Nintendo Power news (February 2009)


Well-Known Member
Jan 1, 2008
New York City
United States
<!--QuoteBegin-kenji@Neogaf+--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(kenji@Neogaf)</div><div class='quotemain'><!--QuoteEBegin-->today i saw that the new NP is out and since i was waiting for this because of the "big RPG blowout" i'd like to know what old/new games they showed and if there are some good news about the games

if i remember well they said there should have been arc rise fantasia too, which is the game i'm waiting the most to come out

anybody got it?

Tenchu: Shadow Assassins - 7.0
The Lord of the Rings: Conquest - 5.0
The Chase: Felix Meets Felicity - 5.0
Nascar Kart Racing - 6.0
Fishing Master: World Tour - 7.5
Legacy of YS: Books I & II - 7.5

* Phantasy Star 0

- "the most ambitious, compelling, and robust online offering on the handheld to date."
- "true spiritual successor to the original Phantasy Star Online."
- fully realized single-player campaign, but the multiplayer modes are the big draw.
- Online or local play with up to four players. Free. No territory restrictions. Friend codes or random party assignment.
- Lobby area. Random map variations and cannot move from one level to another without going back to the lobby.
- "multiplayer modes have no overarching narrative"
- "remarkable graphics engine"
- can map actions to Y, B, or A, and to R+ Y, B, or A.
- "accuracy increases with each successful hit during a combo, making it easier to land heavy attacks (by going light-light-heavy, for instance)."
- "(Ardent fans of the series will be delighted to know that Phantasy Star Universe's miguided linkage of Technics to certain weapons has been discarded.)"
- Visual Chat - Draw any type of message you want, like "Heal me!" Up to 20 messages can be saved to shortcuts. Friends-only. Random teams are limited to keyboard chat and premade symbols.
- Added the ability to dodge.
- Camera control could be an issue with the lack of an analog stick.
- "more than 350 unique weapons, the majority of which are brand-new."
- Character designs are by Toshiyuki Kubooka, from the Lunar series.
- Mags are present.
- Can use same character in multiplayer and singleplayer, and experience/items carry over between the two modes.
- No comment on downloadable content/updates.

* Valkyrie Profile

- "It's a strategy-RPG, with a much bigger emphasis on combat than before."
- Control of when each character attacks is still in.
- Hit gauge at the bottom fills up with successful strikes. When full, a character can do a "Soul Crush" which also feeds back into the Hit gauge.
- Bonus when two characters are flanking an opponent.
- Grid movement in an isometric view.
- Doesn't have a traditional overworld or dungeons to explore. The game is mainly about the combat.
- "What may be harder to take as the game goes on are the story's darkness and the ruthless gameplay that grows out of it. ... Wylfred is very much the anti-hero, and it's hard to say whether players will sympathize with what he does and why he does it." (Wylfred wants to kill the Valkyrie to get revenge for losing his father. He's helped by Hel (from Viking Hell) who is using Wylfred for her own ends, thus the "Covenant" part of the title.)


- Former Quest Corporations staff helped the team (already a lot of strategy-RPG fans among them) with the shift in gameplay to a strategy-RPG.
- "Where in other games it has always been in players' best interests to defend the lives of their allies, Valkyrie Profile: Covenant of the Plume forces palyers to ponder the value of sacrifice in view of the greater goal."
- "we really wanted to recapture the gravitas of the original Valkyrie Profile and tell the tale through the eyes of a dark hero who opposed the Valkyrie ... I think those who see the full story will ultimately find the message to be an uplifting one, so I hope they'll play it all the way through."
- Just under 30 tracks from the original VP and 20 new tracks.

Sands of Destruction (World Destruction in Japan)

- "Not since it turned Anakin Skywalker into a whining, complaining wuss ahs sand been so volatile."
- Ferals (race of beastmen) use humans as slaves. "It seems like the only escape of the humans in Sands of Destruction is to end it all, and that's where the story kicks off ..."
- The World Annihilation Front is led by a 16-year old girl named Morte.
- Duel-screen boss fights with multiple attack points, some more vulnerable than others.
- Random, turn-based battles. Attacks can be upgraded.
- You are Kyrie who's just out trying to find Mushrooms for his uncle. He's then summoned to the Feral mayor's house, placed under arrest, and then a power inside him wells up and melts all the bad guys. <img src="style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/ohmy.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":O" border="0" alt="ohmy.gif" /> He's drained, placed in prison, rescued by Morte, and the story's off!
- Travel the sand covered world on sand ships. Fight sand whales. Team up with a Feral who looks like a cuddly Teddby Bear, but is actually a veteran bounty hunter who would kill anyone for the right price. Imagine this guy coming to kill you.
- Learning catch-phrases gives you status boosts.
- Fully voiced cut-scenes. 50 tracks from Procyon Studio with 20 by Mitsuda himself.
- "Who knows? If these were the sands that Anakin had been exposed to, maybe Darth Vader wouldn't have been such a jerk."


- NP: The story seems pretty dark. What would you say are the game's themes, and what compelled you to go in this direction?
Kato: Well, I could spend an endless amount of time talking about what compelled us to go in this direction. At the most basic RPG level, [a typical story] comes down to the main character(s) of the game fighting against and trying to defeat enemies to save the world to justify their beliefs, to protect the ones they love, and to serve justice. For RPGs it seems the natural way for a game system to work - beat the enemy; otherwise it's the end of the game.
Yet I felt it would be refreshing to change the point of view a bit where "destruction of the world" is justified because of all the stronb bullying the weak, judging and accusing of others - I am hoping to arrive at a completely new game.
Of course, I cannot express that straight in the game and tried to keep it somewhat cheerful and entertaining on the surface. However, I find that games with such a story direction could be more acceptable these days, as the world we live in now is becoming more chaotic and uncertain.
- Other questions, but none that stand out to me. His favorite character in the game is Morte, though.

* Dragon Quest V

- "What luck! The crown jewel of the Dragon Quest series is finally coming to Western shores."
- "[Dragon Quest V] quickly became Horii's favorite game in the series, and it holds that distinction still. Too bad Horii's enthusiasm didn't rub off on his coworkers at Enix America, who decided to stop localizing Dragon Quest jsut as the series hit its creative peak."
- "Hand of the Heavenly Bride begins with the hero as a young boy ... But the hero's happy childhood cannot last forever, and his path to adulthood will be marked with both triumphs and tragedies."
- "Horii has a gift for brevity that is rare among his peers, and he doesn't need cut-scenes or lengthy conversations to tell an emotionally involving story. Nor does he need to pile on the pathos to make you feel something - the handful of dark and tragic moments in Dragon Quest V hit hard because of the many lighter moments that have drawn you into the quest and made you attached to its likeable cast. Dragon Quest V may lack the sophistication of more-modern titles, abut few RPGs since have matched the warmth of its soul." (The article was written by Casey Loe, and I think that's a fine piece of writing right there.)
- There is a monster catching aspect (60+ in this version of DQV) that the article says was part of the inspiration for Pokemon. (probably DQMonsters, too <img src="style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/wink.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=";)" border="0" alt="wink.gif" /> ) After capture, they fight for you as regular party members. They have level caps, though, so they'll have to be rotated out for later captured monsters.
- Uses DQIV engine, but uses more color to diversify the towns.
- "The battles remain fast-paced and richly animated, with weapons that can hit entire groups (or the entire battlefield) adding a bit of spice to the otherwise-straightforward, hammer-on-the-attach-button battle system that has long been the series' trademark (Expect that to change a bit in the upcoming remake of the more tactical Dragon Quest VI)"


- NP: The game tells a powerful story with very little dialogue. What is the key to drawing people into a story without lengthy event scenes?
Horii: Dragon Quest originally had to get by with as little dialogue as possible due to the cartridge size restrictions of the past. So I've always made an effort to write short, dramatic lines that any player could understand, and that allow anybody to fill in the "missing gaps" on their own. Fortunately, that also gave players the freedom to expand upon the story in their mind and delve even deeper int the world of Dragon Quest.
- Horii: One of my goals with Dragon Quest V was to "torment" players. I've always been mischievous and enjoy playing tricks on people. In this case, I think my personality just sort of came through in the game.
- Horii: Right now I am watching a number of American dramas such as Lost, Heroes, Dexter, and Six Feet Under. You can keep an eye on my future titles to see how these shows are affecting me now.
- Debora (third choice as a bride and a spoiled brat bad girl, who can also attack twice per turn) was added to the DS version of the game. "I wanted her to be someone that nobody in their right mind would ever pick! It was the perfect opportunity to torment players just a little bit more."
- Horii: When I begin work on a new Dragon Quest title, I always think about why the hero is on his journey. Thinking about this, the heart of the story, always takes the longest amount of time. So I would have to say that coming up with the major theme is the most challenging.
- Horii: Dragon Quest doesn't tell its story in a linear fashion ... The story becomes apparent by conversing with people in towns or villages. So I spend a lot of time thinking about how those townspeople and other characters will talk.
While making a game, it's very easy to start seeing things only through the eyes of a creator, and leave the user's perspective behind. While the creator understands everything about the game, the player doesn't know a single thing coming in. Although the main Dragon Quest series is about to see its ninth installment, the game's system and story have been crafted with first-time players in mind, and will be enjoyable for anybody.

* Arc Rise Fantasia

- "Now that publishers have had time to feel out what does and doesn't work on Wii, Mizutani (Marvelous Producer) and producer Ryoie Mikage of ImageEpoch expect to see the dearth of Wii RPGs come to an end."
- Part of the Tales of Symphonia team (game designer, CG director, scenario writer, and main battle programmer - among others) are working on the game. They say it feels like a Tales game, as a result.
- You see the enemies on the field, so no random battles.
- "Instead of the Tales series' frantic real-time battling, Arc Rise Fantasia uses an original turn-based system with a dash of strategy-RPG flavor. In our early version of the game, the battle system is a clear highlight,"
- Battles load quickly. "The trio has a set number of ability points to spend each turn, and you can distribute them however you like - by having your best fighter attack three times, for example, or by having each member attack once."
- The main story will be around 30 hours plus optional side quests.
- The game doesn't use IR or waggle, but some of the optional casino mini-games will.
- They say it's nice to hear Mitsuda working on a disk-based platform again.
- "As proud as the developers are of Arc Rise Fantasia's battle system, soundtrack, and character designs, both men go straight for the storyline when asked to name the team's primary focus. ... The game features a huge supporting cast, dozens of plot threads, and a worldview built around numerous intersections between divinity and technology."
- "the stage is set for a perfect storm of political upheavals, spiritual awakenings, and ecological catastrophe. What more could you ask for from Wii's first original RPG epic?

* Mario & Luigi RPG 3

- Mario are Luigi are inside Bowser. They can affect Bowser's actions by their work within him. Control Mario and Luigi with A, B, and Bowser with X, Y.
- Ailment sweeping the land causing citizens to balloon in size, so Bowser swallows Mario and Luigi. Hmm, makes sense.
- When playing as Bowser, you can even activate a touch-screen attack to use Goombas against your foes.

* Avalon Code

There's been more written on Avalon Code in previous issues, so I'll skip discussing the story.

- The code of items/enemies can be changed, resulting in changes such as dropping all Goblins HP from 500 to 200 to 50.
- Turn normal items into highly powerful items by changing their codes using secret recipes.
- Dungeons are eschewed in favor of time trials (e.g. solving simple puzzles or fighting through waves of enemies.)
- "Power-ups are rarely found; they're most often earned for juggling foes so high that they actually leave the planet's atmosphere."
- Romantic subplots, fortune-telling, boss battles consistenting of most of your time being spent rewriting the boss's code to make them weaker.
- Coming in February from XSEED and Marvelous USA.

* Avalon Code's been mentioned already as February.
* Mario & Luigi is listed as 2009.
* Phantasy Star 0 is listed as "Fall."
* Valkyrie Profile: Covenant is March.
* Sands of Destruction is listed as "Summer."
* Dragon Quest V is February 17.
* Didn't see anything for Arc Rise Fantasia.
* Fire Emblem is "early 2009."
* Final Fantasy: Echoes of Time is mentioned as "spring."<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->

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