There's not much in terms of content, so the demo for Level-5's Time Travelers is highlighted this week.
It’s a bit of a sparse week in terms of content on the eShop, but there were a few minor updates here and there. It seems most of the focus this week is probably aimed to make sure the first full retail games available for download, New Super Mario Bros. 2 and Oni Training, get implemented into the eShop without a hitch. Because of that, I decided to take a look at some of the stuff I have missed over the past month or so, particularly the demo for Level-5‘s Time Travelers. Let’s take a look at what gamers in Japan can pick up on their neighborhood friendly eShop this week:
3DS Downloadable Titles
ARC STYLE: Joshi Soccer!! 3D (Women’s Soccer) – 500 yen
Smile Purikua! Let's go! Meruhen World DEMO – FREE
Dasshatsu Adventure Kyū Kōsha no Shōjo DEMO – FREE
Neko Jara Monogatari (Game Boy) – 400 yen
Rayman: Mister Dark no Wana (Rayman, Game Boy Color) – 600 yen
Super Mario Bros. 2 (Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, Famicom) – 500 yen
There honestly isn’t much in terms of new video content this week. The only video to appear is one explaining the Club Nintendo bonuses for purchasing New Super Mario Bros. 2 or Oni Training digitally. It is interesting to note that the eShop in Japan now has a specific place that showcases software recommendations specifically for you based on what you have downloaded in the past.
Even though the demo came out a few weeks ago, I finally managed to play the eShop demo for Time Travelers. Developed by Level-5, the game has great production values with pretty visuals, deep 3D effects, and a full voice cast. The demo puts you in control of two different scenarios. The first scenario has you controlling a guy named Kamiya Sōma, who is trying to be reunited with his wife and son. The other scenario stars a girl named Fushimi Hina. Hina works for a television company and is dreaming of becoming a newscaster but is forced to start out on a number of odd variety shows. While the characters are on very different journeys, they eventually cross paths in the demo.
One thing to note about Time Travelers for those of you who may be thinking of importing (if you have a Japanese 3DS, of course): this game is driven primarily through the narrative. If you don’t understand spoken or written Japanese (or both), you are going to have a difficult time understanding what’s going on. Time Travelers has essentially what we know as QTEs, but in this game they are referred to as a PCE, or Playing Cinema Event. In an early section of the demo, as Kamiya, you have to make a decision to either follow a hooded girl who left a bag in the middle of the street in Shibuya, or check out what’s inside the bag. I decided to check out what was inside the bag only to discover to my horror, a bomb inside. With only limited time, Kamiya needed to dismantle the bomb so that he can try to disarm it before it blew up. To take the bomb apart, a PCE kicks in where you have to rotate the circle pad to remove two different screws on the casing. Once you do that, you have a few seconds left to press the A button to turn off the bomb. It’s not the most creative thing in the world, but fans of games like Heavy Rain or even the Dreamcast classic, Shenmue, would be interested.
I played the demo for about 30 minutes or so. Later on, as I mentioned above, Kamiya and Hina’s paths end up crossing later on when she and her camera slam into Kamiya with their car after I had him dismantle the bomb. It was at this point that the game went into a “time stop” and then allowed me to choose from several different points in each character’s time line to travel to. It’s a pretty interesting concept and really opens up the narrative and gives players the opportunity to alter the events leading up to the time stop.
I really enjoyed my time with the Time Travelers demo. The game looks great visually, the voice acting is top notch and the experience is a lot of fun. Keep your eyes peeled and fingers crossed for an English version of this game in the future. It could be worth your time.