Irem remaking Spelunker for PS3

Plus: Disaster Report sequel for PSP.

Japanese developer Irem will be remaking old Atari 400 game Spelunker for the PS3.

This is the title that popped up in NES-guise on the Virtual Console recently, transporting us back to a time in the 1980s where shamelessly harsh platform games ruled the roost.

The idea is to explore caves, hence the title. The only problem is that just about everything kills you in one hit: falls, impact, air supply, ghosts, bombs and even bat poo.

The remake will arrive sometime this winter, according to GameSpot, and boasts over 100 levels, new and old graphics modes, and split-screen co-operative play for up to four people.

The gameplay - for better or worse - will remain the same.

Irem is also working on a PSP sequel to Disaster Report, which appeared on PS2 back in 2003. The idea in Zettai Zetsumei Toshi 3 is, once again, to navigate safely out of an urban earthquake disaster zone, avoiding all sorts of physical hazards as you go. Plus there's psychological stress to worry about this time.

Zettai Zetsumei Toshi 3 will feature four-player co-op plus a handy unlockable survival guide for people who frequently encounter earthquakes - not so much in Europe. The game is due for release in Japan next year.

Irem has a further two games in development for PSP: a 3D RPG called Narisokonai Eiyuutan, and a card battling game called Hototogisu: Ran.

The former is a traditional fantasy affair, but focuses on the relationships between characters in your party. If these are good, then battle strength will be boosted; but if they're bad then party members could end up attacking you instead of the enemy.

There are 10 main characters to meet and 40 different classes to explore. The game is due in winter 2009.

Hototogisu: Ran will be out in November and is set during medieval Japan. Action takes place on a cell-based map and the player uses warlords cards, just as you might expect. The twist is a funky turn-based system where opponents need not wait for each other to move before going again.

There's no word on any of these games for Europe at the moment.

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