Gunpey loaded for DS, PSP

Namco Bandai brings Q Entertainment remake of Gunpei Yokoi puzzler to US later this year.

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Portable puzzle fiends are getting a present from Namco Bandai Games this holiday season in the form of a remake of the WonderSwan title Gunpey. The game is currently set for release on the PSP and the Nintendo DS.

Both Gunpey and the WonderSwan were conceived by the late Gunpei Yokoi, who also created the original Game Boy for Nintendo. To bring Yokoi's game back to life, Namco Bandai has enlisted the aid of Tetsuya Mizuguchi's Q Entertainment, still riding high after the critical reception of its previous portable puzzlers, Lumines and Meteos.

"This title embraces the signature touches of a product conceived by Yokoi," Namco Bandai Games product group director Naruo Uchida said in a statement. "It is accessible, original, and intuitive, yet a challenge to master. Additionally, it combines the ground breaking music integration that has become Q Entertainment's signature."

Gunpey requires players to arrange line segments to complete lines across five columns, removing the row in the process. However, the lines work their way up the screen, and if an incomplete line should reach the top, the player's game is over.

According to the latest issue of Weekly Famitsu, the Japanese releases of the two games will have substantial differences. The Sony PSP version is titled Gunpey-R in Japan, with the DS edition is called Oto o Tsunagou! Gunpey Reverse.

The PSP version will feature interface skins which can be changed at the touch of a button during game play. Aside from supplying different graphics, each skin comes with its own set of sounds. A new mode of play will force the player to solve two boards simultaneously, with each board able to have a different skin.

The DS take on Gunpey will, no surprise, make extensive use of the system's stylus. Players will be able to move an on-screen cursor and erase panels, altering the music. With enough practice, players can time their moves with the background music to create original compositions. The DS has two basic play modes: Endless Mode and Frontier Mode. In Frontier, the player faces a variety of opponent characters, such as Vincent the Space Cowboy. Needless to say, completing rows will disrupt your opponent's side of the screen.

Gunpey is set for a "holiday 2006" release.

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