Monthly Editorial – June 2012: Live from the E3 2012 Show

Summer means a lot of things for a lot of people but for us it will always mean swimming pools, ice cream, shaving Uncle Harry’s hairy back in the backyard and, of course, conventions. While I always look forward to the Anime Expo each year, summer also welcomes to the Los Angeles Convention Center one specifically geared towards gamers. That’s right, E3 2012 is here and, this being the last day of the show, I got a chance to join the kids at our little brother site, Game Revolver.

While the show seemed to have toned down just a tad, there was still much to see and I’ll give you gamers a full report on the Game Revolver site (http://gamerevolver.wordpress.com) soon. However, I’m happy to report that there are some titles that may interest anime and manga fans like a new Dragon Ball Z game for the Xbox 360 by Bandai Namco that makes good use of the Kinect hardware. That’s right, you’ll be able to pull off some awesome moves as Goku or any of the other characters from the series like Vegeta just to name a few.

Now you can “Ka-Me-Ha-Me-Ha!” without a controller!

Then Bandai Namco also displayed a playable demo of a new One Piece game that I had been dying to see in action since I heard about it from some Japanese friends. Now, One Piece: Kaizoku Musou comes to North America with an all-new adventure featuring Luffy and his crew and believe me when I say that it looked awesome.

There’s much more and I will bring you all the latest news on this front later this month along with game reviews for both these titles when they hit stores in 2012. Meanwhile, I’ll get back to running through the halls of E3 where I swear has gotten so loud that presentations now require headphones.

“I’m going to be king of the pirates … again!”

Also, Animanga Nation will be happy to be back in the same venue for Anime Expo 2012 that is already sounding like an amazing show this year. We’ll also be happy to get to meet favorite guests that include Monica Rial and Jamie Marchi who we absolutely love as well as a number of other amazing guests like Nobuhiko Okamoto who voices Rin from one of our favorite anime series, Blue Exorcist.

Anyway, I’ll get back to E3 where I’m currently sitting near gaming journalists who have been reduced to teenagers at the sight of so many awesome new games.

Much love to you all,

Eduardo Zacarias
Editor-in-Chief

Advertisements

Top 10 Games That Should Be Turned Into An Anime Or Manga Series

Written by: Eden Zacarias

Whether you’re a hardcore gamer, a casual one or haven‘t touched a game since you were 7-years old, it’s hard to ignore the influence that video games have on other forms of media whether it’s a major motion picture or a comic book series. Games have been made into movies before and they have even been turned into manga as well as anime series before … some with mixed results while others (Disgaea and Devil May Cry comes to mind) didn’t quite make much of an impression.

Still, I have hope in my heart that one day they will get it right and bring us a manga or anime series worthy of the game they’re honoring. After all, the reverse seemed to have produced some amazing games as fans of the Dragon Ball Z, Naruto and Bleach series have found out.

Perhaps what is needed is the right choices that would lead to a quality anime or manga series based on a game. So I looked through a number of games and came up with the Top Ten titles that have what it takes to be turned into an amazing anime or manga series.

10. SILENT HILL

The Silent Hill series has managed to continue to prove that this cursed town has more than enough madness and creepy faceless nurses to keep gamers totally freaked out. So, as you can see, the town would be the perfect setting for an anime or manga series of the When They Cry – Higurashi no Naku Koroni style. With plenty of freaks and a town filled with secrets, Silent Hill could easily give horror fans a genuinely scary title.

9. DEAD RISING

Frank West is a photographer sent out to take pictures of a horrifying scene outside one of the biggest shopping malls in America only to find out that the mall has become the last stronghold against a zombie horde. Then there’s a sequel in Las Vegas where a single father must race against time to save his daughter from the zombie infection. Together, these elements put together could make for a long manga series or an anime series with more than one season.

8. ASSASSIN’S CREED

A young man named Desmond finds himself involved in a strange project that has him jumping into the shoes of his ancestors who happen to be the best assassins in two different eras while uncovering the secret of an ancient organization at war with another group. With sci-fi elements, bloody action and a great cast of characters, this has manga and anime written all over it.

7. SOUL CALIBUR

This is a title I’m surprised has not become an anime series considering the eclectic cast of characters that would fit right in with an action brawler with swords and babes. Yeah, I could already see all the fan service bits thanks to characters like Ivy. The series could be about the tournament as all these characters come together to obtain the ultimate sword.

6. MASS EFFECT

This is one another game series that would fit right in as an anime series since there have been comic book releases for it already. The Mass Effect universe is amazing and the story of a Commander trying to save the world from an ancient alien race has all the makings of a long sci-fi action series filled with cool-looking aliens and likeable characters.

5. STREET FIGHTER X TEKKEN

Street Fighter has seen its share of anime movies and many of them were good enough that fans wondered why an actual series wasn’t made as well. Add Tekken to the mix like the upcoming Street Fighter X Tekken and you have a formula for a fighting anime or manga series pitting a huge cast of brawlers with their unique personalities and fighting styles. Who doesn’t want to see Chun-Li fight Nina Williams?

4. METAL GEAR SOLID

Solid Snake is such a beloved character that fans nearly cried at the end of Guns of the Patriot and sent creator Kojima angry e-mails for having pretty boy Raiden take center stage in the second game of the Metal Gear Solid series. Add a number of awesome villains like Revolver Ocelot and Sniper Wolf plus a cast of fun characters that join Snake and you have yourself a hit series guaranteed. This is one I would love to see as an anime.

3. RESIDENT EVIL

You cannot go wrong with a great list of characters that span the several releases this series has produced over the years. You can consider this a different kind of zombie series filled with wild conspiracies involving the Umbrella Corporation. I see this one as a long-running series since the games continue to expand on the story in interesting ways. Plus, Jill Valentine and Claire Redfield are two of the strongest female leads.

2. NO MORE HEROES

This is another series I keep wondering why an anime series wasn’t produced as a result of its success and anime feel to the cut scenes. No More Heroes is outright crazy and chaotic and really interesting in the Samurai Champloo mold. This is one series that would fit right at home with anime fans looking for a dark, bloody and mature action series.

Finally, the #1 Game That Should Be Turning Into an Anime or Manga Series …

1. CATHERINE

This one is a no-brainer seeing as the game is presented anime-style and the story and characters would work perfectly for an anime. Filled with dark humor and an edgy adult theme, following the misadventures of a young man caught between Catherine or Katherine would make for an entertaining series. Who will he chose? We don’t know but, if you played the game, you know that half the fun is watching our hero try to make sense of the whole affair.

Kingdom Hearts: Re:coded – Nintendo DS Review

Publisher: Square Enix
Developer: Square Enix
Platform: Nintendo DS
Genre: Role-Playing Game
MSRP: $34.99 US
ESRB: Rated E10+
Release Date: January 11, 2011

Review By: Eduardo Zacarias, Editor-in-Chief

Having been a fan since the first Kingdom Hearts game appeared on PlayStation 2, the series has seen “extra” chapters on handhelds before the sequel arrived on the same console. While fans patiently await the third installment – and believe me, there will be a Kingdom Hearts III – Square Enix brings us a game that was original available on cell phones in Japan. Kingdom Hearts: Re:coded finally lands on the Nintendo DS but is it good enough for even loyal fans of the series?

Thankfully, Re:coded reunites Sora with Donald, Goofy, Mickey and Riku so it at least returns to the heart of the journey and doesn’t hit a road bump like it did with the fun-yet-flawed Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days. In fact, this adventure is a return to the events of the first game despite that the story takes place after the events of Kingdom Hearts II. You see, Pinocchio’s conscious, Jiminy Cricket, is also King Mickey’s royal scribe who chronicles all major events as well as Sora’s adventures. However, when he discovers a glitch in some entries involving Sora the cricket has two familiar characters create a digital version of Sora (complete with Keyblade) to make things right.

So begins an adventure set in worlds seen in both Kingdom Hearts and its console sequel as Sora and friends retrace their steps that will take them through places like Olympus, Wonderland and Agrabah. Visiting these places, Sora and the others not only face the Heartless but unravel the mystery behind the glitches. The good news is that Sora gets to do some series cleaning and that means slicing up Heartless with his Keyblade. Again he gets support from Donald, Goofy, Mickey and Riku as they meet up with a number of other Final Fantasy and Disney characters.

If there’s one thing that Re:coded does magnificently that is action. Combat is fluid and true to the console games, including the auto-targeting that makes striking your enemy effective when it doesn‘t confuse an enemy with a crate. On top of that, Sora and equip spells and certain items you obtain in each world so there’s plenty of variety to your attacks.

Interestingly enough, the game also tries to mix things up while keeping the familiar RPG elements but it’s the new gameplay features that make this one a nice change of pace from Chain of Memories or 358/2 Days. The best part is that the variety in gameplay styles isn’t overused so the game goes back to its role-playing game roots. In one section you will find yourself in a side-scrolling platformer level and in another you will be commanding characters in a turn-based strategy level. There’s even an on-rails shooter level as well as boss battles that take on an interesting turn.

I’m actually quite disappointed that the game is actually a short one that offers no other real incentive to play again aside from the fact that there’s a second ending. It’s also disappointing that the majority of the cut scenes aren’t all animated (only scenes with Mickey, Donald and Goofy are animated) while the rest of the scenes are made up of stills with dialogue bubbles. Then there’s the wonky camera that often gets in the way of the action, especially in the platformer level that can get frustrating because of it.

Visually, Re:coded is impressive but then – if you played 358/2 Days or any other Final Fantasy DS game you would already know that. The animated scenes look amazing and the characters look good within the games so expect some equally dazzling visual effects as well. As far as the sound is concerned, there’s not much in terms of voice acting but the score is wonderful and certainly makes up for the lack of voice acting in this series.

Kingdom Hearts: Re:coded for the Nintendo DS is a solid entry and one that will pleasantly surprise true fans of this series. It’s also a game that is marred by a number of flaws that hold this game back from true greatness. We also wish the game was longer or given us a reason to want to play again but what is here is worth playing and even more so if you’re a Kingdom Hearts fan who has been patiently waiting for it to come to our side of the pond.

ANIMANGA NATION RATING

Gameplay: B-
Graphics: B+
Sound: B+
Appeal: B
Overall: B-

Review copy provided by Square Enix

The Best and Worst of Naruto Shippuden Video Games

Written By: Eduardo Zacarias, Editor-in-Chief

Just as Naruto Uzumaki has grown up and moved up in the shinobi world in the manga series and the anime, so too has our favorite orange ninja in the world of video games. We have seen excellent, passable and just plain awful Naruto games in the past and now as the series moved on to its Naruto Shippuden phase, you can bet a bowl of ramen that the same applies to the Shippuden games.

You see, earlier Naruto games featured adventures when a much younger Naruto in a team that consisted of Sakura and Sasuke and some have eventually led up to the moment where Naruto and Sasuke part ways in a battle between these two characters. Now, the Naruto Shippuden games finds Naruto a bit older, somewhat wiser and a lot more powerful than before. It also finds Naruto with new threats to face and a new determination that goes beyond his desire to become the Leaf Village’s Hokage.

So allow me to take you through the Naruto Shippuden games so far as we not only look at the good games but also the Shippuden games you really should avoid even if you’re a hardcore fan.

THE GOOD


Naruto Shippuden: Clash of Ninja Revolution III (Nintendo Wii)

A surprisingly well-executed fighting game with all the things we wanted to see in a fighter with Naruto-themed backgrounds, characters and Chakra-filled abilities. Each character brought something to the table and, on top of the fun fast-paced action, the game made good use of the Nintendo Wii controllers well enough that we just can’t stop playing this around our office.


Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm 2 (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)

We really enjoyed the first Ultimate Ninja Storm game but this sequel is even more enjoyable than the first in almost every way without coming off as just another rehash. Don’t you hate it when games bring the same ideas to the table with just an updated roster? Ultimate Ninja Storm 2 tries and scores big to the point that this outshines the original.


Ultimate Ninja 4: Naruto Shippuden (PlayStation 2)

Who said nothing good comes out for the PlayStation 2 now that the PS3 is available? This fourth game in the Ultimate Ninja series offers more bang for your buck but falls short in a few things including the main mode that just goes through the motions by copying games like Naruto: Rise of a Ninja. Still, you can’t go wrong with this Naruto title.


Naruto Shippuden: Ninja Destiny 2 (Nintendo DS)

Ninja Destiny 2 runs circles around the Ninja Council games in just about every way and Destiny 2 is just simply a fun game that Naruto fans will enjoy. Sure, it’s not an amazing handheld game but it is still fun enough for those who have lost hope that no good Naruto games appear on the DS.


Naruto Shippuden: Naruto Vs. Sasuke (Nintendo DS)

What’s better than showing that no good traitor Sasuke who is the better ninja than taking him on in a handheld game that pits Naruto against his former friend? This game basically makes us live out our fantasy of finally seeing a no-holds barred battle against these two powerful forces once and for all.

THE BAD


Naruto Shippuden Legends: Akatsuki Rising (PSP)

One of the most disappointing handheld games was one that was promising in just about every way considering the fact that this game pits Naruto and other Leaf ninja against the Akatsuki threat. This game just falls flat in every department, most importantly the combat so avoid this one if you could.


Naruto Shippuden: Dragon Blade Chronicles (Nintendo Wii)

This one is almost just as disappointing as Akatsuki Rising because it was meant to be an original Naruto Shippuden game good enough to shake your Wii Remote around. It’s just so upsetting to see good idea implemented so weakly for a game that doesn’t feature the same scenarios we already played in past Naruto games to do something different.


Naruto Shippuden: Ninja Council 4 (Nintendo DS)

The Ninja Council series has a sketchy track record that has seen many bad Naruto games and only has a limited number of really good ones. It’s not that they didn’t try to bring Naruto fans a good game but too much emphasis was placed on making use of the handheld’s touch screen capabilities than concentrating on level design. This fourth addition falls flat because of this same issue but there is hope for this series yet since there are some good things about the game … mainly the action.


Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Heroes 3 (PSP)

I really loved the first Ultimate Ninja Heroes game and the second one was not bad at all but Ultimate Ninja Heroes 3 is like the first two games had a baby … a very bland baby that disappoints its two talented and very likeable parents. Sure, it looks and feels like mom and dad but junior offers nothing new that make it stand out in anyway.

NARUTO SHIPPUDEN GAMES WE ARE LOOKING FORWARD TO FOR 2011

You can expect more Naruto games for 2011 and we will bring you more news and review for the new games when we get them. Of course, there’s a game we are certainly looking forward to and that is:


Naruto Shippuden: Shinobi Rumble! (Nintendo DS)

Covering a very serious and intense chapter in the Naruto Shippuden series, Shinobi Rumble is but the beginning of what might look to be the beginning of a war in the shinobi world. The gloves are off and if this game plays its cards right it will be a game you will not want to miss.