games / Columns

Game Plan Japan News Report 07.19.12

July 19, 2012 | Posted by Ernest Lin

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Konnichiwa and welcome back to 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.

This past week has honestly been a slower one for Japanese games news, hence why some of my write-ups below you may have already heard about. My E3 content is slowly coming along; my Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance interview should be coming out later this week.

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In other news, I finally got my first high-end smartphone last Friday: the recently released Samsung Galaxy S III International Version! Why the international version? Obviously, it can be used with any GSM network anywhere in the world, but the big reason was that it sports better specs than the US or Japan versions, especially a quad-core processor (dual-core in the US and Japan ver.). After looking at other Androids and the iPhone and an enthusiastic review from Japanese culture blogger Danny Choo (a long time iPhone user who has switched to using the S3 as his main phone), I decided on the Samsung Galaxy S III and whole-heartedly recommend it to anyone.

New Metal Gear Solid 4 Patch Brings Trophy Support and Full Installation Option

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Kojima Productions has announced that a patch to their 2008 masterpiece Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots will add two features to the game many fans have requested for years: trophies and full installation. At last you can prove to the world how skilled you are in tactical espionage action by earning trophies in MGS4. I am most excited for the full installation option since some of the installation times between chapters were long. Future generations will not have to spend dozens of minutes watching Old Snake smoke!

Source: Kojima Productions

Namco Bandai Greenlights A Certain Magical Index Game Adaptation for PSP

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To Aru Majutsu no Index (aka A Certain Magical Index) started out as light novel series by Kazuma Kamachi that would later go on to spawn a few anime series, video games, a manga, and an upcoming film. Now the franchise can add another game adaptation to its belt. As suggested by the name A Certain Magical and Scientific Ensemble, this PSP game is a crossover of the original A Certain Magical Index with the spin-off series A Certain Scientific Railgun. Plus it features a new story from Kazuma Kamachi, giving the game something new for existing fans as well. Namco Bandai is collaborating with Guyzware, the studio responsible for the Oreimo and Toradora! PSP game adaptations.

Source: Anime News Network, Andriasang

Next Tales Game is Tales of Xillia 2

Weeks ago, Namco Bandai teased a new major Tales game and even released realistic-looking concept art. Now they have formally announced it as being a direct sequel to Tales of Xillia. Its story takes place one year after the events of the first game and, like its predecessor, is a PlayStation 3 exclusive. Tales of Xillia 2 is in its final phase of development with a release date for November 1, 2012!

Source: Famitsu

Tales of Xillia Coming to US and Europe

Speaking of Tales of Xillia, Namco Bandai is finally bringing the critically acclaimed RPG to PlayStation 3 owners in America and Europe! How the title sells abroad probably will affect whether or not Tales of Xillia 2 sees an overseas release.

Source: Namco Bandai

NiGHTS HD Remake Landing on PlayStation Network, Xbox Live Arcade and Steam This Fall

Sega has been busy recently with giving the HD treatment to many of their classic titles. Now the Sega Saturn is getting some love with Sega announcing that NiGHTS into Dreams will be heading to Xbox Live Arcade, PlayStation Network, and Steam in a high-definition remake set for release this fall. In addition to enhanced graphics, players will be able to experience the Sega Saturn original too.

Source: Sega

Persona 4 Arena’s Story Mode Lasts 30 to 40 Hours

Persona 4 Arena is shaping up to be more than a quick cash-in fanservice title and instead a more than solid fighting game. One element that Atlus and Arc System Works are not skimping on is the story mode of Persona 4 Arena, which will last a whopping 30 to 40 hours. The trailers above and below give you a glimpse of what to expect from playing through the story. Additionally, the last video is the opening video for the game produced by Madhouse Studios.

Source: Persona 4 Arena Blog

DJ Max Technika Tune Gets Scratching on the PlayStation Vita

Long-running Korean rhythm game series DJ Max makes its way to the PlayStation Vita this September in Japan and this summer in North America with a port of the arcade game DJ Max Technika. Unlike previous portable DJ Max titles, the Vita’s DJ Max Technika Tune plays much differently and utilizes the system’s front touchscreen and rear touchpad and abandoned the column layout. All in all, this new format adds some much needed evolution to the series. The North American release will include a generous 67 songs.

Source: Cyber Front, Siliconera

Crunchyroll App to Launch on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita

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Crunchyroll is an online video website that legally streams anime and Korean dramas. They have done simulcasts of dozens of Japanese anime, with the subtitled versions available a mere few hours or less after they are broadcast in Japan! At last Crunchyroll has heard its fans who have been asking for an app on video game consoles for years. This summer PlayStation 3 owners will receive the app and a 30-day free trial of their Premium service. The Premium service on the website includes commercial-free watching and HD streaming, so those will probably be available when using the PS3 app. A PlayStation Vita version will launch later this year. Before complaining that the Xbox 360 got snubbed, consider that Crunchyroll did run a poll asking their users what game consoles they owned and PS3 won.

Source: Crunchyroll

Miku Flick 2 Announced for iPhone and iOS Devices

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Sega has revealed that the company will launch a sequel to their Hatsune Miku iOS game, Miku Flick soon. The game is expected to play similar to the first in which the player flicks across the screen to form words of the lyrics Miku and her Vocaloid friends sing. Check out the video below to get a better idea of how the game is played. The first Miku Flick was available on the iTunes store for players worldwide so expect a similar launch for Miku Flick 2

Source: Sega

Top Selling Games in Japan – Week Ending 07.08.12

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Source: VGChartz

Random Japanese (Related) Video of the Week


Researchers at Keio University have created a way to do facial motion capture using a USB camera such as the PlayStation Move camera. I would love to see this implemented into multiplayer games, especially MMOs.

That is it for this week’s Game Plan Japan! Feel free to leave any comments or questions below or on Twitter: @ErnstyLin or by e-mail: [email protected].


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Ernest Lin

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