Mighty Gunvolt is real

I didn’t post anything yesterday as I was sceptical that it was a (very) early or (very) late April Fool but Inti Creates has officially announced Mighty Gunvolt which is a crossover game between Azure Striker Gunvolt, Mighty No. 9, and Gal*Gun. It’s gonna be released this Winter and ooh, those who purchase Azure Striker Gunvolt (I’m downloading right now!) before 19 November can download for free, nada! And go to the website at http://gunvolt.com/mighty/

Beast Saga review

With sales of just 4,356 (*) and priced at just ¥1,192 on Amazon it could perhaps logically be assumed that Nippon Columbia’s videogame adaptation of Takara Tomy’s anime Beast Saga is either a low budget affair and/or contains uninspired gameplay, but similar to Kant critiquing pure reason one should really question such logical assumptions of Beast Saga: Saikyou Gekitotsu Colosseum! (literally Beast Saga: The Strongest Clash in the Coliseum!). Not only containing excellent graphics (and amazing 3D) and a brilliant soundtrack, the gameplay certainly packs a punch.

Beginning in Story Mode you fight as Liorga (a green haired roided up lion man in armour) outnumbered against two of the (Guereu) frog minions from the Cataphract Palace then three before a three-on-three battle with two Gloria Kingdom compatriots (both work as NPC’s) against a further two frog minions and the Palace Tyrant Lord Aldyle. If the frogs are the equivalent to pro-wrestling jobbers then the crocodilic tyrant is one helluva monster Brock Lesnar type heel who you must also defeat one-on-one in Liorga’s fourth (and by far the hardest to date) battle.

Inevitable defeat results in you bashing the X button arcade style for resurrection (Aldyle does this twice!) with the eventual victory opening up both new stories and new (playable) characters with an impressive fifty two story mode episodes in total. If you hadn’t guessed by now, Beast Saga: Saikyou Gekitotsu Colosseum! is an arena fighting game and with just a handful of similar brawlers on the 3DS (Toriko: Gourmet ga Battle, Kirby Fighters Z and the upcoming Super Smash Bros), fighting fans have little to choose from. Fortunately Beast Saga is good, really good.

Each fight has a brilliant intro with character interaction and the usual “Fight!” And “Finish!” voiceovers. All fighters have both a HP bar and an SP bar. Controls are super simple (the game is aimed more at children than hardcore gamers) with the Y button being the basic offensive move, B being avoidance (dash), A is Psycho Lot Launch (a missile), X is special attack and R is the Deathblow which is only usable after the SP bar is filled and to use a bit of Google Translate: “you can greatly affect the war situation”! Victory also gives the player points in which to level up each character (even the NPC).

One of the greatest aspect of Beast Saga is the enemies’ AI with differing enemies either attacking from afar, stalking, hit-and-run, protecting their base and so-forth. In total there are 39 characters (from the land, sea and sky), 14 different arenas, 3 different modes and a character picture book. Both other modes can be played with up to three players (local only) with any combination of players and CPU’s in either cooperation or as opponents in singles, handicap and tag team up to three on three battles. Mission Mode can also be fought alone with a whopping 100 total missions.

The final mode (Battle Mode) has a million customisable options with just combat and no story/mission. Character picture book is exactly that detailing all 39 characters. There’s also an inputtable password option with passwords presumably found on the official website and Corocoro Magazine unlocking hidden missions and characters. The graphics zoom in and out similar to Smash Bros. with excellent camera work. The entire arena (plus opponents’ whereabouts and any items) are on the bottom screen. Did I also mention that levelling up stats are carried over in both Story and Mission modes?

I should perhaps mention the game’s faults too. Fortunately they are few and far between with the relative lack of moves (only five) plus the dash sucking defensively being almost impossible at times to escape an ass kicking combo. The simplicity of the controls shouldn’t indicate a lack of challenge as there is an absolute ton of content without ever the feeling of padding. A ton of other neat touches such as the anime intro, slow motion deaths and quite simply Beast Saga is many hours of pure fun that is not just the brawler to keep you going until Smash Bros. hits but quite realistically the game it has to beat.

8/10

Review by Bri Bri. For more information on Beast Saga: Saikyou Gekitotsu Colosseum! go to http://www.columbia-games.com/3ds/beastsaga/

(*) http://m.neogaf.com/showthread.php?t=876551

Touch Detective rhythm game

More news has surfaced on the Touch Detective rhythm game. Entitled Osawari Detective Ozawa Rina Nameko Rhythm and schedule for 13 November priced at ¥4,800 plus tax. It will be a rhythm action game with twenty songs and collectible costumes in-game with a Touch Detective stylus for pre-orders at Rakuten (and where the debut video is published!) at the link below.

Next week on the eShop

I’ll update this post tomorrow (Wednesday) with more announcements as thus far the only games announced are the ninth in Flyhigh Works’ Petit Novell series August Festival priced at just ¥200 and the eShop versions of Medarot 8 (both the Kabuto and Kuwagata versions).

Expect Kasumon (Custom Monsters) also to be announced. Edit: I guess Kasumon is the week after. The other two games AquaMoto Racing 3D (¥400) and Fog Black Escape Adventure (¥820). Thanks to NintenDaan as I’m using his translated title for the Escape game!

The Infantry review

With only a handful of PlayStation 2 ports on the 3DS (only Tales of the Abyss and Fantasy Zone II spring to mind), D3 Publisher bringing the 102nd of their SIMPLE 200 Series (The Infantry ~Dogs of the Battlefield~ Covert Command) to 3DS as the 22nd in the SIMPLE DL Series surely came as a surprise. Looking more N64 (in the jagged edges and fogging) than the beauty of say Dragon Quest VIII, THE Infantry ~Dogs of the Battlefield~ still looks somewhat impressive on Nintendo’s little handheld.

Rather than being a mere port, D3 Publisher have included full 3D and wonderfully make use of the 3DS’s microphone with the player shouting “Sir, YES Sir!” or “Sir, NO Sir!” at his superior. Being a ‘mere’ frontline soldier, you begin by giving your player a nickname (Bri Bri) before being given your instructions by your immediate officer and beginning one of thirty missions. Equipment is selected beforehand although you’re limited by weight which adds somewhat of a strategic aspect.

Being a third person shooter, shooting isn’t the only method of killing your opponent with knives, grenades and a weapon-less Bas Rutten liver kick at your disposal. Unfortunately movement (via the Circle Pad only) is clunky although the camera is perfectly adequate with a useful lock-on (plus crouching and a first-person looking through the barrel for added precision). The enemies are often idiots standing there whilst you slice or fire at them but other times double-team you with gunfire.

Ugly jagged edges and fogging aren’t the only reminders of the nineties with the bright pink blood being something you’d expect from the era of Yamauchi-San. The music is a mixture between great militaristic singing to the horrors of retro Doctor Who long before the series had any kind of budget. Missions can be fought out of sequence (levels cannot however) with each level consisting of five missions with objectives varying from annihilation to locating enemy bases and missing soldiers.

Despite often ugly graphics, clunky controls, fogging, poor enemy intelligence and pink blood there is something kind of endearing about The Infantry and if one were to forgive its (many) faults then you’d find a real challenge on offer with hours of gameplay (plus an extra seventh level as DLC for ¥200). The new touches (microphone and 3D) are pretty neat and for a genre underrepresented on 3DS and almost by default The Infantry is recommended to all 3DS third person shooter fans.

5.5/10

Review by Bri Bri. For more information on SIMPLE DL Series Vol. 22 THE Infantry ~Dogs of the Battlefield~ go to http://d3p.co.jp/simpleseries/page24/

Anpanman 3DS review

After developing four Anpanman games on the predecessor to the 3DS (plus one on the Wii!), Anpanman to Asobo: New Aiueo Kyoushitsu marks the first Anpanman game on Nintendo’s latest portable and the third Agatsuma developed game on the 3DS (after Sayonara Umihara Kuwase and Code of Princess). Atypically it’s not a beginning-to-end game but a collection of twenty four educationally themed mini-games as well as a superbly executed character colouring in and alphabet tracing mode.

As expected from Agatsuma the presentation is up there with the very best of Nintendo’s first party and Level-5 output with fantastic cartoon visuals (all in 2D) and an amazing soundtrack throughout. Beginning with a promise timer where the parent can set how long their child can play for before mini-game time! Most games are themed around Anpanman and friends (and you!) versus the dastardly Baikinman. The mini-games are in four categories with 1-3 stars (I guess varying difficulties) and a musical note.

Awesome aesthetics aside and the twenty four mini-games are really neither hit nor miss and are all mostly somewhere in-between with neither the heights of the Cooking Mama 5 fish feeding game nor the lows of the Hoppeland rhythm game. That being said Agatsuma make full use of he 3DS’s motion with a hard-as-fuck snowman building game (with Baikinman being an even bigger bastard than normal), a ball-in-a-maze puzzle game and looking for stars in the sky (I physically had to get out of bed to play!).

Possibly the greatest achievement found in Anpanman to Asobo: New Aiueo Kyoushitsu is the feeling for a child of actually taking part in a cartoon and actually being in control without ever getting truly lost. Again it needs to be emphasised just how great the graphics, sound (with full voice acting) and interactions between player and characters are. Unfortunately no use is found for the 3DS microphone although with over twenty mini-games to play, it’s not exactly like the player is ever really missing out.

Perhaps the greatest fun to be had is both the ABCDE Classroom mode (tracing of hiragana and katakana letters) and especially the ace ABCDE Oekaki mode which is similar to Agatsuma’s ace 1-Hi-10-Fun de Egajou Zuni Kakeru DS (now available for iOS as Let’s Draw Simple! btw) where you can colour in 130 characters taken from the extensive catalogue from the series’ history each with three different pencils, eraser, undo and an array of colours at your disposal with the ability to save to both SD card and to upload to Miiverse.

If Anpanman is a great way to introduce children to reading, Soreike! Anpanman a great introduction to anime and Horrorman a great introduction to gothic culture then Anpanman to Asobo: New Aiueo Kyoushitsu is a great introduction to videogaming making a child feel like he/she is not only part of a cartoon but in control whilst equally working as an educational tool (but never obviously boringly so) with Anpanman being a far better role model than any game with guns. The lack of killer mini-game is a blow to most gaming parents but the ensuing peace (other than singing along to the ace theme tune!) makes it more than worth the price of entry!

7/10

Review by Bri Bri. For more information on Anpanman to Asobo: New Aiueo Kyoushitsu go to http://agatsuma-games.jp/new_aiueo/

Weekly News Update

● Quiet news week due to Obon but Sega officially confirmed Hero Bank 2 which I had revealed a couple of months ago. It’s due for release on 27 November. Check out http://herobank.sega.jp/3ds2 for more.

● Bandai Namco Games have announced Marvel Disk Wars: The Avengers: Ultimate Heroes for release on 13 November. Described as a fighting battle action game, check out http://dwa.bngames.net for more.

● In other news: Meta Knight was confirmed for the new Super Smash Bros., Kuma Tomo has his own podcast, and Yokai Watch 2 has now sold over well two million (and I have a Jibanyan plushie!).

● No reviews thus far this week but I aim to review Anpanman and a third person shooter tomorrow and an amazing Game Boy game (For The Frog The Bell Tolls) during the week. And thank you for following!

Latest eShop Charts

01./01. Kirby Fighters Z
02./02. Yoshi’s New Island
03./03. Mario Kart 7
04./04. Kirby Triple Deluxe
05./09. Super Mario 3D Land
06./15. The Legend of Dark Witch
07./05. DeDeDe’s Drum Dash Z
08./06. Pokémon Battle Trozei
09./18. Maison De Maou
10./00. SIMPLE DL Series Vol. 06
11./07. SIMPLE DL Series Vol. 31
12./08. Yokai Watch 2 Honke
13./00. SIMPLE DL Series Vol. 05
14./14. Bike Rider DX
15./12. Yokai Watch 2 Ganso
16./13. Rhythm Thief R
17./00. SIMPLE DL Series Vol. 17
18./00. SIMPLE DL Series Vol. 22
19./19. Fantasy Life LiNK!
20./17. Bike Rider DX2 Galaxy

Current eShop sales

Since there’s literally no news in Japan at the moment (due to Obon) I’ve decided to look at some of the current eShop sales:-

● Nintendo sale (A Link Between Worlds, Luigi’s Mansion 2, Fire Emblem Awakening, Kid Icarus Uprising) all ¥3,500 each

● Bandai Namco sale (Toriko Ultimate Survival, One Piece Romance Dawn) both ¥3,076 each

● D3 Publisher sale (SIMPLE DL Series Vol. 5, 6, 11, 17, 19, 21, 22) priced at ¥250, ¥250, ¥150, ¥200, ¥200, ¥250 and ¥300 respectively

● G-Style sale (Chain Blaster, Zomgeri Bowling, Jump Trials Supreme, Alien Escape, Building Game) priced at ¥350, ¥350, ¥250, ¥250 and ¥300 respectively

There will also be a Teyon Japan sale I think from next week.

Famitsu Charts Week 32

01./01. Yokai Watch 2
02./00. Dragon Ball Heroes 2
03./00. Senran Kagura 2
04./02. Yoshi’s New Island
05./03. Taiko no Tatsujin 3DS 2
06./04. Yokai Watch
07./07. Pokémon Art Academy
08./00. Bravely Default Ultimate Hits
09./09. Mario Kart 7
10./12. Pokemon X & Y
11./10. Gundam Tri-Age SP
12./11. Monster Hunter 4
13./13. Mario Party: Island Tour
14./15. Animal Crossing: New Leaf

3DS hardware at 41,911. Yokai Watch 2 well over two million. Senran Kagura 2 start at 47,325. No new releases next week.