As ominous as the quiet subway scene in the first 50 seconds of this video might be, there's little in this new trailer to convinces us that Twilight Syndrome: Kinjiraneta Toshi Densetsu (Twilight Syndrome: The Forbidden Urban Legend) will be even half as scary as Twilight Syndrome: Search for the PlayStation.
Check out the old commercial we embedded past the post break to see what we mean! The animated skeleton and bugs are a bit goofy, but the smiling girl that pops up at the end for half of a second freaks us out every time!
Fun trivia: Did you know that famed game designer Goichi Suda worked on the original Syndrome games during his tenure at developer and publisher Human Entertainment? More fun trivia: Did you know that we have Twilight Syndrome: The Forbidden Urban Legend's boxart after the break? It's all true!
If there was ever a game destined to really nail a niche market in North America, it's this game. Japanese-speaking Hanshin Tigers fans, with a deep knowledge of the team's history and players, will be all over importing this bad boy. There's a new twist to this heartwarming story of an underdog title coming out to compete against the big evil team game -- it's not just trivia anymore.
Along with a new batch of screens, we've discovered the inclusion of mini-games, good for letting your hair down after all that baseball question-answering work. You'll be hitting them out of the park in Home Run Contest, doing something else (we have no idea, sorry) in Lucky 7, and also enjoying a bit of karaoke ... somehow. Baseball is one popular sport, and importing Hanshin Tigers DS when it releases on August 28 will make you one popular gamer.
We noticed two things while watching the new trailer for Spike's horror adventure game Twilight Syndrome: Kinjiraneta Toshi Densetsu (Twilight Syndrome: The Forbidden Urban Legend) (which you can access by going to the site and clicking the button indicated above):
It looks exactly like a creepy version of Gyakuten Kenji, with a schoolgirls in place of Miles Edgeworth and Dick Gumshoe
Zoinks! Like, we gotta get outta here, Scoob!
Seriously, we were expecting hilarity out of this trailer and, while some of the artwork looked goofy, and the actual gameplay bits looked not-scary-at-all, we got pretty freaked out. Not "get up and hide" level, or "stop blogging" level, but there was at least one heebie-jeebie involved. We know that the urgent music is designed specifically to try to get a panic response out of us.
The horrorgenre is takingoff on the DS in Japan, but the U.S. has Dementium and pretty much nothing else. Who's going to be the first to localize? Twilight Syndrome would be a good choice, as part of an existing horror series, for which a movie has just been announced.
Just when you think it's safe to put on your schoolgirl uniform, Spike announces another addition to the DS's nascenthorrorgenre -- 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.
If you're itching to unleash your inner surgeon onto your DS after all this Trauma Centerbrouhaha, you might want to consider picking up LifeSigns: Surgical Unit in the meantime. Since we haven't played it, we can't recommend it ourselves (although some of our readers seem to be fond of this title), but it happens to be on sale this week at GameQuest Direct.
The sale will last until April 8th, giving you plenty of time to consider whether or not you need another surgery-sim-meets-soap-opera in your life, but an $11 markdown is a pretty nice deal. Also, thanks to CAG, you can use the code CAG1SHIP in the bottom left corner for free shipping.
Yet, the game did end up on some worst lists of 2007, so caveat emptor.
This morning, we asked about realism in games, using MLB 2K8 Fantasy All-Stars as an example of a deliberate move away from realism. Spike's Hanshin Tigers DS is in direct contrast to that title, in that it is absolutely realistic, lacking even the "fantasy" of pretending to play baseball. There's nothing more "realistic" than facts! While 2K's title is a baseball game that breaks away from accurate depictions of players and abilities, Hanshin Tigers DS is a strictly factual interpretation of baseball with no actual baseball involved.
Somehow, the Japanese game market is capable of sustaining this incredibly specialized game. It's not just a trivia game -- it's a baseball trivia game. About only one team, the Hanshin Tigers (who have been honored with pinstriped Gamecubes and Neo Geo Pocket Color systems!).
Got a few minutes to kill? Spend it killing with your fists of stylus-enhanced rage. Spike has created a Flash demo of the Fist of the North Star game and made it available at the official website, allowing you to first enjoy a tutorial that demonstrates the controls, and then, as Kenshiro, take on some enormous guy in a fight. Just click around the navigation buttons under the DS on the demo page and you'll get to all the content.
The tutorial isn't terribly necessary -- click numbers in order, drag back and forth between lines pointing at each other -- but we recommend it, because it basically amounts to a little bit more game. There's a decent challenge to be found in some of the tasks, mostly because of the timer. The back-and-forth motions, for example, require some decent speed and accuracy. Of course, this is made somewhat more difficult by the substitution of a mouse for the stylus.
We thought this minigame in the Fist of the North Star DS game was awesome enough to warrant its own post. As the latest screenshot update on the official website illustrates, Raoh's storyline is playable in addition to Kenshiro's.
This follows outside of the main game as well, with this Raoh-spotting minigame. We've seen someweirdminigames in our tenure as DS fans, but this one may manage to be the freakiest yet. Given a selection of four details from manga panels, you are asked to pick which depiction of Raoh features Raoh crying over his brother Toki. That's actually not the whole of the game; it's a wireless multiplayer trivia game, which is a neat addition. Still, for us it's always going to be the crying-Raoh game.
Lest you think Raoh is weak, we should tell you why he's crying over his brother Toki: it's because he has just punched Toki almost to death, and is about to punch him all the way to death. You'd cry too.
There's something about stylus controls and Fist of the North Star that go so well together. Despite the animation being sub-par in the anime, we still enjoyed it very much (but don't even get us started on the live-action film) back in the day, so the prospect of being able to play it on our DS is one we've been in favor of for a bit now. Oh, how we can't wait to hit some fools with about a billion punches.
These newest screens mix in a couple oldies with all of the others, so keep that in mind. For the most part, though, it's all fresh.
The DS Fist of the North Star game was already an interactive manga in which you tap spots on the screen to beat up on dudes. It was already pretty bizarre. But Spike has decided to pile bizarre upon bizarre with this bonus for early purchasers.
It's a keychain that plays a horse noise. Awesome, right? You could be out anywhere, and suddenly have the urge to listen to the sound of a horse, and just have a horse noise right there. In your pocket. To be fair, the horse immortalized by this keychain is not just some regular horse, but Kokuoh-Go, Raoh's giant horse who is also a king. Unfortunately, we don't know what Kokuoh-Go sounds like, but maybe his neigh is way tougher-sounding than a normal horse's.
GAME Watch has some new screens of the game, in case you're as interested in extremely violent screen-tapping as we are.
Spike has updated their Fist of the North Starwebsite with a couple of new screens showing the varied input methods in the game. The gameplay is not entirely limited to tapping things, but sometimes involves tapping and then dragging. We might not know too much about Fist of the North Star, but we know that any game involving using the stylus to cut a guy's face all criss-crossed is something we want to play.
Also revealed in the latest update: you'll be able to play as characters other than Kenshiro. Raoh is mentioned by name, but there will certainly be more.
Promotional Consideration is a weekly feature about the Nintendo DS advertisements you usually flip past, change the channel on, or just tune out.
American cable channel Spike premieres the 2007 edition of the Spike Video Game Awards tonight at 9:00 PM (likely re-airing it a dozen times over the course of the next couple of months). Despite the scorn it received from gamers in its previous years, the show lives on, now in its fourth year.
There are many reasons one could give for refusing to watch the two-hour program tonight -- the event really is as ridiculous as you'd expect a video game award show to be -- but one specific flaw brought about our decision to avoid the production ...
Dekotora is a weird and expensive hobby in Japan, involving putting crazy, garish art and hundreds of neon lights on big trucks. It's sort of like the ground-effects/import-tuning scene, but on ridiculously enormous trucks, without the performance enhancements, and without restraint. Basically these guys end up building mobile Las Vegases.
It's also the subject of a Wii game called Zenkoku Dekotora Matsuri (Nationwide Dekotora Festival), the latest in a line of console dekotora games from Jaleco. While those dealt mainly with carrying cargo on time (in order to earn money to make your truck a more disgusting spectacle) Spike is doing something different with their newly-announced DS dekotora game, Bakusou Dekotora Densetsu (Roaring Dekotora Legend), part of a different established series of dekotora games. This game is about, yes, making your truck look like Liberace's house fell on it, but also smashing rival trucks on the road.
We hope other people are as interested in the Fist of the North Star game as we are. It should at least be better than the Sega Master System Fist of the North Star game (though the music probably won't be as awesome). We are aficionados of the dudes-getting-punched-many-times genre, of which Fist of the North Star is one of the classic works. That is why we're so interested in a fresh take like this one which combines classic material with new mechanics. The website shows some nice clear screens, and introduces the game in general terms -- the action sequences, story sequences, and unlockable character cards.
Can tapping dude-shaped things on the screen many times really substitute for pushing buttons many times to punch dudes? We cannot wait to find out! Of course, we may have to read the dudes' reactions to our punches in an incomprehensible foreign language, because there's little likelihood of a U.S. version. But that's okay -- we can pretty much get the gist of "Ow! My face has been punched numerous times!" in any language.
Well, for those of you angry at Trauma Center for breaking up with the DS, LifeSigns: Surgical Unit (which is being released this week) is a welcome substitute.
You also might want to know that the folks behind LifeSigns are giving away ten DS Lites (with copies of the game, of course). All you have to do is make a manga on the LifeSigns website, advertise send it to some friends, and hope yours gets picked to win. It's similar to the Phoenix Wright and Harvey Birdman contests, but it's a trend we don't mind spreading. Make stupid comics and get free stuff? Fine by us.