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Anime Roundtable Podcast

Wednesday, November 18/09


A knight in shining armor:

Japanese RPG fans are in for a real treat next year, with the release of White Knight Chronicles for the PlayStation 3. The Level 5 developed game has been available in Japan for close to a year now, and itís sales performance was very good overall. A sequel has already been announced in Japan, and in a few months time, fans here can judge wether this is yet another Level 5 title worth investing in.

The studio had its humble start developing Dark Cloud for Square Enix, an action RPG for the PlayStation 2. In the years following, they have produced a slew of highly critically acclaimed and successful games, chief among those, being the juggernaut title Dragon Quest VIII. Level 5ís creative prowess and attention to detail, are what make their games so enjoyable and immersing in experience.

FFOmake has put together 30 screenshots and 9 absolutely gorgeous background designs from White Knight Chronicles, to wet your appetite until the games release.

The PlayStation 3 game has a tentative release date of February 2010.


Screenshots:

White Knight Chronicles White Knight Chronicles White Knight Chronicles
White Knight Chronicles White Knight Chronicles White Knight Chronicles
White Knight Chronicles White Knight Chronicles White Knight Chronicles
White Knight Chronicles White Knight Chronicles White Knight Chronicles
White Knight Chronicles White Knight Chronicles White Knight Chronicles
White Knight Chronicles White Knight Chronicles White Knight Chronicles
White Knight Chronicles White Knight Chronicles White Knight Chronicles
White Knight Chronicles White Knight Chronicles White Knight Chronicles
White Knight Chronicles White Knight Chronicles White Knight Chronicles
White Knight Chronicles White Knight Chronicles White Knight Chronicles

Concept Designs:


White Knight Chronicles White Knight Chronicles White Knight Chronicles
White Knight Chronicles White Knight Chronicles White Knight Chronicles
White Knight Chronicles White Knight Chronicles White Knight Chronicles




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Saturday, December 22/07


Gamers see triplets with newest Final Fantasy entry:

At E3 2006, Square Enix announced the multi-platform project, Final Fantasy XIII: FABULA NOVA CRYSTALLIS, which in Latin, translates to, ďthe new tale of the crystal.Ē The company went into detail and explained that this project would in fact encompass multiple video game titles released on different gaming platforms. So far, three games have been officially announced; two for the PlayStation 3 and one for mobile phones. All three games will feature different characters and settings, but will all be encompassed within the Final Fantasy XIII: FABULA NOVA CRYSTALLIS universe. Over the past year and a half, a couple of teaser trailers have been released for the two PlayStation 3 titles, which fans have obviously been salivating over. A couple of new extended trailers have recently been leaked into the online community and, well what more can I say, just keep reading and you may be rewarded.


All I want for CHRISTMAS......

is for Final Fantasy XIII to come out sooner than later! By next week would be nice, is that too much to ask for? This is obviously wishful thinking on my part and probably on the part of fans out there in general, who just canít wait to see this title, or should I say titles (since three games have been officially announced as part of Final Fantasy XIII: FABULA NOVA CRYSTALLIS project), released onto retail shelves. Looking back at the fabled history of mega video game company, Square Enix, they like to take their sweet time when they are developing a new game, and who can blame them, quality over quantity is a tried and tested ideal. Square Enix in my eyes, are the Studio Ghibli of the video game industry when it comes to the Final Fantasy franchise, which celebrated its 20th anniversary this year. Just look at the number of years between releases of the different Final Fantasy titles and you will understand how much effort, time and money Square Enix invests into these games, and they have been rewarded in spades. The success of the Final Fantasy series over the years, has made it one of the most successful franchises in gaming history. When you take that into consideration, itís not so bad waiting a few years between Final Fantasy releases.

With the development of three simultaneous titles for the Final Fantasy XIII: FABULA NOVA CRYSTALLIS project well underway, Square Enix has released tidbits of multimedia content to promote these titles. Two new extended trailers for both PlayStation 3 titles have recently surfaced online, and they are impossibly mind boggling, just see for yourselves. Square Enix has yet to announce a release date for any of the three games, and to date, there is still very little information available on the mobile phone title, FINAL FANTASY Agito XIII.


Warning! The following trailers may consume a considerable amount of your personal time, which may lead to negligence of your daily social needs, such as going to school or getting to work on time. Please view these trailers only once. By not obliging to this, it may lead to repeated viewings which may cause temporary or permanent damage to oneís mental state. Proceed with extreme caution.


Final Fantasy XIII - Extended Trailer

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Final Fantasy Versus XIII - Extended Trailer

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Source: Square Enix


Tuesday, July 31/07

2D Fighter Gaming Bliss:

Melty Blood is 2D-based fighter that has become a veritable video game franchise in Japan over the past few years. The game is based off the Tsukihime (Moon Princess) universe which was created by then doujin (fan) group, Type-Moon. In 2000, Type-Moon released a visual novel style PC game based on the Tsukihime world. The popularity of this game, lead to it being animated into a 12 episode TV series in 2003 by J.C. Staff.

The first original Melty Blood game was co-developed by Type-Moon and French-Bread (formerly known as Watanabe Seisakujo), and was released for the PC in December 2002. In May 2004, an expansion disc was released, titled Melty Blood Re-Act. The expansion pack added things like extra characters and mini-stories. Melty Blood Re-Act Final Tuned was released in July 2005, and was the second and final expansion disc for the original PC version.

Melty Blood: Act Cadenza, is an Arcade port of the original PC version by Ecole Software, who converted the game to the NAOMI (New Arcade Operation Machine Idea) system. The Arcade variant featured additions like new characters and tweaked game-play. In August 2006, a PlayStation 2 port of Melty Blood: Act Cadenza was released. The console version was actually not a direct port, since changes were made to the game. The fighting series would shift gears once again, with the release of Melty Blood: Act Cadenza Ver.B, which is an Arcade port of the PlayStation 2 version. A version B2 was also later released in Arcades, which fixed game glitches and obviously added some new game-play elements as well.

Melty Blood: Act Cadenza Ver.B The latest incarnation of this popular 2D fighting game, is Melty Blood: Act Cadenza Ver.B, which is actually a PC port of the Arcade version B2. This latest version will offer fans some new and cool game-play features like Tag-Team mode. Melty Blood: Act Cadenza Ver.B for the PC was released in Japan on July 25. A Limited Edition version of the game is also available, and is packaged with a premium Original Soundtrack CD. So for all you collectors out there, who might be interested, you better get a move on. Because since I last checked, a lot of online retailers are selling out on their stock of first press editions of Melty Blood: Act Cadenza Ver.B.

For a closer look at Melty Blood: Act Cadenza Ver.B, please take a look at the Multimedia content below.

- A-run

Screenshots and In-Game Video:

Melty Blood Melty Blood Melty Blood

Melty Blood Melty Blood Melty Blood

Melty Blood Melty Blood Melty Blood

Akiha VS Hisui

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Melty Blood Melty Blood Melty Blood

Melty Blood Melty Blood Melty Blood

Melty Blood Melty Blood Melty Blood

Melty Blood Melty Blood Melty Blood

Neco-Arc VS Aozaki

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Melty Blood PVC Figures:

MegaHouse is really one of the most unique Toy companies from Japan. They make a vast array of Toy related products, ranging from high quality PVC figures to simple but well designed key chains. The company has also invested a lot of money into original character lines that have spawned a plethora of related merchandise. One of their better known character lines is Panda Z, which is a spoof of the 1970ís Super-robot anime character Mazinger Z. About four years ago, I bought a Panda Z PVC figure by Megahouse, which was humorously named Pan-Taron.

Megahouse also worked on a line of PVC figures based off the Melty Blood video game franchise. The images below were provided to us by Anime Gamers USA, and showcase the characters Arcueid and Hisui, which made up the Series 1 line of Melty Blood PVC figures by Megahouse. In just a couple of months from now, Megahouse is releasing a Series 2 line of PVC figures, which will feature two more characters from the video game, Ciel and Sion. Anime Gamers USA has both series 1 figures for sale on their online store, so please check out their website if you are interested.

MELTY BLOOD ARCUEID PVC FIGURE MELTY BLOOD HISUI PVC FIGURE


Buy Melty Blood: Act Cadenza Ver.B from:


Official Website: Japanese
Publisher: Ecole Software
Popular Fansite: The Moonlit World

Original Game Concept/Development:
Type-Moon Official Website French-Bread Official Website


Wednesday, July 11/07

Vanillaware unveils its masterpiece:

Atlusís Odin Sphere has been getting a lot of buzz recently, since its release on May 22 for the PlayStation 2, and deservedly so. Reviews in recent weeks for the game, have been nothing but spectacular. Dave Halverson, Editor in chief of Play Magazine, went as far as giving the game a perfect score of 10 in his review. I could not agree more with Dave, because Odin Sphere is truly a rare gem of a game. Vanillaware, the company responsible for developing the title, took various tried and tested RPG elements and fused them together, creating one of the most uniquely original and insanely addictive RPGís in recent memory.

Spotlight on Odin Sphere:

Set in the mythical world of Erion, Odin Sphere is an action based RPG that centers on the story of five different characters, whose destinies inexplicably become intertwined. With an epic story full of unpredictable twists and turns, exquisitely crafted by the gameís developer, Vanillaware, and accompanied by a stellar musical score by veteran composer Hitoshi Sakimoto (Vagrant Story, Final Fantasy XII), Odin Sphere, although released on the tail end of the PlayStation 2ís life span, could quite possibly go down as one the best RPGís to ever be released on the console. What is even more impressive than the game itself is the fact that Atlus released the title in North America on May 22, only a mere five days after the Japanese release. The game is also dual language, which is great, because it gives players the option of listening to the dialogue in either Japanese or English. Although I personally recommend the English language track, not only because it is superbly acted, but it also happens to feature anime voice over regulars like Michelle Ruff, Wendee Lee and Derek Stephen Prince.

We have put together an Odin Sphere media blitz, so to speak. Below you will find numerous screenshots from the game, the original Japanese trailer and info about some other nice tidbits related to the RPG. Be forewarned about Odin Sphere though, it is a very challenging game, which has an insane learning curve that can be downright frustrating at times. But if you can get past this, it is truly one of the most rewarding games that you will ever lay your hands on. And for those who are hardcore fans of console RPGís in general, picking up this game is a real no brainier. Pleasant gaming to you all!

- A-run

Screenshots:

Odin Sphere Odin Sphere Odin Sphere

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Odin Sphere Odin Sphere Odin Sphere

Odin Sphere Odin Sphere Odin Sphere

Odin Sphere Odin Sphere Odin Sphere

Japanese Trailer:

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Premium Art Book:

Odin Sphere Art Works The Japanese release of Odin Sphere came with a very limited and cool bonus item, for those who pre-ordered the game. Titled Odin Sphere Art Works, the pre-order premium was a 64 page full color illustration guide. It included detailed conceptual and final art work used in Odin Sphere, as well as in depth text descriptions of the fantastical world of Erion, the universe in which the game is set in. Unfortunately, Odin Sphere Art Works, was only available as a pre-order item in Japan, so domestically it is not something you will find on our shores. Although, I was browsing eBay the other day, and found a seller in Japan who was auctioning off Odin Sphere Art Works for a fairly reasonable price. So please check eBay if you are interested.

Odin Sphere Odin Sphere

Odin Sphere Odin Sphere


Original Illustrations:

Gwendolyn Velvet Mercedes

Oswald Cornelius


Odin Sphere available at:


Official Website: Japanese, English
Developer: Vanillaware
Publisher: Atlus


Friday, May 4/07

Consoles are expensive these days:

Xbox 360 With 3 new video game consoles available on the market, the average gamer will most likely be able to afford only 1 of these new pieces of hardware. The fact of the matter is that new gaming systems carry hefty price tags. And the video game industry has grown to a point where you need some pretty big coin if you want to keep up the latest releases. So seriously, what is a gamer supposed to do? How do you decide which new console to purchase? The truth is that the PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii and Xbox 360 are all great systems with unique features for gamers to choose from. The Xbox 360 had a huge advantage though, because it was released almost a year before the other 2 new consoles. Microsoft strategically made this move so the company could get a head start in the next generation console war. And a new announcement from the Microsoft camp is guaranteed to add a little more fuel to the fire.

360 Degrees: The New 360
Microsoft is gearing up for the highly anticipated Xbox 360 Elite. This beefed up version of the Xbox 360 will definitely tickle some people the right way, while annoying the hell out of others who shelled out some serious cash for the original console.


Tuesday, May 1/07

Warrantees 4 sale:

Itís fair to say that a lot of gamers out there probably donít buy a warrantee when their purchasing any kind of video game hardware. I know I donít because I buy all my gaming related products at small mom and pops store that donít offer warrantees. But the truth is that the selling of warrantees with game related hardware has become its own market. If you have ever been to an EB Games store, you might understand what Iím talking about. A lot of times when you are at these stores it seems that the sales associate is more interested in pushing the warrantee on you than actually trying to sell you the console itself. Oh, I wonder why? Anyone ever heard of a little term called commission.

360 Degrees: EB Warranty Woes
EB Games makes some drastic changes to it warrantee policy that will have a lot of gamers scratching their heads in disbelief. Like they say, all good things must come to an end.


Thursday, April 19/07

Still one of the best video games on the market:

The first Grand Theft Auto (GTA) Game was released back in 1998 for the PC. The series started off as a computer game, but it has garnered most of its popularity in the console world. Developer Rockstar North (formerly known as DMA Design) has made GTA into one of the most popular and lucrative gaming franchises out there. Anyone who has played any of the GTA games knows how controversial they are. In the game you play a hardened criminal who steals cars, deals drugs, sleeps with prostitutes and kills people. Considering the explicit and suggestive content of the games, naturally there has been a strong reaction to those who oppose the fact that a game of this nature is so readily available. But like they say controversy sells, which means that Rockstar North has been laughing all the way to the bank for quite a few years now.

GTA4 trailer, enough said:

The official GTA4 trailer has been released. The trailer is more of a teaser no doubt, but shows impressive visuals of a city on the move. Many have thought the setting of the fourth installment in the series is New York, but city officials have been quick to point out that the similarities are coincidental and they do not support this claim.


Teaser Trailer: GTA4


Sunday, April 8/07

Portable gaming can be expensive:

There is no question that Sonyís PlayStation Portable is the most graphically powerful handheld device on the gaming market. But that being the case, Sony had to slap on a pretty hefty price tag onto it when it was released. This unfortunately upset a lot of gamers, who were not disappointed with the quality of the PSP itself. Gamers simply had an issue with the initial price of the PSP, which was very pricey for a portably gaming device. There were droves of gaming fans that wanted to own a PSP, but simply could not afford one. Well Sony has recently made an announcement that should please any portable gaming fan out there.

A most welcomed price drop:

Sony recently celebrated the second year of the PlayStation Portable. And as a birthday present has lowered the price of the core package. The original price of Sonyís lower end package was $199.99 US and now it is retailing for $169.99 US. The Core Pack comes with the minimal hardware to turn your PSP on (PSP unit, AC charger, and Battery).


Sony PSP: Official Website


Saturday, March 31/07

The evolution of fighting games:

When any gamer thinks of fighting games, the first one to probably come to mind is the Street Fighter series. When the first game in the franchise was released in Japanese arcades back in 1987, it literally took the gaming industry by storm. There is no argument; Street Fighter is the best 2D fighting game that has ever been released. But as is the case with anything, change is inevitable. And fighting games evolved into another species so to speak, in 1993. That was the year that Sega released Virtua Fighter. It was the first ever 3D fighting game. And just like Street Fighter when it was released, Virtua Fighter had a huge impact on the fighting game genre.

PlayStation 3: Virtua Fighter 5
The fifth installment in the series offers fans new and improved game play elements. And visually the game is a sight to behold. This one is pure eye candy folks.


Saturday, March 24/07

A video game series the has lasted the test of time:

Final Fantasy is arguably the best video game franchise to ever grace console gaming. The series longevity is a testament to the creativity and dedication of its creators, Sqaure-Enix; formerly known as Square before a merger a few years ago. The most appealing aspect of the Final Fantasy universe is the fact that it evolves and changes with each new game in the series. So instead of just recycling ideas from previous games, the creators at Square-Enix challenge themselves by coming up with new and unique storylines and game mechanisms for fans to indulge in. Anyone who has ever played an FF title knows how engrossing these games can be.

Portable Gaming: Final Fantasy III
The last game in this beloved franchise to elude a North American release finally touches down on our shores. The fan boy in me is screaming with joy right nowÖ.lol


Monday, February 12/07

Wii News Channel officially launches:

Nintendo has officially launched its free headline news service, dubbed the News Channel. You can use it to keep up to date with local news and world events. It is the third free channel available from the big N. The others being the weather channel, which allows you to view the weather in your area (or anywhere in the world for that matter). And the internet channel which lets you surf the web from the comfort of your couch. Itís good to see that Nintendo understands customer appreciation. Free services are something that is so rare in the world today. With the Wiiís price tag, right out of the box you are getting quite a package. The only thing missing is an online gaming title. Check out the link I have provided to see a demo of the Wii news channel in action. Its pretty amazing, you have to see it for yourself.


Wii News Channel: Demo Video





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