After a long stretch of hearing nothing about Gyakuten Kenji, Capcom has issued a Japanese release window for the Miles Edgeworth-flavored Ace Attorney spin-off: a vague "Spring 2009." Unless an English language option is included in the game (it's happened before in this series), that's fairly useless to those who don't speak Japanese, but there's still time to amend that.
To coincide with this announcement, Capcom passed a bunch of new screens around, mainly depicting scenes from the opening case and new prosecutor Makoto Yuuki (which translates as "truth courage"). Anyone else find Edgeworth's bobble-headed physique a bit weird, by the way? No? Okay, probably just us.
Even by Gauntlet standards, the latest screenshots from Eidos' hack-and-slash revival are chockful of brown and beige. Not that we even care that much about how this will look -- Gauntlet is all about the co-op, after all -- but come on, guys! We know you possess knowledge of othercolors.
In between the unrelenting brownness, you'll get a glimpse of a couple of the enemies you will encounter, including the "Soulless Leech" (the red, swirly chap here) and the "Beast of Burden" (here, no, sorry, here). Gauntlet will now be coming out in October, after it slipped from its original June date.
Finally, if somebody could reassure us that they got the reference in the title so we don't feel about 800 years old, that'd be peachy. Cheers.
Elebits: The Adventures of Kai & Zero may diverge almost totally in style and presentation from the first Elebits game on Wii, but, thankfully, it still employs the same iridescent-looking, dreamy artwork found in that game and in Dewy's Adventure.
This trailer for the DS sequel, from Konami's Leipzig Games Convention media, uses that artwork to convey the game's premise, in which the title characters are taken away in what appears to be a magic bus. And then a bunch of gameplay footage ensues!
After the break, we've got a German trailer for another magical-type Konami game: Enchanted Folk and the School of Wizardry. It really looks a lot like Animal Crossing. We just can't see it without thinking Animal Crossing.
After impressing us with the first ever video of Bob's Game, Robert Pelloni is back with a second piece of footage for his homebrew title. This time it looks and sounds more like a game, in that it shows gameplay. The mission in the video above forms part of the title's tutorial, and sees protagonist Yuu hunting around for batteries for his mother. We're yet to figure out how to complete this quest, but then again we're a bit thick at this kind of thing.
In other news, Robert reveals on his blog that "several publishers have expressed interest" in Bob's Game, including a "large, well-known" company. After half a decade of development, a publishing deal is probably the least Pelloni deserves.
Tranquility is a difficult feeling to convey in games. Most video games are, by their nature, conflict-heavy -- obstacles get in the way of whatever activity you're trying to do, and you have to struggle in some way to overcome them. Sometimes this manifests as fighting, sometimes it's puzzle-solving, but it almost always results in a sort of tension that can't be resolved until the successful completion of a challenge. Tranquility in most games would translate into stagnation and boredom. Mekensleep's Soul Bubbles manages, somehow, to balance a pervasive tranquility with an appropriate level of challenge -- it's challenging, but relaxing at the same time. And it's completely beautiful.
I struggle to think of anything at all that is wrong with this game. At the risk of sounding like an overly soft reviewer, Soul Bubbles is a masterpiece, with evidence of loving thought in everything that goes on the screen(s).
What drove Robert Pelloni to spend over five years creating a Nintendo DS game by himself? The same thing that motivates most homebrew programmers: "It's the game I wanted to play when I was younger, a vision I've been following since then."
The video above isn't a proper representation of his 20-hour-long adventure game, as it's only a technical demo of its assets and features (in fact, you would be better off watching the annotated version at the clip's Youtube page), but Robert reassures us that the finished product will be like an RPG, except focusing on "story, puzzles, items, and communication instead of repetitive battles with palette-swapped enemies."
The project, tentatively titled Bob's Game, doesn't have the high production values of big-budget titles backed by major or even minor dev teams, but the code, sprites, music, tiles, and everything else are all original, making for a very unique game. Who knows, it could be the next Cave Story! Robert is currently seeking a publisher for the project.
For a game whose central gimmick is a constantly-moving environment, video seems like a natural fit for promotional materials for Away: Shuffle Dungeon. It's easier to explain the "shuffling" of the dungeons by just showing you. And yet there really haven't been many trailers for Mistwalker and Artoon's collaboration.
This one features a bit of everything: cutscenes, battling, and lots of walking around in dungeons that get all messed up before your eyes. The boss battles look particularly epic, with the camera zoomed in and panned down for a more cinematic perspective. It's like the game shuffles between a Zelda: A Link to the Past look and an Ocarina of Time look.
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?
The Brainy Gamer has an interesting op/ed piece, in which the author states that youths of today aren't interested in the puzzles that come along with adventure games. While crotchety old veterans like ourselves (who were actually alive when games like Monkey Island flooded shelves) still enjoy the genre, younger gamers don't have the patience and just don't see the point.
We're inclined to agree a bit, as adventure gaming has become a lot more niche than it was in the past. We would argue, however, that the DS has been doing a good job of reviving such puzzlers, even for younger fans craving more action. With the touchscreen making point-and-click (or point-and-touch, if you will) much more accessible, not to mention the added bonus of portability, we think adventure games reach more than just a veteran gamer demographic. Maybe that's just wishful thinking on our part, but we wouldn't be surprised to see young teens popping in a copy of Phoenix Wright or Professor Layton.
What do you think, though? Are we just too oldschool and stubborn to let the genre lay to rest? Maybe those of you with younger siblings might have more insight when it comes to the patience of the younger set of gamers.
This just in: if any of you were curious enough to import Nintendo's Slide Adventure: Mag Kid, complete with its unusual "slide sensor" peripheral, then do not play it while resting your DS on top of your cinder block. We are deadly serious here: as far as we can ascertain, playing the game on your other individual masonry units is safe.
This advice is brought to you by the Slide Adventure: Mag Kid instruction manual, which also recommends you don't play the game atop a grand piano, and avoid pointing the slide sensor's laser directly at your eyeballs. Head to Aeropause for more hilarious scans of the manual (which totally reminded us of the ker-razy Japanese Wii safety pamphlet).
Anyone who was around thirty-some years ago (or saw the movie Summer of Sam) might know that New York City wasn't the safest of places during the 1970s. That's why we're even more intrigued by the realistic-looking adventure game, Unsolved Crimes, which takes place in this crime-filled setting.
The game should be releasing this fall (in the UK, at least), and centers around a rookie detective. He (and therefore, you,) must figure out the circumstances behind the disappearance of aspiring model Betty Blake. The game will focus on the one overarching storyline, but will include other mysteries for you to solve as well (à la Hotel Dusk). In fact, the press release boasts that there are eight different cases to solve.
Also like Hotel Dusk, you'll have to pay close attention to detail so that you can answer questions later (in addition to point-and-click adventure gaming and action-packed shootouts). Check out the new screens in the gallery below for more of an idea of what to expect.
Twilight Syndrome: The Forbidden Urban Legend launches in Japan tomorrow as a forerunner to two separate Twilight Syndrome movies that will release in Japan over the next few weeks. Judging by screens, the DS game appears to be based on the second of these films, Twilight Syndrome: Dead Go Round, in which seven high school students end up being terrorized in an amusement park by a mysterious man in a clown mask (incidentally, the cheesy trailer contains many scenes of the teenage cast clutching their DSes).
To celebrate the game's imminent release, publisher Spike invited three of the film's actresses along for an interview about the title, and also furnished us with new shots of the game, which looks attractive, if not very scary. Run into our gallery while screaming hysterically to see more.
We were pretty impressed with the trailer for Dragon Ball DS at first. Not just because the game's 3D graphics are so impressive, but because we thought we were witnessing the first Dragon Ball DS media not to feature Bulma lifting her skirt.
We thought this for one minute and twenty-three seconds. We get it, Banamco! It's a famous scene from Dragon Ball, and it makes a clever use of the DS screens, and also it's good for pervs. Move on!
Speaking of moving, the game continues to look really awesome -- fast-paced and action-packed in a way that the real Zelda games never were
It's a testament to just how good the Ace Attorney series is when we're considering playing something that looks -- well, meh, to put it bluntly -- in the hopes that we'll be able to experience something even somewhat similar. Yet, without the charm of characters like Phoenix Wright, not to mention a much cheesier-looking objection screen, is there really a point?
In case you're wondering what we're rambling on about, Portuguese developer GAMEINVEST is releasing an attorney adventure game this summer titled Defenders of Law, Inc: Crime in Willburg. Like the Ace Attorney games, you'll be finding clues and gathering evidence to help you solve a murder mystery, just to prove your client innocent.
What intrigues us is that there will be 25 different scenarios, and you can choose from five different attorneys to play as, too. If this game does turn out to be good, at least it will be a lot of good. On the other hand, if it turns out to be bad ... well, we're sure you get the gist.
Gallery: Defenders of Law, Inc: Crime in Willburg (PC Screens)
Sometimes, DS screenshots just don't look quite right. They're often a little rough around the edges -- even with games that look fantastic in motion -- but worse, the split between the screens sometimes ends up in odd places if a developer is trying to use both screens to tell a story. That happens a lot in these Dragon Ball DS screens, sometimes to comic effect ... so often, in fact, that it seems like it was done on purpose, particularly when it results in images like the one to the right.
Check out the full set in the gallery below. They're just begging to be adapted into a game of a different sort.