MonkeyPaw Games has commited itself to localizing obscure, passed-over Japanese games, and it looks like it fully intends to make good on its promise. Two forthcoming MonkeyPaw releases have been leaked thanks to the ESRB, Magical Drop F and Blockids. Both were PlayStation puzzle games, and they’re now being prepared for a PS3 release.
Magical Drop F is probably the better known of the two, not because it received a US release (it didn’t), but because its from a well known series. The first game was released worldwide as Chain Reaction, and some of the following entries, like Magical Drop Pocket (Neo Geo Pocket Color) and Magical Drop Touch (iPhone, iPod Touch) have even made it outside of Japan. It’s a bit like Puzzle Bobble – there are a series of bubbles dropping from the top of the screen, and you must eliminate them by matching them with bubbles tossed from the bottom in a variety of modes, competing against either the computer or another player.
Blockids fits as its definitely obscure. While this Japanese 3D Breakout/Arkanoid style game did receive a release in 2003 thanks to Natsume, it wasn’t a huge hit and is difficult to find today. Like all Breakout-clones, Blockids tasks players with eliminating a series of blocks above them with a ball, using a paddle to bounce it up and keep said ball from falling into the abyss. You get to choose a character to represent you, and you also can obtain special powers.
So fans of Japanese puzzle games should have something to look forward in the coming weeks, perhaps months. Hopefully it won’t take too long for the games to be prepared – the Magical Drop games are awesome! Blockids will probably be released first though, since it already received an English release a few years back.
I have to wonder how they’ll be released though. The ESRB states both are PS3 games. If they were going to be distributed via the PlayStation Store as PlayStation Classics, they’d be PS3 and PSP compatible and the ESRB would have mentioned the PSP as a potential platform as well. How curious.