Monday, 8 December 2008

It's coming! Persona 4 for Europe in 2009! Disgaea 3 as well!

Rejoice again European fans! Square-Enix have rescued Persona 4 from European release limbo and have scheduled the release for Spring 2009. The latest installment of the Persona series includes a new setting of a country town gripped with a murder mystery that is somehow related to the weather. Instead of going up the endless tower, you'll be sucked into the TV instead, just as the Americans will be when they get the game tomorrow. Pray that we don't wait too long for what could be the last great PS2 game.

While we're on the subject, Square-Enix have picked up the rights to release Disgaea 3 for the PS3 in Europe. No solid release date was given but we should be able to look forward to more level 9999 goodness next year.

Source: Eurogamer

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Trailers: Loco Roco 2 and Patapon 2

You've waited patiently enough! Here are the trailers for Patapon 2 and Loco Roco 2 from Tokyo Game Show 2008. This should bring a smile to your face!

There are actually 2 trailers for Patapon 2 but I've only embedded one. You can watch the other one here (slight spoilers for Patapon!).

Some more information on Patapon 2. It will (according to Joystiq) have double the levels, almost triple the items and it will include a multiplayer mode which can be done either using ad-hoc or using the PSP's game sharing feature! So you only need to own one copy of the game!

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Muramasa: The Demon Blade slashes it's way to Europe

Rising Star Games has announced that the latest game from Vanillaware (who made Odin Sphere), Muramasa: The Demon Blade, will be published for Europe in 2009. The new Wii exclusive game is actually renamed from it's Japanese title, Oboro Muramasa Youtouden but that doesn't matter. What does matter is that the visual style is similar to Odin Sphere, which looked brilliant on the PS2. The game puts you in the (silent) shoes of a ninja in the Genroku era of Japan. The game will feature 2D levels that run horizontally as well as vertically.

A gameplay video taken from the Tokyo Game Show floor has been embedded below. Have a look!

Source: Rising Star Games, Gamekyo

Friday, 10 October 2008

Team ICO missing from TGS (again)

After Nobi Nobi Boy, now the most disappointing news of the show. Team ICO weren't present. Again. VideoGaming247 broke the news as a rumour but with the press days of the show over and just the consumer days remaining, there's almost no chance it will be appearing, despite Sony telling us it was coming "soon" a few months ago.

An interview by Eurogamer with Sony Worldwide Studios boss Shuhei Yoshida failed to get any concrete information apart from the fact that they he is in contact with the team. It looks like another year will pass with nothing more than a chain going down a well...

Nobi Nobi Boy - what have they done to you?!

Almost taking the top spot for disappointment at TGS 2008 was the first trailer for Nobi Nobi Boy. It looked just bizarre and nothing like it's 3D form when it was first unveiled. Hopefully there's been some kind of mistake, or the creator is just teasing us again...

Trailers for Level 5's Ninokuni, Ushiro and Cardboard Senki

Level 5 were at TGS 2008 to show off their newly announced handheld RPG's and the press received a DVD with trailers for each game (and more) as well as a look back at the last 10 years, including Professor Layton and the Curious Village, Jeanne d'Arc and Dark Chronicle. Obviously it wasn't long before those trailers got onto the net so here are the trailers for the 3 new games.


Ushiro (user movie):

Cardboard (or Danbol) Senki (user movie):

Source: Joystiq

LocoRoco 2 delight Europe this year, Patapon 2 do the same next year

From no information, to huge blow outs at the Tokyo Game Show 2008, we got a release window for Europe for both games.

The sequel to the original game for the PSP will be released in Europe in November. That's (wait for it) at least a week before Japan! The new game features slightly fewer levels than the original game, but our bouncing multicoloured friends can now swim and meet more strange creatures. There will also be a few more mini-games, including a multiplayer game where the object is to force your opponents onto the spikes, separating them and eating them. Meanies!

It was slightly less good news for Patapon 2, but the confirmation is still there. Patapon 2: Donchaka will be released early next year (possibly February as a guess). The new game continues in the same fashion as the original and also includes a multiplayer aspect. It looks to revolve around the players teaming up to kill a monster and then to open an egg to claim the prize. Japan will be getting this on November 27th for those keeping up. You can visit the new website - complete with new music - right now which also includes 2 new trailers under the "Special" section.

Update: MCV UK has detailed the release list for Sony in Q4 and LocoRoco 2 will be released on 21st November 2008.

Source: SCEE PressCentre (Loco Roco 2), SCEE PressCentre (Patapon 2), MCV UK

Saturday, 4 October 2008

European Release Dates as of 4th October 2008

October is looking to be a bumper month for all kinds of gamers and those who aren't major fans of the upcoming blockbusters can keep their heads down too with the "not so well known" games coming up. Remember, the FEStival starts on 17th October. Don't miss out!

Persona 3: FES - 17/10/2008
Exit DS - 17/10/2008
LittleBigPlanet - 24/10/2008
Star Ocean: First Departure - 24/10/2008
Valkyria Chronicles - 31/10/2008
Professor Layton and the Curious Village - 7/11/2008
The Last Remnant - 20/11/2008
Time Hollow - November
Away: Shuffle Dungeon - Autumn
Chrono Trigger - 2009
Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice - 2009
Disgaea DS - 2009

Star Ocean first departing for America and Europe

Square-Enix's remake of the first Star Ocean, Star Ocean: First Departure, has been given official release dates for the US and Europe. The US version of the game will be released on 21st October while the Europeans will have to wait just 3 more days to get their copies on the 24th October. The remake of Star Ocean 2, called Star Ocean: Second Evolution, will be released in 2009.

Source: PSP Fanboy

Valkyria Chronicles release date announced with demo

Sega's sublime canvas style tactical RPG for the PS3 has been officially dated for Europe for the 31st October 2008. It was originally planned to be pushed back to November but it seems the developers want us to get our hands on it early. Something gamers will enjoy unless they're busy with the rest of the October schedule.

People who are unsure of the war-time game will be able to play a demo of the game when it hits the Playstation Network for free (in Europe at least, US users will need to pay for the latest Qore episode) on 9th October 2008.

Source: Eurogamer

Thursday, 2 October 2008

Professor Layton finally comes to Europe

It's been an agonising wait for the non-importing Europeans but finally, after over one and a half years of watching Japan get their hands on two of the Layton games, Nintendo of Europe announced that Level 5's Professor Layton and the Curious Village would be released on 7th November 2008. I personally got fed up of waiting so imported it from America just a couple of months ago so call me impatient if you have to.

The hit game from Japan has you following Professor Layton and his young apprentice Luke in solving puzzles to unravel the mystery surrounding St. Mystere. The game has 135 puzzles in it's banks and with the promise of more released every week online for download. Each puzzle solved will bring you one step closer to finding out the secrets of this mysterious town.

Having played it, I heartily recommend it!

Source: Nintendo Europe

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Level 5 celebrates 10 years with handheld heaven

I should have covered this the day it broke. Ah whatever. The point is that Level 5 held their Vision 2008 conference on 29/09/2008 and showed a lot of things - that Famitsu showed a few days earlier. However, they covered it in more detail and since the conference, there have been a small smattering of screenshots. Some of the games announced were Inazuma Eleven 2 for the DS, Inazuma Eleven Break for an unnamed console (99% chance it's going to be their first Wii game) and the final part of the Professor Layton series. They also announced 2 other DS games, namely Sloane and McHale's Mysterious Story and *deep breath* Akira Tago's Brain Exercise Vol.1 Travel Around the World Solving Puzzles.

However, there were 3 other games buried in this pile of games that you should be keeping an eye on. Not much detail is available for these games but visually, they look stunning.

Ninokuni: The Another World (yes it did have that subtitle)

Ever heard of Studio Ghibli? They made Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke and other animated film classics. In what was the most surprising and wonderful joint ventures, Level 5, with their 10th year under way announced that Studio Ghibli would be creating the animations for Ninokuni. The game is to include a magic book which you use in game. Ninokuni is due for release on the DS and an unnamed console (probably the Wii again). With Studio Ghibli's reputation, this game is the most likely to arrive in Europe.

Cardboard Senki

I'm not as informed about this one as the others but it is apparently a "new" type of RPG where you play as a small robot playing in a world made of cardboard. The early images look like they come from Dragon Quest VIII on the PS2. I'm not confident about this title getting out of Japan but let's hope for the best. This title is due for release on the PSP.


As soon as I heard about this game, I thought it was interesting. Then I saw the screenshots for it and it suddenly shot to the top of my most wanted list. The game casts you as a Shinigami (like a Grim Reaper if you're frantically searching) and you attach yourself to people who are about to die and try to fulfil their last wishes. The game sounds quirky but a quick look at the screenshots will tell you that it could potentially be on for great things. This is due for release on the PSP and let's hope it comes to Europe or the US at least.

Friday, 5 September 2008

Prinnies invade the PSP

Now here's something unexpected. the lovable prinnies from Disgaea have done enough to spawn their own game called "Prinny - Is it OK for me to be the main character, dood?"

The game will be getting a Japanese release in Japan on November 20th 2008 and a Playstation Store demo will be released on the 29th September 2008. No confirmation of a US or UK release but let's just keep an eye on it for now and see how it fares. You can watch the first trailer in the meantime on the official website.

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

European Release Dates as of 20th August 2008

Haven't done one of these in a while now! Here's a quick round up of some upcoming release dates for Europe.

Final Fantasy IV - 05/09/2008
Infinite Undiscovery - 05/09/2008
Dragon Quest: The Chapters of the Chosen - 12/09/2008
Persona 3: FES - 17/10/2008
Star Ocean: First Departure (PSP) - October
LittleBigPlanet - 29/10/2008
Valkyria Chronicles - November
Time Hollow - November
Away: Shuffle Dungeon - Autumn
Chrono Trigger - 2009

Time Hollow was the latest addition to the list. Meanwhile, LittleBigPlanet got a solid release date thanks to the Sony conference in Germany earlier today. FES also gets added thanks to Koei's decision to release it for us fans.

Chrono Trigger remake for DS

Another critically acclaimed RPG heads to remake land with Square-Enix announcing that Chrono Trigger will be remade for the DS and released this year in the US and Japan. European territories will have to wait until 2009 to see the game make it's debut in the PAL regions. The following has been taken from the official press release:

When a newly developed teleportation device malfunctions at the Millennial Fair, young Crono must travel through time to rescue his misfortunate companion from an intricate web of past and present perils. The swashbuckling adventure that ensues soon unveils an evil force set to destroy the world, triggering Crono's race against time to change the course of history and bring about a brighter future.

Yggdra Union hits the US in September

Riviera: The Promised Land (as I learned to my surprise) was part of a series of games. Guess what? Yggdra Union is part 2 of that series, and the US will see it's release for the PSP on September 16th 2008. The game will boast a few extra features from the original GBA game including new characters, missions and a dual-language voiceover track so those who hate American voice acting can listen to the Japanese instead.

The game has not been confirmed for Europe.

Europe welcomes Persona 3 Festival

Yes, the news came as a surprise to many and the delight to others who thought that the PS2's twilight years in Europe would not see the expansion of the original Persona 3. Yes, you read that headline correctly. Persona 3 FES will be coming to Europe on 17th October 2008.

The announcement was made through Koei's message boards and the many European fans of the original Persona 3 (including myself) squealed in delight. The new version of the game adds bonus features to the original game, additional personas, a weapon creation feature, the ability to change the characters clothing and a 30 hour add-on in which you can gain more of an insight into the game.

The game also allows you to carry over your current save file from the original P3 into FES. The pre-order price is too good to miss as well with many online retailers starting at £17.99. Don't miss it!

Friday, 6 June 2008

Trailer: Geemu no Nanatsu

This new game by Square-Enix (known for now as "The game with no Name") for the DS is a horror title which has ties between the old Final Fantasy/Dragon Quest games. According to cubed3, the game tries to trick you by mimicking the DS menu screen and sending random messages while the game itself apparently contains players who die 7 days after playing one of Square-Enix's major monoliths. Confused? Have a look at the trailer. It's Japanese but it is well worth keeping your eye on it.

The game will be released in Japan on Thursday 3rd July. Here's the official site for more information and another trailer.

Source: Cubed3

Trailer: Disgaea DS

Yes, if you haven't heard the news already, Disgaea is going to terrorize your DS, with the US release stamped for September. The game is going to be just like the first Disgaea but, of course with added features. Here's a trailer to whet your appetite. Prepare yourself!

Sunday, 1 June 2008

Trailer: Away: Shuffle Dungeon shuffles to Europe

Virgin Play have announced a deal with AQ Interactive to bring DS RPG, Away: Shuffle Dungeon to PAL region DS's in the Autumn. The game is based on a village where it's residents randomly disappear with no warning. The phenomenon is known by the villagers as "Away". You play the hero of the story who is saved from being another vanishing villager by a girl. Her actions however, cause the rest of the village to disappear instead. So, as is normal with a game like this, you have to save everyone - because it was your fault apparently...

A gameplay trailer has been embedded below for your enjoyment. You can also see the official Japanese website to see the style of the game.

Source: Pocket Gamer

Thursday, 22 May 2008

European Release Dates as of 22nd May 2008

As May starts to wind to a close, a look into the future sees a heaven of games to help you cope with those games that you just get bored of hearing about wherever you go for gaming. Coming up is:

Everybody's Golf 2 (PSP) - 06/06/2008
Etrian Odyssey - 06/06/2008
Echochrome - 06/06/2008
Okami (Wii) 13/06/2008
Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII - 20/06/2008
Baroque (PS2, Wii) - 27/06/2008
Final Fantasy Tactics Advance 2 - 27/06/2008
Final Fantasy IV - Summer
Infinite Undiscovery - 05/09/2008
Dragon Quest: The Chapters of the Chosen - September
LittleBigPlanet - October
Valkyria Chronicles - Autumn

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Dragon Quest IV, V and VI remakes coming to Europe

Thought you would be getting some free time? Well, start crying. Square-Enix have announced that the 3 Dragon Quest remakes for the Nintendo DS will be hitting Europe, starting with Dragon Quest: Chapters of the Chosen in September. The games that will follow, will also have strange subtitles to mask the numbers (just like Dragon Quest VIII, The Journey of the Cursed King). Dragon Quest V will be known under the subtitle "The Hand of the Heavenly Bride", while Dragon Quest VI will go under the subtitle, "Realms of Reverie".

No release dates have been given for the other 2 installments. There is also no mention of Dragon Quest IX as yet.

Trailer: Infinite Undiscovery release trailer

A trailer for the latest XBox 360 RPG was released soon after the press release was given out. Have a gander at this exceptionally promising game, due on 2nd September in the US (unconfirmed reports saying worldwide release)

Infinite Undiscovery given release date, confirmed worldwide launch

News on the XBox 360 exclusive RPG by Square-Enix and Tri-Ace has been thin on the ground lately, but the game suddenly exploded onto the gaming news with a release date. The press release states that the RPG will be shipping in the US on the 2nd September 2008. However, the mention of a "simultaneous release" in the press release suggests that the game will be launched worldwide, including in Europe, on the same day (though it will likely be on the Friday of the same week - confirmed - Europe get this game on 5th September).

The RPG is dependant on the discoveries you make in the game. Any discovery made in the game will be immediately reflected in the game world and as a group of enemies are encountered, separate tactics are needed to dispatch them.

Source: Joystiq (stating global release), Kotaku (press release)

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Game review: Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3

Game - Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 (PS2)

Remember your school days? I bet they were full of days out with your friends and just generally surviving exams and tests. That said, I don’t think it will have gotten as eventful as the characters from and near Gekkoukan High school. That’s mainly because there’s more than 24 hours a day, there’s a load of people going "Uhhhhh" and there’s even a few who own gun-shaped weapons that they use to shoot themselves. Welcome to the surreal world of Persona 3.


As you can already tell, the game has a unique twist to the RPG genre. First of all, you’re playing a year in the life of the main protagonist (named by you) as he goes through his first year after being transferred. Every day at midnight, the dark hour starts, during which time, electronic equipment dies and people turn into coffins. Except you, as it appears you have the "potential". This potential eventually shows that you’re able to summon a Persona (or to be precise, more than one), which you do by using an evoker (which looks like a gun) and firing it at your head. Your other friends in your dorm can also summon a single Persona each and together form SEES - a squad dedicated to eliminating Shadows.

Story-wise, that’s all you need to know. From this point, apart from dedicated storylines, the game’s progress is pretty much up to you. Every Monday to Saturday, you go to school to participate in lessons, answer quizzes and even take the dreaded exams from your youth. After school has finished, you’re able to go out with one of your friends or, if you’re a loner, go out and do some activities by yourself, some of which may help you later on. For example, studying in the library can help improve your academics, which means better progress in the exams.


When evening falls, you have the option to go to Tartarus, the mysterious tower that appears during the dark hour. It is here where you hope to answer questions about the shadows and the dark hour itself. This is where the bulk of the fighting takes place. Persona 3 uses a turn-based system, but you only control the main character’s actions. Everyone else is controlled by the AI. Thankfully then, the AI is pretty good in most situations. You can fine tune the tactics of your team members as well, in case you want to do something specific.

For example, you might want your team-mates to attack the opponent’s weaknesses. If they do this, the enemy will be knocked down, which is rewarded with a bonus attack. If all of the enemies are knocked down, you can call an all-out attack, which produces major damage to all foes. As your personas level up, you are able to use more abilities to help you out and target more of their weaknesses. So, how can you pick up these amazing things?

Going nuclear

Well, you can pick some up (as well as some bonus weapons, money or experience points) after battles. The personas you pick up in this way tend to be poor or have an obvious weakness. What’s the best way to get round that? That’s where fusion comes in. When you have 2 or more personas, you can fuse them together in the Velvet Room where you can create a new persona. These fused personas gain some of the abilities of their previous forms. Not only that, but there’s a way to make them start out even stronger. That is based on social links, the relationships you have with your friends during the day.

Basically, if you establish a social link that is the same type as the persona you're creating, your new persona will gain bonus experience points. The better the relationship, the more experience you will gain and the more abilities you can pass on. Also, if you gain enough experience points, you can gain a lot of the abilities that you would usually have to wait for by levelling up normally.

The combinations you can make are huge and the risks of creating something poor are minimal. That’s because the result of every fusion you attempt is shown to you so you can tailor the persona to what you want, which means there’s no excuse not to experiment with fusion, which suddenly starts to feel like a challenge. Can you make the best Persona you can with all its weaknesses covered? While you are in the Velvet room, you can take on a number of requests to gain items and money. You can also store your Personas in a compendium as they are, and take them out for a fee, which potentially makes fusion even less of a risk than it already is. You can quite easily get your Persona back if you use it in a fusion but want to keep the Persona you used.

Balance your life

With everything said, you need to balance school life and your trips to Tartarus carefully. You can spend a long time studying, but then you’ll be unprepared for future trips to the tower. Furthermore, every month in the game, you will have a major story incident which will usually involve fighting. You can’t train on the day it happens so if you’re not good enough, you could potentially be stuck completely. Going all out in Tartarus is not a good idea either. The game is lenient enough in the hardest setting to not make you have to grind your way through the story and your studies will suffer as a result of grinding. While this doesn’t completely affect your progress in Tartarus, some social links and the exams require you to study more until you’re smart enough. Also, trips to Tartarus tend to get slightly tedious as well if you train too much.

By balancing school life and Tartarus, you will find that the pace of the game is well set. You can run through a set of days in a few minutes, then follow it up with a trip to Tartarus, which depending on your style, can take about an hour per trip. The game is voice acted during major cut-scenes and in general, well presented. There are anime cut-scenes for major story events but around that, the graphics style looks great and suits the game perfectly. This is matched by a bouncy Japanese pop soundtrack which gives the game an urban feel. The story is also solid enough to keep you going to the end and as the relationships with your friends get better, you get to know them better yourself, which is something I really like about the game. It provides a distraction to the main story and makes you want to delve deeper into their mini stories, with potentially great rewards at the end.

There are some minor issues though. The AI in the game isn’t perfect for one thing. In my completed attempt at the game, the AI would very rarely cure status ailments unless the tactics were just right. Their inventory also seems to consist of a large potion and a load of smaller potions. The start of the game can be a little dull as well with little in the way of serious action until you’re about an hour in. Saving is also fairly sparse as you can only save at your dorm, or on the ground floor of Tartarus.


In the end though, these are just minor drops in what is a very large ocean. The game is huge and can take about 70-80 hours to complete. If you get into fusion and social links, expect the game to last over 100 hours and if you want to find every single persona in the game, you can spend up to 200 hours finding them all. That’s value for money right there. The game requires a huge commitment of time but what time you spend in your life playing this, you get back with interest with quite possibly one of the most engrossing RPGs released on the PS2. You will sometimes wish it would never end. Thankfully it does, otherwise, we might never see you again. Prepare that evoker, and get ready for a journey of school and shadows that you’ll remember for a long time.

Score: 10/10

Platinum Games (Seeds? Clover Studios?) developers announce 4 games with Sega

Some of the developers from the now-deceased Clover Studios have signed up to Sega to release 4 games. Shinji Mikami, Hideki Kamiya and Atsushi Inaba have previously been responsible for Resident Evil, Devil May Cry, and Okami respectively. Three games were put in the spotlight, with the 4th game currently under wraps.

First of all is Bayonetta, which has been described as a stylish action game for the PS3 and XBox360. Then there is Infinite Line for the DS which is an RPG set in space, allowing you to customise and control up to 150 spaceships. Finally, there is MADWORLD for the Wii which is a game which boasts a black & white graphical style and over-the-top violence.

All 3 games will be released in 2009.

Source: Kotaku

Monday, 19 May 2008

Final Fantasy Tactics Advance 2 gets solid European release date

The sequel to the great GBA SRPG Final Fantasy Tactics Advance finally got it's release date set in concrete today as we finally learned that the game will hit Europe on 27th June 2008. The game, along with the long subtitle, Grimoire of the Rift will be released on the DS and will look to sap all the remaining hours of your life as you run through the story and battles in traditional strategy RPG fashion.

Source: Pocket Gamer

Thursday, 15 May 2008

Late news: SMT: Persona 4 announced and shown

Late story but one that should be covered. Persona 4 was unveiled by Japanese magazines and at the time of the reveal, the game was heading straight for a 10th July 2008 release in Japan - on the Playstation 2. The game is separate (apart from recurring themes) from the critically acclaimed Persona 3 in that the setting will be much more rural and is more of a mystery thriller with fog replacing the full moon in the game. A large DVD trailer was given out in Famitsu and various videos have sneaked their way onto the Internet. The 2 trailers making up the DVD are embedded below with the much smaller introduction movie below that.

No word on whether this will make it to Europe though the US should get it easily.

Crisis Core gets a definitive release date in Europe

At last, European non-import gamers can rejoice as Square-Enix finally announced that Crisis Core: Final Fantasy 7 will be out here on 20th June 2008. The PSP game sees you playing as Zack from the main FF7 storyline and going through his history. The RPG sees materia return in a new form and a slot machine game used to settle the outcome of battles.

The UK version of the game will boast challenges not seen in the Japanese version and will also be available with a slipcase cover and hardback art book for those who pre-order the game online in the UK.

Source: Pocket Gamer

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Japanese RPG companies team up to bring you Cross Edge

The latest issue of Famitsu has shown a potentially epic (or potentially poor) idea from some of the main Japanese developers called Cross Edge. The game, to be released on the PS3, is an RPG collaboration from Capcom, Nippon Ichi, Namco Bandai, Gust and Idea Factory. The game will feature characters from games such as Disgaea and Darkstalkers. Currently, it's known that the battles will be turn-based and the plot is something about rescuing souls.

The game is scheduled for a release on the PS3 in Japan in September. A US release is not likely and a European release has a near zero chance of happening. PS3 games are import friendly though so you might want to take the plunge!

Source: Kotaku

Clover Studios written out of Okami Wii credits

In recent news, Hideki Kamiya from the now defunct Clover team was disappointed with Capcom's and Ready at Dawn's removal of the credits sequence in Okami. It wasn't that they weren't getting credit for their work but more because of the fact that the sequence is an integral part of the game and shows a "combination of thoughts, emotions, and messages" which is a reward for the players that reach the end.

Players of the original Okami were not happy at the cutting of this great scene (and also the great ending song Reset by Ayaka Hirahara was removed), including me. Capcom say that this is because they weren't able to edit out the Clover Studios logo at the end of the credits as they didn't have the source files and couldn't explicitly say that it was a Clover Studios production.

So, if you're playing the Wii version, once you finish, have a look at this YouTube video (I won't embed it as there are potential spoilers) to see what you're missing. This is also the latest gaffe surrounding Okami on the Wii, with the US box art and the US strategy guide using an image supposedly from IGN. We found out because they left the watermark on it...

Friday, 2 May 2008

Back again!


Apologies for the sudden disappearance but you can be rest assured that I have returned once again. The reason for my absence? Well, I suppose it's because I was struggling to find myself time to post a story when it breaks. I've survived this patch though and I'm back. There are a few changes though that you should know about.

First of all, I'm no longer doing a weekly round-up - at least not in it's current form. I might just list the stories that I posted in the week. I haven't fully decided yet. Apart from that, there will be no more "regular" features for the time being. This really sapped my time up and when you're playing games in the middle of everything, it becomes nearly impossible. Finally I did a quick tidy up of the tags section on the right. Well, actually, I got rid of it. The list became too long to be useful. The archives are still around and of course the search function at the top will prove useful.

So, what can you expect? Well, apart from the weekly features going, you'll get more news as I stumble across it with as much information that I can give as well as a source. There's not much to it. I'll be sticking the odd review in as well. The first on my hit-list being Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3.

I hope you enjoy the blog to read what gems we can find!

Thursday, 6 March 2008

Trailer 2: Time Hollow

This trailer shows a lot more gameplay than the previous trailer. We can see that you need to draw on the scene to reveal clues of some kind.

We're still not sure what to make of it but we'll keep an eye on it...

Official UK release date for The World Ends With You

Square-Enix have announced that the fresh looking DS title, The World Ends With You, will be unleashed in the UK on 18th April 2008. The game is an action RPG where you only have a limited amount of time to complete your adventure, or die in a modern day Tokyo.

Source: Eurogamer

Echochrome demo released

A Japanese demo of the upcoming headache making puzzle game Echochrome was released today which consists of 3 full levels and 5 tutorial sessions. The demo can be picked up on the PSP Demo Center or the official Japanese Echochrome website. The game sees you manipulating the level to try and get your character to retrieve all of the shadows. The level can be rotated to block out obstacles, or use them to your advantage, for example, blocking a gap with a pillar.

Disgaea heads to the DS

The Playstation exclusive JSRPG giant is no longer exclusive to the Playstation family. This week's Famitsu magazine in Japan has shown that Disgaea will be released on the DS, confirming a lot of rumours that have been hitting the gaming news sites for a while. The only thing that has been revealed though is that the translated title is Disgaea DS: Prince of the Demon World and the Red Moon. More news as it comes through, but for now, DS owners can rejoice!

Source: Pocket Gamer

Last Week (25th February to 2nd March)

The big story of last week was the announcement that Valkyria Chronicles will be released in Europe and the US in the Autumn. There was also an update to the latest release dates for Europe.

Thursday, 28 February 2008

Upcoming release dates (Updated: 28th February 2008)

It's time for an update to the list of games that are coming out soon:

Beautiful Katamari - 29/02/2008
Lost Odyssey - 29/02/2008
Persona 3 - 29/02/2008
Fading Shadows - 07/03/2008
Odin Sphere - 14/03/2008
Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles: Ring of Fates - 21/03/2008
Riviera: The Promised Land - 28/03/2008
Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII - Spring
The World Ends With You - Spring
LittleBigPlanet - September

Monday, 25 February 2008

Renamed Valkyria Chronicles comes to Europe this Autumn

The seriously brilliant looking Valkyria Chronicles (formerly Valkyrie of the Battlefield) has been confirmed for Europe by Sega today for the PS3. The game takes place in a make-believe Europe in the 1930's with two ruling powers, the Empire and the Federation attempting to take over the neutral Gallia. The game has been given a vague Autumn 2008 release period for the game in both America and the US.

Source: Eurogamer

Last week (18th to 24th February)

There were 2 announcements last week. For the PS2 posse, Odin Sphere got a fully confirmed release date, and for the Puzzle Quest fans, there was some information on Galactrix.

Saturday, 23 February 2008

Galactrix shown at GDC 08

Galactrix has finally come out of the shadows with some limited details of the game being shown at the Game Developer's Conference 2008. The game, which now boasts the Puzzle Quest moniker to become Puzzle Quest: Galactrix, is going to be similar to surprise hit Puzzle Quest, but the game will now be played on a hexagonal board in a sci-fi setting. Also, the state of gravity in the game (blocks falling to the bottom of the board) has been revamped to expand on the sci-fi theme and gravity will come in different directions, meaning that the blocks may not necessarily fall downwards like in the original Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords. No confirmed release date has been given but the game has been announced for the DS, PC and XBox360.

Source: Gamespot

Odin Sphere release date set

The PS2 RPG that I never thought was coming to Europe got a solidified release date of the 14th March 2008 this week. The official European website has also been spruced up with new information about the characters, story and the world of Odin Sphere. The wait is almost over...

Source: Eurogamer

Last Week (11th to 17th February)

There wasn't much to go on, but the Patapon demo came out a week early, and a new RPG called Soma Bringer was given the trailer treatment.

Thursday, 14 February 2008

Trailer: Soma Bringer

An interesting looking trailer for Soma Bringer on the Nintendo DS has surfaced on Gametrailers. I'm not aware on what it is but it certainly looks like your standard "Hero needs to go out to save the world" type thing. More information as I get it.

Patapon demo out today!

All of a sudden, SCEE have decided that Valentines Day is the perfect day to release a demo for Patapon which can now be downloaded on the PC Playstation Store! The demo allows you to play the first 3 levels of the game and also allows you to save your progress at the end which you can bring forward to your full game, including a rare Spear of Protection, which will be unavailable in the full game without the special save file.

The demo was brought forward a week to coincide with the release of the same demo on the US version of the store.

Source: Eurogamer

Last Week (4th to 10th February)

Last week, I put out the European release list for games that I'll be looking out for. Also, there was a trailer for Lost Odyssey.

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Upcoming release dates (Updated: 6th February 2008)

"When is X coming out?"

Well, hopefully, I'll have an answer for you. By subscribing to the European Releases label, you will be able to get the latest list of release dates for games in Europe that I think you might be interested in.

If you spot a problem, do tell me about it ;-). Without further ado, here are the latest updates to the list (which you'll find nestled on the right hand side):

Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings - 15/02/2008
Patapon - 22/02/2008
Beautiful Katamari - 29/02/2008
Fading Shadows - 29/02/2008
Lost Odyssey - 29/02/2008
Persona 3 - 29/02/2008
Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles: Ring of Fates - 21/03/2008
Odin Sphere - 28/03/2008
Riviera: The Promised Land - 28/03/2008
Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII - Spring

To subscribe, the feed URL is here.

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Trailer: Lost Odyssey

How this game slipped my radar, I don't know. One thing is for sure though. It looks superb. This trailer from the Tokyo Game Show shows some stunning moves that should appeal to most RPG veterans.

The game will be out in Europe at the end of the month.

Last Week (28th January to 3rd February)

Some excitement last week. Patapon was confirmed along with the previously US-only demo. Persona 3 was also confirmed for Europe in the end of February, making it a great month for the unusual games to come out.

Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Patapon confirmed for Europe - and with the special demo too

Well, after a lot of bitterness and anger over the demo fiasco, all those worries have fizzed away, along with the news of Patapon's release in Europe. Patapon will be released in Europe on the 22nd February 2008 (that's just a few days before the US gets it) and SCEE gave us an extra surprise by telling us that the demo of the game, featuring a rare weapon that can be brought to the full game, will be released on the PSP Store the day before!

So, the only gripe is that we're getting charged over the top for it, and it's not available to pre-order in many places. Don't let that stop you getting the free demo at least though!

Source: Eurogamer (demo), Eurogamer (release date)

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Trailer: SMT: Persona 3 coming to UK at the end of February

Koei has announced that the dark RPG, Persona 3 will be coming to the UK on February 29th 2008. The PS2 game is a stand-alone part of the Shin Megami Tensei series of games and no previous knowledge is required to play, which is good news for me...

Despite recent problems with other controversial games, the press have thankfully missed this RPG's controversial Evoker weapon, which you use to shoot yourself in the head to bring out Personas to help you in battle. The game is based on you doing well in your school (yes, school) studies to increase your abilities during the day and fighting at night when the monsters come to play.

Here's a trailer for you to see the game in action (Not for the younger viewers!):

Source: Eurogamer

Last Week (21st to 27th January)

Two major stories brushed the news this week with the first "hint" of the 3rd game from Team ICO finally revealed. Hopefully there will be more information next month. Also, it was announced that my most anticipated release for the year, Patapon, will be retailing for $19.99 on release. Sadly, it looks like that Europeans will be charged the full price for the game as well as missing out on an exclusive item in the UMD demo.

Update: Sony confirms that the demo of Patapon will be on the PSP Store - and will include the same demo save to full game feature!

Friday, 25 January 2008

Patapenny for Patapon

My most anticipated game of 2008 is coming soon to your PSP and SCEA have decided to give the Patapon buying nation a treat - by cutting the price of the game to $19.99 (About £10). If you're serious about buying this game, the US has suddenly become the first port of call!

Source: Kotaku

ICO 3 screenshot appears

The rumours of Fumito Ueda of Team ICO being in the GDC in February have been around for a while but nothing prepared anyone for the sudden appearance of what looks to be a screenshot from the team's latest project. The screenshot came to light when a job advert coming from the team appeared with the picture. It was the original place for the previous job advert. At the moment, it seems to show a chain, going into a hole, which might be hiding someone or something deep within.

Hopefully it will make sense next month. The Games Developer Conference starts from 18th February and finishes on the 22nd February 2008.

Sources: Job listing

Last Week (14th to 20th January)

Err, before I catch up on this week's news, here's a quick look at last week.

Basically, it was all about announcing release dates for PAL gamers last week. Namely, Beautiful Katamari, LittleBigPlanet and a couple of Square-Enix games too.

Thursday, 17 January 2008

FFCC:RoF dated while Crisis Core gets vague release "season" in Europe

Things are never fun for gamers in Europe. We suffer delays, overcharges, less downloadable content, did I mention delays? Square-Enix have made 2 announcements in the past 2 days with a very vague "Spring" release date for Crisis Core: Final Fantasy 7. The game is already out in Japan and helped boost PSP sales.

Also announced was an official, concrete, release date for Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Ring of Fates on the DS on 21st March 2008.

Sources: Eurogamer (CC: FF7), Eurogamer (FFCC: RoF)

Tuesday, 15 January 2008

LittleBigPlanet heading to PS3's in September

The rumours were flying around for quite a while but a few days ago, Sony finally committed to a September release (although it isn't clear whether or not this will be worldwide or US only) for the user-generated game LittleBigPlanet. The game sees people making levels for others to download and play.

Source: Eurogamer

Beautiful Katamari rolling towards Europe

It's taken a long time in coming, but the third full game from the Katamari series will be rolling up European XBox360's in February. For those who don't know, the katamari games are all based on one objective. To roll up as much stuff as possible with a very sticky ball. Cars, planes, buildings, people, UFO's, continents, planets. Yep, you can roll them all up in a bid to make as large a katamari as possible!

Source: Kotaku

Last time (Christmas Eve to 13th January 2008)

Well, there wasn't much. At least you can marvel at the list of games I completed last year!

Thursday, 3 January 2008

The final completed games list of 2007

All of the games I completed last year are listed below. It goes from latest to earliest (sadly that's the way the blog does it)

* Shadow Hearts: From the new World
* Rogue Galaxy
* Loco Roco
* Riviera: The Promised Land
* Final Fantasy XII
* More Brain Training (DS)
* Everybody's Tennis
* Rayman Raving Rabbids (Wii)
* Cooking Mama (Wii)
* WarioWare
* Wii Play
* Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords
* PoPoLoCrois
* Okami
* Everybody's Golf (PSP)
* Kazook

Last time (17th to 23rd December 2007)

Happy new year!

Quick update on what happened the last time I was here. It was the end of the year so I had a look into crystal ball for the games that I'll be looking to in the future and in this year. I also completed a review of the games in 2007.