The above video was a proposed advertisement from comedy group Mega64 for Ubisoft's Jam Sessions an undisclosed DS guitar game. Instead of actually being used, the ESRB put the smack down on the troupe's ad for ... well, we'll just let you watch and find out for yourself. We don't want to spoil it for you.
If you liked that, then be sure to head past the break for the "safe for the ESRB" version.
Exit DS is a new version of Taito's popular PSP/Xbox puzzle platformer Exit, which involves maneuvering a character named Mr. ESC out of buildings, and rescuing other inhabitants while doing so. The DS version adds optional, potentially weird, stylus controls.
If this is indeed Licca-chan DS, it might be a step toward launching the doll line in the U.S., in which case you can see the future of the pink aisles in Toys R Us. Or it could just be a cheap game that Tomy thinks they could sell.
Any of you interested in ASH? Did you already import it when it was on sale?
Now we want to talk to someone at the ESRB about how you would even rate a game like that. What criteria do you consider when deciding how to rate the content of a game whose content is almost entirely user-generated?
We'll put it another way: what's the first thing your friends are likely to draw in response to any prompt while playing a game like this? Is it suitable for an E-rated game?
The apparently unassuming graphic above, freshly extracted from the ESRB's site, has some pretty serious implications for all of us.
Most obviously, it means that -- yaaaaaay -- Dragon Quest IV: Chapters of the Chosen has been classified in North America, confirming recent suspicions about certain trademarks. Barring nuclear fallout/meteor strikes/some bizarre volte-face from Square Enix, we're almost certainly getting the game!
It also means that we'll be taking a break from blogging in the next hour or so to go outside, shoot our pistols in the air, and randomly hug strangers. And finally, it means that we'll be buying another damn Square Enix game in the coming months. Seriously, Square, can we not just pay you a flat fee directly from our bank accounts each month? Would probably be simpler.
See, there's something peculiar going on here. For games to be assessed and classified by the ESRB, they need to be in a more or less complete state. In other words, Konami must have finished Order of Ecclesia already. So either:
- The company has made a completely unique DS game and kept every aspect of it under wraps (which we found doubtful).
- Order of Ecclesia is (as was suspected in some quarters) a port of last year's mobile title, Order of Shadows.
First, Arkanoid has finally joined Invaders as a game rated by the ESRB. The E rating has finally shown up on the ratings board's website, indicating that it is planned for release. Second, Keiji Fujita, the sole Taito rep in the U.S., confirmed it directly in a Gamasutra interview. "Arkanoid was released last year in Japan, and Space Invaders Extreme [was released in February]. In fact, these two games will be published by Square Enix in the United States." Since they're being published by Square Enix, though, Fujita has nothing to do with them -- with the only Taito console games to come out this year.
If we want more Taito games (and we do), then we should maybe consider buying at least one of these two. Fujita said that the future of Taito games, at least as published by Square Enix, hinges on the success of Invaders and Arkanoid.
- a game based on the bizarre (yet popular!) sport in which players slide a rock down some ice and sweep in front of it
- an exercise game that focuses only on working your arms, or
- a hair styling game.
[Update: a news item on Rocket Company's site confirms that Ubisoft has licensed Minna no DS Curling.]
While we're (very) happy to see Space Invaders Extreme, we find the listing for Docomodake more interesting. Why would Ignition Entertainment choose to localize a game about the mascot for Japan's NTT DoCoMo cell phone company? The game sounds vaguely interesting, but will they have to pay NTT DoCoMo for the rights to the character? Or will DoCoMo be happy to advertise in a country where they don't offer services?
Also seen on the ESRB page: Chronos Twin, the bizarre time-travel sidescroller that occurs simultaneously in two time periods.
See also: 2008's Biggest Blips -- Space Invaders Extreme
A mysterious rating has shown up on the ESRB's search page for a DS game called Gauntlet. Our first assumption is that this would be a continuation of the modern Gauntlet series from Midway, but the game is listed as being published by Eidos. Furthermore, the specifics of the rating (Alcohol Reference, and Fantasy Violence as opposed to the Cartoon, Animated, or just plain Violence described in the others) suggest that this is an original game.
Is it a remake of the arcade game, maybe? Whatever it is, as long as there's top-down arcade (fantasy) violence and the pressing need for food, we're interested. We just hope it's not some kind of Road Rules game.
But, it isn't exactly fact. The game name could pertain to another in the long-running series, but there's a good chance it could be a new Naruto game on the DS. Fighting game? RPG? Only time will tell ...
It's funny because it's true. Too many parents don't pay attention to anything except the cover, if that, and sometimes it seems that the ratings don't even matter. Anyone who's worked in retail around games can testify to that. It's much worse than with the movie industry, wherein the rating actually seems to make a difference at times. But that's just our opinion -- we're here to find out what you think.