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Posts with tag Koei

Somebody's Ambition

There are so many Koei strategy games out there that it can be hard to keep them straight, especially when we can't read much of the text. It's even worse when there are two titles in the same series on the same system being promoted at the same time. In this case, the games actually interact with one another.

The new Nobunaga no Yabou 2 (Nobunaga's Ambition 2) is a more traditional Nobunaga's Ambition game, focusing on the big (Japan-wide) picture rather than battles between individual units. It can connect to the more Advance Wars-like Kunitori Zunou Battle Nobunaga no Yabou via local wireless to unlock secret generals. While we wish either of these games would be released here, we just think it's neat to interface two different DS games to unlock stuff.

Koei to romance Korea with preorder case

There's no sign that Koei ever intends to bring its Romance of the Three Kingdoms DS titles stateside -- likely because you didn't buy Opoona -- but it looks like the company will celebrate its 30th anniversary by releasing Romance Of The Three Kingdoms DS 2 in Korea.

Though we're a little upset that we still haven't received the year-old turn-based-strategy game, what really grinds our gears is that Koei is throwing in a themed Nintendo DS Lite hard case with preorders. Where's our preorder incentives, Koei? Just because we don't pirate everything under the sun doesn't mean that we don't deserve to decorate our handhelds with third-century Chinese historical figures?

Gallery: Romance of the Three Kingdoms DS 2

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

Try and play Nobunaga's Ambition, win green tea [Update 1]

In one of the oddest gaming tie-ins we've heard of since the glorious days of Yo! Noid, Koei and Coca-Cola have announced a cross-promotion between Kunitori Zunou Battle Nobunaga no Yabou (Domination Battle of the Brains: Nobunaga's Ambition) and ... some kind of Coca-Cola-branded green tea.

We've not the foggiest how the two products are related (we find it difficult to imagine Sengoku period warlords indulging in some green tea-sipping action), but the deal did give us a chance to sample the game through the promotional site that's been set up (scroll down and click on the white box to get things rolling). It looks and plays very nicely, so give it a go!

Famitsu also mentions that 100 Japan-based players who try the demo will randomly be chosen to win a six-pack of Coca-Cola's green tea. Alas, it's not the most import-friendly of games, so even if we did reside in Japan, it looks like we'd be purchasing our green tea supplies like everyone else who doesn't have the knack for turn-based strategy.

[Update: Corrected minor details regarding brand of green tea and prize.]

[Via Famitsu]

What Was QT is now POP CUTIE!

Koei's That's QT, a fashion management simulation in which players created fashion lines based on input from chibi moppets in the virtual streets of Tokyo, seemed like a long shot for localization. Why would Koei sink valuable resources into something like that that could be used on painting very serious portraits of historical warriors?

But the DS allows companies to make crazy decisions that sometimes pay off. Koei will release POP CUTIE! Street Fashion Simulation (known henceforth as Pop Cutie, because we have a strict budget of capital letters and exclamation points) in the U.S. in September.

Pop Cutie puts players in charge of a fashion boutique. The game involves running the boutique, hiring staff and models, and decorating their shops. It also involves fashion design based on capturing and combining "images" from kids on the street. Two-player "Fashion Battles" are also possible, limited only by the ability to find someone else who has a copy of Pop Cutie.

As for us, we think it looks insane, ridiculous, and therefore irresistible. Screens and character art (featuring psychotic "fashion") can be found in our gallery.

Gallery: Pop Cutie

Prey the Stars actually coming out somewhere?

Koei showed off a weird eating-based game called Gabu Gabu Planet, developed by their Koei Canada branch, at TGS last year -- as if they intended to release it. Since then, Prey the Stars (the game's Western name) has been a fixture in retailer release lists, though with no projected date.

The Australian OFLC database now suggests that Koei may be planning to release the game soon (even though it's not about Chinese historical warfare). A rating for Prey the Stars has appeared, with THQ as the publisher. Of course, Prey the Stars was rated by the ESRB as well -- in February of last year -- so gobble this news with a grain of salt.

Gallery: Prey the Stars

[Via Siliconera]

Nobunaga's Ambition Dominates our Brains

Look, Koei, this relationship -- you and us -- it can work. It's really quite simple. We have money. You have Kunitori Zunou Battle Nobunaga no Yabou (Domination Battle of the Brains: Nobunaga's Ambition). Announce a western localization and the twain shall meet. It's mutually beneficial, y'see.

Game Watch has new shots of the turn-based strategy title, including first glimpses of the extensive multiplayer modes (you may recall that both local play and Wi-Fi Connection battles are supported), the usual line-up of terribly stern Japanese army generals from a simpler, more violent age, and lots of cryptic-looking maps we can only pretend to understand. Charge headlong into our gallery for 21 fresh screens.

Nobunaga's Ambition exceeds that of its rivals

Our recommendation of Kunitori Zunou Battle Nobunaga no Yabou (Domination Battle of the Brains: Nobunaga's Ambition) as an alternative to Advance Wars is looking safer by the day, with Koei revealing to Impress Watch that the game would support certain modes that not even Intelligent Systems' title featured.

In particular, the multiplayer seems to have had considerable attention lavished upon it. Not only is there wireless DS-to-DS play and the ability to play others with a single card, but there's also Wi-Fi Connection battles for -- get this -- up to four players. Which is precisely what Advance Wars: Days of Ruin needed, if you ask us.

Aside from this super-happy news, Impress Watch profiled the eight daimyo (warlords from Japan's feudal period) that will appear in the title, all of whom are historically accurate figures (with probably-not-historically accurate special abilities). Apparently, players will have the option of fighting actual battles that took place. Oh yes, and there are screens. Lots of lovely new screens. Many of which contain this strange device. What is it? No idea. First one to tell us gets our everlasting admiration.

Koei really needs to localize Nobunaga's Ambition

We've got fingers, toes, and pretty much everything else crossed for an English language version of Kunitori Zunou Battle Nobunaga no Yabou (Domination Battle of the Brains: Nobunaga's Ambition).

It's not that we're massively enamored by the Dynasty Warriors-style art or anything (we're really not, actually), but any game which lets us indulge in long, beard-stroking periods of deliberation while mentally picturing ourselves as great military daimyo commanding vast armies in feudal Japan will be lapped up around these parts. Oh yeah, and some of us could really do with being weaned off of other strategy titles.

Going by the latest screens, we're confident that this will boast a lovely, hard-centered strategic core for us to sink our teeth into and generally obsess about, so let's see it in the west, Koei!

That's QT brings you into the world of fashion

We didn't really know much about recent Japanese release That's QT until Siliconera took the time to write about it. Despite the sickeningly cute title, though, we think this import sounds pretty interesting -- especially for Project Runway loving types like this writer. Most importantly, you don't have to be a pro at Japanese to try this import. You may miss out on bits of dialogue and backstory, but you'll still be able to play it simply enough.

The goal in this game is to start a successful fashion line. This doesn't mean that you "design" clothes, but rather, the outfits you "create" will be based on what people say to you in the street. Luckily, you don't have to know exactly what they're saying; just make sure to memorize any highlighted Japanese characters.

Beyond this, though, you also have to manage a little boutique in which your clothes will be sold. You can wear your outfits around town to show them off, and hope that will inspire customers to come to your store. Then, if your store becomes successful enough, you can open a new one and face different rivals.

Clearly That's QT is too niche for everyone to enjoy, but if you're into fashion or management sims, it might be worth a look.

Nobunaga's Ambition is to provide you screenshots

It's a shame that of Koei's many DS strategy titles, the only one to make it stateside so far has been Dynasty Warriors DS: Fighter's Battle, a poorly executed action spin-off of the revered Romance of the Three Kingdoms series. We would love to see more games like this in US stores, especially Sega's Sangokushi Taisen. Kunitori Zunou Battle Nobunaga no Yabou (Domination Battle of the Brains: Nobunaga's Ambition), Koei's newest turn-based strategy title, will likely never see a release here, either.

As with other titles in the Nobunaga's Ambition series, players command armies and manage their territory's expansion to unify a feudal Japan in this DS title. Warlords and military forces are represented as chess-like pieces on a game board. Players have the option of playing both computer warlords and their friends, online and locally. Hit the gallery below for more screenshots or head over to the official Japanese site for some in-game video.

[Via Inside Games]

Video Navi: Making desserts with your DS cookbook

We shouldn't have watched this video -- it just made us hungry. Not that you shouldn't watch it. We're sure your kitchens contain more than just ramen and old cereal, so you should be fine to sate any hunger pains that may arise from watching this trailer for Kantan! Tanoshi! Okashi Navi DS.

Cravings aside, we really like the idea of a game that turns our DS into a portable cookbook; especially if said cookbook contains recipes for making sweets and desserts. Unfortunately, this game won't help you at all if you can't speak or read Japanese, so don't even think about importing it unless you have such language skills. We also wouldn't recommend holding your breath for localization, as you'd surely end up dead and we'd feel really bad about the whole thing.

[Via Gemaga]

Shin Sangoku Musou: Fighter's Deal

Looking for a cheap new DS game? Does it have to be good? If not, we'd like to direct you to Play-Asia's latest weekly special, the Japanese version of Dynasty Warriors DS: Fighter's Battle. The importer has marked the game down to $9.90, with five days left as of this post.

The concept of the game is what makes it both somewhat of a failure in general and bizarrely compelling enough to make us curious: it starts with the extremely action-oriented Dynasty Warriors series, and adds an extra layer of, uh, card collecting to the button-mashing combat. The 3D graphics weren't terribly impressive, but who knows? If you love Dynasty Warriors, this may be a diamond in the (very) rough.

Cooking Navi for the stuff you really want to eat

Kantan! Tanoshii! Okashi Navi DS (Simple! Fun! Sweets Navi DS) is a sort of sequel to Shaberu! Cooking Navi that focuses entirely on desserts. The game will include recipes from Lettuce Club magazine for more than 110 different types of desserts: cookies, cakes, cream puffs, and other pastries. Like the other Cooking Navi games, this will include visual, text, and voice instructions designed to allow you to cook along with the game. It also includes a special "pair mode" for cooking along with children.

This is the third game in the huge-selling Cooking Navi series for Japan, and we still have yet to see one. Is Nintendo of America ever going to get around to releasing one of these, or letting developer Koei do it? Maybe they don't care as much about that expanded audience as they pretend to.

We're hungry.

Romance of the Three Kingdoms 2 freaks us out

The new Romance of the Three Kingdoms game has online play, and that's ... pretty cool, if you can play Romance of the Three Kingdoms games. Which we can't, at all. We're plenty educated, and well-versed in gaming, and we can't figure that mess out. Looking at that screen full of tiny icons and numbers makes us appreciate the simple button-mashing found in the Dynasty Warriors spinoff series. The screens here apparently show different commands and combat situations, but it's all just tiny stuff and numbers and very serious portraits of Chinese historical figures.

Actually, the online thing is really cool. Insane Koei strategy games have their fanbases, and it must be great for the dedicated followers to be able to face off against one another. We want more varied online content for the DS. Even if it doesn't benefit us!

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