By now, you've likely forgotten all about Brownie Brown's Magical Starsign, one of the first Nintendo DS RPGs to make it stateside. Its rudimentary plot -- rescue your classmates after your magic school's fleet of space ships crash on a group of planets -- won't set anyone's heart on fire, but, from what we've heard, it's still an enjoyable game.
Amazon has Magical Starsign on sale for $8.99, the lowest we've ever seen for the game! If you're looking for a decent (and cheap) RPG to pass the summer with, or if you're just looking to fill out your DS library, pick it up before the day and the sale ends.
Summer in the northern hemisphere officially starts today, which means one thing: sharing strawberries with a loved one in a tranquil hay meadow as you soak up the rays grabbing cheap games in the sales! The folks at HMV know the heat turns us Brits into mushy-minded impulse buyers, and so they've gone and slashed prices on approximately 30 DS titles to around the £12 - £15 mark. Here's the best of what's on offer:
Celebrating Mother 3's release in Japan two years ago today, Starmen.net co-founder and fan-translation project lead Tomato posted an update on the unofficial localization's outlook. With ten months of work already behind them, the team predicts that the completed English patch (GBA ROM required) still needs about seven months of hacking, script editing, and testing.
While that may sound like a long time, keep in mind that some fan-driven translations can take years before they're finished, and that's if they even make it past the first months of work before dissolving. Besides, it's not like Nintendo of America is rushing to translate the RPG.
To help you deal with the wait, Tomato has posted ten minutes worth of video showing the team's progress, all of which you can watch above! So close, and yet so far away!
Blue Dragon Plus's combat interface has been revealed in the latest set of screens. It involves a set of three icons that appear on the right side of the touch screen. The top icon allows you to set one particular character's movement, and the bottom icon moves everybody. The middle icon allows you (we believe) to highlight multiple characters by drawing a circle around them.
Each character has a selection of "killer techniques" accessible via the bottom left of the touch screen. Players cycle through them with the shoulder buttons and then must wait for a countdown before they are activated.
We're encouraged by the presence of a new battle system in the DS game. It shows evidence of thought toward the platform, at least.
Unwilling to compromise on the quality of its project for the sake of a quick release, the Mother 3 fan translation crew has been tweaking every setting and smashing every bug in its path to releasing an English patch for the Earthbound sequel. In addition to posting regular updates on the programming process, the team has put up screenshots and videos from its work so far, like the Flint vs. Mischievous Mole movie above. We can't wait to try out that rhythm combo system ourselves!
On a disappointing note, the project's FAQ now states that the translation group no longer has plans to put out the patch before Super Smash Bros. Brawl's North American release, even with the Wii game's delay to early March. It's a painful wait, we know, but at least you'll get a few bonuses* that aren't in the Japanese game, like this secret enemy in the clip after break.
*provided that you have a flashcart/emulator and, uh, the Mother 3ROM
After the opening of the official site for Blue Dragon Plus late last week, we can start fretting less about the game's protracted development, and concentrate more on gawking at pretty pictures.
Conveniently enough, Famitsu has just posted a selection of fresh Blue Dragon Plus screens and art, and things are looking as vibrant as ever -- it's encouraging to see Mistwalker and Brownie Brown cramming so many enemies and pyrotechnics into the DS's relatively small screens. Apparently, finding something/someone to fight will not be difficult.
Convinced that Nintendo has no intention of ever localizing Mother 3 for release outside of Japan, fans of the Mother/Earthbound series have been working on their own unofficial translation for the endearing RPG. The volunteer group has put a year's worth of work into the project so far and is celebrating that milestone with two releases:
An anniversary video showing the game played with an English script. It's a preview of not only the team's progress, but of the bugs that still need to be addressed at this stage. You can watch the three-minute clip after the post break.
An updated menu patch with the most up-to-date translations for Mother 3's menus and chapter titles. Of course, this menu patch and the eventual full translation patch require an unauthorized, completely illegal ROM copy of the game to be of any use. Yarr!
Clyde Mandelin's celebratory post at the translation team's page also details the interesting events that went on behind the scenes, covering how the One Piece anime temporarily halted production and why Magical Starsign's failure to sell in the US could've doomed Mother 3's chances of ever receiving an official localization. As Clyde jokes, the project's history really does read like a spy novel!