Treasure Hunter January 2012—A Barren Month of Releases

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The new year is here and 2013 promises to be an exciting year for gaming enthusiasts. The early part of the year is packed with new titles. On the hardware side every indication points to the announcement and probable release of new consoles from Microsoft and Sony. Additionally, a lot of new players are entering the hardware creation sphere. On the anime side the releases are chugging along as usual and a few highly anticipated series will final be available for purchase in North America. Enthusiasm aside, January itself is pretty light in terms of actual game and premium anime releases. If nothing interests you this month don’t despair there’s a lot of swag to collect on the horizon.

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In recent years the Blood: The Last Vampire franchise has taken an interesting turn. The story originally began in late 2000 with Production I.G.’s 45-minute movie. Five years later the story of Saya Otonashi was rebooted in the 50-episode series, Blood+. In 2011 CLAMP and Production I.G. were ready to take another crack at the lore with Blood-C. Saya Kisaragi has no relation to her previous iterations in this 12-episode series. Here Saya is a normal school girl during the day and at night she fights violent monsters in order to protect her village. It isn’t long before the enemies she fights relay to her something is amiss and her role in the violence isn’t as simple as slaying beasts after dusk. While fan reaction to the series is surprisingly polarized at times, the majority of viewers believe the show is good– not great. The reaction probably warrants a rental before plunking down $42 on FUNimation’s DVD/BD combo pack from Rightstuf. If you do plan on picking up Blood-C the Limited Edition currently ships with a 2013 mini-calendar. Saya Kisaragi sliced her way into stores with that mighty fine katana on January 8.

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I’ll hand it to anime producers, they occasionally have some unique, if not bizarre premises to their romantic comedies. Case in point? Ground Control Psychoelectric Girl. In this animated rom-com Makoto Niwa is in high school and living with his aunt’s family because his parents are away. Naturally, he meets his unusual cousin of the same age, Erio Touwa. Until somewhat recently she had been a relatively normal girl. After a strange half year disappearance she was found floating in the sea. Erio has no recollection of the event and is convinced she’s a space alien. To add further to her descent into weirdness the young teen has taken to rolling herself in a futon mat and going outside for long strolls. Yeah… Good luck with your cousin, Makoto. Ground Control to Psychoelectric Girl is NIS America’s first release of 2013 and they are going all out, as usual. The 13-episode series will be released in a DVD/BD combo pack, a 36-page hardcover art book will be included and everything will be housed NISA’s signature hardcover slipcase. The series will cost you $56 directly from the publisher and they’ll even toss in a bonus lunch bag. If you go with Rightstuf the series will cost you $52 but won’t include the lunch bag. The slightly eccentric Psychoelectric Girl touched down at retailers on January 8.

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Love it or hate it, Ninja Theory’s reboot of the Devil May Cry series is nearly upon us. If you’re a frequent reader of this blog you’ll know Geoff has extensively covered DmC:Devil May Cry since its late 2010 unveil. Unfortunately, Capcom has been silent about a special edition of the game. It turns out the company had plans to release a beefed up edition all along and it is exclusive to Europe. The Son of Sparda Edition includes a replica of Dante’s necklace and various DLC. The PS3 game is easy enough to import though it’s somewhat expensive after doing the currency conversion. In a strange way North America gets parts of what Europe gets as a whole, depending on where fans buy the game. Pre-order from GameStop or Amazon and you’ll get the DLC. Buy from Wal-Mart and you’ll receive a small art book. Order directly from Capcom’s store and you’ll get a slightly different replica of Dante’s pendant. Considering how the strange saga of DmC has unfolded, the North America release is rather fitting. Dante will again blast and slash his way into stores on January 15 and the spectacle will cost you a cool $60.

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In August of last year I wrote about Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch as part of that month’s Treasure Hunter and promised to mention it again in January. I’ve kept my word and here I am again talking about Level 5’s latest upcoming release. In the period since August Geoff has written a few more articles about the RPG, including demo impressions for the curious. As of this writing, the Wizard’s Edition of Ni no Kuni is completely sold out. I hope the fans who really wanted that edition already put down the required $100. If you didn’t and are willing to spend more than double the original price it can be found on eBay. Fans who pre-order from GameStop will receive a steelbook with special artwork as an alternative to the regular packaging of the game. Expect your adventures with Oliver and Drippy to begin on January 22 at a standard price of $60.

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Normally for Treasure Hunter I write about art books when they are included with a game or anime release. I am willing to make a special exception for the upcoming release of The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia art book. The book contains historical information covering the entire Zelda franchise. It includes concept art, the history of Hyrule and even an official chronology of the various games. This book was released in Japan exactly a year ago and it was uncertain if other regions would see an official release. Fortunately, Nintendo and Dark Horse Books collaborated to publish the North American version. At a current price of $19.43 on Amazon the standard edition of the Hyrule Historia is a steal. May the Triforce will be with you on January 29. If you want the February release of the Collector’s Edition eBay is your best chance at getting the book.

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