Monday, May 15, 2006

Back to work...

Ok, before we leave the E3 thing behind us, I wanted to give you an idea of what else I was doing last week (other than taking those useless photos and putting together silly posts about said photos).

I spent a lot of time looking at the batch of Korean games being promoted at E3 (mostly to US publishers). I can honestly say I was not terribly impressed with the lot. Most of them were just slightly modified clones of better games and the rest were criminally esoteric.

However, there were two games that really stood out. I liked them because they appealed to my American cultural bias, looked like a lot of fun and/or seemed to have tremendous market potential. Since I'm pretty sure these games aren't going to make it in the major press reviews, I wanted to give you a quick profile.

(Note: all links lead to Korean sites & most sites are IE only)
First up is a game called Magumagu from publisher CJ Internet; it's an online multiplayer baseball game with very cute art direction. Characters have huge heads and cute little expressions of joy, anger, frustration, etc.

The gameplay is classic baseball; it even includes team management. Unlike normal baseball, the twist in the game let's players use "spell cards" to execute special moves at bat or on the field. These cards are, of course, collectibles and can be traded amongst friends. This game was a ton of fun to watch and if a US publisher picks this one up, it might be huge.

The second game which I found amazing (it also had great art direction) was an MMORPG called Maison de Romance. (On the site, mouse over DataRoom and select the second option to see concept artwork. Also, my buddy over at has a post about MdR, you can also see the promo video there.) I got to see some game footage and it was definitely unique, a blend of pure fantasy and mech-gizmo funky (reminded me of Howl's Moving Castle).

The spin on this MMORPG is that it will focus on commerce and industry in addition to the usual fighting. Jobs will include archeology, mining, various crafting and mapmaking. Property ownership seems to be a priority for the developers with players having the ability to create unique content and then sell their creations. Overall, cool beans!

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