The New Year is a bigger deal in Asia than it is in Europe and the Americas, hence the late releases. No new games have shipped since late December, and today marks the first wave of the new year. Most kids in my area didn’t go back to school until the 9th, and they were shocked to hear that some school districts in the US will head back to school on January 2nd or 3rd, depending on where things fall in the week. Those dates, in Japan, are still national holidays. But the rest time is over! Here’s the game news, release info, and sales talk out of Japan.
There are two big things that can save the poorly selling PlayStation Vita right now, and if you ask Kenichiro Takaki of Maervelous Interactive, they’re both located on a lady’s chest. Next month, Vita will get an almost-hentai game called Senran Kagura: Shinovi Versus, whose key feature is, in Takaki’s words, “Tits that can be licked.” In preparation for launch, Takaki tweeted that he will “Wrap the world in happy boobs.” I guess he’s one of those guys kissing his Vita screen when playing the new AKB game?
This is a third-person fighting/action game in which the girls lose clothing as they take damage. When private parts are exposed, the girls will cover themselves with their hands, serving to both avoid an actual Adult rating and to punish the player (…I guess…). Japan can look forward to using Vita touchscreens to jiggle breasts on February 28th, and the rest of the world can do so…probably never.
Will you be importing? Should PSLS write an import review? There are comments below the article in which you can express your feelings on such matters.
Here are January’s PlayStation game releases in Japan.
Capcom’s DmC: Devil May Cry comes out today, bucking the trends of proper English capitalization with its edgy decision to leave the ‘m’ in lowercase. Whew, if this is any indication of what’s in the game, get ready for a ride. I don’t want to live in a world where people go around making letters small at random. The PS3 also gets first-party lovin’ with LittleBigPlanet Karting.
January 24th sees the arrival of Hitman Absolution and Heavy Fire: Shattered Spear, as well as a new $150 boxed edition of Nobunaga’s Ambition Online.
The month concludes with PlayStaiton All-Stars Battle Royale and WRC: World Rally Championship arriving on the 31st. Both of these are also on PS Vita.
The 17th will give PSP gamers a new RPG in the form of Digimon Adventure, as well as a few more visual novels; all of these are very likely to stay in Japan. The 24th and 31st see more of what has become the norm for PSP — a bunch of new games, but nearly all of them are visual novels and dating sims.
The Vita won’t make it to the software release the party on 17th with PSP and PS3, as its first game shipments happen on the 24th. On the bright side, that day has two new games arriving, including the new RPG Demon Gaze. Monster Monpiece is, as far as experts can tell, about sitting around watching preteens take baths. If I ran a game shop and someone bought this, I’d ask them “Why don’t you have a seat over there?” and see if they get the reference. Because whoa.
WRC: World Rally Championship gives racing fans something new for their Vitas on the 31st, and of more note worldwide, Sony’s own PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale arrives on both Vita and PS3. Hopefully this adds more players to the online pool.
Below are the most recent Media Create software sales rankings, showing the 20 best-selling games in Japan. These figures cover the period of January 7th-13th.
1. (3DS) Animal Crossing: New Leaf
2. (3DS) New Super Mario Bros. 2
3. (3DS) Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate
4. (3DS) Tousouchuu: Shijou Saikyou no Hunter-Tachi Kara Nigekire!
5. (3DS) Paper Mario: Sticker Star
6. (3DS) Inazuma Eleven Go 2: Chrono Stone
7. (PS3) Fist of the North Star: Ken’s Rage 2
8. (WIU) New Super Mario Bros. U
9. (WIU) Nintendo Land
10. (3DS) Taiko Drum Master: Chibi Dragon to Fushigi na Orb
11. (PS3) Yakuza 5
12. (PSP) One Piece: Romance Dawn
13. (PS3) Call of Duty: Black Ops II
14. (3DS) Mario Kart 7
15. (3DS) Magician’s Quest: Magical Town
16. (PSP) AKB1/149: Love Election
17. (3DS) Pokèmon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity
18. (PS3) Hot Shots Golf: World Invitational
19. (NDS) Pokèmon Black 2 / White 2
20. (3DS) Professor Layton Vs. Ace Attorney
Hardware sales took an expected dip, as the post-holiday season usually throws some water on the hot sales of December.
3DS – 92,661
PS3 – 22,991
WIi-U – 20,715
PSP – 17,069
PSV – 11,088
Wii – 1,873
360 – 921
So how did you use your holiday vacation? My wife and I were lucky enough to score some advance tickets to Distant Worlds: The Music of Final Fantasy concert in Osaka. December of 2012 marked the 25th anniversary of the Final Fantasy series, so the orchestra played at least one song from all 14 main-series Final Fantasy games, as well as a few medleys. Overall, I thought the selection was solid, though I would have preferred something other than the overplayed “One-Winged Angel” for the night’s FFVII piece. I can certainly understand the pick, it’s just that it seems to get way more attention than any other song on that great soundtrack, which is sad. Can’t win ’em all, right? Everyone in the room felt bad for the poor pianist during To Zanarkand (FFX), as she hit a sour note during the intro. Ouch. The person probably felt awful, even though he or she (I couldn’t tell from the balcony) did a fine job overall. They’ve been doing these shows for something like five years now, though only in select cities and not very often. If you do get a chance to see one live, check it out. It’s a memorable night of music and nostalgia. The opening song was my favorite, a beautiful version of the prelude.
During the break, I had a goal to start a game from my backlog and finish it, and I was glad to be able to do that, even if it was just a shorty. I played Spec Ops: The Line and was floored by story and narrative. The imagery and gore and atmosphere gave it strength, yeah, but the themes explored by that game, along with its recognition of outside-the-box decision making shot that game into the stratosphere for me. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is something so rarely acknowledged in war movies and games, so it was really great to see a game tackle the issue. If you haven’t played that game, I highly recommend it. Just remember, you’re not playing it for the actual shooter mechanics themselves, as the gunplay feels like a bit outdated (would have been praised if it were a PS3 launch title, perhaps), you’re playing it for the narrative. The campaign is only like five hours, so it’s not even a huge commitment. Give that game a go.
Welp, that’s all for this month!