Naruto Shippuden: Gekitou Ninja Taisen! Special announced

September 15, 2010

And I will be the only to give a s*** about that :D. The Gekitou Ninja Taisen!-series is my long beloved beat’em up-series that started out with Naruto: Gekitou Ninja Taisen! on GameCube, got three successors on the same system, with GNT4 being the pinnacle of the series, and then four more entries on the Wii, though the last game was not a fighting-game. Which means fans had to wait for two whole years! Naruto Shippuden: Gekitou Ninja Taisen! Special, here we come!

While the Naruto-manga/anime has been somewhat ruined by its own author, the fighting-games for GameCube/Wii remain the best realization of the source-material. Even though the Ultimate Ninja Storm-series for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 looks much better and fancier, the Gekitou Ninja Taisen! actually succeeds in creating engaging, motivating and challenging combat-situations, accompanied by playable characters that resemble the series´ originals much better then the over-the-top fighting in the HD-games.

What we can see on this scan from Famitsu are Naruto in his Sage-form and Sasuke in his Kage summit-outfit. Naruto finally has his Fuuton Rasen Shuuriken and Sasuke seems to start his Kirin-attack. That´s all for now, but fans are already speculation which other characters developer 8ing might add. On the one hand, two years are a long time, on the other hand, 8ing is as lazy as the Pokémon- and Animal Crossing-developers. Well, not that lazy, but close to. If we assume that the Kage summit is part of the game´s story mode, then possible new appearances are:

  • Raikage
  • Killerbee
  • Yahiko-Pain
  • Konan
  • Suigetsu
  • Karin
  • Juugo
  • And a big maybe: Madara

Of course, there´s a ton of other characters that SHOULD be playable by now, but with 8ing you just don´t want to set bar too high. For now, let´s wait and see. And we might actually see new stuff and first videos tomorrow, when Tokyo Game Show starts.

First gameplay-screenshots of The Last Story

April 27, 2010

The time has come, and wow, does it look good! The Last Story, a Nintendo-published JRPG, directed by Hironobu Sakaguchi, was featured in this week´s issue of Famitsu, and we can finally see ingame-screenshots of the promising game. And what can be seen on the following four scans is indeed promising. See for yourself:

I´m sorry, Nintendo, but by now I´m about to give up hope that between Monster Hunter 3, Xenoblade and this one, Zelda Wii can somehow manage to do anything better in terms of building up an adventurous atmosphere. Please look at the one scan where the main character walks on a narrow town street…EXACTLY what I always imagine when I´m talking about a lively, moody city for Zelda Wii. It´s simply incredible what Mistwalker and Sakaguchi are doing here. I´m still happily playing Monster Hunter 3 and will be for a long time, but here I´m already totally hyped for another adventure to experience. Until now, the upcoming E³´s major factors were Zelda Wii and the 3DS. But now Nintendo has one more high profile-title that everyone can look forward to.

A simply enjoyable adventure: First details of Xenoblade

February 17, 2010

The latest issue of Famitsu did not disappoint. It features a multi-page article on Xenoblade, the upcoming JRPG of Monolithsoft. The magazine features some definitely gorgeous screenshots of the world of Xenoblade – a rather interesting world. The game is supposed to take place on top of the bodies of two frozen-in-motion deities. These two deities once fought each other. Now, each of their bodies is populated by a different culture. The hero´s Deity marks the home of organic life. The other giant body is inhabited by mechanic life. The story starts by mechanic life stirring up organigc life´s peace.

Besides the already interesting setting and story, the actual gameplay bits sound even better: The whole world is one seamless world that Tetsuya Takahashi, director of the game, said he wanted the player to explore. And indeed, taking a look at the new screenshots totally makes me want to explore that world. Part of what makes the scale of Xenoblade that fascination is its similarity to MMORPGs that Takahashi himself mentions. Not only is the world´s scale supposed to be like that of a MMORPG, also the combat-system sound a lot like World of Warcraft. Enemies are visibly running around on the overworld. Once you engage them in a fight, your character will fight automatically. You as the player have the option of choosing special attacks, recovery skills and other special abilities. Nearby enemies even will join your current enemy, something  I only experienced in Etrian Odysse. If that´s still not enough great news, then let´s tell you that Takahashi mentiond how the game will take supposedly 50-60 hours to complete – without endless grinding or cutscenes.

Xenoblade is shaping up to be a very promising game. And no matter how it turns out in the end, the fact that Tetsuya Takahashi himself said that Xenoblade is supposed to be a simply enjoyable adventure, a return to the origin of RPGs, is a great realization that most, if not all, modern developers are missing. Let´s hope that everything comes well together…and please no circle shadows, Mr. Takahashi.