Disgaea PC: You’ll Never See Sunlight Again (Unless It’s In This Game), Dood!


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dpc_3dSo, Nippon Ichi Software has decided to bring the legendary SRPG Disgaea to PC on February 24. Well, for those of you curious about the game, you can watch that trailer above and add about a million or so variations to any questions you’ll have.

As noted in that trailer, the game allows for some *insane* play that’s completely up to each player as to how he or she wants to complete a mission. It takes a tiny bit of time and a few fun tutorials to get to that point where you’re stacking up allies and tossing them to reach enemies or treasure, using Geo panels to win seemingly impossible maps in one turn, or raising item/equipment levels to ridiculous amounts by entering the items and beating the monsters inside of them. But it’s all worth it and with a level cap of 9999 for each character, you’ll be hooked in and not even caring that all you do once you get home from work or wherever is sink a few more “Just one more map!” hours into your new passion.

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You can (and should, dood!) pre-order Disgaea PC digitally on Steam for $19.99 or go all in and get a nice Disgaea PC: Deluxe Dood Edition from Nippon Ichi America’s online store for $29.99. That extra loot sent nets you a Steam code for the game, digital art book and soundtrack… PLUS you get a physical 44-page art book, a physical soundtrack CD and a beautiful collector’s box to keep it all in sent to you in the mail. Santa comes in February bringing one of the most addictive and time-chomping games ever made? Wait, that’s NOT Santa… I was a few letters off in the spelling, heh. Note: you’ll REALLY need to dust off that collector’s box regularly or else Etna might get pissed off and come for you while you’re sleeping with a couple of exploding Prinnies. “Who’s Etna?” you ask? Oh, you’ll find out soon enough once you fire up the game proper.

Odin Sphere Leifthrasir: Plain Vanillaware Is Awesome, Omake Makes It Even Tastier

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I don’t believe in magic at all, but whatever George Kamitani and Vanillaware are using for creative energy, it needs to be packaged and sold at cost just so more game developers can reap the rewards. Odin Sphere Leifthrasir, the upcoming HD reworking of the PlayStation 2 classic looks as if it will introduce a new and larger legion of fans to the game when it ships out for PS4, PS3 and Vita on June 7, 2016. While North Amrican PS4 owners looking to collect the most omake luck out big time with the limited Storybook Edition at $79.99, PS4, PS3, and Vita-only owners in NA who pre-order can score a softcover version of that hardcover 64-page art book in the Storybook Edition. Continue reading

Assault Suit Leynos: Target Worth (But So Far, Not US-Bound)

As you can see above, Dracue Software has taken the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis classic Assault Suit Leynos (or Target Earth to American gamers), polished it up while keeping the gameplay and visuals nicely nostalgic. Even better, the music is the same as in the original game but sounds suitably beefy (yes, I was grinning like a madman while this trailer was playing). So far, the game will only be available for Japanese PlayStation 4 owners and most likely other Asian territories.

Given that the intro screen text crawl is in English, it’s a safe bet that the game may be considered for localization by a smart US publisher. My money is on Xseed Games, Atlus or maybe Rising Star Games as a longshot. Anyway, it’s a darn good thing I’m not home at the moment or else I’d have stopped writing this post, dug out the Genesis or MD from under the TV and started playing the original version just to relive he days of beating it on on sitting on the hardest level. Granted, my reflexes are probably a lot lousier than they were way back in the day and it would take a few plays to recapture that old glory and put a notch in the gaming belt. Hell, I probably won’t make it past the first stage until I remember how to quickly take down that end-level boss ship before it reaches my base and blows it to space dust.

Eh, we’ll see. Now, someone get on getting his game out in English, please. I’ll start holding my breath in 3… 2… 1… (inhale!).

Earth Defense Force 2 and EDF 4.1 Get Dated: Prepare The Time-Sink Ray!

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Excellent. Between the new trailers above and below, the brand spankin’ new official site and the fact that both games come out on the same day as retail (YES!) and digital product, it’s a fine and dandy day for fans of Earth Defense Force 2: Invaders From Planet Space (PS Vita, $29.99) and Earth Defense Force 4.1: The Shadow of New Despair (PS4, $49.99). That lovely release date of December 8, 2015 means that plenty of fans of both titles are getting exactly what they’ve wanted from Santa, Krampus or whomever else buys their gifts. Buy someone a copy of this game and you won’t see them for weeks because all they’ll be doing in their spare time is blasting big space bugs and bigger spaceships, robots and other space beasties all day and night. Yes, your inner eight-year old kaiju fan will be wholly pleased, but don’t expect this to be an easy ride at all.

Getting these as physical copies (thanks Xseed!) is going to make a lot of EDF fans happier because it’s something they’ve desired with every game in the series and Xseed kept its ear to the ground and made it happen. As for the EDF 4.1 blooper reel below… er, well… I’ll give Xseed a pass on that one because the game is so much fun that a little comic relief won’t hurt it one bit.

Anyway, go get some finger exercises in and ask the boss for some time off in December. Once these games land in stores and on PSN, you’re not going anywhere for a while.

Blu-Ray Review: The Happiness of the Katakuris

The Happiness of the Katakuris MVD7367BRI’ve never seen The Quiet Family, Jee-woon Kim’s 1998 horror/comedy film that inspired Takashi Miike’s oddball 2001 “remake” The Happiness of the Katakuris. But I’m going to track the original down one of these days just to see how that film inspired Miike to make one of the more out there genre films of the previous decade.

While its not anywhere close to perfect, a bit too long and not even a tiny bit frightening, it’s certainly somewhat gleefully disturbing thanks to the cheery performances by the main cast and the black comedy revolving around the mostly accidental deaths that occur in and around the family’s small, out of the way mountain inn. The Katakuris bizarre mix of live action, wild stop motion animation, mild gore and full-on musical numbers make it a knockout flick worth repeat viewings provided you like what’s here. Miike, known for more his prolific output in multiple genres as well as some truly memorable extreme films (Audition, Ichi The Killer, Gozu) infuses The Katakuris with his trademarks and adds a decidedly Japanese sense of “no matter what!” spirit that gets the family through its assorted misadventures. Continue reading

Review: Sound of Drop – fall into poison –

SOD title screenPlatform: PC
Developer: aeuio Kompany
Publisher: Sekai Project

MSRP: $12.99
# of Players: 1
ESRB Rating: N/A
Official Site
Score: A- 90% 

While it starts out somewhat slowly, Sound of Drop: – fall into poison – ends up a strong cup of horror thanks to some unsettling imagery and about 30 endings to uncover, most of them bad. When junior high schoolgirls Mayu and Himeno decide to find out if Manten Aquarium is indeed hiding a ghastly urban legend, they get more that they bargained for when they decide to investigate something fishy during a full moon. In true visual novel fashion, the plot is a few wordy hours of text packed to the gills with exposition and splashes of humor. Once it dives into horror, things take a successful turn for the weird and creepy, working quite well enough to keep you hooked in for the long haul.


 

Thankfully, the game shies away from some of the common trappings of many mature visual novels such as “romance” angles and gratuitous underwear shots. The game’s dive into horror comes off much better without those fan service distractions and with close to 30 bad endings and four “good” ones to discover, the replay value is off the scales. Even if you manage to get every possible ending, the experience of playing the story out and seeing all the horrific fates that befall poor Mayu and some of the people she meets will cling to your brain like an ancient barnacle. Continue reading

Star Wars Episode VII Seems Even Cooler in Japan

Let’s see now… This:

Versus this:

Both are great trailers, but I give the edge to the Japanese edit for its slightly more spoiler-iffic moments. Um, that is all (for now) as I prefer to wait until the movie is actually out before judging anything else.

What’s Cookin’? The Case Of The Moving Rice Cookers

zojirushi rice cookerOkay, I haven’t done a food piece in a while and this isn’t really one at all, so that trend continues. Anyway, today I ended up having to do a favor for a very busy friend in the form of going downtown to pick up and deliver four rice cookers to be used by a certain Japanese retailer as part of an in-store celebration. I take it they’re cooking rice to go with something or perhaps someone will be making rice balls to pass out to the masses who show up.

That, by the way may not be a great idea, as a good rice ball will fill you up and make you want a nap just as soon as you take that last bite. I think the sight of a few hundred people laid out and snoozing all over a store isn’t the best publicity image, but someone’s mom will be really happy because her rice ball recipe was put to good use. I actually DO have a food story to tell that involves ranch dressing, a few chickens and eventually, rice. But I’m away from my camera with the pics I wan to run with that piece so it will have to wait.

Actually, this day was quite draining and I didn’t eat much so I could actually use a big ol’ rice ball to put me under for the evening. Too lazy to look up and activate a recipe am I, so it’ll be something faster like a quick eggy thing with some of those onions and peppers I chopped up last night. Back tomorrow.

Random Film of the Week: High and Low

High and Low 24_BD_box_348x490_originalBased on the 1959 crime novel King’s Ransom: An 87th Precinct Mystery by Ed McBain (Evan Hunter), Akira Kurosawa’s 1963 film Tengoku to jigoku (Heaven and Hell or High and Low to western audiences) is one of those great police procedural films that’s a must for crime drama fans. With perfect casting, a gripping story of a kidnapping gone wrong thanks to a case of mistaken identity and the rush to find the kidnapper before things go further south, Kurosawa’s film is a multi-layered masterpiece worth seeing multiple times.

When “wealthy” businessman Kingo Gondo (Toshiro Mifune) and the company he works for decide to snap up the National Shoe Company, there’s a divide between executives on how to close the deal. Gondo prefers the company stick to making well-made and reliable stompers for the masses but other big shots want shoes for all that are cheaply made and thus, more profitable because they’ll need to be replaced more often. With all the back and forth debating going on, Gondo has a master plan he’s hiding from his peers. He’s mortgaged everything he owns and plans to pull off a leverage buyout of National Shoes that would put him in charge for good and keep National doing what they do best.

Little does he know he’s being watched by a few pairs of far more evil eyes looking up at his “castle” from the lower depths… Continue reading

Gone Fishing, Thanks to Sekai Project

Sound of Drop TicketWell, lookit! I got a FREE ticket to the Manten Aquarium from Sekai Project. Nice, and THANKS, guys! I haven’t been to the aquarium for quite a while so I hope I have a REALLY good time.

Hey, as long as those little and big fishies stay in their tanks and there’s no shenanigans going on involving a bunch of visiting Japanese high school kids going missing and having horrific things happening to them, I bet I’ll have a blast.

“La, la, la,laaaaaa…” Oops:

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*Sigh…* Once again, this is why we can’t have nice things. Officer, I didn’t see a thing, sir.

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Sound of Drop — fall into poison — is out on Friday, October 30 for PC via Steam. You’ll find out about my trip around then. Er, if I make it back in one piece…