Japandemonium - Foreign Groove

New Secret of Mana || Famicon mini-series expands || Cell Phone game madness || Final Fantasy 1 and 2 || Magna Carta || Final Grumble


Andrew Duff - July 13, 2004 - 11:00 Central Standard Time

Hello, hello....hello.

Ahem, first off, Iím glad everyone enjoyed the Capsule Toy special. Thanks a ton for all the letters, and to answer all of your questions, no, I donít know where you can get cheap capsule toys outside of Japan. Maybe try searching on Google for import shops, but youíre not going to findíem cheap, so start applying for Study Aboard today, eh?

Claireís back doing comics this week, and if youíre a big fan of her art, why not place a bid at Ebay auction for your very own art commission? Iím not overly fond of pimping other peopleís attempts at getting your money, but the starting bid is dirt cheap and Claireís saving up for a tablet. Also, if I donít sheíll break my arm. Please donít let her break my arm. ;_;

So yeah, this week is just typical humdrum exciting news from Japan and other foreign parts, so try not to drool on your keyboard and get reading!
New Secret of Mana

Mmm, now who can resist some screens from a new Secret of Mana game? Not me, thatís for certain. And while I donít know what system itís being developed for, anything about the gameplay, or pretty much anything useful about the title, I can reveal that it looks an awful lot like the Saga Frontier series, which probably is a good thing provided the gameplay is nothing like it. If it wasnít for those adorable rabites in the first screen Iíd have written off the whole deal as a joke, frankly.

Happy rabites! Pretty and probably evil.
Famicon mini-series expands

Hooray! Nintendo continues to introduce new titles to the mini-series, cashing in on yet more of our favorite NES games. This new set actually releases quite a few games I wouldnít mind getting my hands on, like Zelda 2, the original Metroid, and even the original Castlevania! Other titles like Super Mario 2 and Kid Icarus round out titles youíd recognize on this side of the Pacific, and frankly I doubt weíll be getting any of the other games. Not that there isnít a market for, say, Super Deformed Gundam World: Scramble Wars, itís just not a very big market. Anyway, all ten games will be released in Japan on August 10th, and weíll hopefully be hearing about a US release date soon.

Mmm, nostaglia. Who wears short shorts?! Sweet packaging, am I rite? Er...yay?
Cell Phone game madness

Yep, European cell phones are getting both Actraiser and a cell phone version of Drakkengard. (Donít ask me how THATíS going to turn out. O_o;;) This is following in the wake of Japanese gamers getting everything from the original Final Fantasy and Dragon Warrior on their cell phones to the brand-new Final Fantasy 7: Before Crisis. Heck, even Disgaea and the Ys series has hopped onto cell phones. Itís enough to leave me seriously wondering whatís keeping America in the dark on games like this. Now, Iím not saying that everyone should run out and pick up a joke system like N-gage, but I wouldnít be surprised if we started seeing a serious increase in good cell phone games in the states within the next year. And yeah, Iíll admit it. When I first heard about cell phone games, I thought they were just a silly fad for Japanese school girls. But hey, with everyone nailed to their cell phones all the time anyway, wouldnít it be cool if instead of playing Snake or Break-Out while you waited in line at the movies, you got to play Before Crisis?

Undead lizard men vs. God Naked demon babies. 0_o Hooray for guns! Giant bullets of DOOM Floooooonne!
Final Fantasy 1 and 2

Ooo, look! Final Fantasy 1 and 2, with pretty graphics and new quests and items. Sure, itís basically the same game that was released on the Playstation a while ago, and sure, Square is charging almost 60 bucks for games that everyone has probably already played, but come on! Itís Final Fantasy! So dig out your wallet and head down to Akihabara on July 29 to secure your copy!

Behemoth! Why can I see inside the walls? 14 hits?! Pretty wonky town.
Magna Carta

And finally, filed into the category of great-looking games youíll never get a chance to play, Magna Carta: Crimson Stigmata is heading to Japan in late September. The very popular Korean RPG series, has been found mainly on the computer up until now, and somehow I doubt the series will be picked up by an American publisher. But at least we can all gaze at the great art and drool, eh?

Run you fool! Mmm, complex hair and lack of pantage. *swoon* Pretty garden.
Final Grumble

Woohoo, columns over. Now to go back to watching a certain flash video on repeat...

Donít forget to write me an email so I feel all squishy inside.

Andrew Duff

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