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Messages - Badukan Yoshinoya

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1
TalkBack / Sakurai Article Translation
« on: August 09, 2003, 09:25:03 PM »
PGC brings you the full translation of Masahiro Sakurai's column in Famitsu, announcing his resignation from HAL Laboratory.

It is a very sudden announcement; I am quitting Hal Laboratory, the game  development company at which I have worked up until now.  


As I write this column, I have not decided what I will do next.  I was not  hired away by some other company.  In any case, it was my own will to leave  the company.  


Naturally, people will always ask for the reason.  Simply said, half of the  reason is that under the current structure, I feel is it impossible to  continue to make games.  The other half is the attraction of being able to  work freely with other creators by leaving the company.  


Once my resignation letter was accepted, I notified everyone at HAL  Laboratory.  Afterwards I met Nintendo’s president Iwata-san and talked with  him.  Iwata-san is also my previous superior.  He felt regretful about my  departure, but he understood my decision, and fully supports it.  


As of present, I have no intention of joining any company or organization as  an employee and developer.  For the meantime, I will take light jobs as a  freelancer, and try to be flexible.  First, there is some doubt of making  games and receiving a set salary in any company that has a destiny of always  striving to increase revenues.  I also think that by participating on  different projects, it can influence the way creators think about games.  


However, game development is about working closely with staff members,  sharing know-how and gaining trust.  I do not believe success will come from  constantly moving from one place to another place.  Therefore, ultimately I  might find a place where I belong.  


With the weakened economy, the harshness of the game industry is only  escalating.  I also think energy is lost since some creators are having  difficulty making a living.  I wish I can be of some help to those creators  who are energetic, yet not doing so well.  I hope to become some strength to  those people who are fighting in the game industry.  While receiving this  strength, I hope they will understand it is important to develop games for  the users and not for companies and developers.  


I have already been approached by various interesting projects.  With that  said, I only have one body, so I probably cannot take jobs as I would like, but  it does not look like I will stop making games.  


Please do not worry about the Kirby series, as HAL Laboratory will still be  developing the games.  Regarding Smash Brothers, honestly, I do not know!  Sorry!  


Although the rode ahead is pitch dark, the feeling now of standing at the  starting line is very exciting.  The unknown path is a very wonderful thing.  It will require a lot of training, and many challenges await me.  However, I am looking forward to it!  


Ahh… the column is still going to continue.  Please look forward to it!


2
TalkBack / Famitsu Weekly Update
« on: August 09, 2003, 09:17:25 PM »
Check out the review of FF: Crystal Chronicles, and find out how Nintendo games are faring on the Japanese sales charts.

In this week's Top 30, F-Zero GX (GC) debuts at fourth place.  Following  behind are Super Mario Advance 4 (GBA) and Kirby's Air Ride (GC) at fifth  and sixth place, respectively.  Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire (GBA) hold on to  the ninth place after thirty-four weeks.  Korokke! 2 (GBA), a game based on  a comic from Konami, slides from seven to ten.  Boktai drops out of the top  ten to twelfth place in its second week.  Shining Soul II (GBA) and Onimusha  Tatics (GBA) surface at thirteenth and fourteenth, respectively.  Animal Forest e+ (GC) and Jikkyo Powerful Pro Yakkyu 10 grab the sixteenth  and seventeenth spots, respectively.  Mother 1+2 slips to twenty-two.  Viewtiful Joe (GC) and Made in Wario (GBA) managed to hold on to the  twenty-ninth and last spot, respectively.  


Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles was the only Nintendo game reviewed  this week.  The first GameCube game from Square Enix receives a gold mark with the  score of 32 (9,8,7,8).  Here are the comments from the reviewers:  


"I see!  Although 1 to 4 players can play, the gameplay changes  depending on the number of players.  Very well thought out!  By connecting  the GBA,  each player's role becomes more distinct.  In a way, it is as  exciting as in sports.  For players that can gather enough friends, please  give the game a try!  The graphics also stand out among other GC games."


"The story and world are unique like a fairy tale.  Plus, the rules and  system are natural and unique.  It plays like any other action RPG, but feels  very different.  An interesting point is that the gameplay changes not only because of difficulty but as well as multiple ways of playing.  An  abundance of gameplay elements are in the game.  The more you play, the more  enjoyable it gets."


"The one player mode feels a bit lonely as the gameplay tends to become  routine.  However, the game becomes more interesting in the multiplayer  mode, where players can execute combination magic and work together to beat  the boss.  The fun factor is doubled.  The ability to bring your own  characters is a novel thing, but the fact that the guest cannot bring back  items from the game is a bit disappointing."


"In the multiplayer mode,  allowing players to join anytime and get into  the game is a plus.  Though that makes the story a bit weak.  It is also  good that, depending on the number of players, the gameplay changes.  There's plenty of action, and combination magic is also fun.  There is more than  meets the eye."


3
TalkBack / Okamoto Leaves Capcom
« on: July 20, 2003, 07:57:44 PM »
Famitsu speaks with the famous producer about his departure from Capcom and future plans.

Yoshiki Okamoto, who oversaw the production of games such as Final Fight, Street Fighter 2, and the recent handheld Zelda titles, left Capcom last month to take role of principal at Human Academy Game College in Japan.  In the latest issue of Famitsu, Okamoto-san speaks out about plans for his future game development studio.


Famitsu: What are the plans of your new company? Okamoto-san: The new company is not ready at all.  There isn’t even a building.  (laughs)  Beginning with one person, I am still in the preparation stages.  However, even with a not very well designed homepage, I receive about 160 applications everyday.  I do not know when it will be ready, but once the preparations are done, it will start game development. The company will specialize in game development, and will not distribute and sell games.  Instead of me leading the pack, I would like the company to operate democratically.


 Famitsu: What will the company be like? Okamoto-san: I want to make an environment where games are developed by not looking at the faces of shareholders, but instead at the faces of the gamers.  As a result, the company will not be public, nor will it have any sponsors.  So there is not much money… I have pushed myself to the edge, and I am really starting from zero.  But I have confidence that it will be successful.  What I am planning to do is still at the larva stage.  It is going to become a pupa, and go on to become a full-grown insect.  So for all the gamers out there, please look after us.


Okamoto-san’s homepage can be found at http://okatuku.ciao.jp.  Human Academy Game College’s homepage is http://www.athuman.com/game/.


4
TalkBack / Famitsu Update
« on: July 20, 2003, 05:34:23 AM »
This week's Famitsu looks at the Famicom's 20th anniversary, Sega restructuring, and F-Zero GX.

This week's Famitsu celebrates the 20th anniversary of Famicom with a special feature looking back at the history of the Famicom and comments from various people in the gaming industry.


On the news front, Sega Japan announced on July 8 that it will be restructuring its nine development studios to five studios.  Sega Japan plans to form two additional studios making the total number of development studios seven.  The restructuring is scheduled to take place in October.


Famitsu also provided details regarding Tokyo Game Show 2003.  The show will be held from September 26th to 28th at the Makuhari Messe.  Ninety-four companies will be attending the show, and as reported earlier this week, Nintendo’s president Iwata-san will be making a speech.  The theme is “20 Years after Famicom: The Present and the Future of the Gaming Industry”.


The Top 30 this week is mostly dominated by PS2 titles.  Silent Hill 3 and Initial D Special Stage grab first and second place.  Animal Forest e+ holds on to the third slot.  Mother 1+2 slides to seventh place, and Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire re-enters the top ten at eighth place.  Viewtiful Joe slides from fourth place to ninth.


F-Zero GX was the only GameCube game reviewed this week.  It received a gold mark with the score of 32 (9,7,8,8).  Reviewers praised the speed, spectacular graphics, and the high quality of the CG movies.  Two reviewers commented on the difficulty of the game, especially the story mode.


On the GBA side, Shining Soul 2 also scored a 32 (8,8,8,8) picking up a gold mark.  Onimusha Tactics, a simulation RPG from Capcom, received a 29 (7,8,7,7).  Top Gear Rally SP received a silver mark with a score of 30 (7,8,8,7).


5
TalkBack / Boktai Multiplayer Details
« on: July 15, 2003, 09:22:06 PM »
Quietly edge your friend closer to the shade to win.

Boktai’s Japanese homepage has revealed some additional details about multiplayer modes.  By linking up GBAs, up to four players can battle each other with the parts they earn from the game.  The sunlight sensor affects how fast each player is able to charge his or her weapons.  Depending on the results and performance of each battle, players are rewarded with items, which can be used in the future or exchanged with other players outside of battle.  


 Also, at the beginning of the game, players receive emblems unique to their save file.  Getting together with other players and combining emblems can potentially unlock rare items.  


 All of these multiplayer functions require each player to have a copy of the game.  Boktai will be released tomorrow in Japan.


6
TalkBack / Famitsu Update
« on: May 19, 2003, 07:26:19 AM »
Check out the E3 coverage, reviews, and sales rankings from the newest issue of Famitsu Weekly.

The main feature of the latest issue of Famitsu is E3 coverage.  There are plenty of screen shots of Mario Golf: Family Tour (Toadstool Tour outside of Japan), Star Fox, F-Zero GX, Mario Kart GC, Pikmin 2, and more.


Nintendo console game releases were minimal this month.  Rune II (Lost Kingdoms 2) for GC and Hamtaro 4 for GBA are among the few reviewed this week.  Both receive a silver mark with a score of 30 (8,7,7,8).  For Rune II, improvements in the story and a more balanced card deck were some of good remarks.  On the negative side, reviewers cited choppiness of the character's movement, which took away some of the fluidity of the game.  Hamtaro 4  offers game players over 100 mini games.  Review comments were generally positive.  Anime fans should be delighted with the game, as it also involves item collecting and exchanging with other players.  One reviewer commented that the game's difficulty is a bit easy.  


On the Top 30 front, GBA titles take over the top 10 spots.  PS2's ninja  action game Tenchu 3 comes in at number one.  Fire Emblem Rekka no Tsurugi (which will be the first game of the series to be released outside Japan) trails behind.  Dragon Quest Monsters Caravan Heart, Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire, and Made in Wario take the third, fourth, and fifth spots,  respecitively.  Rockman Zero 2 pops in at seventh.  The Legend of Zelda:  Link to the Past and Four Swords slides seven places down and holds on to  the twenty-fourth spot.  Only 2 GC titles made it to the Top 30 this week. GIFTPIA comes in at tenth place while Naruto slides from seventh to twelfth place.


7
TalkBack / Kirby's Air Ride Details
« on: April 18, 2003, 01:38:23 AM »
Find out how HAL's upcoming racer will play.

The latest issue of Famitsu reveals gameplay info about Kirby’s Air Ride for GameCube.  The game is currently 70% complete and is scheduled for release in Japan this summer.  Up to four players can compete in the racing game, developed by HAL, Nintendo's oldest second-party.


Following the philosophy of Smash Brothers, the controls are extremely simple (analog stick and A button), so anyone can learn to play the game.  The player will control Kirby on his warp star with the analog stick; acceleration is automatic.  When the A button is pressed, Kirby will push the warp star to the ground to slow down.  However, as you brake, your warp star charges up, allowing you to perform a charge dash when you release the button.  When there are enemies, the A button activates Kirby's copy ability, allowing you to suck up enemies and use their attacks.  Depending on the situation, different combinations of the analog stick and A button perform various tricks.


The images suggest that there are at least two types of multiplayer games: a battle mode and a racing mode.


Stayed tuned for more info.


8
TalkBack / Pokemon Box Details
« on: April 17, 2003, 05:07:23 PM »
Famitsu unveils this GameCube utility disc for Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire.

Pokemon Box for GameCube will be released on May 30 in Japan.  The game alone will retail at 2000 yen (around $16 US).  There will also be a GBA cable bundle for 2800 yen (around $22 US).  Both packages will include a special limited color of the Memory Card 59.


To play the game, players will also need a GBA, a copy of Pokemon Ruby or Sapphire, and a GBA link cable.  Pokemon Box will serve as a utility tool for Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire, allowing players to organize and manage their Pokemon.  Players are able to store up to 1500 Pokemon that they cannot carry with them in the GBA game.


Pokemon Box will also allow players to play Ruby and Sapphire on their TV.  While playing on TV, when players catch a Pokemon, they can switch to Pokemon Box to store and organize the new monsters.


The game also features a gallery mode that lets players select a themed platform and arrange their Pokemon on it.  It's just for showing off your collection.


9
TalkBack / This Weeks Famitsu Update
« on: April 11, 2003, 03:59:43 AM »
Now with Orange Pocky!

In the latest issue, Famitsu reported that Nintendo will publish RUNE II, which is developed by From Software.  The game will be released on May 23 in Japan.


As reported 2 weeks ago, the limited edition of the orange GBA will be available at the Pokemon Centers in Japan on April 25 at the price of 12,500 yen (around $100 US dollars).  Reservations both online and at the store front start today.


On the Top 30 list, Dragon Quest Monsters Caravan Heart (GBA) pops in at second place behind Dai Niji Super Robot Taisen Alpha (PS2).  Soul Calibur II for PS2 lands at fifth place while the GC version comes in at the seventh spot. Made in Wario slides from second place to sixth place.  Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire drops three places and holds on to eighth place.  The Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past (GBA) also slips three spots to the ninth spot.


No GC games were reviewed this week.  Zoid Saga II (GBA) received 28 (7,7,7,7).  Reviewers all agreed that customizing the Zoids with parts and weapons are fun.  Some negative comments include a dragging story mode and the lack of surprises.


Boku Jyoh Monogatari (known as Harvest Moon outside Japan) receives a gold mark (8,8,8,8).  Reviewers commented that the game stayed true to the series.  Like  its predecessors, the game lets you manage a farm with crops and animals.  Unlike other versions, the game contains much more events.  However, the lack of clear goals and complicated control may be difficult for beginners.


10
TalkBack / Famitsu Reveals F-Zero GC Tracks
« on: April 07, 2003, 04:40:38 AM »
Check out info on the cities and tracks of the new F-Zero for GameCube.

This week's Famitsu revealed some details on the courses in F-Zero GC, which is scheduled to be released on July 25 in Japan.  Five cities and the circuits in them are introduced.


Mute City – It is the biggest city (population of one billion people) in the Space Nations.  New circuits have been built since the old ones have worn down.  The track introduced for Mute City is the Twist Road.


Port Town – Known as the space port that gave birth to many millionaires. The port is built around a gigantic shaft with the latest technology and equipment.  Two tracks are introduced: Aerial Dive and Long Pipe.


Green Plant – The Space Immigration Offices built the Green Plant to produce carbon dioxide.  The track introduced is Intersection, which features curving pipes.


Lightning – Due to pollution in the ozone layer, unpredictable weather becomes a big problem in the 26th century.  This area is covered by thick thunder clouds.  Energy companies from each planet made big investments in energy facilities in this area.  It is said that 10 million kilowatts are generated altogether.  The introduced track is Half Pipe.


Aeropolis – The skyscraper city houses the artificial brain – Mother Q, which holds all the information of the inhabitants.  The track introduced is Multiplex.


11
TalkBack / Nintendo Holds Development Seminars
« on: April 05, 2003, 03:21:12 AM »
College students in Tokyo will have a chance to learn game development from the masters.

Nintendo is calling for applications for Nintendo Game Seminar 2003 (in Japan), a 10 month seminar on game development.  Thirty people from the applicant pool will be selected.  The classes will be free.


Nintendo’s development staff will discuss about game design, programming, sound, and the necessary knowledge and skills related to game development. The selected applicants will also have an opportunity to develop an actual game for GBA with Nintendo providing all the development tools for free. The seminar will be held from June to August weekly followed with a special camp for the students and the staff.  From September to March, seminars will be held biweekly.


To be eligible, you must be a college student or equivalent and living in Tokyo.  Applicants who pass the first round selection will go on to interviews and take a paper test.


Although the teaching staff is yet undetermined, Miyamoto-san in his message regarding the seminar ended with, “Let’s meet at the seminar!”


Whether the Nintendo Game Seminar will be held next year as well is not yet determined.


12
TalkBack / Resident Evil No Longer Exclusive?
« on: April 03, 2003, 06:23:54 PM »
So says a Japanese Newspaper. Is it true? PGC has the details.

Earlier today in Japan, Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun reported that Capcom is reconsidering its strategy on the GameCube platform.  One of the reasons cited was that Biohazard (known as Resident Evil outside of Japan) did not perform well overseas as expected.


Regarding this story, Capcom replied on its website in Japan, “As previously announced in September 13, 2001, as of present time there are no plans to port biohazard (GC) and  Biohzard 0 (GC) to other systems.  Also, Biohazard 4, which is currently in production, will be released for the GameCube as previously planned.  There are no changes regarding our fundamental direction.”


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TalkBack / Famitsu Update
« on: March 17, 2003, 06:37:23 PM »
Made in Wario, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and Batman: Dark Tomorrow are among the games reviewed this week.

In the latest issue of Famitsu, three GameCube titles along with a handful of GBA titles were reviewed.  The highest GameCube scoring game goes to The Baseball 2003 from Konami – (7,7,7,7).  Star Wars: The Clone Wars scored one point less (7,7,7,6).  Reviewers commended the sound and graphics, but criticized the difficult gameplay and playability.   Lastly, Batman: Dark Tomorrow fared average with a score of (6,5,5,4).  The game was compared to its X-box counterpart as having faster loading times, but a slight drop in graphic quality.  


On the GBA side, the most noticeable title was Made in Wario (Wario Ware).  It picked up a platinum mark (8,8,9,10).  Reviewers praised the originality and freshness of the title’s five-second mini games.


 


Star Wars: The Clone Wars (EA-Square) (GC) – 7,7,7,6
The Baseball 2003 (Konami) (GC) – 7,7,7,7
Batman Dark Tomorrow (Kemo) (GC) – 6,5,5,4
Made in Wario (Nintendo) (GBA) – 8,8,9,10


In the Top 30 section, PS2 titles dominate the top five spots.  Metroid Prime debutes at number 7.  Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire slide from fifth to eighth, and Final Fantasy Tatics also drops from third place to ninth.  


The top ten were:


1. Shin Sankoku Musou 3 (PS2)
2. Star Ocean 3 Till the End of Time (PS2)
3. Sakura Taisen (PS2)
4. Kaido Battle (PS2)
5. Dragon Ball Z (PS2)
6. Shin Megami Tensei III (PS2)
7. Metroid Prime (GC)
8. Pocket Monster Ruby and Sapphire (GBA)
9. Final Fantasy Tactics Advance (GBA)
10. Denshya de Go! Professsional 2 (PS2)


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TalkBack / F-Zero AC at AOU
« on: February 20, 2003, 06:38:59 PM »
First details about the arcade version straight from the show floor.

The AOU 2003 Amusement Expo kicked off today in Tokyo.  The AOU is an annual event sponsored by the All Nippon Amusement Machine Operators' Union to show off the latest amusement machines including arcades, prizes, UFO catchers, and related equipment from several companies.  Sega, Capcom, Konami, Sammy, Namco, and other well known entertainment companies were present at the show.


 


The main attraction that is related to Nintendo is the first look at the playable version of F-Zero AC.  F-Zero AC is the second title from Sega to utilize the Triforce, and it is the first title developed in collaboration with Nintendo.  For those that are not familiar with the F-Zero series, F-Zero AC is a hyper-speed racing game (with speeds going over 2000 kilometers per hour) in a futuristic setting.  The game will feature more than 10 new pilots and machines as well as the original pilots, Captain Falcon (Blue Falcon), Dr. Stewart (Golden Fox), Pico (Wild Goose), and Samurai Goroh (Fire Stingray).  The new pilots available at the AOU are:


 

  • Princia Ramode: Her vehicle is called the Sparkmoon, and she is described as a speed fanatic racing queen.


  • Phoenix: Phoenix is a space police officer, and his vehicle is called the Rainbow Phoenix.


  • QQQ: QQQ is a scrap robot from a space junk yard, and its vehicle is called the Rolling Turtle.


     


    Three tracks were available for play.  These included Lightning – Thunder Road, Aeropolis Screw Drive, and Port Town – Tubular Wave.


     


    There are two modes of play – versus mode and time attack.  In versus mode, there are 30 racers in each race, and up to four players can race against each other simultaneously.  In the time attack mode, you race by yourself to get the best time.  After each race, users will receive passwords from the arcade units, which can then be entered on F-Zero.jp to compete against other users.  This is called the PC Net Ranking System, which is similar to the program Ikaruga has currently. The arcade version has a license card system in addition to the interaction of the Cube memory card.  The license card is similar to the Virtua Fighter card system.  It stores your user ID, original machine data, records, and pilot points, which you can use to buy customized parts for your customized machine.  In regards to the controls and gameplay, I will describe them in detail in my impressions of the game.


     


    The exact release date of F-Zero AC in the arcades is still not yet determined. However, according to a representative, the game should come out around the same time as the home version.  Since the GameCube version is scheduled some time in May, we can expect the arcade version to hit arcades in Japan around summer at the latest.  The game is currently about 50% complete. Exactly what can be done with your GameCube memory card has not been disclosed. AV representatives commented that the goal is to make sure that gamers can enjoy the arcade version even if they do not own F-Zero for the GameCube.  However, they believe that there are many interesting possibilities for utilizing the memory card connection.  


    Although we’ve had no confirmation of these features, possible examples of the link-up would be unlocking machines and tracks both at the arcade and at home or if a track editor exists in the home version, gamers might able to port that track to the arcades.


  • 15
    TalkBack / GBA SP SOLD OUT!
    « on: February 13, 2003, 04:02:10 PM »
    Within hours the GBA SP was completely sold out.  Find out everything FIRST from our Japanese Correspondent Bakudan Yoshinoya....

    The new GBA SP was released in Japan today.  Lines at stores began forming around midnight.


    As of noon in Japan, most retailers in major areas (Shinjuku, Akihabara, Shibuya) are all sold out of GBA SPs.  According to the sales staff, the next shipment date is unknown.  The most popular color appears to be the platinum silver.


    According to Famitsu, Metroid Fusion and Final Fantasy Tatics were the topsellers with the systems, and a complete sell out is expected by the end of today.


    Stay tuned for pictures and impressions!


    16
    TalkBack / It's for PSO Sweetheart!
    « on: February 10, 2003, 10:07:38 AM »
    Sega's launching new quests just in time for Valentine's Day.

    Sonic Team has announced on their Japanese website that new quests for Phantasy Star Online are available for download.


    A special online quest for Valentines Day will be available until February 17, which can be played from 1 to 4 players.


    Challenge 7, 8, 9 have also been added, which are for 2 to 4 players.


    We're assuming these quests will be available worldwide, yet this hasn't been confirmed.


    17
    TalkBack / Eternal Arcadia Extras?
    « on: February 10, 2003, 10:01:42 AM »
    The Japanese are getting some free bonuses from Sega.  Extra characters what?

    Sega of Japan is currently holding a special campaign for owners of Eternal Arcadia Legends (Skies of Arcadia outside of Japan) to download special data to their memory cards at selected stores.


    By combining this special data with the game save, players will have access to special items and characters. In addition to the special data, players can receive a limited Eternal Arcadia Legends memory card label sticker.


    18
    TalkBack / Newest Japanese Magazine Scores
    « on: February 05, 2003, 07:38:03 AM »
    A few GameCube titles were recently reviewed by the Japanese press.  See the scores inside!

    Only a handful of titles are being released for the GameCube in the Japanese market in February. Famitsu Cube Plus Advance (Nintendo-only sister publication of Famitsu Weekly) reviewed five games while Dengeki GameCube reviewed six.


    The highest scoring game with Famitsu Cube Plus Advance was Ikaruga. The game scored a 9 from all four reviewers. Reviewers generally praised the black and white system, which adds a puzzle touch to the difficult shooter. The next highest score went to Konami's World Soccer Winning Eleven 6 Final World Evolution. The game scored a (9,9,8,9). The reviewers liked the realism of the soccer simulator. Controls are simple and the various modes are a plus. Biohazard 2 and 3 both earn a score of (8,8,8,8).


    Dengeki Cube reviewers were harsher on most of the games. Biohzard 2 received (6,8,6,8) while Biohzard 3 received (6,7,6,8). Reviewers criticized loading times and the lack of new elements. World Soccer Winning Eleven 6 Final Evolution gets (8,8,8,9). The pros were the good graphics, game play, and a great job simulating soccer. Minor criticisms included the lack of GC-GBA connectivity and the controls being a bit unintuitive. Nintendo Puzzle Collection received (9,9,8,7). In addition to being a perfect port of classic puzzle games, reviewers raved about the ability to download the games to GBA and the addition of 4-player modes. Activision's Spider-Man scored (8,8,7,6). Overall, reviewers liked the unique action and gameplay.


    The scores are summarized below:


    Dengeki Cube


    Biohazard 2 (GC) - 6,8,6,8
    Biohazard 3 (GC) - 6,7,6,8
    World Soccer Winning Eleven 6 Final Evolution (GC) - 8,8,8,9
    Nintendo Puzzle Collection (GC) - 9,9,8,7
    Spider-Man (GC) - 8,8,7,6
    Generation of Chaos Exceed (GC) - 6,6,7,7


    Famitsu Cube Plus Advance


    Space Raiders (GC) - 7,7,6,6
    Ikaruga (GC) - 9,9,9,9
    Biohazard 2 (GC) - 8,8,8,8
    Biohazard 3 (GC) - 8,8,8,8
    World Soccer Winning Eleven 6 Final Evolution (GC) - 9,9,8,9


    19
    TalkBack / Famitsu Reviews This Week
    « on: December 16, 2002, 10:18:44 AM »
    You already heard about how Zelda fared with the reviewers, but what about the other games and the Top 30?

    As we approach Christmas, a bunch of games for GC are hitting the shelves over the next few weeks in Japan. Famitsu reviewed six GC games this week. Zelda no Densetsu receives the fourth perfect score (10,10,10,10) in the history of Famitsu. The next highest score goes to Mister Driller: Drill Land, which received a silver mark with a score of 30 (7,8,7,8). Choro Q! (Penny Racers) and Disney Sports: Basketball both receive the same score - 26 (6,7,7,6). Bomberman Jetters receives one point higher, 27 (7,7,6,7). The last game, Bakuten Shoot BeiBureido 2002 from Takara, receives a 23 (5,6,6,6). The scores for GC games are summarized below:   Zelda no Densetsu: Kaze no Takuto - 10, 10, 10, 10 (Platinum)   Mister Driller: Drill Land - 7, 8, 7, 8 (Silver)   Choro Q! - 6, 7, 6, 7   Disney Sports: Basketball - 6,7,7,6   Bomberman Jetters - 7,7,6,7   Bakuten Shoot BeiBureido 2002 - 5,6,6,6    On the Game Boy front, the highest score goes to Sonic Advance 2, which received a gold mark of 32 (8,8,8,8). Sega's other game Sega Rally does not fare as well, as it scores a 26 (6,6,7,7). Another noticeable game is the classic remake, Elevator Action Old & New. However, the game only received a 24 (5,6,6,7).    On the Top 30, Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire slides to second place behind Tales of Destiny 2. Biohazard Zero and Mario Party 4 fall out of top five to six and eight, respectively.


    20
    TalkBack / Famitsu Update - Pokèmon 0wnage
    « on: December 07, 2002, 02:54:27 AM »
    Nothing bèats the Pokèmon. More than 1 million copiès sold in lèss than a
    wèèk.. Famitsu update inside.

    Even with the newest Pokemon titles taking Japan by storm, the cover story this week on Famitsu was nonetheless the Enix and Square  merger. On the Nintendo front, things are quiet before Zelda hits the shelves in less than a week. Kaze no Takuto coverage was minimal with only 2 pages.


    Nintendo's Pokemon Ruby & Sapphire grabs the first place spot with 1,245,003 copies sold within four days of its release. To put that in perspective, Dragon Quest Characters: Toruneko's Adventure 3 (PS2) sold 465,676 copies in a month's time, and Breath of Fire V (PS2) sold 111,329 copies in three week's time. Biohazard 0 takes the second spot. Super Robot Taisen Orginal Generation (GBA) is 3rd followed by Mario Party 4.  Yes, the top four games in Japan are on Nintendo systems. Kinikuman 2nd Generation appears at 8th place and Hoshi no Kirby: Fountain of Dreams slides to the 10th spot.


    Three GameCube games, Godzilla Melee, Evolution Skateboarding, and Disney  Sports: American Football, are reviewed this week. The only silver mark title  is Evolution Skateboarding  with a 31/40(7,8,8,8). Reviewers claimed that the graphics of the GC version are better than that of the PS2 version. Disney Sports: American Football receives a 28 (6,7,7,8) and Godzilla Melee receives a 27 (7,6,7,7).


    On the GBA side, the Hajime no Ippo -The Fighting (based on a boxing manga  series) garners a score of 31 (8,8,8,7), while Klonoa Heroes - The Legend of the Star Medal is rated at 31 (7,8,8,8) also.   Both receive a silver mark. Square's first GBA game, Chocobo Land: Game of Dice, is deemed lackluster, with the reviewers giving it a 28 (7,7,7,7).


    21
    TalkBack / Zelda Preorder Campaign Starts!
    « on: November 28, 2002, 05:00:50 AM »
    Pre-order = Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time/Ura Zelda!  Find out everything that's on the disc...

    Gamers lined up today at selected retailers for the special Zelda preorder promotion deal in Japan.  


    Upon paying around 6800 yen ($60 US) for the preorder, gamers received an instruction booklet with the game disc of The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time attached in the inside cover.


    Once you boot the disc up, you can select to play the original version of TOoT or the Ura version, which was designed for the 64DD.  Ura Zelda is bascially OoT with some of the items rearranged, and possibly a new dungeon or two (we're not exactly sure yet).


    Pressing the Z button will bring up a list of game trailers. The game trailers included are:

       
    1. Mario Party 4
    2.  
    3. Biohazard 0
    4.  
    5. Kinikuman 2nd Generation
    6.  
    7. Mister Driller Drill Land
    8.  
    9. F-Zero GC (temporary name)
    10.  
    11. Biohazard 4
    12.  
    13. Dead Phoenix
    14.  
    15. Viewtiful Joe
    16.  
    17. P.N.03
    18.  
    19. Killer 7
    20.  
    21. The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords
    22.  
    23. Final Fantasy Tactics Advance

    Stay tuned for impressions on the Ura version of The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina    of Time.


    22
    TalkBack / Square and Enix Merge
    « on: November 25, 2002, 02:35:53 PM »
    The two largest RPG producers are now one! See the announcement inside!

    Discuss it in Talkback!


    According to Nikkei.net, Enix and Square have announced their plans to merge in April 2003.  This is the first merger between two major game companies in the history of the industry.  In the face of rising development costs and intense competition, the two companies merged to increase their production capabilities and revenue.  The new company will be called Square Enix, and Square’s Yoichi Wada will become the new president.


    23
    TalkBack / Famitsu Interviews Capcom Producer Shinji Mikami
    « on: November 24, 2002, 07:47:11 AM »
    Mikami speaks on Capcom's new lineup, creating new game concepts, and Biohazard 4 (RE4).

    The latest issue of Famitsu featured an interview with Producer Mikami from Capcom.  Highlights translated below:


    Famitsu: If you’d let me give my opinion, honestly, I want a Cube now!


    Mikami-san: Your words are very kind.  Please buy a Cube!  Buy two of them, even three!


    F: Well, I already have one.  I want to buy it for other people.  The image that the Cube is for kids was strong, but when you look at this new lineup, you have erased that image.


    M: The gaming industry is not made up of a market that is driven by hardware, but rather a market made up of good software.  To return to that point, we did the impossible and brought out these 5 titles.  And after this, if we can bring out Devil May Cry and DinoCrisis and Tekki, and Gykuten Saiban…


    F: (Laughs)


    F: From the press conference, we can really feel the theme (focusing on original titles).  Isn’t it all original titles?  We really felt your persistence.


    M: If you don’t have that persistence, it is impossible.  If you become obsessed over numbers, you cannot do it.  Because even if you forecast how much you sell, you really don’t know until the game is released.


    F: That’s why the idea of series are much more stable and able to sell easier and stronger in the market.


    M:  That is correct.  In contrast, within the mannerism of that kind of market, rebels like us make noise.  We ask, “You guys are only making series. You’re not going to stop yet?”


    F: The number of creators that want to challenge themselves to make entirely new games has become less because of the directions of companies.  Right?


    M: Yes.  But speaking very simply, if you tell creators to make something you like, sequels are not supposed to be a result of the past.


    F: Right.


    M: However, now we start looking at revenues when the planning starts.  I think it is the source of the mistake.  Currently, one game costs about 100 million yen to produce at least.  If it is a big game, it is around 1 billion yen.


    F: That is right.


    M: As a result, it is only logical that you start thinking about the return. That is why Viewtiful Joe has relatively few people working on it.  Gyakuten Saiban is the same.  The balance is good.  The efficiency is good.  It is easier for the blood of the director to reach the blood vessels of the staff when there are less people.


    F: I see.  Your concept gets across right?


    M: Yes.  When production becomes a big team of 50 people, it intervenes with the blood flow in the end.  Due to that, it is actually easier to make the level of a creation higher when you have less people.


    F:  Regarding Biohazard 4, I would like to ask some questions about it.  We did not think that the footage would appear in this kind of form.


    M: If you refer to age regarding Biohazard, it is already like a grandfather.  That is why this time in order to rejuvenate, we inserted new DNA.  Regarding 4, we are challenging ourselves to make a new “Biohazard”.


    F: Is that so?


    M: We want users to anticipate the game instead of buying it just because it is the latest game in the series.  Wasn’t Dragon Quest like that in the Famicom era?  To do that, we injected new DNA by pulling directors and asking them to try to change Biohazard.  We are in the process of a full model change.  The goal is not to change the style, but to have a game that would make players raise their voices and exclaim, “ohh!” like in the original Biohazard.  This time around, we do not say much at the front line.  We only use our brakes when it is really to the point of abuse for them.


    F: (laughs)


    F: The thing I am concerned with is if this lineup will really release?


    M: It will be released! We will release it!


    F: Spring, summer, winter of 2003?


    M: About every three months.  I wonder when Biohazard 4 will come out.


    F: (laughs)


    24
    TalkBack / Famitsu Update
    « on: November 22, 2002, 06:25:32 AM »
    Top 30, reviews, and more.

    Following last week's Zelda announcement, the big news this week is the announcement of 5 new Capcom games for the GameCube.  The magazine includes a DVD featuring trailers from Biohazard 0, Biohazard 4, Killer 7, Viewtiful Joe, and Dead Phoenix.  According to the magazine, P.N.03 will be the first of the five titles to hit the shelves in Spring 2003.  Viewtiful Joe is currently 50 percent complete.  Dead Phoneix is 30 percent complete and Killer7 is only 7 percent complete.


    Only one GameCube game was reviewed this week.  WaiWai Golf (Outlaw Golf elsewhere), from Eidos Interactive, received (8,9,9,7) making it eligible for a gold mark. Four GBA games were reviewed, but none of them fared very well.  In particular, Jikkyo World Soccer Pocket 2 received (6,5,7,6) and ChoroQ Advance 2 received (6,6,6,6).


    Lastly, three Nintendo console titles populate the top five spots of Famitsu's Japan sales charts.  Mario Party 4 came in as number one while Hoshi no Kirby Fountain of Dreams Deluxe hung on to third spot and From TV Animation ONE PIECE Treasure Battle! slides to fourth place.  Super Mario Sunshine and Star Fox Adventure hang in at 22 and 23 respectively, and Pokemon Crystal version, waiting for its successor to dominate the charts, sits at 25.  Unfortunately, Eternal Darkness has dropped out of the Top 30.


    25
    TalkBack / New Famitsu Weekly Scores
    « on: November 16, 2002, 02:32:58 AM »
    Famitsu reviews the new Pokemon game and Biohazard 0.  Details inside.

    Besides the big Zelda promotion CD announcement, the latest issue of Famitsu features its first coverage of Metroid Fusion and Metroid Prime for the Japanese gamers. Both games are due out in February 2003 in Japan.


    About two thirds of the Top 30 chart were populated by PS and PS2 titles. From TV animation ONE PIECE Treasure Battle (GC) comes in at second place behind Dragon Question Characters Toruneko's Adventure 3 (PS2).  Hoshi no Kirby - Fountain of Dreams Deluxe holds on to the third place while Tales of the World - Narikiri Dungeon 2 slides to the eighth place.  Super Mario Sunshine stays at 26th and Eternal Darkness drops from 12th to 28th place.


    Five GameCube games get reviewed this week.  Biohazard 0 received a 38 (10,9,9,10), which makes it eligible for a platinum mark.  Reviewers raved about its graphics and the involvement of different characters in the gameplay.  Super Monkey Ball 2 and Muscle Champion, a four player sports action game, will also be released on the same date of Biohazard 0.  Super Monkey Ball 2 receives a silver (8,8,7,8) and Muscle Champion received a 27 (7,7,6,7).  Kinikuman 2nd Generation and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets both received a 27.


    On the GBA front, Pokemon Ruby & Sapphire received a gold mark (9,8,8,9). Reviewers generally praised the new 2 vs 2 system, a number of fixes over the previous versions, and the addition of sub-missions.  Super Robot Wars Original Generation also received a gold mark (8,8,8,8).


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