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We keep dreaming of Knights in the Nightmare

Knights in the Nightmare is one of the more confusing games being released this year, but the latest trailer (which Sting ever-so-kindly dubbed in English) reveals a lot about the story and gameplay. The tie-in factor is something called "the wisp," which attacks enemies. You control the wisp with your stylus to kill baddies, and also issue orders to your allies in this real-time strategy game.

Some things still remain unexplained -- for example, what are enemy slots and the enemy matrix elements that we're told to master? That doesn't change the fact that this title looks more and more interesting every time new media pops up, though. We've already added it to our possible imports list, which might hurt our wallets when the game releases in September.

Gallery: Knights in the Nightmare

[Via GoNintendo]

Spectral Force Genesis hits Japan tomorrow, box art unveiled

And this little game that nobody loved -- turned out to be totally awesome. As the Japanese release date draws closer (like, tomorrow) we've stumbled upon some new screens and the final box art for the mucho-grando strategy RPG, Spectral Force Genesis.

The crafty importers among you should be looking out for these shady characters when ordering the next shipment from Japan. You'll be a bit lost if you can't read Japanese, and the ultra-eccentric anime art style isn't going to attract anyone who isn't an established fan. Only the powers of the English language and North America can do that, and at this stage it's somewhat unlikely. Two new screens follow after the break, so order this bad boy if you just know it's a winner.

Continue reading Spectral Force Genesis hits Japan tomorrow, box art unveiled

Knights in the Nightmare is just as confusing in videos

Sting's Knights in the Nightmare has managed to catch our attention with its pretty visuals and unique-sounding gameplay, which you can get a small taste of in the video above. Even so, we still don't feel like we've grasped how exactly this "turn-based RTS" works.

If you thought the screens needed more explanation, the gameplay footage embedded after the break might just confuse you even more. Knights in the Nightmare screams chaos like no other, although we find it all rather intriguing. Assuming you can get the gameplay figured out, the language barrier won't even be too much of an issue for those hoping to import. The heapings of English voices and texts in the two videos should soothe the fears of all the non-Japanese speaking Sting lovers out there. You'll have to wait a few months, though, since the release date was pushed back to September 25th.

Check past the break to get a taste of the baffling gameplay.

Gallery: Knights in the Nightmare

Continue reading Knights in the Nightmare is just as confusing in videos

Spectral Force Genesis is a force to be reckoned with

Since localization can be a cruel, unsatisfying mistress, most of us haven't gotten a taste of the Spectral Force series. That will all change when Spectral Force 3 comes out for the 360, but people without Microsoft's console are still out of luck. That's why we're hoping that Spectral Force Genesis, which is featured in the trailer above, sees the light of day outside of Japan.

After the two minutes of introductory fodder, the video shows us two minutes of (tiny) gameplay. The size of the screens and Japanese writing makes it difficult to tell exactly what's going on, but we like how the stylus seems to be utilized. We also know a bit of what to expect from the gameplay already.

If this does get localized, the mostly likely candidate to do so would be Atlus. Aside from the fact that Atlus is bringing Spectral Force 3 to the 360, the company has a good track record on the DS, so we're going to have faith in Genesis. For those of you who can handle Japanese without a problem, though, the game releases in the Far East on June 19th.

[Via Ruliweb]

DS Daily: Strategic desire

It's only natural we'd follow up yesterday's morning topic with a similar one today, in light of the recent news. So, let's switch focus to strategy titles. Which franchises, no matter what system they reside on, would you like to see make it on DS? It can be a straight port or a valid DS entry, built from the ground up.

Want to see Command & Conquer on your DS? The prospect of Starcraft on your DS still lingering around your brain? Let's hear it!

Lock's Quest videos unlocked

Defending yourself from robotic invaders isn't the easiest of tasks, but it may be one of the most fun. After hearing some interesting tidbits about Lock's Quest, such as the mechanics behind the enemy AI and its innovative strategy gameplay, we were waiting for some tasty video morsels to gnaw on. Thankfully, IGN saw fit to feed us.

After watching these videos, we also grew interested in the music we heard. It seems to invoke an oldschool Final Fantasy feel, no?

Above you can see the introduction for the game, which sets up the premise for the "construction combat". Then, if you like what you see, check past the break for some gameplay videos of Lock's Quest.

Gallery: Lock's Quest

Continue reading Lock's Quest videos unlocked

Green game Ecolis now requires less green

With Eco-Creatures: Save the Forest already out in the U.S. and due for Europe on June 13th (interestingly, with the original Japanese title, Ecolis), there's no reason why anyone should import the Japanese game, right?

Play Asia thinks differently and has marked down the environment-conscious RTS to an unbelievable $5! That's banoodles! Basically, starting today until next Tuesday, the game is now cheaper than most of the meals on Arby's menu! You could buy Ecolis/Eco-Creatures for less than the price of a chicken sandwich, a drink, and curly fries.

Speaking of Arby's curly fries, how frickin' delicious are Arby's curly fries? Maybe you should go out and buy some anyway, that way you can eat them while playing Ecolis. It might cheer you up after hours of navigating the game's Japanese menus and frustrating controls.

Gallery: Ecoris

Knights in the What is Going on Here

It has been over a month since we heard anything new on Knights in the Nightmare, Sting's "turn-based RTS", but the Riviera developer has made up for that lull with official site updates, new screenshots, and a release date for Japan -- July 17, 2008.

As with Sting's last handheld strategy title, Yggdra Union, these images are packed with gorgeous sprites and tons of visual data and effects. We have no idea what is going on in half of these screens. What does "touch the box to be defeated enemy" even mean? Hit the gallery below for more beautiful but confusing grabs from the game.

Gallery: Knights in the Nightmare

[Via NeoGAF]

Lock's Quest changes titles again, still looks cool

According to IGN's Mark Bozon, 5th Cell's new arcade-style RTS thing, Construction Combat: Lock's Quest has gone through another name change -- one we can agree with. They've dropped the silly Construction Combat bit, calling the game simply Lock's Quest.

News of the name change coincides with Bozon's extensive preview of the game, which is practically bursting with enthusiasm. How enthusi-bursty? "It certainly raises the bar for DS innovation" is just one of the effusive proclamations Bozon issued. He compares it favorably to Square Enix and Atlus strategy games on the DS.

Lock's Quest features two views for gameplay: a normal view (seen here) and a zoomed-out view in which characters are represented by icons. Surprisingly, Lock can actually be moved around and commanded in this zoomed-out view.

A new name for 5th Cell's new game: Construction Combat: Lock's Quest

Nintendo Power was so fast on the draw when revealing "Lock Nation" that the game didn't even have its final name yet. That sort of works to IGN's benefit -- since, while Nintendo Power got to exclusively unveil "Lock Nation," IGN gets their own exclusive on Construction Combat: Lock's Quest. Even though it's the same game.

Along with news of the rechristening, IGN posted really nice screens of the tower-defense/RTS-esque game -- the distinctive Drawn to Life look is clearly on display here. They included a bit more about gameplay, as well. For example, the materials you can collect include metal, stone, and wood, and combine in different amounts to form the various available structures and defenses.

New 5th Cell game revealed: Lock Nation

The latest Nintendo Power has unveiled the latest game from Drawn to Life developers 5th Cell: Lock Nation, an original real-time strategy game. Like Drawn to Life, the player creates part of the environment -- but in Lock Nation, the player's actions have more direct impact on the game.

The player, as an "archineer" (architect/engineer) named Lock, must build walls, turrets, and magical defenses against an army of mechanized invaders, all in the space of two minutes. When that time is up, combat begins, and Lock must battle the enemies directly (using various touch-screen-based activities to determine the success of each attack) and gather more resources in order to keep the invading army at bay.

The time limit makes Lock Nation a sort of arcade RTS, and one that people who shy away from traditional strategy games may find interesting -- especially since it has online multiplayer

Anything but a bad dream with Knights in the Nightmare

IGN has a rather lengthy preview up for Knights in the Nightmare, a "turn-based RTS" coming from Sting. Up until we saw this preview, we were all in the same boat, left to ogle a lone scan for the game.

Sting's "real-time RTS" isn't so much an contradiction in and of itself, but is actually near-real-time. Players will handle defending and attacking enemy units through the touch-screen, allowing for groups of up to 40 units to be controlled at once. With a clock going continuously for each turn, players will have to act fast in order to make sure their actions are finished before the time runs out. Once the clock hits zero, you can rearm your squad and get ready for the next encounter.

The game isn't all fighting, though, as you'll be able to affect the stats of your units through upgrades. What kind of upgrades available depend on the unit's equipment and alignment. Units may also build up their "rage" in standby mode, which will fill a charge gauge that can unleash special attacks.

As for the rest of the preview, there are a few plot points that have been revealed, but for the sake of keeping this as spoiler free as possible, we won't go into detail. For that information, hit up the "Read" link below.

Premotional Consideration: Eco-Creatures

We usually wait until Sunday to post our Promotional Consideration pieces, but we already have something very special planned for tomorrow's column and we didn't didn't want to hold onto this Eco-Creatures: Save the Forest ad for too long lest you completely forget about the colorful game.

The environment-conscious RTS's release went mostly ignored around these parts -- blame it on the rain Shiren the Wanderer. To make up for it, we've torn out and scanned a page advertising Eco-Creatures from this month's issue of Nintendo Power. Hit the "read" link or the image above for the full piece. The recycling arrows integrated into the screenshots are a nice touch!

Gallery: Ecoris

It came from the Internet: Robocalypse trailer

Between this and the Xbox Live Arcade Poker Smash trailer, a vintage-B-movie-trailer fad seems to have taken off! We are more than okay with this development, as trailers like these, with sharp narration and goofy text, are infinitely more entertaining than, say, the "moving DS" trailers.

This trailer for Robocalypse outlines the storyline, which is just your basic "robots take over, humanity fights back by putting the brains of WWII vets into some other robots, who then lead the battle" thing. Total cliche, right? Much like the trailer, the personality in the game helps distinguish it from all the strategy games that seem to be piling up on the DS.

Gallery: Robocalypse

Anno 1701: Discovered early?

Anno 1701: Dawn of Discovery isn't scheduled to land on North American shores until March 4th, two weeks from now, but several Canadians are reporting that they've already spotted copies of the strategy game in the wild. And by in the wild, we actually mean in Best Buy and Wal-Mart.

We won't hold it against you if you're unfamiliar with the title -- it's a port of a German RTS in which players settle and maintain an 18th century "New World" colony. In Europe, where the history comes from the DS game has been available in stores since last July, reviewers have given Anno 1701 very positive reviews, applauding its depth, touchscreen interface, and four-player multiplayer mode. Sail the ocean blue, right past the post break, for a four-minute trailer for Anno 1701: Dawn of Discovery.

Continue reading Anno 1701: Discovered early?

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