Wii Rygar, new Tecmo Bowl, Monster Rancher DS revealed

Tecmo takes the wraps off upcoming installments in popular franchises at its Japanese press conference.


Traditionally taking place during the second week of May, this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo was moved to July. But judging by the wealth of game announcements from the likes of Electronic Arts, Square Enix, Sega, THQ, and Activision in recent days, not everybody received the memo.

The latest evidence of that comes from Tecmo, which held a press event in Tokyo last night. The publisher used the event to announce three new installments in some of its most familiar franchises: Rygar, Tecmo Bowl, and Monster Rancher.

After hitting it big in the mid-'80s in the arcades and on the NES, Rygar went dark until 2002's PlayStation 2 revival, Rygar: The Legendary Adventure. After five years, Rygar is once again returning from the sidelines, this time with a new adventure on the Wii. Tentatively titled Project Rygar, the next game will see the series' shield-tossing gameplay adapted to take advantage of the Wii Remote.

Tecmo showed Project Rygar with nothing but a few slides of concept art, but it gave even less information about its resurrection of Tecmo Bowl. The publisher confirmed that it was working on a brand new Tecmo Bowl game for 2008, but it wouldn't even name a platform for which the game would appear. A company representative would tell the assembled media only that the game was "not going to be on the platform that you're thinking of right now."

It wasn't all far-off promises and vague hints, however. Tecmo actually showed an introductory video for Monster Rancher DS. While the series has been known for letting players generate their own monsters based on CDs, DVDs, and whatever other discs they have lying around, the DS game will use different creation mechanics.

First of all, players will be able to create new monsters by drawing patterns on the DS touch screen. While the video didn't make it absolutely clear, speaking into the system's microphone will also allow players to expand their monster farms somehow. Additionally, the game will let players generate monsters from Game Boy Advance cartridges, as well as combine monsters to create new offspring.

Monster Rancher DS is set for a July launch in Japan, with no word yet on a North American release. For more on all of these games, check out GameSpot's on-location coverage of Project Rygar, Tecmo Bowl, and Monster Rancher DS.

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