Three new RPGs from across the seas

All you role players and Japanophiles out there have something to get excited about this week, besides the vernal equinox. Publisher XSEED announced that they are bringing three new RPGs, released in Japan last year, to the North American market later this year. Here's the scoop on these transpacific titles:

Dungeon Maker: Hunting Ground (PSP)

Imagine a bizarre cross-breeding of Diablo and Viva Pinata, and you've got a good idea of what to expect from Dungeon Maker. As the Architect, you build dungeons. It's your shtick. Thing about dungeons is, they attract all kinds of monsters and demons. But you like that, because as we all know dungeons are like gated communities for the unholy abomination set. Every fiend in there is up to its horns in gold, jewels, and desirable items. Lure 'em, slay 'em, loot 'em. Repeat. The better your dungeon design is, the more high profile demons you'll attract. A nifty trading feature will allow you to share your creations, as long as you can find someone who wants to explore your dungeon.

Above: A screen from Dungeon Maker: Hunting Ground. Hit the Images tab above for more

Brave Story: New Traveler (PSP)

The title of this game sounds like a generic name for every traditional RPG ever made, and from what we can tell, it's the perfect name for this game. It's just an ordinary day for an ordinary guy in a peaceful land, until his friend is mysteriously stricken with an unknown illness! A strange voice utters, "Beyond the door you can change your destiny," and the boy is whisked away to the fantastical land of Vision. He sets off, joins up with new adventurers, battles monsters and villains, becomes stronger and gains new abilities, and seeks to vanquish the evil that plagues the land. Also, capture rare birds, trade them, and exchange them for goodies. It's the RPG archetype with a splash of Pokemon.

Wild Arms 5 (PS2)

The latest entry in the 10-year-old Wild Arms series will retain the well-done battle mechanic of Wild Arms 4, but will bring an all-new storyline to the table. It takes place on Filgaia, a planet where humans abandoned their super-advanced technological society in favor of a simpler life. Thousands of years later, the Filgaians are ruled by cruel alien overlords. The quest to reclaim the lost technology and expunge the occupiers needs a catalyst, so how about a giant arm holding a comatose girl falling from the sky? Yep, that'll do. A pantload of battles, some cameos from the series' past, and dual pistol-wielding ensue.

March 22, 2007