Kibou – Possibly Interesting Releases: March ’09March 15, 2009
Yeah, March will be/is already a great month, just like September ’08 was! RPG month I CHOOSE YOU.
In this post I will show you them release dates, brief (or not so brief?) summaries, pictures, and the estimated anticipation level for it…or maybe just MY anticipation level D’:
Sorry about the ultra long-ness of this post because it’s covering the ENTIRE month, so yeah, bear with me! (But don’t claw or growl at me?!) Hopefully this will help as more of a reference post than something to read in one sitting…or whatever. Not sure if I’ll post another like this ever again since they take ages to compile.
I’m also sorry about how late this is. 4 games on this list have been released already because I actually spent a week procrastinating typing this up! Crazy post is crazy.
Games outlined are from either Japan (JPN) or North America (NA).
Split up by platform, then organized by release dates BECAUSE I CAN.
– 7th Dragon (JPN; Mar 5 – released, but..)
– Avalon Code (NA; Mar 10, Released)
– Valkyrie Profile: Covenant of the Plume (NA; Mar 16)
– Suikoden Tierkreis (NA; Mar 17)
– Dengeki Gakuen RPG: Cross of Venus (JPN; Mar 19)
– Super Robot Taisen K (JPN; Mar 20)
– Pokemon Platinum (NA; Mar 22)
– Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Echoes of Time (NA; Mar 23)
– Space Invaders Extreme 2 (JPN; Mar 26)
– Will O’ Wisp (JPN; Mar 26)
– Lux-Pain (NA; Mar 27)
– Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 2 (NA; Mar 24)
Edit: I got the release date for the above game wrong D’: In my excitement I thought it was going to be released in March, but it was actually releasing in April 24! Terrible! At least it’s still coming out in 2009. My god.
Xbox 360/Playstation 3:
– Resident Evil 5 (JPN, NA; Mar 13, Released)
– Phantasy Star Portable (NA; Mar 3, Released)
– Mana Khemia: Student Alliance (NA; Mar 10)
(JPN; Turn-Based RPG; Mar 5 – Released)
Developed by imageepoch, published by Sega, directed by Kazuya Niinou (Etrian Odyssey), and character designs by motor (of Touhou fanart fame).
Very similar to Etrian Odyssey (now referred to as EO) except it is top-down when navigating towns (I rhymed!) instead of EO’s first-person. Battle system is still turn-based, and you also get to create your own party (called ‘guild’ in the game) by selecting different classes/character designs.
Maybe the only RPG out there right now with a CLASS called PRINCESS. (Though the function similar to a Fire Emblem Troubadour/Bard but with more attack power. Thank god they’re not just there to complain and pretend to look pretty, or!!) I wonder if the difficulty level will be similar to EO’s..?
Want Level for 7th Dragon:
50% (me), 80% (rest of the world)
Why? Cute character designs (though in my case I dislike them greatly), Princess class, Etrian Odyssey-style retroness, NPCs that walk in place (instead of walking around and blocking your way), cool-ish attack animations, and combo-able battle system.
Link: Official Site (JPN)
(NA; Action RPG; Mar 10 – Released)
Developed by Matrix Software (FFIII/IV Ds, Alundra), published by Marvelous Entertainment and XSEED Games, character designs by HACCAN (Mushihimesama).
A beautifully rendered Action RPG with a creative twist: You, as the main character, is given the Book of Prophecy, and this book can change the properties of anything in the world. How does that work, you ask? An example would be that when you catalog a monster that you can’t beat, you can use to book to remove a characteristic of the monster that was preventing you from beating it, and ta-da, you’ll then be able to defeat it. You can also revive dead cats and heal sick people by doing this. very cool! The properties are arranged in blocks, and when you remove the blocks you can also save them and put them on yourself or your weapons to change elements. Another example would be taking the fire property of a monster then putting it on your sword to make a Sword of Fire! Note that battling is done with face buttons and Book of Prophecy rearrangements are done with the stylus.
The organization of the game is pretty straightfoward. To get through the story you have to complete “dungeons” which consist of several stages. Each stage has a specific goal for you to complete, like “Defeat all enemies” or “Break all the boxes”. The faster you complete them the more points you get, and are ranked from Bronze to Gold at the end of each stage. You can also talk to NPCs and take on side quests to help them with stuff by using your Book of Prophecy.
You also get a spirit familiar…thing that helps you execute magic attacks, and each one has an elemental affinity. The HP meter for this game is pretty crazy, since you start with like 3HP and you get more with each level up (I believe..), so try not to get hit! The battling is quite smooth and navigating through the towns are mostly a breeze because you get a handy map. Oh, and you also get to pick from a Male or Female main character, and you can have respective love interests depending on which one you choose. Honestly, I think the lovers for the girl are pretty disappointing, unfortunately. They don’t look ultra-cute at all!! The girls that guys can choose from look nice though. Terrible!
Want Level for Avalon Code:
85% (me), 75% (rest of the world)
Why? I’ve actually already test driven the JPN version, but from what I’ve played, it’s very good…except that I can’t pass a certain stage. D: For the rest of the world, I think that it’s 10% below mine because it’s a little under most peoples’ radar, but the ones who DO know the game probably want it lots, and for good reason! This game not only looks spectacular, but also plays as smooth as butter and is definitely not like most JRPGs nowadays. Cat revivan gaemz for the win?! This game is also great for people who love to get everything, since…there’s a LOT of stuff to catalog in your Book. (Flowers come to mind, oh man…)
Link: Official Site (JPN)
Valkyrie Profile: Covenant of the Plume
(NA; Strategy x Button combo RPG; Mar 16)
Developed by tri-Ace, published by Square Enix (Be prepared to fear the S-E tax!), soundtrack composed by Motoi Sakuraba, and character designs by Kou and You Yoshinari, as usual.
Finally another original installment in the Valkyrie Profile franchise! Like Valkyrie Profile 2: Silmeria, this also does not center around Lenneth, and the protagonist is instead a dude named Wylfred. For reasons you will see in the game, Wylfred makes a goal out of exacting revenge upon Lenneth.
Honestly, though, the more exciting thing about this game probably isn’t the story, but the insanely cool hybrid Strategy x Traditional Valkyrie Profile battle system. In a battle, you will see your units and the enemies on a grid, but when you attack an enemy, it switches to battle mode where you control your character. In this battle-within-a-battle, you execute a character’s attacks with the button you assigned them to. If you have your other characters nearby, they can join and can combo up. Whoo button combo-ing! Of course, the enemy can also do the same, so that’s where the strategy part kicks in. Oh, and Soul Crushes are back, and so there are lots of cool battle animations!
Another twist to the game is the Goddess Feather. This feather is an unconsumable item that makes any one of your party members ultra strong and gives them enemy breaking attacks, but when you use it on a character, they will die permanently and can never fight again! (You can only kill characters permanently with the feather) I guess now you can get rid of whichever character you dislike the most AND win a battle! How great.
Want Level for Valkyrie Profile: Covenant of the Plume:
87% (Me and the world)
Why? Really, who doesn’t look foward to this game? All the games in the VP series are solid and of a high quality, so why shouldn’t this be, too! Not only that, but it has a whole new story and characters, and the battle system is way too cool to not try out. If you’re going to get an SRPG this month, make it VP! (Wait, are there even other SRPGs being released in March..?)
Link: Official Site (NA)
(NA; Turn-Based RPG; Mar 17)
Devloped and published by Konami, and character designs by Masaki Hirooka (Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia).
What do you mean this is another RPG?! It’s Suikoden! Well, I guess it’s not a numbered installment, but still…anyways, this is somewhat of a departure from the normal Suikoden games (from what I’ve heard, since this is my first Suikoden game…). You have basically the same gist of things: Collect 108 stars to help you fight baddies, turn-based system with the extremely efficient “Attack as Usual” button so you don’t need to dole out individual commands, and…a solid soundtrack + quality game. Oh, and you can use either stylus or face buttons to play this game. I recommend the face buttons, myself.
I think the main difference here would be that the game is arranged by quests. You complete quests to move on with the story, or finish side quests to get extra items. This makes the game a lot less linear since you can basically do stuff however you want. I’m not sure if the story is a departure from the numbered installments, but it’s basically the hero trying to stop a main antagonist with the help of friends, and while you as the hero is trying to win, you also get visitors from other dimensions dropping by and helping you out. (Which means there might be more than one version of the same character…)
Want Level for Suikoden Tierkreis:
80% (me) 90% (rest of the world)
Why? For the rest of the world, probably because it’s a Suikoden game to play while waiting for VI! Just maybe. I’m at 10% less because I’ve never played a Suikoden game before, so it’s harder to make me want it…except I have test driven it already and loved the game for its easiness. o/
Link: Official Site (JPN)
Dengeki Gakuen RPG: Cross of Venus
(JPN; Action RPG; Mar 19)
I wish I could tell you this wasn’t another RPG without lying, but…it is an RPG. Anyways, this is probably under the radar for people who do not watch anime, but it is still worth a mention because it looks cool! You play as the male main character, who, wanting to solve the mystery of the rumours of ghosts at the school, investigate the school at night to see if there are any supernatural spirits…You are soon joined by your childhood friend Kizuna, and then things happen!! Gasp. Probably the most appealing aspect of this game is the fact that it’s a crossover RPG with characters from various Dengeki light novels, including Shakugan no Shana, Kino no Tabi, Toradora!, and Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu.
The battle system is pretty straightfoward. You have 3 battling members and 3 supporting members in your “party”. You can only attack the enemy with one battling member at a time, so you have to switch between them for massive damage, and you can switch between your 3 different support members by pressing L/R. Support members have cards that appear on the touch screen that give have different abilities. Battles are between your one (switchable) character and up to 3 enemies, and you can do different directions on the D-pad and A for uh, different…attacks…And then Y executes your special attack wahoo.
Want Level for Dengeki Gakuen RPG: Cross of Venus:
78% (me) 65%? (rest of the world)
Why? Hmm…my want level for this game is only 78% because it seems more like it’s supposed to be fanservice rather than trying to be a good game. Plus I really do NOT like Noizi Ito’s character design. The girl looks extremely weird…I think that the rest of the world don’t really care about the game, but those who do know the anime/light novel series featured in the game probably really want it (and also because the premium edition come with Nendoroid Puchi figures x4), so I don’t know!! My estimations usually suck so even I don’t know why I bother predicting Want Levels…
Link: Official Site (JPN)
Super Robot Taisen K
(JPN; Strategy/Simulation RPG; Mar 20)
Developed by Banpresto, published by Bandai Namco, original character designs by Miho Itoi, and original mecha designs by Yoshitaka Taniguchi.
Fans of mecha anime series must have heard of this series, since it has had about a million installments, all of which take the most famous mechs from games and anime and put them all together. Kinda like Dynasty Warriors: Gundam but with more than Gundam!
It doesn’t play at all like DW:G, though, because this is a strategy series. Think Fire Emblem without perma-deaths and replace dancers and healers with mecha and more mecha. Lovely! Similar to FE, this also plays on a 2D grid, and when you engage (an) enemy (or enemies), your unit battles automatically. Returning from the last SRT DS installment are the Combo Attacks (executed against groups of enemies) and the Partner system, where you can get support from party members close to you.
Some notable series featured in this game include Overman King-Gainer, Sokyuu no Fafner, all three iterations of Gundam SEED, Mazinger Z, and Zoids Generations.
Want Level for Super Robot Taisen K:
75% (me) 80%? (rest of the world)
Why? 75% for me because I’ve never played an SRT game before (surprising, yes), but unfortunately the series featured in K don’t appeal to me as much as the ones in M, so I might play that one instead! I think that the people who know this series really want this game, because it seems to have such a strong fanbase, and even those who haven’t played SRT before should be curious since there are some well-known series here. Plus it looks fun! (ish)
Link: Official Site (JPN)
(NA; Pokemon RPG (?); Mar 22)
Developed by Game Freak and published by Nintendo. What else..?!
Yet another pseudo-installment in the Pokemon series. This time it’s an enhanced version of Diamond and Pearl for the DS! The legendary pokemon featured this time is Giratina, and the Battle Frontier from Emerald also returns..
No want level because I’m really just mentioning this game for the sake of mentioning it!!
Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Echoes of Time
(NA; Action RPG Mar 23)
Developed and published by Square Enix, and available on both the Nintendo DS and the Wii.
Like the other Crystal Chronicle games, this is also an action RPG, with an even larger focus on co-op play. In this installment, players from both the DS and Wii versions can connect together and fight..! The best thing about this is that you can switch from single player mode to multiplayer mode just by checking a Crystal (Doubles as a save point, I think) to make the switch.
As usual, you can create your character by choosing from different races and classes. You can also change their faces by importing your Miis, but that actually looks pretty ugly, unfortunately.
Want Level for Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Echoes of Time:
65% (Me and the rest of the world)
Why? I don’t know, but this game seems like just another installment in the FFCC branch of games…doesn’t really look like there is anything new, but that might not be terrible since the system is already very good. Anyways, if you like MMO-type RPGs with co-op, this is it..!
Links: Official Site (NA)
Space Invaders Extreme 2
(JPN; Shoot-’em-up; Mar 26)
Developed and published by Taito.
Basically the same as the first stylish Space Invaders Extreme, but now with Bingo Mode and better Multiplayer Mode! Returning should be the cool techno music, but I’ve heard that the awesome female voice that announced the Stages in the first game has been replaced by a less superior voice! That seems to be the only real difference, though.
Want Level for Space Invaders Extreme 2:
50% (Me) 75% (Rest of the world)
Why? I still need to beat the first game! It’ll be cool to move on to this after I finish SPE1 though. Everyone should want this game beacuse it’s a great and stylish (re)take of the Space Invaders series, but it’s really not a high priority game…Or is it?
Links: Official Site (JPN)
Will O’ Wisp
(JPN; Romance Adventure; Mar 26)
Developed and published by Idea Factory, character designs by Kagero Usuba (Days of Memories artwork).
I’m pretty sure that most people don’t care about otome games, but I DO. Anywyas, ever since the PS2 version was released, I’ve been really interested in this game because of the pretty artwork (and that blond prince-like guy named Hobblrdy. lol Engrish naem ;A;). The coolest thing about this is that it looks gothic-y and not all…cutesy/unnaturally hueg eyed, which I dislike. But yeah, this is just a standard “adventure” dating sim with an added minigame and scenario. It’s also being released on the PSP at the same time, so if you have a PSP, want this game, and want to see the CGs in better quality, GO FOR IT.
I’m actually surprised that they decided to release this on the DS, but not really since Hiiro no Kakera was also the same..And contrary to what the title may hint at, this game is not horror-themed.
Want Level for Will O’ Wisp:
70% (Me) 25%? (Rest of the world)
Why? Mine is actually pretty low compared to my want level for Hiiro no Kakera before it was released, and it’s because 1) I have a lot of other games to play and 2) This will probably be a superhuge game that won’t fit onto my card thingy. Gasp! 25% for everyone else because it’s kind of? (or REALLY) a niche genre outside of Japan, plus it’s really just a port, so even in Japan…
Link: Official Site (JPN)
(NA; Investigation Adventure; Mar 27)
Developed by Killaware, published by Ignition Entertainment, and character designs by Robin Kishiwada.
Honestly, if I had to play only one novel-ish game on the DS this year, Lux-Pain would be it. Ever since it was announced for the DS in Japan I have been wanting to play it, if not only because the artwork looks awesome and the face scratching method for uncovering lies is too. Anyways, this is a game similar to Time Hollow and Phoenix Wright, where you read lots of text and investigate/talk to characters to uncover THE TRUTH.
The gist of the story is this: You play as Atsuki, whose parents have been infected by a worm called “Silent”. This worm causes its victims to commit crimes, and was born from the victims’ hate and sadness. To avenge his parents, Atsuki gets an operation to acquire a power called Σ (Sigma) to destroy “Silent”.
To get rid of “Silent” you will be activating Σ then “erasing” your target to find an item or a phrase associated with their emotions. Fun, right?! I bet this “gameplay” really lasts for like 15 seconds…so sad!
Want Level for Lux-Pain:
85% (Me) 60% (Rest of the world)
Why? Like Space Invaders Extreme 2, Lux-Pain is also a pretty low-profile (ish) release that has been overshadowed by a lot of other games…I think. Hopefully you do want it, though, because I sure do!
Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 2
(NA; Tactical Action; Apr 24)
CORRECTION: I GOT THE RELEASE DATE WRONG. In my excitement for the game I thought it was releasing in March when in actuality it was releasing in April. Sorry for any hopes (other than mine) which were raised and crushed!
Developed by Koei and Omega Force, published by Namco Bandai. Also being released simultaneously for the PS3 and Xbox 360.
So uh, this is basically the first game but different! What is the first game like, you ask? Basically a strategy x hack-and-slash where your main objective is to take over more territory than your opponent. You do this by controlling a character and hacking through armies. Fun, I know! It is based on the Dynasty Warriors series, but instead of historical Chinese warriors, you have Gundams, which I would say is a FABULOUS replacement. Official Mode, which is basically a story mode chronicling the Gundam timeline, is still here, but replacing Original Mode in the first DW:Gundam is Mission Mode, where you either have Friendship Missions (providing reinforcements to allies), or Collection Missions (“I command you to get me a <insert item name here>”-type). There’s also a Library (aka Gallery Mode in DW:G1), where it archives music, profiles, and movie clips.
New playable units in this game include: MSN-02 Zeong (Char), RB-79 Ball, AMX-103 Gaza C (Haman!!!!), ZGMF-X20A Strike Freedom Gundam (Kira), and ZGMF-X19A Infinite Justice Gundam (Athrun, Lacuslol). I’m sorry if these aren’t appealing to you because I really just picked them according to their characters. I don’t really know the gundam by name/model! /wept
Want Level for Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 2:
130% (Me) 85%? (Rest of the world)
Why? Surprisingly, this is ACTUALLY my most anticipated release of 2009. I even marked down the release date on my calendar, which is a first for me. I’ve confirmed in 2008 that my favourite genre of games ever is hack-and-slash anything, and since this game is also hack-and-slash!! I also like huge mecha because they are huge, and Gundams are huge mecha, which just makes me want the game even more. For the rest of the world, I think it’s an 85% because it should be pretty high due to the Gundamness, but not 90% high. Ahhhhhh I want this game so bad!!
XBOX 360 / PLAYSTATION 3
Resident Evil 5
(JPN, NA; Survival Horror; Mar 13 – Released)
Developed and published by Capcom.
This is actually just here because I would get mobbed if it wasn’t! Or not, because what. Anyways, you know the gist of RE games, right?! Horror-survival with lots of crazy infected people who look mostly like zombies. Except this time it’s in sunny Africa instead of some dark forest in Umbrellia. As usual, the protagonists are trying to stop the Umbrella Corp from doing more bad things, and the plot will be centered around the origin of the virus. The gameplay should be more action-y like Resident Evil 4 this time, kind of “third-person shooter”-like. (Man that’s a lot of hyphens). You, as the protagonist named Chris Redfield, also get a cool partner in the form of Excella Gionne. Hopefully her AI is as excellent as her name! (Oops I made a funny.)
I’m not sure if this is new to the RE series, or not, but there will be both online and offline co-op mode in RE5, which sounds very dandy because friends are fun. (Er, if you have some.)
Want Level for Resident Evil 5:
5% (Me) 100% (Rest of the world)
Why? I’m REALLY not a fan of horror-survival games (nightmares everywhere), and even less TPS/FPS-y games, since TPS is synonomous to “Those Games Where You Constantly Run Into Walls and then Get Killed from Behind”. I’m sure that everyone else is really looking forward to this, though, because there have been about a billion posts about it. (There is even one on this here blog!)
Mana Khemia: Student Alliance
(NA; Turn-based + Alchemy RPG; Mar 10 – Released)
Developed by Gust, published by NIS America, character designs by Kazuyuki Yoshizumi (Sora wo Kakeru Shoujo).
A PSP port of yet another pseudo-installment in the Atelier series of RPG. This time the setting is at a magical academy (Hmm, where have we seen this before..?) where you mainly use alchemy to make items, weapons, and etc. Other than alchemy, you also have your standard RPG turn-based battles. Yeah, I don’t really know what else to say, but I thought it deserved a mention!
Want Level for Mana Khemia: Student Alliance:
20% (Me) 60%? (Rest of the world)
Why? I’ve never been really interested in the alchemy focus of the Atelier series, and this is not any different. I do think the artwork is cute, though, and I may give it a try before I die because it’s set at a cool magic academy, which I like. 60% or possibly lower because 1) This game is a port of the PS2 version and 2) Relatively obscure. (At least compared to something like Phantasy Star Portable, I think.)
Phantasy Star Portable
(NA; Action, MMO-style RPG; Mar 3 – Released)
Developed by Alfa System, published by Sega, based on the Phantasy Star Universe setting/system. Characters from both PSU and its expansion pack, Ambition of the Illuminus, make appearances. The story for PSP takes place between the two. There are also some new characters for the game. You can play in either 1P Story Mode or 2-4P Online Mode.
The game once again revolves around completing missions a la MMOs, and you can customize your own character by choosing from 4 races and 3 classes. Battle system is real-time action based, where exploring and fighting happens on the same field, and you can have a party of up to 4. Pretty standard Phantasy Star fare…I wonder if the controls are smooth as butter or not!
You can also network with the PS2 or PC ver. of Ambition of the Illuminus to get more items, or import character data from PSU or PSU: Ambitions. There are also downloadable missions if you ever run out! Now you can clock like 500 more hours in this game! Whoo!
Want Level for Phantasy Star Portable:
80% (me and the rest of the world)
Why? Well…it’s Phantasy Star, and yaay for real-time monster breaking. Also a lot of cool new things like downloadable missions and a new online bunch of people (like, are there still lots of people playing on the PSU PS2 network?) Plus, the new character Vivienne has a nice name and design. Her fringe reminds me of Lili Levinas from Senko no Ronde too. Awesome!!
Other: How dare the PSP counter the DS’s Phantasy Star Zero with something possibly even more superior!
Link: Official Site (JPN)
Well, that was a very very long post. Hello, 4521 word count!! If you read it all, you either have a) too much time or b) extremely bored. Kudos anyways if you did!! Also, there are probably like a million inconsistencies, but please don’t mind it too much…