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Shop Watch February 2011

By Russ | February 4, 2011 at 10:53 pm

February 2010 was all about Star Ocean: International and White Knight Chronicles.  This year it’s all about classic games getting remakes and re-releases.

Next year it’ll be about sequels.

In terms of digital distribution on the console side, Mass Effect 2 is available on the PSN.  Faery: Legends of Avalon is available on both PSN and Live.  Operation Darkness is also available on Live.

Titles shipping February 8

HyperDimension Neptunia, published by NISA (PS3).  This game exists to make fun of video games.  An action RPG whose contributors are from Sega, NISA, Idea Factory and other heavy PS3 supporters; the plot involves a world called Gameindustri and romping through said world with blatant fanservice.  It actually looks fun, but there needs to be a demo available somewhere.

Trinity: Souls of Zill O’ll, published by Koei (PS3).  This game has a demo available on the PSN, and I’m glad for such an opportunity.  Another action RPG, this title is set firmly in the mold of the Dynasty Warriors series, wherein the player’s three party members brawl against swarms of enemies.  There’s less overall board strategy here and more focus on enhancing party members, but battle repetition may get a little tiresome.  The town interface works similar to past Koei strategy and RPG titles, though the SP and skill systems seem decent.

I like being able to try out games in order to tell you what they’re about.  Companies that put out a demo for their title are truly companies worth following.

Titles shipping February 15

Dragon Quest VI, published by Square-Enix (DS).  This will be the first time DQVI sees a North American release.  While firmly in the vein of past DQ games, this title is number VI and chances are you haven’t played it.

Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together, published by Square-Enix (PSP).  And if the flagship RPG series brainvented by Enix in the 80’s doesn’t float your boat, swap over to Enix’s flagship strategy series from the 90’s.  Tactics Ogre was created by much of the same team that went on to create Final Fantasy Tactics, though the PSP version of TO looks to play a lot better than the PSP version of FFT did.

Ys I & II, published by Xseed (PSP).  Speaking of flagship series, the last in the line of Ys games ported to the PSP by Falcom is upon us courtesy of Xseed.  While this title’s battle system might shake off newer gamers, Ys is chock full of excellent music and awesome boss battles.  I’m really looking forward to this game.  The last two releases have been superb.

Titles shipping February 22

Radiant Historia, published by Atlus (DS).  If you are merely looking for something new and do not own a PS3, Radiant Historia is out this week.  This game has a melting pot of Atlus and Square-Enix talent, and its story revolves around time travel.  I’m very interested to see where it heads.

Some Advice:  Radiant Historia and Ys I & II are hit and miss games.  Adopt early if you like these titles.  The prices on these may go down later, but more than likely you will not be aware of the sale.

Tactics Ogre and Dragon Quest VI will be $20 at some point before jumping back up to full value or more.  Wait, then strike.

Trinity and Neptunia are complete and utter wildcards.  Koei games used to plummet in price, but low print runs have made games like Bladestorm and Dynasty Warriors Gundam 2 either hard to find or still pricey.  Neptunia will probably slink down in price then become super rare since NISA titles do that, and this one is totally animu.

The Future:  More portable and download titles, including the next installment in a new Legend of Heroes trilogy.  The series may be reviled to you, but I look forward to the next entry.  Dragon Age 2 strikes in March, but I’m not falling for it again.  I’ll wait until there’s an Ultimate Edition.  Dark Souls – the sequel to Demon’s Souls – is up and coming and I can’t wait.  Demon’s Souls was awesome.

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