Considering how big cosplaying can be in Japan, it's kind of surprising how few people really get into Halloween in this country. Still, I have seen little children here and there in costume, and I just finished a whole week of Halloween-themed lessons myself. Even my classroom assistant, Pinky the Pig, got into the act.
The choice of costume was pure serendipity. The school where I work gets a lot of costumes donated to it, since at this age the kids outgrow the outfits pretty quickly. Last year, the oldest class at the school did a pastiche of The Lion King, so their moms had to somehow come up with appropriate costumes. One mother in particular went the extra mile to create a really nice Pumba outfit for her son. As luck would have it, it also fits Pinky (though the collar had to be stretched a bit to fit his head through). So far, Pinky has been a wild boar, a Pokémon (Tepig, naturally), and now a warthog. It really has been mostly by accident, honest.
When Super Robot Taisen Masou Kishin: The Lord of Elemental was announced for a remake last year, that came as a surprise. When its title was officially amended to make it an Original Generation title, that was also a surprise. Now, it surprises once more by getting a sequel. Games produced in 1994 and then ignored for the better part of two decades do not usually get that sort of treatment.
Super Robot Taisen Masou Kishin: Revelation of Evil God seems to continue directly from the original game, though in what way cannot really be confirmed until Banpresto provides some actual story details. Instead, the first news report on the game in Famitsu serves to reacquaint everyone with the main cast, as well as showcasing what one can expect of this game on the PSP.
There's Masaki Ando and the mecha Cybuster.
The villainous Elan Zenosakis and his mecha the Zelvoid.
Lune Zoldark and her anthropomorphic Valsyone R.
Huan Yan-Lon and the fiery Granveil.
Tutti Norbach and her icy Gaddes.
Mio Sasuga and her short-but-tough Zamziid.
And finally, Precia Zenosakis and her mecha, Diablo.
Revelation of Evil God will also have a special edition release, which in this case includes a PSP port of Lord of Elemental. The port will include graphical upgrades as well as content not seen in the original or the DS remake. Voice acting will be added as well.
The Japanese love their heroes. They pretty much invented their own genre of live-action transforming superhero television programs (tokusatsu) from whole cloth. Many of these series have managed to continue for far longer than any such American series could have expected, with many having their roots in the mid-60s (Ultraman) or 70s (Kamen Rider and the Super Sentai series), or even earlier. Given the general feeling towards crossover material in recent years, I suppose the following game was inevitable.
Lost Heroes is the latest of the Konpachi Heroes series of crossover games, and is pretty much exactly what it looks like. While the series has been kicking around for over twenty years (Konpachi Heroes: The Great Battle came out in 1990), this is the first RPG variant. Characters from the Ultraman, Kamen Rider, and SD Gundam series have been gathered together to take on a dungeon-delve RPG. Why? No idea. What's the plot? No idea. Does Banpresto really need a plot to sell this game? Definitely not. Just look at the video footage:
There are times when the best defense is a good offense. The hero of the new Shining Blade is definitely a character on the attack, as he is a bonded champion of the Soul Blade. Reiji is his name, and it is his appointed task to escort the Lorelei, a sort of magical songstress, wherever she needs to go. Unfortunately, the machinations of the obligatory Evil Empire of Dragonia are disrupting the natural balance of nature. Dragons across the land are going berserk, and the nations of Krantor and Fontina are busy mustering the forces to stand up to the threat. These names sounded familiar, and a quick check online confirmed that these are ares connected to the Shining Soul games as well as Shining Tears.
These are the main cast, it seems. The first is Reiji, who was apparently summoned from another world by the kingdom of Krantor in order to prevent the resurrection of the Dark Dragon. The second is Altina, the Fairy Lorelei and princess of Fontina. Elves don't seem to go for much variety in names in this series. The third is Fenrir, the leader of the Valeria Liberation Front, and as such is a sworn enemy of Dragonia.
From the screenshots, it's obvious that the list of party members is a lot larger than what we've seen so far.
Shining Blade was originally reported by Famitsu as being for the PSP Vita, but that was later taken back. The game has been confirmed for a 2012 release on the PSP.
On Wednesday, I asked JuMeSyn if he had heard of Shining Force Chronicle I, to which he replied that he couldn't keep track of all the Shining spinoffs released in recent years. This is one game that is anything but recent, however.
Shining Force Chronicles I is an Android port/remake of Shining Force Gaiden. The Famitsu article refers to its GameGear release date, but Jumes has opined that the screens look more like the version that was released as part of Shining Force CD for the Sega CD.
This game is available now for Android users. It's technically downloadable for free, but you'll need a membership with the PuyoPuyo! Sega! community (315 yen a month) to get it.
Okay, it says something about this week that the Ultraman/Kamen Rider/SD Gundam crossover is not the weirdest thing in the column. While there have been several RPGs that include aspects of dating sims, and a few that even allow the player to choose mates for the heroes in order to produce the next generation, I doubt any company has tried pushing it as far as this next game does.
The name of the game is Conception: Ore no Kodomo wo Undekure!. That last part translates as "Please Have My Baby!" Yes, it sounds as weird in Japanese as it does in English. The main character, Itsuki Yuge, finds out on the day of his high school graduation that his cousin and best friend, Mahiru Konatsuki is pregnant. No, it is not mentioned in the Famitsu article if he is the father. In any case, immediately after this revelation a rift in time and space opens up and swallows both of them. They find themselves at the Granvania National Star God Academy, which is located in a magic world slowly being consumed by a dark filth (described with a very uncommon kanji). Only the Chosen One, working with the twelve Zodiac Maidens, can muster the forces necessary to combat the Filth. Itsuki is that chosen one. Mahiru is apparently one of the maidens. And "muster the forces" is a bald-faced euphemism. Itsuki must woo each of the maidens and gain their trust in order to create a child with them. These Star Children will be virtual demi-gods with powers beyond that of most mortals. With them, Itsuki can take on the dark force corrupting the world.
Thankfully, it seems that Spike has refrained from getting too visceral in the baby-making department. Creating a Star Child is a simple process involving two genetic samples and the magical equivalent of an in vitro uterine replicator. The strength of Itsuki's emotional bond with the maiden in question is reflected in the power of the resulting child.
Whatever else it may be, Conception is also an RPG, and that means it has combat. Itsuki leads his brigade of terrible toddlers into plenty of action, it seems. From the few screens we have, it sort of looks like one of the later Persona games, but it's impossible to really say much about the actual combat at this time.
In any case, I severely doubt that this game will see a foreign release. It's a late-gen PSP title with a highly questionable concept behind it. I would not be at all surprised if AliceSoft decided to make a similar but pornographic RPG, however.