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Shop Watch March 2011

By Russ | March 1, 2011 at 8:02 pm

Last year brought North America some Pokemon Games, some Dragon Age stuff, and a lot of portable titles.  Funny how this year it’s the same damn thing; though admittedly the portable titles look more intriguing.

Expect Pokemon MindBronze and Grey next March.

In terms of digital distribution on the console side, Romance of the Three Kingdoms IV, Saiyuki: Journey West, Xenogears, and Vagrant Story are available on the PSN.  Can I get a Hell Yeah?

Titles shipping the week of February 27

Rift, published by Trion (PC).  Some World of Warcraft killer?  My ignorance of PC games would fill volumes.  I have seen a lot of hype for this one, though.  Let’s see how it does.  A limited edition of this game will also be available.

Titles shipping the week of March 6

Pokemon Black & Pokemon White, published by Nintendo (DS).  You uh… you know the drill.

Dragon Age II, published by EA Games (360, PC, PS3).  A revamped battle system to make fights flow quicker and more boring at the same time heralds Dragon Age II this week.  I hope the demo isn’t like the final product, because the game chugs and I already sliced enemies into bloody bits the same way in No More Heroes.  The rest of the presentation and leveling seems intact.  The game will certainly garner some acclaim, but nothing impressed me on the demo.  The demo is available on the PS3, 360, and probably the PC.  A limited edition of this game was available.

Phantom Brave: Heroes of the Hermuda Triangle, published by NISA (PSP).  Did you miss it the first two times?  How come Makai Kingdom or Soul Nomad doesn’t get the table dances Phantom Brave does?

Titles shipping the week of March 13

Ar Tonelico Qoga: Knell of Ar Ciel, published by NISA (PS3).  This is supposedly the last Ar Tonelico game coming out.  Players who liked the first two will feel right at home with the third title.

Gods Eater Burst, published by D3 Publishing (PSP).  Not to be confused with Monster Hunter, (which this series is said to play like/rip off) but to be totally confused with God Eater Burst.  Eating God in North America is a big no-no.  I’d hate to see the reaction at bursting God out after eating him.

Jikandia: The Timeless Battle, published by Aksys (PSP).  Jikandia is a cute, retro style game where the player must complete levels within a time limit, and the game is often compared to Half-Minute Hero.  The similarities between the two games end there.  Half-Minute Hero is really fun and witty, and Jikandia really tries to be.  The demo certainly did not endow me with hope, at least.  The demo is available on PSN.  Give it a shot and see if you like it.

Okamiden, published by Capcom (DS).  A bite-sized Amaterasu heads out to explore the vast world in this follow-up to Clover’s (rest your soul) Okami.  The original game gave players a very Zelda-esque adventure using Japanese folklore and mythology as its backdrop.  Okamiden looks to be a much cuter version of the first game.

Yakuza 4, published by Sega (PS3).  You see a lot of Yakuza on this site, and now it’s in this column.  Do you know what Yakuza 4 has?  Here’s a hint: It wasn’t in the NA release of Yakuza 3.

Titles shipping the week of March 20

Dissidia 012: Duodecim, published by Square-Enix (PSP).  S-E’s Final Fantasy Fighter Dissidia gets a lot of love for being fun.  Dissidia 012 is really more of the same.  Think of it as Super Dissidia Hyper Fighting, with 100% more Lightning.

Titles shipping the week of March 27

The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky, published by Xseed (PSP).  Trails in the Sky is supposed to be one of the best PSP RPGs available.  This week will be a good time to test that out.  While the game shares elements with previous Legend of Heroes games, this game starts off a new storyline unrelated to Bandai’s efforts nearly half a decade ago.   A limited edition of this game will be available with a CD soundtrack.

The Third Birthday, published by Square-Enix (PSP).  When was the last Parasite Eve game released?  A long damn time ago.  This installment features body-swapping and possible time-travel.  It also looks to play like a third-person shooter.

Some Advice:  All PSP games will be released on the PSN.  For those of you that buy strictly UMD, remember Sony’s next handheld console is in the works so production of UMDs might fall by the wayside while companies wait and see what is up with it.  While almost none of the PSP games (particularly Square-Enix titles) will be particularly rare, keep an eye out in the future for what you might want.  Most titles listed here will have price drops.

Pokemon games almost never drop in price, but stores will have sales the first month or so and may be able to help you save money if you are interested in both titles.

Outside of Phantom Brave and Ar Tonelico 3, nothing screams buy it immediately.  These two games might be hard to find for those interested.

Dragon Age II will most certainly be re-released with loads of additional content.  Wait for it.

Rift is an MMO.  Play day one or you might not be able to play at all.

The Future:  Even more portable titles.  Also, the 3DS will see release, so developers will be halfheartedly porting their offerings to it for the first year and a half.  Final Fantasy IV sees re-release number quattro on the PSP, but at least has the decency to come with FFIV: The After. Divinity II sees a re-release from Atlus, of all places.  There’s a new Record of Agarest War in the pipeline, so that counts, right?

… Right?

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