Rising Star Games has planted a European release date and the first English language media for Flower, Sun and Rain on the internet. Although the release date (October) is old news grandad, everything else is new, including the very lovely and understated boxart above, featuring a passenger airliner cruising across a calm, salmon-colored sky, a bomb presumably tucked away somewhere on board.
Some (very) minor details/impressions we picked up from the screens:
We've now got our first look at the memo pad that can be used to make notes. Handy!
Somehow, vampires are involved, thus escalating Flower, Sun and Rain's awesomeness.
The 3D sections look more crude than we recall. We wonder: will Rockstar be able to better this?
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!
A new batch of European release dates has suddenly materialized from Nintendo, and is packed with all sorts of exciting confirmations. The most thrilling, for us at least, is the news that Flower, Sun, and Rain will be getting that rumored European release this October, followed by Lux Pain in November. If you want to know where to send your effusive "thank you" letters, Rising Star are the ones in charge of localizing both titles. Other items of interest include a specific launch date for Bakushow, and Euro versions of Pokémon Platinum (big surprise, right?) and Dungeon Maker.
But here's a question: what's with DS Novel? It's been hanging around on these lists for the best part of eight months now, and we're still no nearer to learning a release date or what it even is. Check out the full list for yourselves past the break!
We're convinced that Rising Star is the best thing to happen to Europe since the Euro usurped the dollar (grumble). After the rumor that the company is localizing Lux Pain in the continent, Suda51's upcoming DS port Flower, Sun, and Rain also showed up on Amazon UK's website. If you haven't taken notice of this game, it's like Groundhog Day, only with less Bill Murray and more bomb on a plane.
These Amazon UK listings better have some weight behind them, or the hearts of niche gamers in Europe will be broken. Won't someone think of the children?
In order to promote the new remake (or port or whatever it is) of Flower, Sun, and Rain, Marvelous has released a new desktop wallpaper featuring protagonist Sumio Mondo running away from Toriko Kusabi, identifiable here by her distinctive dress. It comes in 1024x768 and 1280x1024 flavors.
We love this wallpaper because of the fact that even though it's an action scene, the game's art style imparts a vacation-like serenity to the image. It's a very mellow run. We also love it because it bizarrely echoes the composition of another piece of promotional material for a Suda 51 game, which itself contained a little tribute to this game.
These new screens from Suda 51's Flower, Sun, and Rain pull you in, encouraging you to look again and again until you can stop the bomb from exploding in our gallery. No, wait; that's just ridiculous melodrama. They're only pictures, after all, not a repeat-o-tron. Despite the revamped PS2 title's upcoming March release (in Japan), we haven't been treated to many images from the game, so these are a nice treat. While the game is a little less shiny than the original, which had a strange, haunting quality to the look, the images are very true to the original characterization and feel of the game. Here's us crossing fingers for an English-language release.
The enigmatic "Surfer Girl," who posts a bunch of game-related rumors on a Blogspot site every so often, is at it again. This time she has "revealed" something that we already kinda knew about some DS games in which we're very interested.
Specifically, in her post "December Thirtieth Things" she said that the three Grasshopper Manufacture adventure remakes The Silver Case, The Silver Case Ward 25, and the recently-announced Flower, Sun, and Rain, would be released next year in the U.S. Is this really "insider" knowledge? Maybe. Suda already announced that The Silver Case and its sequel were being released worldwide, but it's possible that whoever this Surfer Girl character is saw some release plans from a publisher. The possibility of a localized FSR is news to us.
At the very least, this rumor provides evidence that someone, somewhere, who may be related to game publishing, is talking about these Suda 51 adventure games. That's comforting.
No More Heroes wasn't the only Goichi Suda game to cause our pulses to race in the last few weeks. With its Groundhog Day-esque hook and all-too-topical tale of airborne terrorism, we're anxious to hear whether or not Flower, Sun, and Rain will ever leave Japan. It doesn't strike us as the most import-friendly title, so unless you're one of those forward-thinking types who took the time to learn kanji, a western release might just be our best only hope.
We know one thing, however: the game is scheduled to release in Japan on March 6th, and it has a shiny new official site to prove it. Poke around there, and you'll find a number of (tiny) new screens, character profiles for three of the game's fifteen primary characters (including protagonist and assassin Sumio Mondo), and a rundown on "Katherine," the suitcase-shaped instrument that Sumio carries to crack codes.
Flower, Sun, and Rain, an adventure game released in 2001 for the Playstation 2, is being remade for the DS, according to the latest Famitsu. It's one of the earlier works of Grasshopper Manufacture, headed by Suda 51, and has a lot in common with later works.
Like Killer 7 and No More Heroes, the protagonist of Flower, Sun, and Rain is an assassin. Sumio Mondo lives the same day over and over again until he can stop a bomb from exploding in an airport. To do this, he must also solve the problems of the people he interacts with during that repeating day. As time (fails to) pass, his hotel room starts changing to reflect his mental state.
With The Silver Case's remake being done with an eye for international release, can we expect the same of Flower, Sun, and Rain? (Will The Silver Case actually be released outside Japan?) Is Suda 51 attempting to remake his complete works for the DS? That would certainly be welcomed by Suda fans and adventure fans. We've posted the magazine scan after the break.
Back at GDC, Grasshopper Manufacture's Suda 51 announced that his Playstation text adventureThe Silver Case and its cellphone sequel were getting ported to the DS. We tempered our interest in this development with doubt that the games would be released outside of Japan, due to their limited appeal and the large amount of text involved.
Sometimes, we don't mind being wrong. During the Australian G03 event, Suda announced that the game, which was "a minor hit" in Japan, would receive a worldwide release. Now we should all buy it and let him know he made the right decision!
Well, now that GDC '07 has come to an end, it's time to look back over the DS Fanboy experience. Here, you'll find all of the GDC news and content in one convenient location. Even without a lot of direct information from Nintendo, it was still a great show for DS fans.
Suda 51's first games as part of Grasshopper Manufacture are being remade for the DS. The games, called The Silver Case and The Silver Case Ward 25, were originally released for the Playstation and mobile phones, respectively. Suda revealed this fact during his GDC keynote "Punk's Not Dead".
Both are graphical text adventures; Ward 25 uses static art and the original Silver Case uses full-motion video. Unfortunately, because of the amount of text that would have to be translated, Suda isn't sure the remakes will be released outside Japan. Someone tell him that American DS players love graphicaltext adventures! And tell him that we <3 Grasshopper Manufacture too.
The newest issue of Nintendo Power (shown to the right) has a few interesting tidbits of information. Final Fantasy III DS will apparently have some sort of Wi-Fi compatibility (party vs. party?), and Suda51 (a.k.a. Goichi Suda) has confirmed Contact 2 for an unknown system, as well as another unconfirmed game for the Wii. That guy loves his Nintendo.
A few other glimmers of information: There is the confirmation that with the exception of the control scheme, the Gamecube and Wii versions of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess will be identical. This is probably to avoid the screaming throngs of Gamecube owners that would certainly resort to outright violence upon hearing they were neglected.
[Update 1: Made the post a little more DS-centric and environmentally friendly.]
A developer interview conducted by CVG reveals some interesting bits and pieces regarding the philosophy and design of Contact, soon to be published in the US by Atlus. It reveals that the game initially started out as a GBA adventure and that the Wi-Fi gameplay is a bit more unusual than you might have initially thought.
Takeshi Ogura, one of Contact's producers, explains that when "you are connected to the wi-fi there are new characters that might appear and new events that will happen. The more that you connect to the internet the more characters and events you will have to play with." Check out the interview for more insights, as well as our positive impressions of the game itself.