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7th Dragon is Sega's umpteenth DS RPG

Sega evidently has some sort of addiction to releasing RPGs on the DS, and it's one vice we wholly approve of. Not content with "only" Sonic Chronicles, Phantasy Star Zero, Shining Force, World Destruction, Blazer Drive, and Infinite Line, the House of Sonic has now announced 7th Dragon, a brand new RPG due out in Japan next spring.

The game pits humans against various dragons and other scaly beasties in a battle for the woooorld, and has one heck of a team behind it. Composer Yuzo Koshiro (Ys I, Ys II, Revenge of Shinobi, Streets of Rage, both Etrian Odysseys) is on board, as are producer Rieko Kodama (Skies of Arcadia, pre-PSO Phantasy Star games) and Etrian Odyssey director Kuzuya Niinou.

The latter's influence on the project seems especially obvious, as a lot of 7th Dragon's proposed features are reminiscent of an Etrian Odyssey title. Battles are command-based, characters are created by the player, there are seven classes (Rogue, Mage, Fighter, Princess, Knight, Samurai, and Healer, each with elaborate skill trees to navigate), and the action takes place on the top screen, with a map depicting who controls which territories on the bottom.

[Update: typo]

Source: Full scan from Famitsu
Source: Translation work

Level-5 has big plans for DS, enlists aid of Studio Ghibli

Good news, fan of all things DS. The handheld is getting some more love from Level-5, in the form of more games. Level-5 pres and all around handsome dude, Akihiro Hino, has made public his company's intent to rock the DS right out of your hands. How? Well, first is a proposed partnership with Studio Ghibli, the folks behind awesome animated films like Spirited Away.

Continue reading Level-5 has big plans for DS, enlists aid of Studio Ghibli

Disgaea and Rhapsody: A Voice Acting Adventure

Siliconera spoke with NIS's Jack Niida about the DS versions of Disgaea and Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure, both of which happen to be out this week. Much of the interview focuses on the voice acting in the two games, which we imagine is somewhat of an important issue for the otaku who comprise the majority of the Nippon Ichi audience. There's more to read, as well, about Rhapsody's battle system and new characters in Disgaea, among other things.

Rhapsody will use the original Japanese songs from the PlayStation game, along with new tracks recorded by the original cast. The voice acting outside of songs will be in English. The English musical tracks will not be present due to space concerns. The script is also pulled from the PlayStation release, but the English text has been cleaned up!

As for Disgaea, the same seems to be true. Niida told Siliconera that "All the voice acting is there, but unfortunately, we had to compromise on the dual language and English musical songs."

Gallery: Disgaea

Rumor: Chrono Trigger's new monster battling feature

The latest information about Chrono Trigger's new DS-specific features originates from a pretty unusual place: the port's Japanese Toys R Us product page. At least, that's according to NeoGAF's duckroll, who wouldn't seem to have any reason to lie. However, the information does not appear on the product page now, which means that it was probably removed.

Duckroll reports that the game allowed you to breed and train around 50 monsters in the game's previously unspecified "Arena Mode," with the goal of battling them and winning rare items. You can even fight your friends via (probably local) wireless.

From more mysterious sources come details of two new dungeons: "Dimensional Distortion," in which players must travel through time, changing The End of Time as they complete segments, and "Dragon's Sanctuary," in which players must complete a number of quests within the dungeon and across different time periods.

Gallery: Chrono Trigger

It's just like playing the beginning of Sonic Chronicles!

... probably because it's a video of the beginning of Sonic Chronicles! This video is, however, in French, and most of you are probably not playing in French. Luckily, the videographer skips through options and dialogue so quickly that you barely have a moment to make out the bonne idées.

BioWare's take on the long-running franchise is due out next week in North America.

Elebits: The Screens of Kai and Zero

Konami just sent over a press release, chock full of fresh screens from Elebits: The Adventures of Kai and Zero. We're just as excited for the game as you all are, and these latest screens show off more of what got us excited in the first place: a fusion between the scavenger hunt gameplay of Elebits on Wii and the RPG mechanics of the Pokémon games. Check out the fresh screens in our gallery below.

[Via press release]

Items of Import: Look Ahead! Dragon Quest V

How is Dragon Quest IV holding up for you, dear readers? Did you run out and buy yourselves a copy, and power through the game? Does the whole feel of the title scream "Classic!" or does it reek of archaic sensibilities? Perhaps you were part of the faithful minority in the great debate of RPG fandom, at the beginning of the week. Personally, as a little kid growing up in the halcyon days of the Famicom (and later, Super Famicom) era, the opening track of the Dragon Quest series is more memorable and more emotionally stirring than the Japanese national anthem.

So... You may be knee deep in Dragon Quest IV goodness right now, and enjoying its tale of many heroes and heroines. Once you come to that inevitable conclusion, what have you got to look ahead to? Why, Dragon Quest V, of course. Today in Items of Import, we'll take the opportunity of the recent release of the fourth in the series in the Western markets to see what's to look forward to in the second entry of the Zenithia trilogy.

Continue reading Items of Import: Look Ahead! Dragon Quest V

Reminder: Last day for Final Fantasy IV

We've been trying to unload a copy of Square Enix's Final Fantasy IV on you folks for a whole week now and this is your last reminder: the giveaway ends tonight. If you weren't in the know regarding this latest giveaway, then we suggest you read DS Fanboy more. But, hey, you still have a few hours left, so head on over to the original contest post and read up on how to enter. Good luck!

Gallery: Final Fantasy IV

DS Daily: Too much of a good thing?

We were just talking yesterday about the ridiculous amount of RPG love the DS has gotten in the past and is getting in the future and wanted to ask you all if you thought the genre was being overused on the DS. Do you think the DS has way too many RPGs? Is there a genre of games you want to see more of on the DS?

So what do you all think? Too much of a good thing? Or do you love the RPG love the DS has received so far?

Suikoden: Tierkreis to feature 'rich' online experience

We've got roughly a gazillion RPGs to look forward to on the DS, and Genso Suikoden: Tierkreis is near the top of the pile. The game was first revealed last month in Famitsu, but since then an official site has opened (though is not exactly bulging with content yet, aside from the occasional character profile, as seen above) and Konami has dropped further details on the title.

The meat of the new press release is the news that Suikoden: Tierkreis will feature all-new online elements, which (Konami hopes) will spawn a "rich online community." How does it work? Apparently, players will be able to dispatch their characters on quests that other members of the community will then complete for them, before their character is returned to their party with new equipment, abilities and treasures. Make that two forthcoming DS RPGs with awesome online modes!

[Via press release]

Blue Dragon Plus flaps our way next March

Only the twin juggernauts of Wii Fit and Rhythm Tengoku Gold could prevent Blue Dragon Plus from seizing top spot in the latest Japanese charts. Ignition Entertainment will be hoping for similar results when it publishes the big-haired, monster-summoning JRPG to not-Japan, and today it announced a North American and European release date of March 2009, falling in line with its promise of a release this fiscal year.

That's still quite a wait (you could say it will drag on, if you were a blogger looking for a lame joke to brighten up a dry story), though should nicely pad out a traditionally quiet time of the year.

Gallery: Blue Dragon Plus

Gaming to Go: Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords

The premiere Puzzle Quest title debuted to generally positive reviews, many of which praised the unexpectedly compelling mix of Bejeweled gem-swapping puzzles and standard RPG elements. Any gamer who has given the title a whirl knows the critical claim doesn't come unwarranted, even with a few niggling things like cheating AI and a complete lack of closure. Those minor complaints are more than made up for with the mind-boggling amount of depth the developers crammed into the cartridge, transforming what could have been just another puzzler into an addicting little package still worth playing over a year since its release.

With the space-age sequel rumored to land sometime in October, now is as good a time as any to take a look back at the sword and stone puzzler that started it all. If you never bothered to pick it up, consider yourself thoroughly shamed -- but don't let the weight of your emotional guilt bring you down. Come along with this week's edition of Gaming to Go for one last reminder that sliding colorful stones around a board is a perfectly viable way to wage digital war.

Gallery: Puzzle Quest

Continue reading Gaming to Go: Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords

DS Daily: Final Fantasy or Dragon Quest?

After talking yesterday about Dragon Quest and the coming (again) of part IV, we thought it might be interesting to backpeddle to a more basic, visceral question: do you prefer Final Fantasy or Dragon Quest? It's Square versus Enix in an RPG franchise fight to the death!

DS Daily: Re-Quest

Next week, Dragon Quest IV hits, bringing with it the possibility of the massive franchise finally taking off for real in the US in a way it hasn't since the original Dragon Warrior. Here, Final Fantasy is bigger, but in Japan, this is the real IV.

Have you been following Chapters of the Chosen? Are you interested in playing along with the adventures of Torneko Taloon and the rest of the cast? If so, will this be the first Dragon Quest for you? How about the first Dragon Quest IV? Did you get it back on the NES?

Phantasy Star Zero site launches, we totally geek out

Sega just launched the official site for Phantasy Star Zero. Although most of the screens on the site were present in scans earlier this week, it's always nice to see them in gallery form, right? (And see them you must, because seriously: this is some of the best 3D on the DS to date).

Throughout these screenshots, we can spot bits of old Phantasy Star Online games (the brightly-colored levels, Rappies, huge bosses, and MAGs), something which delights us. Speaking of which, we really hope Sega-themed MAGs will be included, such as the Saturn, Master System, and ChuChu MAGs that could be found in PSO. Sega included some of its old consoles in English of the Dead, so maybe we'll get to slay dragons with a Dreamcast by our side in Phantasy Star Zero!

The site reveals that the game will support online parties of four players, that characters can be created from three races and 14 classes, and there's also a small section on the ace-looking, sketch-compatible chat system, as seen here. In fact, the only part of Phantasy Star Zero we're unsure about is blowing into the DS microphone to send messages, but we're finding it difficult to object that strongly!

[Via NeoGAF]

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Gaming to Go!We debate the hot topics!

This Month's New Games

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