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Posts with tag NamcoBandai

PSP Fanboy review: Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Heroes

Why is Naruto so angry? That's because he knows a certain percentage of people out there are thinking that licensed games are sloppily slapped together and serve no other purpose but to milk the cash cow. Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Heroes, published by Namco Bandai, is surely using the license to its advantage, but the game behind it is no slouch either. This anime fighter is fast-paced, frantic and fun, but some design choices may leave serious fighting genre fans looking for something more refined.

Gallery: Naruto Ultimate Ninja Heroes

Continue reading PSP Fanboy review: Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Heroes

Tales of Rebirth shows off 2D splendor

If you love 2D gaming as much as most RPG fanatics who buy handhelds do (seriously, it's practically the only medium left to see it on if you don't count Nippon Ichi's continued support of 2D niche titles on consoles), then you'll probably salivate over the Tales of Rebirth gallery we've compiled for you. Taken from the official Japanese website, you can get an idea of what to expect -- a 3D map a la Symphonia with 2D battles a la Phantasia, Destiny, and Eternia/Destiny 2. While our review for Tales of the World wasn't exactly glowing, we still stand behind the franchise as a decent RPG experience and Rebirth might be the best Tales experience next year. Enjoy the gallery!

Gallery: Tales of Rebirth

PSP Fanboy review: Tales of the World: Radiant Mythology

Games in the Tales franchise are about a dime a dozen anymore, but did you know back in the day they sold incredibly poorly and were incredibly niche? I know that, because since the very first Tales title hit US shores, I was hooked and looked forward to every sequel, until they started to seemingly grow on trees. The latest title to make its way to our PSP is Tales of the World: Radiant Mythology and we've got quite a few things to say about this game: how does it stack up against the other titles, what does it bring new to the table, and most importantly, does it suck? This review hopes to cover all these bases and more.

Gallery: Tales of the World

Continue reading PSP Fanboy review: Tales of the World: Radiant Mythology

Tales of Rebirth scans prove 2D is still the way to go

Even though Tales of the World: Radiant Mythology was released so very recently, the folks over at Namco Bandai haven't wasted any time in reviving what was the sixth Tales game to be released: Tales of Rebirth. Originally on the PS2 in Japan, this port over to the PSP proves (at least, to us) that Tales games simply look their best when they keep themselves limited to two dimensions. With a loose date of 2008 for Japan, we aren't entirely sure this game will make its way over here since the PS2 version never did, but for those with a guilty addiction to Tales games, they're hoping it does.

[Thanks, Saigon!]

Naruto Ultimate Ninja Heroes: the story, or lack thereof

In a recent conference call with Namco Bandai, we learned new details about the upcoming PSP-exclusive Naruto Ultimate Ninja Heroes. We enjoyed our brief time with the game at E3, and wanted to learn more about why it's being exclusively distributed in the US and Europe. The decision to make a new game for the English language audience came about because the story of the Japanese anime had progressed too far to make the Japanese PSP game relevant.

However, we're puzzled -- according to the localization director at Namco Bandai, "there isn't really a story" in the game. Beyond the fighting, there isn't much else to do, although he noted that there's Naruto's Room --a place where collectible images and videos can be viewed.

Supposed "technical limitations" prevented the game from getting Infrastructure multiplayer, something that we would've loved to see in the game. However, the Game Sharing feature seems to be fairly advanced, giving players with access to the game "as normal."

We're a little disappointed to see the game doesn't have a fleshed out story, as the original PS2 series. Hopefully, the gameplay will make that point irrelevant. For now, enjoy the new screenshots we've secured in our updated gallery below:

Gallery: Naruto Ultimate Ninja Heroes

PSP Fanboy review: Smash Court Tennis 3

Namco Bandai's PSP-exclusive Smash Court Tennis 3 is not Virtua Tennis. But, that isn't a bad thing. Smash Court has a unique style that tries to take a serious, more simulation-oriented approach to the sport. It will take some time to get used to the sluggish controls. However, players will find a lot of content and depth in this UMD -- even if it does have some questionable AI practices and glitches.

It's clear from the moment you begin the game that Smash Court Tennis is easy on the eyes. The menus are easy to read, and fairly stylish. The graphics look very sharp on the PSP, with little to complain about. The text overlays that appear during matches are sleek and professional. The game certainly does a great job with visual presentation.

Gallery: Smash Court Tennis 3

Continue reading PSP Fanboy review: Smash Court Tennis 3

Hands-on: Naruto Ultimate Ninja Heroes

Any anime fan that's played CyberConnect's Ultimate Ninja series on PlayStation 2 will find themselves instantly familiar with the upcoming PSP Ultimate Ninja Heroes. This PSP-exclusive Naruto game transplants the fighting engine of its PS2 cousin in a game that's not quite a sequel, yet not quite a remake.

For a PSP game, it certainly impresses. The cel-shaded graphics look quite remarkable on the PSP's smaller screen. Since the PS2 original didn't use the analog sticks for fighting, the controls have translated quite well on the portable. We were really surprised by the game's quick load times, which lasted for only a few seconds. In fact, we'd surmise that the game loads much faster than its PS2 counterpart.

Although the fighting engine in the Ultimate Ninja series has never been celebrated for its depth, it does faithfully recreate the battles found throughout the Naruto series. Quick dodging, counters, and special moves are key to victory, and the PSP version is no different. We don't know if we were doing something wrong, but we found that the Chakra-based special attacks were limited in the PSP edition. While in the PS2 versions, each character could have up to 4 different attacks, we only saw one. Also, the "tag team" element of the game doesn't involve active switching of characters. Rather, each team of three sends out a single fighter, and when a character gets KO'ed, the next character in the roster jumps in. To be honest, we were hoping for more team-based gameplay.

Overall, we were impressed by Naruto Ultimate Ninja Heroes. It offers a solid fighting engine that's faithful to the anime, and its quick load times, large character roster, and use of Game Sharing, make it potentially the best anime licensed fighter on the system.

Gallery: Naruto Ultimate Ninja Heroes

Namco Bandai announces E3 PSP lineup

The new E3 is just around the corner, and that means that publishers are sending out lists of their E3 slate. Such is the case with Namco Bandai. On the PSP front, we can look forward to seeing the fan favorite RPG Tales of the World: Radiant Mythology, the tennis champ Smash Court Tennis 3, and of course the knuckle headed ninja in Naruto: Ultimate Heroes. There may of course be a few surprises, or behind closed doors presentations, but those three games are certainly heavy hitters. Which of these titles are you most looking forward to seeing more on at E3?

[Via Gamespot]

PSP Fanboy hands-on: Smash Court Tennis 3

Namco Bandai is promoting Smash Court Tennis 3 quite interestingly in other parts of the world (pictured, above). After getting our hands dirty with a preview build of the game, we have to admit that this game deserves the attention. Although tennis is a fairly simple game to understand, we appreciate the more simulation-based gameplay of Smash Court Tennis. Unlike its nearest competitor, Virtua Tennis, each hit is a lot more difficult to pull off, and each stroke can be decisive in a match. Although daunting at first, a well-designed, and incredibly thorough tutorial mode teaches the various strategies and techniques hidden within the game.

We're most impressed by the game's stellar production values. The menus simply look gorgeous. The camera moves in a nice, cinematic way, and the text overlays border on sexy. Load times are incredibly brief, rarely interrupting gameplay. The graphics look solid on PSP's diminuitive screen, and the animations, for the most part, are detailed and fluid.

There's a lot of potential in Smash Court Tennis, and we're sure that its various game modes will offer a lot of value. The tutorial mode has been excellent, and we've enjoyed playing simple matches of tennis. Arcade, Pro Tour and Challenge modes look to offer a significant amount of gameplay. The build that we've played does have some very noticeable glitches, though. There are some missing animations and graphics, especially when playing near the edge of the court. At times, it appears that there's no way to exit back into the menu. We're hoping that these issues get cleaned up by the game's final release -- if so, we could be looking at a winner. We'll be giving you more info on the game as we get closer to its release.

[Image source. Thanks, Robert!]

Gallery: Smash Court Tennis 3

See also:
Smash Court Tennis 3 downloadable demo

New Smash Court Tennis 3 screenshots

We tried coming up with a better headline than this, but couldn't muster the creativity nor the energy to make it happen. Honestly, it's a tennis game: you'll want it, or you won't. Namco Bandai's sending us a preview build, so we should have hands-on impressions of the title soon. Until then, you may want to check out the awesome Pac-Man tennis videos, and download the demo and try it yourself.

Gallery: Smash Court Tennis 3

A radiant montage of Tales of the World

Namco's upcoming fanservice-filled RPG Tales of the World is hitting PSPs soon, and Gametrailers has posted a new montage video, featuring the anime intro and various battles to be found in the game. It looks sharp, as expected, but we're wondering: where's our j-poppin' intro? We're hoping it's not axed for the US version.

Eat this! You never had a chance against my swords!

We love the gameplay of Tales games: the real-time battles certainly make for some intense clashes. Tales of the World looks to be just as fun as its console counterparts, but we're concerned about one thing: voice acting. The new videos posted on IGN might look good, but they certainly don't sound too pleasing. The one-liners that the characters spew every time they say an attack became tiresome even within this tiny clip. Please, Namco Bandai: let us turn off the voices, okay?

Tekken: Dark Resurrection becomes a million seller

Tekken: Dark Resurrection has been an overwhelming success on PSP, selling over a million copies since its release according to Gamasutra. The title's selling power has been so significant that it's become the second best-selling title for Namco Bandai in the past fiscal year. The only other title to beat it was Dragonball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2 for PlayStation 2. Hopefully, the rampant success of Namco's fighter on PSP will make it consider bringing one of its other high-profile fighting franchises to the platform.

[Via PS3 Fanboy]

Smash Court Tennis: for boys and girls

Namco is promoting their new PSP exclusive tennis game, Smash Court Tennis, with a strange emphasis on gender. The game allows you to create your own tennis star, male or female. As these videos show, the character customization looks to be rather deep, something that can be easily appreciated in games. The graphics certainly represent the sport quite well; let's hope the gameplay can do the same.

Continue reading Smash Court Tennis: for boys and girls

Tales of the World: new mythical screens

Namco Bandai continues teasing us with new screens from Tales of the World: Radiant Mythology. These screens showcase some popular guest stars from previous Tales games, and also the new character creation mode. We also received a video that raised some concerns: it sounded like the original voice actors from the previous Tales games are not being used. Check out the rest of the screens, and a new video, after the break.

Continue reading Tales of the World: new mythical screens

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