Game Plan Japan News Report 05.09.12
Konnichiwa and welcome to another Game Plan Japan! Every week I will be bringing you the top stories about games from a small country named Japan. Some games I report on you will know of. Other games you will never have heard of and will never make it stateside. I’m feeling much better this week and almost fully recovered from my sickness last week. Expecting more in this week’s column versus last week’s relatively shorter one? You’ll have to forget about it – Japan has been slow on news these past few weeks.
Speaking of Japan, I will be in Tokyo in exactly one week! As I mentioned last week, Tokyo is where my study abroad requirement will take place, before I fly straight to Los Angeles for E3. So far, I have E3 appointments scheduled with Natsume, Konami, and Square Enix. In June, expect some previews and thoughts on their upcoming titles by yours truly!
PlayStation Vita Coming Out in Crystal White Color & Hatsune Miku Limited Edition
The PS Vita is getting its first new color variation near the end of June. Sony has unveiled that the Crystal White PS Vita will be available June 28 in Japan with both Wi-Fi only and 3G/Wi-Fi versions. I have never been fond of white systems since they make any dirtiness or scratches more noticeable. If you want a matching version of Sony’s PS Vita earbud headset to go along with your Crystal White PS Vita, that will be available on the same day.
Also announced with the Crystal White PS Vita is the portable’s first limited edition release, in honor of the upcoming Next Hatsune Miku Project Diva game. In appearance, the Miku Vita looks exactly the same as the Crystal White variation except the rear touch panel features an image of the digital diva herself. In an effort to appeal to the many gamers who will pick up a PS Vita system to play the new rhythm game, the Hatsune Miku PS Vita is being sold as a bundle that includes the limited edition PS Vita system, a 4GB memory card, USB cable, AC adapter, power cord, and an exclusive screen protector/skin film and AR card. The Hatsune Miku PS Vita bundle will come in Wi-Fi only and 3G/Wi-Fi versions and cost 34,980 yen and 39,800 yen, respectively Considering that’s 10,000 yen more than the price for just a PS Vita alone and the Next Hatsune Miku Project Diva game will cost 7,329 yen retail/6,600 yen digital, I would say the Hatsune Miku PS Vita bundle will be a pretty attractive value for Japanese fans looking to jump on the latest Hatsune Miku title!
No word on if or when the Crystal White PS Vita will be available worldwide. A release of the Hatsune Miku bundle outside of Japan is very unlikely.
Inazuma Eleven MMORPG Considered by Level-5 Possibly
In a tweet on Monday, Level-5 CEO Akihiro asked the public, “If there was an Inazuma Eleven MMORPG, would you play it?” Inazume Eleven was a soccer RPG series with the first game released on the DS in 2008 and later localized for Europe last year. My guess is soccer’s limited popularity in America may have prevented these games from being localized in the US. It has been popular enough in Japan to spawn several sequels and spinoffs on the DS, Wii, and 3DS.
XSEED Games Bringing 2 Japanese Titles to North America: Ragnarok Odyssey & Orgarhythm
One of Japan’s best-selling PS Vita games, Ragnarok Odyssey, is coming to North America this year. Sometime in 2012, players can create their own fully-customizable character and choose from six different classes in an action RPG set in the Ragnarok Online universe. If co-op is your thing, Ragnarok Odyssey will support up to four players cooperatively via ad-hoc or online play.
Orgarhythm is another Japanese game XSEED is bringing to North America later this year. In my opinion, it is set to be one of PS Vita’s most unique games with how it blends music and rhythm gameplay with strategy. I reported on Orgarhythm a few weeks. Check out the April 4 column for all the details on the game!
Madoka Magica Third Person Shooter on Android
While Puella Magi Madoka Magica TPS Featuring Homura Akemi has been available on the Android store since December, I figured I would feature it in this week’s slow news column. Based on possibly the best anime of 2011 (Puella Magi Madoka Magica), this Android game has players step into the shoes of magical Homura Akemi and her arsenal of weapons. It plays like how you would expect a third person shooter to play. There are a number of cool powerups such as being able to bounce bullets off walls. There’s a Soul Gem meter in the game as well that allows the player to freeze time once full.
You can download Puella Magi Madoka Magica TPS Featuring Homura Akemi in the Google Play Android store for $7.51.
This Week’s New Releases
Only one new releases at retail this week in Japan: Starhawk!
There are a few downloadable titles but almost all of them are for the Nintendo DS and are puzzle games. The only notable one is Minecraft Xbox 360 Edition and as far as I know, the game’s not nearly as popular in Japan as it is elsewhere.
Top Selling Games in Japan – Week Ending 04.29.12
Random Japanese (Related) Video of the Week
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