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The sleeper hits game thread


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#1 mollipen

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Posted 02 November 2004 - 08:30 AM

Well, with two threads in just the past few days about games many of us forgot were coming out, or didn't even know about, I thought that it was about time we had a thread for talking about upcoming games we should pay attention to. Not the stuff like Halo 2, Grand Theft Auto, or other games that you can't help but see everywhere - this is more for those fun, wacky, or just bizarre Japanese games that somehow get released over here.

If you'd like to also use this thread to recommend those kinds of games that are already out, but many may not have seen or heard about, that's okay as well.

#2 mollipen

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Posted 02 November 2004 - 08:34 AM

Technic Beat

Genre: Music
US publisher: Mastiff
US price: $20


In Technic Beat, players listen to music represented in the game by radiating concentric rings of sound. Picking up the beat, they dance into the middle of the rings and try to “catch” the music. If successful, they achieve the power to manipulate the sound rings and create entirely new music. As players progress and gain skill they are rewarded with spectacular visual displays, bonuses, and power ups.

Technic Beat allows players to actually create, alter and dance on screen to their own music. The game features tunes from some of Namco's most popular games. In Technic Beat, players listen to music represented in the game by radiating concentric rings of sound. Picking up the beat, they dance into the middle of the rings and try to "catch" the music. If successful, they achieve the power to manipulate the sound rings and create entirely new music. As players progress and gain skill they are rewarded with spectacular visual displays, bonuses, and power ups.


Release Date: Supposedly today (Nov. 2nd)
Opinion: Unsure. I saw it in Japanese arcades, but never got the chance to play it.
Game Media: IGN

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#3 Finch

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Posted 08 November 2004 - 02:52 PM

=_= definitely picking Technic Beat up.

I don't know about anyone else, but i'd definitely throw Nightmare of Druaga into this pile. It won't be a hit by any means, but it is one of those weird Japanese games that a tiny part of the English-only audience will ever hear or read about. When i took it up to the counter, the girl (whose been pushing every Nippon Ichi game and the Growlanser pack) went, "What the heck is this!?" I'd only read about it days before in a magazine ad and i don't expect many magazines to particularly care for it. Game Informer already declared it to be awful, but a Mr. Jeremy Parish (of Toasty Frog and 1up.com) gave it a nice review.

First of all, most people either haven't heard of or don't like the Druaga series. At least that's how it is with English-speaking audiences. Take a little man, fight creatures in a maze tower, save a princess. The idea's been done again and again, but the original Tower of Druaga is pretty user-unfriendly in the first place.
This one only uses the characters and the idea. Knight. Go through dungeons. Fight monsters. Save Princess. It's more like the Mysterious Dungeon series, though, in that it's turn-based exploring. You move, the enemies move, you attack, the enemies attack. Whoever came up with the claim that it was innovative and new just hasn't been paying attention.
There are also randomly generated items. You'll only know that you've picked up a sword or a shield and you'll have to go back town to have it identified, which'll cost money. The dungeons are deep and the floors are sometimes pretty big. Most floors look identical and the graphics are still pretty boring above ground. Like most random dungeon games, the story's pretty boring as well.
The one good thing about the game is that there's PLENTY to keep you going after you've beaten the final boss. Besides that, there's not much to keep you going unless you're just one of those people who's cursed with a mysterious draw to that type of game. Yeah, i'm one of 'em. If you liked Chocobo's Mysterious Dungeon and Torneko: The Last Hope, this one's from Namco/Chunsoft with love.

(way to support the game...)

Eh... It's um... Mysteriously FUN. Somehow.
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#4 Finch

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Posted 08 November 2004 - 04:02 PM

Out later month is Mr. Driller Drill Spirits for Nintendo DS. It's been quite a while since the only U.S. release in the series for the Dreamcast, Playstation, and Gameboy Color. Anyone who doesn't pay attention to imports will probably miss this one completely.
In case you missed 'em, the gameplay's pretty much the same in all of the games. Dig down and watch for falling blocks. As blocks match up with similar colors, they'll disappear. There are also tougher blocks which use up precious oxygen and shoot poisonous gas to take away even more of Mr. Driller's air supply. Most games in the series require the player to get air tanks to keep the air supply up. Drop to zero and Mr. Driller dies. As you descend, they become super rare and really tough to get. It's a little Tetris, a little Dig Dug, and a little of those sand-digging segments from Super Mario Bros. 2.
A few titles and mini-titles from Mister Driller Land made things different by throwing in shops or monsters or changing up the gameplay a little. It's the little things that make the difference, though. By Drill Land, the player could choose from several different ways of playing and several different characters, including Dig Dug, or at least someone who shares the same wardrobe. Still, this one's a portable so i'm not expecting much that's new. Worth mentioning is that both console Mr. Drillers have a fantastic soundtrack, while even the portable games have some great songs.
Still, it doesn't look like much will be added to this title over previous games in the series. No one who hated the first game will be likely to even think of picking up this one. It's probably only being released because the DS line-up is looking pretty boring until sometime next year.
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#5 mollipen

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Posted 14 November 2004 - 07:47 PM

Picked up Technic Beat yesterday. Basically, rings appear on the gameboard, and a second ring begins to grow out from the center. When the two rings meet, you have to be touching the ring and press a button to activate it.

So far, I'm really liking the game. It isn't anything overly complex, but it's a fun little game with a ton of songs. (Including a lot of songs from Namco games.) If you like puzzle and/or music games, it's a great purchase for its $20 price tag.

I've got to say, I am loving this "wacky Japanese games for $20" thing that is happening more and more.

#6 DeusOfTheWired

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Posted 14 November 2004 - 11:21 PM

Finch off handedly mentioned Growlanser Generations, which is coming out later this month. It looks pretty sweet, and lots to keep you busy. Sorry Shidoshi, but this one is going to fall into the "Wacky Japanese Games for $90" catagory. If you bought/liked Lunar, Lunar 2, or Arc the Lad, you know what to expect.

Oh, and Gradius V. I know Gradius is not obscure, but no one gives the shooters enough respect now a days. It's only 30 bucks, and will definetly keep you busy for a long time, simply because it is one of the hardest games ever.

#7 Tequila~RTF/SKZ~

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Posted 15 November 2004 - 12:43 AM

KLONOA: DOOR TO PHANTOMILE

#8 Finch

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Posted 15 November 2004 - 03:24 PM

X| DUDE. Technic Beat completely R0X0RZ and all that.
I picked it up Friday with Shadow Hearts 2 and it's been stealing my attention from EVERYTHING. Seriously, i played a game this much fun with a game since Bangaioh. It gets super tough, but it's never frustrating. Even Katamari pissed me off more. It's just so hypnotic, in a Rez sort of way. It's more fun than Rez, tho.

Poor old Working Designs. I don't see how their employees get paid, if they even have any besides Vic Ireland. At least they try. Oh, i already have five bucks on that big box if it's ever released, but who knows when i'll get the chance to play it. (pile building...)

:3 The second Klonoa title's FINALLY coming early next year. (everyone!) WA-HOOO! Doryloopo! Manyaaaaa! (pssst... Tales of Symphonia makes a big Klonoa reference in the form of an alternate costume. XD)

I'm surprised no one's mentioned Sega's Feel the Magic XY/XX. It's one of the more interesting titles for the DS. What about the Shin Megami titles that are finally getting a chance? Not that they'll succeed, but they're at least worth a mention. I'll type up a short review, mehbe...
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#9 mollipen

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Posted 15 November 2004 - 08:55 PM

Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana
May 2005

QUOTE
Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana for the PlayStation 2 is expected to see release in North America next May, representatives of publicher NIS America confirmed today. Despite speculation to that effect, localization of the Gust-developed 2D RPG apparently hasn't gotten stuck in the pipeline.

Eternal Mana is the latest in a long-running series of alchemy-themed RPGs, beginning with Atelier Marie for the Sega Saturn. "Atelier" is in fact an English word -- it's a somewhat anachronistic term for an artisan's workshop. In this case, it refers to the laboratory where players cook up alchemical creations, in between questing abroad to explore new areas and acquire new ingredients.


#10 mollipen

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Posted 15 November 2004 - 08:56 PM

QUOTE(Finch @ Nov 15 2004, 03:24 PM)
I'm surprised no one's mentioned Sega's Feel the Magic XY/XX. It's one of the more interesting titles for the DS. What about the Shin Megami titles that are finally getting a chance? Not that they'll succeed, but they're at least worth a mention. I'll type up a short review, mehbe...
View Post


Trust me, I've got my eyes on both of the PS2 MegaTen games. I'm just not totally sure which is which, which is the better, and so on.

#11 mollipen

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Posted 17 November 2004 - 08:36 AM

Castle Shikigami 2

Genre: Shooter
US Publisher: XS
US Price: $10
Release date: Out now

A US version of the Japanese shooter Shikigami no Shiro 2 makes its way over here, and isn't called "Mobile Light Force" this time. (The previous game was brought over here, but really Americanized.) I haven't played it yet, but most say that it is at least a decent shooter. And, I mean, for $10, that's a nice price.

#12 Finch

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Posted 23 November 2004 - 05:09 PM

Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne is great. The first few hours involve wandering around in similar looking coridors, fighting wave after wave of monsters, but it really picks up. The random encounter rate isn't too high and the battles go fast, so fighting is never annoying.
At first i wasn't so happy about the demonic Pokémon monster recruiting. Most of the monster designs are well done and you'll need a lot of their skills, especially for later boss battles. Like it or not, your three Angels aren't going to beat a high level Matador. You'll need something stronger. After a while, i found myself enjoying the process and going out of my way to look for less common monsters.

:\ I found out that Digital Devil Saga isn't due out until March, so buying Nocturne or not, you'll have time before it comes out.

Edited by Finch, 23 November 2004 - 05:10 PM.

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#13 Finch

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Posted 11 April 2005 - 03:48 PM

Weird stuff. I found Castle Shikigami 2 in Kohl's recently. It's pretty good, worth it just for the really bad translation. Add to the fact that they have English voice actors and it's funny as hell.
I'm not big enough into shooters to know what's good or not, but the game itself is pretty solid, from an outsider's opinion. It borrows quite a bit from Radiant Silvergun, Giga Wing, and the tiniest bit from Ikaruga. A mid-level puzzle boss was certainly a change of pace.
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#14 mollipen

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Posted 11 April 2005 - 10:03 PM

I read on their website that they didn't want to dub the game, but SCEA required it. They would have left the Japanese voices in and let the player choose, but there wasn't enough room on the disc.

#15 Finch

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Posted 14 April 2005 - 12:36 AM

XD It's better for having english voices.

Digital Devil Saga came out last week. Despite average reviews it's at least as interesting and almost as deep as Shin Megami Tensei 3.
As in Persona, there's no demon catching. Instead it's more traditional by giving the player control over three human characters which... turn into demons(or don't if there's a surprise attack). Every character has a weakness and learns new skills through gained experience in a grid system similar to the one in Final Fantasy X, only crossed with the system in FF IX.
The story involves demons and canabalism and such but takes a more eastern view than SMT. There's no God fighting (as far as i've seen) but there are refrences to um.. non-Judeo-Christian based religions.
There's quite a bit of dungeon slogging and fighting but the story bits are more frequent than SMT3. All in all, it's not so lonely as SMT and even has some town-like areas. Wel, kind of. Even non-enemy areas are sparsely populated.
There's lots of depth but, like SMT3, it takes a lot of work. In a way, the work is a reward itself, but it just depends on if you're the type of gamer that likes that type of game. It's as dense as older j-rpg's but it's as polished and pretty as the newer ones. The sequel picks up directly from the end and it'll be released later this summer so there's quite a bit of commitment involved.
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