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Step into Viva Pinata video paradise


Gamespot has uploaded five new videos from Rare's upcoming DS romp, Viva Pinata Pocket Paradise. The videos focus on what matters most: gameplay. While they are brief in length, the combination of all five make for a nice little diversion in the usual rigmarole of your day. We suggest you take a break and check out the rest of the videos past the break.

Continue reading Step into Viva Pinata video paradise

North America harvests Rune Factory 2 this fall

In the best DS news we'll hear all day (depending on which DS Fanboy staff member you ask), Natsume announced that they're bringing Rune Factory 2 to North America this fall. While we predicted localization would happen eventually, it was always a matter of when, so we're glad to see it being taken care of. Considering that the first game in the series took a year to find its way over here, a nine-month delay (Japan got the game last January) doesn't seem too bad at all.

While we initially thought this sequel would be too similar to the original Rune Factory, the premise adds some freshness into the RPG-Harvest Moon formula. In Rune Factory 2, you not only play as the main character, Kyle, but later you take over as his child. The game therefore spans two generations, providing us with double the fun.

If you share our excitement, make sure to check out the first English screens in our gallery below.

Gallery: Rune Factory 2


[Via press release]

Brits: Drill your way to HMV for cheap games

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:
Remember also that HMV offers free shipping to the UK, so you won't need to leave your La-Z-Boy and expose yourself to that nasty summer sun.

Gallery: Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings

Spore Creatures evolves new screens, Japanese release date



In the beginning, there was a confirmation.

Shortly thereafter, a release date and gameplay details emerged from the primordial ooze a Newsweek interview, and an involuntary chemical reaction a Joystiq hands-on session soon produced screens. Then, for some time, nothing. Until this morning, that is, when we found that the screens had suddenly multiplied in number, and had inhabited our gallery!

The newly developed screens were joined by boxart for the Japanese version of the game, which sort of reminded us of Pokémon Trozei!'s box, and a Japanese release date: September 11th.

So goes the ongoing story of the evolution of Spore Creatures.

Gallery: Spore Creatures

Starfish vacations with the dolphins

Last year, Starfish released a game called I Love Dolphin, which we affectionately dubbed Nintendolphins. Now, Starfish is revisiting its dolphin love by coming out with Long Vacation: Iruka to Watashi (i.e. Long Vacation: Dolphin and Me) this August. Although the title isn't an official sequel (perhaps Starfish didn't want to call the game I Still Love Dolphin), the gameplay is essentially the same. You play with the porpoise-like creatures, explore the ocean, and let's not forget about those minigames.

Now we only have to wait for Ubisoft to copy the idea and come out with Petz: Dolphinz. Oh, wait ...

[Via Siliconera]

My Baby Girl/Boy video scares us away from parenthood



It's not often that we post trailers for baby-raising sims, and one look at this video from My Baby Girl/Boy will explain why -- they're scary. Obviously us and most of our readers aren't the targeted group for such a game, but even so, we think this might deserve and "M" for "Mature" rating. How much more mature can you get than raising a baby anyway?

My Baby Girl/Boy also seems to leave nothing up to the imagination, except for the birthing process (and who knows, maybe not even that). From bathing the babies, to playing games with them, to wiping their butts and changing their diapers, you have to do it all.

To be nice, it does seem that the stylus works well for the gameplay involved.

[Via GoNintendo]

Let these Populous screens populate your retinas

Those of you with fond memories of Populous back in the day, you've probably been watching for news on the remake as closely as we have. Well, sadly we're not presenting anything new on the title today, aside from, as you've gathered from this post's title, new screens.

You can see all of the new screens right here. And, if you're still craving some more eye candy, hit up our gallery below.

Gallery: Populous

Rumor: Harvest Moon: Delay of Frustration

Once mooted for a June 8th release, Harvest Moon: Island of Happiness now looks like being held up for almost two months, after Gamestop listed a revised release date of July 29th.

Oh, sure, that's not the same as official confirmation from Natsume by any means, but we won't lie to you: we're all worried sick. Our cow, Clover (far right), is so concerned she's barely yielding any milk, the sheep are bleating more than usual, while mealtimes at the old farmhouse are now conducted in deathly silence. Even the chickens look sort of anxious.

Gallery: Harvest Moon: Island of Happiness


[Via Go Nintendo]

IGN smashes open Rare producer, gorges on new Viva Pinata details

With development on Viva Piñata: Pocket Paradise now wrapped up, IGN got some face time with producer Paul Machacek to discuss numerous aspects of the project, from the challenges of remaking an Xbox 360 game on the DS to some of the modes that the handheld version will support.

The most heartening news of all is that Pocket Paradise sounds likes a fairly faithful interpretation of the charming 360 game. Technical limitations mean that the fully 3D world has had to be scrapped in favor of a hybrid 2D/3D environment, but every piñata is fully modeled in 3D (to aid "really fluid, smooth animation"), and Rare even managed to echo some of the papery fur rendering in the grass texture. There are FMV sequences galore, featuring both romance dances and excerpts from the TV series.

Absolutely everything can be controlled with the stylus (buttons can be used for shortcuts), and there's a wireless mode which allows players to send crates packed with whatever they like to their friends' gardens (though no online mode, unfortunately). Oh, and alongside the main garden, there is a Sandbox mode, described by Machacek as "great for younger players to play with their favorite pets [or] to demonstrate a particular piñata to your friends that you've already found but have since removed from your garden."

As much as we're irritated by Viva Piñata for repeatedly making us hunt for that "n" with the funny squiggle above it, we're now getting increasingly keen to give this a whirl. Anyone else feel the same way?

Viva Pinata development is 'complete'

Rare has yet to provide a release date for Viva Pinata: Pocket Paradise, but according to the company, the game is now "complete." The announcement came in Rare's community letter, Scribes, which tongue-in-cheekly stated that the software would be sold this Sunday at flea markets. (Because we don't know how high your gullibility meter is, we'll state the obvious -- they were joking.)

Apparently, though, all that's left for the title is the manufacturing phase, so we'll assume that the game will be available for purchase in a matter of months. We've learned that DS carts take about two months to assemble, so could we seeing Pocket Paradise as soon as July or August? Your guess is as good as ours!


[Via Game|Life]

Digging up fossils in Dinosaur King

Oddly enough, screens for a game called Dinosaur King popped up on Sega's press site, but there's been no official word or press release as to what the game is or when to expect it.

Still, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out what this title involves. The screens are pretty telling; it looks like some sort of paleontology sim, in which you dig up dinosaur bones and restore the extinct creature's skeletons as completely as possible.

In fact, it sounds very familiar to what we know of We Are Fossil Diggers, a second-party game that was only released in Japan (and happens to be selling quite well over there). Some of the screens for Dinosaur King also hint that the title has an added drama element, though, so we'll wait until we hear more information.

Gallery: Dinosaur King

Doki Doki Majo Shinpan Duo forgoes nipples

Since Doki Doki Majo Shinpan Duo is risqué in its essence, we're not surprised that the boxart would also be rather ... bold. The blue bar that wraps its way around the cover lets perusers of the box see through the girls' clothes, hence the assaulted looks on their faces.

The girl on the left used quick reflexes to cover herself up, while the girl on the right only had a sliver of indecency exposed. The girl in the middle, though? Not so lucky -- not even because her breasts were displayed for gaming consumers to see, but because she has no nipples. Maybe she's related to the guys in Duel Love? Or, maybe that's how you go about proving she's a witch.

In all seriousness, we don't expect SNK to put nipples on the front of the box. Maybe they should have gone with a different design, though, so that the girls wouldn't look like ... well, freaks. Still, we know most guys aren't too picky when it comes to this kind of thing, and will enjoy the opportunity to stylus-poke the ladies of the game nonetheless. Oh, and the little pointing hand in the bottom right says "touch," lest your forget your task.

That's QT brings you into the world of fashion

We didn't really know much about recent Japanese release That's QT until Siliconera took the time to write about it. Despite the sickeningly cute title, though, we think this import sounds pretty interesting -- especially for Project Runway loving types like this writer. Most importantly, you don't have to be a pro at Japanese to try this import. You may miss out on bits of dialogue and backstory, but you'll still be able to play it simply enough.

The goal in this game is to start a successful fashion line. This doesn't mean that you "design" clothes, but rather, the outfits you "create" will be based on what people say to you in the street. Luckily, you don't have to know exactly what they're saying; just make sure to memorize any highlighted Japanese characters.

Beyond this, though, you also have to manage a little boutique in which your clothes will be sold. You can wear your outfits around town to show them off, and hope that will inspire customers to come to your store. Then, if your store becomes successful enough, you can open a new one and face different rivals.

Clearly That's QT is too niche for everyone to enjoy, but if you're into fashion or management sims, it might be worth a look.

DS chooses Boys Over Flowers

If Japanese dating sims are usually on your radar, you'll be glad to know that Konami is releasing another interesting title in the genre this July, based on Hana Yori Dango. Known as Boys Over Flowers in North America, the manga is so popular that it was adapted into an anime, multiple live-action TV series, a singing group (known as F4), an anime movie, and a live-action movie (to be released this summer).

In Hana Yori Dango the main character is Tsukushi, a working-class girl attending a school full of rich kids. The most elite of the elite is a group known as the "Flower" Four (F4), who make it a hobby to harass other students. In the manga (and show), Tsukushi stands up for herself against the group, which causes the F4 leader to fall for her.

In the DS game based on the franchise, called Hana Yori Dango -Koi Seyo Otome!-, you take control of a new girl that essentially fulfills the same role as Tsukushi. Whether or not she finds romance with one of the F4 crew depends on how you play the virtual dating game, which includes stylus-controlled hand-holding and other kinds of mini games.

This title comes out in the Far East on July 10th, so all you gals (and guys!) who don't mind navigating through Japanese text to land yourselves a virtual man, mark that date.

[Via GamerTell]

Rome wasn't built on the DS

One downfall of being a history major is that every time a game is announced with the word "history" in it, something in the "must have" part of your brain clicks, making you want a piece of software that you suspect won't be all that great, anyway.

The latest game to attack this blogger's mental stability is another addition in Slitherine's History Channel line, called HISTORY Great Empires: Rome. (Note: The History Channel is now just called History, which is why you don't see the word "channel" somewhere in the game's title.) We heard whispers about this game before, but now know that it will release sometime this summer.

This Black Bean title, which is some kind of follow-up to The History Channel: Great Battles of Rome game, involves strategy, diplomacy, city-building, warfare, exploration, and all that good stuff. There will also be some "bonus" minigames involved.

History nerds that we are, we'll be looking out for this.

[Via press release]

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