Game Plan Japan News Report 03.14.12
Posted by Ernest Lin on 03.14.2012
Virtua Fighter in DOA5, K-On! Gets HD re-release, Phantasy Star Online 2 getting Vita port, Inafune working on new Vita game, & more!
Konnichiwa and welcome to the Game Plan Japan! I'm Ernest "Ernsty" Lin and the newest 411mania.com Games writer. 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 have heard of as well as others you will never have and will never make it stateside.
This week is filled with a fair amount of PS Vita news due to Sony's PlayStation Vita Game Heaven video series last week. In addition, there's some info about DLC for different games. Not the busiest news week for Japanese games. Ikimashou!
Dead or Alive 5 Adds Virtua Fighter's Akira and Maybe More
The above video shows what Kasumi will look like in Dead or Alive 5, but at the end contains a surprise: Akira of Virtua Fighter will be playable. Team Ninjas Yousuke Hayashi has said that the way Akira will play is unchanged from VF. In last week's Famitsu, Hayashi explained that Team Ninja had to basically attack Sega in order to acquire Akira and since it was so much trouble, Akira will not be the only character added. As of now, it is not clear if he meant more characters will be added to DOA5 from Virtua Fighter or if he was hinting at other franchises. Seems to me that cross franchise battles in fighting games are all the rage!
Source: Tecmo Koei, Famitsu
Metal Gear Solid HD for PS Vita Has Cloud Support
Earlier this week, Konami confirmed that the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection was coming to the PS Vita this summer on June 28, 2012 in Japan. The collection for PS Vita does not include Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker but both Metal Gear Solid 2 and Metal Gear Solid 3 will receive Transfarring support with the PS3. For those who have not heard of Transfarring, it is Kojima Productions' system for allowing the same save on a portable version of a game to be used on a console version and was first used for the PSP game Peace Walker. Also, Konami revealed a new networking option for utilizing Transfarring called "Title User Storage" or TUS. With TUS, if you record your PS3's Metal Gear Solid HD Collection save on cloud storage, the PS Vita will be able to use the save. This adds a lot more convenience as previous Transfarring required you to hook up your portable system to the PS3 or be on the same Wi-Fi network as the PS3.
Ridge Racer Vita Adding Idolm@ster Car and Song DLC
Surely in an effort to encourage sales of Ridge Racer and the PS Vita with Japan's otaku, Namco Bandai announced that the portable racing game would be receiving a series of DLC from their popular Japanese idol managing simulator franchise Idolm@ster. This is not the first Idolm@ster DLC in other games as DLC skins have been in some of the Ace Combat games. Thirteen "EX Color" cars will be available, each sporting one of the Idolm@ster girls and cost ¥500 (~$6 USD) each. The Haruka and Makoto cars will see release on May 14, while Chihaya, Azusa and Yayoi cars are set for April 12. If you are like me and are a fan of one of the other idols, you will have to wait till May to race around the track in a car sporting your favorite girl. Arriving in May as well will be four songs from Idolm@ster priced at ¥150 (~$2 USD). No details yet about which music tracks will make the cut as of now, but I am guessing Go My Way!! and Ready!! will at least be there. Buying all this DLC would cost you a grand total of ¥6,500 (~$80 USD)! However, Namco Bandai is following suit like many other companies (Rockstar) by offering a iM@S Pass that grants all the DLC for ¥2,980 (~$36 USD).
Sega is bringing the PC game Phantasy Star Online 2 to the PS Vita! The news was unveiled as part of Sony's PlayStation Vita Game Heaven video series. Series producer Satoshi Sakai said that there have been plans for PSO2 to be on a portable or home console since the time the game was decided for PC. Both versions of the game will play on the same servers allowing you to even play as your character at home and on the go! As you can see from the announcement video, the game looks rough on PS Vita at the moment due to it only being 10% complete. As of now, the PS Vita version is running at PC's lowest settings level and lacks shaders, has frame rate issues, and is all around unoptimized. However, Sakai has stated all these issues will be fixed by the time PSO2 launches in 2013 for Vita and approach PC version's highest settings. I'm excited to see an online RPG arriving on Sony's newest portable, especially such a big name like Phantasy Star Online.
Father of Mega Man and former Capcom developer Keiji Inafune is working on what he calls an "amazing" new game for the PS Vita. News first broke of the new IP by accident during the Game Developers Conference last week. Sony released a video featuring Inafune at PlayStation Vita Game Heaven video series, confirming the news. Not many details were given aside from it being described as an "Inafune-like" game. I would hope so if he is the one developing it. As of now, it sounds like the game will be published by Sony Computer Entertainment.
Nowadays, it seems like every major portable or older game is getting an HD re-release. In addition, there has been a strong emphasis on portable versions of games being able to work seamlessly with their console counterparts. Well, Sega is jumping on both bandwagons with K-On! After School Live!! HD Version. Based on the immensely popular anime K-On!, this rhythm game was originally released on the PSP back in 2010. In addition to HD visuals and PSP save support, K-On! will feature stereoscopic 3-D output and Ad-Hoc party multiplayer for one to five players. Having played the game before, it is a lot of fun and a solid rhythm game. Not sure if it needs an HD port, especially with how simply done it looks, but without a doubt will bring in extra dough for Sega.
Lollipop Chainsaw Getting DLC Costumes from Anime & Manga
The upcoming game from Suda51's Grasshopper Manufacture, Lollipop Chainsaw, stars a California high school cheerleader named Juliet who has to fight zombies. While it was previously revealed that you will be able to change her outfit, the most recent issue of Dengeki PlayStation magazine broke the news that there will be four anime and manga properties that the game will receive DLC costumes from. Look forward to dressing Juliet as Saeko Busujima and Rei Miyamoto from Highschool of the Dead, Shiro from Deadman Wonderland, Haruna from Is This a Zombie?, and Manyu Chifusa from Manyu Hiken-cho. Check out the trailer above to see all of these costumes in action!
Lollipop Chainsaw Bikinis & Voice Actress Will Be Console Specific
Speaking of costumes, each console will get their own bikini for Juliet. The PS3 will have the "Multi Border Bikini" and the Xbox 360 will get the "Seashell Bikini." Your wallet can take a sigh of relief as these bikinis are unlocked with in-game currency and are not DLC. While console specific costumes are not anything weird, it is strange for each console's version of a game has a different voice actor playing the protagonist. That is exactly the case with the Japanese version of Lollipop Chainsaw: Juliet will be played by Eri Kitamura for the Xbox 360 and Yoko Hikasa for the PS3. Once you complete the game however, you be able to switch between both voice actresses. If you really want everything, the Lollipop Chainsaw premium edition will include both bikinis and both voice tracks from the start.
Many of the major releases in Japan this week are western games including Mass Effect 3, SSX, FIFA 12, and Journey. Minor Japanese game release this week include both of Konami's Ao no Eiyuu: Birds of Steel (X360, PS3) flight game and Blades of Time (X360, PS3) and Idea Factory's Amnesia (PSP) love sim for girls. There are only two large Japanese releases out this week and both reek of meh.
First is Meikyuu Touro Legasista from NIS and is described as a survival action RPG. As you can see from the video, it uses largely uninspired 2-D art that looks like a PS1 game could run it. Believe or not this is a full-fledged PS3 release and one I am not getting. If you've played every generic JRPG out there and need another time sink, go for it.
The other release, If I Were in a Sealed Room With a Girl, I'd Probably XXX, has becomes more infamous in the past few months. From publisher D3, this 3DS title is part love sim and part escape puzzle game. You help cute girls from the protagonist's high school escape, which sounds innocent enough until you hear that you have free control of the camera. That coupled with plenty of suggestive moments from screenshots released means you have a AAA fan service title that unsurprisingly break into the top 20 best-selling games next week. If you're thinking of importing, reminder that you will need a Japanese 3DS as Nintendo's newest handheld is not region free.