The fourth quarter of the year is the biggest for game sales, all around the world. Here’s a look at what Japan’s got coming in the first month of what the industry calls the “Golden Quarter,” as well as some Japan-based ramblings by PlayStation LifeStyle’s Japanese Division. Yeah that’s the fancy title I gave myself. It looks good on business cards.
Biohazard 6 (which we call Resident Evil 6) is likely to be sitting atop the sales charts next week, as it’s been ranked number one in Famitsu’s Most Wanted for several months. PS3 owners didn’t have many other new games coming out to distract them from Capcom’s latest, with F1 2012 and Winning Eleven 2013 (known to North America as Pro Evolution Soccer) being the only other PS3 games that arrived that day.
On the 11th, Rocksmith and Dishonored come out, as well as Imageepoch RPG Tokitowa. There’s a regular edition of Tokitowa available for 7,980 yen and a special pack of goodies for 2,000 yen more. The limited edition includes a soundtrack CD, an audio drama (think like old-style radio drama shows. These are still huge in Japan), a download code for some custom PS3 themes, and an art book, all bundled up nicely in a special box, pictured below. A week later on the 18th, the only PS3 release is FIFA 13.
The 25th is when PS3 gets a simulation of a Pachinko-Slot machine themed around the popular ToHeart2, called Heartful Simulator: Pachi-Slot ToHeart2. The deluxe edition includes somewhat erotic character cards featuring the girls bending over and all that stuff. Borderlands 2, Dark Souls: With Artorias of the Abyss Edition, and Zone of the Enders HD Collection.
PSP will get a slew of love adventures and visual novels — almost all of which come with special editions — throughout the month. I will mention only a few of them by name.
Thursday was a good day for PSP, especially if you like RPGs. The interesting Sol Trigger came out, as well as Summon Night 3 and Students of The Round Table. The only other Sony handheld action on the 11th is a PSP romance adventure Diabolic Lovers. Sounds sexy.
On the 25th, PSP gets a new installment of the hugely popular [email protected] series, [email protected]: Shiny Festa. Can anyone more familiar with the series explain to me why there’s an at mark in the name?
Not much. Vita gets absolutely no new game releases until October 18th, when it gets Tiny Battlers W and The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Zero Evolution. The former is being shared with PSP and the latter is an enhanced port of a PSP game from last year. On the 25th, it gets a multiplatform study buddy and a port of Street Fighter X Tekken.
I just picked up Time Travelers for my Vita last night, but have no idea what kind of game it even is. I have done zero research on this, I’ve just seen a trailer and some screens, which rarely tell you anything representing reality. Since I only got it hours ago and just played a few minutes today, I can’t say much, but at least the presentation is cool so far. This may or may not be one of those choose-your-own-adventure games that Japan adores and the West deplores. I’ll let you know more with more impressions in the next update or a review, whichever happens first.
Has anyone played Atelier Totori? I ask because I played a demo of the upcoming Vita version at the Tokyo Game Show, but didn’t have enough to say about it to write an impression here on the site. My question, to those who have played Totori, is about camera angles. I found myself having to walk towards the camera in a lot of indoor areas — know what I mean? Like, Totori was in a fairly open room, but but the door could be anywhere. My only way of finding it, however, was to run like an idiot into one portion of the unseen wall and wonder if the door was there. There wasn’t enough visible wall space to make an educated guess as to the door’s location, in some places, so navigation was a little awkward. I don’t remember it being that way in Atelier Rorona. I just found that odd.
~Famitsu’s Most Wanted~
Hell, since I’m talking about Famitsu‘s Most Wanted above, I may as well print a short clipping of it. Here are the most wanted games in Japan (as of the end of September), according to Famitsu‘s reader poll:
1. Resident Evil 6 (PS3)
2. Monster Hunter 4 (3DS)
3. Tales of Xillia 2 (PS3)
4. Animal Crossing (3DS)
5. Bravely Default: Flying Fairy (3DS)
6. Tokitowa (PS3)
7. Fantasy Life (3DS)
8. Yakuza 5 (PS3)
9. Metal Gear Rising (PS3)
10. Shin Megami Tensei 4 (3DS)
“Nonsense” is a good word for how Sony is handling the Vita situation in Japan right now. I’m wanting this device to succeed, but third party and first party studios aren’t giving it anything to run with. Look above at the paper-thin release lineup. No exclusives in the month of October, not even any releases of any kind until the 18th, and after the end of October, it’s November 15th until the next Vita game of any kind hits shelves in Japan. Then it’s another two weeks with nothing. What the freaking hell? This is quarter four; this is when you bring your A-game. It might not matter to you or me, because perhaps we are content with what we have right now on the machine, but “we” are not very many people, in the grand scheme of things.
“It’s still early” can only be said for so long. The Vita is now 10 months old in Japan, and it has officially fallen behind the Dreamcast in life-to-date sales. Every week that it fails to reach about 19,000 units sold, the gap will grow. The parallels are insane when you think about it. Both systems had tremendously good software lineups and staunch supporters, yet the sales of both (to this point) have been far below expectations. Sega eventually stopped the financial bleeding by cutting production of the system. Hopefully Sony’s “It’s a marathon, not a sprint,” philosophy can turn the Vita’s ship around. We love games as our entertainment, but the reality is, someone somewhere is needing to get a paycheck from this business. I guess what I’m trying to say is, I’m tired of being the only guy I know that has a Vita. ;_;
In more fun news, Pepsi has been putting Gundams on its cans lately, which means my Pepsi purchases have gone up infinity per cent. It seems like once a year I think “Boy I haven’t had a Pepsi in a long time. I wonder why?” Then I drink one and I’m like “Oh, right.” I also have terrible luck with these promo cans, because I keep getting the Zaku II every freaking time. Now I remember why I usually stick to Coke.
Also, if I may request some feedback, can I ask you guys what’s good and what’s not so great about this developing column? What do you like seeing in here, and what’s not in here that you might want to see? Let me know in the comments, if you’ve got any ideas/criticisms/words of wisdom/funny stories.
Till next month, バイバイ~