[Thanks, Jon C.!]
[Thanks, Jon C.!]
Coming in October, NIS America's upcoming release of Mana-Khemia looks to bring some very standard JRPG fare to the PSP. It's been a while since a traditional RPG has arrived on PSP, especially so shortly after a Japanese release. We're keeping an eye out on this one, if only because there are so few games to actually look out for in the immediate future.
According to IGN, "The two World Neverland games tell of the Kingdom of Olerud and the Republic of Pluto. You play as a citizen of these countries and, after joining up with a guild, experience life surrounded by AI-driven residents."
We're doubtful this'll ever make it stateside, but hardcore importers may want to check out Famitsu for more screenshots.
Mastiff is flooding the retail chain, alleviating previous "supply issues" the title was facing. The publisher is hoping that by lowering the price, and increasing the title's availability during Sony's aggressive PSP marketing, it will be able to gain an even larger audience for the niche title. "Between the increased availability and the economical price, RPG fans should now have no trouble getting their hands on Gurumin," said Bill Swartz, "Head Woof" (we're not kidding) of Mastiff.
PSP Fanboy previously reviewed the title, awarding it with a 7.5.
Q: Is there anything that utilizes the PSP's infrared functionality?
A: There are no games that take advantage of PSP's infrared functionality. However, there are a few homebrew programs that do. For example, piKey lets you use a keyboard with your system. You can also transmit data and turn your system into a universal remote.
Q: Will there be any original JRPGs on PSP besides tactics RPGs and action RPGs?
A: It's true that PSP will be receiving many tactical and action RPGs, from Wild Arms XF to Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core. However, let's not forget that PSP is home to Monster Kingdom and The Legend of Heroes series. Brave Story should fit the bill nicely. Dragoneer's Aria looks pretty interesting as well. If you're interested in farming, Harvest Moon will be coming out soon as well.
Two tiny little questions after the break.
- 1UP (35/100) likens the experience to torture: "I can't remember the last time I felt so constricted as a gamer. Sure, running around the dungeons and slashing through enemies is enjoyable enough -- and, dare I say it, even fun at times. But as soon as you attempt to play through Valhalla Knights like its an actual game, it completely falls apart. The viselike grip Valhalla Knights holds."
- G4 (40/100) thinks the game is too old-school for its own good: "This is not a game for the impatient, especially since there's no in-game help system. When it comes to combat tactics or building a party, you have to learn by doing (and probably dying)."
- IGN (53/100) wanted to like the game, but couldn't: "Valhalla Knights succeeded at impressing me with fun, real-time combat, completely pissing me off with drawn-out quests and eventually driving me away due to the complete lack of anything resembling story progression."
Executive Producer Shinji Hashimoto states in the latest press release: "It is amazing to see how far Final Fantasy has come in the past twenty years, and we cannot wait to continue bringing fans more Final Fantasy titles in the next 20 years." Of course, if Square Enix continues to price games this way, gamers may not be able to afford their games. Remember the original Final Fantasy I & II collection on Game Boy Advance? Each individual UMD costs the same as that cartridge from years ago. This really is a shame, Square.
Gallery: Final Fantasy I (PSP)
Gallery: Final Fantasy II (PSP)
It appears your fame, and your overall battle quality, will determine your ability to have returning Tales characters join your team permanently. "Most of the time, these 'guest' characters will be available to you for their associated quest, but you can also try to get them to join you permanently. Whether they do or not depends on their overall opinion of you, which is determined by a variety of factors that are so far unclear. We imagine you may not need to do much besides playing skillfully and avoiding death when they're with you on a quest."
If you play like a second-class warrior, you'll end up with second-class partners: generic heroes that must be paid to follow you around. Like in real life, it appears you'll have to earn friendship through charisma ... or money. See a video of the game, after the cut.
Check past the cut to see ten more screenshots from the English build of the game.
Anime Intro, Video
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.]
Dungeon Maker: Hunting Ground has you creating dungeons, floor by floor, in order to capture an elusive beast, the legendary Wandering Demon. By improving the layout of your dungeon, you'll be able to lure in more exotic creatures, and fight them in real time using a variety of weapons, magics, and summoning creatures. You'll also be able to trade dungeons with a friend, when this game comes out in July.
Brave Story: New Traveler is a new PSP-exclusive RPG from Game Republic (creators of Genji). You play as an eleven year old boy (pictured) whose life is changed forever when his friend Miki falls ill from a mysterious disease. He must enter the world of Vision to find the Goddess of Fortune to make his wishes come true. This RPG doesn't have a release date yet, but is expected to come out Q3.
Check after the cut to see more pictures of Dungeon Maker in action.
We've complained about our lack of Tales of the World a lot on the Fanboy. Well, it looks like Namco Bandai is finally listening and giving English-speaking gamers what we want: a localized version of Tales of the World. This PSP-exclusive RPG is a fan-service feast for Tales fans, featuring characters from previous Tales games, such as Tales of Symphonia and Tales of the Abyss.
In an interview with IGN, Namco Bandai revealed that "players will be able to use Grade Points they have earned in battle to purchase special items or equipment ... the US version of Tales of the World will be slightly more tuned than the overseas version."
While that's certainly good news, we can only hope for more in the future: "Although I do not have details as to whether other PSP Tales titles will be reaching the shores of the US at this point, I can say that such possibilities do indeed exist." Tales of the World will hit American shores later this year.
Pictures, Anime Intro, Video