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Level-5 Vision 2009 Live Blog

Akihiro Hino is in Tokyo again. Bring out the paramedics! As it happens coverage from the Professor Layton publisher's press conference.


Fukuoka-based publisher and developer Level-5 is back in Tokyo for its annual Level-5 Vision press conference. This year's event, imaginatively titled Level-5 Vision 2009, is being held today (August 25) in Ebisu's The Garden Hall in central Tokyo.

Different from past events, Level-5 is splitting the event into fan and press sections. The press will get a peak at what's new from the publisher from 12:30 to 15:00. This will be followed by an evening showing in which 555 members of the general public get their own sneak peak.

Last year's Level-5 Vision (see my live blog here) saw a number of unveilings, including Studio Ghibli tie-up Ni no Kuni: Another World, toy battle game Danbol Senki, an Inazuma Eleven console remake, the ROID mobile portal, and multiple new Layton games. Some were released, some are still on the way, and some have mysteriously disappeared.

This year's event, as detailed last month, promises a closer look at Ni no Kuni and Danbol Senki, and the announcement of at least three new titles.

Will the surprises be big enough to make CEO Akihiro Hino call in the paramedics again? Check the live blog below for as-it-happens coverage to find out!

And once the conference is over, turn your browser to the Level-5 Vision 2009 features page throughout the day for news, media and more!

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[live_blog_ended /]

15:27 -- Thanks for reading... check back on the features page for screenshots and more in a bit.

15:27 -- And with that, I'm going to finish the live blog!

15:27 -- Hino ends the conference by allowing people to listen to the Ni no Kuni theme song.

15:26 -- A final message from Hino!

15:25 -- It seems like the press conference is coming to an end...

15:25 -- The demo units they have set up outside the press conference feature the TGS demo disc.

15:24 -- I hope I get the video disc!

15:23 -- Yikes!

15:23 -- Visitors will get one at random!

15:23 -- They'll also distribute a video disc with a bunch of footage.

15:23 -- Level-5 will distribute a Level-5 Premium Platinum disc containing demos of Ni no Kuni, the new Layton, and Inazuma 2.

15:22 -- He's talking about Level-5's TGS plans.

15:22 -- Next, the final presentation.

15:22 -- He asks that people wait a bit more for details on these two.

15:21 -- Ushiro and Inazuma Eleven Break.

15:21 -- They're moving on to something else.

15:21 -- In Fantasy Life, you make an avatar and experience in-game life. You don't face off in battles -- which is presumably why it doesn't fit into the RPG genre.

15:19 -- Sorry... got the name wrong. It's Fantasy Life.

Life, not Live.

15:17 -- A release is set for 2010.

15:17 -- That's what the trailer describes the game as.

15:17 -- "A slow life RPG that everyone plays together."

15:17 -- They're showing a trailer.

15:17 -- Yep, Fantasy Live!

15:16 -- It's being developed by Brownie Brown and has music by Nobuo Uematsu.

15:16 -- Wait a minute... did I hear that right?

15:16 -- That's the name.

15:16 -- Fantasy Live.

15:16 -- The new game is something that doesn't quite fit into the RPG genre.

15:15 -- What could it be!?

15:14 -- Completely new game!

15:14 -- This is the final game announcement!

15:14 -- Next announcement!

15:14 -- The game still includes the book, BTW.

15:14 -- That's also the name of an item that the main character collects in the game, he says.

15:14 -- The name translates to "heart fragments."

15:14 -- It's called Kokoro no Kakera.

15:13 -- The song will be sung by Mai.

15:13 -- Now, ending theme information.

15:12 -- Hino promises the highest quality sound and visuals.

15:12 -- The game makes use of a 4 Gig cart.

15:11 -- Hino notes that the game's release date is actually a delay from the original 2009. He also jokes that the 10 year anniversary project has become an 11 year anniversary project.

15:11 -- Oh yeah!

Those demo units outside were for Ni no Kuni!

15:06 -- Now some interviews with the voice staff.

15:06 -- Hmm...

15:06 -- The end logo lists "2010 Spring," then below that, "For Nintendo DS and Another Platform."

15:06 -- Spring 2010 release.

15:05 -- The trailer lists the cast and voice actors.

15:05 -- Actually, there are some scenes in town where the camera seems to be a bit pulled in.

15:04 -- It's viewed overhead like an RPG though.

15:04 -- The game is in full 3D -- characters and world.

15:04 -- Wow... gameplay footage!

15:04 -- the trailer shows the included book being used to solve a puzzle, leading the main character into Another World.

15:03 -- The game has music performed by Tokyo Philharmonic... not sure if that was known before or not.

15:02 -- They're showing a trailer.

15:02 -- Bah... that's not an announcement Hino!

15:02 -- Level-5 and Studio Ghibli -- Ni no Kuni.

15:02 -- He says it's an amazing title.

15:01 -- What will it be?

15:01 -- Announcement time!

15:01 -- Next!

15:01 -- (it's 2,000 10,000 yen as the Japanese count).

15:01 -- I made a tiny error. The contest is called Game Contest 2000 -- the 2000 is not the year, but the prize money.

14:59 -- The winner will get 20 million yen and distribution on ROID.

14:59 -- (that's his short form, not mine).

14:59 -- Ge Con 2000!

14:59 -- Level-5 will be holding Game Contest 200 For Roid.

14:58 -- Hino recalls entering a development contest when he was a kid.

14:58 -- Now a new development for ROID.

14:58 -- Ni no Kuni Hotroid Stories.

This was announced a while back as well. There will be a demo at TGS in the DoCoMo booth.

14:57 -- One more!

14:57 -- Oops...

14:57 -- And that's it!

(for the ROID stuff).

14:57 -- This will be split into chapters. The first one hits winter 2009.

14:56 -- Next, Danbol Senki.

14:55 -- Set for Winter 2009 release.

14:55 -- Players actually fly around over the field.

14:55 -- Soccer has changed in one and a half centuries.

14:54 -- This was announced, I believe.

14:54 -- Inazuma Eleven Future. Set in 2140, in space.

14:54 -- Now he's introducing new titles for ROID.

14:50 -- I'm uploading a pic... do you see anyone you recognize?

14:50 -- They're going to have some guest characters appearing in the game.

14:48 -- This is the game where you make a hostess.

14:48 -- The top game for the service in terms of active users is Kyabajo P

14:48 -- There are 20 content providers and 31 available titles for the service.

14:47 -- There are currently 20,000 ROID members.

14:45 -- They're showing a video about how to use ROID.

14:45 -- It's about ROID.

14:44 -- Next announcement!

14:41 -- Mr. Keisuke Furusawa from Bandai takes the stage.

This is the Bandai guy they were talking about earlier.

14:40 -- The figure they showed earlier is an example of that.

14:40 -- Also, Bandai will be releasing a play model series.

14:39 -- He also announces full support by Coro Coro Comics for the game. What that backup is, he won't say just yet.

14:39 -- They're going to have a television anime series for the game, Hino announces.

14:39 -- The game won't come out until 2010, Hino announces.

14:37 -- Once again, tons of high quality animation in this trailer.

The in-game stuff looks intense too, as the mech models clash on 3D fields.

14:35 -- I believe CESA announced an English name for the game last week as part of its big TGS title announcement.

14:35 -- They're showing a trailer for Danbol Senki.

14:34 -- The reason he was talking about Gundam was because of the 1 to 1 Gundam model that's now in Odaiba. He was using that as a transition to a joke about the Danbol Senki mech.


14:34 -- Ahh... he's introducing Danbol Senki.

14:34 -- The model is actually just a tiny robot.

14:33 -- They're bringing out a one-to-one scale model of the new game's model.

14:31 -- He says, "I love robots, and I wanted to make a robot game at some point."

14:31 -- Hmm... Hino mentions Gundam for some reason.

14:31 -- Next announcement!

14:30 -- Release set for 2010.

14:30 -- Two detectives get strapped in the Mystery Room and have to solve mysteries.

14:29 -- Mystery Room is the first Atamania game that's not based off anything.

14:29 -- Really eye catching.

14:29 -- The art style is very interesting... it's like flat characters against real backgrounds.

14:28 -- The game's name is Mystery Room.

14:28 -- He's going to announce a brand new Atamania title.

14:27 -- These are due out on 10/8.

14:27 -- Also coming out are two more Atama Taisou games -- volumes 3 and 4.

14:27 -- The game is set for 9/3 release... I think that was announced before.

14:27 -- They're showing commercials for the sequel.

14:26 -- The new game.... is actually not new. Just Sloane 2.

14:26 -- The Atamania series has sold 290,000 total units in Japan.

14:25 -- A new Atamania game!

14:25 -- Next title!

14:25 -- Following the performance, Hino takes the stage and says he hopes Inazuma Eleven 2 sells a 800,000 to a million units.

That would be double the first one.

14:24 -- But you really have to hear it live while they dance around.

14:23 -- Good stuff!

14:21 -- This is apparently the first time they've ever performed on stage.

14:18 -- Oh great... more cute girls.

14:18 -- Berryz Koubou will be appearing on stage to perform the Fire ending song.

14:18 -- The game will have two opening and two ending themes. Why four? Fire and Blizzard will have their own songs!

14:17 -- Now, the opening and ending theme.

14:16 -- It's a tie-up with the McDonalds Nintendo Zone. You can take your DS with you to McDonalds and download especial skills and stuff.

14:16 -- He's going to announce one more big thing about Inazuma Eleven 2.

14:15 -- That's actually going to be used to take the game on a demo tour through Japan!

14:15 -- So, you know that Inazuma Eleven caravan bus that was outside the hall?

14:13 -- Hino announces that soccer player Hide Nakata will appear in Inazuma Eleven 2 as a character you can recruit. Getting him is tough though!

14:12 -- Hino notes the popularity of Inazuma Eleven. Part 2 is apparently the number one most wanted game by Coro Coro Comics readers.

14:11 -- The trailer comes to an end.

Nope... she's still there!

14:08 -- You can find lots of info on the game via the search box up above. I think my blogging tool will explode if I try to put in a link.

14:07 -- Now they're showing a trailer for Inazuma Eleven 2.

14:07 -- Hino is talking about the Inazuma franchise's great success.

14:06 -- It's Inazuma Eleven 2.

14:06 -- Scratch that.

14:06 -- It's more Layton!

14:06 -- Next announcement!

14:06 -- Hino takes back the stage.

14:05 -- He says he wants Layton to become the big winter movie -- like how Doraemon is the big Spring movie, Pokemon is the bug summer movie, and Conan is the big Golden Week movie.

14:03 -- He says TBS will back the movie with its full power this winter.

14:02 -- A Kazuya Hamana from TBS takes the stage to speak about the movie.

14:01 -- I'm not sure if this was known or not, but the movie has characters from the second trilogy, including ninja girl.

14:01 -- Man... I hope that lady leaves once the Layton segment is done.

14:00 -- The movie hits theaters here on 12/19.

14:00 -- Hino says Level-5 is putting its full effort into the anime.

13:58 -- They're showing a trailer for the Layton movie.

13:58 -- I think London Life was previously announced for ROID.

13:57 -- The game include a huge bonus, says Hino. Once you clear the main game, you'll unlock London Life, a Layton RPG. This was developed by Brownie Brown and Hino says it will run over 100 hours.

13:56 -- Yuko Ando will perform the theme song and appear in the game in character form. The song will debut at TGS.

13:55 -- Now Hino is announcing the ending song for the new Layton.

13:54 -- Remi... that's the name of the heroine I was talking about... the one with all the crazy moves.

13:53 -- They've got mega celebrities once again.

13:52 -- Now they're showing video footage of interviews with the Layton cast.

13:50 -- Total 5.58 million units for Layton sold worldwide so far, Hino says.

13:49 -- Hino is summarizing the game... he says it will have a very moving story.

13:48 -- The trailer ends.

The MC lady is out of breath.

13:47 -- The fourth Layton game is due out on 11/26.

13:47 -- Oh man! That heroine they introduced early on has some crazy moves! She beats up a couple of guys then leaps up to a roof.

Layton asks, "What's going on?"

13:46 -- This trailer is mostly animation.

It's like a movie trailer.

13:44 -- They're showing a trailer.

13:44 -- Hino says that they call this second trilogy of Layton titles "Layton Series Second Season."

13:44 -- Layton Kyouju no Majin no Fue -- this was announced before, of course.

13:43 -- But first, the latest Layton game.

13:43 -- They'll be showing a number of non-Layton titles.

13:42 -- Hino says...

13:42 -- This lady just won't shut up about how much she loves Layton.

13:41 -- He says there are about 700 people here today. Last year had just 400.

13:40 -- Hino takes the stage.

13:39 -- They'll be announcing new self published titles today.

13:39 -- Actually, just the company's self published titles... Layton, Inazuma, Atamania.

13:38 -- They're starting off with a clip recapping Level-5's past games.

13:38 -- It's some guy and some famous lady. The lady says she's a huge fan of Professor Layton.

13:37 -- The MC takes the stage.

13:37 -- But no mention of Ushiro :(

13:37 -- They mentioned all the games at the official invite.

13:37 -- Not actually a trailer... just a bunch of logos.

13:37 -- They're showing a trailer of all the titles they'll be showing.

13:36 -- Very nice, Level-5.

13:36 -- Blue floodlights fill the stage, creating a cloudlike illusion with all the smoke.

13:36 -- The lights go out...

13:35 -- It's really smokey!

13:35 -- Holy crap!

13:35 -- Uhhh....

13:35 -- There's smoke coming out from the stage.

13:34 -- I think it's about to start... they're closing all the doors.

13:27 -- Oh man!

I just found out I'm on the wrong side! I won't be able to get any good pics of Hino standing behind the podium!

13:26 -- Akihiro Hino has taken his position!!!

At least I think that's him waiting near the curtain.

13:15 -- The event will start in 15 minutes or so... be sure and check back!

13:15 -- Also, there's going to be a live musical number. This isn't surprising, as there was one last year too.

13:15 -- Some dude from Namco Bandai is going to be here... I didn't catch the name.

13:14 -- And they're explaining everything that's going to happen.

13:14 -- They're dong lighting tests right now.

13:03 -- "The conference will last one hour and forty minutes. Please remember to use the bathroom in advance." I swear they just announced that!

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