Pikachu finds his voice

The Great Detective Pikachu of “Meitantei Pikachu: Shin Konbi Tanjyou” is very different from other pikachus. The biggest shocker is that, unlike the others, he can speak.

In fact, this crime-solving little guy not only talks, he likes to do it a lot — and he has a surprisingly husky voice to do so. He may not be able to throw thunderbolt attacks, but he can walk and run upright, loves coffee and is always trying to pick up women. “Meitantei Pikachu” is a 3DS game of point-and-click-style mysteries that Detective Pikachu, sporting a Sherlock Holmes-style dear stalker, has to solve with his partner Tim Goodman, a young boy who is in Rhyme City to find his missing father. While Tim and you can understand Pikachu, no one else can. Likewise, you won’t be able to understand other in-game pikachus and other humans won’t understand Detective Pikachu. This means relaying information and teamwork are essential.

“Meitantei Pikachu: Shin Konbi Tanjyou” is available as a download only, at ¥1,500.



A new RPG worth sacrificing some time over

Square Enix is perhaps Japan’s most famous role-playing-games maker. The Tokyo-based company usually busies itself with impressive sequels to its “Final Fantasy” and “Dragon Quest” franchises, so when it does release a completely new title, such as “Ikenie to Yuki no Setsuna,” gamers take note.

“Setsuna” means “heart-rending” sorrow and is the apt name of the protagonist. Her quest is to offer herself as a ritual sacrifice in order to placate the demons that inhabit the snowy in-game world. As you follow her journey to her place of sacrifice, you’ll experience truly beautiful art and character designs. The game itself is a throwback to 1990s-style RPG, with its battle system also based on the one used for the classic “Chronotrigger.”

“Ikenie to Yuki no Setsuna” is being developed by Tokyo RPG Factory, a Square Enix studio specializing in role-playing games, so if you like JRPGs, this is one you won’t want to miss. It is available for PS Vita and the PS4 for ¥5,184.


Taking down the titans

From a massively popular manga to hit anime, two live-action films and a TV series, “Attack on Titan” is now about to get its best video-game adaptation yet.

Though the manga has been turned into games before, this new one appears to be the most faithful to the original source material. Its main story mode closely follows the original plot in which the giant humanoid titans breach and attack an enclave of humans, with playable characters pulled from the manga.

Players can get the sensation of using the characters’ famous Three-Dimensional Maneuver Gear to zip around and battle monstrous titans, and since Koei Tecmo, which is known for its action titles, is developing this latest “Attack on Titan” game, you can expect it to be exciting.

More importantly, in the past few years, Koei Tecmo has proven itself especially adept in handling anime and manga video-game adaptations, releasing titles that have pleased both original fans and gamers alike.

“Attack on Titan” has a single-player mode and a multiplayer online mode that will come as a free downloadable update in March. The online mode offers four-player co-op, so friends can team up to take down titans. Other downloadable paid-for content, includes new story episodes and costumes.

“Attack on Titan” for the PS3 and PS4 is ¥8,434 (¥7,302 for download version) and ¥7,344 for the PS Vita (¥6,480 to download).


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