Tiny Cartridge 3DS

Arc System Works self-publishing BlazBlue spinoff for 3DS eShop 

BlazBlue Clone Phantasma is an SD “action battle game” in which cute Blazblue characters fight to knock each other off the stage. It’ll be out – surprise! – this Thursday in North America for USD $5.99/CAD $6.99.

One interesting thing about this is that Arc System Works has seemingly opted to self-publish a BlazBlue game in the West, something usually handled by Aksys Games. I am a million percent okay with this development if it means it’s easier for ASW to get those 3DS Kunio games over here! Via Gematsu.

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Catching up with Magical Beat ⊟
I’ve had Arc System Works’ Magical Beat for a few weeks now, and I haven’t really been able to post impressions for various, totally not exciting reasons. But I wanted to make sure you all knew about this neat Vita puzzler, because its concept totally captured my imagination – and it’s a fun execution of that concept!
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Basically, Magical Beat is a Puyo Puyo-type falling block game in which you drop three-block units to match three or more adjacent blocks, clearing them off the screen and sending junk to your opponent’s side.
The twist is that you have to drop the pieces to the beat of the (J-Poppy, Miku-y) background music. I mean, you don’t have to; but you’ll want to if you want the blocks to actually go where they’re supposed to and not flop disappointingly into random spots on the screen.
This simple change in the puzzle game style – the rhythm element – makes Magical Beat feel totally different from any other puzzle game I’ve played, and makes me wonder why nobody tried such a mashup before.
Sure, there’s Lumines, but with Lumines it’s different. The music and the puzzling meld together in that game to induce a sort of flow state, guiding your brain into effortless block gymnastics while your conscious mind descends into a trance.

Magical Beat’s music, on the other hand, adds pressure, forcing you to be on high alert at all times while you juggle puzzle strategy and rhythm. It’s the anti-Lumines in that the music is almost a disruptive element, a way to make the game more challenging.
It’s not quite at “puzzle game classic” yet – it’ll need a few more iterations with additional single- and multiplayer modes to add variety – but Magical Beat really feels like a worthy puzzle game. It adds something new, or at least combines two old things in a novel way.
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Catching up with Magical Beat ⊟

I’ve had Arc System Works’ Magical Beat for a few weeks now, and I haven’t really been able to post impressions for various, totally not exciting reasons. But I wanted to make sure you all knew about this neat Vita puzzler, because its concept totally captured my imagination – and it’s a fun execution of that concept!

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Magical Beat on North American Vita this week ⊟

Arc System Works’ Magical Beat is a color-matching falling-block puzzle game – that asks you to drop blocks to the beat of the background music. 

I played a demo of this on Japanese PSN, hoping I’d be able to get it on my US account  – and it’ll be here Tuesday! And so will the demo, which is good because I don’t know if I explained it very well.

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  • Source blog.us.playstation.com
Here’s the first screen of the Kunio RPG ⊟
Well, it’s Kunio hitting a bunch of dudes, except Kunio has HP and MP! And the dudes are orcs or something?
I think I love this. I was wondering how Arc System Works/Million would adapt the Kunio style to a fantasy RPG for Nekketsu Mahou Monogatori (Hot-blood Magic Tale), and the answer appears to be “not at all.” Even the genre listed on the official site, “Nekketsu 2D Action” suggests that this is the familiar gameplay in a new wrapper.
Kunios gonna Kunio.
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Here’s the first screen of the Kunio RPG ⊟

Well, it’s Kunio hitting a bunch of dudes, except Kunio has HP and MP! And the dudes are orcs or something?

I think I love this. I was wondering how Arc System Works/Million would adapt the Kunio style to a fantasy RPG for Nekketsu Mahou Monogatori (Hot-blood Magic Tale), and the answer appears to be “not at all.” Even the genre listed on the official site, “Nekketsu 2D Action” suggests that this is the familiar gameplay in a new wrapper.

Kunios gonna Kunio.

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  • Source inside-games.jp

There’s a Kunio-kun fantasy game coming to 3DS ⊟

This is weird! It’s a Kunio-kun brawler set in a retro-style RPG world — weird, but the series has gone in all sorts of unexpected directions in the past. Arc System Works releases the “slapstick comical fantasy” Nekketsu Mahou Monogatori (Hot-blood Magic Tale) to the eShop in Japan this Spring. 

While there isn’t as much outrage for it, Kunio-kun has found itself in a Dragon Quest-type situation where a bunch of games have released in Japan but not in the West. This is the fourth Kunio-kun title announced for 3DS. Credit to Japanese 3DS for the link!

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  • Source japanese3ds.com

Nekketsu Kouha Kunio-Kun SP

Arc System Works and Million have yet another 3DS project on the way from the Kunio-kun/River City Ransom series — Siliconera translates its title as Hot Blooded Tough Guy Kunio: Fighting Concerto.

It’s scheduled to release in Japan on August 8, with the retail version coming packed with a soundtrack CD. According to Polygon, the 3DS game has Kunio fighting a new gang of high-school punks who’ve taken over the streets of eastern Japan:

"New features include a city map you can freely travel around, side quests that you can take from citizens to earn extra money, and the ability to punch out NPCs — in addition to the game’s ‘real’ enemies — sort of make the game a retro-Grand Theft Auto, maybe. Attacking non-combatants will reportedly lead to unexpected story developments, not to mention the occasional police foot pursuit.

Kunio-Kun SP also lets up to four people duke it out with each other using a single game card. Two games are available: A battle-royale fighting mode, and a dodgeball game where you can build teams from a pool of 36 players and whip the snot out of each other out in the schoolyard.”

Aksys, the primary publisher for most recent Kunio games in North America, still hasn’t brought over Renegade 3DS or Riki Densetsu, so I wouldn’t expect to hear a localization for this. :o( Like, at least put these bad boys on the eShop or somethin’. Did River City Soccer Hooligans and Super Sports Challenge really bomb that bad?

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  • Source famitsu.com

Nikaku de Sushi 2

A 3DS eShop sequel to a DSiWare game I don’t think I’ve heard of, this is a sushi-matching puzzle game. It comes out Feb. 13 in Japan.

No idea if it’s coming out here. Arc System Works has been sparing with its Arc Style games, which is probably fine. I like random cheap games, though.

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  • Source arcsystemworks.jp

Riki Densetsu (Legend of Riki) looks a lot like River City Ransom! You know, like all the other Kunio beat’em ups. Except this one stars Renegade antagonist and RCR partner Riki/Ryan, and it’s got the same “2D sprites in 3D scenes” aesthetic that was in the Japan-only Renegade 3DS remake.

It’s also single-player, which is a shame, but since it’s an eShop release (hits Japan next week), maybe this one will make it to the West this time.

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  • Source inside-games.jp

Riki Densetsu (Legend of Riki) trailer. This Kunio-kun/River City Ransom spinoff, starring Kunio’s rival/partner Riki, comes to 3DS eShop in Japan next week!

Aksys was really good about localizing this stuff for a while, but the last Kunio game on 3DS didn’t end up getting localized. I’m gonna guess it’s because Super Dodgeball Brawlers, River City Sports Challenge, etc. didn’t sell…

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  • Source kuniokun.jp

25th anniversary wallpapers for Tantei Jingūji Saburō, a.k.a. Jake Hunter for us yankee doodle dandies. Happy Swagiversary, Jake Hunter. We wish more of your games came out in the West (Though your new 3DS game, Rondo of Vengeance, ain’t looking too hot visual-wise, nahmean? That’s cool tho. At least we got these wallpapers.).

Buy: Jake Hunter Detective Story: Memories of the Past
See also: More Jake Hunter/Jinguuji Saburo posts

Arc Style: Sangokushi Pinball, eShop’s upcoming Three Kingdom-inspired pinball game, doesn’t look like the Odama successor I hoped it would be, but it looks like it could be a decent enough diversion — it’s priced way too high in Japan, though, at ¥700 ($8.65).

Why didn’t ASW invest in recording more death sounds for enemies… Like, even more than one would’ve worked.

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Hitting the batting cages in Renegade 3DS. It’s great that Million is packing fun little experiences like this into the remake, but I still think this game is going to have a hard time selling copies when it releases to Japan in a month, even with the reduced ¥4,410 pricing (games typically sell for ¥4,800 to ¥6,090 there).

Again, I’m wishing on a star here that this will sell enough to make a River City Ransom remake with this kind of treatment happen and release to the States.

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See also: More Renegade and Kunio stuff