3DS all-time eShop Bestsellers

Nintendo have changed the formula for comprising their all-time eShop Bestsellers chart by now including games that have been free as part of a promotion (but not free-to-play games). Looks like Super Smash Bros. has sold well over six figures on the eShop too! Go to http://www.japanese3ds.com/charts to see Virtual Console, DSiWare and all formats as well.

01. Animal Crossing: New Leaf
02. Pokémon AR Searcher
03. Monster Hunter 4 
04. 3D Excitebike
05. Pokémon Battle Trozei
06. Bike Rider DX
07. Puyo Puyo Mini Version!!
08. Mario Tennis Open
09. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
10. Denpa Ningen no RPG
11. 3D Kid Icarus
12. 3D Kirby’s Adventure
13. Denpa Ningen no RPG 2 
14. Super Smash Bros.
15. Bike Rider DX2 Galaxy
16. Shaun the Sheep 3D video 1 
17. Touch Battle Tank 3D-2 
18. Fire Emblem Awakening
19. Tomodachi Collection: New Life
20. Pokédex Pro

Next week on the eShop

After a slow post-Smash Bros. week (only Turtle Tale), next week will see several new games with World Parking Professional (Parking Star 3D), Treasure Raider: Escape from the Pyramid (Pyramids), the amazing looking Convenience Store Dream and digital versions of the retail games Haikyu!! Tsunage! Itadaki no Keshiki!!, Tenkai Knights Brave Battle and Kanken Training 4.

Next week will also mark TWENTY weeks without Virtual Console although I’m still optimistic that the New Nintendo 3DS will mark a resurgence (Super Famicom). Oh, and please note that the awesome looking Famicom-y JRPG Haikyu Quest will not be available with digital purchases of the Haikyu game and only the retail copy (I’ve pre-ordered!). Which games (if any) will you be downloading?

Another 3DS million seller

NCL have announced that Super Smash Bros. has sold over one million copies including eShop sales. Retail shipments have exceeded one million with more due this week. Thus far 3DS million sellers (in Japan only, and thanks to Famitsu) are: Yokai Watch 2, Yokai Watch, Puzzle & Dragons Z, Luigi Mansion 2, Pokémon X & Y, Monster Hunter 4, Tomodachi Collection, Dragon Quest VII, Animal Crossing, New Super Mario Bros. 2, Monster Hunter 3G, Super Mario 3D Land and Mario Kart 7. Phew! I think we’ll safely be able to add Monster Hunter 4G and Pokémon ORAS to that list too!

Convenience Store Dream

Nope, I don’t believe I’ve ever had one but if you have then Arc System Works are bringing the convenience store management simulation game Convenience Store Dream (or ConveniDream for short) to the 3DS next week. As the manager you have to purchase goods to sell and from the first promo video (http://youtu.be/sF-8QfnC-vw) is dependant on seasons such as Halloween and Christmas. You also get to employ a part-time clerk although I’m unsure at present whether you’re forced to follow equal employment opportunities or just employ someone you fancy. I guess the game will play a bit like the likes of Brunch Panic with ratty customers etc. We’ll find out next work for an entry price of ¥800!

Weekly News Update

● The biggest news is the release of Super Smash Bros. New characters include R.O.B., Jigglypuff, Bowser Jr., Ganondorf, Wario, Dr. Mario, Ness, Falco, Dark Pit, Duck Hunt Dog and Mr. Game & Watch! There’s a demo too! Review next week!

● The only actual new retail game announcement is Bandai Namco Games with Your Local Railway (rough translation) which is a Sugoroku board game with 120 Gotochi characters and releasing on 27 November (Wii U too!).

● Several eShop announcements with Forest of Poitto Kororoke by Gamedo, Tool Shop’s Kingdom by PUMO (due October), Turtle Tale by Teyon Japan (next week!) and the awesome looking Ishi Sengoku-den “Sadame” by Intergrow.

● Two New 3DS models were announced for 21 November for Pokémon ORAS featuring either a Kaiorga or Groudon cover plate priced at ¥19,000 each plus tax. I’m guessing all future New 3DS (not LL) models will just be a cover plate design!

● A ton of new games were dated which I haven’t got time to list here but please go to http://www.japanese3ds.com/schedule which is currently bang up-to-date (apart from missing Shikakui Atama o Maru Kusuru and the Epcot game).

● Reviews this past week were Solitiba (8/10), Nekoking (7/10), Kaiju Busters (6/10) and Medarot 8 (7/10). Super Smash Bros. next! And thanks for following people! Remember to send questions either on tumblr or twitter (@iamnotagoomba).

Two Pokémon 3DS models

Yes, I know this news was posted elsewhere yesterday but to clarify a few details: each model will be the New 3DS model (not LL) and will not include a copy of either game, each model is not a unique 3DS per se but will come with either a Kaiorga (Kyogre) or Groudon kisekae plate (cover plate) which will be suede, pre-orders are open from 20 September with a Pokémon 3DS customisable menu theme as a pre-order bonus and free delivery if ordered with either game. Finally the price quoted of ¥19,000 does not include tax. Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire (the games and the 3DS’s) release on 21 November.

Latest eShop Charts

01./00. Super Smash Bros.
02./01. Kirby Fighters Z
03./02. Mario Kart 7
04./09. Luigi Mansion 2
05./03. Yoshi’s New Island
06./04. Kirby Triple Deluxe
07./18. Tomodachi Collection: New Life
08./05. Super Mario 3D Land
09./00. Mamotte Knight 2
10./06. Armed Blue Gunvolt
11./08. Pokémon Battle Trozei
12./07. Black Fog Demise Escape Adventure
13./00. Attack on Titan
14./12. Yokai Watch 2 Honke
15./11. Bike Rider DX
16./15. Yokai Watch 2 Ganso
17./13. DeDeDe’s Drum Dash Z
18./00. Gardenscapes
19./19. Maison De Maou
20./17. The Legend of Dark Witch

Solitiba review

We seem to be going horse racing crazy here at japanese3ds.com what with the impending release of Derby Stallion Gold by ParityBit and an octopuses hand(s)ful of late night hours pumped into Solitiba -or Soliti Horse as it’s known to many- before this week’s (today’s!) Super Smash Bros. takes over our lives. Developed by one Game Freak who you may remember from creating the franchise known as Pocket Monsters and amazingly managing to be a mash up of (duh) horse racing and better still Solitaire. Surely the two questions on everyone’s lips is ‘how does it work?’ and more importantly ‘does it work?’.

Before answering those questions it’s important to mention how equally alluring and daunting Solitiba is: the presentation is sublime with amazing aesthetics (sadly no 3D), fantastic (and super cute!) characters and a great soundtrack (plus each character speaking in a cool incomprehensible babbling way!) but the amount of Japanese text has put off many an importer (hiya Bryan!). After a few scenes with your character (you can choose a boy or girl), your horse and the trainer (I translated his name as the awesome Mr. Mr.!) and a bit of handholding from the super cute in-game mascot (all in Japanese!) you are ready to begin the first phase.

The first phase is called Start Solitaire and is simple enough with six cards on top with S-T-A-R-T-! showing. Two cards are placed under each letter where you must then try and reveal the letters by placing any card at the bottom of the screen with any corresponding card (any colour and suit) on top. Like probably every variation of Solitaire; if you cannot physically use one of the available cards then the rest of the pack (which is face-down) becomes available. Revealing a letter reveals anything from a +1 ball to a +5 ball with the aim being to select the highest ball before the (strict!) time limit expires. You then watch your horse start the race!

The first proper phase (Solitaire Phase) then begins which is a fuller solitaire experience than Start Solitaire (more cards on the table and no time limit). You get points for each card removed from the table (and a point deducted if you make an error) with the aim to clear the table with as many cards left over from the deck as possible (these remaining cards then are converted to points). Just like Tetris you score more points for combos (cards cleared from the table before taking a card from the deck). Some Special Cards are placed on the table such as carrots and horseshoes that either help your horse run faster or help level him up!

It’s now time for Control Phase! Here you use your points accrued to map out a line with your stylus for your horse to gallop. Not quite as easy as it sounds as opposing horses can become problematic if in your way but on the plus side there are numerous Special Cards (think power-ups from a Miyamoto mind) to acquire. One each more of Solitaire and Control Phase later and you’re ready for Straight Last. The bottom screen becomes a virtual d-pad (where you move your horse up or down) and a whip button that is powered up by heart cards (think Epona’s carrots). Finishing in the top three earns you yen which can be used to buy items from a girl inappropriately named Swallow (insert joke here).

And that both is and isn’t all there is to Solitiba. Whilst it explains the basic premise to the game: mastery is more complex, far more complex. Not only the shop that opens up, but the greedy horse owner Gannosuke makes you compete in, at first, the G1 tournament. More superb characters appear including God (yes, him) plus numerous more horse owners and competitive jockeys. You can adopt further horsies (and apparently MATE!). Solitiba also allows you to play against friends plus exchange QR codes allowing others to use your horse or better still by stealing someone else’s super levelled up horse!

As well as the main game there’s also a Solo Solitaire mode where the table is seven by five with the rest of the cards left in the pack. While super simple it is pure pick-up-and-play addictiveness and the smile when finally completed (it took me about ten goes!) is eliminated with the time completed in pops-up! Fast-forwarding to the final score then and Solitiba only scores an 8 due to the amount of Japanese text(*) and would possibly score nine or higher without (it’s coming to iOS/Android soon so perhaps a localisation?). In short: Solitiba is fun, cute, charming, addictive and ultimately is one of the greatest games available on the eShop.

8/10

Review by Bri Bri. For more information on Solitiba go to http://www.gamefreak.co.jp/solitiba/index.html or http://www.nintendo.co.jp/3ds/eshop/jvaj/index.html

*hints - do not click the orange then pink jockey as it will delete your save data - thanks @apricotsushi! And google translate http://wiki.dengekionline.com/Solitiba for a strategy guide.

Nekoking review

Rewind back to late 1984 when the then Namcot converted Mappy to the Family Computer. In Mappy you control a heroic Policemouse with the sole aim (well, plus the obligatory high score attemptage) of retrieving stolen goods from the villainous Mewkies (cats). Fastforward twenty five years later to Tom Create’s DSiWare Nekoking where it’s role reversal time with the mice returning to their typically perceived heel role in probably the only game in the ‘Action Mousetrap’ genre.

The premise of an action mousetrap game is simple enough. Use your DS stylus to draw a line under the mice who run vertically from the top to the bottom of your lower DS screen (the upper screen is for your score). Almost working like a puzzle game you must be careful not to let any mice reach the bottom nor catch a cat with any line. Lines can be drawn any length and horizontally, vertically or even forming any pattern or shape. If that sounds easy then at least in theory it is.

In practice however you are limited to drawing just one line at a time with each line staying onscreen until it is run into by either a mouse or cat, the line disappears shortly after being hit allowing you to catch more than one mouse in that short space of time. Being a videogame you obviously score much more for capturing multiple mice with a single line. Records are kept of how many mice you have both caught and how many have escaped with similar records for unfortunate cats.

As you score more the screen changes colour and the mice get faster. Trickier still is that certain mice outrun the cats. As well as the main mode there is also a One Minute Nekoking mode which is self explanatory in where you score the highest score in 60 seconds. Even though Nekoking doesn’t break any gaming barriers: the graphics are super cute and the music is great. Gameplay-wise it’s great fun and at just 200 points/yen and 42 blocks it would be a cat-astrophe if you missed out.

7/10

Review by Bri Bri. For more information on Nekoking go to http://tomcreate-games.com/nekoking/ or http://www.nintendo.co.jp/ds/dsiware/knej/index.html