My very last E3 appointment was at Namco Bandai on Thursday afternoon, and while the majority of my time was spent getting my ass kicked at Soul Calibur IV, which I will handle in a separate post, they did have several interesting offerings on hand, from the girl-friendly We Cheer to the anime-friendly Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm to the most authentic Digimon experience for the Nintendo DS. Here's some of the titles that Namco Bandai has coming your way.
Digimon World: Championship: As mentioned above, this is the ultimate Digimon experience for the DS, bringing the game back to its handheld electronic pet roots. Use the stylus to capture Digimon in the wild, bring them back to your base to train, feed, and care for them, and then place then in the arena to battle. Includes cleaning up Digi-droppings - it doesn't get any better than that.
We Cheer: God help me, We Cheer didn't look all that bad. Using two Wii controllers you follow the motions depicted on-screen in a style reminiscent of Elite Beat Agents as your tiny cheerleader avatar does her thing. I had one of the reps on hand demo the game for me, and when he asked if I wanted to try I was sorely tempted. This scares me.
PowerUp Forever: PowerUp Forever is a game coming to Xbox Live and PSN that combines the frantic shooter gameplay of Geometry Wars with the growth mechanic of flOw to create a game that could literally have you powering up forever. You pilot a small ship that must destroy certain enemies to unleash a boss. Defeating the boss makes your ship grow, enemies scaling as you progress. Large structures eventually become smaller enemies for you to take on, and this continues forever until you lose all of your life. It's a throwback to the games of yesteryear that wouldn't actually end until the machine exploded. Definitely a purchase for me.
Afro Samurai: We posted impressions of Afro Samurai back in April, which is good because some jerk was completely dominating the display kiosk at Namco Bandai's booth. I did get to watch for a bit, and found the game a bit reminiscent of the Samurai Champloo game for the PS2, which was released by Bandai before the whole Namco deal. There's good reason for this too - developer Grasshopper worked on both titles. I was one of the few folks to really love the Samurai Champloo game, and with this knowledge in hand, Afro Samurai is now situated firmly in my radar.
Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm: I saw characters I can't tell you about, and with my newfound understanding of the series I even know who they are! The game is going to have 25 characters total, a few of which are sure to surprise and delight fans of the series. The game play is extremely solid and entertaining, though I cheated a bit and downloaded the Qore demo on PSN before I played it at the booth, so I knew what to expect. Despite all of the new characters I saw, I will still play as Hinata, because she is so freaking adorable.