Games | Weekly Game Releases | Blog | Week of April 22, 2008: River City Ransom is all that matters this week. Except for all the other stuff that also matters.

List compiled by reibeatall and Sarcasmorator | Imports by parish, courtesy of NCS | Posted April 22, 2008

Game of the week

Persona 3: FES
Atlus | Sony Playstation 2 | Demon Hunting High School Sim
With the news that the Metal Gear Online beta has been pushed back, Persona 3: FES takes its place as Game of the Week. Being one of the only people on the forum who hasn't beaten the original P3, I can't talk too much -- but the game was rather enjoyable. Some would say it's the best Japanese RPG in years, and I'm inclined to agree with them.

FES is the video game equivalent of the Lord of the Rings extended editions. Not only does the core game remain intact, but extras have been added (costumes, more personas), but additional content after the normal story ends which reveals the true ending.

If you missed out on Persona 3 the first time, you're a retard for missing it this time. Not only does it have more meat to it, this release is only thirty bucks.

Also appearing in stores

The World Ends With You
Square Enix | Nintendo DS | Fashion RPG in Shibuya
What happens when Tetsuya Nomura is allowed to design characters without the confines of a long standing series (Final Fantasy) or major license (Kingdom Hearts)? Turns out they look exactly like every other character he's ever designed.

But this time, it actually works. Mr. Parish himself even liked it. If anything can warm his cold, dark, and jaded heart, I think it's worth checking out.

Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Darkness and Explorers of Time
Nintendo | Nintendo DS | Roguelite
I am Mudkip.

After Shiren and Baroque, this roguelike is a breeze. But you get to be a pokémon, and it's a fun time-waster. If you've wanted to get into the roguelikes, but are too afraid that they'll hurt you, try out one of these two games.

Battle of the Bands
THQ | Nintendo Wii | Music is fun with friends
A few months ago at the THQ offices:

Man 1: Say, this Rock Band game looks like it will be pretty successful. And it doesn't look like it will be available on the Wii!
Man 2: I smell easy profit!

A few months after:

Man 1: Crap, it looks like they're bringing Rock Band to the Wii after all.
Man 2: Screw 'em! We'll release first and get easy sales from everybody not wanting to wait.
Man 1: You're brilliant.

Downloadable Contentment: This Week in DLC

Wii VC: River City Ransom
Aksys Games | NES via Wii | Brawler
The best Double Dragon clone that ever was, River City Ransom crossed the street-brawler with RPG elements long before anyone considered the term "RPG elements" in that context. It's also the only game where the bad guys BARF!! as they die. Special items teach the game's fighters new tricks. I played through the game with a friend exactly once as a lad, and it's still an experience I can conjure up at will.

Wii VC: Phantasy Star III: Generations of Doom
Sega | Genesis via Wii | RPG
You can get this in other places, in other ways -- most notably the Sega Genesis Collection for the PS2 and PSP -- but you can also get it right here on the VC if you prefer. You'll reach one of four different endings depending on whom you choose to marry and have children with. This game probably has the shakiest reputation of the main-series Phantasy Stars, but it definitely gets points for trying something different.

XBLA: Lost Cities
Sierra Online | Xbox 360 | Card Game
Playes are dealt cards in five suits representing different expeditions to Lost Cities. I'm not sure how to play this game, or really anything else about it. I am, however, a sucker for card games, so chances are I'll be getting this one. It's also one a' them German-style games, so it should appeal to fans of Catan and Carcassonne and what not. The original version was geared for two players; this one incorporates an alternate rule set allowing up to four, and allows for online play as well.

Big in Japan: This Week's imports

Summon Night DS
Banpresto | DS | RPG
I can't seem to get into Summon Night. Not for lack of trying! I mean, Atlus even brought over two of the Game Boy Advance iterations, and we all love supporting Atlus. But something about these games seems to heartbreakingly generic that I just have to avoid them. I can't even work up the will to read the HG101 retrospective, and I read everything there. Maybe the DS iteration will change this! But probably not.

Taiko No Tatsujin 7
Namco Bandai | DS | Tiny tappin'
My rudimentary grasp of Japanese tells me that this is something to do with the seventh Taiko No Tatsujin game, but not actually the seventh Taiko game, which was released on PlayStation 2 a couple of years ago. So what is it? I don't know! The "Daibouken" subtitle suggests it's a platformer based on the series, but that's probably too good to be true.

Vantage Master Portable
Falcom | PSP | Tiny tactics
Falcom doesn't create an awful lot of new games these days -- they just rework their old games ad infinitum. Case in point! Here's a PC strategy game that was released for free years ago, now reworked and incredibly expensive for PSP. I guess the portability makes it worth the money?

Valkyrie of the Battlefield
Sega | PS3 | Tiny OMG GORGEOUS
I haven't really bothered paying attention to how Valkyrie of the Battlefield plays, but I'm sure it'll be fine. Sega doesn't make a lot of RPGs, but the ones they do produce are just fine. No, the reason I haven't bothered looking at the gameplay is because I'm too busy gawping at the visuals. Not to be a graphics whore, but this game looks exactly like a Hayao Miyazaki manga, with soft color and gentle brush-hatching defining the world. It's breathtakingly beautiful in a way that "realistic" games will never, ever accomplish.

Talk about how crappy these games are!