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The Release List for the week of October 26, 2009

Note: Release dates are subject to change

Umihara Kawase Jun Second Edition kanzenban (DS import)

Umihara Kawase Jun Second Edition kanzenban is a remake of the game of the same name (minus the "Jun Second Edition kanzenban") for the Super Famicon and PS1. It follows a girl who uses a fishing pole to swing onto ledges that she would not have otherwise been able to reach with a simple jump. Many liken this game to Bionic Commando, but I'd say that there are enough differences in the way the grappling system works to say that they can't be considered the same. Unlike in Bionic Commando, you are given the ability to jump, you can extend or retract your line at will, and the line has a springy feel that must be mastered if you want to traverse through each room efficiently.

I played a bit of this at TGS and as far as I can tell, it plays pretty much like the original. According to NCSX, Genterprise's DS port was supervised by Sakai Kiyoshi, the original programmer, so it looks like this is the version to get if you want Umihara Kawase in portable form.

Bayonetta (360 import, PS3 import)

At TGS Sega hit me with a surprise interview with Bayonetta's producer. Below is a copy and paste of some of the highlights.

When footage from Bayonetta was first shown at E3 2008 alongside MadWorld in PlatinumGames' media room, it was introduced as a "cool and stylish action shooter." My first impression after hearing that description and seeing the footage was that it looked a lot like Devil May Cry mixed with some Ninja Gaiden. It was only later that I found out that the game's director, Hideki Kamiya, was the creator of DMC, so the similarities are somewhat understandable. However, it seemed like there was more to it than that, and at this year's E3, I was able to confirm that my suspicions were correct - it's more than just a DMC clone. The updated demo that we got to try at Tokyo Game Show last month was further proof of that. Luckily, those with Japanese accounts for both Xbox Live! and PSN will be able see it for themselves soon enough (possibly by the time this piece goes up). Whether or not the game holds up beyond what is presented in the demo is still unknown, but since it gets released in Japan in only a few weeks, we won't have to wait that long to find out.

Q&A with Yusuke Hashimoto

Before we get started, can you tell us about yourself?

I'm Yusuke Hashimoto, a producer at PlatinumGames. The past titles that I've worked on were Biohazard 3 for the PS1, Biohazard and Biohazard 4 for the GameCube, Devil May Cry, and Godhand.

Tell us about Bayonetta.

Bayonetta is a witch who has been in a magical slumber. She has only recently awoken into modern times and has no memory of her past. She has the ability to summon forth demonic entities through her hair. They take shape as she uses them in her attacks. As you progress through the game, you learn more about her past and what she's doing now as she adjusts to the modern world.

Is the main character's design based on any person, character, or actress?

The original idea for Bayonetta - the character design - is the brainchild of Kamiya-san. But translating that into digital flesh within the game took the efforts of the lead character designer and the people who had to actually turn her into a reality from somebody's mind's eye. Since the lead character designer (Mari Shimazaki) is female, she had a lot of influence and gave a lot of very good advice on how to really make a feminine character. If it was just a man trying to create a female character, it's going come off as really fake or kind of odd and just sort of out of place, but having a female character designer help out really benefited the look of the character, whether it be her makeup, her fashion, accessories, or those kinds of things.

A lot of people are saying that Bayonetta is all about style over substance. What is your response to that?

First and foremost, Bayonetta is an action game for action game fans. So, there's nothing for anybody to worry about when it comes to the depth of the game. It's really a non-argument for Kamiya-san, myself, and the rest of the team - the experience we've gained making action games over the years really lent itself to the kind of game that Bayonetta is. We've built the kind of game that we as action fans want to play ourselves.

To take it one step further, we understand that there are other people that are not like ourselves - those who are not necessarily action fans, who have yet to become action fans. And so, keeping those people, the broader market, in mind as well, we've actually put in an easy mode where the combo moves are easy to pull off. They're automatically enabled in easy mode, and so that's for people who maybe are on the cusp of becoming real hardcore action fans or those who are not really interested in taking things to the extreme level but still want to get the full entertainment value out of it. So the game at its heart is for action fans and it's going to be completely satisfying to any action game fan. But it's also going to satisfy the people who aren't necessarily action game fans.

Agarest: Generations of War (PS3 European import)

Atelier Annie: Alchemists of Sera Island (DS)

King's Bounty: Armored Princess (PC)

Super Robot Taisen NEO (Wii import)

Sin and Punishment: Successor to the Sky (Wii import)

Adventures To Go! (PSP) (Gamestop Exclusive)

Arcade Shooter: Illvelo (Wii)

Tekken 6 (360, PS3)

League of Legends: Clash of Fates (PC)

Hikari no 4 Senshi: Final Fantasy Gaiden (DS import)

Kenka Banchou Portable (PSP import)

Chin Sports (Wii import)

Sekirei: Mirai Kara no Okurimono (PS2 import)

Flash Precure! Asobi Collection (DS import)

Sword World 2.0: Game Book DS (import)

Elminage II: Sousei no Megami to Unmei no Daichi (PSP import)

Pri-Saga! Portable (PSP import)

Taishou Yakyuujou: Otome Tatsuno Seishun Nikki (PSP import)

The other releases

Japanese localizations of domestic games, "Asia" versions that do not have English options, and "Best" (greatest hits) releases are not listed.
Tekken 6 (360, PS3)
Tsumi to Batsu Uchu no Koukeisha (Wii)
NadePro!! Kisama no Seiyuu Yatte Miro! (PS2)
Date ni Game Tsui Wake Jane! Dungeon Maker Girls Type (DS)
Konami Dendou Selection (DS)

100 All-Time Favorites (DS)
All-Star Cheer Squad 2 (Wii)
Arcade Shooting Gallery (Wii)
Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader? Game Time (360, DS, Wii)
Ben 10 Alien Force: Vilgax Attacks (360, DS, PS2, PSP, Wii)
Borderlands (PC)
Chronicles of Mystery: Curse of the Ancient Temple (DS)
CSI: Deadly Intent - The Hidden Cases (DS)
CSI: Deadly Intent (360, Wii)
Dance Dance Revolution Hottest Party 3 (Wii)
Dance Dance Revolution X2 (PS2)
Diner Dash: Flo on the Go (DS)
DJ Hero (360, PS2, PS3, Wii)
Dora Puppy (DS)
Drawn to Life: The Next Chapter (DS, Wii)
Dream Salon (DS)
Fairytale Fights (360, PS3)
Forza Motorsport 3 (360)
Grand Theft Auto IV: The Ballad of Gay Tony (360 download)
Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City (360)
Hasbro Family Game Night (DS)
Hasbro Family Game Night 2 (Wii)
iCarly (DS, Wii)
Madagascar Kartz (360, DS, PS3, Wii)
Monster 4x4: Stunt Racer (Wii)
Mountain Sports (Wii)
Nerf N-Strike Elite (Wii)
Ni Hao Kai Lan: Super Game Day (PS2, Wii)
Painkiller: Resurrection (PC)
Petz Dolphinz Encounter (DS)
Petz: Dogz Family (PSP)
Petz: Hamsterz Bunch (PSP)
Petz: Saddle Club (PSP)
Press Your Luck: 2010 Edition (DS, PC, Wii)
Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time (PS3)
Safari Adventures: Africa (Wii)
Saw (PC)
SimAnimals: Africa (DS, Wii)
Ski-Doo: Snowmobile Challenge (Wii)
SpongeBob's Truth or Square (360, DS, PSP, Wii)
System: Flaw (DS)
The Backyardigans (DS)
The Stronghold Collection (PC)
Tinkerbell and the Lost Treasure (DS)
Torchlight (PC download)
Vegas Party (Wii)
Water Sports (Wii)
World of Zoo (DS, PC, Wii)
Zenses: Zen Garden (DS)