Sunday vs Magazine, or WAKE UP ATTACK, JOOOEEEEEE!

A while back we heard news from the land of the rising run that the Jump Stars series of fighting games was getting a rival. Not only would it be comprised of heroes from manga serials that are decidedly not Shounen Jump, but they would even appear on the Nintendo DS’s rival handheld gaming device, the PSP. Well now the trailer’s been released, and I don’t think I gotta say this but I will anyway: Game looks DYNAMITE ON FIRE.

So here we have Sunday vs Magazine Shuuketsu! Choujou Daikessen! or roughly, The Sunday vs Magazine Gathering! The Greatest Ultimate Battle, and it looks to be a very different fighting game from Jump Ultimate Stars. It uses 3d graphics, seems to be more of a traditional 1-on-1 fighter, and of course the roster is way different.

Yeah they announced some characters a while back, and most of them are really awesome, particularly Ippo and Mechazawa, but then they started pulling out the big guns: Yabuki Joe! Devilman! Tiger Mask! CYBORG 009! This game means serious business, and is reaching hard and deep to fulfill its destiny.

There’s definitely going to be hidden characters, mark my word. There’s no way a game as big as this would forget everyone’s favorite age-regressed bowtie-wearing detective.

I’ve talked about how important it is for a crossover to FEEL like a crossover even if a person has never heard of most or any of the properties involved, and this trailer pulls it off with astounding success. Who would not be stoked, really? And even if you hate a character, then here’s your opportunity to Cross Counter their face in!

I too shall lament the unlikelihood of Tatsunoko vs Capcom reaching American shores

Tatsunoko vs Capcom, the crossover fighting game which allows you to pit Roll from Megaman againt the ill-conceived-yet-somehow-awesome Gold Lightan, is probably not going to be for sale in America. Much like the Super Robot Wars series, which only managed to legitimately reach beyond the shores of Japan when it released games with Original Characters Only, TvC’s problem is primarily on the T end.

As anime gets licensed in America, there is no hard-and-fast rule that one company’s shows must all go to one US licensing company. This is good for us because if one company goes under it doesn’t take too many shows with them, but it’s also bad because negotiating any sort of crossover game is more difficult than trying to translate Hong Kong subs into sign language. Capcom and Tatsunoko are not Scrooge McDuck, they do not own giant money bins in which they can perform backstrokes, and it only makes sense that they avoid trying to release their mutual effort in game form over here, especially because Tatsunoko is not exactly well known in America. Maybe they could do better in  Spanish-speaking countries.

There’s always the rumor that they could take the engine and modify it into a new Marvel vs Capcom. I don’t know what’s up with the Marvel game license.

In conclusion, Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe has terrible Fatalities. I don’t mind the lack of gore, I mind the lack of creativity.

Hokuto Hyakuryuusei Ora Ora Ora Ora: Playing Jump Ultimate Stars

A friend of mine kindly obtained for me a copy of the game Jump Ultimate Stars. I imagine a lot of you already know what the game is and have probably played it far more than I have. For those of you who don’t, Jump Ultimate Stars is a Shounen Jump crossover fighting game for the Nintendo DS spanning Shounen Jump’s approximately 30-year history. Think of it as Smash Bros, but with Naruto, One Piece, Otokojuku, Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, Hokuto no Ken, Dragon Ball, and so on.

This review isn’t really a “game review” as I’m not planning on telling anyone to buy it or not. The controls are similar to Smash Bros in many ways, though it doesn’t feel quite as fluid and the lack of the “third jump” can be annoying at times. That’s just nitpicking though.

Jump uses the dual-screen in a rather unique way. On the upper screen is the action, while on the lower screen is what resembles a comic panel. You the player must construct your own “comic page” out of various characters’ famous panels, and these characters are the ones who will be available for you to use in battle. There are Battle Koma (usable characters), Support Koma (Marvel vs Capcom 2-style assists), and Help Koma (stat boosts).

I love seeing the many references, and while a bit tedious I like the logic in many of the unlocks. For example, at one point you get Kenshiro, and through points you can upgrade Kenshiro to more and more powerful versions. It’s only when you unlock the Yuria’s Help Koma that you can bring Kenshiro to full power, giving him access to Musou Tensei, the ultimate technique of Hokuto Shinken. Similarly, you need Yuria to fully power Raoh, but Raoh only has two battle koma types total: six and eight. Or, to put it more simply, strong and VERY strong. Very fitting for Raoh.

The only really sad thing is that while Jump Ultimate Star has some of my favorite Jump characters, such as Kuchiki Rukia (Bleach) and Kobayakawa Sena (Eyeshield 21), it doesn’t have my absolute favorites, particularly Hyuuga Hinata (Naruto) and Souther (Hokuto no Ken). Maybe next game.

PS: The Emperor has no need for PSPs.

PPS: Not really, as Super Robot Wars A Portable looks sweet.