I had never played the original Pokémon Ranger, mostly because I'm extremely wary of Pokémon spinoffs. But I read enough to know that, for better or worse, the sequel, Shadows of Almia, is more of the same, with slight tweaks.
Before I talk about the game, I'd like to offer my impressions-within-impressions of the title: I'm disappointed that NOA decided to use such a generic fantasy-game subtitle over the jaunty "Batonnage," though I understand the reasoning (the reasoning being what the hell is "batonnage"). It's not as if anyone was ever going to call this anything but Pokémon Ranger 2 anyway.
At their E3 keynote, Nintendo revealed that the Pokémon Ranger series would be getting a second installment in the United States. Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia will be gracing the DS on November 10th of this year.
For those of you looking to check out some promo footage, hit up the video above. Otherwise, look to capture even more Pokémon later this year.
The most recent Japanese charts showed us that musical instruments have more legs than horses, as Band Brothers DX jumped up into the first place spot. Meanwhie, Nanashi no Game made its debut in the top ten, but only sold a total of 30,000 copies.
Hardware sales were also interesting, as the DS stubbornly held onto the second spot:
PSP: 56,439 (2,442)
Nintendo DS: 47,455 (1,429)
Wii: 44,525 (3,955)
PlayStation 3: 14,359 (3,614)
PlayStation 2: 11,768 ( 4,095)
Xbox 360: 4,776 (328)
With the Monster Hunter Portable 2nd G craze finally starting to quiet a bit, we don't think it will be too long before the PSP dips closer to DS sales (as long as Nintendo's handheld can maintain its own momentum). Enough about the future, though -- it's all about the now. So, go on and see how software fared last week in Japan by clicking past the break.
Just as we were starting to get comfortable with the DS coming in third consistently on the Japanese hardware charts, Metal Gear Solid 4 came out and helped push our favorite handheld down to fourth. Fourth! Meaning, it only did better than the PS2 and 360. Snaaaaaaaaaaaaaaake!
DS hardware did get a little boost, though, despite the fact that not much new software made its way into the charts:
Playstation 3: 75,311 (64,455)
PSP: 64,675 (2,659)
Wii: 45,564 (925)
Nintendo DS: 39,201 (4,181)
PlayStation 2: 7,297 (1,018)
Xbox 360: 2,163 (117)
There were some surprises this week, as Let's Make a Pro BaseballTeam! found itself back in the top thirty (so did Pokémon Diamond). But, you can just see all the hot software action for yourself after the break.
We're crying for Namco Bandai's Tears of 99 right now, as the game debuted in the twenty-third spot this week. We guess Japanese gamers just didn't feel like being bummed out, and therefore avoided buying this original title. Sad, indeed.
Two DS games debuted in the top ten this week (Endless Frontier: Super Robot Wars OG Saga and the cutesy spatial puzzler Empty Space Training), but otherwise, DS software had a relatively lackluster performance. Only twelve titles ended up in the top thirty, which is low for Nintendo's handheld. As for hardware, the DS is getting comfortable in third place behind the PSP and Wii:
After a somewhat stalwart week, DS software recovered nicely and once again dominated the charts. Even though the same amount of games appeared in the top thirty (fifteen in total), they ranked higher on average than they did in the previous week. Good software sales also gave DS hardware a little boost:
PSP: 64,449 (6,087)
Wii: 49,047 (7,475)
Nintendo DS: 37,404 (2,499)
PlayStation 3: 9.071 (1,370)
PlayStation 2: 7,189 (167)
Xbox 360: 1,947 (473)
Four new games debuted in the top thirty, including Sega's Let's Make a Pro Baseball Team!, which nabbed the first place spot from Monster Hunter. The other three games were Glory of Herakles, Scarlet Fragment, and Tea Dogs Room 3. Herakles (or Hercules, if you prefer) is the title that sparks our interest the most, as it's an interesting RPG published by Nintendo. Even so, it's first week sales were (unfortunately) subpar, yet good enough to land it in the top ten.
Check out the sales numbers and rankings for yourself after the break.
The spotlight this week is on Luminous Arc 2: Will, a game that has yet to be confirmed for English language localization. While we're forced to sit and wait jealously, though, forty thousand Japanese gamers ran out and bought the title. Only falling behind the juggernauts Monster Hunter and Mario Kart Wii (and almost squeezing past Nintendo's racer), Image Epoch's SRPG debuted pretty impressively.
In other sales news, the announcement for another Professor Layton game in Japan managed to push the first title in the series back into the top thirty. Aside from that, there weren't any differences in DS software worth mentioning.
In terms of hardware, the numbers for the DS weren't so hot. In fact, we don't remember the sales numbers for Nintendo's handheld ever being this low in Japan. With everyone and their mother already owning a DS in the country, does the system still have room for growth? We won't know for sure until the next big software push, but for now it looks like the dual-screened handheld should get comfy in that third place spot.
PSP: 70,536 (19,348)
Wii: 41,572 (25,736)
Nintendo DS: 34,905 (16,323)
PlayStation 3: 7,701 (353)
PlayStation 2: 7,022 (442)
Xbox 360: 1,474 (176)
The software numbers are located after the break, so go on and take a look. They won't bite!*
*DS Fanboy claims no responsibility for those who get bitten by our sales figures.
There's no new DS software in the top of the charts to report this week, but that doesn't mean Nintendo's little handheld didn't completely clean house. In fact, nineteen of the top thirty were DS games, showing how gluttonous the dual-screened portable can get when it comes to sales. Some old favorites also popped back up around the bottom, including Brain Age 2, Animal Crossing, and the original Taiko Drum Master DS.
Hardware continues to be a struggle, though. That doesn't mean the DS is doing poorly, because it's not; sales for the handheld even jumped up almost 10,000 units since last week. However, since the PSP and Wii have been doing so well lately, it's hard for Nintendo's handheld to compete:
Nintendo DS: 51,228
PlayStation 3: 8,054
PlayStation 2: 7,464
Xbox 360: 1,298
We have no doubt that the DS will be on top again soon enough, but until then, you can check out the satisfactory software numbers posted after the break.
We realized today that we don't know Japan as well as we thought we did. With our reasoning, a new Gundam game + the popularity of the DS = cha-ching. While the debuting Emblem of Gundam had decent sales for its first week, though, taking the twelfth spot isn't all that impressive -- especially since there was only one new release cluttering up the top ten.
For hardware, DS numbers went up since last week, but the handheld is still convincingly behind the PSP and Wii in recent sales. If you want to see the numbers, though, just click past the break. You can check out the software listings there, too.
Not only did the PSP gain momentum with the hideous brown, er, we mean shiny bronze model that released in Japan last week, but the Wii also beat out its portable cousin, sending the DS to third place in hardware sales:
Nintendo DS: 42,435
PlayStation 3: 9,107
PlayStation 2: 7,108
Xbox 360: 1,283
DS software fared better, though, with two new releases gracing the coveted top ten. Taiko Drum Master: 7 Islands' Adventure was the shining star of the week, reaching almost 56,000 sales. Summon Night gets an honorary mention, though, as it debuted in the fifth spot.
To check out the other new releases and software placings, just keep on reading ... forever.
In a strange turn of events, there's only one new DS game in Japan's top thirty this week, and that's Oshiri Kajiri Mushi's Rhythm Lesson DS. In case that title doesn't ring a bell, you may know it better as "that butt-biting bug game." If there's one thing we've learned from this bug, it's that biting is serious business. Despite Japan's love for DS software and quirky rhythm games, though, Oshiri Kajiri Mushi only debuted in the eighteenth spot. Perhaps butt biting is even too weird for Japan?
In hardware, the DS fell behind the PSP once again. Yet, there's already signs of the Monster Hunter hype beginning to dwindle, as the PSP sold 35,000 less units than the week before. Will the new brown model that comes out next week help the PSP keep a wide lead, or will the gap start to narrow again between the two handhelds? We're looking forward to finding out!
To see the Japanese placings and numbers, just check after the break.
The PSP might have dominated in Japan, selling as much hardware last week as every other system combined, but that doesn't mean the DS didn't do well for itself. In fact, Nintendo's handheld came in second place, selling around 60,000 units.
The story is similar in software, as DS titles came no where near to matching the sales of Monster Hunter Portable 2nd G, yet there was still a lot of DS representation in the top thirty, as usual. New titles rleased last week that made the cut include Mobile Suit Gundam 00, which debuted in third, Vitamin X Evolution, Lux Pain, and Home Teacher Hitman Reborn!
Towards the bottom of the software chart, New Super Mario Bros. reappeared while Taiko Drum Master hung stubbornly onto the thirtieth spot. To see how other games were rearranged, just check after the break for the listings.
Last week was the week of new releases! Anticipating high holiday sales, many publishers made sure to release their games last week, with a total of fifteen ending up in the top thirty (seven of those being DS titles). With this slew of new releases, though, a lot of games were bumped off the chart to make room. Etrian Odyssey II and Soma Bringer, for example, did not survive the onslaught. Yet, somehow Mario Kart DS managed to move up a spot -- that game never ceases to amaze us.
The top of the heap was none other than Pokémon Ranger: Batonnage, which completely crushed the competition in its debut week. Sim City 2 DS did well also, ending up in the number four spot. In fact, this is the best an EA game has ever done in its first week in Japan, with the exception of the FIFA titles. Time Hollow and Super Dodgeball are some other notable new releases, ending up in spots ten and seventeen, respectively.