R P G A M E R - J A P A N D E M O N I U M
Xenogears vs. Tetris
I'm feeling far better now. This week's column title comes from a Best Game: Championship Finale poll in an IRC channel that I participate in. It is in no way suggesting the development of a game where Fei gets locked in mortal combat with a big stick. A good chunk of stuff to go this week, so lets get started before I catch something else.
The Dengeki numbers are out, and taking three of the four RPG placings in the Top 30 are three newly released RPGs. The fourth is taken by, of course, Pokémon.
The closed beta testing of the Japanese PC version of Phantasy Star Online starts April 4th. Online applications for the beta test close...right about now! The beta kits are being released a bit different that most online game betas. While Sega has the online applications available, they are also releasing kits at the Akihabara Asobit City store. Visitors to the store can see demo units of the game playing, and some lucky ones may even take home a beta kit for the game. As the beta progresses, we will probably see quite a bit media flowing from Sega.
Atlus has announced that their new Shin Megami Tensei title, Digital Devil Saga: Avatel Tuner will be released in Japan this coming June. The game, being developed by Atlus' Research and Development Team I, is being released on the PS2.
Just in case Xenosaga Freaks wasn't enough for Xenosaga fanatics to chew on, Namco has announced that a Limited Edition release of Xenosaga Episode II: Jenseits von Gut und Boese will be available. Weighing in at a hefty 17800 yen, it will include the game and a number of bonus collectables, including what is pictured below. Obviously, being a 'limited edition', quantities will be limited, so to all you Xenosaga fanboys and girls: On your mark, get set...go!
Nintendo's Eiji Aonuma has mentioned that a new Legend of Zelda title is under development for the big N's Nintendo DS portable. This probably doesn't come as much surprise, as Nintendo seems to be really touting the new dual-screen machine.
Square Enix recently dropped some sales numbers in our laps. The rerelease of Dragon Quest V for the PS2 had sold 1.3 million units in Japan by March 25th, and 722000 of those were sold on the very first day of sales.
At GDC (Game Developers Conference), Nintendo released sales figures for the entire Zelda franchise across all their platforms. They also confirmed the development of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker 2 for the GameCube.
Finally, Taito released a new adventure in Japan for those with the FOMA900i mobile phone. Released March 19th, Estpolis Gaiden is a remake of the classic Estpolis (Lufia in North America), but apparently using the graphics from the second game. Take a gander at the images below. This bargain basement cellphone game is available for a mere 300 yen.
Well, I'm not quite back to normal, but I am feeling far better. My father and I finally found out that we both had a variant of the Norwalk virus, which ended up giving us both bronchial pneumonia. Isn't that just peachy?
On the gaming front, we're all gearing up for E3. Personally, I don't find it that big of a thing. I would really prefer going to the Game Developer Conference, but that's just me. Since both take place on the west coast, it's not easy for me to attend either of them. Next year the GDC is in San Fransisco, where I have a few friends, so I'm hoping I can go to that with my IGF submission, which I'm trying oh so hard to get working on.
Random Rob Rant [R3]
Well, I have my glasses. However, the emergency prescription I ordered could not be cancelled, so I have to buy them anyway. $340 CAD gets me two very nice pairs of glasses (2 for 1 sale). Luckily, my job pays 80% on glasses, so I'm set. However, its time to find out who stole my old glasses. Someone is paying that $68, and it's not going to be me.
Oh, and Alex says hi!
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