Atlus and NISA Booth Report '06 Feature - The Next Level

Atlus and NISA Booth Report '06

Packed with Japanese games you thought you'd never see stateside.

Article by Aaron Drewniak (Email)
May 17th 2006, 12:33PM

Blade Dancer (PSP)

Here's a cell-shaded action RPG that you won't have to play alone, since it also has support for up to four players via network. No more sudden, random encounters. No more slogging through dungeons with dimwitted AI partners. The Dread Knight who killed the original Blade Dancer long ago has returned to again threaten all of humanity with his army of darkness. It's up to a young knight named Lance to gather his comrades and destroy this evil for good. The 3D world of the game is alive with a day and night cycle, while the complex item synthesis system and the ability to share abilities with allies keeps it from being just another mindless slash fest. For an RPG on the go, you can't get any more immediate and accessible, especially among PSP equipped friends.

Touch Detective (DS)

I want this game. You only need to look at a few screens to see why. Fantastic character designs and a unique world, combined with the nearly lost art of point and click adventure games is something that's pretty much irresistible. Though the demo version was still in Japanese, the series promises an intriguing storyline with a large dose of humor and plenty of challenging puzzles. The main character Mackenzie has inherited a famous detective agency after the sudden death of her father, leaving her with four strange cases needing to be solved, such as tracking down a stolen dream. With of a cheery mushroom-man and her mechanized butler, Mackenzie will have to interrogate witnesses and gather evidence if she wants to live up to her father's legacy.

Contact (DS)

Contact brings to mind the classic RPG Earthbound with its isometric 2D look. The story follows The Professor who crashes his spaceship on a mysterious planet, only to find the power source of his ship has been scattered all over this world. And there's only one person who can help him get them, the player! With the help of a brave boy named Terry, you'll embark on an adventure full of activities such as animal-training, item-collecting, and monster-hunting. There will also be plenty of real-time combat, using special abilities and powerful "Decal Attacks," not to mention wi-fi support to let friends to help out. With plenty to do and plenty of charm, this is an RPG sure to please quirky gamers the world over.

Deep Labyrinth (DS)

I miss Ultima Underworld. It was more or less a dungeon crawler, but the first person perspective combined with the gloomy surroundings was enough to make me flinch when I was suddenly struck by a goblin. Deep Labyrinth creates the same feeling of immersion in a handheld form. A boy and his dog arrive at a mysterious castle, and before they know it have descended down into a first person adventure filled with magical creatures and screen-spanning monsters, all seeking to destroy him if this adventure fails to uncover the secrets of the Deep Labyrinth. Explore dozens of levels, armed with swords and spells unleashed by a flick of your stylus, in a unique adventure that's hard to put down.

Summon Night: Swordcraft Story (GBA)

If you ever wanted Tales-style real-time combat in a portable form, complete with two player support, here's your chance. The Summon Night series has mainly been an SRPG where the characters could summon guardian beasts from one of the four magical dimensions to do their bidding, but when it came to the handheld front they decided on a more active battle system, where these beasts could be used to forge powerful weapons instead. With some of the best character designs seen in an RPG and better music than you expect from the GBA, the world of Lyndbaum is brought to life. Most important is Wystern, or the City of Swords, where Craftknights apply their trade for fame and fortune. This year is special with the tournament to choose the next Craftlord, serving as one of the city's guardians. One of these contestants is the child of a legendary Craftlord who vanished under mysterious circumstances. Yet this tournament is only the beginning of a tale that will lead to unveiling Wystern's darkest secret...

Battle B-Daman (GBA)

Based on the popular animated adventure, Battle B-Daman stars Yamato Delgado and his dream of competing in the ancient sport of B-Daman. He's chosen to wield Cobalt Blade, the most powerful of the B-Daman, which he must use to defeat the evil B-Daplayers of the Shadow Alliance, bent on conquering the world. With three modes in the form of battle, custom, and adventure, two dozen battlefields, eighteen selectable characters, and two player simultaneous support, there's a lot of action packed into this little cart, sure to thrill fans of the series.

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