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Jeanne d'Arc and Ratchet fight for IAA awards

The closest thing the games industry has to the film industry's Academy Awards is the IAA: the Interactive Achievement Awards. This year, PSP has two games fighting for the honor of Handheld Game of the Year. They include: Jeanne d'Arc, Level-5's brilliant (and accessible) SRPG, and Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters. They will have to compete against Drawn to Life, Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords, and The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass. Good luck to our PSP nominees.

[Via Gamespot]

PSP Fanboy review: Jeanne d'Arc

Get your microscope ready, because that's what you'll need in order to find flaws in Level-5's PSP-exclusive, Jeanne d'Arc. Although it rarely, if ever, breaks away from standard SRPG conventions, Jeanne d'Arc does everything a game in the genre should do -- and it does it very well. Combining fantastic graphics, impressive production values, addictive gameplay, and an intriguing story, this is a must-have for any PSP owner.

Level-5 is known to produce some of the best looking titles on the platforms it works with. For example, Rogue Galaxy is still one of the finest looking titles on the PlayStation 2. The upcoming Dragon Quest IX looks to push the boundaries of Nintendo DS graphics to limits we never imagined possible. Jeanne d'Arc, already nearly a year old in Japan, manages to still look marvelous by today's standards. The cel-shaded graphics and expansive levels certainly look impressive on the PSP screen. Add beautiful anime cutscenes, and you have a game that provides a visual feast for its players.

From the opening moments, the game tries to wow players with an impressive anime cutscene that sets the stage for the events to come. Although a bit lengthy, as many of the game's non-playable segments are, we were compelled by the high quality of the animation. The story, very loosely based on the classic Joan of Arc tale, strays so drastically from its inspiration, that it manages to surprise the player ever so often. King Henry is possessed with some demonic power, and Jeanne not only hears the voice of God, she finds an armlet that lets her transform into a armored warrior.

Gallery: Jeanne d'Arc

Continue reading PSP Fanboy review: Jeanne d'Arc

Get a free Jeanne d'Arc demo disc

Simply stop by the official Jeanne d'Arc website for your chance to get a free UMD demo of the game. This strategy RPG from Level 5 has been wowing us, and if our upcoming review doesn't convince you to pick up this game, maybe this free demo will.

Jeanne d'Arc destroys foes on bridge

You've got it right -- it's the summer of SRPGs on the PSP. In this latest Jeanne D'Arc video, Jeanne and company are assaulted nearby a bridge. As the video shows, rather un-strategic play will lead to a quick end to your character. It's like Fire Emblem in that regard. Andrew's nearly done with the game -- expect our final review of the game in the upcoming weeks.

Transforming history into fantasy with Jeanne D'Arc

The story of Jeanne D'Arc is filled with historical inaccuracies. From the opening cinematic, one can see the truly unique world that Level-5 has crafted in its PSP SRPG: it's a France that's only loosely based on the popular myth. Rather, Level-5 has opted to add a heavy dose of magic, demons, and fantasy to the story. Why? Producer Motomura explained to 1UP: "We chose to make a 'parallel world' version of Joan of Arc with fantasy elements for a variety of reasons, but the main reason is that we didn't want to make an overly serious piece where the focus was on absolute historical accuracy."

Level-5 didn't want to create the dark, brooding world that other adaptations of the Joan of Arc story had already taken. "We could have used all human characters, but we felt that it would make things too dark. By incorporating non-human characters, it's visually more stimulating as well, so we chose to put in Therions (beasts) like La Hire and Rufus."

Although this new story avoids being too grim, it does still have a variety of dramatic moments. But, will Jeanne's infamous death-by-fire be included in this PSP tale? We're just going to have to wait until the game releases to findout.

Gallery: Jeanne d'Arc

PSP Fanboy hands-on: Jeanne D'Arc

When you open the retail box of Jeanne D'Arc, it tells you that "you've made a great decision." After spending some time with the game, we have to agree.

Level-5 is known for producing high-quality RPGs, and their foray into the PSP realm doesn't stray far from their previous works. Players are treated to a beautiful anime introduction, which segways into some impressive cel-shaded graphics. The production values are through the roof: the voice acting is superb, the graphics are colorful, and the story is filled with intrigue. Most impressively, the load times are brief, lasting only a second or two between each segment of the game.

The game's SRPG gameplay is a bit simplistic, but admittedly--we're early in the game. Regardless, the game does a great job at explaining the options you have available, and the interface is easy to navigate. As in other SRPGs, players must position their characters and try to attack enemies. It's highly advantageous to go behind an enemy: this increases your potential damage, and lessens their ability to counter-attack. Having multiple characters swarm around a single enemy has proven to be quite effective so far.

There's a lot more to see and say about Jeanne D'Arc, but it's pretty obvious that we're already quite impressed with this PSP exclusive. Unless the game progresses far worse later on, Jeanne D'Arc is easily on its way to becoming a must-own PSP game. We'll have more info on the game closer to its release. Until then, enjoy the new screenshots in our gallery below:

Gallery: Jeanne d'Arc

Seeing the voice behind Jeanne D'Arc

Sony's upcoming SRPG, Jeanne D'Arc impresses with stellar production values. At Comic Con, GameTrailers was able to talk to Kari Wahlgren, voice of the titular lead character. In the informal chat, you'll see that she doesn't have a French accent -- it's something she just had to pick up for her role. Sony emphasized that the accent needed to be mild. Looking at the footage, we think it works quite well for the role.

Saving villages with Jeanne D'Arc

Gametrailers has a nice little video up from Level 5's fantastic looking turn-based RPG, Jeanne D'Arc. Unlike the previous trailer we posted, this one actually has gameplay and is actually from a game that you guys might want to play. The clip is of a battle in a village where Jeanne D'Arc must fight off some evil British soldiers trying to take the place over. It looks really fun and shows off the awesome level designs too, as the village itself is multilayered and detailed.

Jeanne D'Arc comes out on August 7th, until then check out the video above!

A trio of Jeanne D'arc movies

The upcoming PSP SRPG, Jeanne D'arc looks incredible. Three new videos showcase the beautiful anime cutscenes, graphics, and accessible gameplay. It looks to have all the things that make Level-5 games so good. We're still a bit iffy on the voice acting, but color us impressed by everything else. The RPG will hit the handheld towards the end of summer, in August.

Check out the two other videos, after the cut.

Continue reading A trio of Jeanne D'arc movies

Tekken and Jeanne join Japan's Best lineup

It shouldn't come as surprising that two of PSP's best games is joining the Japanese "The Best" budget lineup. Each game will come at the discounted price of 2800 yen. Jeanne d'Arc will be re-released on July 5th, and Tekken: Dark Resurrection will come a week after.

North American gamers will be able to get a taste of Level 5's latest SRPG, Jeanne d'Arc, later this summer.

Level 5 answers a few easy questions on Jeanne d'Arc

SCEA recently lobbed a few softball questions for Level 5, the talented team behind Jeanne d'Arc, a title we've had our eye on for some time now. The questions ranged from asking how long the game has been in development [2 years] to describing the overall world and story behind the game. The full interview has been included for your reading pleasure, after the break.

New details on the combat system are given, which imply importance on stance and character position in order to maximize combat skills. One of the combat particulars "Burning Aura," deals additional damage by trapping enemies between two playable characters whereas "Unified Guard" involves lining up your characters side by side to lessen the blow of damage from bad guys. We're already hooked, how about you? Anyone else got this one on your immediate radar? Jeanne d'Arc should be hitting stateside in August.

Continue reading Level 5 answers a few easy questions on Jeanne d'Arc

SGD '07: Jeanne d'Arc

This Level-5 developed PSP-exclusive strategy RPG is coming stateside this August. The game melts fantasy and history in a unique retelling of the classic story of Joan of Arc. Demon armies are trying to invade the human world, and it's up to five heroes to restrain the demon gods. As France and England battle during the Hundred Years' War, Jeanne must use a mysterious armlet to fight the demons and save the world.

Sony is promising a 40 hour adventure with tons of customizable options. There will be over 150 different skills and abilities, and a total of 14 playable characters. Check out new screens from Sony's Gamers Day in our gallery below.

Gallery: Jeanne d'Arc

Jeanne D'Arc readies up for North American release

The folks over at Gamepro have an early preview of Level 5's upcoming turn-based RPG, Jeanne D'Arc. Previous information has been gathered from the original Japanese release and now, we get a taste for what to expect when the anticipated title comes stateside.

The game draws obvious inspiration from true-to-life Joan of Arc and appears to be much more light-hearted with its approach to the source material. Early impressions from the Japanese release seem overall, pretty positive. This title should satisfy gamers looking to satiate their hunger for more strategic game play, and having exceptional visuals is of course, a welcome addition to any party. Jeanne D'Arc is headed for North American shores in August. Until then, enjoy the screenshots!

Saturday PSP background explosion

Every week you can count on PSP Fanboy to bring you new backgrounds for your PSP and help keep it as fresh as a summer's day. This week we have an RPG related background, a puzzle/RPG background and an action game background. You'll just have to keep reading to see what these backgrounds are for yourself.

Backgrounds after the jump ...

Continue reading Saturday PSP background explosion

Jeanne d'Arc comes to US this August [Update 1]

Jeanne d'Arc has easily been one of our most anticipated games for the system. Sony Computer Entertainment of America has just announced a US release date for this strategy RPG, and it's a little sooner than we thought. This August, players will be able to take on Level 5's latest SRPG, based very loosely on the story of Joan of Arc.

Check out our previous coverage of the game, and don't forget to look at the beautiful new English screenshots, after the break. [Update 1: Sony has opened a sparse, but beautiful, official website for the game.]

Continue reading Jeanne d'Arc comes to US this August [Update 1]

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