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Games you should consider when shopping for the rest of 2011 – Part 1

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Games you should consider when shopping for the rest of 2011 - Part 1 1So I was talking to my friends at the local pub with some beers and a lovely waitress by the name of…. Fine, at home on Facebook with a Diet Coke and no waitress but grabbing the drink myself, about the games that have been released over the last six months. I would say there have been considerable numbers of big-name Western games being made available such as L.A Noire, Portal 2 and even Dungeon Siege III found a way of avoiding earning the near-inevitable “Crappy Third Parter” achievement. If you were to consider Eastern games however, which of course what this site focuses on primarily, there was nothing much in the first half of 2011 with the exception of some Nippon Ichi Software America titles and the scattered other game here and there.

Fortunately, relief is at hand, with many companies going the extra mile to ensure YOU have your fill of Japanese-originating games. This, is the first of a couple of parts I intend on writing up, this time focusing on the upcoming releases by ATLUS USA and Nippon Ichi Software America, including my thoughts of the games (Next time should be Aksys Games and a yet to be decided one – so many options). 

Games you should consider when shopping for the rest of 2011 - Part 1 2Title
Catherine

English Publisher
ATLUS USA

Release Date
26th July 2011

Description
Vincent likes his girlfriend.  Katherine’s pretty, smart, and successful.  Trouble is, she’s starting to talk about long-term commitment, something Vincent’s spent his entire life avoiding.  Since romantic complications are the last thing he wants to deal with, Vincent meets his friends for their regular night of drinks.  Little does he know that he’s about to be blindsided by a beautiful, seductive, irresistible freight train named Catherine.  Suddenly, he’s hung over in bed next to the most beautiful woman he’s ever seen, unsure about the previous night’s events.  Was it just making out, he wonders, or did something more serious happen between them?  Should he tell Katherine?  Will he ever see Catherine again?  Vincent’s about to find that a stumble on the staircase of love can turn into a horrific, fatal plummet…

Thoughts
Whats that you say? You thought I didn’t care much for Catherine? Well actually as a character I don’t think much of her, but the other protagonist Katherine is right up my alley. *Puts on serious face* Catherine is one of the games I am most excited about, and is probably going to be the next big “Puzzle Game” thing since Portal 2 – and we all know how that fanbase turned out (Psst…. it is the opposite of the words small and quiet). With the Catherine demo now out on the Playstation Network and XBox Live Stores in the US, you have no excuse not to check out this game, which mixes puzzles with valid concerns about marriage and relationships and sheep.

Games you should consider when shopping for the rest of 2011 - Part 1 3

Title
Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor Overclocked

English Publisher
ATLUS USA

Release Date
23rd August 2011

Description
Considered one of the best RPGs of 2009, the original Devil Survivor presented gamers with a novel premise: Tokyo is in full lockdown, the government’s swift, coldblooded response to a surprise demon invasion.  While you and your friends must solve the nature of the interdimensional rift through which the horrific creatures are entering your world, saving the world is not your highest priority; staying alive, on the other hand, is.  Expanded and enhanced,Devil Survivor Overclocked for Nintendo 3DS builds upon the game’s original release with the addition of voice acting for the entirety of the game’s memorable narrative, a special eighth chapter that serves as a rousing epilogue for fans, beautifully remastered hand drawn artwork and character portraits, and much more!

Thoughts
Since my review of the normal Devil Survivor last year, I have had the opportunity to enjoy several more DS titles and I have felt something lacking in them…. it isn’t Devil Survivor. Devil Survivor is THE DS RPG and now, I hope you don’t mind me doing some Maths.

The Best RPG on the DS + The 3DS + New Features = ?

Have you solved it out? It will be an improved gameplay experience, however I will be curious to see what will come of the design with the 3DS console, after all, the effects can make a game, but at the same time it could break them.

Games you should consider when shopping for the rest of 2011 - Part 1 4

Title
The King of Fighters XIII

English Publisher
ATLUS USA

Release Date
October 2011

Description
With a roster featuring over 30 hand-drawn fighters, a number of detailed stages bursting with life, over a half dozen play modes, a refined fighting engine built for speed and complete with new moves and supers, a vastly improved Online mode, and a host of other additions, tweaks, and enhancements, THE KING OF FIGHTERS XIII represents a rebirth for one of gaming’s longest tenured franchises and one of the most popular fighting brands ever.

Thoughts
I don’t go out of my way to play fighting games, either solo or with others online. To put it simply, I “suck” at them with my PSN ID on Blazblue having a nice 0% Wins on it. I have played The King of Fighters XII previously, and it was enjoyable (and I actually managed to complete the story mode several times), but not a game I would go out of my way to try.

Games you should consider when shopping for the rest of 2011 - Part 1 5

Title
Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 2 Innocent Sin

English Publisher
ATLUS USA

Release Date
Fall 2011

Description
The story takes place in Sumaru City, Japan, population 1,280,000. Its protagonist attends Seven Sisters High School (“Sevens” for short), whose emblem is considered a status symbol even amongst students from other schools.  Soon, though, a rumor that Sevens’ emblem was actually cursed, and that wearing it would disfigure one’s face, had spread around the city. Even worse, the rumor came true… And it was only the beginning of a string of rumors becoming reality, one after another… Before long, the protagonists discover the power to summon another side of them called “Personas,” which they use to investigate the strange incidents around the city, all while facing their own personal demons as well.  Time is once again on the march…

Thoughts
This is without a doubt the “Lost” Persona game, well over a decade overdue, suspectedly not released on the PS1 (Unlike the sequel to it Persona 2: Eternal Punishment) due to some then controversial content such as Homosexuality and mentioning of Hitler. Unlike Persona on the PSP, Persona 2: Innocent Sin stays more true to the initial PS1 release with the same but improved graphics, identical battle system and really it is more like a HD port with English translations, HD music, HD Graphics, Fancier Interface and of course, bonus modes which go up to allowing you to create your own scenario. You interested? I am an eager beaver when it comes to the Persona series.

Games you should consider when shopping for the rest of 2011 - Part 1 6

Title
Bleach: Soul Resurreccion

English Publisher
Nippon Ichi Software America

Release Date
2nd August 2011

Description
Based on the popular manga/anime series, Bleach: Soul Resurrección depicts the battle between the SoulReapers and the army of evil Arrancars that threaten the peace of the world.Bleach: Soul Resurrección gives players the sensation of single-handedly destroying an army of monsters andevil spirits with lightning-fast swordfighting action. Gamers can re-live the experiences of various charactersfrom the anime by closely following the original story. The environments are faithfully reproduced withbeautiful cel-shaded 3D models that will satisfy even the most devoted fans. Bleach: Soul Resurrección willgive gamers an unparalleled anime action game experience

Thoughts
Thanks to the team at NISA, I will be doing a preview of this series hopefully in the next few days until the big release and my review of it this August. I shall be honest, I do not have a single idea about the storyline of Bleach as I gave the anime up almost immediately after realizing how many episodes it consists of (My preference is 12-26… not several hundred) however there is some potential… it might pull through as a good Anime –> Game Adaptation.

Games you should consider when shopping for the rest of 2011 - Part 1 7

Title
Atelier Totori

English Publisher
Nippon Ichi Software America

Release Date
Fall 2011

Description
The small fishing village of Alanya on the Arland Republic’s southern border is home to the young alchemist-in-training Totooria Helmold. She is called Totori by her friends and family, and she wishes to become a great adventurer. One day, she resolves to make the journey to Arland, become an adventurer, and explore the world beyond her hometown. She will make many friends along her journey of discovery — some new, some familiar. When her quest comes to a close, your actions over the course of the game will dictate whether she finds the answers to her questions, forge unbreakable bonds with friends, or take different paths entirely.

Thoughts
This is the second of three games in the PS3 Atelier series. Following more along the lines of Atelier Rorona then Atelier Iris on the PS2, this is all about collecting items to make more items through alchemy, anyway you can – Purchasing, Scavenging, RPG Battles. Am I looking forward to it? Yes Indeedy!

Games you should consider when shopping for the rest of 2011 - Part 1 8

Title
Disgaea 4

English Publisher
Nippon Ichi Software America

Release Date
September 2011

Description
This latest incarnation of the popular Disgaea strategy RPG series boasts major graphical improvements, Disgaea’s most in-depth gameplay yet, everlasting value, and the great sense of humor you’ve come love. The new graphics engine truly brings Takehito Harada’s characters to life with fluid animations and high definition details. Create your own political party and take advantage of a slew of new battle and strategic features expanding upon the already staggering replay value. Finally, Disgaea 4 adopts an all new map-generating mode, enabling players to create and share custom maps with other players around the world! You can even design your own pirate ship to attack them with! This summer, Disgaea 4 will relentlessly invade your gaming room! Beware!

Thoughts
The fourth title in the very popular SRPG series Disgaea. After a game that might have been a bit on the easier side then the others, I welcome Disgaea 4 with open arms with all its complexity, alongside countless new features and improved Graphics. This is a game I can suggest even without playing it – and shall be reviewing it at the first possible chance.

Games you should consider when shopping for the rest of 2011 - Part 1 9

Title
Cave Story 3D

English Publisher
Nippon Ichi Software America

Release Date
November 2011

Description
Cave Story 3D is a side scrolling action adventure game inspired by the fan-favorite 2D original. Now in a full 3D world, Cave Story takes the proven 2D action, exploration into stereoscopic awesomeness. You wake up in a cave with no idea who you are or where you came from, but you know you must help a cute race of rabbit-like creatures beat the crap out of some crusty old doctor.

Thoughts
I actually remain undecided on this title, whilst it does have enough promise, I am not entirely sure if the concept will be able to last a full game. However for fans of the original source series, you will most probably still enjoy this just as much, if not more with what seem to be rather good 3D features.

Games you should consider when shopping for the rest of 2011 - Part 1 10

Title
CladunX2

English Publisher
Nippon Ichi Software America

Release Date
August 2011

Description
Dive back into the world of Arcanus Cella with a new cast and a new adventure! Take on the role of a wandering warrior trapped in a dangerous pocket-sized world filled with more monsters, more weapons, more dungeons and more danger than ever before—and there’s only one way out. ClaDun x2 has twice the thrills, twice the spills, twice the lovable classic-ness of the first!

Thoughts
I have played the first game in this series and did find it enjoyable, especially with the options of changing characters, custom designing characters and the quick to complete, but complex none-the-less dungeon levels. Whilst I am not as excited about this title as the others, I look forward to seeing what is on offer when it is released next month.

and that seems to be it from NISA and ATLUS….. is that all for the rest of the year from them? Only time will tell….

Games you should consider when shopping for the rest of 2011 - Part 1 13
Sam
Founder of The Otaku's Study. I have been exploring this labyrinth of fandom these last fourteen years, and still nowhere close to the exit yet. Probably searching for a long time to come.

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