Archive for Video Games

iPhone App Review: Fullmetal Alchemist State Alchemy Exam

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

Well, since the entire world has been abuzz over the recent announcement of Apple’s new iPad yesterday (which, by the way, I am totally buying as soon as it comes out). I decided to finally sit down with the latest official anime iPhone app and put it through its paces. After all, this app will also be available on the iPad in a few months.

The Fullmetal Alchemist State Alchemy Exam (iTunes link) is the second anime franchise coming to the iPhone from Japanese developer Appliya. A year ago, they released a series of novelty Evangelion apps, such as a clock and sticker app I was able reviewed on this blog last February. Now Appliya has partnered with FUNimation Entertainment to bring a number of the company’s top properties to the interactive small screen, and the first one up to bat is the very popular FMA franchise.

The State Alchemy Exam is essentially a trivia game that combines questions about the first FMA anime series (“What is the last name of Edward and Alphonse?”) with questions about Physics (“What is the process of changing a liquid into a gas?”) and Chemistry (“The bubbles in soda are caused by what gas?”). You begin at the easy level and when you can answer all 10 out of 10 questions correctly, you can move on to a more difficult level.
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Video Game Review: Lux-Pain for Nintendo DS

Friday, April 10th, 2009

I love visual novel games. It’s an unique genre that is hugely popular in Japan yet is only known in America by otaku. It’s probably because of this cultural oddity that I find myself fascinated with the genre. Since learning Japanese, I would occasionally import a game and play through them in their native language. Just recently, I’ve been playing The Idolmaster SP import on my PSP system. In college, I gave my final presentation in Japanese pop-culture studies about this genre of video game. I even wrote an essay about the Phoenix Wright series and its impact on American otaku culture on this blog a year ago.

We very rarely see visual novels translated into English and released into the US, so when one does come around, I usually play through it with a lot of praise and fanfare. So when I was offered a review copy of Ignition’s American release of the Nintendo DS game Lux-Pain, I gave them quite an enthusiastic “yes!” at the opportunity.

Lux-Pain puts you in the position of a paranormal investigator in search of the truth behind a series of unexplainable murders and suicides in the quiet Kisaragi City. Your special weapon, Sigma, is the ability to erase through the physical world and uncover the Silent, little psychic worms of tragedy and despair. Going undercover as a typical high school student, you search around the city for these worms left around the crime scenes or buried in the psyche of your friends and classmates.

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Review: Blue Dragon Plus for Nintendo DS

Monday, March 2nd, 2009

Manga artist Akira Toriyama must have some strange fetish for dragons. If you are an American anime fan and you haven’t been living under a rock for the past decade or so, you are probably familiar with his Dragonball manga franchise. But video game fans will also be familiar with him providing the character designs for Dragon Quest, a Japanese RPG franchise that has been around since the mid-80′s and still continues to be produced to this very day.

In late 2006, Toriyama provided his familiar character designs to Blue Dragon, a new RPG for the Xbox 360. This was significant for two reasons. 1) It was one of the first Japanese RPG’s on the Xbox 360 and 2) the Japanese don’t play the Xbox 360.

But the game sold moderately well in Japan, which lead to the need to expand the franchise to be just as popular and have the same longevity as Toriyama’s previous Dragon projects. Along with a shonen anime series (currently available for free on XBM and iTunes), Mistwalker studio teamed up with Brownie Brown to put together Blue Dragon Plus, a sequel to the original game. However, this time around they are going portable by releasing the game on the Nintendo DS.

Plus takes place a year after the events of the original game. Shu, the game’s main protagonist and young-Goku doppelganger, is living in peace with his friends after they have defeated the evil villain Nene. However, Nene is not actually dead, and when he takes away the soul of Shu’s robotic friend, Shu is once again on the quest to get his old pal back. He’s joined up all his other friends from the first game, and they split up to fight all the evil monsters and robots that stand in their way.

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Review: Evangelion iPhone Apps

Thursday, February 26th, 2009

I have to admit, when I first heard the news that official applications based off of the Neon Genesis Evangelion franchise were coming to the iPhone App Store, I had mixed feelings over it. I was excited because I am both an Eva fanboy and Apple fanboy, so combining the two seemed to me like a recipe for awesome. However, being an extensive iPhone user, I know all too well how crappy most of programs coming out of the App Store actually are… especially those promoted as “official” apps… (>_>)

Well, we didn’t have to wait for long to see what coming out. Tokyo software company Appliya, makers of the feline attention-grabbing app Meow Cam, released two Eva-inspired creations into the apps store earlier this week, the Evangelion Clock (iTunes link) and Evangelion Picture Stamp (iTunes link).

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