hazuki no misoka
Undou Shiyou

The month of August is come to a close and the temperatures are already falling noticeably. The locals still complain about the heat, but a mid-afternoon in the sun is still several degrees below what evening temps from three weeks ago. More importantly for me, my afternoon treks to my classroom no longer leave me wiped out for half an hour. I've been taking naps most afternoons just to cool down a bit (can't use the air conditioner too much because it's pay-by-the-hour).

This also means that my exercise regimen has suffered a bit. Prior to the onset of summer heat, I made a habit of doing jumping jacks in the stairwell before my students arrived each afternoon. That simply has not been practical since the end of June. Aside from the excessive sweat, I'd be risking dehydration and possibly heat stroke some days, and since I can't do jumping jacks on tatami floors there's no way to do them in an air conditioned room, either.

But today was both sunny and not too hot — a perfect day to get things started. Unfortunately, my legs do not agree with me. After almost two months of no jumping jacks, they were complaining mightily by the time I made it to eighty (and that was pushing it). I'll need some more time before I get back to my usual hundred-a-time workout.

But at least the weather's nice.

Falcom has some special items available for its fans now. With Ys Celceta on the horizon (in stores 9/27), the game's special box has been announced. Here's what's on hand.

While they're fairly standard items to include these days, the dramatic CD and soundtrack are always a welcome addition for fans. The soundtrack is a 25th anniversary edition that includes tracks from all over the series' history. If I'm reading this right, it even includes five tracks from the Sony MSX version of the original Ys. That's about as old school as you can get for RPGs in the gaming industry. The third item is a cleaning cloth map of the game's world. Finally, there's the Ys Heroines 2012 Calendar, which features nineteen of the most popular ladies in Falcom's history.

If you have a Vita and don't mind the Japanese, you can order the whole thing here for 8925 yen (about USD 113.50).

Source: Falcom HP
8/20 ~ 8/26 8/13 ~ 8/19 Up / Down Title Publisher Platform
3 2 Last seen at 3 Pokémon Black 2 / White 2 The Pokémon Co.
4 3 Last seen at 2 Dragon Quest X Square Enix
10 13 Last seen at 19 Monster Hunter Portable 3G Capcom
16 14 Last seen at 11 Persona 4: The Ultimate in Mayonaka Tournament Atlus
17 16 Last seen at 22 Little Battlers BAKU BOOST Level-5
19 15 Last seen at 14 Digimon World RE: Digitize Bandai-Namco
21 23 Last seen at 20 Dragon Quest Monsters: Terry's Wonderland 3D Square Enix
26 22 Last seen at 21 Rune Factory 4 Marvelous AQL
24 * New Arrival! The Witcher 2 Spike/Chunsoft

Two weeks ago I posted a video for Unchain Blades: Exxiv, but I forgot to post any of the screenshots I found that week. Oops. Let's fix that now.

Along with the screenshots, we have some nice tapestries to look at. These would look splendid on any otaku's wall, I suppose.

Unchain Blades: Exxiv is due out in mid-November.

Source: Famitsu Online

This past Tuesday, Square Enix finally released Emperor's SaGa for GREE. Huzzah. It turned out to be yet another card-based affaire. Boo. SE promises a deep story, interesting gameplay, and shout-outs to other games in the series, but as I don't have a smartphone there's no way I can confirm this personally. Interestingly enough, it seems that the traditional combat system for the series has survived the transition. At least, this screenshot shows that the Glimmer system is still in use.

It's just not the same, though...

Source: GameBiz

So far we've met a ridiculous number of heroes and sorta-heroes connected to Project X Zone, the 3DS crossover title that is a spiritual sequel to Namco X Capcom. It's about time we met some villains.

These three are original characters, and probably either the primary villains or the regularly occuring goof squad for the game. From left to right we have Ein Belanos, Dué Frabelm, and Trei Belanos. The two big uglies are brothers, but the lady is only related to them in that she also has a numeric name scheme. They work for a mysterious organization called Ouros-Blocks.

To make things interesting, a few more villains and antagonists have appeared from various contributor games.

First, there's the most famous Satanic Aussie zombie deathmetal demigod ever, Zabel (a.k.a. Lord Raptor). According to the backstory in the Darkstalkers games, this guy arranged two whole albums to closely follow the instructions and incantations found within a tome of dark sorcery. In his grand finale, he successfully sacrificed himself (as well as a hundred screaming fans) in a blaze of hellish glory that culminated in his death and rise to unlife. Here, he seems to be reprising his villainous role from Namco X Capcom.

A rogue Maverick Hunter turned Maverick himself, Vile is a recurring villain in the Mega Man X series. Rarely seen without his heavy armor, Vile is a heavy hitter thanks to the vast arsenal he is constantly carrying around.

From Valkyria Chronicle, we have the Valkyrie herself. I don't know much about Selvaria, except that she can be extremely dangerous with the right weapon in hand. Amusingly, one of PXZ's heroines is actually called Valkyrie, and doesn't seem to take kindly to Selvaria's use of the word for herself.

And finally, from Sakura Taisen 3 we get Ciseaux, a bizarre, rabbit-themed supervillain in a lepine battle mech. Every game needs a gag villain, right?

Project X Zone is still set to come out mid-October. Presumably there will be several more updates to the villains list before then.

Source: Famitsu Online
Title Publisher Release Date Platform
Taiko Risshiden V (Koei-Tecmo Best) Koei-Tecmo 9.6.12
Lost Heroes Bandai-Namco 9.6.12
Elminage Ibun: Ame no Mihashira Starfish 9.13.12
Medabot 7 Kabuto/Kuwagata Rocket Company 9.13.12
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning Spike/Chunsoft 9.20.12
Ys Celceta Falcom 9.27.12
Source: Dengeki Online

Okay, depending on the flow of news over here, there may or may not be a column next week. Regardless, I will definitely have one up on the 14th. The 21st is a different story. You see, the Tokyo Games Show is in three weeks, and for the first time ever I do not have any personal or professional issues getting in the way of my attendance. So Sept. 20th to Sept. 24th is going to be one extended Japandemonium adventure. I just hope my hands don't fall off from all the notes I'll be furiously scribbling down.

And that's the news from Hi-no-Kuni,

Your man in Japan,

Gaijin Monogatari

P.S. Soul Hackers is still awesome, and an impression should be coming soon.

Discuss this column Previous Updates Your In-House Translator
RPGamer Message Board Prev. Column | The Archives Michael Baker
© 1998-2017 RPGamer All Rights Reserved
Privacy Policy