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This Week's Epoch Flying Get: SDF Style

New details on The 3rd Birthday! Plus, Monster Hunter Portable 3rd meets Conan?

 

This week's issue of F Style Flying Get is labeled "Epoch" because it's possible all the stuff from Imageepoch's JRPG redefining press conference, which is being held at 13:30 today, will leak out in advance.

Also, instead of "F Style," it's "SDF Style" because in addition to Famitsu stuff it has some Dengeki and Weekly Shounen Sunday stuff that I didn't get around to writing in the mini D Style Flying Get from earlier in the week. Apologies to fans of Macross and the Japanese military.

Check back throughout the day for updates!

NOTE: The reports you read below are in most cases based off Japanese message board and blog postings and have, in general, not been verified.

ADDED 13:07

High Marks For Tales of Graces F

The PS3 version of Tales of Graces F has received some favorable ratings. Famitsu scored it 10, 9, 9, and 9. Dengeki PlayStation scored it 85, 85, 90, and 80.

Dengeki Games scored the game 95, 90, 95 and 90, although I believe these are ratings for graphics, sound, gameplay and story/characters. Here's the catch: I don't know the order.

As detailed here yesterday, Dengeki PlayStation said the following:

  • There's hardly any loading
  • There's way more volume compared to the Wii version. The game is full of extra "yarikomi" stuff for players to sink their teeth into.
  • You can skip event scenes (wait... you couldn't do this in the Wii version?)
  • The battle system is "excellent." If you let your guard down, even the minor enemies can pose a threat.

The game will apparently take over 60 hours to clear. This includes the new PS3 after story.

Tales of Graces F would score big even if it didn't have a curry tie-up!

Phantasy Star Portable 2 Infinity Demo

We're going to have to wait just a bit for a Phantasy Star Portable 2 Infinity demo. Dengeki Games reports that a demo is due after the start of the new year, in January.

Similar to the PSP2 demo, it looks like we can expect a good amount of content. The demo will include the first two episodes and will allow you to raise your player to level 100 and your weapon to level 20. There may also be infrastructure support.

The 3rd Birthday and Ni no Kuni: First Reviews

Dengeki Games has the first reviews for two of December's biggest titles: The 3rd Birthday and Ni no Kuni.

The magazine awarded The 3rd Birthday 90 in graphics, 90 in sound, 85 in gameplay and 85 in story/characters.

Ni no Kuni, Level-5's long awaited Studio Ghibli tie-up, scored 85, 80, 80 and 100. I'm not sure which score corresponds to graphics, sound, gameplay and story/characters, but I wouldn't be surprised if the characters got the 100!

Soon!

ADDED 12:22

Imageepoch Details

Finally, we've got some details on Imageepoch's new lineup.

Black Rock Shooter The Game is being directed by Kazuya Niinou and has a scenario by Kazushige Nojima. The game is set in 2051 following an alien invasion that wiped out pretty much all of humans -- except for the 12 people who rise up and strike back against the attackers! The game is said to combine RPG, STG and TPS genres. A PSP release is set for summer at ¥6,279.

Story of The Last Promise is a PSP game with highly strategic command-based battles. It's being produced by Yosuke Uda, and will have character designs by Chinatsu Kuramoto and music by GainGauge. CEO Ryoei Mikage is listed as Executive Producer. A release is set for 4/28 at ¥6,279.

(Imageepoch's first two PSP games both have premium pricing!)

Famitsu also has a first look at Imageepoch's first HD title, Chevalier Saga Tactics. For details on this downloadable PS3 game, see this story.

ADDED 11:43

Monster Hunter Portable 3rd Almost Perfect

Yet another game has gotten that almost perfect score from Famitsu. Monster Hunter Portable 3rd, likely to be this year's biggest release, scored three 10s and a 9 in the magazine.

Just one week until four million people suddenly develop a fever.

The person who gave the game a 9 complained that the controls can be too complicated.

Strong points mentioned in the four reviews:

  • In terms of volume, the game does not go half way.
  • The newly added elements increase the breadth of play.
  • The single player mode has become more enjoyable because of the improved Felyne system.
  • Almost all features have been made more user friendly.
  • The game has lots of player communication features like the onsen component.
  • For fans, the game will deliver a hunting experience that exceeds expectations.

MHP 3rd looks like it's the big game this issue, as the magazine has a 17 page feature. Included in the feature is an interview with 14 members of the development staff!

One Tiny Black Rock Shooter Detail

Full details on Black Rock Shooter, one of Imagepoch's big JRPG announcements, haven't leaked out yet, but it does look like the game is due for Summer PSP release at ¥6,279.

Imageepoch opened a teaser site for the game last week, so take a look while you wait for the press conference (which starts at 14:00).

More Tales of Graces F Costumes

Jump has a look at the latest Tales of Graces F costumes. The theme is "school" this time, with everyone getting school outfits. Malik has a "Sexy Teacher" outfit. Cheria has a "School Madonna" outfit. The names all have Japanese descriptions that I'm not sure how to translate into English off hand, so if you know your Japanese school archetypes, have a blast:

  • Aspel: イマドキ高校生
  • Sophie: 中等部のマスコット
  • Cheria: 学園のマドンナ
  • Richard: セレブ坊ちゃま
  • Hubert: おつかれ風紀委員
  • Malik: セクシー教師
  • Pascal: お騒がせな先輩

Jump also shows the Idolmaster costumes, which are returning from the Wii version.

The Idolmaster outfits in the Wii version.

ADDED 9:23

Black Rock Shooter is for PSP

First details on what Imageepoch will be announcing at today's press conference have leaked out of Famitsu. The big games appear to be Black Rock Shooter The Game (PSP) and Saigo no Yakusoku no Monogatari ("Story of the Last Promise," PSP).

Of these, Black Rock Shooter was officially announced when Imageepoch detailed the press conference last week. Saigo no Yakusoku no Monogatari has been rumored since earlier this week.

Imageepoch says it will be showing a total of 8 games, including possibly PC, mobile and social games.

The only other new mention in Famitsu's table of contents is Chevalier Saga Tactics, a PS3 game. This is far in the back of the magazine, so it does not appear to be part of the Imageepoch announcement.

ADDED 5:46 (in the am!)

Tabata Discusses The 3rd Birthday

Dengeki has a big feature on The 3rd Birthday this week, complete with an interview with Director Hajime Tabata. The usual source for Dengeki leaks has a detailed summary.

The coverage appears to be similar to Famitsu's feature from last week (full report here CLICK!), but there are a few additional details.

On difficulty, Tabata revealed that the game's difficulty is being set to make you feel like you're actually facing off against an enemy, as from the initial phases the concept of the game was of a killing match where if you don't kill you'll be killed.

In terms of difficulty settings, the game has easy, normal and hard, along with the "deadly" mode that was in Parasite Eve 2. Tabata recommends easy for those who want to see the story, normal for those who don't mind a challenge, and hard for those who are truly confident in their skills. Even easy mode has been adjusted to keep the game feel and concept in place, so it's a bit more difficult than just allowing you to breeze through.

Regarding the game's costume system, Tabata revealed that the game has three levels of damage (I'm not sure if this includes the "no damage" level). The recently revealed Knight Armor is strong when undamaged, but when it reaches level one damage it suddenly becomes weak.

It was previously revealed that the clothing will have unique voice styles associated with them. Based off the interview summary, it seems like you'll actually be able to choose between Aya's normal voice or the special voice. Tabata says that Lightning's costume and special voice must be experienced because they fit together so perfectly.

The Over Energy system.

On the recently revealed Over Energy System, Tabata says that as your Over Energy gets stronger and stronger, the game will become like a totally different game. When you begin play, the focus will be on weapon use. However, as the Over Energy is strengthened, you'll gain access to more special abilities, and the focus will be more on action.

I'm not sure about this, but it seems the Over Energy component of the game will carry over into your future play sessions. That is, after clearing the game, you'll be able to continue with Aya having the more powerful DNA that you built up in previous sessions. I may be reading this wrong, though, so I'd suggest waiting for confirmation.

In addition to Aya getting more powerful through Over Energy, the game's weapons can also be strengthened. You'll be able to unlock weapons for purchase once you've dived into a soldier that uses the weapon. After purchasing the weapon, the weapon's level will rise as you play. There may be a custom parts component to the weapon system as well.

Monster Hunter Portable 3rd's Conan Crossover

Not THAT Conan. Capcom is teaming up Monster Hunter Portable 3rd with Meitantei Conan, which Wikipedia tells me is known as Case Closed in English.

A slightly shady images has leaked out from Weekly Shounen Sunday showing a Felyne dressed up like Conan. It's from a preview of the magazine's next issue, so I'll include the image:

The little blurb promises details in the next issue.

My Cute Little Sister Can't Possibly Be Coming to iPhone!

Your first look at the cute sister in Namco Bandai's PSP adaptation of the "My Little Sister Can't Possibly Be This Cute" light novel could actually come on your iPhone. Dengeki reports this week that a free My Little Sister Can't Possibly Be This Cute iPhone app will be released ahead of the PSP game (which arrives opposite Valkyria Chronicles 3 on January 27).

The iPhone app will demonstrate the game's OIU interactive conversation system (OIU is short for the Japanese equivalent of "My Sister Can Possibly Move Like This"). Kirino, the cute little sister of the title, will react to your taps and flicks using the advanced Live2D animation system.

Dengeki also provides some gameplay details this week on the PSP version's "if Scenarios." Clear certain conditions, and the game will split off into "if scenarios," which lead to different developments from the original light novel.

Here's a promotional video showing the game's limited edition which includes a separate game that I believe lets you make a bunch of other girls into your little sister.

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