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Posts with tag famitsu

Japan loves Lair; Famitsu awards game high score

They say that Japanese and American gamers have different taste in games. Well, that certainly appears to be the case in Japan. Lair (or Rise from Lair, as it's called in Japan) has been getting a serious push by Sony's Japanese marketing team. They might have an easier job of selling the game in the territory, thanks to the fantastic critical reception of the game. Famitsu, Japan's leading gaming magazine awarded the game an impressive 34/40, which is far more generous than the current critical average of 55/100.

Will Lair be able to dominate the Japanese sales charts next week? With Halo 3 taking the top spot this week, it seems anything is possible.

New Star Ocean 4 information will be at TGS

This may seem a bit "well, duh!", but it's always nice to get confirmation about these things. In an interview with Famitsu two Tri-Ace developers have said that they will be announcing new details about Star Ocean IV at the Tokyo Games Show. We're hoping they finally tell us which console they're developing the title for, but we have our suspicions.

The interview reveals various other details regarding the game, including the names of the main characters (Reimi and Edge Maverick) and assurances that the combat system will be very different from Star Ocean III. Again, more details are due out during TGS and we will be there to relay the news to you first hand.

CyberConnect2 announces development on a new PS3 game

CyberConnect2, the company behind the Naruto games and the .hack franchise on the PlayStation 2 have just announced that they are developing a new title for the PlayStation 3. The information comes from the latest issue of Famitsu, and unfortunately lacks any additional information about the project. Could we be getting a new .hack title? Eight games just isn't enough!

Square Enix to announce next Star Ocean title in May

The latest issue of Famitsu magazine in Japan states that Square Enix is going to reveal something tasty next month -- the next entry into the Star Ocean franchise. It's getting its big reveal at the Square Enix Party 2007 event taking place next month. Next month, get it?

Whether the game will retain the futuristic elements its known for has yet to be announced, but we can only say this: don't let it suck so hard. While critics and fans hailed Star Ocean 2 and Star Ocean: Till The End of Time as great games... they just didn't do it for me. Tri-Ace is normally a fantastic developer in my eyes and Square Enix was smart to snatch them up. However, they've got to learn a few things about making games that Star Ocean generally misses out on:
  1. Don't drag out a story that's ended. Star Ocean 2 did this pretty horribly once you reach the second disc. All you have to do is fight the 13 whatever-they-were, but no. Tons of little nonsensical quests sprouted up to drag the playtime out.
  2. Hire better writers (I'm always available). We're not talking about the basic storyline, here. We mean dialogue. If you play Star Ocean: TTEoT, think about what each character is saying. Here's an example:
  • Dude: "We need to get the random item to advance the story!"
  • Lady: "The random item to advance the story?"
  • Dude: "Yes, it has great power to make this game not suck!"
  • Lady: "Great power?"
  • Dude 2: "It is rumored it destroyed Nick Doerr's interest in this title."
  • Lady 2: "His interest?"
Get the idea? Everyone had to question every single line of dialogue everyone else said. It was stupid.
Feel free to add your own issues to this list, but those are my main concerns. If those are addressed, I'd gladly give Star Ocean IV a shot. We'll come back with more details as they surface.

Famitsu readers unleash their anticipation for games!

A poll concluded at the beginning of this month where Famitsu magazine asked their Japanese readers to say what games they're most looking forward to. We're going to post the results, because we're that awesome. Don't worry, competing console readers, there is something on this list for everybody.

  1. Final Fantasy XIII -- PS3
  2. Dragon Quest IX -- DS
  3. Biohazard 5 -- PS3/360
  4. Metal Gear Solid 4 -- PS3
  5. Persona 3 -- PS2
  6. Gyakuten Saiban 4 -- DS
  7. Monster Hunter 3 -- PS3
  8. Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass --DS
  9. Super Robot Taisen: Original Generations -- PS2
  10. Dragon Quest Swords: The Masked Queen and the Tower of Mirrors -- Wii
  11. Minna no Golf 5 -- PS3
  12. Odin Sphere -- PS2
  13. Super Smash Bros. Brawl -- Wii
  14. Lost Odyssey -- 360
  15. Doubutsu no Mori -- Wii
  16. Final Fantasy XII Revenant Wings -- DS
  17. Devil May Cry 4 -- PS3/360
  18. Shining Wind -- PS2
  19. Final Fantasy Tactics: The Lion War -- PSP
  20. Final Fantasy Versus XIII -- PS3

Well, there you go. A chart dominated by Sony, with Nintendo picking up the remains. Way to go, Sony! Everyone wants what you've promised, now you just have to deliver on the promise. Don't make us wait for too long!

Famitsu reviews the first wave of PS3 games

The overall verdict? Not a sad bloke in the lot. Then again, this ever-intrepid blogulator considers a 7 as it should be considered: above average, but not great. Besides, that number was the lowest. Let's also remember -- Famitsu is a tough cookie when it comes to reviews. Only six games have made perfect scores (and lo and behold, some of my favorites): The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (N64), Soul Calibur (DC), Vagrant Story (PSX... Best. Game. Ever.), The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker (GC), Nintendogs (DS), and Final Fantasy XII (PS2... same people who made Final Fantasy Tactics and Vagrant Story... and the lesser cared about Romancing SaGa games, which are also great). You can check out what else got almost-perfect scores on Wikipedia. Some surprises, really, but you have to remember -- unlike our video game magazines that seem to arbitrarily pick numbers based on "awesome factor", Famitsu bases their scores in comparison only to other games in the same genre. A perfect score means that, in that particular genre, nothing else can possibly be better.

Whew. Sorry about that, but it's just so exciting! Without further ado, here are the review scores/highlights for the first wave of PS3 titles:

  • Miyazato Golf Club: 7, 7, 7, 7
    • good tempo, hard to judge where shots will land, doesn't quite look next-gen
  • Genji: 7, 7, 7, 8
    • camera is difficult, but the game looks great; challenging for beginners, good amount of content, good controls
  • Gundam: 8, 8, 8, 8
    • excellent Mobile Suit models, problematic system, great textures, tons of optional/unlockable stuff, satisfying, but with divided opinions (don't look at me -- just copying from the forum)
  • Resistance: 9, 8, 8, 8 (keep in mind, a lot of people say the Japanese don't like the FPS genre -- but again, the grading is based on others in the same genre, so...)
    • standard FPS gameplay, excellent netplay, very high standard of next-gen
  • Riiiiiiidge Racer 7: 9, 9, 9, 9
    • totally satisfactory, tons of content, very high quality graphics and sound

There you have it. Report your reactions in the form of comments! Dismissed!

Now then, about those PS3 games on your PSP...

Sony's head of hardware development for both the PS3 and the PSP, Izumi Kawanishi, sat down with Famitsu magazine to discuss the details of the plaguing question: what's with the connectivity between the PS3 and the PSP... game-wise? Clearly, just viewing the media wouldn't be enough, so... there's got to be more to it than that. Says IGN: "While Kawanishi didn't get into specifics, we imagine the PSP being used just to display game footage sent to it by the PS3 and send back controller data input by the player." Yeah, well, if that isn't a revelation, here's a bit of foresight: Kawanishi purposely created the PSP with a 16:9 display because he had this idea for the future in mind. Good job, Izumi-chan. Can we say that? Of course, you need the 60GB Wi-Fi model of the PS3 to take advantage of this connectivity. Kawanishi didn't really go into whether a USB Wi-Fi connection with the lower-end model will yield the same result, but really, why wouldn't it?

In a similar but mostly unrelated vein, updating your system software will be done via flash media or game/media software -- similar to the PSP system updates. Kawanishi made mention also that the PS3 games will indeed be region-free, so they can be played as-is (although there will be "exceptions"...). So there you have it -- a few questions answered, a couple left. Any plaguing you in particular? We'll keep an eye out for certain ones that pop up often.

Famitsu chief says: Wii on top, PS3 second... then on top

The most believable "he said, she said" article yet! Why? Because initially, PS3 isn't voted "on top". In fact, the 360 will dominate until 2007's end (which will probably be when they announce the XBox 720 or whatever they want to call it). This comes from Famitsu's chief and more prominantly, president of Enterbrain, Hirokazu Hamamura: "The PS3 will have a tough time globally at the initial stage. Its launch titles in Japan and exclusive software titles overseas are quite limited...But its overwhelmingly realistic graphics will give it a long life span. It will stay competitive even when a game console battle breaks out among a newer generation of machines in 2010. Sales should grow every time Sony cuts prices."

As production yields improve, costs in manufacturing will decrease over time, so there's some semblance of thought to this prediction instead of the arbitrary number-snatching. Speaking of number-snatching, let's go over that part of this prediction. 4.13 million PS3 units sold by the end of the fiscal year in March 2007. Sony intends to ship 6 million units by this same time (hmm...). As for the Wii... there's an expected 5.47 million units sold by the same time. No mention of the 360 for some odd reason. Over time, though, the PS3 will dethrone its competitors and reach the top of the mountain, selling an estimated 34 million units by 2009. Sweet. Numbers. Since it's coming from a Famitsu head, it's a little easier to listen since, well, they're highly respected among game enthusiasts in Japan and otherwise.

A little bit o' info... lots of pictures of the PS3! [update 1]

Leave it to the Famitsu website to put up the largest and most gorgeous display of PS3 pictures on the web. Since the website is riddled with question marks, we'll do our best to translate anything we can.

  • The 60GB model has an amazingly cool silver finish around the disc-loading panel. Works horizontally or vertically!
  • The power/reset button isn't a button at all. It's more of a heat sensor that reacts to your fingertip's temperature. So if you're really cold, sorry, you can't play. Just kidding, you can still play. Playing is great.
  • Famitsu claims the SIXAXIS controller feels securely lighter without the rumble weights.
  • The shoulder buttons (last picture on the page, SIXAXIS is on the right) have a smaller profile, but seem more... well, at least in the L2/R2 case, spring loaded a la Dreamcast shoulder buttons. They seem, they probably aren't. It just reminded me of the DC Controller.
Sexy pictures, Famitsu! Thanks for these. Everyone else, check 'em out. Especially those gorgeous LED power lights. So nice.

[update: changed LCD to LED... thanks for making me look like a fool, Andir. Just kidding. Thanks.]

Famitsu's most wanted and most ignored

Respected Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu recently published the results of a poll to find the games most wanted by the public. Look at the top five. Aside from the #1 spot, Sony dominates. 9 Nintendo titles, 11 Sony titles and 1 Microsoft title. What's an XBox, Japanese gamers wonder. An interesting aside is that many of the Sony games are in fact for the PS2 and still generate as much if not more desire than the next-gen Wii and 360. Combined.

So what, you ask? So that. It's just a list of what's anticipated in Japan. Take it for what it's worth, but the fact of the matter is, in Japan at least, Sony is still jumping out of everyone's mouth. Final Fantasy XIII, Resident Evil 5, Metal Gear Solid 4, Dawn of Mana, Final Fantasy XIII Versus... sure, sequels, but anticipated ones. If they weren't desired, sequels wouldn't necessarily be made. Basically, hooray Sony! At least there are some hot PS2 titles on the way, along with the buzzworthy PS3 titles.

PlayStation 3 shows up the Wii in Japan, according to...

Polls and surveys, in their ever-accurate representation of market share, can at least show how certain audiences are reacting to what companies are offering. Take this latest chart for example. Amazon of Japan has some numbers which show the next-gen Sony console climbing past the Nintendo Wii in popularity. To be specific, we're talking about the 60GB version as the 20GB PS3 was the least popular.

Yes, this does in fact contradict a Famitsu poll that showed quite the opposite (with the Wii taking 73% and the PS3 pulling out 17%). What readers need to understand is that this is coming from Amazon's vantage point and doesn't take into consideration the opinions of retailers or developers. It's a relative poll showing some positive feedback, which is always welcome, but it's not definitive (and as Sony fanboys, we know about over-reacting and how to avoid it).

In the end, this does show some good news for Amazon of Japan though. However we're still waiting on those scientifically proven surveys to come out (should be any minute now...).

[Via Joystiq]

Japanese developers talk shop

The game makers across the Pacific have been sharing their opinions on the next-generation of console gaming and some of the things that surprised them coming out of E3. Some of the big-name developers with big-name contributions spoke their mind, like Resident Evil 4 producer Hiroyuki Kobayashi.

Kazuma Kujo, creator of R-Type, brought up a great point about cross-platform gaming. He believes that the stark contrast between the control scheme of such systems like the PS3 and the Wii "will discourage many developers from making games for multiple platforms." If this turns out to be true, will we finally see some innovation? If game makers are tightening their focus and concentrating on just one system, then gamers may finally get their hands on new concepts.

One developer's biggest surprise from E3 was the price of the PlayStation 3 (O Rly?). This pretty much sums it up: "As a Blu-Ray player it's cheap; as a game console, it's expensive. ... Is it a 'game machine' or an 'entertainment machine'?"

More revealing poll results from Famitsu

We know how much everyone just loves polls and how indicative they are of the market share, but don't put away your sticks and clubs just yet because we have one more to add to the list. Famitsu polled their readers on a few of their interests, and the results may surprise you (or not).

So what games are they most interested in? Here they are:
1. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (Wii, Nintendo)
2. Final Fantasy XIII (PS3, Square Enix)

3. Metal Gear Solid 4 (PS3, Konami)
4. Dragon Quest Swords (Wii, Square Enix)
5. Super Smash Bros. Brawl (Wii, Nintendo)
6. Super Mario Galaxy (Wii, Nintendo)
7. Final Fantasy III (NDS, Square Enix)
8. Monster Hunter 3 (PS3, Capcom)
9. Resident Evil (Wii, Capcom)
10. Halo 3 (Xbox 360)

The last one there may have made you raise an eyebrow. Famitsu also asked their readers about their favorite hardware at the moment and what they thought about the price of the PlayStation 3. Follow the link for the rest of the results.

PS3 dominates Japanese mind

Famitsu recently issued a report showing the top 10 items of interest to the Japanese from last week's E3. News surrounding Sony's next-gen console dominated the list, with the number one item of interest being the PS3's controller. The list reads as:

  1. Impressions of the PS3 controller
  2. Final Fantasy XIII information
  3. PS3 price and release date
  4. Super Smash Brothers Brawl and Snake playable announcement
  5. PS3 menu & interface
  6. PS3 online service
  7. PS3 game pics
  8. Polymorphic content surrounding FFXIII
  9. Dragon Quest Swords
  10. Square-Enix game pics


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