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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

Love! New Smash Court Tennis screens

Ready for a game of tennis? Namco Bandai recently sent us some new screenshots from their upcoming PSP-exclusive Smash Court Tennis, and it certainly looks like ... well, tennis. At the very least, this game will feature Game Sharing, so friends can play against each other with just one UMD. Namco's support of this feature has been quite nice, as it can also be found in the upcoming Naruto fighter. Now, if only Namco can combine these two great tastes into one game: Smashing Naruto Ultimate Ninja Tennis Heroes, anyone?

Continue reading Love! New Smash Court Tennis screens

Fast & the Furious: too little, too late

Really Namco? You're making a Fast and the Furious game for PSP? We're sorry to be rough on you, but we don't believe anyone really cares. We're busy trying to debunk myths about our favorite handheld, and attempts to repackage bad PS2 ports from yesteryear with "new" features on PSP simply won't cut the mustard. No amount of additional content will save this recently gold game from disaster, unless the core gameplay lives up to our high standards. We're being mean, but PSP fans are smarter now, and we expect more from our games.

You can check out the offending press release, after the break.

Continue reading Fast & the Furious: too little, too late

Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Heroes comes to US this summer

Believe it! The popular anime franchise is finally getting a PSP game. Ultimate Ninja Heroes will allow Naruto fans to assemble a team of three characters (out of a roster of 20) to duke it out against another team of three. Pairings must be thought through carefully, as new abilities will be unearthed based on character combinations. An interesting idea, to say the least. According to 1UP, the fighter is supposedly exclusive to the US, with no Japanese release planned at the moment. But, Heroes looks suspiciously like the Japanese PSP Naruto game, so we're going to take that bit with a grain of salt.

Ultimate Ninja Heroes will hit PSP systems this summer. Check out 1UP for more details, and some breathtaking pictures of the game.

Radiant new screens from Tales of the World

Namco Bandai just sent us some screenshots of Tales of the World: Radiant Mythology, reminding us that this action RPG is only a few months away. Fans will love seeing their favorite Tales stars return in this fan service-filled title. In addition, the US release will feature slight gameplay tweaks from the original.

Check past the cut to see ten more screenshots from the English build of the game.

See also:
Anime Intro, Video

Continue reading Radiant new screens from Tales of the World

Tales of the World coming to America

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.

See also:
Pictures, Anime Intro, Video

Smash Court Tennis 3 goes PSP; includes Game Sharing

Namco Bandai just announced Smash Court Tennis 3 for the PSP. It'll feature 16 tennis stars, including Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Justine Henin. "We are thrilled to announce that the next iteration of our popular Smash Court Tennis series is set to appear on the PSP system," said Makoto Iwai, Executive Vice President and COO of Namco Bandai Games. "With the franchise's signature gameplay and new enhancements, Smash Court Tennis 3 is the perfect on-the-go package that's made for a jet-setting tennis pro."

Virtua Tennis will be the game to beat for Namco's next. However, there's one feature that I'm particularly psyched about: the ability to compete against other PSP owners with a single UMD through Game Sharing. It's a horribly under-utilized system: being able to play tennis against any other PSP owner should offer a great deal of potential.

[Update : New screenshots can be found at WorthPlaying.]

Gundam Seed Rengou vs Z.A.F.T.

The Magic Box has reported that Namco Bandai's Mobile Suit Gundam Seed: Rengou vs Z.A.F.T. Portable (that's a mouthful of a game title) will be hitting Japan on April 5th of this year for 5040 yen. The series was originally on the PS2, but its PSP version will have 2 on 2 team battle that can be played by a single player or 2-4 players via Ad-Hoc. The mech action game is based around the world from Mobile Suit Gundam Seed, one of the most loved versions in all of the Gundam series. Feel free to import the game when it's released if you're a Gundam fan since the PSP has no region lock.

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