E308 | Populous DS Confirmed for US & Europe

By Adam Riley 14.07.2008 5

The extremely popular SNES game from Bullfrog, Populous, is heading to the DS in the US and Europe later this year, along with several other great treats from Marvelous Entertainment USA and XSEED Games. EA's translation of the Brit-developed Populous was thought to be a natural selection for a worldwide release, considering its Western roots. However, poor sales in Japan left EA with no choice but to cancel the translation. Thankfully, though, Marvelous Entertainment and XSEED Games are bringing it to the US, with Rising Star Games handling the European (and presumably Australian) releases.

Other than EA's strategy sim game (which many on this site will know more from its SNES edition rather than the 1989 PC original version), there are some fantastic games on the horizon, such as Rune Factory: Frontier on Wii, Avalon Code on DS and Little King's Story for Wii.

"We're very pleased to be able to give the North American audience a sneak peak at our upcoming lineup. This is just the beginning of some of the great games that we'll be releasing in the US under our Marvelous Entertainment USA banner."
- Yasuhiro Wada, Managing Director of Marvelous Entertainment.

"It's been an amazing year for us, and we feel that we're well positioned going into E3. We've got a fantastic partnership with Marvelous Entertainment which we greatly appreciate, and the overall line up of titles we're showcasing is strong and diverse, which we're exceptionally excited about."
- Jun Iwasaki, President of XSEED Games.

Games being shown under the Marvelous and XSEED Games partnership are:

Avalon Code (NDS)
From the creative minds behind Rune Factory and Harvest Moon with the development studio responsible for the Final Fantasy III and Final Fantasy IV DS remakes comes Avalon Code, an action RPG boasting incredible graphics, a deep and engrossing story, and innovative game play mechanics. Using the main character's 'Book of Prophecy', players can modify the rules of engagement during battle as well as weapon and monster attributes. The player even has control over the story as it changes depending on which gender the player chooses to play as, enhancing the ability to immerse themselves into the story. Avalon Code DS is scheduled for release Q1 2009. The game will be published in Europe by Rising Star Games.

Rune Factory: Frontier (Wii)
From the creators of Harvest Moon and Rune Factory for the DS comes the first installment of Rune Factory for a home console. Developed exclusively for Wii, Rune Factory: Frontier features stunning graphics and takes full advantage of the Wii's unique controls to fully immerse players in the Rune Factory universe. Rune Factory: Frontier incorporates an open-ended structure that allows players to choose the type of game they wish to experience. Whether it's growing crops, expanding the town, fighting (or befriending) monsters or even falling in love, the experience is unique to each player. Rune Factory: Frontier Wii is scheduled for release Q1 2009. The game will be published in Europe by Rising Star Games.

Little King's Story has an art style that is very 'story-book' in look and a magical fairy tale quality that will intrigue and delight gamers. The storyline, visual look, and lyrical music of Little King's Story, work in concert to transport players to an interactive, enchanting, fairy tale world. By combining gameplay elements from life-simulation, real-time strategy, and adventure genres, the many aspects of creating a vast kingdom come to life! As King, players will manage and involve their townspeople in the goals of creating this new territory; enlisting them to dig for treasure, build new buildings and otherwise better their community. Of course, leadership is a two-way street, so as King, players will try to conquer rival nations to create a single unified kingdom, while also granting the requests of townspeople at whim. The game transforms the Wii Remote to a royal scepter and offers players the chance to be the best king in the world! Little King's Story Wii is scheduled for release Winter 2008. The game will be published in Europe by Rising Star Games.

Separately, XSEED Games will unveil the company's first official support of the Nintendo DS with three titles:

Populous DS (NDS)
Based on the original Populous PC classic from Electronic Arts, Populous DS brings a re-imagination of the classic game, which pioneered the God simulation genre. Featuring touch-screen controls that utilize the dual-screens, players manipulate 5 elementally-imbued gods, each with their own unique miracles, within an extensive single-player campaign. Within the multiplayer wireless mode, up to 4 players can unleash earthquakes, tidal waves and raging volcanoes onto rival players' lands. Populous DS is scheduled for release Fall 2008. The game will be published in Europe by Rising Star Games.

Designed after the famous KORG MS-10 music synthesizer, KORG DS-10 is a music-creation program for professional and aspiring musicians alike. The sound sources in the KORG DS-10 come from KORG, one of the world's top musical instrument producers, and no effort was spared in the replication of creating high-quality sounds. The Nintendo DS's touch-screen controls are utilized to the fullest to provide an authentic feel and operability across a dual-screen layout that is unsurpassed in portable music creation. A 6-track/16-step sequencer enables precise control and provides a wide range of musical possibilities, and up to eight DS units can be linked via wireless connection to play together or to exchange sounds and songs. KORG DS-10 is scheduled for release Fall 2008.

Retro Game Challenge
An original game based on the popular Japanese GAME CENTER CX TV series, Retro Game Challenge reinvents how classic games are played. Featuring a story-driven progression, players complete short challenges in a wide-variety of fictional retro-games. Specific challenges in shooting, racing, action and even an epic role-playing game are integrated into the story, while the in-game magazines offer cheat codes as well as fake 80's news stories paying tribute to the rich history of the gaming industry. Released to raving reviews as Game Center CX: Arino's Challenge in Japan, the game received a Gold Award from Famitsu with a 33/40 review score. Retro Game Challenge is scheduled for release Winter 2008.

Obviously XSEED Games is on the war path, dragging not only a discarded EA game over to the West (where it belongs!), but also shockingly managing to twist the arm of Bandai Namco to allow Game Center CX to be translated!

It seems the duo of XSEED and Marvelous Entertainment USA are set to be a force to be reckoned with and one that could usurp Atlus as the fans' favourite company for translating niche Japanese titles...

Box art for Populous DS

Rising Star Games


Rising Star





C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  2/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comment on this article

You can comment as a guest or join the Cubed3 community below: Sign Up for Free Account Login

Preview PostPreview Post Your Name:
Validate your comment
  Enter the letters in the image to validate your comment.
Submit Post


Bye bye life.

I've dabbled with the Japanese release and it's pretty fun - works very well on the DS. I was so shocked when EA originally told me earlier this year it wasn't going to be released outside of Japan. But then again, speaking to them today they still denied knowledge of a Euro version...until I stated RSG was releasing it, then there was an awkward silence Smilie

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

EA's PR unhelpful and illinformed?! Neeeveeerrrr.

Fuck...they sure are strong Nintendo supporters. Nintendo should try to snap them up.

I can't wait for Avalon DS, Rune Factory Frontier and Little King's Story. Smilie

Subscribe to this topic Subscribe to this topic

If you are a registered member and logged in, you can also subscribe to topics by email.
Sign up today for blogs, games collections, reader reviews and much more
Site Feed
Who's Online?

There are 1 members online at the moment.