Told ya there was nothing to worry about. Atlus has confirmed that Shin Megami Tensei IV will be crossing the pacific and hitting our shore this summer. As a matter of fact, it’ll be coming much earlier in summer than expected as manystores are pegging July 16th as the release date. If that’s the case, then damn Atlus isn’t playing with the localization then. Japan’s getting MegaTen IV in May, and we only have to wait two months for it. Other times, we’d be living Loading Bars, waiting for our turn to play the game while Japan already gets its fill.
With this, Project X Zone, Etrian Odyssey IV, Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers, and Devil Survivor 2: Break Record (yeah, that’s happening), the 3DS is shaping up to be a JRPG powerhouse. I wonder if the U.S. will get that sweet 3DS XL bundle. I know we’re getting the same boxart though. In a surprise twist, the western design of the title will keep its original 真・女神転生 in the title, with the familiar “Shin Megami Tensei” at the top. Usually Atlus completely removes that in favor of the western logo. That string of kanji (which just says Shin Megami Tensei) kinda become symbolic of the mainline series’ return, and many fans, both Japanese and western (including I), have taken a liking to it. Eh, then again, they kept it with Nocturne, a mainline entry in the series — albeit with much more downplayed kanji characters.
Okay I’ll shut up now. My inner graphic designer would stay here talking all night.
Christ, this title has more X’s than an abortion clinic. …Too soon?
I miss being a young gamer. I really do, the days when I could just fucking LOSE myself in a game are long behind me. Sure, I still play games. I relish them, I dissect them, I obsess over them. I am a gamer, always will be. But there was a time when I could just submerge myself in a good game universe, and nowhere was this more possible than with a good RPG. Towns, side-quests the villains, the heroes. The emotional drama, the world-shattering struggles. For hours a day, my life faded away, and these people and their trials and tribulations were EVERYTHING to me. The effect of those gaming experiences are as indelibly etched on me as any aspect of my traditional academic education or psychological development.
Acquire, the developer of the PSP title Class of Heroes, has just announced their new game for the Playstation Vita. MIND≒0 is a dungeon crawler that takes place in both the real world and the mental world. Not much information is known right know, but it seems like the main setting for the real world is the player’s school, with other scenes also taking place in popular areas around Tokyo, while the mental world is where the characters can summon their MIND (Mental Inside Nobody Doll) to do battle against monsters. I kid you not, that’s what they’re actually called. If this is starting to sound a little familiar then don’t worry, you’re not the only one who thinks so.
From the character designs and the location of party member portraits outside of battle to the comic-like font used in battle for sound effects and the summoning of Mental Inside Nobody Dolls (I’m sorry, I can’t say that enough), this game definitely feels like it’s trying to reproduce the same kind of style we see in the Persona series. Could this be because of Persona 4: The Golden’s success on the handheld? Regardless, the game is said to be about 70% complete and, with an intended summer release for Japan, we shouldn’t have to wait too long to see how closely this may or may not resemble the beloved franchise. The gallery after the jump has several pieces of character art and screenshots from the game in case you’re interested in seeing all the similarities.
Dubbed the black sheep of the Rainfall titles, Pandora’s Tower may very well be the last big release on the Wii. The company making the game, Ganbarion, doesn’t have the pedigree of Monolithsoft or Mistwalker, didn’t have stellar sales like Xenoblade and The Last Story, and critical reception was pretty average. However its premise and association with Operation Rainfall might make it a cult hit.
The story follows a girl, Elena, who has been cursed and is slowly turning into a monster. A soldier for the kingdom Athos, Aeron, takes Elena away from the festival they were in so that the townsfolk don’t kill her. In the trailer, we hear what Aeron has to do to lift the curse from Elena. We also get a glimpse of the relationship focus the game has with Elena questioning Aeron’s acceptance and love for her.
Pandora’s Tower was originally set to release on March 26th. However, according to Amazon, it’s been delayed to some time between April 22nd-April 26th. A pretty far delay, but makes sense considering what’sgettingreleased this month. It hurts a bit, but a wise move nonetheless.
Just when you thought all hope was lost for Pandora’s Tower after the release of the Wii U, XSEED comes in to save the day. Previously, XSEED brought over The Last Story. Pandora’s Tower is an action RPG with heavy puzzle elements. The story follows a woman named Elena who, during a festival, succumbs to a curse that slowly starts turning her into a monster. Aeron, Elena’s love interest, takes her away to avoid being killed by the town guards. Mavda, a witch, takes them to a place called The Scar, with contains different towers attached by large chains. It’s here where they are toled that Elena must eat the hearts of the monsters Aeron kills to keep the transformation at bay. And yes, you see her eat the hearts, which rest assured look none too appetizing.
Pandora’s Tower is the third and final game left in the Operation Rainfall campaign to bring Nintendo’s JRPGs stateside. Of the three titles (the other two being Xenoblade and The Last Story), Pandora’s Tower was the black sheep of the bunch, receiving Average reviews and selling the least worldwide. Not having the acclaim of the the other two, begging for a U.S. release of this one looked hopeless. Even OpRainfall was caught by surprise. With the release of the Wii U, Nintendo had pretty much stopped support of the original Wii, making a U.S. release of this game even less likely. And now? Well what can I say? XSEED gained a whole boatload of respect from JRPG fans. And OpRainfall? Mission Accomplished.
Despite the somewhat shaky launch of The Last Story, XSEED sent out a press release celebrating the game as their most successful title ever. This prompted XSEED to go ahead to the production of a second printing of the game without the artbook in it and sell it for $30. Even better, the launch copies of the game (the ones with the artbook) that might still out there will now sell for $40. So if you haven’t bought the game yet, now’s a good time to get it, and you might even be lucky if you find those launch copies. Also, to all you Wii U owners out there. The game might like better if you have an HDMI cable. While the Wii U doesn’t upscale Wii games, its passing via HDMI might be somewhat beneficial and make things look less like an .mpeg on an HDTV.
Hopefully Nintendo’s seeing this. While a success for XSEED might not have the same definition for Nintendo, they don’t have to put their expectations so damn high to the point that it’ll be unattainable. And you don’t have to spend a crapton on marketing. So Nintendo, especially NoA, don’t be so damn stingy with the games in Japan.
About two weeks ago XSEED released The Last Story to the masses… Hold on, let me correct that. XSEED shippedThe Last Story to the masses. Of course on August 14 I called GameStop and I was told that they didn’t have it in yet. You can see how that all went down here. So then, On Thursday of that week there was a podcast taping, so I wasn’t going to have a chance to pick up the game. Looking online, it looks like GameStop wouldn’t have it until that Friday. So I made a good choice to not bother calling them. However, upon coming home something happened that pretty much solidified my choice in stores for the foreseeable future.
Yesterday I got dressed and was ready to haul ass to Gamestop in the Hub of South Bronx to pick up The Last Story. I called the Gamestop to make sure it was there. As soon as I asked the question, I was immediately responded with “It should be here tomorrow.” And I mean he immediately answered me, like he was asked that already by someone else. Considering how pompous I feel, being a gamer of such refined taste as I in a neighborhood such as this, I thought I was the only one in the neighborhood to preorder the game. I mean, I was the only one that preordered Xenoblade here and I had to make a second trip some days later for the artbook. I also preordered The Last Story that first day too. Certainly I deduced that I was remembered.
But I digress. I equated this to Gamestop being up to their old shenanigans again. But just out of curiosity I checked to see if other gamers were having this issue. And lo and behold, I wasn’t the only one. In fact, this was affecting many Gamestops and other stores in the U.S. Confirmation of shipping delays came straight from XSEED’s Twitter. Even Canada was having issues. So if you didn’t get The Last Story yesterday, check today. But do call ahead to make sure. Looks like Gamestop’s off the hook… for now.
Those wanting to try out the aptly named The Last Story will be pleased to hear that XSEED has announced August 14 as the game’s official release date. Before, the game was suspected to release on June 19th according to retails like Gamestop and Amazon. Then retailers announced that the game would release on a later date. While many called this a delay, XSEED didn’t see it as one since they themselves never announced a release date and that the June 19th date was speculation from retailers. But here the legit, 100%, straight from the horse’s mouth date. Tuesday, August 14th, is the day to get The Last Story.
XSEED has also announced that those who preorder get a special soundtrack CD. Though they don’t say it on the Tweet, you also get an artbook if you buy it in the first print run (regardless if you pre-order or not). They haven’t clarified if you’ll get the bonuses regardless of store.
So now that you know the date, have you finished Xenoblade yet?
Before the mayhem of E3, Amazon customers who pre-ordered The Last Story were sent emails informing them that the game would not be released on the expected date. In the email, it stated that “the release date for the video game listed below has been changed by the publisher…” It goes on to state that the estimated release date would be August 6th, which is a little over 5 weeks from the original release date of June 20th. So we’ll have to wait a little longer to enjoy what may be the Wii’s Last Story.
But on the heels of this delay comes some good news. XSEED has revealed that a special Limited Edition will come with all first run copies of the game. The game will come with a 44-page artbook (way more pages that Xenoblade’s), with both the game and artbook coming in a box. If this is the reason for the delay, then I welcome it. I’m a sucker for collector’s items that are standard with the game (like Ar Tonelico, Devil Summoner 2, and Persona 2). I just finished Xenoblade, so I’m more than ready to play this. Not sure if those who pre-ordered have a better chance of getting the artbook, nor if it can be picked up without a pre-order. I’ll update you when I find out.
I’m noticing a pattern here. Nintendo makes a conference, and announces the good stuff after the conference is over. First was Project P-100, which James, Anthony and I think looks really cool. And now comes this. I’ve never played a Fire Emblem game (which I should be), but this comes as great news for fans who were dreading the game not coming over after Nintendo’s staunch reluctance to bring over JRPGs after the whole OpRainfall debacle. It still boggles the mind why Nintendo would not announce this during the presentation. Do they think it’s not worth announcing something they think is niche when it actually has quite a few fans? Something strange is brewing in Nintendo Land and I’m not sure how to feel about their awkward focus on things.
But hey. We got a new Fire Emblem coming out. So that’s some major good news there.
Now that the PSP version of Persona 2: Eternal Punishment has released (or is close to release) in Japan, It’s time to see the intro to it. Right away I noticed that the music is more reminiscent of the older versions of the P2 games rather than making a new song for the Innocent Sin entry of the game. The intro is done by MadHouse, the same guys doing the anime for Persona 4: The Animation. Still no word on if we’re getting this version here in the states. If we are, they better do it soon ’cause the PSP’s on its last legs. I mean, that didn’t stop them from releasing P4 late in the PS2’s lifecycle, but the state of the PSP here is worse.
Well it’s already been a month since Xenoblade went on sale in the U.S. So far I’ve been thoroughly impressed with this game with each gaming session unintentionally becoming a marathon session. But how has Xenoblade done in terms of sales? According to VGChartz* the game has sold a total of 220,503 copies in the U.S. Compare that to Japan’s totals sales of 159,000 copies sold, and Europe’s 176,000 copies sold, and you’ll see that the U.S. was the biggest contributor to the total sales of the game. Keep in mind, Nintendo did next to no advertising for the game, producing one trailer (that they sent to publications twice for some odd reason), making a crappy internet banner ad, and made the game a retailer exclusive. A whole lot of super-safe steps were made by NoA to make sure next to no money was spent in advertising this game. It was up to the fans to spread the word. Operational Rainfall was the primary hub for this, with others joining in to help out in spreading the word (myself included). Not only that, it was up against Mass Effect 3, The Witcher 2, and Nintendo’s own Mario Party 9 (which sells freakishly high numbers). And look, the game sold better than anyone expected considering the circumstances. All territories combined, Xenoblade has sold a grand total of 623,000 copies. Good job people!
Now if only there was a cake to celebrate this occasion.
I want to cry. So… so much. While Nintendo of Europe has shown how awesome they are by being the bigger man by localizing the three games and giving them awesome collectors editions, they went one step further and created this. Exclusive to HMV, the box came with an artbook depicting concept art for all three games and left extra room to store your three games, Xenoblade, The Last Story, and Pandora’s Tower. Note that the box does not come with the actual games themselves, nor is this the Limited Edition box for Pandora’s Tower (it has its own LE).
You got this if you pre-ordered any version of Pandora’s Tower. Prota tipped me on this during a Spring Break hangout at the ol’ campus. I couldn’t believe it. Then he showed me it on Facebook. My jaw dropped into the pits of Tartarus. For a while, both links lead to missing pages on HMV. But the Limited Edition on has since returned (though whether or not you get the box with the game is still a mystery). While I thought that image you see up there was fake, this video proves that it does exists and that NoE are the kings of trolling the hell out of us American gamers. But hey, if you got the disposable income to get the box somehow, you can still put your NTSC games in there. I probably would.