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This Week's Puchifami

Naruto, Digimon, Arabs, and love. And only one non-game! The games that weren't big enough for a full page in Famitsu.

 

Every issue of Famitsu has a section far in the back covering upcoming games in bite sized previews. Apparently, these games are important enough for space in Japan's biggest game magazine, but not important enough to get a full page feature.

In this column, which debuted months ago but only saw one installment before I got lazy, I will detail these games. I call the column Puchifami because Puchi is Japanese for small and Fami is short for Famitsu.

Leading the way in irrelevance this week is Colombia Music Entertainment's Kireizukin Seikatsu. Kireizukin is a character from San-X. When Maa, a lazy bear who spends half the day resting on the floor, covers his head in a red and white pokadot hood, he becomes Kireizukin, a bear who loves to clean. In the game, you'll get to take control of Kireizukin and clean up a mysterious mansion. As you clean, you'll collect items which will help reveal the secrets of the mansion.

Next up is a game that Namco Bandai had the balls to give its own countdown reveal. Guess Famitsu's readers don't care much for Digimon Story Lost Evolution, as the magazine's first look at the game is in puchi form! Maybe this is a case of Famireta -- Famitsu Retaliation -- for the game debuting in Jump instead of Famitsu. This is just a theory, but I think Famitsu uses this tactic to punish games that are debuted in other publications.

Lost Evolution is an RPG that's set in a world where Digimon have lost the ability to evolve. Your goal is to return the lost evolution by exploring dungeons surrounding your town, fighting enemies, and teaming up with Digimon creatures. You get back the lost evolution by restoring an Evolution Tree. To restore the tree, you make use of Bug Blades that you encounter along your adventure and fix using a process known as Repairing.

Too many key words.

Next, another major name. This one probably wouldn't be puchi status if the franchise hadn't been milked so much. As announced in the build up to Jump Festa, DS is getting a new Naruto game from Takara Tomy. Titled Naruto Shipuuden Ninjutsu Zenkai! Chaclash, this latest 2D action adaptation offers four player simultaneous play across a variety of stages. The game features a new system that lets you build up your character's chakra for special attacks. This apparently contributes to the strategy.

PSP owners have a couple of love sims to look forward to for on-the-go loving. Both are ports. Love is rarely original on the PSP.

First, something school-based. PS2's My Merry May and My Merry Maybe were combined in one for 2005's "My Merry May with be." A PSP version is due out in March. In addition to both main stories, the combo pack includes a bridge story that connects the two. You can see a bunch of pics of the PSP version here.

From Idea Factory comes Soukoku no Kusabi: Hiiro no Kakera 3 Portable, also a port of a PS2 title. This one is getting a number of new features for the PSP, including new mini games and voices.

Shot from the PS2 version.

Love isn't limited to PSP, though. PS2 owners can look forward to Desert Kingdom from Idea Factory. That's "Desert" as in the land form. This girls-oriented love sim has an Arabian taste. You play as Asubashia, princess in a kingdom that has lost its magic powers. These powers can apparently fulfill the wishes of people. Your goal is to restore the magic power, apparently by deepening your relationship with a set of hot guys and fulfilling their secret desires.

I couldn't find any screens of Desert Love, so here are some screens of Arabians Lost, the last Arab love sim.

Look! Arabians!

Next up, multiplatform Puchi Fami! Konami will be bringing GTi Club to the PSP and Wii in GTi Club World City Race. Based off the 2008 arcade GTi Club game, players experience different forms of driving, including races through traffic, a coin collecting mini game through the streets of a large city, and vehicular soccer with a giant soccer ball. The PSP version will be download-only.

Also on Wii, Nectaris Military Madness's will be seeing Japanese release. The WiiWare version of a game that already saw release on PS3 and Xbox 360 is currently without a final release date.

Arc System Works, maker of Guilty Gear, is doing winter sports on the PlayStation 3. Winter Sports 2010 Great Tournament includes eight winter sports, playable online by up to four. Events include bobsled, short track, free ride ski, ski jump, figure skate, down hill ski, biicelon, and snowboard cross. Additionally, the game has a mode that lets you build up your very own customized athlete. See the official site for movies.

Finally, one non-game in this week's issue. Are you interested in using your DS to learn European languages? Are you not aware that there are already numerous titles that allow this? Then you may be interested in Gakken's Europe Four Country Sanmai DS, a collection of language trainers for French, German, Italian and Spanish. The focus here is on pronunciation.

To recap, here are this week's Puchifami games and their release information:

  • Kirei Zukin Seikatsu (Colombia Music Entertainment, DS): Spring 2010, ¥5040
  • Digimon Story Lost Evolution (Namco Bandai, DS): 2010
  • Naruto Shipuuden Ninjutsu Zenkai! Chakrush (Takara Tomy, DS): Spring 2010, ¥5040
  • My Merry May with be (Cyber Front, PSP): March 25, ¥5040
  • Soukoku no Kusabi: Hiiro no Kakera 3 Portable (Idea Factory, PSP): April 2010, ¥5040
  • GTi Club World City Race (Konami, PSP/Wii): February 25
  • Nectaris (Hudson, Wii): TBA
  • Winter Sports 2010 Great Tournament (Arc System Works, PS3): February 10, ¥5460
  • Desert Kingdom (Idea Factory, PS2): May, ¥7,140
  • Gakken Europe Four Country Sanmai DS (Gakken, DS): March 11, ¥3,990

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