Big in Japan June 20-26: Meruru No Atelier

New Atelier series and Gundam entry on top of the list; 3DS back in second place on hardware sales.

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Be it a Dragon Quest or a Pokemon title, Japanese gamers love their role-playing games. This has become evident again with the release of PlayStation 3 RPG Meruru No Atelier: Arland no Renkinjutsushi 3 (or Atelier Meruru: Alchemist of Arland 3), which sold 82,585 units in its first week of release according to the recent Media Creates sales chart.

Meruru poses in full confidence upon hearing the good news.
Meruru poses in full confidence upon hearing the good news.

Alchemist of Arland 3 lets RPG enthusiasts control a female alchemist named Meruru Rede Arls, who is given the task of making the kingdom of Earls as prosperous as its neighbor, the kingdom of Arland. She will do this by taking odd jobs involving item transmutations, battling enemies in turned-based combat, and even upgrading facilities and amenities in Earls. For more information, check out GameSpot's recent preview of the game.

Trailing behind Meruru no Atelier are two PSP debuts: a port of adventure game Steins;Gate and Gundam Memories: Tatakai no Kioku (or Memories of Battle). The former sold 63,558 units while the latter sold 52,067. The latest Gundam title is a third-person action game, which features the ability to switch among three mobile suits while in battle. The game also has two different modes: Situation mode is a retelling of Mobile Suit Gundam stories with interlaced action, while Mission mode lets players complete new and original missions using their own custom team of three mobile suits.

Also new to the charts is Bleach Soul Ignition for the PS3, sitting in eighth place with 23,516 units sold. Based on the popular anime and manga series, the game is a hack-and-slash action title along the lines of Dynasty Warriors. Players will get to control characters from the show like Ichigo Kurosaki, Rukia Kuchiki, and more using their trademark weapons and fighting style against a horde of undead souls called Hollows. Asian gamers can check out the dual-language (English and Chinese) version of the game when it hits on July 28.

Elsewhere on the software charts, the 3DS version of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is residing at fifth place with 37,452 units sold. Ryu Ga Gotoku: Of the End (or Yakuza: Of the End), a new title in the Yakuza franchise that is known to be a top seller, resides at seventh place with 24,247 units sold. The Wii Sports Resort bundle, a title that came out two years ago, is still clinging onto the top 10, coming in ninth place with 9,874 units sold.

Despite the top sales Meruru no Atelier garnered, it didn't greatly impact PS3 hardware sales as the system went from 16,081 sold for the previous week to 16,993 sold for the week ended June 26. Sony and Nintendo's handhelds are still occupying the top spots, with the former company's PSP selling 29,168 units and the latter company's 3DS selling 27,905 units.

JAPAN GAME SALES WEEK OF JUNE 20-26

Software
Rank/Title/Publisher/Platform/Unit Sales

1. Meruru no Atelier: Alchemist no Renkinjutsushi 3 / Gust / PS3 / 82,585
2. Steins; Gate / 5pb / PSP / 63,558
3. Gundam Memories: Tatakai no Kioku / Namco Badai / PSP / 52,067
4. Danball Senki / Level-5 / PSP / 38,326
5. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D / Nintendo / 3DS / 37,452
6. Tennis no Oujisama Gyutto! Doki Doki Survival Umi to Yama no Love Passion / Konami / DS / 30,234
7. Ryu Ga Gotoku: Of the End/ Sega / PS3 / 24,247
8. Bleach: Soul Ignition / SCEJ / PS3 / 23,516
9. Wii Sports Resort (Wii Remote Plus Pack) / Nintendo / Wii / 9,874
10. Gloria Union / Atlus / PSP / 8,933

Hardware

PSP – 29,168
3DS – 27,905
PS3 – 16,993
Wii – 9,511
DSi XL – 4,903
DSi – 4,503
Xbox 360 – 2,152
PS2 – 1,332
DS Lite – 134
PSP Go - 21

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