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Shop Watch March 2010

By Russ | February 27, 2010 at 10:55 pm

March is a two-way battle with the release of Final Fantasy XIII and Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver.  Summons are kind of like giant, deadly Pokemon, right?

Square Enix has a few games coming out this Spring.  FFXIII is released Mar. 9, and Nier and Front Mission Evolved are released April and May respectively.  Other companies are not slouching either – Sega pushed Resonance of Fate forward by almost two months.  I hope such a trend continues with Alpha Protocol and other mid-to-late year releases.

The PSOne version of Grandia was released on the PSN Feb. 25.  Seriously – freakin’ Grandia.  That’s awesome.

Retail versions of Borderlands’ DLC add-ons were released late in February.  The retail copies contained the first two add-ons and were for the PS3, PC, and 360.

Titles shipping Mar. 2

Lunar: Silver Star Harmony, published by Xseed (PSP, PSN).  Lunar gets its third remake and release onto North American shores.  There will be a standard version of the game available for $30, and a Collector’s Edition for $40.  The Collector’s Edition will feature art of all the characters and a CD soundtrack.  The art is used from the in-game “bromides”.  If you are interested in the game, download the demo and complete it.  There’s an in-game bonus for doing so.

Titles shipping Mar. 9

Final Fantasy XIII, published by Square-Enix (360, PS3).  This title is street-dated for Mar. 9.  It’s a Final Fantasy title and there is a chocobo living in an afro.  RPG Land has a review of it as well.  There will be a 360 limited edition system that isn’t much of a limited edition.  The system comes with a face-plate and the hard drive with Final Fantasy XIII on it.  Whatever.  Do it right, Microsoft.

Titles in-store Mar. 14 for some unknown reason

Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver, published by Nintendo (DS).  Nintendo likes to release big titles on Sundays.  I have no clue why.  Pokemon games sell like crackcakes, which are cakes made of delectable crack for those who do not care enough to know.  I actually have no idea how crackcakes would sell.  Pokemon may even outsell them.  These remakes of Pokemon Gold and Silver are said to come in two editions: with a figurine and without one.  Certain places like Best Buy are giving them away with preorders, so if you want some dope merchandise to go with your video game crack, look for the version with a Pokemon figure.

Titles shipping Mar. 16

Dragon Age: Origins – Awakening, published by EA (360, PC, PS3).  This expansion disc will require a copy of Dragon Age: Origins to play.  Set after the events of DA:O, Awakenings is said to delve into the darkspawn’s history and show players more of the world.

Foto Showdown, published by Konami (DSi).  The parentheses dictate what system a game is available on.  This one says DSi.  It’s amazing, isn’t it?  The photo option looks at the dominant colors and uses them to spawn monsters.  I was thinking of using it for advertising purposes.  Think about it: Marlboro versus Camel?  Coke versus Pepsi?  The winner of that round versus Royal Crown?  Awesome.  In theory.

Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon, published by Xseed (Wii).  This title was Namco-Bandai’s in Japan, and made by the team that handled Eternal Sonata, tri-Crescendo.  There have not been many RPGs released for the Wii lately, but Fragile Dreams looks to be start to breaking such a dry spell.

Resonance of Fate, published by Sega (360, PS3).  A relatively recent forum discussion revealed I have no place discussing this game at any length by my own admittance.  Thankfully, there’s a review and an in-depth guide available on this very website.  Cheers!

Spectral Force Genesis, published by Ignition Entertainment (DS).  Anything with Spectral in the title does not do too well over in North America.  Ignition takes a gamble with this series.

Titles shipping Mar. 23

Dawn of Heroes, published by Majesco (DS).  This is a cute little strategy RPG.  It has the big-head or super-deformed style of graphics in not-so-gloriously rendered DS 3D, which might turn some people off.  The damage ratios are not wildly out of balance.  The game has been in production for three years, so it will be interesting to see if it pays off.

Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey, published by Atlus (DS).  A departure from apocalyptic Tokyo is in store for Strange Journey.  Antarctica needs the player’s help as darkness is expanding from the continent.  Strange Journey is also a return to the original, first-person perspective of the Megami Tensei games.

Titles shipping Mar. 30

Mimana: Iyar Chronicle, published by Aksys (PSP, PSN).  I don’t know much about this title, but the gameplay footage I’ve seen makes me think early 90’s.

Mount & Blade: Warband, published by Paradox (PC).  Some retailers have this listed as a Mar. 16 release.  Paradox has stated it will be shipping Mar. 30.  This is the retail version of the expansion to Mount & Blade, which may be available through DD as you read this.

Infinite Space, published by Sega (DS).  I really hope this game does not get pushed back any further, but the release date has Mar. 31, a Wednesday, as opposed to the traditional Tuesday release.  Time will tell, but Sega’s website is unclear about a North American release date.

Sakura Wars: So Long, My Love, published by NISA (PS2, Wii).  This is the first Sakura Wars game to be released stateside ever.  The PS2 version actually fetches for $10 more than the Wii version.  The Sakura Wars series is a blend of dating sim and strategy RPG.  It was a fan-favorite in the late 90’s and early 00’s, so it’s interesting one is being brought over now.

Some Advice:  Spectral Force and Infinite Space will probably be postponed a little.  If Spectral Force is not pushed back, it’s still bargain bin fodder.  The same for Dawn of Heroes, as it is a Majesco title and that’s just what seems to happen to Majesco titles.  Foto Showdown will be vastly overshadowed by the Pokemon titles and probably hit the bargain bin as well.  Konami games could go either way, really.  All PC games will be $5 at some point via DD.

FFXIII will generate enough to discussion for spoilers to be impossible to miss.  If that concerns you, buy the game early.  Pokemon games almost never drop in price, so it doesn’t matter when you get it, though it will sell out for a week or so at most locations soon after release.

DA:O – Awakenings may be offered for $10 off like DA:O was.  I’d wait a week or two and check the Sunday ads.

Resonance of Fate is the oddest of the bunch.  Sega games drop in price very quickly.  However, like Valkyria Chronicles, Resonance of Fate may be unavailable for half a year or so.  If anything, Sega has made some solid games these past two years that have dropped like rocks.  I’ll be holding off myself.

Fragile Dreams and Lunar are wildcards.  Buy them at your leisure, as they could hit the bargain bin or be rare.

Sakura Wars for the PS2 is meant for collectors.  They’ll spend the $40 on it and keep it or re-sell it for twice the amount.  The Wii version is meant to be played, and will most likely sit on shelves near you.

The Future:  The rest of the year is vague as release dates keep getting moved forward.  Resonance of Fate was originally scheduled for May, and Nier has jumped up a month as well to April.  Speaking of April releases, Aksys has Record of Agarest War: The Really Naughty Limited Edition scheduled for Apr. 27.  It contains a body pillow cover with one of the female characters printed on it, a boob-laden mousepad and a CD soundtrack.  In short; wank material.  It is a shameless way to advertise, but a good way to grab attention.  Especially since the game is made by Idea Factory.

May potentially contains 3D Dot Game Heroes, which looks awesome.  Preorder it now while retailers are still offering the $40 price.  Last Rebellion was $40 for a long time, before it suddenly jumped to $50.  Pre-ordering the game will guarantee the price at many retailers.  The rest of the year is hazy with very few release dates available.

All retail games (with the exception of those marked as street-dated) will be in stores one day after their release. Release dates also tend to be shipping dates. All release dates are subject to change.  Games available for download will have varying release. The views of this column do not reflect the views of RPG Land.

Topics: Shop Watch