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Shop Watch September 2010

By Russ | September 6, 2010 at 5:43 pm

September is all about the PSP and PC.  The big titles to look forward to?  Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep and Final Fantasy XIV.  There are other games, of course.

I’m surprised at the amount of portable RPGs at the end of summer.  It’s just odd. Typically companies want those releases during summer to boost portable sales.  Parents need the games to shut up kids on trips.

I’ve been loving the PSP’s ability to play games on the big screen.  I find it odd that Nintendo has not done something involving the DS and the Wii, especially considering the Super Game Boy and GBA Player.  Get on it, Nintendo!

Titles shipping September 7

Aion: Assault on Balaurea, published by NCSoft (PC).  Aion’s first retail expansion promises 8 new instances and the addition of pets.  But will it ban gold farmers?  Probably not.

Dawn of Heroes, published by Majesco (DS).  This strategy RPG has become something of a running gag now.

Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, published by Square-Enix (PSP).  One of Square’s two big releases this month, Birth by Sleep is a prequel to everything Kingdom Hearts.  Like or dislike the series, BbS will have tons of presentation, lots of battles, and replay value for those interested.

Titles shipping September 14

Gladiator Begins, published by Aksys (PSP).  This might be an RPG, and it might be a hack and slash game.  It’s on the radar just in case.  This title is about gladiating people’s brains out and little else.

Phantasy Star Portable 2, published by Sega (PSP).  The current setup for the Phantasy Star series provides a pretty pleasant gaming experience.  The Portable games pick up after the events of UniversePortable 2 tales place a couple years after the evens of Portable, and allows players to import data from the first game to be used in the second game.

Titles shipping September 21

Cladun: This is an RPG, published by NISA (PSP).  This game looks pretty decent.  It’s done in a retro style similar to Half-Minute Hero and 3D Dot Game Heroes (without the 3D), and the combat appears to be like the Secret of Mana games.  Sounds like a decent combo.

Etrian Odyssey III: The Drowned City, published by Atlus (DS).  Leave Yggdrasil and head for the ocean in EO3, the latest installment in Atlus’ first-person RPG series.  The series is known for its party customization using various classes to achieve a decent balance between adventuring and not dying.  Apparently, dying is something that happens in the EO games a lot.

Final Fantasy XIV: Limited Edition, published by Square-Enix (PC).  FFXIV’s LE gets its own entry because it comes out a week before the standard edition.  Early adopters get a full week of playing the game and some nice bonuses.  It will be interesting to see the staying power of FFXIV, considering the PS3 version is not due out until next spring.  FFXI still has stuff going on, but that remains to be seen after XIV hits the shelves.

Titles shipping September 28

Atelier Rorona: The Alchemists of Arland, published by NISA (PS3).  This entry into the Atelier series seems to focus more on the synthesizing and less on the combat.  I hope it does better than Trinity Universe; the name of which probably has people scratching their heads.  Hint: It is also on the PS3.

Front Mission Evolved, published by Square-Enix (360, PC, PS3).  This isn’t an RPG, but it does use the same setting as the Front Mission series.  It’s real time mech-on-mech combat set against a political drama background, and it’s not Gundam.

Final Fantasy XIV: Standard Edition, published by Square-Enix (PC).  If anyone played FFXI when it first came out, they might remember all the Japanese players running around in extremely good gear with high levels.  That week players missed by buying this version may bring back some of those memories on a much smaller scale.

Some Advice:  Cladun and Atelier Rorona may be hard finds, since NISA stuff just does not sell well anymore.  Keep your eyes peeled for dwindling copies and internet inflation before striking, unless you have to have it now.

Adopt one of the FFXIV releases upon launch.  I know it has the Final Fantasy name attached, but as an online game there’s no guarantee anyone will be interested a few months from now.

Everything else will drop in price within six months.  Buy Etrian Odyssey III when it does, or it might go back up in price again.

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