"En medio del desastre" by Balún. The ethereal Puerto Rican group behind our favorite chiptune album last year just unveiled this new track, which is featured in Plásticos y Etéreos 2011 Vol.1, a free compilation of songs from independent Hispanic musicians.
Though prices for the Dragon Quest Slime Speaker have skyrocketed back up to $37+, there is still a lot of other game product discounts worth your attention on Amazon, like the very well received (and really difficult) Donkey Kong Country Returns for only $34.99.
[Update: The Donkey Kong deal is now dead, but you can still jump on the other sales mentioned here.]
Dragon Quest VI's English release a month too late for an exceptional Enix fan
Around 15 years ago, Enix America closed its doors, leaving many RPG fans to wonder what would become of SNES titles available in Japan but not yet in the U.S., like Dragon Quest VI and Tactics Ogre.
At the time Nintendo Power encouraged readers to send in their thoughts about the shuttering, and the magazine printed several letters, including this one:
"I’m now 76 years old. I may not live long enough to see Dragon Quest VI unless someone takes action soon.” - Edith Jeter, Puyallup, WA
Tactics Ogre eventually saw a North American release on the PS1, but Dragon Quest V and VI remained exclusive to Japan until their DS remakes. A year after Dragon Quest VI's DS remake shipped in Japan, it's finally coming to the States on February 14 (coincidentally, a Tactics Ogre PSP remake also releases the day after!).
While that will make for a fine Valentine’s Day gift for RPG enthusiasts, what of Edith? Racketboy forumer Urban Champion-e recently came across the NP article while flipping through an old issue he found at his parent’s house, saw the elderly gamer’s note, and wondered if she would finally get to play the game 15 years later.
Atlus sent out some Radiant Historia screens featuring royal boasting, moving orders, and, as you can see above, pants theft. You may have already heard about the time travel feature in this RPG, but maybe you didn’t know about those other new features! Like the one in which your avatar demands clothes. Check out the rest after the break.
If you’re piqued by these images, or already way into Radiant Historia fandom, check out this week’s 1UP Active Time Babble podcast, in which Atlus’s Aram Jabbari drops science about the game, and even talks a little about that weird period when Atlus localized every DS game in the world, including Steal Princess and My World, My Way.
First 3DS worldwide update coming May, adds eShop and DSiWare transfers
The 3DS hasn’t even hit stores yet, but Nintendo has already announced that the system’s first firmware update will hit this May, three months after the portable ships in Japan and two months after it debuts in the West.
Contrary to the reports everyone else picked up about the eShop appearing in Europe on the day of the Nintendo 3DS’s launch*, this firmware update is scheduled to release “at almost the same time around the world”.
The eShop is meant to be an improved digital distribution service offering Virtual Console software (Game Boy and GBC for now), DSiWare releases, Nintendo 3DS demos, and “3D Classics” — classic games with a 3D finish.
When Nintendo revealed a battery life of around 3.5 to 5 hours for the 3DS (5 to 8 hours when playing standard DS games), many presumed that was an estimate for only the system’s highest brightness setting.
"We announced the other day that the battery duration for playing Nintendo 3DS games on it is about three to five hours. When I measured it by playing several Nintendo games, with the backlight set to the brightest level and the power save mode turned off, battery duration was about three hours.
But if you use the power save mode under the same conditions, it gets about 10 to 20 percent longer. And if you set the backlight to the darkest setting, the battery lasts five hours, but the power save mode makes less of a difference.”
For those waiting until the Nintendo 3DS’s inevitable redesign before jumping into the handheld stereoscopic 3D gaming pool, you might have to wait a while before the company releases a smaller/lighter/sleeker model.
Nintendo says the 3DS’s internals are “pretty packed from the start” this time around. The company’s hardware design Kenichi Sugino commented about the crammed design, “That’s we don’t have any short-term plans for creating a more compact version of Nintendo 3DS like we did with Nintendo DS Lite.”
Laughing (as he always does), Nintendo president and CEO Satoru Iwata added, “When making Nintendo 3DS, we used all our tricks for Nintendo DS Lite — and more — for cutting down on size right from the start.”
Devil Survivor: OC, Kid Icarus, and Ocarina of Time 3D due sometime after early June
Nintendo of America revealed yesterday that marquee titles Kid Icarus: Uprising and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D will ship sometime after “early June” which I’m sure is disappointing for those hoping to pick them up shortly after the 3DS’s release, and especially embittering for the delusional folks who expected them to be out on the system’s launch day.
It makes sense considering Nintendo has three other major first-party titles that look ready to release sooner — Nintendogs + Cats, Steel Diver, and Pilotwings Resort. They might not cater to everyone’s whims, but that’s why the system will be depending on third-party developers to step up. Plus, the company wants to spread out its offerings to prevent long droughts of quality games.
But anyway! Also coming to the U.S. this summer, Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor Overlocked, the 3DS remake of 2009 DS SRPG Devil Survivor with remastered artwork, voice acting, and a special eighth chapter. Atlus provided us with new English cutscene screens:
During last week’s 3DS conference, Eric commented to me about how great the shirt Super Street Fighter IV producer Yoshinori Ono wore in his interview was, a sentiment with which I had no trouble agreeing. (We also agreed that Ono seemed huggable — doesn’t he?) Little did I know, that Street Fighter vs. Tokidoki shirt was released during last year’s New York Comic-Con, and has been sitting quietly on Capcom’s online store since then.
Today, Capcom announced that this shirt is its Deal of the Week, discounted 25 percent to $29.99. I’m guessing other people saw Ono sporting the adorable garment, and flooded Capcom with inquiries about how to get their own. If you’re interested in picking one up, the sale is active until Friday!
Those people who purchased the Hori Slime Speaker Stand for $17.91? Total suckers. Amazon has dropped the price of the impractical, squishy DS speaker accessory to an unprecedented $17.02. Take that 89 cents and savor the delicious vending-machine Runts you’ve earned by waiting.
In other news about incremental discounts on Hori accessories we’ve posted multiple times, the Wii Hori Fighting Stick has dropped a tiny bit to $20.98. Keep an eye on Tiny Cartridge for all the important sub-$1 price drop news!
Gollop on Ghost Recon 3DS and its Advance Wars-style tactical system
For those who missed it, we recently published a massive (compared to our usual tiny posts) article on Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars, which will launch alongside the Nintendo 3DS in Europe and likely debut around the same time in North America.
Julian Gollop — who developed revered games like X-Com and Laser Squad Nemesis, and is working with the Ubisoft Sofia/Bulgaria team on Shadow Wars — was kind enough to drop by and share a few details about the turn-based tactical squad game, which there’s unfortunately been very little press coverage for so far.
Though he confirmed that Shadow Wars won’t have any online multiplayer or StreetPass features, Gollop offered a lot of new details on what to expect from the actual gameplay, like info on objectives, weapons, and how the tactical system has an “Advance Wars feel”:
"Given the original’s lasting appeal, it’s hardly surprising that Square Enix has decided to revisit the game with a remake. What is surprising is that this new remake is no slapdash cell phone game, but rather a full-on DS game with gorgeous 3D graphics and stirring audio quality. SaGa 2: Goddess of Destiny marks the first time a Game Boy title has been reworked to this degree — and it’s an impressive reworking indeed.”
As with all fanmade patches, you’ll need a homebrew device and a digital version of the game, which we insist you obtain through legal methods, so make sure to import a copy — they’re on sale for $34.90 right now!
If you’re around Los Angeles and wishing to recapture the holiday spirit, don’t forget that Giant Robot’s rescheduled Game Night 4 is party tonight, where there will be Christmas-themed indie games (including an exclusive X-Mas edition of Super Crate Box), chiptunes, hot cocoa, cookies, and plenty of cool dudes and ladies.
The Nintendo 3DS game I’m looking forward to the most isn’t Kid Icarus: Uprising or Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition — it’s Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars, a squad-based tactical game from Ubisoft’s Bulgaria/Sofia team led by Julian Gollop, the celebrated designer who brought us X-Com: UFO Defense.
There’s a pitiful amount of info and media available for the game, but Ubisoft has revealed that Shadow Wars will launch alongside the 3DS in Europe on March 25th. If we’re lucky, perhaps it will hit North American stores on March 27th when the 3DS launches here, too.
I’ve gathered a bunch of the details and press assets Ubisoft has trickled out recently for your convenience.
Though it’s helped raise awareness for the plight of DS owners who don’t yet have this critical accessory, our attention on the Dragon Quest Slime Speaker Stand and its Amazon discounts had the unfortunate side effect of spiking the item’s price above the $19 mark.
Check that out — even when you remove the Nintendo 3DS from its pack-in charging cradle, the dock still has a face in a place! Any name suggestions for this happy fellow?
But, uh, back to the lecture at hand, there’s a vocal group of folks who are unsatisfied with the system’s estimated battery life of around 3.5 to 5 hours when playing 3DS games (5 to 8 hours with standard DS titles), depending on your screen brightness settings.
If you’re willing to turn off the system’s stereoscopic 3D — an idea I’m sure many think is silly since that’s the 3DS’s primary selling point — you can increase your battery life significantly, according to Kotaku:
"The company guesses that people who keep the 3D turned off could get as many as eight hours. Turning off the system’s wireless via a switch, lowering its brightness settings or even running it in a dimmer power-save mode will all help the machine last longer.”
The mentioned Power-Saving mode, which desaturates the colors on your screens, is accessible through the Home Menu’s brightness settings. We talked a lot about the Home Menu last night, so read that if you haven’t yet!