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It’s not so common to hear about a series of video game-related crimes that are executed in a short period of time. The Sacramento County area has been hit with five robberies at video game stores in ten days. Four of the five accounts have occurred at GameStop retailers.

Detectives have been piecing together the cases and believe the robberies may be related. At least two men have entered during the robberies and one man has been spotted with a shotgun. The robbers have been reported to be after money from both the store and customers.

You might think that – since the men have been robbing video game stores – the robbers might be interested in a few video game products as well. Oddly enough though, there have been no reports of actual video game merchandise being taken.

Source 1, Source 2

1. PSP Monster Hunter Portable 2nd G (Capcom) – 2 507 400 / 2 507 400
2. DS Pokémon Platinum (Nintendo) – 2 125 348 / 2 125 348
3. Wii Wii Fit (Nintendo) – 2 024 113 / 2 889 790
4. Wii Mario Kart Wii (Nintendo) – 1 973 089 / 1 973 089
5. Wii Super Smash Bros. Brawl (Nintendo) – 1 808 709 / 1 808 709
6. DS Rhythm Heaven (Nintendo) – 1 320 047 / 1 320 047
7. DS Dragon Quest V (Square Enix) – 1 228 014 / 1 228 014
8. DS Kirby Super Star Ultra (Nintendo) – 724 608 / 724 608
9. Wii Animal Crossing : Let’s Go to the City (Nintendo) – 709 640 / 709 640
10. Wii Wii Sports (Nintendo) – 694 765 / 3 180 278

11. PSP Phantasy Star Universe Portable (Sega) – 664 660 / 664 660
12. DS Pokémon Ranger : Nuit sur Almia (Nintendo) – 663 040 / 663 040
13. PS3 Metal Gear Solid 4 : Guns of the Patriots (Konami) – 654 648 / 654 648
14. DS Professor Layton 3 (Level 5) – 551 890 / 551 890
15. Wii Wii Play (Nintendo) – 539 825 / 2 638 954

16. PSP Dissidia : Final Fantasy (Square Enix) – 496 178 / 496 178
17. PS2 Super Robot Taisen Z (Banpresto) – 490 112 / 490 112
18. DS Mario Party DS (Nintendo) – 487 822 / 1 811 132
19. DS Calligraphy Training (Nintendo) – 467 490 / 467 490
20. DS Jam With The Band DX (Nintendo) – 450 711 / 450 711
21. DS Mario Kart DS (Nintendo) – 433 908 / 3 265 962

22. PS2 Warriors Orochi 2 (Koei) – 432 672 / 432 672
23. DS Wagamama Fashion (Nintendo) – 430 835 / 430 835
24. DS Chrono Trigger (Square Enix) – 425 625 / 425 625
25. DS Taiko no Tatsujin DS 2 (Bandai Namco) – 408 529 / 408 529

26. PSP Mobile Suit Gundam : Gundam Vs. Gundam (Bandai Namco) – 377 662 / 377 662
27. DS Mario & Sonic aux Jeux Olympiques (Nintendo) – 366 265 / 366 265
28. PSP Powerful Pro Baseball Portable 3 (Konami) – 334 445 / 334 445
29. PS2 Persona 4 (Atlus) – 314 418 / 314 418
30. DS New Super Mario Bros. (Nintendo) – 310 796 / 5 085 112

Source 1, Source 2

Pilotwings may be making a comeback on Wii based on the latest rumors. LiveWii states that a new Pilotwings game will release in the first half in 2009. Balance Board and Mii support are allegedly going to be included in the package. The last Pilotwings title released on the N64, so this would be the perfect time to revitalize the series.

Consider this a rumor for now since there is not anything conclusive that proves this is real. However, Pilotwings on Wii has been rumored to be in development for a long time and has popped up on a few retail listings.


Pre-order and guarantee yourself one of the finest gaming soundtracks evar. EVAAARRR!

As if there weren’t enough reasons to purchase Legacy of Ys: Books I & II, Atlus is offering one more (and just as a refresher, the others include a new localization, remastered graphics and music, optional touch screen controls, multiplayer, and much more):

Legacy of Ys pre-order bonus soundtrack
Pre-orders at participating retailers will secure a copy of a limited edition Legacy of Ys: Books I & II soundtrack CD, which will feature selected tracks from both Ys I and II.

Tons of Fragile details

Posted on 11 years ago by (@NE_Brian) in News, Wii | 0 comments

Producer : Kentarou Kawashima (Seven, Venus and Braves)
Art Director : Keiko Harada (Seven, Venus and Braves)
Main Programmer : Munehito Yasui (Baten Kaitos – Tri Crescendo)

• After much investigations, they found out that the average Japanese and European home game user identifies primarily three things in the games he plays, in this order : 1) Story and Characters, 2) World presentation, 3) Game system.
For example, he (the producer) thought at the time (of “Seven”‘s development) that rendering the gameplay mechanics more and more complex could alone make for an enjoyable game, when he found out that in fact, stressing the game system too much only lead to a dead-end.
Another example he brought up was about…the ramen restaurants : why is it that some ramen shop are radically more popular than some other despite serving basically the same thing – noodles in a soup : it’s because customers are paying, not only for the good diner, but also for the “experience” provided by the restaurant.
Which is why, he concludes, as for the game system and mechanics, so the means used to entertain the user wouldn’t be overdone, the question asked must be : “Which experience do you customer feel like getting ?”, and the answer from the customer could be : “If I play this game, what kind of experience should I expect ?”

• Comparison brought up by Kawashima : “Resident Evil” = “frightening” ; “Fragile” = “oppressive”

• Kawashima thinks that it’s essential than the creator reflects in his games the feelings he experienced himself, which is why they personally went out to take shots of existing locations (such as the Kawaji Dam, or the Tokyo Metropolitan Underground Discharge Channel), while observing the atmosphere, and listening to the environmental sounds. All of this seemed to have given a fairly high quality atmosphere to the game.

• The game should last around 30 hours. And because Kawashiwa considers that these 30 hours are most precious to the user, he wanted to make them the most meaningful possible.

• Kawashima’s cherished theory is that, if the consumer demands to personally experience something interesting, then the game creator should create interesting games from these individual experiences “First is to provides varied experiences, the technology comes afterwards.”

• Here is another thought from Kawashima : do the typical game user has a better response to the story of the superhuman which literaly makes the world revolve around him, or to the story of the average person which is confronted to occurrences he cannot control ? Well Kawashima himself, in addition to preferring the latter type, thinks that games haven’t explored this type of plot enough. He calls this line of thought “From action games to reaction games”.

• Fragile has actually been in development for around 2 years and became a fairly big project over time. “RPGs need a lot of money”, he says. As expected, they intend to recoup these development costs with the game sales, and derived products. But the distribution and advertising won’t be cheap either.

• At the start of the Fragile project, the game was supposed to be set in Winter (as opposed to the current game, which is set in Summer), and the main character was supposed to be a Treasure Hunter that looked like this :

• A few elements survived the transition from the early project, such as the bonfires, the messages written on the walls, or the pointer/flashlight mechanics.

• The main programmer (Yasui) wasn’t too hot on the battles as they were in the first prototype. He even proposed that the game would only consist of ruins exploration.

• Yasui worked hard with one other programmer to get the prototype version (the playable version which must allow the company to decide the fate of the project) up and running from the specification documents. So much that it was completed in about 4 months (he explains that his work on Baten Kaitos helped, as the Wii hardware is pretty close to the Gamecube), and the project could finally be greenlit.

• Seems like they had to change their art director at some point early, so Keiko Harada had the difficult task of inheriting her predecessor’s work.

• A big work has been done on the sound flow, and the co-existence between the BGM and the environmental sounds.

• The project has been on schedule the whole time, so at the final development stage, they could actually afford to up the quality of the game significantly.


“We signed a brand new game in the middle of December…the 15th of December we signed the contract…Greg and I signed a contract and Fed Ex’d it back to the publisher and boom. We’re hitting the ground running now. We’re actually going to do kind of a diary of the development of that but I probably won’t release that until once the game’s been announced…I’m really really excited about it. It might be the game I’m the most excited about ever in my career…Hopefully I can tell you all about it soon. It’s going to be awhile probably…It’s not related to the other game with the Dracula character we released before.” – Jools Watsham, Renegade Kid developer

If previous work done by Reneage Kid is any indication, this new title could turn out to be a great experience. Moon and The Dementium have pushed the limits of the DS, so I wouldn’t be surprised if the new game falls in line with that as well.

Now that Free Radical has been closed down and most employees have been relieved of their positions, character art and renders of Star Wars Battlefront 3 and TimeSplitters 4 have been released. The shots come from a 3D artist who released the work on his blog (though they have been removed since then).

Source 1, Source 2, Source 3