samedi 18 octobre 2008

Boku ha Kôkû Kanseikan DS & Air Traffic Control Simulations



Boku ha Kôkû Kanseikan DS developped by Echelon, has "finally" been adapted for the US market and therefore has been traduced in english as Air Traffic Chaos. After trying, i can easyly confess this software brings some great guilty pleasures. First off, because managing your airport and seeing your planes moving like toys you'd command is pretty fun and secondly, (an other kind of very naughty pleasure) because your worst mistake will remind you what's at stake here: avoid air and ground collisions...
Yes, the US artbox will rape your eyes with its kiddy and ugly design (I even couldn't resign myself to post it here) but at least this version will allow you to understand what you're doing... because in the original version Air Traffic Control commands mixed with japanese language could be discouraging. To sum up, you're an air traffic controller and therefore you have to manage arrivals and departures, take-off and landing lanes, airport platforms with changing weather conditions and pilots' stress rising as time goes by. You'll enjoy 5 different airports, 7 types of planes, 3 difficulty levels including five sub-levels and a rumble pack compatibility. IGN's official review completly misunderstood the game so i'd rather link to this user's review. The guy obviously didn't play the game longer than 5 min to say it's a kid game !!! Believe me, the game is all about challenge & stress cause managing 4 planes waiting to land off while 4 others are screaming in the mic to take off when there's only one tarmac, two airlanes, and five gates, is NO PICNIC.

This release is an oportunity to set up a little overview of this particular genre that was born around 1998 on the PC (in particular with Boku wa Koukuu Kanseikan 2: Fukuoka Oriental Wings developped by TechnoBrain). It seems it made its debut on a console support with GameBoy ADVANCE's Boku Ha Koukuu Kanseikan wich of course have never been localized. By the way, the DS version uses quite the same graphics and the exact same isometric 3D view as the GBA game. Nevertheless, besides some new options, the best addition in the DS game is a great playability improvement with the stylus support to give order on the flight board. To go back to the GBA game, this rarity is now almost unobtainable (despite maybe on a "used" section of an import eshop or on yahoo auction) so I allow myself to give a link where you'll be able to download the rom (there: http://www.frozen-roms.in/details_1998.html
).
A french tutorial is available here on JapanGames FAQ : http://japangames.free.fr/FAQ/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=3&sid=79fcf1e3fe002af1c108ce0c77b56106

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For the PSP versions, SONIC POWERED, developper of the entire Boku Ha Koukuu Kanseikan series, opted for real 3D and different editions dedicated to one singles airports. Therefore, 3 games focusing on 3 airports have been released:

- Boku Ha Koukuu Kanseikan Tokyo Intl. Narita
Video: http://www.sonicpowered.co.jp/bokukan/movie/rjaa.wmv

Downloadable demo here:
http://www.pspdemocenter.com/page.php?id=82&a=dl
AVAILABLE HERE

- Boku Ha Koukuu Kanseikan Okinawa Naha
Video: http://www.sonicpowered.co.jp/bokukan/movie/roah.wmv

Downloadable demo here:
http://www.pspdemocenter.com/page.php?id=81&a=dl
AVAILABLE HERE

- Boku Ha Koukuu Kanseikan New-Chitose
a recording/replay mode is included
Video:
http://www.sonicpowered.co.jp/bokukan/movie/rjcc.wmv
AVAILABLE HERE

These "next-gen" versions include network functions. With the DS, you'll be able to share your scores with 7 other players wich is to say "online extravaganza" :). Regarding the PSP, to be honest... I just don't know (so please feel free to add this info in your comments).

To conclude, if you're a "Japan oriented ATC"'s total otaku (Densha fans r the proof such species exist!), Technobrain is still active and specialized in ATC simulations for PCs (they just released Air Traffic Controller 3 for PC - english video tutorial here) and various air transport themed games (with more than 24 listed on their site), consoles and even mobile phones (for operators WILLCOM, KDDI, DoCoMo and SoftBank - Here in the "Software" section; They all use 3D isometric graphics). Moreover, the site sells DVDs regarding the Concorde, Japanese airports (and even a CD album from a group inspired by plane and airport noises...), redirects toward japanese airline goodies via AirShop) and suggests links redirecting to japanese airline companies, japanese airports, or web pages focusing on different aspects of air traffic.

BONUS LINKS:
- If u want to know more about ATC
- To listen to air traffic controllers...
- Japanese Department of Transportation website, displaying every japanese airports specs and location
- The TOKOROZAWA AVIATION MUSEM with airflight simulators for kids
- Tokyo - Narita Airport - website in english
- Tokyo - Haneda Airport - website in english
- Hokkaido New Chitose Airport - website in english
- Kobe Airport
- Hakodate Terminal
- Yamaguchi Ube Airport
- Yamagata Airport
- Tottori Airport
- Nagano, Shinsu Matsumoto Airport
- Aso Kumamoto Airport - website in english
- Sendai Airport

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