Shippin' Out March 31-April 4: Mana Khemia

April 1 scares away most publishers, as Nippon Ichi's turn-based RPG for the PS2 is the week's sole retail console release.

32 Comments

For most publishers, Tuesday is for whatever reason the day of choice to release their pride and joy onto US retail shelves. However, with this Tuesday falling on the notoriously seedy April 1, it would appear the games industry is taking the week off in lieu of having their games regarded as a practical joke.

As it is the sole nondownloadable console release, Nippon Ichi's Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis for the PlayStation 2 is arguably the biggest title on the week. A turn-based strategy/role-playing game, Mana Khemia is a slight departure from developer Gust's Atelier Iris series of games, as much of the gameplay occurs on the campus of an alchemy school.

Adventure gamers have a number of new titles that retailers expect to be stocking in the PC section this week. Dreamcatcher will be releasing Riddle of Tomb, while Lighthouse is booting up its psychological thriller Overclocked. Retailers also expect to see Elephant Entertainment's Women's Murder Club on their shelves this week.

Strategy diehards have an equally stimulating week. With Majesco lining up Toy Shop on the Nintendo DS for the casual gaming crowd, cdv Software and Dreamcatcher will be catering to grognards with their respective Sudden Strike 3: Arms for Victory and Great War Nations: The Spartans on the PC.

Though Sony's PlayStation Store will be devoid of new content for the next couple of weeks as it gears up for the planned PlayStation Network face-lift, Microsoft's Xbox Live and Nintendo's Virtual Console will receive their standard allotment of weekly additions. On the 360, Namco Bandai will be releasing the puzzler Mr. Driller Online for 800 Microsoft points ($10). The arcade-cum-Nintendo 64 racer Cruis'n USA will boost onto the Wii's VC for 1,000 Wii points ($10), with Sega's platforming caveman Wonder Boy following in its dust for 500 Wii points ($5).

This week's new releases are listed below (list taken from retailer information--actual dates may vary).

MARCH 31, 2008
Civil War Mysteries (PC)
Cruis'n USA (Wii VC)
Great War Nations: The Spartans (PC)
Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis (PS2)
Overclocked (PC)
Professor Brainium's Games (DS)
Riddle of the Tomb (PC)
Wonder Boy (Wii VC)

APRIL 1, 2008
Sudden Strike 3: Arms for Victory (PC)
Toy Shop (DS)

APRIL 2, 2008
Mr. Driller Online (XBLA)

APRIL 3, 2008
Women's Murder Club (PC)

APRIL 4, 2008
No releases have been announced.

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yoyoman10

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is MS even trying with there only service anymore? just gonna sit there and let that money from crazy halo players keep coming in? i want better games on your service ms so deliver the goods or i am not going to pay all that money for your service, as i dont play halo anymore.

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Palsa

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The prices have dropped!! ^_^

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Mabumania

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UH, Overclocked is not out yet =[

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LivingDeadNinja

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Well i'll try to get Mana Khemia soon, before it goes OOP and reaches high prices...

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Palsa

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I just checked Amazons listings. The standard release price is currently $39.99. But aside from that, independent sellers are already charging $173.99 to $249.99. They're trying to generate an inflation. -_-

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LordAndrew

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I was going to buy Mana Khemia yesterday, but Wal-Mart didn't have it and the guy at EB Games said they haven't received it yet either. So I bought four other games instead and now I'm not sure if I can afford Mana Khemia. :(

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LordAndrew

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Hm. Well, I guess most people don't know about those games. Atelier Iris was the first one in the series that we received. So for those who don't know about the previous games, this is a departure.

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sickside6

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nothing

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Pete5506

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Nothing this week

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Palsa

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A couple notes I need to make. Mana-Khemia is not a departure from the Atelier Iris series. The Atelier series has been around for a long time. Atelier Iris is only a portion of the series, there is also: Atelier Marie, Atelier Elie, Atelier Lilie, Atelier Judith, Atelier Violet, Atelier Marie and Elie, Atelier Marie, Elie and Anise and Atelier Lise. Of the previously mentioned games, Marie, Elie and Anise all took place in an alchemy school, Lilie was about creating that particular school. Judith, Violet and I'm pretty sure Lise, are about learning alchemy under the same circumstances, minus the school. When Gust created the Atelier Iris portion of the series, the bases diverted from learning alchemy in a short period of time, to saving the world with all the time needed. For some reason most game review sites refer to Mana-Khemia as though it's a continuation of the Atelier Iris series. Its Not!! Its a continuation of the Atelier series. And to say that Mana-Khemia "is a slight departure from developer Gust's Atelier Iris series of games, as much of the gameplay occurs on the campus of an alchemy school." Is stated out of complete ignorance. I'm just saying to get your facts straight before making your review. If anything, it's closer to the way it originally was. Don't take me the wrong way. I'm a huge fan of the series and look forward to it's coming out.

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lew_0911

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I wanted to pick up Mana Khemia - but I'm still playing Atelier Iris 3, which contained the same guild quest system.

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cherrybomb257

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Just got Mana Khemia LE today. Great stuff.

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ctg867

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What a God awful week. Nothing worth buying here. Maybe I can catch up on the Mass Effect DLC I haven't played yet? Hopefully when I get my PS3 back from repairs I can get on Burnout as well until the new Halo 3 maps come out, and then I have GTA IV. I'm praying I don't get the red ring of death on my 360, because I've been having insane amounts of overheats on it. Which is a precursor to the RROD. I got an Intercooler on the back, a fan on the side, and a container of ice, that slowly melts into cold water keeping the system cool. I have such bad luck with consoles. At least Sony is paying for my repair, and they lady on the phone was from AMERICA not ****ing India. MS won't pay for my console unless I get the RROD, and the Indian guy on the phone was a pain to talk to.

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nate1222

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I think $ony should support the PS2 indefinately. PS2 is selling more and making $ony more money than PS3. It's actually a great console, even by current standards. Its line-up is phenominal and it's very cheap to develop games for. In this age of hyper-expensive development/high-priced software, there NEEDS to be a cheaper, easier alternative. Nintendo has that with the Wii. Micro$oft...XBLA...maybe. $ony has the PS2, and they'd be morons to ditch it within the next 2 years. I ditched my PS2 when I heard I wouldn't be able to play its games on PS3. I then bought a GameCube and its versions of my favs. I might actually replace the PS2-given $ony will continue to support it-and go back to giving $ony my money. Maybe.

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re4leonkennedy

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It's great to see that there are still ps2 games coming out. Great games came out for it like odin sphere and okami later on and its good to see more games for ps2. Microsoft just stopped making games for the xbox when the 360 came out. Nintendo at least made Twilight Princess for the wii and the gamecube.

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GatCloudX

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mana khemia does look interesting

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Generic_Dude

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I liked the Cruisin' games on N64... but seriously, WHERE is River City Ransom for the US?

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Chief_Kuuni

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nothing there of noting to shake a stick at

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bulletsword

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Mana Khemia looks interesting, but otherwise there's really nothing here to get excited about.

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thaflu

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I thought Master System games on the Virtual Console were going to be $4. What happened?

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Thing2

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all weeks are empty until GTA IV, playing through Mass Effect again with Bring Down the Sky until then

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bazanger

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I love the Cruis'n USA games, if only we could get something decent like that on the XBLA..

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The_PC_Gamer

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PC > All

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reckeweg

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Awesome a whole lot of nada!! Mr. Driller Online???? Come XBL you can do better than that, whatever happened to that dishwasher Samurai game, I downloaded the demo for that and it was fantastic. Give me a reason to spend my points MS

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MetalMan300

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Yeah, this week is pretty underwhelming. No...games...for...360 (and no Im not counting arcade). The ps2 game looks decent though. Still, the week as a whole = crap.

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yentar480

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can't wait to pick up mana khemia

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teirdome

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Is it the April Fools Day? Or is it the fact that it's the last day of the first quarter for a lot of publishers and they're trying to keep their investors happy?

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Slash_out

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I just love Nippon ichi's game. For me, mana kehmia's release, make of this week, an excellent one.

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LordAndrew

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When a Nippon Ichi-published game is the biggest game of the week, that's not a strong week. Still, I plan to pick up Mana Khemia.

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ScottEFresh

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Worst. Gaming. Week. Ever.

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Mrbiggerdems

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i loved crus'n excotica, to bad it only for Wii.

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km1498

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I think I will take a week off along with game publishers. And when I say take a week off I mean go back to playing Call of duty 4.