|

Games

Revamped ‘Shin Megami Tensei IV,’ a new ‘DoDonPachi Saidaioujou’ and collectable merchandise

by Brian Ashcraft

Get ahead of Ryu from “Street Fighter”

Most collectible statues are a few inches or perhaps 30 cm tall. Typically, they are not life-size. But this is no typical statue.

U.S.-based Pop Culture Shock Collectibles is creating a 60-cm tall bust of Japanese game character Ryu from “Street Fighter,” complete with a fabric fighting threads and headband. And, get this, the eyeballs can move. Put the iconic Street Fighter character on your desk and have him glare at you all day long.

There’s also an Evil Ryu version with red eyes — the stuff of nightmares. Both are the truly impressive work of Jerry Macaluso, a famed toy designer and Hollywood special-effects creator.

Life-sized Ryu sculptures don’t come cheap! Available for pre-order, only 300 Ryu Lifesize Busts are available, priced at $499 each. The Evil Ryu Lifesize Bust is similarly priced, but limited to 120 busts. www.popcultureshocktoys.com

Shin Megami — revamped in demonic glory

It’s been 10 long years. “Shin Megami Tensei IV” is the first numbered entry in the beloved role-playing game series since 2003. For fans, that makes it a pretty big deal.

In the 15th-century Eastern Kingdom of Mikado, there’s a yearly ritual to decide who can become a samurai. Those who pass then must defeat the demons — and sometimes, even recruit demons to fight other demons. But this is hardly a traditional samurai game; it contrasts medieval settings with modern, post-apocalyptic ones, and mixes computerized tech with a mystical analog alternative universe.

“Shin Megami Tensei IV” also has a revamped game interface that we hope is more intuitive, and there are colorful and fun samurai outfits for players to don, as well as engaging character designs. Just don’t expect this role-playing game to be easy!

Priced at ¥6,980, “Shin Megami Tensei IV” was released in Japan on May 23. megaten4.jp

Nintendo’s 3DS LL sports Evee’s colors

“Gotta catch ‘em all!” Well, all the special-edition Pokemon 3DS handhelds Nintendo has been releasing in Japan, that is. The latest is this limited-edition Nintendo 3DS LL featuring beloved Pokemon character Eevee.

The top lid isn’t covered with Pocket Monster illustrations as you might expect; instead, it’s a striped pattern in the character’s color palette, which looks more like a 1970s’ sofa than Pocket Monster merchandise. Rest assured, though, the handheld’s bottom side has a cute Eevee illustration. Phew.

Those who hope to catch this special 3DS need to swing by any of the Pokemon Center retail shops in Japan to enter a raffle for the chance to purchase one. That’s right, you must enter a contest just to win the opportunity to shell out ¥18,900. Entries are being accepted until June 3, so you’d better hurry. Guess this 3DS won’t be so easy to catch after all.

www.pokemon.co.jp/ex/pokecen_15th/3dsll.html

A cute bit of missile dodging

Welcome to bullet hell. Originally released in Japanese arcades last year, “DoDonPachi Saidaioujou” is called a “maniac shooter” game. The reason is because bullets and other projectiles rain down on the players, who must dodge and blast their way through the game.

“DoDonPachi Saidaioujou” is about to be released for the Xbox 360, which is good news for gamers who want to perfect their play at home, instead of at an arcade. The console version will have new game modes, polished graphics and brand-new characters, including a pink-haired girl named Saya who carries around cute stuffed animals and chats it up while the in-game aircraft blasts tanks and enemy planes. Think of this as a “shoot ‘em up” with elements of “cute ‘em up.”

Priced at ¥7,140, “DoDonPachi Saidaioujou” will be available from May 30. www.cave.co.jp/games/dodonpachi-saidaioujou

Converses get a ‘Bizarre’ makeover

Hugely popular manga “Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure” has not only been turned into an anime and several video games, but it’s produced a fair amount of merchandise for fans to collect. Take, for example, “Jojo Bizarre Adventure” Converse high tops.

These Chuck Taylors sport a “Phantom Blood” leather tag on the sneakers’ tongues. Those familiar with “Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure” will know that “Phantom Blood” was the manga’s first story arc and followed the exploits of Jojo character Jonathon Joestar. The high-tops come in a unique Converse box that should appeal to both Jojo diehards and sneaker-heads alike. The shoes are available for pre-order until June 20, with a general release this December — if they’ve not already sold out.

“Jojo’s Bizarre Jonathon Joestar” Chuck Taylors cost ¥10,290 and can be pre-ordered at Bandai’s online shopping site, p-bandai.jp. Brian Ashcraft is a senior contributing editor at gaming website Kotaku.com.ON : GAMES