jrpg Archive

3

Catherine’s Different Japanese Boxarts

Two separate covers for PS3 and 360 owners.

In Japan, Atlus will have two separate sexy boxarts for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions of the upcoming Catherine. PS3 owners will be treated to the titular seductress Catherine, while 360 owners will get the protagonist’s girlfriend Katherine. Is Atlus making any kind of statement with these choices?

As a collector, something like this will drive me nuts.

Catherine is set to release February 17 2011 in Japan. As of yet, there is no word on release outside of Japan.

[From: Famitsu]

4

MegaTen Collecting: Volume I

Join me as I attempt to collect every Megami Tensei game.

I’m not really a picky collector. I don’t collect for rarity or value, I collect to have a great library of games that I can play whenever I want, whether it costs $8, or it costs $120. Sometimes I’m actually apprehensive about labeling myself a collector all together.

I’ve noticed that many of the more ardent collectors often have a focus in their collection; games from a particular platform, genre, or publisher, for instance. I’ve never cared to do this until recently when I was hit with a thought: I want to collect every Megami Tensei game. I’m not entirely sure why I decided on this, but it seems like a good idea. I’ve enjoyed the games I’ve played, and I think it will be a challenging, but attainable, goal.

Atlus’s MegTen series (as it’s often abbreviated) consists of several ports, remakes and spin-offs, which will make tracking down all these buggers a considerable task. Much of the series has never made it out of Japan, but thankfully, complete Japanese games are often not terribly expensive. After some research, it looks like I’ll be paying around $20 for most of the Japanese games, if I can find them, that is. There are so many, and not all of them appear to be readily available on eBay. The American versions can climb rather high though, as classic RPGs here tend to do. The first two Persona games, for instance, will probably run me close to $100 each.

Thankfully, I’ve already made some progress in this endeavor. I already own:

Shin Megami Tensei (SFC)
Shin Megami Tensei II (SFC)
Kyuyaku Megami Tensei (SFC)
Megami Tensei Gaiden: Last Bible (GG)
Revelations: The Demon Slayer (GB/GBC)
Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner 2: Raidou Kuzunoha vs. King Abaddon (PS2)
Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Saga 2 (PS2)
Shin Megami Tensei: Persona (PSP)
Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 FES (PS2)
Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 Portable (PSP)
Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 (PS2)
Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor (DS)
Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey (DS)

I also own a loose copy of Shin Megami Tensei: DemiKids: Light Version for the Game Boy Advance, an American localization of one of the Devil Children spin off games. I do want all of these games complete, however, so I won’t include it in my official count at this point. It’s a sizable dent in the series, but make no mistake, there are still plenty more I do not own.

I’m not too sure what direction I’ll take from here. I’d like to get the cheapest games first, making my way to the more expensive purchases, or snag the harder to find games, such as the Last Bible spin offs, while they last on eBay. Whatever I do, stay tuned for more updates

2

The World Ends With You Review (DS)

A brilliant action RPG that redefines the genre.


[Direct Video Link]

Few games have triggered an overwhelming positive response from me like The World Ends With You has. From Jupiter and Square Enix comes this remarkable action-RPG that not only redefines its genre’s conventions, but stands as a perfect example what I feel a game needs to do to press this medium forward. It’s bold, it’s creative, it’s innovative, it’s full of content and it really pushes its platforms strengths.

TWEWY puts players in the role of Neku Sakuraba, a whiny teenager who has found himself with an unfortunate affliction: Death. Forced to participate in a series of challenges doled out by Reapers, Neku might learn a thing or two about himself, and the life he has left behind.

The game takes place completely in Tokyo’s Shibuya district. The map opens up slowly before giving players mostly full reign. While this isn’t the grand adventuring of most RPGs, the small, intimate map becomes familiar ground, and is a character all its own. Believe it or not, upon my own trip to Tokyo, I was able to find landmarks based on playing this game extensively. I’m not joking.

The real star of the game is the Cross Stride Battle System, a mechanic that forces you to play as both Neku and his partner. Simultaneously. Neku is controlled on the lower screen utilizing touch controls while his partner is on the upper screen, controlled with the d-pad. Neku’s attacks are unleashed by equipping physic pins, and using corresponding gestures on the touch screen. Using the d-pad, you must also attack enemies by navigating directional trees to match symbols with Neku’s partner on the upper screen. Successfully launching attacks passes a “Light Puck” between the characters, and each pass increases your damage multiplier. Play well, and the game rewards you.

The battle system sounds tricky, and it is. Newcomers may feel discouraged with low ranks, and some people may dislike it all together. But those that stick with it will find something wildly unique and addictive. “Star” ranks will come rolling in, as well as the better loot from playing well. The best part of the battle system is that it allows you to scale your difficulty and level at will. Lower your level and raise your difficulty, and you may find yourself in some sticky battles, but with greater rewards. Additionally, players can turn on a handicap for computer AI to take over the partner on the upper screen should they find themselves in over their head.

Shibuya is a fashionable place, and as such, it’s always important to pay attention to trends and brand names. TWEWY’s characters don’t equip themselves with the traditional armor, but rather, trendy clothes from popular brand names. Different parts of Shibuya have different trends, and wearing the appropriate brands grants bonuses in battle. Wearing unpopular clothes makes things all the more difficult.

TWEWY is a stylish audio and visual feast. Instead of utilizing polygons, a weakness for the DS, Jupiter instead opted for a vibrant urban art style, with bright colors, bold thick lines and wonderfully animated sprites. This works beautifully on the DS’s hardware, and truly makes the game stand out. The music is equally suited for the game’s vibe, featuring a fun soundtrack of bouncy J-Pop and hip hop beats.

Even when TWEWY ends, it still keeps dishing out content with post-game missions and collectibles. This little DS card is jam packed full of stuff to do, including the multiplayer-focused minigame Tin Pin Slammer, and it’s all worth every minute of your time. I find it hard to draw out any negatives for The World Ends With You. While, fairly, it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, it’s definitely something everyone with a DS needs to experience. In this humble gamer’s eyes, it’s nothing short of brilliant.

4

TV and Lust Podcast: Episode 6

Are JRPGs as in dire straits as gamers claim?

In this episode of the TV and Lust video game podcast, Craig, Chris, Seth and Fran discuss BioShock Infinite, the Castlevania: Lords of Shadow limited edition and new Fable III merchandise. This week’s topic is JRPGs; the team’s experiences with them, outlook, and how they compare to WRPGs. For this week in games, the team has been playing Resistance 2, Limbo, Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia and Nostalgia.

Some technical difficulties plagued this week’s audio. Our apologies in advance.

iTunes | Right click here to save

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Limited Edition Fable III Controller Fit For a King