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Loco Roco's Tsutomu Kouno wants a world united (in games)


You may have missed this one. At the time of writing, less than 20 people have seen this seen this excellent video interview with Loco Roco's Tsutomu Kouno. It's a fairly lengthy feature, clocking in at over 9 minutes. However, it provides some excellent insight into game design. One of the key points Kouno focused on was the international gaming community, and the reluctance of Japanese gamers to try Western games, and vice versa. (Of course, the recent success of Grand Theft Auto in Japan suggests a changing attitude.)

Be warned, though -- the interview can be a little too telling. I mean, did we really need to know his blood type? (Spoiler alert: it's A.)

Download Video for PSP
Access m.pspfanboy.com from your PSP internet browser to download.

GameStop reveals listing for new Syphon Filter

Is Syphon Filter returning to PSP? According to an updated GameStop release list, the answer is yes. Syphon Filter: Logan's Shadow joins the newly revealed SOCOM: Tactical Strike and a US-release for Pursuit Force 2 in the retailer's latest update to their database. If Gamespot's investigating is to be believed, Logan's Shadow should hit PSP systems first -- September 4th. Afterwards, Pursuit Force 2 and Tactical Strike should release on September 25th and October 2nd, respectively.

Retailers are notorious for revealing unannounced titles accidentally, giving this report a great deal of weight. With Syphon Filter joining the PSP lineup again later this year, it's clear that PSP owners are going to have a lot of games to play this fall.

Star Ocean remakes to feature extensive voice work

The newly unveiled Star Ocean remakes are getting a significant (and chatty) rehaul. According to GameSpot, these remakes will feature significant new content. Producer Yoshinori Yamagishi intends on making "the remake[s] to feel as though they're completely new games." According to the game's voice actors, they haven't been able to record dialog yet, because the scripts aren't finished yet -- tons of new scenarios and characters are being added to the game. For those interested, the Japanese vocal cast has been announced:

Star Ocean: First Departure
Ratix Farrence - Mamoru Miyano
Milly Kiliet - Hitomi Nabatame
Marvel Frozen - Houko Kuwashima
Fear Mell - Megumi Toyoguchi

Star Ocean: Second Evolution
Claude C. Kenni - Daisuke Namikawa
Rena Lanford - Nana Mizuki
Dias Flac - Tomokazu Sugita
Precis F. Neumann - Rie Kugimiya

Crush dev talks about the complexities of simplicity


The ideas behind Crush are deep, man. It's clear from the experimental games panel at GDC that Zoe Mode has a unique perspective on game design. In a new video interview with Gamespot, they reveal the aesthetic challenges of going from 2D to 3D. Simple design choices had to made, from darkening the background, to removing shadows, to brightening colors. Any fan of Crush will want to see the interview, if only for the tantalizing gameplay.

Yuke's chats up improvements in next Smackdown!

Knowing the number of WWE fans that read PSP Fanboy, I'd feel wrong not sharing some details from Gamespot's recent interview with Yuke's. Here's what fans can expect in Smackdown! vs Raw 2008:
  • A big focus this year is making more differentiated, and complex fighting styles
  • A vastly improved and more realistic animation system, with more animations than ever before, and a motion blending system
  • The motion blending system also allows for better controls of your wrestlers
  • ECW's inclusion means lots more weapons in the game
  • 24/7 mode will allow the gamer to experience the ECW invasion and as always work their way through the ranks to become WWE champ
Yuke's wants Smackdown! to be one of the premier fighting games on all the systems. We'll have to wait for the title's release to see how they do.


Taito Legends coming to US

Fans of classics collections, Taito, or alien invaders better sit down for this. Destineer Studios (Full Metal Alchemist: Dual Sympathy) has announced they'll be releasing Taito Legends Power-Up in Q2 of this year. Surprisingly, this collection doesn't include Bubble Bobble or Puzzle Bobble (Bust-A-Move in the US). This upsets me because when I think Taito, I think of bubble belching dinosaurs. If not those, what classic games does it include?

Full list after the jump ...

Continue reading Taito Legends coming to US

Fans get their wish: ECW coming to SmackDown vs Raw 2008

A while back, I asked what readers wanted to see from SmackDown vs Raw 2008. One of the most requested additions was that of ECW wrestlers. Well, either someone was listening or they think just like PSP Fanboy readers. THQ is saying ECW will have a "significant" presence in this year's wrestler. ECW superstars, arenas and luckily weapons will be in the game. On the gameplay front, THQ said "realism and strategy are at the forefront". There will be a new submission system, new rosters, more interaction areas, more outside the ring action, new online community additions, and finally a combined season and general manager mode.

Sounds like this will be the best WWE game yet!

[Via Gamespot]

Metareview: Puzzle Quest

If you weren't able to quite tell from the demo whether you liked Puzzle Quest or not, maybe the reviews of others will help you. Other than these reviews, we'll have a review of Puzzle Quest up soon. But enough of that for now, what did the critics say?

  • Gamespot (8.5/10) "The parts may seem commonplace, but Puzzle Quest's blend of RPG and puzzle-game convention makes for something refreshingly unique and dangerously addictive."
  • Games Radar (7.0/10) "The PSP version loads a bit more slowly but looks better, and the DS version features lighting-fast loads but tosses in slightly sluggish, clunky touch-controls."
  • PlayStation Official Magazine UK (5.0/10) "It's gently hypnotic stuff, but fight a dozen super-intelligent skeletons and you'll soon be yearning for the simple pleasures of Lumines." (Mar 2007)

[Via Metacritic]

Girls don't go wild: Pocket Pool loses license


Pocket Pool is a hilarious game where porn stars and billiards collide. The game, which is rated M for "partial nudity" and "sexual themes," was originally supposed to feature the Girls Gone Wild license. Looks like it's no more. "While I can confirm that the Girls Gone Wild license was in consideration for Pocket Pool, an agreement was not formally signed," an Eidos representative told GameSpot.

Surely, this is a monumental loss for the gaming community. Or not. I'm sure whoever wants to purchase this doesn't need a Girls Gone Wild license to pick it up.

Metareview: Burnout Dominator

We've had our eye on Burnout Dominator for a while now: it has pretty looks, and features new content made exclusively for PSP and PS2. But, we were worried: maybe the game looks too much like the previous Burnout games? Surely, explosive car gameplay can't get old ... or can it? Let's see what the critics had to say:
  • IGN (85/100) thinks it ups the ante from previous Burnout titles ... almost: "The racing is just as adrenaline pumping as it's ever been, and possibly even more so than what we saw in Burnout Revenge as you need to be afraid of traffic once again. However, the lack of standard features and modes like Crash are a rather big disappointment."
  • Gamespot (82/100) doesn't think Dominator revolutionizes the series, but thinks it's still good: "Burnout Dominator is more Burnout, and that's great. It may not have all the newfangled bells and whistles that you'd want from a sequel, but if you're a fan of the series who absolutely must have new tracks as soon as possible, Dominator should satisfy you nicely."
  • GameSpy (60/100) thinks it's a clear step backwards for the franchise: "Rather than another true entry in the series, Dominator is a simple C-grade mashup."
You've seen the footage, so you should be able to decide for yourself: does this throwback to the earlier Burnout games do it for you? At least one thing's agreed upon by all three of these critics: get the PSP version instead of the PS2. It looks more impressive, and has slightly more functionality than the console counterpart.

PSPs used to teach UK students

Sony held an interesting event in London today: "PSP in Education National Launch." The event focused on a new project to be helmed by ConnectED that uses Sony's handheld gaming device for educational purposes. According to Gamespot, "teachers found that students benefited from being able to work at their own pace--for example, being able to rewind an audio file and listen again to ensure they didn't miss anything, or to view a video several times."

This is certainly an interesting approach for Sony to pursue. Nintendo may be grabbing headlines with its Brain Age series of software, but Sony's approach has an observable, charitable effect for children. The project is planned to expand slowly--but not to America. Our media likes to skew perception of gaming in a completely useless, unconstructive way.

THQ cooking up Ratatouille game

Not a lot of info is out yet on Pixar's summer release Ratatouille, but THQ has let out word that before the movie hits theaters in June, you'll be able to play the game adaptation on your PSP. There aren't much details about any version of the game besides the next-gen one, but if the PSP version is similar, it'll be an action platformer. Will the collective Ratatouille games be the best selling game of this year like Cars was last year? Either way, I'm looking forward to the movie and hoping the game is a worthwhile experience as well.

[Via Gamespot ]

PSP gets its Golden Compass

Fans of book to movie to game adaptations, are you going to wet your pants when you hear this news! Sega has let everyone know that they are releasing a game based on The Golden Compass film adaptation. The game is being developed by Shiny Entertainment (who are also working on the Earthworm Jim PSP title) and will feature the likenesses of the film's cast. You'll play as Lyra and her animal friends Pan and lorek Byrnison. The gameplay consists of using special items and sneakiness when playing Lyra and more head-on physical attacks with lorek. The game will span 13 environments based on areas from the movie as well as some areas that aren't featured in the film.

I really have no idea what to expect of this title, but I used to love Shiny's games back in the day, so I can only hope this and Earthworm Jim are good fun. We'll find out for sure when The Golden Compass game is released this fall.

[Via Gamespot ]

Sega loves your PSP: media round-up

Looks like Sega held an event (why wasn't I invited?), showcasing all of their PSP games (and there's a lot). There's been a ton of coverage of their games all over the interwebs. For your reading pleasure, here's an index of where to go:

After Burner: Black Falcon
1UP - "As it turns out, Mad Cow mode is not one of the multiplayer options -- it is the entire competitive multiplayer portion of the game."
1UP Video
IGN - "Mad Cow seems like an okay bit of fun, but we're not sure how much strategy is involved here so it may wind up getting old pretty quickly."
IGN Game Trailers

Alien Syndrome
1UP - "It would be nice to have a solid story that could logically explain why no one except Aileen Harding feels the need to fight this alien infestation. You could call her compulsion a syndrome -- maybe even an Alien Syndrome."
1UP Video
Gamespot - "The camera system looks to be quite intelligent."
Gamespot Video Interview
IGN - "While the game pays homage to the original title with gameplay elements like saving hostages and escaping a level before time runs out, the PSP version has definitely got a number of improved features."
IGN Game Trailer

Crazy Taxi: Fare Wars
1UP - "If you played the original Crazy Taxi, it should be easy enough to pick up the PSP version. The controls carry over fine, so you'll be racking up fares in no time."
Gamespot - "Our cab seemed to suffer from some oversteer at times, but that's almost certainly still being tweaked."
IGN - "While the game was certainly playable, the unoptimized framerate meant that it was difficult to pull off some of the moves as we had to slow our finger movements down to match the game speed. We're told this won't be a problem in the final release however."

Crush
1UP - "The developers have been taking pains to make this a friendly game. If you should accidentally manage to crush Danny, don't worry, because it won't kill you. It is also impossible to walk off the edge of the world, although a jumping error will send you falling."
1UP Video
Gamespot - "It's a heady concept, and it forced us to think in ways we hadn't considered when we first got our hands on the game, and we think that's a pretty good sign for a puzzle game."
Gamespot Video Interview
IGN - "Crush has a very compulsory feel to it, and the idea that there's actually a story to tell (told Memento style as you regress further and further into your memories) is a nice extra touch."
IGN Game Trailer

Full Auto 2
1UP - "They've tried to cut down on frustrating 90 degree turns and added more super weapons which cause massive damage."
1UP Video
Gamespot - "All of the levels pack a surprising amount of detail to them, and even better, the frame rate held up admirably during our time with the game."
Gamespot Gameplay Video 1
Gamespot Gameplay Video 2
IGN Interview - "The result of this philosophy is Full Auto 2: Battlelines for the PSP was built from the ground up and is not a port of the PS3 version. We knew in order to create a great game we needed to start fresh and create our own take on what Full Auto on the PSP would be like."
IGN Gameplay Videos

Virtua Tennis 3
1UP Video
Gamespot - "For the PSP demo, we cranked up the difficulty to the maximum level and were pleased to find out that it's practically a whole new game. Instead of letting you chase them around the court, the AI opponents will mix up their shots brilliantly, hitting deadly accurate crosscourt shots with ease to turn the tables so you're the running monkey. It's a promising sign that the game will have a good amount of replayability."
IGN - "The PSP analog nub is a little stiff, but it isn't anything we haven't run into before and it seems to work pretty well with the couple of guys we tried it with."
IGN Gameplay Video

ESRB uncovers new retro games

Lately the ESRB has been a better source for game announcements than gaming magazines. This time the game rating reveals have a definite theme; retro gaming. The first up is one we've been aware of for a while, EA Replay 2. I bet there'll be a sports game or two in the collection (call it a hunch). The other listed collection was Taito Legends Power-Up. Taito has some quality games, but will there be enough recognizable hits to warrant its purchase? I suppose we'll have to wait until Bub and Bob's keeper releases it in stores.

I can't wait until all that's left to do are 3DO or Ocean game collections.

[Via Gamespot]

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