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Unbreakable Soul photo
Unbreakable Soul

Soul Calibur: Unbreakable Soul drops on iOS today

Can't be worse than the recent Soul Calibur games
May 08
// Pedro Cortes
In strange gaming news, the Soul Calibur card game, called Unbreakable Soul, is out today for free on iOS devices. The game has series stalwarts Cassandra and the Edge Master looking for pieces of the Soul Edge. Through the ...
Atlus photo

Shin Megami Tensei iOS on sale for a limited time

$2 off through the end of March
Mar 18
// Tim Sheehy
Our friends at Atlus have informed us that the original Shin Megami Tensei for iOS will be on sale for $5.99 for a limited time. That's $2 off the list price, and while it isn't exactly cheap by App store standards, it's cert...
Perfect Square manga photo
Perfect Square manga

Perfect Square launches limited time digital manga sale

Cheap manga is the best manga
Feb 20
// Kristina Pino
Take advantage of a sale on digital manga being offered by VIZ Media's all-ages imprint Perfect Square, running now until February 28th. Titles such as Hello Kitty: Delicious! (reviewed), Uglydoll: Eat Dat!, and all of their ...
Viz digital manga photo
Over 1,600 volumes of manga goodness.
Huge news for digital manga fans -- Viz Media have made their entire digital catalog of graphic novels available via Apple iBooks, with 1,600 volumes of manga spread across 130 titles. That's a LOT of manga to choose from. Be...

UrumaDelvi photo

English site for Japanese artists UrumaDelvi opens

Popular artists intend to bring more content to the US.
Oct 16
// Ben Huber
Here's a little artsy fun for your week: the artist duo UrumaDelvi have opened their English website. You probably know them best as the creators of the Bottom Biting Bug, but they have a large stable of characters like Twin ...
Dragon Quest Monsters photo
Dragon Quest Monsters

Dragon Quest Monsters is coming to smartphones.

The logo's T is on the phone!
Oct 09
// Eric Koziol
Now, we know that Nintendo will not be putting Pokémon on mobile devices anytime soon. (Good for them, I say. Let's not pick a fight about this.) However, Square-Enix is putting their Pokémon-clone-ish series, D...

Awaken your old school side with the iPhone's new handset

The past returns in a convenient new manner.
Mar 04
// Salvador G Rodiles
Okay, I will admit that I am not into Apple products, but Sanwa's new handset looks like a fun little gimmick to show around. Sure, you could use a regular headset to talk to people while you do other things with your iPhone;...

Get your Pokmon fix anytime with Pokmon TV

Pokmon has gone mobile!
Feb 12
// Kristina Pino
The Pokémon Company have announced today that a new free mobile app, Pokémon TV, is now available for iOS devices in the App Store as well as for Android on the Google Play shop. Re...

Review: Final Fantasy: All the Bravest

Jan 19 // Chris Walden
Final Fantasy: All the Bravest (iOS)Developer: SQUARE ENIXPublisher: SQUARE ENIXRelease date: January 17, 2013MSRP: $3.99+/£2.49+ The gameplay itself is a pretty solid concept. There is a large world map, and on this map there are monsters you must fight. You have to move in a linear fashion, so it works kind of like Super Mario World, just without the split paths. Fair enough, monsters get progressively harder so it makes sense. Once you engage in a fight, the battle screen (shown above) appears. If you don't touch anything, the game will sit here waiting for you to launch an attack, so all is good so far. To attack, you simply tap on one of the characters in your party that isn't recovering from a previous attack (they'll be greyed out and have an ATB bar on their heads). If you attack, the enemies will retaliate. Their attacks vary, but anything that hits one of your party members will instantly kill them. Every three minutes you'll gain another guy to fight for you (if you have space in your party, you can see how much room you have in the top right corner). This way you can wail on the enemies until you're down to a few guys, close the game and come back half an hour or so later and continue the fight. Sounds neat, right? The problem is that this is it. This is the game. Yes, you 'unlock' new classes which means they'll join the random pool of characters your party is pulled from at the start of each fight. Yes, you can unlock weapons that boost the stats of your characters, but these are automatic and involve numbers you never see. Everything is automated to the point where I'm not even sure you can accurately call this a video game. I'm being completely serious, by the way.  I learned pretty quickly that there was no point in tapping dudes when I could just slide my finger erratically over my iPhone's screen and achieve better results. It kind of reminds me of how people wound up playing with the old Eye Toy; flailing about to get the camera to register, or better yet, spinning the camera around your head like a lasso. This isn't gaming, is it? Oh, but there's Fever Mode! Once every three hours you can attack without having to wait for the ATB gauges to refill, which besides giving you some swish visuals and a running counter of your accumulated damage, changes just about nothing. I'm still doing the finger waggle. While the game allows you to waggle in spurts (haw haw), there's always going to be a point where you have to step away from the game to let your party accrue more members. That is unless you suck at waiting and want to play immediately, in which case you can buy gold hourglasses to fill your party straight away. Drawbacks? 69p/$1 for three of them. Single-use, of course.  Which leads us on to the biggest bugbear in Final Fantasy: All the Bravest: the in-app purchases. I personally am not against the idea of in-app purchases as a concept. What I am against is how they are used in this particular game. I can kind of agree on the £2.49/$3.99 pricing of the additional map packs. If you enjoy the game that much, then why not? However, 69p/99c for a randomised "legendary" Final Fantasy character, of which there are 35 in total, is pretty damn shocking. I love the idea of blind bags and the random factor, but in a virtual game for real money? The random factor only exists to prevent people picking the characters they want and stopping there. It's a way to drive more money out of those that do buy this game, with absolutely zero effort on their part. I coughed up 69 of my great British pennies to make sure that there wasn't anything more to these characters. I received Bartz from Final Fantasy V, not a bad character by any means. It's unfortunate then that the hectic gameplay of 20+ characters jumping at monsters and attacking simultaneously ensures that you don't even get to see what your character can do. Yeah, they do a little more damage, but at this point you are just paying to raise your attack stat.  I just don't understand why you can't customise equipment? Sure, managing a team of individuals would be silly, but having a little room to mess with how classes are suited out or what attacks they perform would have been nice. How about an in-game shop to buy things? You actually earn gil as you beat monsters, but it serves no purpose. I hear earning enough of it unlocks a Game Center achievement? Great.  Again, I must reiterate. You 'play' this game by rubbing your finger over the screen, clicking the next level on the world map, then doing the same all over again. You can do this more efficiently by paying for all the extra content, jacking the total price of this game to a price akin to retail console games.  The music and the art are great, but for the most part they are just recycled from older games. The music certainly is, but some of the premium characters such as Cloud from Final Fantasy VII will have had their sprites made from scratch. The entire game has that nostalgic feeling for sure, but I fear it only exists to draw just a few more purchases.  In all honesty, this is a massive shame. I absolutely love the idea of having 20+ characters swarming classic Final Fantasy bosses. I'm fine with the 'tap to attack' and 'get hit once and you die' mechanics, but rather dislike the way in which they are used in this game. It also uses notifications in quite a neat way (as seen above on the right) as that red bubble shows you how many people you have in your party without having to pop in and check. All the Bravest has some fantastic ideas and a massive potential, but unfortunately no amount of in-app purchasing will unlock that. 3.0 -- Poor (Something went wrong somewhere along the line. The original idea might have promise, but in practice the game has failed. Threatens to be interesting sometimes, but rarely.)
All the dumbest.
Square Enix, what are you doing?  There have certainly been some interesting additions to the Final Fantasy universe of late, and after initially breaking the hearts of 3DS owners seeking out a localised Bravely Default,...


Otousan is the illest emcee in the house

That's nothing to bark at
Jan 16
// Hiroko Yamamura
Softmap's Shiba Inu mascot Otousan is a bit of an icon around our offices. His fatherly advice and lovely white coat have kept us entertained for years. Who doesn't enjoy having a conversation with a dog? Could you ever imagi...

Facepalm: Demon's Score is way cheaper in Japan

That's a lot of money
Sep 26
// Josh Tolentino
Here's another entry for you to put in the annals of "What the hell, Square Enix?!": It looks like the company that gave us Final Fantasy and a ton of strange decisions, has made yet another one, for it seems like they r...

Party Wave surfing over to Android and going free on iOS

Look for it on October 1st
Sep 25
// Kristina Pino
Just a quick update here for you folks, in case you were interested in playing Mistwalker Corp.'s Party Wave but maybe saw a few reviews here and there that were a little less than sterling. And then you thought twice ab...

Update on image epoch's Black Rock Shooting game for iOS

Released, international, universal!
Sep 14
// Kristina Pino
Recently I wrote up a post about the Petite Black Rock Shooter: Discover the Mystery of Planet Sexy game, and I wasn't sure whether it was going to be available internationally or not. Today I've learned that it is indeed ava...

The World Ends With You: Solo Remix available for iOS now

Aug 27
// Elliot Gay
Well there you have it ladies and gentlemen. Square Enix's countdown site hit zero last night and revealed what we all already knew was coming; an iOS port of the DS game, The World Ends With You. While I know I'm not alone i...

It's All Over: AKB0048 getting a game version

Aug 26
// Josh Tolentino
This is it, people. If there was ever a sign that human civilization was approaching some kind of cultural singularity, past which everything just implodes onto itself, this is one of them. AKB0048 is getting a game, the...

Final Fantasy Dimensions is going to be really pricey

Aug 25
// Josh Tolentino
Like, really pricey. Like, "Most Expensive Single App I've Ever Seen" pricey. Specifically, Square Enix's old-school-lookin' Final Fantasy Dimensions will run players roughly $29 to buy the whole thing, which is technica...

A look at: FUNimation's new tablet app

Aug 08 // Kristina Pino
FUNimation for Tablet: Free version, Paid version [$9.99]Download for Android: [FREE] [PAID]Download for iPad: [FREE] [PAID]  In case you're wondering, I've downloaded the free version of the app for iPad, which just means there'll be marquee ads at the bottom of my screen when I'm not watching a video. There are also a few other ads slipped in with the thumbnails and previews on the browsing modules. In my case, I also have access to an account with FUNimation, so the advertising is reduced. When you load up the app, you'll be shown a home page with top stories and features. You can click on those and it'll access the website proper as if you were on a browser. If you're on iPad, this is where you'll see your limits - no flash player, so no videos. Instead, what you're supposed to do is hit the menu button at the top-left corner of the front page to pull down the in-app navigation. If you click on videos or shows from there, you'll be able to stream whatever you like.  The videos themselves are of decent quality. Older anime are in smaller format and don't fill up the full screen of your device, while the newer stuff that is in higher definition fills the frame. You could search by new shows, or titles, alphabetically, or however you like. Some titles have dubs, some don't. It's easy to find what you want, and when you click on a show you get all the information you'd need to know about it right there on the same screen.  For news and other things, once again - just choose the option from the app's menu. It's quick and the navigation is easy to use. On top of that, you could connect the app with your Facebook or Twitter to share things easily, which at this point is kind of standard.  If you have a tablet and you like what FUNimation does, I highly suggest downloading this. It's uncluttered, fast and smooth, and it delivers all the content from its website. If you're on the go, you can whip out your tablet (or mobile, using the app for mobile phones) to access everything without worrying about browser slow-downs, whether you have flash or not, or any of that business. It's also easy on the eyes with the black and gray background, which eases the strain of a white-background or too-colorful web page. I'd actually sooner stream videos on my iPad than my PC now that it's an option from now on.  The only drawback is that the modules on the home page are misleading since they go to web page links. As long as you remember to access all the app's content via the slash down menu, you'll be A-OK. 

FUNimation has had a mobile app for a little while already, but now tablet users have an app all to themselves. It's full-featured and designed to give you access to everything they've got to offer. If you're a paid member, you get even more features.  I downloaded the app and gave it a whirl, so click through the jump to see how it works. 

A look at: Character Chowdown for iOS

Jul 27 // Kristina Pino
There isn't any background music (or noise at all) to distract you, and the mechanics are as simple as dragging your hungry little cartoon character to the letters you're being asked to identify, then hitting the chow button (bottom, right). The command bar is at the bottom, and it will say things like: "Eat the katakana for 'mu'" "Eat the hiragana for 'a'" "Eat the hiragana for 'su'" You get the idea. Once you've mastered particular characters, they won't come up as often (if at all) and the game moves on to new letters until you've completely cleared the character set. Each "stage" jumps seamlessly to the next and there is no loading time. You'll face some obstacles while trying to identify the various letters or words, and they come in the form of drooling, hungry Nommons. They come up and start licking the characters to change their meanings. As they go by, you'll see the characters being swapped. Thankfully, you could just fling them away with your finger by dragging them off-screen like I did. The other challenge I found with this game is the actual letters aren't really padded enough in anything eye-catching. They're simply plain, black characters over simple cityscape backgrounds, and I sometimes had a hard time finding them. They do flash red when they first start coming up so you learn what the shape looks like, and then once you've had your toon eat a bunch of the same letter, they won't flash any more. They'll stay plain black. Besides that one tiny hitch, I have no problems with the game. It's a fun little on-the-go thing that you can pick up or put down whenever. I exit the game and got back on it, and it had saved my progress. If you're into Game Center points and achievements, Character Chowdown is also plugged in to that, so the more characters you learn, the more points you'll rack up. If you have any iOS devices and you are looking for a casual method to learn how to identify Japanese characters for their meanings, this might be the game for you. Especially since it's Free, Character Chowdown is definitely worth a try. Just put some of your own background music on if you don't necessarily need to study in silence.

A couple weeks back I wrote about Character Chowdown, a new game for iOS (Universal, Free) that seeks to help students (or anyone, really) learn new languages. For now, the game is focused on Japanese characters, and with you...


It's time to flick! Miku Flick gets a new sequel

Jul 19
// Salvador G Rodiles
Are you ready for some finger flicking fun? If so, get ready to rejoice as there is a new Miku Flick game heading your way. Going by the name of Miku Flick/02, there are some new features that will be exclusive to the new se...

Mistwalker release tutorial for new iOS game Party Wave

Jul 17
// Kristina Pino
Hironobu Sakaguchi, a name you may or may not recognize depending on how much you pay attention to the big shots behind the Final Fantasy game series and other big Square titles (until he left the company, anyway), has concei...

Get your fingers ready! Miku Flick is now global

Apr 10
// Salvador G Rodiles
Congratulations to all Miku/Vocaloid fans worldwide, you will now have the chance to play Miku's next game that was made by the Project Diva team. The official twitter page of Miku Flick tweeted about the game's&nbs...

Dondonpachi Resurrection HD releases on iDevices March 15

Mar 09
// Elliot Gay
I love bullet-hell games. I'm absolutely terrible at them and eat continues like crazy, but that isn't enough to stop me from enjoying the pure insanity onscreen. I also own an iPhone and love the fact that shooter developer ...

Hatsune Miku flicks her way into Apple portable devices

Mar 07
// Salvador G Rodiles
If you are a proud owner of an iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, 4th generation iPod touch, iPad, and iPad 2, then you are eligible to experience Hatsune Miku's new rhythm game. Taking advantage of the touch screen features on t...

Anime apps, now ruling my smartphone world

Nov 01
// Jeff Chuang
A long time ago there was this app called Bisei Tokei: some developers cleverly rounded up a dozen notable Japanese voice actors and made them say lines from our favorite anime. The end result was an iOS app that would turn y...

Evangelion Sound Impact iOS demo is up

Aug 25
// Hiroko Yamamura
Do you have a Japanese iTunes account? Well, today is your lucky day if you wanted to check out the new Evangelion iOS demo, Evangelion Sound Impact. It's a rhythm game based on the hot music from the popular anime series. The PSP version of the title will ship September 29th. [Via Anime News Network]

Apple puts earthquake warning system in Japan's iOS 5

Aug 22
// Bob Muir
After the disastrous 8.9-magnitude earthquake damaged Japan back in March and another smaller earthquake that hit just recently, disaster preparation is certainly something on the minds of those living in Japan. With the upco...

Watch the Final Fantasy Tactics iOS trailer, then buy it

Aug 07
// Josh Tolentino
I've harped before on how great Final Fantasy Tactics is. Sure, Tactics Ogre has more pioneer cred, but that PSone masterpiece was what really raised the profile - and the bar - for tactical games of every stripe, particularl...

Rejoice, Tezuka's manga are now available on your iPad

Jul 17
// Josh Tolentino
And a whole boatload of them to boot, courtesy of the officially sanctioned "Tezuka Osamu MagazineClub" app. The app, which is a free download, offers sixty-two titles from the father of manga's portfolio, including the etern...

Yen Press announces Yotsuba& on the iPad!

May 03
// Crystal White
Today, Yen Press announced via their Twitter that Yotsuba& will now be available for purchase on the iPad through their downloadable app. While the app itself is free, and looks to have a clean and modern interface, ...

VIZ Manga App launching with March Manga Madness promo

Mar 03
// Josh Tolentino
So, the iPad. That's a thing, right? As is the new one that makes all the old ones look un-trendy now. But don't worry about looking gadget-chic. You've got some manga to read, ideally via VIZ Media's Manga App, which launche...

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