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Posts with tag dungeon

Delay: Shuffle Dungeon

Away: Shuffle Dungeon has already been announced as a PAL release (and sort of announced as a North American release), even though the Japanese version of the game isn't out yet. AQ Interactive, Virgin PLAY, and (probably) Xseed should be able to give us firmer Western release dates for the dungeon crawler now, because the delayed Japanese game finally has its own date. Of course, that date is even later than the vague "summer" named in the last delay statement.

AQ Interactive announced the final (probably) release date for Japan yesterday: October 16, right in the middle of the "fall" release window Virgin PLAY planned for Europe. Unless AQ Interactive is planning a simultaneous worldwide release, we expect the late release will cause the European version to get bumped into next year. The U.S. version still has yet to be officially unveiled.

Avalon Code heading west, Steal Princess, Luminous Arc staying put

Marvelous has some intriguing DS wares on the horizon, yet it looks like that's where most of it will stay -- on a horizon far, far away from the majority of us. Sob.

Part of a recent financial report from the publisher contained forecasts for forthcoming releases, as spotted by a keen-eyed Siliconera commenter and posted on NeoGAF. The estimations for Avalon Code's were notable, as they included figures for the U.S. and Europe, which in turn tells us we'll be getting the diary-keepin' ARPG here in the west at some point before March 2009.

Alas, we'd only just finished chest-bumping one another and shouting stuff like "HELL YEAH" when our excitement was tempered by the realization that Luminous Arc 2 and Steal Princess didn't have figures for the U.S. or Europe. This (probably) means that those games won't be localized this financial year (despite our hopes for the former). That's not to say they'll never make the trip across, of course, but for now it's one in, and two out.

Gallery: Avalon Code

Gallery: Luminous Arc 2

[Via NeoGAF]

Metareview: Etrian Odyssey II: Heroes of Lagaard

Etrian Odyssey was a surprise -- it disappeared from shelves into an immediate shortage, as the demand far outstripped the supply, particularly after word got around that it was such a great game. It was so good, in fact, that it went head-to-head with some of the year's biggest titles right here at DS Fanboy, in our year-end poll. It might surprise you, then, to learn that its sequel, Etrian Odyssey II: Heroes of Lagaard, is picking up even better scores in early reviews. We'll be taking a look at it ourselves soon, but for now, check out what everyone else has to say about the sequel.

Electronic Gaming Monthly (A average) says, "This sequel feels like the original game on expert mode -- and that's a good thing. Etrian Odyssey constantly surprised me with its ability to keep me on my toes with a fairly limited palette of gameplay, and its successor throws in plenty of new wrinkles to make things even trickier."

RPGFan (89%) says, "While this frame story to the dungeon hack may seem trite and unengaging (and it is to a large extent), it contains enough zest to keep the players interested in finishing the game. This is completely different from the original Etrian Odyssey, which included a marginal narrative and provided the player with almost no motivation to finish the main quest outside of sheer will and determination. In addition to the main story, Etrian Odyssey II contains more than 100 side quests that provide the player with more information surrounding the region of Lagaard."

Gallery: Etrian Odyssey II

Steal Princess site updates with new video content

The official site for visual masterpiece Steal Princess has updated, unleashing on us all a new video to watch. You like to watch things, right? We're not talking about boiling tea kettles here, we mean interesting things. Like video game footage.

And that's exactly what we're talking about here! Lucky, right? Indeed. Once you click on over to the official site (sorry, we can't embed it), you'll see the video in the bottom right-hand corner (the box that has the "PV" on it). Just give it a click and it'll pop up in a new window.

[Via Go Nintendo]

Etrian Odyssey, FFTA2 developers want to speak with you

Even if it is really all about plugging their products, we love it when game developers choose to communicate directly with us, the dirty, huddled masses, and today has brought news of two studios who are inviting questions from gamers.

First up is Atlus, or more specifically Nich Maragos, Atlus USA Editor and Project Lead for both of the Etrian Odyssey games. Between now and June 17th, he'll be answering as many of your Etrian-related queries as he can here. Maragos is accepting questions about either of the two DS games, perhaps to accommodate for PAL region players, who only just received the first game last Friday. Ask him why Europe had to wait so long, if you like. Go on, do it.

Next in line is the entire development team for Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift, who are clearly pretty confident that they'll be receiving an absolute avalanche of questions, as they're doing this as a group. You'll have to be a signed-up Square Enix member, though, which will mean having to fill in this form.

Ask Atlus!
Ask Square Enix!

Gallery: Etrian Odyssey II

[Via Go Nintendo and NeoGAF]

These Steal Princess screens fell off the back of a truck

If there's one thing we've said about Steal Princess, it's that the art is fantastic. Seriously, are your jaws on the floor every time you look at something from the game? Our jaws have crashed to the floor a record number of times.

The latest on the game, courtesy of Famitsu's site, presents us with a glimpse into some of the items players would be using. Also, by way of these screens, we get to check out some of the game's environments. Which, by the way, look pretty good. Overall, we're liking everything we're seeing on the game.

If you're looking for more, check out the official website for the game.

Etrian Odyssey II director speaks about the unexpected hit series

Kazuya Niinou, director of the original Etrian Odyssey (as well as Trauma Center) left Atlus last year before any work began on the sequel. The design responsibilities were given to Shigeo Komori, who wrote the scenario for the first game, and who seems to understand what made it so great. 1up's Jeremy Parish interviewed Etrian Odyssey II's director about the classic style of the Etrian series and its surprising popularity.

The decision to almost blank out the party's storyline (as in, they don't really speak or have backgrounds, nor do they appear) is unusual for a Japanese RPG, but not for a classic dungeon crawler. "But I thought, on the other ... There must still be those players who like classic RPGs where you create your own characters and go on an adventure," Komori said. "As a developer, I like those types of games." Despite this, the characters have become popular among fans, which Komori attributes to the art by Yuji Himukai.

Due to the mapping feature, Komori feels that the Etrian series is at home on the DS. "The foundation of this game is drawing a map on the Nintendo DS' touch screen, so if we were going to bring it to a home console, we'd have to come up with a new 'hook.'"

Gallery: Etrian Odyssey II

Etrian Odyssey localization lead on 'The Naming of Stuff'

Nich Maragos, localization product lead for Etrian Odyssey 2 (and Gaming Intelligence Agency alum), has taken us inside the English naming process for Etrian's characters and items in a new Production Diary post. Like classic RPGs, Etrian has an 8-character restriction on all monster, character, and item names. This isn't so much of a problem in Japanese, in which a single kanji can express a very complicated concept, but in our phonetic writing system, it's a bit more of a restriction.

This means that not only is Maragos and his team encouraged to be a bit creative with English names, they are required to be creative. They have to condense concepts like Fundo No Gankou-Nushi "Owner of the Malicious Glare" into something that can fit into eight characters: in this case, "Illgaze."

A lot of work goes into translating text-rich RPGs like this. Mythological references, in particular, are trouble, as some random Japanese word could actually be a transliterated Old Norse name.

Away shuffling into Europe

Virgin PLAY sent out a press release today confirming that they will publish AQ Interactive/Mistwalker's Away: Shuffle Dungeon in Europe this fall. They say they're releasing it in "the PAL territories," so Australia is a possibility as well.

The press release is unusually interesting, as it provides the first official English-language details of Away's storyline. Away: Shuffle Dungeon is the story of Webb Village, a small town whose residents disappear randomly, a phenomenon known as Blue Dragon Away. After a girl named Anella gets "awayed" in his place, a young man named Sword finds himself the only remaining resident of Webb. Sword must enter the "Shuffle Dungeon" to rescue the villagers.

And then the dungeon shuffles. Obviously.

Genmu no Tou: enter the dungeon tentatively

Success's Genmu no Tou to Tsurugi no Okite has gotten us interested in dungeon RPGs like no other, due almost entirely to its visuals. While most dungeon games are bland, Genmu's default look can be likened to a black light poster. The alternate visual scheme, which is retro black-and-white line art, is also amazing.

You can play a little trial of the game, if you'd like the full Genmu no Tou experience. The arrow keys move you around, A is your main action button, B cancels, X confirms attacks, and Y turns the map on. You may not be able to read the text, but you can listen to the fantastic music and brute-force your way through some bats. If you like the way it looks, check out a bunch of screens in our gallery.

Gallery: Genmu no Tou to Tsurugi no Okite

[Via Insert Credit; screens via Inside Games]

Steal a glimpse at Steal Princess commercial and art

We haven't heard much about Climax's Steal Princess other than, well, that Climax is working on it and that it's a dungeon/puzzle game of some kind based on finding a key to exit each room of a dungeon (sort of a roguelike-lite?)

With Climax and publisher Marvelous preparing Steal Princess for a July 31 release, we've been given more reason to pay close attention. First, they've released four pieces of artwork that we wish were wallpaper-sized, which can be found at Inside-Games. Of course, the game doesn't use the same high-contrast anime look as these images, but they're still effective advertising (in that they are really cool). Second, if you want to know more about the actual game, Marvelous has released a commercial, featuring several simultaneous tiny gameplay clips.

We may have reason to be interested in Steal Princess. AQ Interactive's announcement of their U.S. publishing plans includes a lot of Marvelous games whose identity has yet to be revealed. It seems likely that they'd pull from their DS lineup.

Meet the heroes of Lagaard

Atlus revealed some of the characters and classes in the upcoming Etrian Odyssey II: Heroes of Lagaard, and while Etrian veterans will recognize the Alchemist and Landsknecht classes, there's also a new Gunner class in the game. As you might imagine, Gunners are marksmen who use guns and ammunition to deal out single-target damage. On the other hand, the Alchemists are magic users and Landsknechts specialize in swords and axes.

Based on those descriptions, you should be able to tell which class each character belongs to by their pictures. If you'd like to give them a look, then, be sure to check out our updated gallery below.

Gallery: Etrian Odyssey II

Etrian Lottery: Win Etrian Odyssey II's soundtrack

Atlus is conducting a unique contest on their message board -- one which, if you're an Etrian Odyssey fan, you should be entering right now. The prize is a 3-disc soundtrack CD set featuring game music legend Yuzo Koshiro's score for Etrian Odyssey II: Heroes of Lagaard, as they are heard on the DS and in totally retro PC-8801 versions!

All you have to do to be eligible is post a continuation of the ongoing Etrian story being crafted in the contest thread. The best contributor, as judged by Atlus staff, will be awarded the soundtrack. There are resources available to introduce you to the world and the characters, in case you care more about Yuzo Koshiro than Etrian, or you didn't pay any attention to the first game's story. You have until 5:30 Pacific time on May 13, so put on your robe and (thinking) wizard hat!

Atlus has also created an official Etrian Odyssey II Facebook page. If you're enough of a college student to be all about Facebook, be sure to check it out.

Touring Genmu no Tou's dungeons

When we recently discussed the two distinct visual styles sported by Genmu no Tou to Tsurugi no Okite, we had to do so using static images. Static images are all well and good, but absolutely fail to show off Genmu no Tou's impressive frame rate. Whether you choose cel-shaded or wireframe graphics, progressing through the death-filled corridors of Success Corp.'s dungeon crawler looks as smooth as butter.

We have one request though, Success: next time, let's see some of the game's 80+ monsters.

Gallery: Genmu no Tou to Tsurugi no Okite

[Via Siliconera]

Genmu no Tou: pretty however you play it

You can choose to play Success Corp.'s forthcoming Genmu no Tou to Tsurugi no Okite with either stylized, cel-shaded visuals, or have its dungeons depicted in a black-and-white 8-bit wireframe mode. While each graphical style contrasts sharply with the other, they do share at least one thing in common: they're both absolutely gorgeous.

Indeed, compared to many of the murkier dungeon crawlers on the DS, both are a genuine breath of fresh air, though we do narrowly prefer the retro 8-bit look right now -- those white, angular lines on jet black backgrounds are just so ... clean.

Hop into our new Genmu no Tou gallery to make your own mind up.

Gallery: Genmu no Tou to Tsurugi no Okite

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