Archive for March, 2011

Japan Import: Vanillaware’s next game is Grand Knights History

March 31, 2011 - 2:00 am No Comments

Japan Import: Vanillaware’s next game is Grand Knights History

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

Vanillaware logoIt’s been a few years since we’ve heard anything from Vanillaware. Since the 2009 Wii release Muramasa: The Demon Blade, if you want to be exact. Normally, almost two years of silence is a bad thing, but there’s no need to worry. Vanillaware is back again, and teaming up with Marvelous Entertainment to bring Grand Knights History to the PSP.

Vanillaware is known for RPGs, and that’s exactly what Grand Knights History is. It’s a turn-based game though, which is new for the company. Princess Crown (Saturn, PSP), Odin Sphere (PS2) and Muramasa (Wii) were all action RPGs. You create custom armies which head off to fight to support King Fausel of Logres, King Leon of Union or Queen Muse of Avalon as he/she seeks to take over all of Rystia.

Be careful who you choose to side with though, as it seems you’re stuck with that decision. Grand Knights History is also going to be a multiplayer game. Details on the online portion are slim, but apparently you could be battling with or against other players at some point. Perhaps it will end up being a bit like White Knight Chronicles (PS3), where you can play through the single player mode, but also supplement that with an online portion.

Grand Knights History will be here before you know it. Even though Marvelous and Vanillaware are only announcing the game now, it will supposedly be out before the end of Summer 2011 in Japan. If all goes well, perhaps a company like Atlus, XSEED or maybe even Ignition will pick it up for a late 2011 or early 2012 North American release.

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

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Popularity: 1% [?]

Japan Import: Irem ends Disaster Report series

March 31, 2011 - 2:00 am No Comments

Japan Import: Irem ends Disaster Report series

Section: Gaming News, Features, Japanese Imports, Consoles, PS2, PS3, Handhelds, PSP & PSPgo, Game-Companies, Developers, Publishers, Genres, 3D, Action, Adventure

Disaster Report 4 Summer Memories Irem PS3

Game collectors and importers should start searching for copies of Zettai Zetsumei Toshi. That is, entries in Irem’s Disaster Report series. It turns out the whole series is over. If you’re in Japan or shopping online and see cheap copies of Disaster Report (PS2), Disaster Report 2 (PS2) or Disaster Report 3 (PSP), then grab them and keep them somewhere safe, in mint condition. It’ll be the last time you’ll see them anywhere now that they’re out of print.

This announcement arrived shortly after Irem decided to completely cancel Disaster Report 4 – Summer Memories - (PS3) back on March 14, 2011. That PS3 entry in the series was pretty much completely finished, and was going to be released in April, 2011 before the 2011 Sendai earthquake. Now, it’s just a fond memory. I’m sure if any review copies managed to be released before the disaster, that they’re not probably collector’s items and worth lots of money.

As for the Disaster Report PS2 game released in North America, you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding a copy for a decent price. I just checked Amazon and while one seller has it marked up at the ridiculous price of $72.98, a number of other people and retailers are selling it for between $7 and $25. GameStop’s even still got a product listing, saying it’ll be $2.99 if you can find it at a store that still sells PS2 games.

I can definitely understand Irem’s position and it is nice to see a company stand by its moral principles, but it is also sad to see a game series that managed to do so well suddenly disappear. It almost makes me want to check my local GameStop and see if there’s still a $2.99 copy of the US version of Disaster Report there.

Read [Famicom Plaza (Japanese)] Via [Andriasang] Site [Disaster Report (Japanese)]

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Popularity: 1% [?]

Japan Import: River City Ransom 2 hits Wii in 2011, PC in 2012

March 27, 2011 - 2:00 am No Comments

Japan Import: River City Ransom 2 hits Wii in 2011, PC in 2012

Section: Gaming News, Features, Japanese Imports, Consoles, Wii, PCs, Windows, Game-Companies, Developers, Publishers, Genres, 2D, Action

River City Ransom NES BoxThere’s good news from Japan today – a classic series is being revived and Wii and PC owners will reap the benefits. I’m sure you all remember the legendary and classic side-scrolling brawler, River City Ransom. It helped inspire that awesome Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game downloadable PS3 and Xbox 360 game. Well, it is making a comeback and will be appearing on Japanese Wiis in Summer 2011 and on Japanese PCs in 2012. Go ahead and give a victory cheer. I’ll wait.

If you’ve never heard of River City Ransom, then you need to get out. Your gamer identity card has been revoked. Go get the Virtual Console or Game Boy Advance version of River City Ransom and play it for a few hours to reclaim your honor.

There are no details on what River City Ransom 2 will be like, but I’m sure it will be quite similar to the original NES game. In the original River City Ransom, players controlled either Alex or Ryan, two high schoolers who were trying to save Ryan’s girlfriend Cyndi. She was kidnapped by a guy named Slick, who’s now holding her in River City High School. Hence the whole “ransom” thing. Getting there isn’t easy though, as a number of random gangs of street toughs keep trying to beat Alex and Ryan up. Thankfully, you can recruit your own buddies to help out, or go shopping in mall areas to buy food to heal or items to get special abilities and skills. I’m going to guess that for the sequel Cyndi either got herself kidnapped again, or there’s a new pair of guys and a new girl who’s been taken hostage and needs rescuing.

I think our best bet for a localization is Aksys. The company has put out quite a few WiiWare games in the past. Plus, it has released a number of the other, similar games in North America. For example, it brought River City Sports Challenge and River City Soccer Hooligans to the DS and was responsible for the original River City Ransom being added to the Wii’s Virtual Console.

Read [Andriasang] Also Read [IGN]

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Popularity: 4% [?]

Japan Import: MotorStorm 3 delayed, gets TBA release (Update)

March 17, 2011 - 2:00 am No Comments

Japan Import: MotorStorm 3 delayed, gets TBA release (Update)

Section: Gaming News, Features, Japanese Imports, Consoles, PS3, Game-Companies, Developers, Publishers, Genres, 3D, Racing

MotorStorm 3 Apocolypse モーターストーム3

As expected, today is a big day for video game updates in Japan. Many companies have been making announcements about major titles that will be influenced by the 2011 Sendai earthquake. MotorStorm 3 an apocolyptic racing game from Sony, is among those being tweaked as a result of recent events. This PS3 game was was originally supposed to be released in Japan on March 17, 2011, just like Sega’s Yakuza Of the End. Now, it’s received a TBA release date, just like Yakuza Of the End.

It’s understandable why MotorStorm 3, which will be known as MotorStorm Apocolypse outside of Japan, is being delayed. The game has players racing as The Rookie, The Pro or The Veteran through The City as it is being ravaged by multiple disasters. So while you’re driving around courses, there are tornadoes, fires and earthquakes happening at the same time, possibly changing the track and route you would need to take. The tornadoes wouldn’t be too bad, but the fires and earthquakes would be harsh reminders to Japanese survivors.

While MotorStorm 3 is delayed in Japan, that shouldn’t have any effect on the North American, European or Australian release dates. The developer, Evolution Studios, is based in the UK and the game’s being published by Sony. So if you’re in Australia or Europe, you should see MotorStorm: Apocolypse on store shelves either March 17, 2011 or March 18, 2011. North America gets MotorStorm Apocolypse on April 12, 2011.

Update: Sony has announced that MotorStorm: Apocolypse‘s European release has been delayed as well, due to similarities in the game’s theme and 2011 Sendai earthquake. No new release date has been announced yet. MotorStorm: Apocolypse was originally going to be released in Europe on March 18, 2011.

Editor’s Note: This story was updated at 11:10am CST on March 15, 2011 to note the European MotorStorm 3 delay.

Read [Famitsu (Japanese)] Also Read [4Gamer.net (Japanese)] Site [MotorStorm Apocolypse]

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Popularity: 23% [?]

Japan Import: Yakuza: Of the End goes from March release to TBA

March 15, 2011 - 2:00 am No Comments

Japan Import: Yakuza: Of the End goes from March release to TBA

Section: Gaming News, Features, Japanese Imports, Consoles, PS3, Game-Companies, Developers, Publishers, Genres, 3D, Action, Adventure

Yakuza Of the End PS3

If you pre-ordered Yakuza Of the End, then prepare to wait. Your game won’t be released March 17, 2011. In light of everything that has happened in the past week in Japan, from the earthquake, to the tsunami and nuclear emergency, Sega has decided to delay the PS3 game. So no hunting down zombies with Kazuma Kiryu, Shun Akiyama, Goro Majima and Ryuji Goda for now. You’ll have to content yourself with the demo that’s available on the Japanese PlayStation Store.

Yakuza Of the End now has a TBA release date. So we’ll have to wait for word from Sega to find out when the zombie slaying game, with ping pong and other assorted Yakuza staples, will actually be released. Perhaps we’ll hear more about it in a few months. I wouldn’t be surprised if maybe it manages to receive a winter 2011 release.

It’s understandable why Sega would order such a delay. Yakuza Of the End paints a very dark picture of the virtual city of Kamurocho after the zombie outbreak. Most of the screenshots have shown dilapidated buildings, fires and ominous skies. That, and the game’s main theme is destruction. Releasing something like this now could bring up a lot of bad memories for Japanese citizens. Also, I’m sure video games are the last thing on people’s minds right now.

Sega didn’t come right out and say that Yakuza Of the End was delayed because of the 2011 Sendai earthquake, citing various circumstances instead, but it’s obvious that’s the reason. It’s okay, we absolutely understand and are more than willing to wait.

Read [Famitsu (Japanese)] Also Read [4Gamer.net (Japanese)] Also Read [Sega-Addicts]

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Popularity: 8% [?]

Japan Import: MotorStorm 3 delayed, gets TBA release

March 15, 2011 - 2:00 am No Comments

Japan Import: MotorStorm 3 delayed, gets TBA release

Section: Gaming News, Features, Japanese Imports, Consoles, PS3, Game-Companies, Developers, Publishers, Genres, 3D, Racing

MotorStorm 3 Apocolypse モーターストーム3

As expected, today is a big day for video game updates in Japan. Many companies have been making announcements about major titles that will be influenced by the 2011 Sendai earthquake. MotorStorm 3 an apocolyptic racing game from Sony, is among those being tweaked as a result of recent events. This PS3 game was was originally supposed to be released in Japan on March 17, 2011, just like Sega’s Yakuza Of the End. Now, it’s received a TBA release date, just like Yakuza Of the End.

It’s understandable why MotorStorm 3, which will be known as MotorStorm Apocolypse outside of Japan, is being delayed. The game has players racing as The Rookie, The Pro or The Veteran through The City as it is being ravaged by multiple disasters. So while you’re driving around courses, there are tornadoes, fires and earthquakes happening at the same time, possibly changing the track and route you would need to take. The tornadoes wouldn’t be too bad, but the fires and earthquakes would be harsh reminders to Japanese survivors.

While MotorStorm 3 is delayed in Japan, that shouldn’t have any effect on the North American, European or Australian release dates. The developer, Evolution Studios, is based in the UK and the game’s being published by Sony. So if you’re in Australia or Europe, you should see MotorStorm: Apocolypse on store shelves either March 17, 2011 or March 18, 2011. North America gets MotorStorm Apocolypse on April 12, 2011.

Read [Famitsu (Japanese)] Also Read [4Gamer.net (Japanese)] Site [MotorStorm Apocolypse]

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Popularity: 3% [?]

Japan Import: Irem cancels Disaster Report 4 after earthquake and tsunami

March 15, 2011 - 2:00 am No Comments

Japan Import: Irem cancels Disaster Report 4 after earthquake and tsunami

Section: Gaming News, Features, Japanese Imports, Consoles, PS3, Game-Companies, Developers, Publishers, Genres, 3D, Action, Adventure, Sim

Disaster Report 4 Summer Memories  絶体絶命都市 4 IremPS3 owners won’t be helping their virtual avatar survive a virtual disaster anytime soon. After everything that has happened in Japan as a result of the 2011 Sendai earthquake, Irem has decided that releasing its PS3 adventure game Disaster Report 4 – Summer Memories - would have been in extremely poor taste. So instead of marking it as TBA, the company has just decided to completely cancel it. It also issued an apology to everyone anticipating the game’s release. I’m sure they’ll all understand.

While many may wonder why a game that’s probably already finished, considering it had an April 2011 release date, would be cancelled, it’s easy to see why Irem changed its mind about Disaster Report 4. The story was set in 201X and would have featured a customizable main character who is trying to survive and escape a modern city after an especially strong and traumatic earthquake. I bet the story would have hit too close to home for many survivors of Japan’s 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Can you imagine playing something like this only a month after such a tragedy happened? It would probably have triggered many bad memories.

Disaster Report 4 – Summer Memories - would have been the first Disaster Report game to appear on the PS3. It also would have been the first entry in the series to appear on a next gen console, with support for PlayStation Move controls and 3D. Other Disaster Report games include the original 2002 PS2 game, which was also released in North America under the same name, Disaster Report 2 (PS2), which was released outside Japan as Raw Danger and the 2009 PSP exclusive Disaster Report 3.

Kudos to Irem, for having the strength and foresight to cancel Disaster Report 4. While the game sounded very interesting, especially the ability to search for other survivors and the manage the main character’s stress, any kind of 2011 or even 2012 release would have been too soon.

Read [Famitsu (Japanese)] Also Read [4Gamer.net (Japanese)] Also Read [Andriasang] Site [Disaster Report]

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Popularity: 3% [?]

Important Importables: How to help people affected by the Japan 8.9 earthquake

March 15, 2011 - 2:00 am No Comments

Hot Japanese Imports: How to help people affected by the Japan 8.9 earthquake

Section: Gaming News, Features, Columns, Japanese Imports, Lists, Web-Sites, Official-Sites

Hot Japanese Imports logo

The Salvation Army Logo ShieldI know, you’ve probably stumbled on Hot Japanese Imports this week, expecting to read the promised review of Freshly-Picked: Tingle’s Rosy Rupeeland (DS). Then, suddenly, you find it running on a Monday instead of Friday, like usual. After what has happened in Japan, it seems more appropriate to look at ways we can help those who have had their lives changed forever by the March 11, 2011 8.9 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear plant problems..

So here are a few reliable charities and trustworthy links you can go to, to learn everything about what’s going on in Japan and see how you can help make a difference.

Reliable News Sources

With everything that’s going on in Japan, it’s a good idea to know the best places to visit to keep yourself informed. These sites are all reliable and can keep you informed about the situation overseas.

  • NHK World: This is the English language website for Nippon Hoso Kyokai, Japan’s public broadcasting service. If you want the most up to date news and videos from Japan, your best bet is to go here first.
  • CNN: Throughout the disaster, CNN has been offering up-to-date coverage. It also has a large selection of videos to sort, though it can be a bit difficult to find the exact video you want. I recommend going to the video section, clicking the International tab, and then clicking Most Popular. You should find the most videos pertaining to Japan there.
  • International Committee of the Red Cross Family Links: If you are still trying to locate a loved one in Japan, the FamilyLinks.icrc.org website is a good place to start. There, you can check and see if someone you love has checked in with the Red Cross. People can visit the site to see a list of names, report that you’re in Japan and okay, or report someone as missing. This site is available in English, Japanese, Chinese, Spanish, Korean and Portugese.
  • Google: You probably wouldn’t expect to see Google here, but the company has stepped up to help. If you visit the Google Crisis Response page, you can find lots of helpful information. You can check out Google’s 2011 Japan Earthquake Person Finder search tool, final Japan emergency numbers, directly donate to the Japanese Red Cross and find out lots of other helpful information. The site seems like it would be especially useful for people in Japan, since it offers links to pertinent message boards, status on trains, buses and flight schedules and sites to see where blackouts are still going on.
  • Anime News Network: It may seem silly to link to Anime News Network at a time like this, but allow me to explain. The site has taken it upon itself to create a directory of various people involved in the entertainment industry in Japan (manga authors and artists, performers, some game industry members and ANN writers) who have checked in to confirm that they are fine after the disaster.

Lady Gaga We Pray for Japan Bracelet prototype artwork

Reliable Ways to Help

As sad as it is, there are people out there who use disasters to take advantage of people. They’ll say that they are part of some kind of charity, then steal donations instead of giving them to the people in need. If you really want to help Japan, then you should donate only to reliable organizations. Here are some charities and relief efforts you can trust.

  • Red Cross: Whether you donate to the American Red Cross or Japanese Red Cross, rest assured that the money will be going directly to the people who need it. If you have a cell phone, then sending in a donation is incredibly easy. A $10 donation will be made if you send a text message to the number 90999 with the word “REDCROSS” as the message.
  • The Salvation Army: The Salvation Army is also taking donations and helping Japan. While it isn’t accepting actual item donations, it is accepting cash donations to help with the relief effort. You can visit the website given above to make a donation. Also, like the Red Cross, The Salvation Army is accepting donations via cell phones. You can make a $10 donation by sending a text to 80888 with either the word “Japan” or “Quake” as the message.
  • International Medical Corps: This is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing medical and humanitarian aid to anyone who needs it. This organization provided assistance during Hurricane Katrina and the recent earthquake in Haiti. This organization is providing aid to Japan as well, and also has a text message donation system in place. Like the Red Cross and Salvation Army, you can make a $10 donation by texting the word “MED” to the number 80888.
  • Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders): MSF has commited itself to sending doctors to Japan to assist people who have been injured in the disaster. MSF is a group of doctors and medical professionals who go anywhere they’re needed, providing care for injured people. MSF also helps to make sure people in dangerous areas have access to clean water and food.
  • We Pray for Japan bracelet Lady Gaga has created a Japan Earthquake Relief Wristband designed to aid people affected by the disaster. It’s a white bracelet with red writing in English and Japanese that says “We pray for Japan”. It costs $5, but people can choose to donate more when they buy. All money goes to the relief effort and the bracelets start shipping March 25, 2011.
  • TinierMe: This avatar website has begun selling six items in its cash shop. If members of the site pay for these pixels, the money spent on them will be donated to the American Red Cross’ Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami relief fund.

If you know any other reliable organizations people can contribute to in order to help those experiencing trials in Japan, let us know in the comments. I’ll check them out and add them to the list.

COMING NEXT WEEK: Hot Japanese Imports will really review Freshly Picked: Tingle’s Rosy Rupeeland for DS on Friday. I mean it this time.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Last week talked about Imageepoch.

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Popularity: 16% [?]

Important Importables: Image Epoch

March 13, 2011 - 3:00 am No Comments

Hot Japanese Imports: Image Epoch

Section: Exclusives, Originals, Features, Columns, Japanese Imports, Consoles, Wii, Handhelds, DS & DSi & DSi XL, PSP & PSPgo, Game-Companies, Developers, Publishers, Genres, 2D, 3D, Action, Role-Playing, Strategy

Hot Japanese Imports logo

Import game collectors love the PSP and DS because the systems are region-free, so if you own one, odds are you’re always looking for new, well-made games to acquire. Imageepoch games are a good bet, especially if you enjoy RPGs. While the company is rather new, it’s managed to release quite a few solid games. Unfortunately, only four of them have managed to receive North American releases.

So this week in Hot Japanese Imports we salute and take a closer look at the developer, and now publisher, Imageepoch.

Criminal Girls PSP

What’s Imageepoch?

Imageepoch is a fairly new developer. It only opened its doors and began working on games in 2005 in Tokyo, Japan. It’s a Japanese developer, of course, and has mostly created portable games. If you have a DS or PSP, there’s a good chance you’re familiar with them. So far, they’ve worked with Sega, NIS America, Marvelous Entertainment and Capcom. Atlus and Ignition also released a few of the company’s games in North America.

Though Imageepoch is currently known for portable games, it is looking to branch out. It did release the RPG Arc Rise Fantasia on the Wii, and the company has been talking about releasing an HD JRPG for a major console or consoles sometime in 2012. The company is also starting to move towards publishing. It announced the Imageepoch JRPG publishing branch in late 2010 and will work with NIS America to possibly have Imageepoch JRPG games released in North America and Europe.

Arc Rise Fantasia

A quick look at Imageepoch’s games

Here are the Imageepoch games that have been released so far in Japan and North America. If you’re an RPG fan, then there’s a good chance you may have already played some of them.

  • 7th Dragon (DS): A game where you put together a custom party and send them around the world to take on and complete missions. That, and destroy dragons.
  • Criminal Girls (PSP): A dungeon-crawling RPG where players help discipline and rehabilitate sinful girls by punishing them, rewarding them and making them battle.
  • Fate/Extra (PSP): A Fate/ RPG with simulation and dungeon crawling elements. You create a character, choose a servant and then fight to try and win the holy grail.
  • Last Ranker (PSP): An action RPG where players help a warrior named Zig become the strongest and best in Ghandoar.
  • Luminous Arc (DS): A series of strategic RPGs involving a battle between humans and witches. Most have online multiplayer. The first two were released in North America.
  • Sands of Destruction (DS): An RPG about a group of people who are trying to destroy the world, rather than save it. It inspired an anime and manga series and was released n North America.
  • Arc Rise Fantasia (Wii): A fantasy RPG about a group of people trying to protect the world from Feldragons and save the world. It’s interesting, but the North American release’s voice acting and translation is terrible.

Imageepoch is currently working on three rather promising PSP games, the RPG Black Rock Shooter, the strategic RPG Chevalier Saga Tactics and the RPG The Last Promise. Chevalier Saga Tactics looks to be a Japanese PSN game, so you’d need a Japanese PlayStation Store account to acquire and play it.

COMING NEXT WEEK: Hot Japanese Imports reviews Freshly Picked: Tingle’s Rosy Rupeeland.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Last week talked about Idea Factory.

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

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Popularity: 6% [?]

Important Importables: Idea Factory

March 5, 2011 - 3:00 am No Comments

Hot Japanese Imports: Idea Factory

Section: Exclusives, Originals, Features, Columns, Japanese Imports, Consoles, PS2, PS3, Wii, Xbox-360, Handhelds, DS & DSi & DSi XL, PSP & PSPgo, Game-Companies, Developers, Publishers, Genres, 2D, 3D, Adventure, Role-Playing, Sim, Strategy

Hot Japanese Imports logo
ワンド オブ フォーチュン ポータブル Wand of Fortune Portable PSP

If you pick up games from Aksys or NIS America, odds are you’ve encountered an Idea Factory game. While most Idea Factory games, specifically the visual novels and dating sims, don’t leave Japan, the strategic and turn-based RPGs have been gradually finding their ways overseas on the DS, PSP, PS2, PS3 and even Xbox 360. The company’s developed quite a reputation among gamers, good and bad.

So this week, Hot Japanese Imports, we’re taking a closer look at the incredibly prolific and notorious Idea Factory.

Hyperdimension Neptunia

What’s Idea Factory?

Idea Factory is a relatively new video game developer and publisher, as it was only just founded in 1994. It’s name is also fairly synonymous with fanservice. The RPGs are notoriously difficult, with lots of sidequests and ways to level grind characters to create battle machines. The dating sims have gorgeous character art and emotional stories. Not to mention the company is willing to use whatever’s popular at the time, like moe characters, to get people to pick up its product. It also has no qualms about porting its games to multiple platforms. The result is, they’re quite prolific. Check the !F website, you’ll find references to over 190 games that are either immediately available or coming soon.

Part of what is so notable about Idea Factory is all of its subsidiaries. It has tons of little companies that help make up the whole, and each tends to take care of certain kidns of games. For example, the Otomate and Otomate Forte lines cater to games for girls and women, whether they’re straightforward otome dating sims or just games with incredibly attractive (and sometimes feminine) heroes. Compile Heart is known for some of the company’s more questionable games, which sometimes have standard dating sim elements. If you played Hyperdimension Neptunia or Record of Agarest War, then you’re familiar with Compile Heart. Neverland is not to be confused with the company that created Lufia and works on Rune Factory games. The !F Neverland branch works on Spectral Souls, Generations of Chaos and Spectral Genesis games.

Jikandia The Timeless Land Idea Factory Aksys PSP Opus

Notable Games

Idea Factory games tend to receive a lot of criticism. This is because they all have certain hallmarks. First, there is often an unforgiving difficulty level in this company’s RPGs. The games will be complicated, there will be no hand holding and all the enemies will humiliate you if you aren’t on guard. Also, IF and its subsidiaries have a nasty habit of reusing game assets. If you’ve played Hyperdimension Neptunia, Cross Edge and/or Trinity Universe, you’ve likely seen this firsthand.

That doesn’t mean all the company’s games are bad. There are a few definitely worth trying out. Plus, the Otomate line of visual novels and girl’s dating sims and RPGs are usually delightful. Here are a few you might want to see.

  • Hyperdimension Neptunia (PS3): A standard RPG filled with anthromorphized versions of video game consoles and companies. It’s filled with humor, some innuendo and lots of gaming references.
  • Hiiro no Kakera (PS2, PSP, DS): An otome (girl’s dating sim) visual novel about a high school girl who discovers she’s from a chosen family destined to seal a certain sword to save the world. She has six guardians to help and protect her. It’s so popular that it spawned a series.
  • Hakuoki (PS2, PS3, PSP, DS): A series of otome visual novels inspired by the Shinsengumi, that adds demons and pseudo-vampires to the mix.
  • Blazing Souls Accelate (PS2, PSP): Remember what I said about unforgiving? Blazing Souls Accelate is a perfect example. But, it’s also quite satisfying if you play and manage to succeed. So there you go. Typical save the world fare, when it comes to the plot.
  • Jikandia: The Timeless Land (PSP): It’s similar to Half-Minute Hero, since it has players focusing on getting things done within a certain amount of time, only as a side-scroller with a few RPG elements. It’s quite cute.
  • Record of Agarest War (PS3, Xbox 360): This is a strategic RPG, that’s somewhat perverted, but also quite challenging. You actually have to be careful who you woo, because you spawn generations of heroes and you want to make sure you have the strongest ones.
  • Octomania (Wii): This is a fun little matching, puzzle game with octopi. It’s really quite cute, but can get difficult the more you play.
  • Chaos Wars (PS2): This was a cross-over, strategic RPG with characters from Growlanser, Blazing Souls, Shadow Hearts, Spectral Souls and Gungrave. It’s interesting, but the voice acting is horrible.
  • Will O’Wisp (PS2, PSP, DS): An otome visual novel about a young female dollmaker. There are human sized, almost cyborg-like dolls, and the heroine may fall in love with some special ones that are elemental dolls and last forever. If one falls in love though, it may become human.
  • Wand of Fortune (PS2, PSP): An otome game with simulation elements that has players helping a wannabe witch named Lulu brave a school for magicians and settle on an element.

Look at it this way – if you’re a visual novel and simulation game fan, then odds are you love Idea Factory. If you’re an gamer who picks up lots of RPGs, then there’s a better chance you enjoy a love-hate relationship with the company. While it is true that some of the games are of dubious quality, there are still quite a few !F games worth playing. Your best bet, if possible, is to rent before you buy a game from !F or one of its subsidiaries.

COMING NEXT WEEK: Hot Japanese Imports talks about Image Epoch.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Last week reviewed Coropata for DS.

Site [Idea Factory] 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: 13% [?]

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