I think there are probably only two of us (including me :) interested in Boku no Natsuyasumi 4: Seitouchi Shounen Tanteidan, Boku to Himitsu no Chizu (translated as My Summer Vacation 4: Setouuchi Youth Detective Group — Me and the Secret Map by Anoop) here but I’m always fascinated by the series and wanted to give it a try. So I’m so glad when Sony or Millennium Kitchen, the game’s developers, decided to make the fourth game for the PSP, which I think is where the series would shine better than if it would on PS3. Everybody is out of home in summer, so what’s better than playing a summer game on their trip?
Seto Inland Sea
The game is set in different locations with each new title and Boku no Natsuyasumi 4 will takes place in a small port town called Ononochi somewhere inside the scenic Seto Inland Sea. Players will be able to travel to five islands and three seas in the game and each of them will has different styles of play. Kazu Ayabe, the series’ creator, says he would like the setting to have both hills and seas, hence the decision to pick Seto Inland Sea, which is also a popular location for movies. Boku no Natsuyasumi 2 also featured sea as its location but Ayabe says sea is just one of the few core elements of Boku no Natsuyasumi 4. Instead of a purely tourist location, the sea in the new game is also part of the life of the locals. As a result you can even see rubbish and special items at the bottom of the sea.
Boku (left) is still the name of main character in the game. He is a 10-year-old boy here and is said to be naughty and like to pull pranks on others. Another main characters is Kimiko, who is at the same age as Boku and the daughter of Boku’s relative. She is a cheerful girl, like to make jokes and is said to be hyper active. Apparently, she is about to bring a real danger to the world in the game… Interestingly, Boku will be voiced by Akiko Yajima, the female seiyuu behind the Crayon Shin-Chan animes. As a result, Ayabe says you can expect plenty of funny scenes. Besides Yajima, the game also features plenty of famous artists who are active in 1980s. The game also sees a larger amount of characters, including the family of Boku’s uncle whose son will be Boku’s main rival in most of the competitions.
You won’t be just swimming and running around aimlessly in the game (although you’re free to do so). Boku was asked to do a summer homework by his grandfather. His task is to find pieces of a torn map that shows marine activities in Seto Inland Sea during the . The secret location to a treasure spot will be revealed if you managed collect the five pieces. Ayabe says that’s the reason for the subtitle Seitouchi Shounen Tanteidan (or Setouchi Youth Detective Group). Although the idea may sounds normal, the way players will discover this map will be surprising and there are more than 10 different endings to the game.
During the night of Obon Festival, players can choose to do Bon Odori (or Bon Dance) or join the drum competition. The former is pressing the circle button by listening to the drum while the latter plays like a normal Taiko no Tatsujin game.
Monster Keshi Gum
A new summer activities added to the game is the Monster Keshi Gum battles. Players will be able to collect up to 30 types of the popular collectible erasers and take them to fight against your friends’ collections. You can get your Keshi by buying snacks in the store, money can be earned by selling empty cans or pocket money given by your grandmother. You’ll lose your Keshi to your opponent if you lost in the battle. Apparently, the battles will make use of the latest physics calculation to make sure they look exciting.
One of the most popular features of the game is back with even larger amount of insects for players to collect. As the game progresses, they will be given water tank to catch insects living in the water.
Insect Vs Insect Tournament
Another popular features of the series, insect fighting. Boku no Natsuyasumi 4 adds more than 150 new moves to your insects and there will be new types of competitions for them to take part like sumo wrestling, tournaments or team events. You can even make your insects stronger by using a special “training kit”.
You can now give your catches to grandmother so she can prepare different type of fish cuisines, of which there more than 30 types of them in the game.
Paths To Avoid Going Home At Night!
In the past, players always have to go back home when it’s night time. However, you can take the smaller paths or swim to another island to avoid being found by grandfather this time, increasing the sense of adventure greatly. Boku no Natsuyasumi 4: Seitouchi Shounen Tanteidan, Boku to Himitsu no Chizu is currently more than 80% done and will be out on July 2nd in Japan in two versions. The UMD version is ¥4,980 ($49.90 at ) while the PSN download version is ¥3,800.