We remarked yesterday how Theresia isn't the first survivalhorror title on the DS, but it's definitely shaping up to be the most eye-catching. We find the occasional use of color (usually red, in Theresia's case) nicely accentuates the largely black-and-white surreal visuals, making for a striking combination. You can see more in our new gallery for the game.
If you haven't already heard, this Arc System Works/Workjam collaboration is getting localized for North America this October by Aksys. Hopefully we'll be seeing some English screens soon, because we're looking forward to sinking our teeth into what sounds like a fairly highbrow plot!
Aksys Games announced today that they will release a localized version of the 505 Games/ Arc System Works-developed Princess on Ice in North America. This is the one ASW game whose U.S. release by Aksys we didn'tpredict.
The rhythm-based ice skating game features multiple playable characters, all with their own storylines. We assume the storylines are slightly more indepth than "And then she entered another ice skating competition." Winning competitions will unlock items, moves, and clothes, which can be used to customize each character.
In the press release, Aksys's Frank deWindt II exhorted gamers to "Experience the excitement of ice skating in the palm of your hand." That sounds unbelievably painful. Those skates are really sharp.
Aksys has announced that it will be localizing Theresia, a title jointly developed by Workjam and Arc System Works, for a U.S. release in October. Not to blow our own trumpet or anything, but we prophetic DS Fanboy blogger JC Fletcher totally called this move almost five months ago.
The game will join a small but growing group of DS survival horror titles played from the first-person perspective, and incorporates many staple features of the genre: corridor exploration, the collecting of clues, and deadly traps.
It also appears to have a fairly dark storyline, including ... unusual family relationships. Aksys Associate Marketing Manager Harry Chang notes that the female protagonist "loves her mom... a lot". Could this be a reference to something incestuous? We've consulted resident psychic JC for another prediction, and used our "incest" tag, just in case.
It seems like only a few days ago when publisher Aksys Games announced that it would be localizing Super Dodgeball Brawlers and Jake Hunter: Detective Chronicles (Tantei Jinguji Saburo), much to our delight. Though both titles have been met with mixedreviews, we can't help but be thankful that someone took the risk to bring over these titles that likely would have stayed in Japan otherwise.
With both Super Dodgeball Brawlers and Jake Hunter now on store shelves, we chatted with the studio's localization crew -- associate producer Mike Manzanares, assistant associate producer Frank deWindt, and marketing director Gail Salamanca -- about the two titles and Aksys's future. Jump past the break for details on Super Dodgeball Brawlers' unlockables and Jake Hunter's abridged case load!
If you neglected to pick up Super Dodge Ball Brawlers two weeks ago -- and we suspect you did, considering how few people are talking about the game -- you can still terrorize playgrounds with River City Dodge Ball All Stars!!
Developed by doujin groups Miracle Kidz and Downtown7 (along with Famicom Kunio series creators Yoshimitsu Yoshida and Mokeke Sekimoto), this PC title was actually released several months ago in Japan, but the demo is still worth downloading and playing. Plus, there's an English version of the trial!
The game doesn't suffer from the slow pace many have complained about with the DS release, and it even offers two speeds -- Normal and Retro. River City Dodge Ball All Stars!! doesn't, however, include some of the cool features introduced in Super Dodge Ball Brawlers, like the equipment shop, throwable items on the field, and the 8-player local wireless brawl mode.
As its title suggests, the PC game comes with the added bonus of a roster filled with recognizable names from the River City Ransom cast! Smack people in the face as end-boss Slick! Dodge super shots as Zombies gang member Turk! Wear panties on your head as, uh, Panty!
Well folks, it would seem that all of our excitement over Jake Hunter: Detective Chronicles might have been wasted. What little in the way of reviews for the game online say it's kind of, well ... below mediocre. They aren't too kind to the game, but we can't say we blame them. The North American release only has three cases, where the Japanese release has six!
Game Informer (65/100) says "This is a brief and functional title, but it lacks the flair and intrigue to pull off the film noir aesthetic. It's also hard to get over the fact that Jake Hunter looks like he should be ordering Jägerbombs and hitting on your sister instead of solving cases."
Nintendo Power (50/100) thinks "The game would have benefited from some compelling touch-screen use (for puzzles or combat, perhaps), but as is, it barely puts the 'interactive' in 'interactive novel.'" [June 2008, p.89]
1UP (D-) is of the mind that this game isn't even qualified to be in the bargain bin: "Each case is stupidly linear (to the point where you cannot leave an area until you perform the game-moving action), the script is riddled with typos (at one point, a character refers to a mobile phone as a "sell phone"), and the static character art exemplifies the cheapness of the entire package."
North American publisher Aksys has accompanied Super Dodgeball Brawlers' stateside release this week with an image bonanza of (Japanese) screenshots, character art, and other promotional assets, all of which we've conveniently collected for you in the gallery below.
Apparently, lots of people are having trouble finding the game in stores, so here's an opportunity for you to flip past the screenshots quickly to approximate an animated match, imagining that you're really playing the game. We had no problem finding Super Dodgeball Brawlers ourselves, as most of the GameStops around our area kept two copies on their shelves.
In related news, Fujitsu also plans to ship Super Dodgeball Brawlers to stores in Korea next week and has released a huge, 80-image-strong batch of Korean-translated screens, which, for some reason, includes shots from the staff credits and celebration scene that appears after a completed tournament. Perhaps they were accidentally released in Fujitsu's rush to get the word out -- the word(s) being "Kunio in Korea!"
Paging through the magazine, however, we spotted at least two advertisements that we wanted to share with you. As we were tearing them out to throw into our scanner, we thought, "Why not post all of the other DS ads (and the cover)?" Join us past the break for the scanned pages!
Thanks to a sweet thread over at GAF, we've got a look at the boxart for upcoming Aksys title Jake Hunter: Detective Chronicles. Regular readers of the site will know that we're pretty darn anxious to get our hands on this game and give it a try.
If there's one thing we'll say about the boxart, it sure is busy. There are tons of characters crammed onto the boxart, but none is so prominently displayed as the lead man, Jake Hunter himself. And, because of this, we consider the boxart a great success. What about you all?
By a happy coincidence, both titles recently released within days of one another in Japan, so the next question is obvious: as the U.S. still has a couple of months to wait for these gems, did you buckle under the pressure and import either? If so, we'll be happy to place our extreme envy to one side for the time being, and listen to your impressions! We're nice like that, see.
Hands-on impressions of Super Dodgeball Brawlers have been coming in since the game's release in Japan earlier this week, and while previews indicate that the game's "pacing" seems slow in comparison to the NES original, we're happy to hear that this design decision is in favor of a much deeper experience with stat-tweaking and buyable upgrades. Even without an online component, Brawlers already sounds like a title with a lot of replayability!
All the special throws and jumping skills won't save you, however, when your opponent can pick up and toss a bomb at you, literally (0:50). As you can see in these two in-game videos -- complete with face-smashing sound effects -- a mess of potential weapons litter the arena, enticing you to abandon the gym pastime's dated rules. According to 1UP's preview, the Canadian team, in particular, has no problem relying on under-the-belt strategies rather than its own abilities.
Why bother waiting to get beaned when you can just run across the chalked line and mollywhop whoever has the dodgeball? Head past the post break for another foul-play-filled Super Dodgeball Brawlers clip.
NeoGAF's Sp0rsk has provided us with new information about Million's Super Dodgeball Brawlers -- after buying it. At least those of us waiting for the English version can benefit from his gameplay sessions (even as we cry).
The "Create a Dream Team" mode gives you 150 stat points to distribute among your team. There seem to be some light RPG elements involved as well, as you can shop at one of the stores from River City Ransom, which probably ups some of those stats. You can also change the appearance of your team members.
In addition, the special team attacks actually temporarily change the team's stats rather than executing a large attack. You can boost your team's catching ability, speed, and such. Now we just need someone to change Brawlers' "American release date" stat.
For some reason, the phrase Princess on Ice made us think of some kind of Mafia situation, a game about putting a princess on ice. We don't even watch that much Sopranos. Anyway, as the more well-adjusted among you can gather, it's actually an ice-skating thing. Well, you might find that sinister as well.
European publisher 505 Games is co-developing Princess on Ice with Arc System Works, to be released in Europe in April. Presumably this will also be released by Arc in Japan.
It's no surprise that 505 is so actively seeking content that is designed for girls. 505 got lucky when they agreed to be the European publisher for Cooking Mama, which brought in real money.
Though Aksys published these Super Dodgeball Brawlers clips to keep the game fresh in our minds, the videos are also a reminder of the potential that playgrounds have to serve as battle arenas for our nation's youth. Imagine a utopia in which children of all creeds and races, rich or poor, can come together during recess and pummel each other with dodgeballs, crude weapons, and their own two fists. It is a dream we have worked our entire lives to realize.
The Brawl Mode in Super Dodgeball Brawlers is a window to that dream, allowing up to eight kids to battle it out in a no-holds-barred, free-for-all game of Murder Ball. Adolescents are encouraged to swing lead pipes at each other, throw exploding rocks, and transform the dodgeball into a tire-hugging panda whilst a small yapper-type dog cheers them on. Wipe that proud tear from your eye and step past the break for another clip of elementary school children locked in gladiatorial combat.
We estimate that about 95% of the people who're hyped about Super Dodgeball Brawlers's release are nostalgic fans of the original NES game, scarred veterans of the flickering playground. Publisher Arc System Works must have come to the same conclusion, as its latest promotional trailer introduces the return of the Kunio dodgeball series with "archival footage" of the 1988 title, positioning Brawlers as a modernized remake. Smart move!
This minute-and-a-half-long video has a lot more excitement than the mini-clips we've featured the past two months -- it has florid lines of text flying around, chaotic scenes grabbed from the 8-player free-for-all battle mode, and some dude lifting a vending machine over his head. Expect Super Dodgeball Brawlers to hit Japan this March 19th (the February 21st date advertised in the trailer is from before the game was delayed).