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Izuna's milkshake brings all the boys to Amazon's yard

While Izuna 2: The Unemployed Ninja Returns comes with a spiffy reversible boxart feature, that's not the only bonus male Atlus fans can expect this July. There will actually be another mini-poster included with the game -- a much more risqué poster, at that. Here's the catch: in order to get one with your copy of Izuna 2, you have to order it from (which means the promotion is only available for folks in the U.S.). Atlus tells us that there are only a "limited" number of these special edition copies available, so take that as you will.

Atlus is also holding a voting contest to see which one of two posters (shown in full after the break) will be included with the software. When we last checked, the two options were almost neck and neck, with the first one taking a slight lead.

If your lecherous curious eyes want to see the uncropped posters featuring Izuna and Shino's scantily clad figures, just click past the break.

Gallery: Izuna 2

Continue reading Izuna's milkshake brings all the boys to Amazon's yard

Band Brothers DX: choose your DLC carefully

It feels churlish to complain about the expansive range of DLC offered up by Band Brothers DX. In case you forgot, the game will allow users to download up to 100 extra songs from a choice of 200 (far outstripping the amount of tracks offered by any other DS music game), yet posters on NeoGAF have now discovered that once you've downloaded one of your 100 tracks, that's it -- there's no way to delete tracks, or replace them with new songs.

Curious about this limiting feature, N-Sider's Matt Behrens checked out the official site for the game, which seemed to confirm the findings. On the site, Nintendo explains that this is due to rights restrictions that prevent the erasing or replacement of the music, and urges players to use "Audition Mode," a feature that plays songs before you elect to download them. Sounds like solid advice!

[Via N-Sider]

Band Brothers DX Speaker Channel in action

When we heard about the Speaker Channel that would allow Band Brothers DX players to share tracks with one another, we were immediately smitten with the title, even if we knew in the back of our mind that we'd probably never get to play it. Regardless of the end product's quality, strives such as this set precedents for others to utilize the DS and Wii together in interesting fashions.

Now, we can view the Channel in action, courtesy of the video uploaded over at the Touch DS site. We'd like to embed it, but, alas, we cannot. So, head on over and give it a look.

DS Clone Wars project lead talks up the game

We don't have to tell you how promising upcoming Star Wars: The Clone Wars game is. Drop-in anytime wireless co-op play? Awesome! Stylus-driven gameplay akin to Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword? Awesome. We're excited.

For the Padawans out there looking for more, know that the game's project lead, Feargus Carroll, recently spoke with IGN. He details the story, which has Count Dooku joining force with the Nightsisters, whom are described as "Sith Witches with Force powers and Lightsaber skills." They have nasty things planned for the Jedi and it's up to the player to stop them with the six available characters, which are Obi-Wan Kenobi, Mace Windu, Anakin Skywalker, Ahsoka Tano, Plo Koon and Kit Fisto.

Feargus also talks a bit about the stylus-driven controls, stating that just about everything will be controlled with the stylus. Movement, attacks, Force powers and just about anything else you can imagine is utilized through the stylus. It sounds ambitious, but it's been pulled off once already.

All in all, we're excited for Lucasarts' DS entry. What say you?

More from the wonderful wizard of RIZ-ZOAWD

Is RIZ-ZOAWD the most beautiful game in the cosmos? Why, yes. Yes it is. Following on from these screens, we've found a big batch of new media just ready for the drooling. One might get a little bit tired of examining the same game for extended periods of time, but this Wizard of Oz remake is just really, really good-looking.

The images show off a range of new enemies, some larger pieces of artwork and a bunch of in-game shots showing Dorothy wandering around doing her red-heeled thing. Check past the break for a few select screens from the pile, and wander over to the Kanji-laden source for a feast of RIZ-ZOAWD righteousness.

Continue reading More from the wonderful wizard of RIZ-ZOAWD

Unsolved Crimes, revealed!

Take a dash of trenchcoat, a hint of hat, and a pinch of grizzled police chief. Bake it for 24 hours under a forensic microscope, and BAM! Unsolved Crimes is born. The lack of realistic detective work on the DS needs to be addressed, and these new gallery screens for the upcoming adventure look extremely promising.

You'll be treated to fully 3D environments, a rather detailed case inventory system, and perhaps even driving segments. If Empire Interactive can replicate intricate investigative scenarios and rustle together a reasonably complex detective tale, then Unsolved Crimes won't stay unsolved for long. That is, people will buy it. And finish it.

Gallery: Unsolved Crimes

N+ knocks it up a notch with new trailers ... BAM

In the spirit of a true ninja master, the perenially popular platformer N+ is still on its merry way to the DS. Many people out there have tried several adventures of the anonymous little hero on the PC, and are better gamers for it. Put it this way -- N+ levels are really, super easy to make, so the DS version features plenty of original creations.

You can check out some of the high-flying gameplay in the new trailer above, along with two more after the break. N+ hasn't been dumbed-down for portable installments at all, and includes a full level editor and downloadable content. If you haven't tried N+ before, it would be in your best interest to slide down to your nearest store on August 28 and hand over the cash for this bad boy. Ninja-style.

Continue reading N+ knocks it up a notch with new trailers ... BAM

Tecmo fires back, says details of lawsuit are 'inaccurate'

Much like a war that rages on for centuries, the struggle between Tomonobu Itagaki and his almost-former (July 1) employer, Tecmo, continues. The latest volley in this exchange between parties shows Tecmo bashing the lawsuit, claiming the details are "inaccurate."

Within the statement, Tecmo is quick to point out that all of Team Ninja's employees aren't following their leader and quitting. Tecmo also says that all 300 employees aren't filing lawsuits against the company.

For the rest from Tecmo's official statement, we suggest you head past the post break.

Continue reading Tecmo fires back, says details of lawsuit are 'inaccurate'

Europe will Prey the Stars this October

Just when we were starting to wonder if Prey the Stars was something we completely imagined, news popped up about the game being rated by Australia's OFLC. Still, we had nothing tangible to hold onto until Koei Europe announced the company's upcoming games line-up. Oddly enough, the list included Prey the Stars, which is scheduled to release in the continent this October.

We hope that means we'll get to find out more about this eating-based title before it comes out, but we're really just relieved to know that it is coming out somewhere outside of Japan.

Gallery: Prey the Stars

Flashcart piracy marches on in Korea

Although most of Nick Rumas' Gamasutra article on the ubiquity of R4 flashcart piracy in Korea is based on anecdotal evidence, we still found his piece to be pretty fascinating. While DS piracy may not be rampant in the U.S., Korea is renowned as a hotbed of piracy in videogaming, and Rumas claims that as many as three in five DS owners there possess a flashcart -- and we can't see all of those being used for homebrew.

Rumas also tells tales of traders in Seoul's Yongsan Electronics Market openly selling customized R4 flashcarts to customers (who simply pay up their $87 and select the titles they'd like from a master list), and of Korean consumers who are far more clued-up about game piracy than their western equivalents (including middle-aged women, and young children).

He eventually chalks this widespread acceptance of piracy up to more than one factor, including Korea's low minimum wage, an increasingly high cost of living, an apathetic government, and the fact that downloading games without paying for them is simply more of a cultural norm. With the DS now selling in respectable numbers in Korea, we can't imagine Nintendo being overly happy to hear of Korea's piracy endemic, but as Rumas notes, "Regardless of what [government] measures are undertaken, no real dent ever seems to be made."

The World Ends With You remix album is a sensory overload

We already know that the It's A Wonderful World + The World Ends With You remix album will sound amazing -- one only needs to play the game or listen to samples of the compilation on Square Enix's dedicated site to appreciate that Takeharu Ishimoto's magical soundtrack is one of the best this year -- but the packaging of the album will also look totally classy.

Unlike the original soundtrack, this album contains tracks from both the Japanese and the North American and PAL editions of the game. It hits Japan (and the iTunes Store) on July 30th, when it will retail for ¥2,100 ($19).

Gallery: The World Ends With You

[Via Go Nintendo]

Atlus grabs, renames Dungeon Maker for U.S. release

With Rising Star snatching publishing rights for Dungeon Maker, we knew that it was only a matter of time before a U.S. company announced that it would be localizing the game. Atlus has, with a wink, revealed that it will bring the RPG to North America this September 2nd along with a new and more cumbersome title -- Master of the Monster Lair.

Quick details for those of you unfamiliar with the Global A Entertainment-developed series:
  • Your character is armed with a magical, talking shovel which allows you to dig out a dungeon to attract monsters. The better your dungeon, the more monsters for you to kill.
  • You can build over 20 different types of rooms, including chapels, cellars, stables, trash dumps, and more. Each room attracts different types of monsters and helps you pick up different items.
  • You can trade dungeon designs and challenge your friends to run through your creations (local wireless).
Hit the gallery below for new English screenshots and art!

Gallery: Dungeon Maker

Star Wars: The Clone Wars DS is not a Wii clone

Now that LucasArts has officially announced a Clone Wars game for the DS, we've found out a lot more details on the upcoming Star Wars title to share with our lovely readers.

For one, we know that the DS version will have its own story, despite the fact that Clone Wars is also coming to the Wii. Since the games plan to take the series in different directions, they also have different subtitles: the DS version is known as Jedi Alliance, while the software for the Wii is called Lightsaber Duels.

Aside from the fact that Jedi Alliance will (obviously) utilize the touchscreen and stylus, LucasArts also boasts about the player's ability to pair up Jedi Masters and Padawans. For example, you can team up Anakin and Obi-Wan (but that seems too obvious). The more you develop the relationships between your pairs, the more powerful they'll be together. Different pair combinations will also feature different abilities, meaning that you'll have to replay some levels with new teams if you hope to unlock everything. Lastly, the game will support drop-in/drop-out wireless co-op play.

All in all, it sounds like a neat little title. We only hope that it looks a little better than the screen up top -- granted, the resolution is blown up, but it didn't look so hot in its natural size, either.

[Via press release]

Survey: Casual games keep the vices at bay

According to a recent survey conducted by Information Solutions Group (on behalf of casual games company RealGames) shows that casual gaming might be more than just a quick diversion (or frustration, if the game refuses to understand your speech). Other than providing a quick round of Sudoku, that copy of Brain Age 2 could have other health benefits.

The survey asked 4,537 respondents between December 28, 2007 and January 11, 2008 about casual gaming. Of the 4,537 individuals, 2,784 of them said they watched their weight and 60% of those individuals said they use games as a way to keep from snacking and overeating. That's not all, though.

Of the 1,324 survey respondents that said they were smokers, 42% said that gaming provided a distraction from smoking. While the focus of the survey is more about casual games, we do know one title that's pretty good with helping smokers quit. Any of you trying to curb your bad habits with some gaming?

Animals in Paradise, again

Nintendo attracts cute animals like nobody's business. If it isn't Nintendogs, it's Animal Crossing. If it isn't that, it's this. And if it isn't any of those -- it's Animal Paradise 2. As if pets aren't celebrated enough in video games, we need to give them a paradise. How about Blogger Paradise 2?

The original game isn't even out in North America yet, and the release for AP2 only mentions a European release date. That's Q2 2009, a long time from now, and an even longer time for the rest of the world. The game focuses on managing a park (read: paradise) filled with an array of Hanadeka animals. That's way too much cute for any one person to take, so waiting a while before it comes out is probably good for the heart.

[Via press release]

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