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Two Potential Hits Sprout from XSeed

In a perfect world, there would be more publishing houses like XSeed. The Torrance based company has brought a plethora of unique Japanese titles to our shores- from KORG DS-10, the DS synthesizer simulation, to the Wild Arms series, which blends Wild-West mythos into a JRPG framework. Looking into 2009, two titles have us captivated:

                                               Retro Game Challenge

Despite all the now-gen pageantry shown at last July’s E3, we spent a disproportionate amount of time beguiled by a niche DS title. Known to Japanese gamers as Game Center CX: Arino’s Challenge, the title is indirectly tied to a long-running television series. The popular program chronicles the challenges faced by Arino, as he attempts to complete a classic game within a single day, typically with comical results. While the series is still trying to find a western distributor, players can enjoy Retro Game Challenge this month, without any knowledge of the game’s origin.

The title presents players with eight games inspired by recognizable NES favorites. Cosmic Gate is a Galaga clone, while Guadia Quest recalls Dragon Quest, with its block-based maps, and pop-up menu system. While at first we were apprehensive about playing inspired, rather than emulated, Famicon-era titles, the developers have thoughtfully included a few modern-era rudiments to maintain the player’s interest. For each game, players are forced with four challenges to overcome.

What sets Retro Game Challenge apart from seeming like a faked compilation is its amazing devotion to its subject. Players can browse through each game’s manual, which even include safety precautions in their attempt for authenticity. The bottom screen shows two young players, who scamper on their knees when changing cartridges; evoking memories of our Nintendo-drenched youth.

                                          Muramasa: The Demon Blade

With the possible exception of Okami, Playstation 2 owners saw no title as artistically impressive as Vanillaware’s Odin Sphere and Grim Grimoire. Now, disenfranchised Wii owners, who have been on a recent regimen of down-graded next-gen ports and shovelware, have some eye candy to look forward to.

Known in Japan as Oboro Muramasa Yotoden, (or literally: The Hazy Legend of Muramasa’s Magical Sword) the game offers players the ability to hack and slash using the Wiimote or the classic controller. In the game, two protagonists, a male ninja and a female kunoichi dart around the screen with a speed that rivals the velocity shown by Ninja Gaiden’s Ryu Hayabusa.

Graphically, the title looks like an animated Japanese watercolor painting, with gorgeous backdrops depicting crashing waves, swaying waves of grass, and dense bamboo forests. One treetop sequence was beautifully illuminated by a hazy sunset, with light occasionally obscured by a passing tree. The scene was strong enough to stifle any discourse of the graphical limitations of Nintendo’s console.

About Robert Allen

With over 35 years of gaming experience, Robert 'DesertEagle' Allen is Tech-Gaming's resident worrier/warrior who spends his days teaching at three colleges and his nights devoted to JRPGs.

28 comments

  1. Wow, never heard of either of these! Muramasa looks especially great!

  2. RCG will be a must buy.

  3. Im still pissed that Gamestop didn’t carry KORG_DS-10. They carry junk-ass Petz games, but not a something that wold be interesting to true games. bastards.

  4. Welcome back from vacation, you lazy geeks.

  5. RC Racer clone FTW! I loved that game. Wasn’t it from Rare?

  6. I’d love to see Xseed grow. we need way more quirky Japanese games, and less movie/doll/toy licensed crap.

  7. God hates fat girls

    I cant believe those are Wii graphics.

  8. I must have been out of it. I didn’t realize Game Center CX had received a name change for NA.

    Either way, I’m looking at this as a must.

  9. Wat? No WS pics of Muramasa:TDB? That is worrisome.

  10. Great looking game that Muramasa. I hope it sells better than Odin Sphere.

  11. I might have to dust off my Wii.

  12. Yeah, that hit the Circuit City bargain bin pretty damn quick.

  13. That kid in RGC is laying down gaming?

  14. I don’t care how Muramasa; I’ll buy it based on it’s beauty.

    Why doesn’t G4 pick up that Japanese series?

  15. Ive been gaming for 10 years and I never heard of these games or Xseed. Good info, I guess.

  16. Usually I dont care about previews, but these game have me hyped.

  17. PristineCondition

    Cant wait for Retro Game Challenge. It this comes out for $19.99 that would be great!

  18. Muramasa: The Demon Blade looks next-gen. I will have to buy this one.

  19. Second game is sexier than a Megan Fox/Scarlet Johansen sandwich.

  20. Love that cyclops.

  21. I cant wait for Retro Game Challenge. Is this still coming out next week?

  22. Id be willing to drop $30.

  23. These two games look great. Keep the previews coming.

    And no end of the year GOTY picks?

  24. I need a new Wii game. I haven’t bought anything since MArioKart

  25. I cant wait for these two. Muramasa looks so beautiful!

  26. Graphics are great and all, but what about the gameplay? Odin Sphere got boring after a while.

  27. I’ll be grabbing both of these. Does Muramasa have a release date? Is it even out in Japan yet?

  28. RGC looks way cute!