Archive for October, 2010

Important Importables: 10 Japanese horror movies and animes to enjoy on Halloween

October 30, 2010 - 2:00 am No Comments

Hot Japanese Imports: 10 Japanese horror movies and animes to enjoy on Halloween

Section: Exclusives, Originals, Features, Columns, Japanese Imports, Lists, Ads & Media, Movies, TV

Hot Japanese Imports logo

Halloween’s only two days away, so there’s still time to plan a spooky way to spend your night. If you’re too old for trick or treating or don’t feel like heading out to a bar to party, then you can always spend your night at home with close friends, scaring yourself silly with movies and TV shows.

There are tons of great anime series that fall into the thriller category and many legendary Japanese horror movies. So today in Hot Japanese Imports I’m recommending five anime series and five horror movies you may want to hunt down and watch this weekend.

The BoogiePop Phantom DVD collection anime

Unsettling Animes

If you want to watch a series that’s somewhat unsettling and has lots of twists and turns, then turn to Boogiepop Phantom. There is a town that experienced a horrible string of murders five years ago and a strange pillar of light a month ago. Strange occurances have happened since, and all the people who were touched by the events are effected. Rumor is, the supposed Boogiepop is behind or part of it.

Fans of the X-Files may want to check out Petshop of Horrors. There’s a petshop in Chinatown run by Count D that has the most unsual pets. Anyone who comes in can form a contract to adopt one, but breaking the rules could result in horrible consequences. Everyone gets the pet he or she deserves. Sometimes a story is happy, but more often its not.

Jigoku Shoujo (Hell Girl) is another episodic series. Almost every episode begins with someone discovering the Jigoku Shoujo website. If a person enter someone’s name, he or she will receive a straw doll from Ai Enma with a string around it’s neck. Pulling the string will send the client’s hated person to Hell, but whoever uses the doll is also destined to go to Hell as well.

If you want to follow a single story, then Hellsing may be the series for you. In thios series Integra Hellsing heads a group called the Hellsing Organization (Holy Order of Protestant Knights), which protects the Queen and England from supernatural threats. Their strongest weapon is Alucard, a vampire defeated by Van Hellsing. Nazis have created a group called Millenium and want to create a new Third Reich with vampires.

Gantz isn’t exactly horror, but is a suspenseful and thrilling series that would be great to watch on Halloween. It follows people who have recently died and been “drafted” to fight against aliens. They are forced to remain as the task force until they’ve earned 100 points for killing aliens, at which point they can leave and lead normal lives. Between missions, people are allowed to live their lives again.

The Tomie Movie Collection DVD set

Scary Movies

One series you may want to consider is Tomie. There are eight Tomie movies, Tomie, Tomie: Another Face, Tomie: replay, Tomie: Rebirth, Tomie: Forbidden Fruit -, Tomie: Beginning, Tomie: Revenge and Tomie vs. Tomie. Its a series of movies about an otherworldly and decidedly evil girl named Tomie. She’s hauntingly beautiful and seems unable to die. In many entries, Tomie starts out as just a head, which regenerates into her “normal” self. The first five films are available with English subtitles in The Tomie Collection.

Another cult classic is Audition. In it a man named Shigeharu Aoyama is convinced by his son and friend to start dating and search for a new wife, as his died seven years ago and his loved ones don’t want him to be alone. So his friend helps him hold a mock-audition. The women think they’re auditioning for a movie, but really Shigeharu is trying to pick a wife. He picks the mysterious Asami, who doesn’t seem quite right.

Gamers may want to check out Parasite Eve, the movie based on the novel that inspired the Square Enix video game series. It’s slightly different than you would expect though, so don’t look for Aya Brea. This Japanese thriller follows the events that happen after a man uses mitochondria on his dead wife and accidentally creates a new species that wants to wipe out humanity.

Infection is yet another scary movie that may want to make you avoid hospitals. After a patient with an unknown ailment is brought to a run-down and nearly broke hospital, and this strange disease starts to spread among the patients with terrifying results.

Finally, if you’re looking for some brief horror stories, then you may want to try and find Dark Tales of Japan. It’s actually a collection of five short horror movies, each with a different unique and unsettling storyline.

COMING NEXT WEEK: Hot Japanese Imports suggests some import DS games you may want to give as gifts.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Last week Hot Japanese Imports looked at the Japanese Maneki Neko and its video game cameos!.

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

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Japan Import: Persona 2: Innocent Sin is PSP bound

October 28, 2010 - 2:00 am No Comments

Japan Import: Persona 2: Innocent Sin is PSP bound

Section: Gaming News, Features, Japanese Imports, Consoles, Consoles-Other, Handhelds, PSP & PSPgo, Game-Companies, Developers, Publishers, Genres, 2D, Role-Playing

Persona 2 Innocent SinPersona has grown to become one of Atlus’ most popular series, and the company’s noticed. Gamers have been quite supportive since the release of Persona 3, and since then have been clamoring for more. More new entries and rereleases of existing games. Atlus obviously isn’t going to keep people waiting, and turned to Famitsu to announce a PSP enhanced port of Persona 2: Innocent Sin.

Expect Persona 2: Innocent Sin PSP to look a lot like Shin Megami Tensei: Persona PSP. This means it’ll be the original PlayStation game, only with a few minor tweaks. You know, stuff like widescreen support, an optional install feature to cut loading times, mini-maps and other minor graphic and gameplay tweaks.

Persona 2: Innocent Sin is set in Sumaru City and primarily follows Tatsuya Suou, Eikichi Mishina and Lisa Silverman. An urban legend has supposedly come true in the city, and anyone who calls their own cell phone number will reach Joker, who will grant three of their wishes. Or turn them into catatonic Shadow Selves. The three end up encountering Joker, who claims to know them and be quite mad at them about something.

Persona 2: Innocent Sin is noteable since it is the only entry in the series to never be released outside of Japan. However, Persona 2: Eternal Punishment, the second part of the story, was released in both Japan and North America. So this rerelease could be the perfect opportunity for Atlus to release Innocent Sin worldwide.

Unfortunately, there was no Persona 2: Eternal Punishment PSP announcement. Maybe if Innocent Sin does well enough, Eternal Punishment will get a similar makeover.

Read [Siliconera] Also Read [Game Jouhou (Japanese)]

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Jump Festa 2011: Publishers start announcing game lineups

October 26, 2010 - 2:00 am No Comments

Jump Festa 2011: Publishers start announcing game lineups

Section: Gaming News, Features, Japanese Imports, Consoles, PS3, Wii, Xbox-360, Handhelds, DS & DSi & DSi XL, PSP & PSPgo, Game-Companies, Developers, Publishers, Conventions

Jump Festa 2011 logoShueisha’s 2011 Jump Festa is being held December 18-19, 2010 and video game companies are already RSVPing and even announcing some of the games they’ll be bringing to the manga, anime and video game convention that primarily celebrates series that appear in Weekly Shonen Jump. So anyone fortunate enough to make it to Chiba, Japan and the Makuhari Messe Convention Center will not only get to buy lots of goodies and see lots of stage shows and exclusive exhibits, they’ll also get to see some anticipated video games.

Here are some of the confirmed games that will be appearing at Jump Festa 2011, followed by which company booth attendees view and play them:

  • Bleach: Heat the Soul 7 (PSP) – Sony
  • Ishin no Arashi Shippuu Ryoumaden (DS) – Tecmo Koei
  • Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds (PS3, Xbox 360) – Capcom
  • Monster Hunter Portable 3rd (PSP) – Capcom
  • Naruto Shippuden: Narutimate Storm 2 aka Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 2 (PS3, Xbox 360) – Namco Bandai
  • Naruto Shippuuden: Gekitou Ninja Taisen! Special (Wii) – Takara Tomy
  • One Piece: Gigant Battle (DS) – Namco Bandai
  • Phantasy Star Portable 2 Infinity (PSP) – Sega
  • Shining Hearts (PSP) – Sega

And here are some companies that will have booths at Jump Festa 2011, but haven’t confirmed what games they’ll be bring and show off:

  • Nintendo
  • Square Enix
  • Marvelous Entertainment
  • Banpresto
  • Broccoli
  • Bushiroad (Collectable Card Game publishers)

So even though there aren’t a lot of game details so far, it still looks like there’ll be a great lineup of games for everyone at Jump Festa 2011 to see. I’m looking forward to hopefully hearing more about Shining Hearts, the latest entry in the Shining RPG series!

Read [Andriasang] Also Read [GoNintendo] Site [Jump Festa 2011 (Japanese)]

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PlayStation Store Update: Save Halloween and Mix it up!(October 19 to 23, 2010)

October 26, 2010 - 2:00 am No Comments

PlayStation Store Update: Save Halloween and Mix it up!(October 19 to 23, 2010)

Section: Features, Columns, Japanese Imports, Lists, Nostalgia, Previews, Consoles, PS3, Handhelds, PSP & PSPgo, Gear, Accessories, Displays, Gear-Other, Ads & Media, Web, Advertisements, Updates, Playstation-Store

PSN Store update banner for 2010

This week’s downloadable PlayStation 3 game is Costume Quest for $14.99. In this game players controls one of two twins, a little boy named Reynold or his sister Wren, who after moving into a new neighborhood, gets an idea to make friends while trick-or-treating. When a candy craving monster spots one of the twins dressed as a piece of candy corn the other must find and rescue their sibling with the help of the friends he’s made while trick-or-treating. Armed with magical costumes that allow the child to take on the special abilities of the costume. Players must save their sibling and Halloween all before curfew, check out Costume Quest:

This week’s PlayStation Portable Download is DJ Max Portable 3 for $39.99. In this game players can test their musical coordination skills with more than 40 unique tracks and tons of unlockable tracks and features. Check out DJ Max Portable 3:

Price Updates

  • Tehra Dark Warrior & DynoGems Bundle (PS3/$3.99)*
  • Rocketmen: It Came From Uranus (PS3/Original Price $4.99/Permanent Price Now $3.99)
  • Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee (PS3/PSP/Original Price $9.99/Now $4.99)
  • Oddworld Abe’s Exoddus (PS3/PSP/Original Price $9.99/Now $4.99)
  • Rocketmen: Axis of Evil (PS3/Original Price $9.99/Permanent Price Now $6.99)
  • TerRover (PS3/Original Price $14.99/Now $9.99)
  • Chessmaster: The Art of Learning (PSP/Original Price $19.99/Permanent Price Now $9.99)
  • Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Essentials (PSP/Original Price $19.99/Permanent Price Now $9.99)
  • TMNT PSP (PSP/Original Price $19.99/Permanent Price Now $9.99)
  • Tom Clancy’s End War (PSP/Original Price $29.99/Permanent Price Now $9.99)
  • Brothers in Arms: D-Day (PSP/Original Price $29.99/Permanent Price Now $9.99)
  • Prince of Persia: Rival Swords (PSP/Original Price $29.99/Permanent Price Now $9.99)
  • Puzzle Chronicles (PSP/Original Price $29.99/Permanent Price Now $9.99)
  • Rocketmen: Total Uranus Bundle (PS3/$9.99)*
  • Burn Zombie Burn: The Diarrhea of the Dead Bundle (PS3/$11.99)*
  • Monster Hunter Freedom Unite (PSP/Original Price $29.99/Permanent Price Now $19.99)
  • Assassin’s Creed: Bloodlines (PSP/Original Price $39.99/Permanent Price Now $19.99)
  • Jame Cameron’s Avatar: The Game (PSP/Original Price $39.99/Permanent Price Now $19.99)
  • Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands (PSP/Original Price $39.99/Permanent Price Now $19.99)
  • *The Rocketmen: Total Uranus Bundle comes with both Rocketmen: Axis of Evil and Rocketmen: It Came From Uranus games for one low price. Tehra Dark Warrior and DynoGems are both sold together. The Burn Zombie Burn bundle comes with the original Burn Zombie Burn game, the In Space add-on and premium theme. Remember, if you already own a copy of any bundled games consider purchasing the other separately as there are no refunds for purchasing the same game twice.

Here’s what else is new

New Games

  • Age of Hammer Wars (PSP/$4.99)
  • PSOne Imports: Tall Unlimited (PS3/$5.99)*
  • PSOne Imports: Arcade Hits: Shienryu (PS3/$5.99)*
  • Aqua Panic! (PS3/$9.99)
  • Tomb Raider: Underworld (PS3/$14.99)
  • Blazing Souls Accelate (PSP/$34.99)
  • *Please Note: Tall Unlimited and Shienryu is a direct import from Japan and is in its original Japanese language. Help with translating the game or gameplay can be found at www.monkeypawgames.com.

Demos

  • Costume Quest Demo (PS3/Free)
  • Fist of the North Star: Ken’s Rage Demo (PS3/Free)
  • The Shoot Demo (PS3/Free)

Avatars

  • Darkstalkers Demitiri Maximoff Avatars (PS3/49 Cents)
  • Darkstalkers Lilith Aensland Avatars (PS3/49 Cents)
  • Ghouls ‘n Ghosts Arthur (Jumping) Avatars (PS3/49 Cents)
  • Ghouls ‘n Ghosts Arthur (Running) Avatars (PS3/49 Cents)
  • Soldner-X 2: Final Prototype Keto Avatars (PS3/49 Cents)
  • Soldner-X 2: Final Prototype Vielkopf 3 Avatars (PS3/49 Cents)
  • Soldner-X 2: Final Prototype Wuchtklinge Avatars (PS3/49 Cents)

Bonus Content

Warning: Players downloading any bundle should own a copy of the game or the system required for the item to work or function properly. Always make sure you have the game the add-on was intended for before downloading as there are no refunds for anything mistakenly purchased from the PlayStation Network Store.

  • My Aquarium – Big Fish Set (PS3/99 Cents)
  • ModNation Racers – Gopher Mod (PS3/99 Cents)
  • ModNation Racers – Gopher Kart (PS3/99 Cents)
  • ModNation Racers – Gopher Mod and Kart (PS3/$1.75)*
  • Dead Rising 2 – Skills Pack – Soldier (PS3/$1.99)
  • Zen Pinball – Paranormal Table (PS3/$2.49)
  • Space Invaders: Infinity Gene – Bonus Stage Pack 1 (PS3/$2.99)*
  • Split Second – Deadline Pack (PS3/$4.99)
  • *ModNation Racers bundle includes both Gopher Mod and Kart. The Space Invaders: Infinity Gene Bonus Stage pack includes Bonus Stages 3-1 to 3-6. All added bonus stages can be played via Bonus Mode.

Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock

  • Linkin Park Track Pack (PS3/$11.99)
  • Individual Tracks Include:

  • “Waiting For The End” by Linkin Park (PS3/$1.99)
  • “Wretches And Kings” by Linkin Park (PS3/$1.99)
  • “Blackout” by Linkin Park (PS3/$1.99)
  • “Burning In The Skies” by Linkin Park (PS3/$1.99)
  • “The Catalyst” by Linkin Park (PS3/$1.99)
  • “The Messenger” by Linkin Park (PS3/$1.99)

Rock Band

*Warning: When purchasing a track pack always review your play list carefully before purchasing as most songs are also included in other track packs or sold individually. Always check first to avoid paying extra for a song you may already own as there are no refunds for purchasing the same song twice. If the song is available in a previously purchased track pack consider purchasing the remaining songs individually.

  • Jimmy Eat World Pack 02 (PS3/$5.49)
  • Individual Tracks Include:

  • “Bleed American″ by Jimmy Eat World (PS3/$1.99)
  • “My Best Theory″ by Jimmy Eat World (PS3/$1.99)
  • “Pain″ by Jimmy Eat World (PS3/$1.99)
  • Stone Temple Pilots Pack 01 (PS3/$9.99)
  • Individual Tracks Include:

  • “Big Empty” by Stone Temple Pilots (PS3/$1.99)
  • “Crackerman” by Stone Temple Pilots (PS3/$1.99)
  • “Creep” by Stone Temple Pilots (PS3/$1.99)
  • “Dead & Bloated” by Stone Temple Pilots (PS3/$1.99)
  • “Huckleberry Crumble” by Stone Temple Pilots (PS3/$1.99)
  • “Trippin’ on a Hole in a Paper Heart” by Stone Temple Pilots (PS3/$1.99)

Rock Band Network

  • “In Memory” by Excruciating Thoughts (PS3/99 Cents)
  • “Last Train to Awesometown” by Parry Gripp (PS3/99 Cents)
  • “Nom Nom Nom Nom Nom Nom Nom” by Parry Gripp (PS3/99 Cents)
  • “Sending Signals” by Evergreen Terrace (PS3/99 Cents)
  • “A Prophecy” by Asking Alexandria (PS3/$1.99)

Game Videos

  • The Tester Season 2 Launch Trailer (PS3/PSP/Free)
  • Pulse 10/19 Edition (PS3/PSP/Free)
  • Heavy Rain Concept Video (PS3/Free)
  • Heavy Rain Beginnings Video (PS3/Free)
  • Heavy Rain Emotion Video (PS3/Free)
  • PlayStation Move: Kevin Butler TV Spot – Distractions (PS3/Free)
  • NBA 2K11 – Become The Greatest Trailer (PS3/Free)
  • Bulletstorm Tanya Jessen Gamescom Demo Commentary (PS3/Free)
  • Deathspank: Thongs of Virtue Launch Trailer (PS3/Free)
  • Deathspank: Thongs of Virtue Story Trailer (PS3/Free)
  • Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 Intro Trailer (PS3/Free)
  • Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II – Launch Trailer (PS3/Free)

Themes and Wallpapers

  • The Tester Season 2 Theme (PS3/Free)
  • Phantasy Star Portable 2 Theme (PSP/Free)
  • Autumn Stroll Theme (PS3/PSP/$1.49)
  • Werewolf Theme (PS3/PSP/$1.49)
  • Comic Super Heroes Theme 1 (PSP$1.49)
  • Comic Super Heroes Theme 2 (PSP/$1.49)
  • Comic Super Heroes Theme (PS3/$1.99)
  • Aqua Panic! HD Spring Dynamic Theme (PS3/$2.99)
  • Aqua Panic! HD Summer Dynamic Theme (PS3/$2.99)
  • Lightning Apocalypse Dynamic Theme (PS3/$2.99)

Read [PlayStation Store Blog]

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Important Importables: The Maneki Neko and its video game cameos

October 24, 2010 - 2:00 am No Comments

Hot Japanese Imports: The Maneki Neko and its video game cameos

Section: Exclusives, Originals, Features, Columns, Japanese Imports, Consoles, GameCube, PS2, Wii, Handhelds, DS & DSi & DSi XL, GBA, iPhone & iPod Touch & iPad, Gear, Accessories, Genres, 2D, 3D, Action, Shooter, Role-Playing, Sim

Hot Japanese Imports logo

The Japanese lucky cat has become a familiar figure worldwide. People buy statues for their homes, necklaces with the familiar charm and can even set one as their user icon when first setting up a Windows 7 computer. But many people aren’t really familiar with what this iconic cat means, or how prevalent its presence is in popular culture.

Gamers in particular may run across the familiar cat statue in popular games, without even realizing it. Even more interesting is the idea that the virtual lucky cats function the same way in games as they’re supposed to in real life.

So in this week’s Hot Japanese Imports we’ll take a closer look at what the Maneki Neko is and some of its more popular video game appearances.

Pokemon Meowth Maneki Neko

What’s a Maneki Neko

A Maneki Neko is best known outside of Japan as a lucky cat. They’re a form of lucky charm which originated in Japan, and has gone on to become famous worldwide. The standard lucky cat looks like a Japanese Bobtail with one paw raised and the other holding a coin, but the design may vary.

While a Maneki Neko may look like it’s waving, it’s actually making an inviting gesture. In Japan, people hold their hands up and wave their fingers to call someone over. So the statue is doing the same thing to draw in money, happiness and success, and the coin that’s sometimes present in the other paw could possibly magnify the effect.

Viewers can actually tell a lot about a Maneki Neko based on which paw is raised. Sometimes the right paw will be raised, and other times the left will. There are even some figures with both paws raised. The general notion is that the higher the paw is raised, the more luck the statue will draw in. A right raised paw is supposed to bring general good fortune to the owner, while the left is supposed to be good for attracting customers to a store if the statue is placed at the entrance.

Which is why Maneki Neko often grace the entrance of Japanese stores. The owners believe the cat’s beckoning paw will draw customers in, which will make the shop richer. Maneki Neko are also a popular design for coin banks, personal statues, keychains or other personal accessories.

Animal Crossing City Folk Maneki Neko Lucky Cat screen shot

Lucky Cats in video games

Anyone who’s played Animal Crossing should recognize these happy fellows. Multiple Lucky Cat statue variations are available in the game. And they bring good luck in the game too! Almost every Animal Crossing game has Feng Shui incorporated into it, where a well-laid out room can lead to success in the game. All of the Lucky Cat statues are considered lucky items, and give extra points and more success to players who put them in a room in their house.

Maneki Neko have cameos in some other famous games as well. You may find a Maneki Neko accessory in Persona 4 (PS2) that will make your characters more lucky when they equip it. And in the Katamari Damacy games, the Prince may roll up some Maneki Neko while trying to create new stars for the King of the Cosmos.

The Maneki Neko is also said to be the inspiration for some other famous feline figures. Hello Kitty’s design is allegedly inspired by the Maneki Neko, and it isn’t uncommon to find statues or charms of her dressed up and posed like the famous statue. The Pokemon character Meowth was also inspired by the Maneki Neko, except its coin is placed on its forehead.

Finally, there’s the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad game Meow Meow Happy Fight even has a Maneki Neko for a star. In it, a gigantic Happy Cat from the future travels through time to the present to make people happy by beating up and destroying stuff. Even here, the lucky cat figure is responsible for bringing good things to the in-game world, although it’s through a more forceful and violent method.

COMING NEXT WEEK: Hot Japanese Imports lists some spooky Japanese movies and anime series you can watch this Halloween..

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Last week Hot Japanese Imports talked about K-On!.

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

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Japan Import: Daisuke Zombie looks adorable

October 22, 2010 - 2:00 am No Comments

Japan Import: Daisuke Zombie looks adorable

Section: Gaming News, Features, Japanese Imports, Handhelds, DS & DSi & DSi XL, Game-Companies, Developers, Publishers, Genres, 2D, Sim, Strategy

Daisuke Love Zombie ぞんびだいすきDo you love zombies? Do you love them so much that you’d be willing to help raise and bolster a legion of them so they can seek revenge on the people who turned them into zombies? Chunsoft is hoping the answer to both questions is yes, since it’s working on a DS game called Daisuke Zombie. Or, in English, Love Zombie.

Daisuke Zombie is part real time strategy game, part raising simulation. An unfortunate farm filled with ordinary people were turned into unholy legions of the undead by some bad people. The result is a whole lot of periwinkle blue zombies!

As a zombie-sympathizer, it’s your job to help them out. Build their forces, strength and train them. When you think they’re ready, send them down to the town to get revenge on the people who made them what they are.

If you’re successful, maybe the zombies will get to live happily ever after, on the farm with the cute animals they love so much. Yup, the zombies in Daisuke Zombie don’t just love revenge and brains, they adore cute animals. So much so that if they see one, they’ll be paralyzed by the cuteness. Check Famitsu‘s exclusive screenshots to see for yourself. The flock of fluffy sheep makes all the zombies go “Aww” and see hearts.

It looks like Daisuke Zombie will be a Japan exclusive when it’s released in January 2011 for ¥5,040 (~$62). It doesn’t seem like there’ll be a lot of text involved though, so perhaps it’ll be import friendly. Or, you could always wait. Something this quirky and cute might just get picked up by Atlus, Aksys or XSEED.

Image Source: Famitsu

Read [Famitsu (Japanese)] Via [Andraisang]

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Japan Import: See what happens when Project Diva 2nd and Idolm@ster collide

October 22, 2010 - 2:00 am No Comments

Japan Import: See what happens when Project Diva 2nd and Idolm@ster collide

Section: Gaming News, Features, Japanese Imports, Handhelds, PSP & PSPgo, Game-Companies, Developers, Publishers, Genres, 3D, Music, Updates, Game-Content

Hatsune Miku Project Diva 2nd Idolmaster DLC

Sega’s Hatsune Miku: Project Diva 2nd is a DLC natural, which isn’t surprising since it’s a music game with Vocaloid characters you can dress up. Some of the most anticipated bundles involved the announced collaboration with Namco Bandai and its Idolm@ster series. Now, Sega’s revealed what you’ll get in all three of the DLC when they’re released on October 28, 2010.

Only one of the DLC packs is free, and it isn’t all that impressive. If you download the Idolm@ster Collaboration Commemorative Poster, you get a poster that you can put in one of the Vocaloids’ rooms in the game. Said poster features Miku, Rin and Luka in Idolm@ster outfits.

Then there are the two ¥1,000 (~$12) Collaboration Sets. Each one includes one Idolm@ster song, “sung” by Hatsune Miku, an outfit (or outfits) and some Vocaloid room accessories. The “Go My Way!!” Collaboration Set comes with a Haruka Amami outfit for Miku. The “Relations” Collaboration Set comes with an Ami/Mami Futami outfit for Rin and a Chihaya Kisaragi outfit for Luka. The “Go My Way” set also comes with a 765 Productions style Vocaloid room theme, to change the entire appearance of the room to resemble the Idolm@ster production company’s office. “Relations” is Miki Hoshii’s “song” in the Idolm@ster games, while “Go My Way!!” is considered to be a Yayoi Takatsuki or the Futami Twins’ song.

As you can tell from the outfits, Sega and Namco Bandai tried to give the Vocaloid characters outfits that matched the Idolm@ster characters they most resembled. Since Haruka is typically considered the “star” character of the Idolm@ster games, Miku gets to look like her. (Even though her pigtail make her resemble Yayoi more.) Rin gets the youngest Idolm@ster character’s outfit, and Luka gets the oldest’s.

If you want to access the DLC in your game, you’ll need to have a PlayStation Store account that matches the region your game is from. So if you have an Asian version of Hatsune Miku: Project Diva 2nd, you need a Hong Kong PSN account. If you have a Japanese version, you need a Japanese account. You’ll also need to procure some Hong Kong and Japanese PlayStation cards to charge up said account and buy the DLC. (Play-Asia can help you out there.)

Read [Dengeki Online (Japanese)] Also Read [Andriasang] Site [Hatsune Miku: Project Diva 2nd (Japanese)]

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Japan Import: Make your very own donuts with Mister Donut DS

October 22, 2010 - 2:00 am No Comments

Japan Import: Make your very own donuts with Mister Donut DS

Section: Gaming News, Features, Japanese Imports, Handhelds, DS & DSi & DSi XL, Game-Companies, Developers, Publishers, Genres, 2D, Casual, Children’s, Sim

Mister Donut DSThe latest Akogare Girls Collection entry is bound to turn a few heads, as it’s all about making donuts. And not making donuts as a baker, which would be respectable and a Cooking Mama style game. Mister Donut DS is about making donuts as an employee for the fast food donut chain, Mister Donut.

Mister Donut DS is a lot like that old Game Boy Color game, Mc Donalds Monogatari. You start as a new employee at a Mister Donut restaurant and perform mini-games that represent tasks that a real Mister Donut employee would actually do. The goal is to be super successful and become a model employee. Doing well earns you points that can be used towards uniforms and stuff.

Before you get incensed, it’s best to compare the Nippon Columbia’s Akogare Girls Collection games to EA’s Charm Girls Club or Ubisoft’s Imagine series. They’re more like a “my first job” simulation game than a game portraying a desired career. And they aren’t all that bad. I borrowed a copy of Akogare Girl’s Collection: Suteki ni Nurse Days once and it was kind of cute. They’re really good for people just learning Japanese, since they tend to only use katakana, hirigana and easy to understand language.

Nippon Columbia has made four other Akogare Girls Collection games so far – Mangaka Debut Monogatari DS (mangaka sim), Suteki ni Nurse Days (nurse sim), Lovely Youchien Nikki (kindergarten teacher sim) and the forthcoming Wan Nyan Doubutsu Byouin (veteranarian sim). In each you can also use the money earned from your job to customize your character. I remember in Suteki ni Nurse Days you could even make coworkers like you more by doing your job properly. They’re all playable on any DS unit, so check them out if you’re in need of some high-quality shovelware that might help your budding Japanese language skills.

Read [Andriasang] Via [Tiny Cartridge] Site [Nippon Columbia Games (Japanese)]

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


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Level-5’s Vision 2010 press event filled with 3DS news

October 20, 2010 - 2:00 am No Comments

Level-5’s Vision 2010 press event filled with 3DS news

Section: Gaming News, Features, Japanese Imports, Consoles, PS3, PCs, Windows, Handhelds, DS & DSi & DSi XL, 3DS, PSP & PSPgo, Cell-Phones, Game-Companies, Developers, Publishers, Genres, 2D, 3D, Adventure, Horror & Suspense, Puzzle, Role-Playing, Sim

Fantasy Life 3DS Level-5Level-5 held a massive “Next Dimension” Vision 2010 game conference on October 19, 2010, where the company announced that it is working on 12 new games. Yes, 12. But people are going have to wait until sometime next year for most of them, as almost half are 3DS games.

The Level-5 presentation was quite long, lasting almost two hours with a 15 minute break in the middle. I’m sure everyone who was able to attend thought it was worth it, given everything they got to see. Plus, attendees got to test out Inazuma Eleven Strikers (Wii), Little Battler eXperience (PSP) and Ni no Kuni (DS).

Let’s look at the full list of upcoming Level-5 games:

  • Fantasy Life (3DS) – life-sim RPG
  • Inazuma Eleven 3: Sekai e no Chousen! The Ogre (DS) – soccer RPG
  • Inazuma Eleven Battle Connection (PC) – soccer RPG
  • Inazuma Eleven Dash (ROID) – soccer RPG
  • Kyabajoppi (3DS) – hostess sim
  • Little Battler eXperience (PSP) – RPG
  • Mystery Room (DS) – puzzle adventure
  • Ni no Kuni (DS, PS3) – RPG
  • Ni no Kuni Hotroit Stories (cell phones) – RPG
  • Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask (3DS) – puzzle adventure
  • Professor Layton vs. Ace Attorney (3DS) – puzzle/courtroom sim
  • Time Travelers (3DS) – adventure

With all the Inazuma Eleven announcements, you have to wonder when an entry in the series is going to be released outside of Japan!

No localization announcements were made. I think we can safely assume that Ni no Kuni and the Professor Layton games will all be released outside of Japan.

Read [1up] Also Read [Andriasang] Site [Level-5 (Japanese)]

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Gamertell Review: Otacool 3 – Worldwide Workspaces

October 20, 2010 - 2:00 am No Comments

Gamertell Review: Otacool 3 – Worldwide Workspaces

Section: Reviews, Originals, Features, Japanese Imports, Opinions, Gear, Books

Otacool 3 Worldwide Workspaces book cover

Title: Otacool 3 (aka Otacool 3: Worldwide Workspaces)
Publisher: Kotobukiya
Release Date: October 2010
Price: $29.99
Rating: One thumb up, one thumb down; 75; C; * *  1/2 out of five.
Pros: Impressive photography and some interesting desk setups. Very unique and potentially additive. (128 pages).
Cons: Poor readability due to text-to-color choices, desktops are only interesting to look at for a few minutes..
Overall: This is not nearly as interesting or cool as the previous Otacool books. It’s not nearly as fun to browse through as you might think although a few will find this hard to put down (assuming they are interested past the first few pages).

Kotobukiya’s latest book, titled Otacool 3: Worldwide Workspaces may seem especially odd to American readers as it features photos of people’s workspace, ie their desk and surrounding office space. It’s basically a lookie-lou, peaky-peak into other people’s work surfaces and homes. It’s a little weird yet almost additively engrossing.

Boo, I See You(r Desk)

Otacool 3 is a voyeuristic peek into the private workspaces of pretty much anyone who submitted a decent photo essay of their office. Offering images of 184 desks from more than 30 countries, this is the strangest of the Otacool series so farm being far less about Japanese culture and curiosity than, well, simple voyeurism.

This is not a posed arrangement of desks featuring shelf after shelf of anime creations, fan art, Kotobukiya statues and boobie mouse pads but more normal workspaces. OK, so there are a couple that do feature stuff on that list (those are more the exceptions than the rule) but, by in large, these are desks, chairs and the stuff in, on and around them.

Otacool 3 Worldwide Workspaces book photo

It is presented in the highest quality, with harder stick cover pages, glossy and high resolution inner pages with photos galore. There is a two-page spread of desk-i-ness from each representative region. Each desk featured in the book was submitted by the inhabitant of the workspace and most often photographed by them as well.

It’s quite a curiosity and quite interesting but it’s not nearly as otacool as the predecessor, Otacool 2: Worldwide Cosplayers. Simply, it lacks pizzaz that might make this appealing to more readers. Instead, it’s may appeal most to a student of ergonomics or those looking to recreate an artist’s office for their own artistic aspirations. Or those who want to own the entire Otacool library.

There is a section by Japanese culture aficionado and entrepreneur Danny Choo that offers suggestions for creating your own Otaku workspace. The Otacool 3 page on Choo’s site sometimes offers more information about the pages in the book than is on the pages in the book.

Otacool 3 Worldwide Workspaces book photo

Who Are Otayou?

Otacool 3 has similar issues to the previous Otacools (see my Otacool 2 book review) with not quite enough information included for each workspace. For example, many professional illustrators are in the book yet it is often hard to tell what they’ve illustrated from the photos or the descriptions. A few of the sculptors have the benefit of their work lying around. I’m not certain whether or not the editor wanted to avoid gratuitous self promotion but only a true, hard core otaku will recognize some of the more notable names without an online search.

The text is presented both in English and Japanese (my friend who translated a few pages for me said they did a pretty accurate job going from Japanese to English), which is nice, but there is the presentation issue that makes some of the text difficult, if not impossible, to read. The book’s designer likely wanted to keep the imagery at the forefront but, unfortunately, sometimes sacrificed readability.

OtaOK

What the book could really use are a few celebrity desks as in big-name game designers, sculptors, animators and maybe even actors (although their desks would certainly be less for utility than fun). By not including much background for each entrant, the editor lost some of the potential “wow” factor and, instead, makes this book feel more like a furniture catalog than the book of coolness it could be.

Otacool 3 Worldwide Workspaces book photo

Still, as strange and limited scope this may be, Otacool 3 can be a bit difficult to put down once you start thumbing through it. Curiosity will eventually kick in and you may find yourself thumbing through, hoping the next desk setup will be more interesting.

I can’t quite recommend you import this one to everyone but, if you happen across it in a store at least give it a looksie. Of course, if you to see it in a second-hand shop or discounted at some odd book store, give it a buy simply so you can set it on your coffee table and see which of your friends will thumb through it the longest.

Site [Otacool 3] Site [Danny Choo] Read [Gamertell]

Full Story » | Written by PJ Hruschak for Gamertell. | Comment on this Article »


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