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New releases with a fighting spirit

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‘Pokemon’ fights harder

In a most unexpected collaboration, the folks behind the “Tekken” fighting games have teamed up with The Pokemon Company for a “Pocket Monster” fighting game.

Dubbed “Pokken Tournament,” the game trades “Pokemon” attack cutscenes for fighting game play. “Pokemon” characters, such as Pikachu, have featured in “Super Smash Bros.” games, but this is the first dedicated fighter for the franchise, with the Tekken Team, who co-developed the most recent “Smash Bros.” for Nintendo, bringing its extensive expertise for a fun and balanced experience.

“Pokken Tournament” originally hit arcades here last summer, and it featured controllers instead of arcade-style joysticks to ensure that players who are less familiar with arcade gameplay could easily jump in for a bout. The Wii U version is getting a worldwide release this month and, like its arcade counterpart, is aimed at a wide swath of players, from beginner to hard core.

“Pokken Tournament” Wii U version is ¥7,200, while the download version is ¥6,800.

bit.ly/pokkentourna

| © 2016 CAMOUFLAJ, LLC © GUNGHO ONLINE ENTERTAINMENT, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

A thriving ‘Republique’

“Republique” may be co-developed by Seattle-based outfit Camouflaj with Logan Games, but it does have a Japan connection. Before its creator Ryan Payton struck out on his own, he paid his dues by working on “Metal Gear Solid” stealth titles at Kojima Productions in Tokyo.

“Republique” takes place in a dystopian totalitarian state with the main character, Hope, aspiring to bring down the country’s regime. The game started as a crowd-funded episodic title for mobile devices, raising half a million dollars. When it was released in 2013, it was one of the slickest-looking mobile games of that time. It was later ported to PC, and this March it’s getting a PS4 release, along with the game’s fifth episode.

The upcoming console version features all five episodes for a 10 to 15-hour single-player experience. Not only have the graphics been re-done for the PS4, but the controls have also been reworked to play like an old-school survival horror game, which is perfect for its new Survival Mode.

If all that isn’t enough, for a limited time, the PS4 version will also come with downloadable outfits, because nothing quite says “totalitarian” like having a restricted wardrobe.

“Republique” will be released on the PS4 on April 14 for ¥3,600, with the download version at ¥3,000.

republique.gungho.jp

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There’s space for consoles

Early last year, after “Star Ocean” developer Tri-Ace was acquired by the mobile-game company Nepro Japan, there was a fear that Tri-Ace would stop developing console titles and be forced to churn out smartphone ones. Those fears have been happily unfounded.

Tri-Ace is releasing a new “Star Ocean” role-playing game for PS3 and PS4 titled “Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness.” This is the fifth entry of the main series of games, and is set chronologically between the second and third entries. Of the franchise, including its spin-offs, it’s the ninth “Star Ocean” title to date.

In many ways, this latest space opus is a bit of a throwback, which is not a bad thing. The game’s logo, for example, harks back to the 2003 PlayStation 2 title “Star Ocean: Till the End of Time.” Hardly an accident, this seems to suggest that Tri-Ace is totally committed to not only “Star Ocean,” but also home consoles — which is exactly what the fans want.

Priced at ¥7,980 “Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness” will be released for PS4 on March 31. The PS3 version has been delayed and will be available from April 28.

www.jp.square-enix.com/so5