New details on next Square Enix Egg Monster games

At TGS, we gleaned some choice new information on Square Enix's next comedic egg-monster games for the PS2 and Nintendo DS.

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TOKYO--Square Enix's decidedly unusual and irreverent Hanjuku Hero 4: Shichinin no Hanjuku Hero was on display in video form exhibit at the Tokyo Game Show. From what we know so far, and from what we've learned firsthand from series producer Takashi Tokita, Hanjuku Hero 4 will be the direct sequel to Hanjuku Hero Tai 3D, which appeared on the PlayStation 2 last year. The game promises to offer plenty more of the same wacky action that has made the series popular in Japan, along with some interesting-sounding new gameplay features.

In Hanjuku Hero 4, players will assume the role of a young lord of the Almamoon Kingdom, who, by some miracle--and despite his stupidity--has been saving his country from danger since the first installment in the series. This time, Lord Almamoon will find himself in a situation in which he's been cornered to get married to the heiress of the Katri kingdom--who's considered to be the ugliest woman in the world. What happens from there hasn't been disclosed yet, but the game's subtitle translates in English as "The Seven Hanjuku Heroes," which hints that, this time, you won't be the only one in the game with the ability to summon powerful egg monsters. In fact, for the first time in the series, Hanjuku Hero 4 will feature battles with multiple egg monsters, with up to three on each side. And when the game's soldiers fight one another onscreen rather than fighting its monsters, massive armies of literally hundreds of characters charging at one another will be featured, along with modern weaponry, like tanks, for good measure.

While there's no official release date as of yet for Hanjuku Hero 4, producer Tokita commented that he expects to have more details on the game this winter and will hopefully be able to get the game out around spring.

As for the DS version of Hanjuku Hero, which will be an RPG called Egg Monster Hero, Tokita kept repeating the key words "touch and scratch" during his explanation of the game--hinting at how players will be able to interact with the characters in the game by using the Nintendo DS' touch-sensitive screen. In its battle scenes, Egg Monster Hero will allow players to point at different parts of their egg monsters, which will make them react and pull off various attacks. When the game's soldiers are fighting one another onscreen rather than fighting its monsters, you'll be "scratching" the screen and bumping your characters into the enemy--kind of like how you would mash the buttons when playing the console version of Hanjuku Hero. The DS version of the game is expected to be released this winter in Japan. For more updates, be sure to check GameSpot's coverage of the Tokyo Game Show 2004.

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