Hey all, this article has been updated to correct any mistakes made previously such as calling Little King's Story, Little King's STORY, the correct play time of the Sky Crawlers demo (30 minutes as opposed to an hour), and fixing the title of the article from EA Hot for the Holidays. My apologies to everyone and XSEED; we really try to stay on top of things.
Hey folks, Valkor here. There’s been a lot of gaming action happenin with TOV and I can’t be happier than a pig in slop. (Yea the yokel in me has come out). I got the chance to hang out with my bud JayDub who is now the proprietor of 2-DX; and if your into classic 2D thrills, you’ll definitely wanna check out his site. But this article isn’t about Jay, it’s about XSEED and what they have to offer the gaming community. The event was held at EN Japanese Brasserie, where they dished out all sorts of Japanese goodies. Afterwards it was all about the gaming. Check it out!
Ju-on The Grudge (Wii) – This unexpected game has you playing as one of the girls in the movie trying to get out of a house, building, or some haunted environment before the creepy lady with the long hair gets you. The part I got to play was the role of Miki, who was trapped in a hospital, no lights, and her only item was a flashlight. The battery life of the flashlight acts as your life bar, and if you run out of battery life then your goose cooked so to speak. You’ll use your flashlight to light your way, but the creepy kid that meows, or the long hair witch will jump out at certain times, literally scarin the beejuzes right out of you. Your job is to avoid them and get your ass outta the building. The scares are timed really well because they happen suddenly (as they should). You’ll all get that creepy, I can’t describe it, noise… you know the one… you’ll know it when you hear it, yea that noise. There’s also a two player mode where a second player controls when the scares will happen. Graphically the game looks good and gets in some nice close ups of the long haired witch and it will be interesting to see this game when it’s fully fleshed out.
Sky Crawlers: Innocent Aces (Wii) – You like flight simulators? You like dog fights? You like games based on poplar books and films? Then you might wanna give Sky Crawlers a try. This game features some really beautiful backdrops that look damn good on the Wii, a system whose graphics are sub par at best. But the controls are where it’s at. I thought I would never get into a flight sim. But Sky Crawlers has shown me otherwise. Using the Wii’s unique controls, you actually feel as though you’re piloting the plane. Yea it takes a newb like me some adjustment, but after about 30 minutes I was shootin down planes with ease. The scenario I tried, I had to shoot down 100 planes in 30 minutes. Yea it was long, a bit monotonous, but wow it felt good to be barrel rolling, dipping, spinning, and shooting down enemy planes. Sky Crawlers will be released later this year, but look for a full TOV review before then.
Half Minute Hero (PSP) – If ever there was a game that you can say is on Crack, then it’s definitely Half Minute Hero. You play… well the Hero, whose job it is to stop the baddies all in a matter of 30 seconds. You skip over any story, no long treks, no meeting friends along the way; you get right to the point; save the world in 30 seconds or perish. You get into random battles along the way where you instantly level up. Need a few seconds to catch your breath? Go into town, where your wizard guide will stop the clock so you can take your time re-energizing and buying new equipment. I had the chance to play a level to stop the baddy from destroying the world and let me say the game is intense. Yea it takes some getting used to, but once you figure out what needs to be done and how quickly you can do it then your good to go. The game utilizes old school 8 bit graphics, which adds to the game’s overall charm. In all there’s supposed to be 120 stages; about 15 hours of gameplay in total. Plus with ad hoc you can add an additional 3 players to the mix. Not sure how that will work out, but be sure I’ll dig into it when it hits the Val-Cave. Expect Half Minute Hero to hit the shelves this Fall.
Lunar: Silver Star Harmony (PSP) – You know when jay and I left the show, we started talkin RPG’s and the name Lunar came up. I still have my original Sega CD copy as well my PS version of the game. When going through the press kit, I was stunned to see that XSEED will be publishing Lunar Silver Star Harmony for the PSP. The only thing I can tell you about the game from the press kit is that it will have new graphics and sound, an expanded battle system and some new story elements. Other than That I don’t know much about the game, but I will be putting the pressure on the XSEED peeps for more detail.
Other games on hand were Little King’s Story, which is being worked on as we speak by Epic-1, and Valhalla Knights: Eldar Saga. I wish I had gotten the chance to play em, but I was deep into the other three games. Keep your eyes peeled to the pages of TOV for more on these games and others as they arrive. Otherwise it was a great show, with some good food, good friends, and a lot of laughs.