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Level-5 Vision 2008 Live Blog

Announcements that were already announced will be announced!


Level-5 is holding its 2008 Level-5 Vision press conference today at the Tokyo International Forum (in Tokyo). Over a one and a half hour period, the company will be outlining its upcoming lineup of games, a lineup that's said to include some major surprises.

Of course, anyone with access to Famitsu will know what those surprises are, but I'm going to play along anyway and pretend that everything is new to me.

Just outside the large event hall.

The conference kicks off at 16:00. Stay tuned for live blog updates to begin around that time.

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17:49 -- The conference appears to be coming to an end, so the same goes for this blog!

Thanks for reading!

17:47 -- The presentation ends with the ending theme song for the third Layton game.

17:46 -- Hino gives some parting words, then leaves the stage.

17:45 -- There will be a premium video disc distributed at the show.

17:45 -- He asks people to visit the Level-5 TGS booth. There will be some surprises, he promises.

17:44 -- Hino is now closing off the presentation

17:44 -- Hino explains, the robot is a character who will lead you in navigation on the Roid site.

17:43 -- Next, a girl brings out a real version of the robot!

17:43 -- One more big announcement for Roid now, though.

They show a live action video showing a CG Roid transforming from the console into a robot!

17:42 -- Hino gets the mic back following the other two and promises that there are more secrets to be announced for Roid. They will be announced in the future.

17:41 -- Here are some Roid-related pics. Remember, the machine and the specs were all a joke.

17:37 -- Hino invites a couple of people out to detail the collaborations for Roid.

Enterbrain's Hamaura Hirokazu and an NTT DoCoMo rep take the stage

17:35 -- It's not the case that all the games that were announced at today's event will be available on Roid, says Hino, asking that people not misunderstand.

17:34 -- They will also continue releasing packaged titles, Hino assures.

17:34 -- Level-5 is considering butting many of its contents on the service, including the Layton series.

17:34 -- ROID stands for Revolutionary Original Ideas Discovery

17:33 -- The service will work with both PCs and cell phones... some games will work on one or the other, some games will work on both.

17:32 -- Famitsu will have a magazine in the virtual world -- Famitsu Roid

17:32 -- The site is a partnership with Level-5, NTT DoCoMo, Enterbrain! and Famitsu (those are the logos on the bottom of the screen).

17:31 -- He shows a sample of playing Danbol Senki

17:31 -- Then the game starts up.

17:30 -- You access your My Games section, then drag and drop a game into a big Roid platform that's on the left side of the screen.

17:30 -- He demonstrates the game playing feature

17:29 -- You can buy games, movies, anime, etc.

17:29 -- The portal's interface looks like the PSN interface.

17:29 -- Hino shows a demo, running in Internet Explorer.

17:29 -- Actually, Roid is a "virtual" system which is part of a new gaming portal site.

17:28 -- Or is it?

17:28 -- But before that, Hino reveals it's all a joke.

17:28 -- They're going to announce a release date!

17:27 -- They show specs

17:27 -- It's round and has a blue and white theme.

17:27 -- They roll out a sample.

17:26 -- They're creating a new game platform!

17:26 -- Level-5 has decided to take a new challenge!

17:26 -- This is the last one, says Hino.

17:26 -- Next, announcement 7...

17:25 -- The trailer comes to an end.

17:24 -- The trailer cuts to an animated scene of Shibuya. The game appears to take place in real life Tokyo.

17:24 -- Next, the Shinigami gets into a battle... but the footage cuts off before showing anything.

17:24 -- The girl goes about her daily business with the Shinigami behind her. One lady comments that something looks a bit odd with her.

17:23 -- Gameplay footage shows the Shinigami main character walking around town. The heroine says that she feels someone is watching her. The Shinigami runs up to her and enters her. He then appears floating behind and above her.

17:21 -- He then introduces a trailer for Ushiro, also for the PSP.

17:21 -- Hino asks, if you've ever felt a sudden presence behind you.

17:20 -- A creepy voice laughs from the back of the auditorium!

17:20 -- The stage goes black!

17:20 -- Next, Revolution 6 "Forbidden Theme"

17:19 -- The trailer ends, and Hino says he hopes the game reaches the boy's heart in all guys.

17:19 -- At the end of the clip, there's a scene hinting at a deeper story involving world domination and so-forth.

17:18 -- So, the battles actually take place in boxes... as in boxes that are set up on tables. The LBX units fight inside those boxes.

17:18 -- Then, the character moves around town as a party. He gets to a Model Shop, and someone challenges him to a box battle.

17:17 -- Gameplay footage shows the player customizing his LBX, from innards to body parts.

17:17 -- For the PSP!

(but you already knew that, didn't you)

17:16 -- There's an English subtitle for the game: "The Little Battlers."

17:15 -- A trailer introduces the LBX toy

17:15 -- He introduced Danbol Senki (roughly, Box War Machine)

17:15 -- Hino takes out a bunch of toy model boxes.

17:14 -- This time, joining the school girl from earlier is an office lady!

17:14 -- Next, another game, this one again a tie-up with OLM.

17:13 -- In addition to the Ghibli connection, the game will have music from Jou Hisaishi.

17:13 -- It's not a limited edition, but the standard version, says Hino

17:13 -- Hino shows the package... it comes in a giant box that contains the game and book... the book is full sized, like a hard cover.

17:12 -- The trailer comes to an end.

17:11 -- The spell opens up a door, presumably taking him to the parallel world of Ni no Kuni.

17:11 -- The trailer then cuts to an animated sequence of the main character casting a spell.

17:11 -- They show the stylus drawing patterns on the touch screen as guided by the book.

17:10 -- So smooth, such clarity in the visuals!

17:10 -- Wow... the gameplay footage looks amazing!

17:10 -- That adventure is guided by one book, the copy continues.

17:10 -- A dream RPG that is realized now, reads the catch copy.

17:10 -- Animation by Studio Ghibli!

17:09 -- It starts off with an animated sequence.

17:09 -- Now, a trailer for Ni no Kuni

17:09 -- He refers to the stylus as you magic wand (it's just large to show if off on the stage).

17:09 -- He gives the book to the girl, then takes out a giant arm-sized stylus!

17:08 -- He explains, the game they will introduce is a game where you make use of a book for playing.

17:08 -- WHAT COULD IT BE!?

17:08 -- Hino takes out a book, which he calls "Magic Master."

17:08 -- 1st, this schoolgirl comes out.

17:07 -- He says people are going to be shocked and has the first aid people ready with a stretcher!

17:07 -- And this comes to Revolution 4 -- "challenging a new type of game."

17:06 -- Three RPGs

17:06 -- 1st, Level 5's 10th anniversary projects

17:06 -- They move on to the next half of the presentation

17:06 -- No time for a bathroom break today!

17:06 -- But, the lady MC stops him!

17:06 -- He says they're going to take a break to let people go to the restroom

17:05 -- Part one of the program ends, says Hino.

17:05 -- Hino and Kageyama shake hands, and Kageyama leaves the stage.

17:04 -- Does this guy ever sleep?

17:04 -- So, apparently, Hino wrote the song himself.

17:03 -- Catchy stuff!

17:03 -- They performed Seishun Oden.

16:59 -- Hmm... there's only 9 of them.

16:59 -- They start a live performance.

16:58 -- Here come the girls of Twelv!

16:58 -- Those four are all due out by the end of the year.

16:58 -- 4. Professor Layton Original Soundtrack.

16:58 -- 3. T-Pistonz, a song from the new Inazuma Eleven

16:57 -- 2. Inazuma Eleven anime ending theme Seishin Oden, sung by Twelv (the "e" is apparently not supposed to be there).

Oh my... they're bringing out instruments!

16:56 -- They announce some products for the Frame label.

1. Inazuma Eleven Original Soundtrack.

16:55 -- Production is by Up-Front Works, sales are by King Records.

16:55 -- Following that, Up-Front and Level-5 discussed working on future products. This ended up in the birth of a new label, which they're announcing today, "Frame."

16:53 -- The tie-up with Up-Front began with the Inazuma Eleven theme song.

16:52 -- Up-Front deals with production, distribution and more of music and videos.

16:51 -- Up-Front Works' Kageyama Shigeki takes the stage.

16:50 -- They're showing a bunch of major recording stars, but I'm not sure who's going to actually be in the game, so I'll wait until they clear it up.

16:50 -- The game will have some big tie-ups with some major stars, it seems.

16:49 -- He's talking about the game and anime's opening and ending theme songs.

16:49 -- Next, another Inazuma Eleven project!

16:48 -- The story focuses on main character Mamoru going around trying to assemble the ultimate team in order to defeat the aliens, explains Hino.

16:47 -- Release set for 2009!

16:46 -- This time, the goal is to save the world!

16:46 -- They show some gameplay footage of the characters running around, then performing their super soccer moves on the battle field.

16:46 -- In order to protect the country, we must make the best team in the world, says a narrator's voice.

16:45 -- From the meteor emerges alien invaders! These are the members of the alien team mentioned in Famitsu, it seems.

16:45 -- First, a trailer.

It starts off with a meteor striking earth and destroying the school and soccer field.

16:44 -- Next, he moves on to Inazuma Eleven 2.

16:44 -- However, the footage looked like high level Wii fotage.

16:43 -- Just to make sure, the platform is officially listed as TBA.

16:43 -- He doesn't announce a platform, but it definitely looks like super high quality Wii footage.

16:43 -- The game is full 3D, wide screen. The gameplay has been redone so that it can be played without a touch pen.

16:42 -- He managed to get a tiny clip ready in time.

16:42 -- Next, he's introducing Inazuma Eleven Break!

16:42 -- Next, he mentions an Inazuma Eleven trading card game, which is set for 11/2008.

16:41 -- Hino says the game staff saw the anime in mid production and developed a feeling of danger, like they might get topped by it.

16:40 -- Good stuff! I'll be recording on Sunday morning.


16:38 -- He shares some footage from the anime, which is being made by OLM (the people who made the Pokemon anime movies).

16:37 -- First, he talks about the anime, which will begin on 10/5.

16:37 -- Hino speaks about Inazuma Eleven

16:37 -- "Major cross media title."

16:37 -- Next, Revolution 3

16:36 -- Hino says that they're considering a variety of Atamania games, although these are the only two that are ready to be announced.

16:35 -- The Matsushita artwork totally looks like a Famitsu cover.

16:35 -- (atama is Japanese for "head," as in use your head)

16:34 -- The commercials begin with with the catch phrase "Atamania."

16:34 -- The second game us played with the DS in book form.

16:34 -- Hino cuts to commercials for the two games.

16:34 -- Susumu Matsushita, the guy who does the Famitsu artwork, will be doing the package.

16:33 -- It will include over 1,500 problems split across four titles.

16:33 -- This one is based off a popular series called Atama no Taisou.

16:33 -- Next, the other game, Akira Tago's Brain Exercise Vol.1 Travel Around the World Solving Puzzles

16:32 -- It's the game that's being translated as "Sloane and McHale's Mysterious Story"

16:32 -- Oops... I got the game's name wrong.

16:32 -- The game uses puzzles from two westerners... I didn't get their name... One of them is Paul Something.

16:31 -- The game is based off "Lateral Thinking Puzzles."

16:29 -- He asks people to solve a puzzle from the game.

16:29 -- The series is called "Atamania"

16:29 -- New series, "Atama ni wo."

I think this is the title that's been translated as Akira Tago's Brain Exercise Vol.1 Travel Around the World Solving Puzzles on some English sites.

16:28 -- Now, Hino moves on to Revolution 2.

16:28 -- The one that was announced is still on the way, along with an original animated movie.

16:28 -- Next, he mentions the movie.

16:27 -- It will be available on 10/28 at Mobagetown (that's a huge mobile portal here in Japan).

16:27 -- This is an original story and will take the form of a serial title.

16:27 -- Layton Kyoujuu to Shikagami no Kan

16:27 -- One more mobile title.

16:26 -- It will feature the current mobile Layton title along with an original Ryuke Shonen no Nazo Book story.

16:26 -- 1. Professor Layton mobile.

iMode site for Layton will open on 10/6.

16:25 -- She asks him about new Layton titles, and Hino says...

16:25 -- I don't know who she is, but she's interviewing Hino from across the stage.

16:24 -- Ayako Kisa takes the stage.

16:23 -- Hino announces a pre-order bonus... a CD with songs from the game.

16:23 -- This is the very last Layton, in case you haven't figured it out.

16:21 -- Anyhow... here's a list of the star talent:

Maki Horikita as Ruke

You Ooizumi as Layton

Shiho Hashimoto as Bill Hawk

Yuko Ogura as Nazorinu

Tetsuya Yanagihara as Nazobi

Takaya Kamikawa as Demitri

Shun Oguri as Young Ruke

Yoshiyuki Hirai as Bostro

Akimasa Haraguchi as San-go

Yoshino Kimura as Sarias

16:20 -- Man... I don't know who any of these people are.

16:20 -- Here's a pic of Hino in case you forget what he looks like.

16:19 -- The trailer ends, and Hino announces the cast.

16:18 -- There you go... gameplay scenes. It looks like, well, Layton.

16:18 -- The trailer is all animation... amazing stuff as usual.

16:16 -- Now, a trailer of the game.

16:16 -- He moves on to the next entry in the Layton series.

16:15 -- The screen says "Revolution 1"

16:15 -- Now, he's moving on to the announcements.

16:15 -- For DQIX, he says the completion date is near.

16:14 -- He just gives a brief introduction... no videos or anything.

16:14 -- 2nd, Dragon Quest IX.

16:14 -- 1st, White Knight Story.

16:14 -- First, he's going to show two titles that were previously announced.

16:14 -- He says he has 7 big announcements.

16:13 -- The spotlight focuses on a couple of first aid specialists!

16:13 -- He jokes that some people may be so surprised that they'll get ill.

16:12 -- But, then he says that there will be new information as well!

16:12 -- Ooh... he admits that some of of the information got leaked early on the net.

16:12 -- He says he has a bunch of surprises today.

16:12 -- He greets everyone and begins a general introduction to Level-5.

16:11 -- That's Akihiro Hino, president of Level-5!

16:11 -- Mr. Hino takes the stage!

16:10 -- Dark Cloud, Rogue Galaxy, Dragon Quest VIII, etc...

16:10 -- The trailer is recapping all Level-5's old titles.

16:10 -- They're showing a trailer to begin with.

16:10 -- It's starting!

16:09 -- These guys need to take a lesson from Microsoft. They're playing elevator music. Microsoft plays hip-hop.

16:09 -- Nope... not yet.

16:08 -- Here we go!

16:08 -- Also also, they're warning people about taking pictures and videos of the screen, so no videos for you!

16:08 -- By the way, they have demo units outside for something. They're all DS units, so I presume it's going to be the next Layton game.

16:07 -- They're about to begin! WOOT!

16:06 -- Waiting for the conference to begin. They seem to be running a bit late. Here's what the event hall looks like.

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