vanitus and Ventus to create the legendary X-Blade keyblade. Ven returns to the Land of Departure to discuss everything with Master Eraqus, which prompts Eraqus to try and erase Ven to save the world and keep the X-Blade from being created. Terra steps in and saves Ven, sending him to the Destiny Islands, where Vanitus tells him to go to the Keyblade Graveyard.

Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep Aqua


Aqua becomes a Keyblade Master after Master Eraqus administers the exam. She’s sent out to search for Xehanort as well, but Eraqus also asks that she keep an eye on Terra and find Ven, who went off on his own after Terra. She learns from Terra that Xehanort is after the Princesses of Heart, and also takes on the task of helping the seven princesses strengthen their hearts. She ends up meeting Kairi, and assists her in becoming stronger. She also meets Sora and Riku and can tell Sora is tied to Ven, and that Riku has the same susceptibility as Terra. She tells Sora to watch over Riku. She then finds Mickey and they head to Yen Sid’s tower. There, she hears Master Eraqus has been killed by Master Xehanort, and heads to the Keyblade Graveyard.


Terra, Ven and Aqua meet up at the Keyblade Graveyard, where Master Xehanort is waiting. This part begins with the battle that was the secret movie in Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix. Ven is frozen and Aqua is knocked out, leaving only Terra. Terra momentarily allows the darkness to overtake him, and Xehanort takes Terra’s body in this instant. Terra’s emotions and sense of duty go into his armor, becoming the Lingering Sentiment (KH II Final Mix‘s secret boss) and defeats Xehanort in Terra’s body. Ven recovers and fights Vanitus. After the battle, he discovers the Unversed were created when Vanitus was made, and the two fuse into the X-Blade that Xehanort desired. Aqua and Mickey then defeat the X-Blade.

Mickey and Aqua awake at Yen Sid’s where Aqua learns Ven’s heart is gone because of the fusion. His heart has returned to Sora, and Sora agrees to let him in and keep him safe. But, Ven’s body is now an empty shell. Aqua carries Ven to the Land of Departure and places him inside, in what will become the Chamber of Awakening. She then uses Master Eraqus’ keyblade to turn the Land of Departure into Castle Oblivion.

Aqua then goes to Radiant Garden to confront Xehanort in Terra’s body. They battle, and she defeats him. Xehanort and Terra have a battle of wills during Aqua’s battle with Xehanort, and we learn that Terra is harboring Master Eraqus’ heart. Terra seals his own heart, so Xehanort has no access to it. Terra-Xehanort start to fall into the Realm of Darkness, but Aqua dives in after them. She sacrifices her armor and keyblade, using them to send Terra out of the darkness, to safety. Xehanort is awakened by Ansem in Radiant Garden, with amnesia, and becomes one of his apprentices.

Aqua then wanders the Realm of Darkness until she one day meets up with Ansem the Wise. He tells her that all hope lies with Sora. We then see Sora at the Destiny Islands with Riku and Kairi, saying he has to go out again to save everyone.

If you’re looking for a real spoiler, watch’s video of the secret ending:
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Image Source: YouTube – DChiuch’s Channel

Site [Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep]

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Capcom announces Monster Hunter Portable 3rd – monsters go into hiding

March 18, 2010 - 2:00 am No Comments

Capcom announces Monster Hunter Portable 3rd – monsters go into hiding

Section: Gaming News, Features, Japanese Imports, Handhelds, PSP, Game-Companies, Developers, Publishers, Genres, 3D, Action, Role-Playing

Monster Hunter 3rd Monster Hunter Freedom 3

About 1 million Japanese PSP owners let out girlish squeals of joy today when Capcom announced that another Monster Hunter game is in development. Okay, so the 1 million part may not be accurate, but I’m sure there was some rejoicing in Japan – Japanese gamers are fanatical about Monster Hunter games. Monster Hunter Portable 3rd is in the works, and should be released in Japan before 2010 ends.

Like all Monster Hunter games, Monster Hunter Portable 3rd will focus on, wait for it, monster hunting. You’ll create a custom character and then set out on missions to take down behemoths. Once again, you’ll have Felyne assistants, and Capcom promises that the Felyne companion and combat system will be improved in this entry. There’ll also be all new areas to explore and monsters to kill.

Capcom’s also released the first Monster Hunter Portable 3rd trailer onto the internet. Let’s take a look and see what it’s like:

US and European releases haven’t been announced yet, I’d say it’s a given. Capcom’s released many entries in the Monster Hunter series worldwide. Plus, as Siliconera points out, the Japanese press release lists Monster Hunter Portable 3rd‘s international name as Monster Hunter Freedom 3. Why mention an international name if you have no intention of releasing a game outside of Japan?

Read [Capcom (Japanese)] Via [Joystiq] Also Read [Siliconera]

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Marvelous bringing Harvest Moon to web browsers

March 18, 2010 - 2:00 am No Comments

Marvelous bringing Harvest Moon to web browsers

Section: Gaming News, Features, Japanese Imports, PCs, Windows, Game-Companies, Developers, Publishers, Genres, Online, Sim

Harvest Moon Animal Parade
Good news from Japan today, that’s somewhat unexpected! Marvelous has announced that the company is going to start working on web browser and social networking site games. Not much information is available on what kind of games to expect, but Marvelous did reveal that Harvest Moon is going to be getting an online adaptation.

For the few who don’t know, Harvest Moon is one of Marvelous’ key series, and has been a cult classic among gamers around the world. In each Harvest Moon game, players step into the shoes of a young man or woman who has received/bought/inherited a farm and is tasked with making it successful again. There are also a number of social elements, in addition to crop and animal raising, since each game has festivals to attend and bachelors/bachelorettes for your avatar to marry and raise a family with.

There are no specifics on what kind of features the online Harvest Moon game will have, or if it will be a stand-alone browser-based or SNS game. Basically, the only information revealed to Inside Games is that Marvelous is working on between 5-6 online games and a Harvest Moon adaptation is among them.

There was also no word on if Harvest Moon‘s browser-based incarnation will receive a worldwide release yet. I’m sure quite a few people will be disappointed if it doesn’t! Harvest Moon is the original farming video game, and I know that a browser-based version would totally erase thoughts of Farmville, Farm Town and Country Story from people’s minds. As much as I wish it would appear overseas, I’m not so sure. Marvelous tends to work with Atlus, Ignition and Natsume. Atlus does do online games (Neo Steam), but Natsume has always handled the Harvest Moon series in North America. I suppose we’ll have to wait and hope for the best.

Read [Inside Games (Japanese)] Via [Andriasang]

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