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New International Track & Espionage

Okay, as if the inclusion of Pyramid Head in the game could be topped, Konami has gone ahead and included their resident neck-snapper, Solid Snake. What we found to be particularly cool about all of this is how he even dons his sweet facemask seen at the beginning of Metal Gear Solid during the water events.

Now, before you go screaming unfair advantage, keep in mind the man is going up against a very large penguin. They're bred for swimming. So we think a little slack should be given.

Check out the other screens of Snake in action in our gallery below.

Namco reveals National Geographic Panda and Digimon World Championship

Today is a very happy day for us here at DS Fanboy. We had no idea that pandas on see-saws would be making their way to our country. Back when we saw the scans showing the Japanese game, we thought it was much too quirky and original to be released over here. Oh how glad we are to be wrong.

So, what is the game, exactly? National Geographic Panda and it will release this fall. The game has you interacting with panda bears at Panda Park. Mistreating the bears will cause them to leave your park, whereas nurturing them and making sure they're having fun means new pandas will come to your park and stay. Sounds great to us!

The other game Namco announced in the press release we received is Digimon World Championship. The new game will feature over 200 kinds of Digimon and will feature Wi-Fi support for battling online. Those of you familiar with the Digimon series of games should know what to expect here. No word on a release window for the game.

Check out our galleries below for screenshots of both these games.

[Via press release]

If you can find them, maybe you can hire ... Unit 77

Publisher Gammick Entertainment has teamed up with another Barcelona-based studio, Abylight, this time for Elite Forces: Unit 77, an isometric shooter in which you lead the A-Team a four-man commando outfit to combat terrorists around the world. Reading Gammick's announcement for the title, it's all very serious business: The countdown has begun, and it's time for the few and the brave. Will you become a terrorist's victim or do you have what it takes to be on the team of Elite Forces?"

Unit 77 will have you playing as four military specialists, each pulled from different disciplines -- hacker, sniper, demolition expert, and faceman heavy artillery. The 3D graphics for the characters and the rest of the game aren't going to impress anyone, and even the promotional image above with the crew's silhouettes needs a little work, but this could be a worth picking up if you're looking for more releases like the underappreciated Operation: Vietnam. Elite Forces: Unit 77 is scheduled to infiltrate stores in Q4 2008.

Izuna 2: Jobless again in July

Back in February, when we wrote about our most anticipated titles of the year, we were hoping Izuna and her crew would return, and lo, Atlus has announced the sequel's localization. Rejoice and prepare to get your ass thoroughly kicked this summer, when Izuna 2: The Unemployed Ninja Returns shows up for a second round of punishing-yet-hilarious roguelike action.

While the first game was a solid offering, the second purportedly packs more action, more content, and more challenges -- but also offers up the buddy system to help you through the pain. Don't expect that to ratchet down the difficulty, however; import impressions indicate that Izuna's return is a much bigger experience, and very much worth the wait.

Izuna 2: The Unemployed Ninja Returns
slides into an already-tight summer schedule July 22.

Gallery: Izuna 2

Backpack Identification of the Dead

Hey, look, even more English of the Dead stuff! A lot of the screens in the latest update from GAME Watch showed up in yesterday's bundle of screens, but we think this is worth a look anyway. The new screens are organized by chapter and by mode, for a complete overview of the new training game (which means you can see what the Magician boss, and the others we had yet to see, look like on the DS).

Most importantly (to our curiosity), the new screens include this straight-on shot of the new backpack. It's clearly (as clearly as it can be in that resolution) a Japanese Mega Drive in the second model, with the blue button and the red cartridge slot (and the fact that the game is Japanese) distinguishing it from other Model 2 Mega Drive/Genesis systems.

Fresh screens from Bleach: The Third Phantom

We don't have to tell you that we've liked the look and turn-based gameplay of Bleach: The Third Phantom. Don't get us wrong, we like fighting games as much as the next person, but we always appreciate a franchise trying to stay fresh. It looks like Bleach: The Third Phantom might just do that.

If you're looking for a fresh fix, Gemaga has some new screens up for perusal. They show off some of the in-game menus, as well as a couple battles. Anyone interested in this installment in the franchise, or do you like your Bleach to be strictly in fighting game form?

A feast of English of the Dead screens

IGN seems to have developed a hunger for screenshots of English of the Dead, much like we have. We cannot be stopped. We remain unfazed by bodily harm as we wander the Earth endlessly in search of screenshots. "screeeeeeeeeens," we intone in an inhumanly low growl. We are driven by an insatiable desire to direct-feed.

They've posted the biggest, most delicious screen update ever for the zombie English trainer, featuring screens of multiple modes and levels, and finally -- sort of -- answering the question of what the dogs of the AMS will wield in the DS game. It looks like maybe a Genesis? The thing in their hands is a big rectangular tablet for writing. And not a Sega Pico, which would have been really funny.

Front Mission 2089 screens: no robots allowed

Much like the first trailer for Square Enix's Front Mission 2089: Border of Madness (and to a certain extent the boxart), the company has decided to emphasize the storyline in the latest screen update about the SRPG. And "storyline" is a euphemism for "the part that doesn't involve awesome big fighting robots."

What we get is an introduction to the Vampires, the mercenary unit who are the major opponents in the game. They have mythologically-influenced names like "Golem" and "Chimera," and they wear very complex, futuristic pants. With metal plates and stuff attached. They pilot black Wanzers with mysterious specs and capabilities. The robots' legs are entirely metal, thus eliminating the need for separate metal pants.

More high school horrors: Twilight Syndrome

Just when you think it's safe to put on your schoolgirl uniform, Spike announces another addition to the DS's nascent horror genre -- Twilight Syndrome: Kinjiraneta Toshi Densetsu (Twilight Syndrome: The Forbidden Urban Legend).

The new title has two high school girls fending off ghosts and other supernatural forces while they investigate a mysterious set of chain text messages. Making sure its game elicits the right amount of screams and squeals from you, Spike has brought in horror director Osamu Fukutani (e.g. Saigo no Bansan, Jisatsu Manyuaru) to help with the script.

The initial batch of screenshots -- which you can view in the gallery below -- show the skirt-clad protagonists exploring a seemingly empty school and meddling with a ouija board, the latter likely requiring touchscreen interaction. Creepy! Expect Twilight Syndrome to hit stores in Japan and haunt your homeroom this July 26th.

[Via Siliconera]

Othello ... with a story mode!

Othello de Othello DS is notable for more than just the fact that two of the four words in its title are "Othello." It also features a story mode! No details on the story have been released yet, but we can see from screenshots that there's an RPG-like town for your (quite ugly) character to traverse. Hey, it worked for Puzzle Quest!

Being a DS game, Othello de Othello DS also features a training mode, designed to test your knowledge of the game. The "Jibun no Jitsuryoku Check" ("Your Own Ability Check") features 150 questions about the rules and history of Othello.

Gyakuten Kenji is now easier on the eyes

Is squinting at tiny pictures in scans just not your thing? In case you want to save your eyesight for purposes that don't involve looking at Miles Edgeworth, we've posted some nicely-sized game screens here that you can peruse at your leisure. We've also collected some Gyakuten Kenji game art, since we're just that awesome -- although, you might recognize the illustrations if you've already visited the game's official website.

The art can be seen in the gallery below, but make sure to click past the break if you want to see the rest of the Famitsu screens.

Gallery: Gyakuten Kenji

Continue reading Gyakuten Kenji is now easier on the eyes

More Namco classics thrown on the Video Game Exams pile

The more old games Namco Bandai refines into representative mini-challenges and adds to Bokura no TV Game Kentei, the better a deal it becomes. Many old arcade games can be boiled down into a few seconds' worth of basic material, which is then repeated in slightly different arrangements until you run out of money. Play one Challenging Stage in Galaga, for example, and you know what it means to play Galaga.

Banamco has apparently been spending the time they gained from the delay adding even more retro material to the "game trainer." The latest round of screenshots includes new stuff like Family Tennis and the obscure Famicom games Warpman and Battle City. This would be a no-brainer to import if not for the fact that it arrives in June, along with every other DS game we want.

Trauma Center: Under the Screens

July 1st can't come fast enough for people like us, who enjoy using our styli in virtual worlds to perform various surgeries. Although we love playing Trauma Center on the Wii, too, we can't wait for its return to the DS -- the little handheld that we never leave home without.

Until we can actually play it, though, we have no choice but to look at screens and other media to ease the pain of waiting. So, if you need a Trauma Center: Under the Knife 2 fix, just check out our updated gallery below. The new pictures include some dramatic pre-surgery gestures that Trauma Center characters love making, the African refugee camp locales, and some of the surgeries that you'll be involved in.

Sim City 2 hides unlockable maps

Over at Game Watch, they have an interesting look at a neat feature in Sim City 2 for the DS. They're showing off several different types of the buildings available for you to plunk down in your virtual city, as one might imagine there being in a game where you erect cities, but what's interesting here is the unlockable maps.

Now, machine translation hasn't given us a 100% clear picture on how to unlock these maps (or how many there are, for that matter) and what is needed to essentially "clear" them, but we do know it's a password-based system that will unlock them and that, much like the scenarios in the Sim City of old, you'll start these bonus maps at a certain period in the city's development.

Click on through to check out some screens from the unlockable maps.

Gallery: Sim City 2 DS

A tiny peek at Final Fantasy IV

Square Enix, we'd like to introduce you to our good friends at Atlus. When they announce a game, we get dozens of screenshots. Heck, when it comes to Atlus games, we get dozens of screenshots just because it's Tuesday or the sun is shining, and we like it. You guys formally date Final Fantasy IV, one of the most anticipated DS titles this year ... and we get three English screenshots, and one of 'em doesn't even have any English (see above).

And yet, in return, Square Enix will have all of our money this summer, and sometimes, they don't even bother making new games. It almost doesn't seem fair. While we consider making a few protest posters, you can check out the screens in the gallery below.

p.s. Beef aside, we love you anyway. Kisses!

Gallery: Final Fantasy IV

[Via press release]

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