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How did this sneak up on us? We dig the Bleach anime series and manga, and we knew that Bleach: Dark Souls was developed by the incomparable Japanese coding house Treasure, just like last year’s impressive DS fighter, Bleach: The Blade of Fate. Yet, we were still caught off guard when we popped this cartridge into our DS and were solidly impressed, if not blown away.
Bleach: The 3rd Phantom, a strategy role-playing game developed by Sega and based on the popular anime, wants Advance Wars and Final Fantasy Tactics to notice it. Like a high school student with low self-esteem, The 3rd Phantom tries hard to fit in with different cliques, but ends up sitting awkwardly at lunch with the chemistry teacher.
If Mistwalker, the studio founded by the creator of the Final Fantasy series, were hoping Blue Dragon Plus would be the title to pull them out of Square Enix’s considerable shadow, then we’re sorry to report that this isn’t the case. They’ve gone and done a Revenant Wings – that is, concoct an RTS-lite handheld sequel to a console title.
For those folks unfamiliar with the Blue Dragon series, it represents Microsoft's best attempt at creating a memorable Japanese-style RPG series to compete with the Final Fantasys of the world. Traditional gameplay, familiar character tropes, "save-the-world-from-evil" plotting, and a lot of almost anime-style, super-deformed graphics signal to the player that he or she is in for a particular type of gameplay in a particular type of game world...
Behind Boing! Docomodake's seemingly incomprehensible title is a perhaps even stranger bit of context. See, the Docomodake in question is not only an anthropomorphic, puzzle-solving mushroom, but also the mascot for Japanese cell-phone provider NTT docomo
Puzzle games don’t come much faster or more fiendishly addictive than Bomberman. The little fella might have been around so long he should be ready to join the pension queue, right behind Mega Man, but if Hudson keeps making games as good as Bomberman 2, we’re not going to argue it’s time for him to retire.
When a $20 DS version of a popular free PC game comes out, we expect it to offer more than the original free game to warrant a purchase. If it's an awesome enough game – so good that there's value in being able to play it portably – it needs to be a competent port at the very least. Bookworm DS isn't atrociously terrible, but it's definitely a downgrade from the version that's available for free, which makes it difficult to justify on any level...
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