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Articles by Janine Dong – View Profile

Square Enix announces stylin’ Final Fantasy XIII sweepstakes

by Janine Dong on Dec 18, 2009 at 09:38 AM

fnal fantasy xiii logoEven though Japan is currently enjoying the release of Final Fantasy XIII for the Playstation 3 (released on December 17, 2009), American fans aren’t being left out in the blistering winter cold this holiday season.

On December 23, 2009, Square Enix will kick off its Stylin’ Final Fantasy XIII Sweepstakes where 13 lucky winners will be able to win an assortment of Final Fantasy XIII-inspired accessories.

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Tecmo bringing sexy back to the PSP with Dead or Alive Paradise

by Janine Dong on Dec 17, 2009 at 12:17 PM

dead or alive paradise logo screen shotTecmo will be redefining the word “handheld” with its latest announcement, Dead or Alive Paradise, which promises to bring everyone’s favorite batch of barely clothed busty babes to Sony PSP owners in Japan this coming Spring 2010.

Paradise is what you might call a stripped down (pun intended) version of the Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball (DOAX) series. DOAX is a game that revolves around the lovely ladies of the DOA series prancing around in sometimes barely-existent bikinis on a beautiful private beach doing anything but fighting.

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Japanese Import: Tokimeki Memorial Girl’s Side 3rd Story for Nintendo DS

by Janine Dong on Nov 22, 2009 at 09:00 AM

konami nintendo ds tokimeki memorial girl's side 3rd storyThe January 2010 issue of B’s Log is sure to bring big smiles to fans of Konami’s popular dating simulation game Tokimeki Memorial Girl’s Side (TMGS).

Gracing the cover of this month’s current issue was one of the new characters coupled with the official title of the new addition scheduled for a tentative 2010 release on the Nintendo DS.

Tokimeki Memorial Girl’s Side 3rd Story takes place seven years after the events of the first TMGS game at Habataki Gakuen. This new chapter in the series promises new locations, gameplay, delectable date-ables (of course) and even a new main character sporting a new hairstyle and school uniform. The main character will still have a sidekick who serves as a barometer for your crushes’ affection as well as important statistics, but no additional details have been released yet.

So far, only 3 character have been introduced: Ruka Sakurai, Arashi Fujiyama, and Tamao Konno.

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Japanese Import: Dengeki Girl’s Style, the otome fan’s bi-monthly magazine

by Janine Dong on Sep 14, 2009 at 11:48 AM

dengeki girl's style japanese videogame magazine september 2009Japan is a country that specializes in niches and otome (games directed at female gamers) games are no exception. Since otome games are such a common commodity among the female population of gamers, there’s even a magazine wholly dedicated to it called Dengeki Girl’s Style.

Dengeki Girl’s Style finds it roots with Dengeki PlayStation, a monthly Japanese gaming magazine published by ASCII Media Works. Initially introduced as Dengeki PlayStation Girl’s Style on December 4, 2003, the title was later changed to its current form in the early part of 2007. While this magazine is chock full of everything and anything an avid otome-gamer might want, it unfortunately sees only a bimonthly release.

Sold at 740 to 830 yen (approx. US$8 to $9), certain issues of Girl’s Style even include exclusive packaged goodies of the current flavor of the month game in the form of such paraphernalia including phone straps, card files, calendars, and bookmarks. This month’s issue (September 21, 2009) made females weak in the knees with art from Idea Factory’s Hakuouki Portable for the Sony PSP lavishing the cover and included an exclusive Hakuouki long strap featuring one of the game’s forlorn heroes in a vulnerable pose.

Dengeki Girl’s Style brings its readers information on otome games of all media including MS Windows, consoles, handhelds and even cell phones. The cell phone games, especially, will make American cell phone owners green with envy thanks to the sluggish pace when it comes to US cell phone technology. It’s also worth mentioning that this magazine includes comprehensive special reports on popular game specific merchandise available in Japan.

The September 2009 issue features a 2-page spread on Hakuouki goods, for example, that includes pictures of every single item as well as prices. The magazine almost always features exclusive interviews with the seiyuu (Japanese voice actors) who bring life to the handsome bishounen (Japanese term for handsome or pretty boy) characters of popular otome games as well as round-about information on otome conventions and events.

Each month, Dengeki Girl’s Style features an exclusive cover with art created specifically for the magazine by the original artist of the game that’s chosen. Not only that, the pick of the month also gets a whopping 10+ pages worth of coverage that includes anything from the character artist’s comments on his/her designs, walkthroughs, related events, and special side-stories just to name a few.

I highly suggest trying to nab a copy of Dengeki Girl’s Style because if you’re a die-hard otome fan, you will definitely not be disappointed with this magazine’s contents. It keeps you abreast on all the hot new dating simulation games amidst beautifully illustrated visuals.

Unfortunately, finding this magazine outside of Japan poses an extremely difficult challenge since most import sites (such as PlayAsia, NCSX, JBOX) don’t carry it. However, if you’re lucky enough to live near a Kinokuniya bookstore, then I’d suggest that is your best outlet for obtaining this elusive publication. Of course, curious cats and interested readers can always take the now savvy green approach and check out the official website.

Since the website is completely in Japanese, it may be a bit of a doozy for those who aren’t familiar with the language. Here’s a hint though: Most of the clickable links show English equivalents at the bottom of your internet browser if you merely roll your mouse over them, so it’s best to be attentive. Or, you could get creative and simply utilize one of the many free text translation sites like Yahoo’s Babel Fish to do all the hard work for you.

Site [Dengeki Girl’s Style] Read [Gamertell]

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New details about Kindgom Hearts: Birth by Sleep for PSP

by Janine Dong on Aug 31, 2009 at 08:35 PM

kingdom hearts birth by sleep sony psp tetsuya nomura art imageHot off the press of the latest issue of the Weekly Famitsu, Square Enix breaks its silence regarding information on the much anticipated Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep (KHBBS) for the Playstation Portable. The director of this new chapter in the Kingdom Hearts series, Testuya Nomura, confirmed that KHBBS would indeed be playable at the 2009 Tokyo Game Show and also feature a brand new trailer.

KHBBS is an action role-playing game that serves as a prequel set ten years prior to the first Kingdom Hearts game. Its battle system slightly resembles that of Re:Chain of Memories (Playstation 2) and allows players to customize their “deck” by choosing which techniques and abilities are displayed onscreen.

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E3 2009: Final Fantasy Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers in-depth hands-on impressions

by Janine Dong on Jun 7, 2009 at 09:24 AM
the crystal bearers final fantasy chronicles logo

At the 2009 Electronics Entertainment Expo, Square Enix debuted a playable demo of the latest chapter in its Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles series titled The Crystal Bearers for Wii.

In the demo, I was able to experience Layle’s mysterious abilities in an assortment of different environments. During battles, players will utilize the WiiMote by moving it to collaborate with the onscreen targeting point and pushing the B button to commence its appropriate action. This could be anything from telekinetically controlling a Gatling gun to Swiss cheese oncoming avian enemies, to targeting chasing enemy Chocobo knights and tossing them from their steeds in an attempt to flee.

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E3 2009: Bayonetta hands-on impressions

by Janine Dong on Jun 6, 2009 at 10:16 AM

I first caught a glimpse of Bayonetta at the 2008 Tokyo Game Show so when I found out that Sega would be debuting a playable demo of this game, I made sure I held my place in line. The demo offered two different stages: A tutorial (easy mode) and actual levels (normal mode).

Bayonetta is a third-person action adventure game amidst a fully 3D environment with game play that closely resembles Capcom’s Devil May Cry. It includes an intact combo system as well as a scoring meter that tallies everything at the end of the level and awards the player with different trophies representative of skill level displayed. Bayonetta was being demoed on the Xbox 360 and is scheduled for a multi-platform release in late 2009 (Xbox 360, Playstation 3). From the early looks of this game and the demo, it looks like the latter part of 2009 is heating up to be be one extremely sexy adrenaline rush.

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Raiden to star in his own game titled Metal Gear Solid: Rising for the Xbox 360

by Janine Dong on Jun 1, 2009 at 03:09 PM

metal gear solid 4 sons liberty raiden profileThe Xbox 360 will finally be receiving some man-loving from Raiden (first appeared in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty for the PS2 and subsequently in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots for the PS3) who adorns the stage in Metal Gear Solid: Rising.

The announcement of Raiden receiving his own game shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to fans what with the image that Hideo Kojima ended his Game Developer’s Converence 2009 keynote with all the way back in March 2009.

Besides the game’s invasion onto the Xbox 360…

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Gamertell Exclusive: NISA Press Event: Holy Drunken Shenanigans, Badman!

by Janine Dong on May 8, 2009 at 10:32 AM


NISA (Nippon Ichi Software of America) was kind enough to invite Gamertell to attend its Holy Drunken Shenanigans, Badman! event that was held at the Zebulon Cafe in San Francisco, California on May 7, 2009. Inside, there was food, drinks, and video game fun to be had by all.

NISA displayed many of their upcoming titles pending release in the US. The list of playable titles included the event’s namesake Holy Invasion of Privacy, Badman! (Sony PSP), Cross Edge (PS3), Phantom Brave (Wii), and Let’s Zenryoku Hitchhike!!!!!!!!! (Wiiware ). Let’s Zenryoku Hitchhike!!!!!!!!! looks to be a party title where players traverse a board all the while using the Wiimote to flag down passing vehicles, be it such things as beater trucks to cows.

Initially, several key persons involved with the development and production of Holy Invasion of Privacy, Badman! were supposed to be in attendance. However, their travel plans were inevitably canceled due to this month’s flavor of the month also known as the Mexican/swine/H1N1 flu scare…

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Gamertell Review: Mana Khemia: Student Alliance for Sony PSP

by Janine Dong on Apr 30, 2009 at 08:07 PM

After I first popped this game into my PSP, I played it for about two hours and decided that I was done with it. The major vice that turned me off from continuing this game was the gluttony of loading screens that accompanied early every battle and setting change. The loading screens may feature original artwork of the characters but having to look at them every 5 minutes is a bit too much. Also, it seemed as though one character in my party was constantly ganged up on by enemies causing me to lose my advantage in battles.

I’m not sure what changed but I decided to give this game a second chance and, to my surprise, I haven’t been able to put the darned thing down…

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