Archive for May, 2010

Important Importables: All about Bleach: Heat the Soul

May 29, 2010 - 2:00 am No Comments

Hot Japanese Imports: All about Bleach: Heat the Soul

Section: Exclusives, Originals, Features, Columns, Japanese Imports, Lists, Handhelds, PSP & PSPgo, Game-Companies, Developers, Publishers, Genres, 2D, 3D, Fighting

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One of the best series, and most prolific, PSP fighting games in Japan happens to be 8ing and Sony’s Bleach: Heat the Soul. As you can guess, they’re all based on Tite Kubo’s world famous Bleach manga and anime series. There have been six entries released so far with a seventh on the way.

Unfortunately, none of the Bleach: Heat the Soul games have been released outside of Japan. All of the entries are fighting games though, and very import friendly. If you don’t mind searching online, or have a Japanese PlayStation Store account, you can even download demos for some of the games. Plus, they all tend to be released in a cheaper greatest hit version within a year or so of being released.

With so many games, it can be difficult to determine which would be right for you. So let’s take a brief look at what’s special about each of the already available entries.

Bleach: Heat the Soul
Bleach Heat the Soul

Bleach: Heat the Soul is the first entry, and isn’t even a contender when compared to the more recent iterations. Yes, it has great voice acting and covers the beginning of the series, but it also only has six playable fighters: Ichigo, Rukia, Renji, Uryu, Orihime and Chad. There’s also only one storyline, not unique ones for each character. It was released in March, 2005.

Bleach: Heat the Soul 2Bleach Heat the Soul 2

Bleach: Heat the Soul 2 is a definite improvement over the first entry. The number of playable characters doubled (technically – there are two versions of Ichigo), and each character has his or her own storyline in the story mode. As for the story, it should seem familiar to North American Bleach fans, as it covers the storyline where Ichigo and his friends go to the Soul Society to rescue Rukia. The six characters from the first entry are joined by Byakuya, Urahara, Yoruichi, Hitsugaya and Gin. It was also released in September, 2005, six months after the original Heat the Soul.

Bleach: Heat the Soul 3
Bleach Heat the Soul 3

Bleach: Heat the Soul 3 is where a potential buyer’s decision starts getting tricky. The story mode continues from where Heat the Soul 2 left off in Soul Society, and goes until the very beginning of the appearance of the Arrancars. It has a massive character roster, with 34 different fighters, and has two unique modes that are the selling points: Soul Road and Karakura Heroes. In Soul Road you pick a fighter and partner character, and go around fighting to try and unlock extra characters and costumes. In Karakura Heroes you go through a whimsical new storyline designed just for Heat the Soul 3. It was released just about a year after Heat the Soul 2, in July, 2006.

Bleach: Heat the Soul 4Bleach Heat the Soul 4

Bleach: Heat the Soul 4 is a decent entry in the series, but personally I’d pick Heat the Soul 3 over it. It has an even larger character roster, with 51 characters appearing. It’s story mode also covers from the beginning of the Arrancar arc, where Heat the Soul 3 left off, to Ichigo and crew heading into Hueco Mundo to rescue Orihime. It’s defining mode is the Character Master mission-style mode, where you pick a character and must complete battles while following set instructions to earn points to unlock costumes and other little extras. Again, it came out a year after the previous entry, in May, 2007.

Bleach Heat the Soul 5
Bleach Heat the Soul 5

Bleach: Heat the Soul 5 is sort of like Heat the Soul 4, in that I would probably recommend 3 or 6 over it. It isn’t that Heat the Soul 5 isn’t cool, just that other entries are better. Its Story mode continues the adventures in Hueco Mundo, but doesn’t really have any major resolutions to the whole “Rescue Orihime” mission. It does introduce a Tag Battle mode and tag teams, where two characters work together to fight, allowing you to switch off or unleash special team moves. Sadly, the character roster does take a bit of a hit – there are only 32 characters to choose from.

Bleach: Heat the Soul 6
Bleach Heat the Soul 6

Bleach: Heat the Soul 6 is the latest, and quite possibly best entry in the series to date. It has the tag team feature introduced in Heat the Soul 5, a story mode that covers the entire Bleach storyline up until the Hueco Mundo arc, 74 characters (though many are different versions of the same character) and introduces a Championship tournament mode. The best version for Heat the Soul 6 hasn’t been released yet, but many online stores are taking preorders. The game originally came out in May, 2009.

To wrap things up, here’s the best way to choose among the Heat the Soul games:

  • If you want interesting extra modes: You may want to go with Bleach: Heat the Soul 3.
  • If you want lots of characters: Go with Bleach: Heat the Soul 6.
  • If you want a comprehensive story mode that follows the series: Bleach: Heat the Soul 6 is the one for you.
  • If you like collecting extra costumes/characters/etc: It’s either Bleach: Heat the Soul 3 or 4.
  • If you like tag-team battles: I’d say pick Bleach: Heat the Soul 6 or 5.
  • If you want the newest game out there: Wait for Bleach: Heat the Soul 7.

COMING NEXT WEEK: Hot Japanese Imports reviews Clover by CLAMP.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Last week Hot Japanese Imports was all about the Wonderswan.

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

Full Story » | Written by Jenni Lada for Gamertell. | Comment on this Article »


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Super Mario Bros. Crossover – Ryu Hayabusa Trailer

May 27, 2010 - 2:00 am No Comments


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What do you need to make your United States PS2 or PS3 play Japanese Video Games?

May 25, 2010 - 9:45 am 1 Comment
Guitar Hero Fan asked:


I have a PS2, i bought it in the USA, i want to get the game called Naruto: Ultimate Ninja 3, which was only released for Japan, what do i need to be able to play it on my PS2? I also have a PS3, can i play Japanese games there, or do i need something to make it play Japanese games as well? If so, were can i buy that certain item for my PS2 and PS3? If it’s not illegal, if it is, please tell me so.

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The Incredible Donkey-Lady

May 25, 2010 - 2:00 am No Comments


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The Infamous Cougar-Man

May 25, 2010 - 2:00 am No Comments


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A Tale of a Boy in a Box Featuring Metal Gear Solid Peace Walker

May 25, 2010 - 2:00 am No Comments


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Super Mario Galaxy 2 Prepare For Launch

May 23, 2010 - 2:00 am No Comments


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Important Importables: Wonderswan

May 23, 2010 - 2:00 am No Comments

Hot Japanese Imports: Wonderswan

Section: Exclusives, Originals, Features, Columns, Japanese Imports, Lists, Handhelds, Handhelds-Other, Game-Companies, Developers, Publishers

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There have been many handheld consoles released, but Bandai’s WonderSwan has the distinction of being fairly unknown. It isn’t too surprising though. The line of handhelds, which spanned three different systems, was only released in Japan and only between 1999 and 2003.

Despite that, the WonderSwan, WonderSwan Color and Swan Crystal were nifty little systems. They had some interesting hallmarks and even some worthwhile games released for them. The more you learn about them, the more you almost wish that Bandai had taken a chance and released it worldwide.

WonderSwan

WonderSwan

The original WonderSwan could be best compared to the original GameBoy. It displayed games in black and white, used cartridges and ran on batteries. It had a large screen and casing available in a variety of colors. Depending on the game, you’d hold the system either horizontally or vertically. And, if your WonderSwan was having a good couple of days, you could play for almost 40 hours using one AA battery. It could even play some WonderSwan Color, it’s successor’s, games.

Notable games include:

  • Arc the Lad: Kishin Fukkatsu
  • Beatmania
  • Chocobo’s Dungeon
  • Clock Tower: The First Fear
  • Gunpey
  • Hataraku Chocobo
  • Klonoa: Moonlight Museum
  • Pocket Fighter
  • Rockman & Forte: Challenger From the Future
  • Space Invaders
  • Tekken Card Challenge

WonderSwan Color

WonderSwan Color

The WonderSwan Color came out in 2000, a little over a year after the original WonderSwan debuted. It was very similar in terms of appearance, as it could also be played vertically and horizontally, was almost exactly the same size and weight and could be found in multiple colors. It was also backwards compatible with all WonderSwan games and also only required one AA battery. The battery life was effected by the slightly larger screen and newer technology though, and was cut in half to about 20 hours per battery. You could best compare it to the GameBoy Advance.

Noteable games include:

  • Atelier Marie and Elie
  • Final Fantasy
  • Final Fantasy II
  • Final Fantasy IV
  • Guilty Gear Petit
  • Guilty Gear Petit 2
  • Naruto: Konoha Ninpouchou
  • Princess Maker: Yumemiru Yousei
  • Riviera: The Promised Land
  • Romancing SaGa
  • Tetris
  • Wizardry

SwanCrystal

SwanCrystal

The SwanCrystal was the last Bandai handheld, and was only a slight improvement on the WonderSwan Color. It was released two years after it though, in 2002. The only difference was the screen, as Bandai decided on a TFT LCD screen that made everything look much better. Other than that, it used essentially the same technology as the WonderSwan Color. It was also backwards compatible with the WonderSwan and WonderSwan Color and also used a single AA battery.

The SwanCrystal was known for two major drawbacks, which almost made the WonderSwan Color seem like the best option. It’s newer and better screen was a serious drain on the batteries, cutting the battery life to around 10 hours. It also had issues reading cartridges, a problem that neither of the previous devices ever encountered.

In 2003 both the SwanCrystal and WonderSwan Color were discontinued, ending Bandai’s attempt to enter the world of handheld gaming. Well, beyond the Tamagotchi that is. If you’re still interested in picking one up, I’d recommend checking with Play-Asia or a Japanese shopping service that would let you take part in one of the Japanese online auction sites.

COMING NEXT WEEK: Hot Japanese Imports looks at the defining characteristics of each Bleach Heat the Soul PSP game.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Last week Hot Japanese Imports talked about three Korean music game series.

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

Full Story » | Written by Jenni Lada for Gamertell. | Comment on this Article »


Popularity: 1% [?]

Rocket Knight Brings The Fun But Ends Fast

May 19, 2010 - 2:00 am No Comments

Woohoo, platforming with a jetpack is fun.
Woohoo, now we’re playing a sidescrolling shooter cool.
Woohoo, the difficultly is scaling well and the level design is A++!
Woohoo, oh it’s over?

Rocket Knight is extremely fun but 3 hours of gameplay for the price of $14.99 makes about as much sense as the image below.

If it was double the length or half the price it would be a 9/10 but as is I’ll have to stick with 8/10.

The two videos below will give you a taste of 99% of the game.


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Mario 64 Returns In Mario Galaxy 2

May 19, 2010 - 2:00 am No Comments


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