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Japandemonium R P G A M E R   -   J A P A N D E M O N I U M
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For starters, I would like to introduce myself. I'm Jordan Jackson, but I'm better known here at RPGamer as J_Sensei or simply J. I currently live in Japan, which is one of the main reasons I got this job. Being here, I can get news about Japan a bit faster than most people on the other side of the planet. While there are some problems to being a gaijin in Japan, it more or less is the geek dream. I love it here.

Next on the agenda is to apologize for the lack of Japandemonium. There have been some problems with my internet connection that I am quite sure are earthquake related. Evidently the tectonic plate I'm sitting on has decided to start moving, because we just had a 7.0 quake last week and then a TON of small ones all across Japan. I can only assume this is what has killed my internet. I may live in Japan, but I live in RURAL Japan. We're a bit slow sometimes here....

That being said, on with my first Japandamonium!

Dengeki Rankings 

Pokémon Emerald takes the top spot of RPGs on the list again this week, but has dropped to number 3 behind a few other titles. Trailing Pokémon Emerald this week are Tales of Symphonia at 10 and Fullmetal Alchemist 2: Akaki Elixir no Akuma below that at 25.

Position Title Publisher Platform
3 Pokémon Emerald
10 Tales of Symphonia Namco
25 Fullmetal Alchemist 2: Akaki Elixir no Akuma
28 Paper Mario 2 Sega
36 Naruto RPG Tomy
44 Final Fantasy 1 & 2 Advance
48 Boktai 2: Solar Boy Django Konami

Nintendo Announces New Zelda: The Minish Cap GBA Bundle 

Nintendo

According to the newest issue of Weekly JUMP magazine, there will be a new special edition GBA to be bundled with Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap. The new color is 'Hyrule Gold' and will feature a triforce logo on the top and the crest found on Zelda's Shield on the inside next to the A and B buttons. The JUMP page did not mention pricing; however lucky Japanese residents will have a chance to win one in a mail-in contest.

Sony PSP Price Set 

Sony

While not directly RPG related, the next bit of news is of importance. Sony has recently announced the price point of the new PSP which is scheduled for Japanese release on December 12, 2004. The MSRP will be 19,000 yen which is roughly 185 US dollars. There will also be a Value Pack (which I am planning to purchase...) for 5,000 yen more which includes such goodies as a 32 MB Memory Stick Duo, a case, and a pair of earphones that double as a remote control for media.

The price is lower than anyone had expected, and is quite aggressive, even when compared to the price of the Nintendo DS, which will come out 10 days earlier for a price of 15,000 yen. This aggressive move will put the PSP in the hands of gamers much faster than most early estimates thought which will hopefully cause more developers to come on board. We will just have to wait and see.

Hori Reveals Slime Controller 

Dragon Quest VIII

With Dragon Quest VIII's release growing closer, peripheral manufacturer Hori has revealed a new Dual Shock PS2 controller that should warm the hearts of Dragon Quest faithful everywhere. The controller, shaped in the body of a Blue Slime, will have 2 control inputs on the underside and can easily be flipped over for display.

The controller will be released in the land of the rising sun on November 27 for 3,129 yen (about $28). If you're in North America and you're looking to score one of these for yourself, it looks like importing will be your only option, as a North American release has not been mentioned.

-Phillip Clayton

Slime-a-rific!

Advent Children Action Figures 

Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children

Want some pictures of Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children action figures, do you? Well, you got it, skippy.

Slime-a-rific! Slime-a-rific! Slime-a-rific!
Slime-a-rific! Slime-a-rific!

-Phillip Clayton

TGS Consumer Survey 

Although slightly dated, an interesting poll was taken at this year's TGS. I thought I'd share some of the more relevant and/or amusing results.

Consumer Survey

How much will PlayStation Portable cost?
1. 20,000 yen - 32.5%
2. 25,000 yen - 29.7%
3. 30,000 yen - 17.3%
4. 35,000 yen - 5.0%
5. 40,000 yen - 2.0%
6. Other / No Comment - 13.5%

What do you think about the PlayStation Portable?
1. Concern about battery life - 899 votes
2. Nothing in particular - 834 votes
3. Interested in wireless network - 297 votes
4. Larger / Heavier than expected - 197 votes
5. Disappointed that it cannot connect to PC - 155 votes
6. Control pad is hard to use - 102 votes
7. Display is harder to view than expected - 64 votes
8. Others - 136 votes

Would you buy a PlayStation Portable?
1. Interested - 36.8%
2. Waiting for price info - 29.7%
3. Waiting for game announcements - 16.2%
4. Not so interested - 8.6%
5. Very interested - 5.6%
6. Expected to get one - 1.4%
7. Others - 1.7%

Which are your most anticipated PSP titles?
1. Metal Gear Acid - 308 votes
2. Shin Sangoku Musou - 227 votes
3. Tales of Eternia - 224 votes
4. Dokodemo Issyo - 208 votes
5. Everybody's Golf Portable - 166 votes

What do you think about the Nintendo DS price?
1. Appropriate - 60.9%
2. Expensive - 21.9%
3. Inexpensive - 11.6%
4. Other / No Comment - 5.6%

What do you think about the Nintendo DS?
1. Nothing in particular - 1233 votes.
2. Concern about battery life - 452 votes.
3. Concern about the game media - 365 votes.
4. Interested in wireless network - 185 votes.
5. Display is harder to view than expected - 107 votes.
6. Larger / Heavier than expected - 81 votes.
7. Control pad is hard to use - 39 votes.
8. Others - 114 votes.

Would you buy a Nintendo DS?
1. Interested - 42.6%
2. Not so interested - 32.9%
3. Waiting for game announcements - 18.2%
4. Very interested - 4.0%
5. Expected to get one - 1.5%
6. Others - 0.8%

Which are your most anticipated Nintendo DS titles?
1. Kimi no Tame Nara Shineru (Feel the Magic XX/XY) - 164 votes
2. Gyakuten Saiban - 120 votes
3. Super Mario 64 DS - 83 votes
4. Mario Kart DS - 66 votes
5. Animal Forest DS (Animal Crossing DS) - 57 votes

Survey for current systems

Do you play PS2 games online?
1. Never - 76.5%
2. Not currently but planning to - 8.1%
3. Currently playing using Broadband Unit - 7.4%
4. Played before but not now - 5.7%
5. Currently playing using Network Adapter - 1.7%
6. Currently playing using Modem - 0.6%

Do you play GameCube games online?
1. Never - 91.9%
2. Played before but not now - 5.1%
3. Currently playing using Broadband Adapter - 1.5%
4. Not currently but planning to - 0.8%
5. Currently playing usind Modem - 0.7%

Do you have any concerns about Xbox?
1. Nothing in particular - 1062 votes
2. Lack of interesting titles - 689 votes
3. Want a more compact version - 569 votes
4. Poor design - 191 votes
5. System reaching its hardware limits - 43 votes
6. Others - 68 votes

Do you have any concerns in online games?
1. Nothing in particular - 64 votes
2. First time setup is inconvenient - 59 votes
3. Monthly fee is expensive - 54 votes
4. Have to pay a fee to play on top of Internet costs - 50 votes
5. Lack of interesting titles - 26 votes
6. Others - 23 votes

General Survey

What is the most interesting game you've played to date?
1. Final Fantasy X - 281 votes
2. Final Fantasy VII - 230 votes
3. Kingdom Hearts - 132 votes
4. Dragon Quest V - 122 votes
5. Dragon Quest III - 114 votes

What is the most interesting game at Tokyo Game Show 2004?
1. Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater - 149 votes
2. Dragon Quest VIII - 116 votes
3. Devil May Cry 3 - 67 votes
4. Kingdom Hearts II - 54 votes
5. Biohazard 4 - 54 votes

Which game you are most anticipated.
1. Dragon Quest VIII - 509 votes
2. Final Fantasy XII - 431 votes
3. Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater - 298 votes
4. Kingdom Hearts II - 203 votes
5. Tales of Rebirth - 185 votes

Which is your favorite genre?
1. RPG - 1527 votes
2. Action - 935 votes
3. Simulation - 646 votes
4. Adventure - 498 votes
5. Shooting - 336 votes
6. Table games - 233 votes
7. Board games - 161 votes
8. Card games - 142 votes
9. Others - 152 votes

Which is your favorite game developer?
1. Square Enix - 636 votes
2. Konami - 282 votes
3. Capcom - 218 votes
4. Namco - 189 votes
5. Sega - 170 votes

Which is your least favorite game developer?
1. None - 724 votes
2. Square Enix - 134 votes
3. Konami - 117 votes
4. Bandai - 60 votes
5. Koei - 52 votes

Who is your favorite game creator?
1. Hideo Kojima (Metal Gear Solid) - 171 votes
2. Shigeru Miyamoto (Mario) - 85 votes
3. Ouji Hiroi (Sakura Taisen) - 59 votes
4. Yuji Hori - (Dragon Quest) - 42 votes
5. Tetsuya Nomura (Final Fantasy VII) - 39 votes

Which was your favorite TGS2004 booth?
1. Sega Sammy
2. Square Enix
3. Sony

Who are your favorite booth girls?
1. Microsoft
2. Square Enix
3. Namco
4. Konami
5. Capcom

Tose Cancels Projects 

Tose, an independent Japanese video game and pachinko maker, told the Kyoto Shinbun that it was expecting a drop in profits this year which it blames on poor pachinko sales and the cancellation of two unnamed projects. While the article didn't even name who the projects were for, Tose has produced games for such clients as Square Enix, Nintendo, and Activision. Tose says their main focus is on the Game Boy Advance, but that they plan to move to the next generation handhelds for both Sony and Nintendo, which they expect to allow them to bounce back with sales for the new systems.

The Final Grumble 

So there you have it. My first column. I hope you all like it. I'll try to do these on a regular basis so everyone can stay up on news from the other side of the planet. I'll also tell you how some of this stuff is from a personal prospective. I'm third on the list at my local gaming store to pick up a PSP. I love Christmas shopping to me from me.

Catch you on the flip,
-Jordan "WooHa!" Jackson

Heylo, Phillip "Martyr" Clayton here, Assistant Head of New Updates and Japandemonium Columnist extraordinaire. Well...former Japandemonium columnist anyway, as J here has replaced me in this particular section of the site. But fear not, For those craving the Phil, my stamp has been...um...stamped all over this column. In layman's terms; I did the stories where it lists my name, and Jordan did the ones that aren't.

But alas, after this week my stamp shall be in Japandemonium no longer. I have no doubt that Jordan will do great things with this column, and will be able to provide some interesting content considering his place of residence. Anyhow, it's been fun, I'll see you on the news page.

-Phillip "Fignuts" Clayton

The archives can be found here!

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