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The heroes of Wild Arms XF

Click for high-resolution image.

Are you excited for the upcoming SPRG, Wild Arms XF? Sony's handheld has become the platform of choice for strategists, and XSEED plans on delivering yet another experience on the PSP. Not only do we have an overwhelming amount of new screenshots, we have character bios for you, after the break.

Gallery: Wild Arms XF

Continue reading The heroes of Wild Arms XF

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

Disgaea features Japanese voice acting, Etna mode

IGN recently got its hands on a preview version of the upcoming PSP version of Disgaea. Although the game is largely a port, they noted two new features that will certainly get the attention of long-time fans. The game seemingly has both English and Japanese voice acting in the game, a feature we're hoping will survive in the final build. Certainly, anime fans will love to hear the game in its original language.

An additional mode, "Etna Mode," also provides a retelling of the story -- this time, from the perspective of the hot-headed Etna. According to IGN, "This perspective starts with Etna accidentally killing Laharl when trying to wake him up. Everything following that, it seems, is a spoiler for the main game, since you're suddenly privy to a great amount of information you wouldn't have known had you been playing from Laharl's perspective."

Sounds like Disgaea fans have a lot to look forward to, even in this PSP remake. It's clear that the title is shaping up to be more ambitious than a mere port, and we're glad to see Nis America take the effort to add something more for its US release this October. Check out our new gallery to see some awesome concept art:

Gallery: Disgaea: Afternoon of Darkness

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.

Extended Wild Arms XF trailer

Here's a pretty comprehensive look at the upcoming PSP-exclusive SRPG, Wild Arms XF. This Japanese trailer clocks in at three minutes, and showcases the attractive 2D sprites the game employs. It'll be interesting to see whether or not Wild Arms XF has the stuff to compete against Square Enix's Final Fantasy Tactics.

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

New Wild Arms XF screenshots

We tried thinking up a more original headline than this. Seriously. However, there isn't much to note in this new batch of screenshots from the upcoming Wild Arms XF. It looks juts like every other anime-inspired SRPG out there, with some simple, but attractive 2D graphics, and a genre-standard HUD. Maybe a few of our more Japanese-inclined readers can decipher a few new details from the newly updated website.

Gallery: Wild Arms XF

More details on Wild Arms XF

The official Japanese Wild Arms XF website has opened, although it doesn't provide too much information. IGN, however, has uncovered a treasure trove of new details on the upcoming PSP-exclusive SRPG:
  • "Set once again in the land of Falgaia, Wild Arms XF tells the story of Clarisa, a knight in the army of the peaceful kingdom of Elecius. The story begins when the queen is killed in what appears to be more than just an accident."
  • "During battle, you move the members of your party in turn with the enemies."
  • "By connecting your PSP to your PS2 via USB, you'll unlock six secret bosses in Wild Arms 5. XF sees more benefit, as you get better items and rewards and even get to see some special events."
As PSP Fanboy reader trystero said: "Handhelds and SRPGs go together like glue and ... well, more glue." Hopefully, Wild Arms XF will prove to be a worthwhile addition to the PSP library.
[Thanks, Thien!]

Wild Arms XF revealed to be new SRPG

Finally! Concrete details about Wild Arms are slowly coming out of Japan. Gamers have been waiting for even the tiniest morsel of information since the game was first announced last September. New scans from Famitsu, available at Jeux-France, showcase a new look for the game, as it treads into strategy RPG territory. While fans are always welcome a new Wild Arms, some are disappointed the game is straying from its roots. With Jeanne d'Arc and Final Fantasy Tactics also coming on PSP, some are wondering if another high-profile SRPG is really all that necessary on our handheld.

Regardless, the game certainly looks pretty. It appears the title will also have connectivity with Wild Arms 5 on PS2, so true fans of the series will want to pick up both. We hope to unearth more details and screenshots in the coming weeks.

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]

Makai Wars resurrected; Disgaea to continue

Makai Wars
, a strategy RPG for PSP, was long thought to be dead. Gone. Canceled. Well, it looks like the project isn't quite over yet. RPGFan held an exclusive interview with the fan-favorite Nippon Ichi Software, and they've received confirmation that the development team has resumed work on this long-delayed game (it made its first appearance at E3 2004!).

Surely, the brisk sales of Disgaea Portable have something to do with this PSP resurrection? According to RPGFan, "The performance of its PlayStation Portable debut, Disgaea Portable in Japan apparently exceeded internal expectations. Furthermore, future handheld releases are also under consideration."

Of course, we Americans still haven't received a localized version of Disgaea. While a portable sequel would be great, our pleas for the PSP version of Disgaea to head stateside seem to be largely ignored.

[Via IGN]

Generation of Chaos gets a sequel

There sure are a lot of RPGs coming to Sony's handheld. Rezel Cross isn't the only new RPG to be announced recently. NIS America recently announced plans to bring over a sequel to Generation of Chaos. Although the original Generation of Chaos failed to impress critics, NIS is hoping that this second attempt will fare better. Most importantly, they'll address the crippling load times that have cursed so many PSP RPGs.

Aedis Eclipse: Generation of Chaos is yet another strategy RPG for Sony's handheld. You'll be able to play as three different characters from three different worlds: the lower, upper, and the coolest of them all: the divine world.

[Via Siliconera]

Final Fantasy Tactics screenshots

It should come as no surprise that the new cutscenes in Final Fantasy Tactics are impressive. However, how does the gameplay compare? The Magic Box has tons of screenshots for you to gaze over. Are the widescreen PS1 quality graphics winning you over? Or, do you wish that Square Enix put a little bit more effort into this?

See also:
FFI & FFII on PSP = most beautiful NES game EVER!

Final Fantasy Tactics reborn on the PSP [Update 1]

Many Sony fanboys were shocked, even angry, at Square-Enix's decision to make the next Dragon Quest game a DS-exclusive. Nintendo has been getting a lot more love from the RPG goliath, with Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings among the numerous games headed to Nintendo's dual-screened portable. Does this mean Sony fans will be snubbed by Square-Enix?

Nope. It appears that the PSP will be getting Final Fantasy Tactics: Shishi Sensou, an updated version of the original PlayStation classic. New anime FMVs and job classes are some of the anticipated upgrades for the PSP remake. A second title, Final Fantasy Tactics A2, was also announced, but the platform has not yet been revealed. With Tactics and Crisis Core making its way to our handheld, it's clear that Square-Enix plans on supporting PSP fully.

[Via IGN]

[Update 1: Jeux-France provides scans and more info: Final Fantasy Tactics A2 is the sequel to Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, a GBA sequel to the original FFT.]

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