Japan game charts: August 28-September 3

Phantasy Star Universe kicks off with a big bang, dethroning the almighty DS.

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</img> It has been about a month since a non-Nintendo DS game grabbed the top spot in Japan. Sega's Phantasy Star Universe was plagued by technical problems with its online mode during its first week, leading to server shutdowns and the deletion of character data. Even so, this latest title in Sega's space role-playing series managed to rack up more than 120,000 sales in just a few days, placing it in the number one spot according to the digital entertainment analysts at Media Create.
It has been about a month since a non-Nintendo DS game grabbed the top spot in Japan. Sega's Phantasy Star Universe was plagued by technical problems with its online mode during its first week, leading to server shutdowns and the deletion of character data. Even so, this latest title in Sega's space role-playing series managed to rack up more than 120,000 sales in just a few days, placing it in the number one spot according to the digital entertainment analysts at Media Create.

Rhythm Tengoku, a music-based Game Boy Advance game, was the only other non-DS game to crack the top 10. The rest of the chart looks pretty familiar, with the exception of one, green-tight-clad newcomer. Nintendo's Mogitate Tingle no Barairo Rupee Land pits Tingle (pictured), the hyperactive and sexually ambiguous sprite from The Legend of Zelda series, against the cruel forces of economics as he strives to amass untold wealth. This premise or maybe the appeal of playing as Tingle earned the game the number five spot.

Some new games that made the top 100 were Marvelous Interactive's Play Station Portable role-player Valhalla Knights at number 12, a thievery-driven action game for the PlayStation 2 from Acquire called Kamiwaza at number 16, and Konami's Guitar Freaks & Drum Mania Masterpiece Silver, also for the PS2, at number 19.

Of course the DS also saw some new games other than Mogitatate Tingle this week. Nintendo/Sandlot's Chousoujuu Meka MG, a DS action game that recalls the giant robot-themed anime of the '70s and '80s, placed 18th in the ranks.

Media Create notes that the end of summer vacation is usually a bad time for game sales. However, 2006 has seen year-on-year growth of 188 percent in games. Looking at roughly the same period last year confirms this--total top 100 title sales for August 29 to September 4, 2005, were 493,733, while this week's sales reached 928,630 units. Media Create attributes this growth to this year's crop of new, high-profile titles and, of course, the strong DS sales.

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