News from Japan!
Okay, in this update you will find a LOT of information on various Japanese RPGs so be sure to check them all out if you're into the import scene.
G Generation Zero
Bandai has released new screenshots of the CG Movies that will be featured in G Generation Zero, the sequelish Add-on to the hugely popular G Generation, the Strategy RPG game that was released last Winter, along with a SD version of Moustache Gundam!
Moustache Gundam? What? You say there is no Moustache Gundam? ....ok fine. The name is actually Turn A (You Know, the Mathematical Symbol "For All") Gundam but just look at the way it looks and you'll see where the nickname was lovingly(?) coined by the fan sector.
Since the whole point of G Gen is to make new units by combining old ones, we'll have to see how in the world they'll manage to get the Turn A from original UC units...
G Generation Zero is due out, barring any delays, on the 5th of August from Bandai. It should also include a Demo of the Playstation Version of Giren's Ambition, which is a GREAT War game that chronicles the events in the original Gundam Series, as well as Units and Chracters from Gundam 0080, Gundam
0083, MS Variations, Blue Destiny (you know, the one in Mixx Magazine?), as well as a few people that are featured in Zeta Gundam.
Dragon Quest Characters: Tolneko's Great Adventure
2 ~The Mysterious Dungeon~
Sure to please long time fans of Dragon Quest (Dragon Warrior in the US), a side story will be out on 9/15/99 by Chun Soft to keep us busy until Dragon Quest VII is ready for launch.
The official title is (and it's a long one :P) Dragon Quest Characters: Tolneko's Great Adventure 2 ~The Mysterious Dungeon~ and it features Tolneko in a Seiken Densetsu-esque game in a quest to get rid of the monsters that is ruining his happy life. So if you ever thought "Man, I wish
the Main Character of a game was an overweight family man", boy are you in luck! ^^
The game takes place 6 months after Tolneko found the 'Box of Happiness', when monsters start to appear. The King, worried for the safety of his country, enters the Mysterious Dungeon in search of an answer to this epidemic and disappears. Tolneko goes after the King and somehow manages to rescue him (somehow indeed...). Tolneko then embarks on a journey to find out exactly what's happening to his country...
DQC:TGA2~TMD~ (Whoa! ^^) features claymation for most of the animation, so you can expect smooth movement and objects that look quite lifelike. In fact, the backgrounds look quite impressive with this method, and I thought at first they were using a real clay setting with some spritey (is that a word? Now it is!) characters transposed onto it.
Why is it the Mysterious Dungeon? Simple! Tolneko's Mysterious Dungeon features random Items, Enemies and even Map design for each floor (Echos of Chocobo's Mysterious Dungeon and Diablo here), which is sure to add to the replay of the value of the game. But what if you get knocked down inside the dungeon? Don't worry, you can't die! The Monsters will rob you of all your belongings and kick you out of the dungeon, forcing you to start from the first floor again, so
while you won't be seeing the GAME OVER Screen, you'd better watch out if you want to keep that ultra rare weapon!
Dragon Quest Characters....a strange title? not at all! While the title may not make sense if you
only consider the main cast as 'characters', DQC refers to the wide variety of Enemies that you
will encounter in this game, a good deal of them coming back from previous incarnations of the series. Who here remembers the Slime? Gargoyles? Thought So! With familar enemy designs and over 130 different enemy types, this game is sure to please DQ fans everywhere!
As a bonus, if you live in Japan (pretty doubtful), you're in for a treat. If you've reserved Tolneko 2 early (it ended on the 20th), not only will you get a pack of Tolneko 2 playing cards when the game comes out, if you're one of the first 1000 people to beat the game, you'll receive an additional prize! Talk about service!
Final Fantasy VIII Dolls!
You can now Purchase HUGE Dolls (about 4 ft tall) of some of the enemies that are present in FF8. One is the Sabotanter (sp?), the open mouthed Cacto man, and the other is the Tonberi (so cute! ^^) complete with the lantern.
The Sabotanter is 6000 Yen (About $50)
and the Tonberi is 7000 Yen (About $59)
so you might want to save up....
Also, You can pick up a VERY Detailed Actions figures of 2 popular GFs in FF8: Diablos and Gilgamesh. Start saving them pennies! ^^
106 playable characters not enough? Love FFT? Then you gotta try Hoshigami: Ruining Blue Earth!
If you couldn't guess from the title, it's a game that has a striking resemblence to FFT, which isn't a bad thing, since this type of game isn't exactly what I'd call 'Overpopulated'. This game, by a software company called Max Five, is set to be released January of next year so you better start saving up for this 4800 Yen gem!
Story: (Rough Translation)
At one time there was only peace and happiness. However, a strange new power, called 'Marcelva' suddenly appeared, throwing the world off balance. Ignoring the alliance pact signed 15 years ago among each nation after a bloody war, the four major kingdoms fight to gain control of this new power. And as the Main Character Faz(Fazu) embarks on a journey to return to his homeland, Marcelva and the Ancient Ones that activated Marcelva start initiating their plans as well....
And so starts the game called Hoshigami, which means God(s) of the Stars. A game that boasts over 300 playable characters in a world filled with swords and magic, this may very well become the surprise hit of 2000 in Japan.
The first feature of Hoshigami is the dialogue. Silimar to Lunar, each character has a Anime-esque portrait that shows the emotion of the character while he/she is talking during events. If this event takes place outside a battle, you'll even get to see a nice background as the screen is filled with character that are talking asking you to make decisions, a feature
that I liked in Thousand Arms.
So far there are four characters that have been shown. The first is Faz, the main character, whose in-battle design strikes a remarkable resemblence to Ramza in FFT while having a completely different look in the portrait. The second caractor is Tin, an old female playmate of Faz that uses the morning star as a weapon (Faz uses a sword..surprised?^^). The Third
Charactor is RayMarie, a Spear user that Faz looks up to as his Brother. And finally, there is the 'Young Woman' that Faz rescues early on in his quest that helps him out with her Boomerang. They each have distinctive designs and are well detailed.
The game itself is VERY similar to FFT, even down to the size of the maps and the number of people that you can have fight at one time(5). Since there are 300 characters, the number of choices are mind-boggling(actually there's 19,582,837,560 but who's counting? ^^). The similarities end there though, as Hoshigami's Battle Fields are more detailed than FFT and the
interface, aside from the little box that tells you the 'floor' you're on, are vastly different. One feature that I liked is that there is a little box on top with the order of movement for the next 5 characters, which is a heck lot more conveniant than the round-about way in FFT. Although the size of the maps are limited, have no fear! Hoshigami features linked maps so if a scenario starts off on top of a river, there may be a linked map that takes you to the
waterways w/o having to load a whole new map.
Aside from the regular attack command, there are three types of Attacks. They are the Gauge Attack, Session Attack, and the CoinFame System. One thing you should know is that a hit will knock the enemy in the appropriate direction that it was hit from. This is explained in detail for the Session Attack System. In Gauge Attack, A gauge appears in which a carefully timed button press will inflict a critical attack. It's set up like this:
Miss Hit Crit
with a little sliding bar moving back and forth.
In the second Type, Session, what you have is the possibility to hit one enemy many times in one turn. However this requires skill as well as a lot of luck. Let's say that A,B,C,and D are your party and E is the enemy. First have A Hit the enemy and the Enemy(E) will be knocked onto where B is standing. B will automatically hit the enemy toward C, who will hit the enemy toward D, and D will hit the enemy for the last time, killing him. Sounds interesting? Thought so!
And lastly comes CoinFame. CoinFame is the Magic System in Hoshigami and basically, there are
4 types of Coins and you're able to cast spells using the power of the coins. I know that's pretty basic info but no more is available at this time.
Remember that this game is only 60% finished at this time, so much of the information provided here may change. I hope that it will only continue to get better and I'm looking forward to reviewing perhaps an even better finished product than what I see here. Til then!