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Dengeki Ratings I New Atelier Details Blow In I Atlus Personifies Website I Capcom Breathing Some Fiery Music I Final Fantasy XII OST Shows Good Side to Camera I Innocent Life Pre-Order Goodies I Culture Corner I Sayonara
JAPANDEMONIUM
Mokuyoubi March 23, 2006


Konnichiwa

The week goes by faster than I would have ever imagined. I figured it'd be easier to write Japandemonium since I'd be on the same time zone as everyone else, but in reality, it's much harder. Trying to manage writing a column, going to work, playing a few games, and spending time with my wife is a lot harder than I ever imagined. So I hope updating on thursdays will help me. It'll give me a few more days during the week to work on things. I also hope you can all bear with me as I adjust to life on the other side of the planet. It's been a bigger change than I expected, but I think I've about got it under control for now. I also want to apologize for last week's short column. Like this week, it was a somewhat slow week for news, but it'll start picking up again soon. That's how it works.

In gaming news, I'm still playing Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim . The game is picking up a bit, but the loading issues are still present. It seems to get better as you play, so that's a perk.

This week is also the launch of Metroid Prime: Hunters. I want that game REALLY badly. I'll just have to put it on the back burner though. I've got so many games I need to play that it's just sad. Everyone else gets to play the cool games, too. But don't mind me. I'll just be slumped in the corner crying softly.

But that's enough negativity. This week's title is rather unimaginative. 'Mokuyoubi' is literally 'Thursday' in Japanese. It is derived from the kanji meaning wood and day. Each day of the week comes from a different element or celestial body in Japanese. For those wondering, it's Sun (nichi), Moon (getsu), Fire (ka), Water (sui), Wood (moku), Metal (kin), and Earth (dou). Those correspond to our Sunday through Saturday.

That said, let's get this party started!



 Dengeki Rankings

A rather interesting week on the charts. The top spot was taken by Animal Crossing Wild World, and I have no idea what launched it to the top of the charts. We also have a game making the largest upward jump I have ever seen. Final Fantasy X (Ultimate Hits) went from 72 to 42 last week. That is a very impressive move.

Aside from that, the rest of the week was relatively calm. Fifteen titles made the chart this week, so let's see where they ended up.

Position Title Publisher Platform
7 Seiken Densetsu: Children of Mana Square Enix
10 Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth Square Enix
13 Devil Summoner: Kuzunoha Raidou Atlus
15 Suikoden V Konami
18 Disgaea 2 Nippon Ichi
20 Eye Shield 21 Max Devil Power! Nintendo
24 Pokémon's Mysterious Dungeon Blue Nintendo
25 Tenkabito Sega
28 Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories (Ultimate Hits) Square Enix
31 Mario and Luigi RPG 2 Nintendo
38 Far East of Eden: Tengai Makyou II ~Manji Maru Hudson
41 Pokémon's Mysterious Dungeon Red Nintendo
42 Final Fantasy X (Ultimate Hits) Square Enix
47 Kingdom Hearts II Square Enix
49 Bleach: Hanetareshi Yabou SCE


Source: Dengeki Online



 New Atelier Details Blow In
Atelier Iris: Grand Phantasm

Gust has announced some new details concerning the upcoming Atelier Iris: Grand Phantasm. The game will be taking the series in a new direction. Unlike the others, Grand Phantasm will be much more non-linear, and it will involve a large variety of quests and the exploration of multiple worlds. For instance, players may choose to go monster hunting to create specific items, or on the opposite end of the spectrum, they might try to find lost cats.

As for the battle system, it will use an enhanced version of the Active Cost Card Battle (ACCB) from Atelier Iris 2.

Atelier Iris: Grand Phantasm is currently set for release on June 29 for the standard price of 7140 yen. No announcement of whether or not it will leave Japan has been made. I'd say the game has a better than average chance of making the hop across the pond, but only time will tell. In the meantime, enjoy these new screenshots.






Source: Famitsu



 Atlus Personifies Website
Atlus

Atlus has opened a new website for the upcoming Persona 3. It contains loads of information, all of which will eventually find its way to RPGamer in future updates. For now, feel free to take a sneak peak and enjoy the artwork.

Persona 3 is set to hit Japanese shelves on July 13. Currently, the series is two for three on coming to North America, so it is uncertain whether or not it will make the trip.





 Capcom Breathing Some Fiery Music
Breath of Fire

Capcom announced that it will release a collection of the original sountracks for all five games in the Breath of Fire series. The collection will be titled "Breath of Fire Soundtrack Special Box," and it will contain 307 tracks on eleven CDs. It will also feature some songs that have never been heard previously.

Those wishing to purchase this dragon-sized collection should go to Capcom's Tanomikomu website with 9240 extra yen to spare.



Source: IT Media



 Final Fantasy XII OST Shows Good Side to Camera
Final Fantasy XII

It was recently reported that Square Enix is releasing the official soundtrack for Final Fantasy XII. It will feature over a hundred songs composed by Hitoshi Sakimoto, and not all of them will be in the actual game.

The collection goes on sale on April 19 for 3900 yen, but for those of us that will never have it, we can at least look at it.



Source: VGM World



 Innocent Life Pre-Order Goodies
Harvest Moon Innocent Life

Marvelous Interactive has announced that those that wish to be among the first to own Harvest Moon: Innocent Life will be rewarded with a mini-guidebook entitled "World Guide Book: Heartflame Island."

Harvest Moon: Innocent Life will be available on April 27 for the standard PSP price of 5400 yen.



Source: Game Watch



  Culture Corner: Ask Sensei

After last week's draught of letters, I got one whole letter this week. Luckily, he asks two questions, so it's almost like a double letter. Hopefully I'll have more letters next week, but there's really no place to go but up.

That said, let's get to that letter!



Pinko Venture


What's up J-Sensei, I can't believe you had no questions for last week's column! So I've taken it upon myself to think up a few to keep you busy. I have 2 this week. I hope my first question makes sense as I couldn't think of a very good way to describe the situation, but the second question should be pretty straight forward.

1. When eating at a long table (as you might at some non-western hotel restaurants, or possibly at ryokans I'm not sure) where lots of people will be eating at the same time, are there faux pas to avoid to not look like a completely tourist-y idiot? (I'm thinking like sitting incorrectly, using chopsticks unconventionally...) I hope ya know what I'm talking about...

2. What's the deal with pachinko? it's seems to be so huge over in Japan... is it any fun? should I visit a pachinko parlour when I go there? Is there an age you must be to go to a pachinko parlour? Enlighten me, because I have no idea what is up with the pachinko...

Thanks

-Mike-


Sensei

Based on your letter, I'm assuming you're a westerner, so that means that all bets are off when you travel to Japan. Essentially, you won't be required to do anything correctly. If you CAN do it correctly, that's all the better, but I'll be honest with you. I still can't sit correctly. Most Japanese sit with their legs folded under them in what is called 'seiza.' This is quite possibly the most painful position to sit in that has ever been imagined. Fortunately, men aren't as required to do it, so I could get away with sitting with my legs crossed. Aside from that, there really aren't any rules that would be any different from the equivalent situation in America. As long as you follow normal table manners, you'll be A-OK. And when in doubt, look around and do what everyone else is doing.

As for pachinko, I STILL don't really get it. The deal is this: it's a mix of slot machines and pinball. It is popular because it is a way to get around gambling laws; you can exchange the balls for money. I've walked in a few pachinko parlors to see what it's all about, but I could only stay for a few minutes. they are filled with chain-smokers, and the music is so loud you can't hear yourself think. It really did hurt my ears to stay in there, so I decided to pass on it. Also, I didn't feel like wasting 50 bucks or so. I've heard that you can win or lose money pretty quickly in there, and I didn't really know what I was doing. I'd say to go and check it out, but I wouldn't play it. You'd just be throwing your money down the hole, and unlike pachinko, putting your money in the hole doesn't grant you more money.

If you're wondering where the title for this email came from, well, every time I used to go to this one grocery store, I'd pass several pachinko parlors. For a small town, Niihama had MANY pachinko parlors, and most of them were in one area. There was this one called "Pachinko Venture," but the neon light was going out. So every time I'd pass by, it said in bright red letters "Pinko Venture," and I'd ride off snickering. I don't think the Japanese ever got the joke, and in retrospect, it probably isn't all that funny. But at the time, it gave me the giggles.

At any rate, thanks for the letter, and I hope it was helpful. Don't worry too much. You'll be OK. Most eating situations aren't that hard. Remember, when in Rome, do as the Romans do, and you'll do just fine.



 Sayonara

By some miracle, I think I might actually get a column out on time. I've got more going on than I'm really able to keep up with. Here's hoping I can do this every week. At any rate, enjoy your weekend, and I'll do my best to do the same.

Catch you on the flip,


Jordan "A llama? He's supposed to be *dead*." Jackson




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