June 26, 2009 6:00 PM | Eric Caoili
It seems as if we're seeing an influx of pedometer-based games, what with recent DS releases like Nintendo's Personal Trainer: Walking and Ubisoft's My Weight Loss Coach both bundling pedometer accessories.
Even Pokemon HeartGold And SoulSilver, sure to be two of the highest-selling titles in Japan this year (and in the U.S., where they will likely ship in 2010), comes with a PokeWalker that encourages players to walk with the accessory so they can gain XP for their creatures or earn in-game currency.
Bandai and SSD Company have their own standalone pedometer-based game coming out this July, Yuuhokei: Tenkatouitsu ~ Aruite Sengoku no Hasha to Nare, which loosely translates as Walking Meter: Unification ~ Become the Ruler of the Warring States by Walking.
As the title suggests, you can play as three different warlords from Japan's Warring States period (15th to 17th century) -- Oda Nobunaga, Takeda Shingen, and Uesugi Kenshin. The game will also feature over 70 other warlords, such as Date Masumane and Akechi Mitsuhide. Though you might not recognize some of these names, these characters have experienced a surge of popularity recently in Japan with the Sengoku Basara games/anime.
The way the pedometer works, you keep the accessory in a pocket and amass troops by walking, increasing your army's ranks as you go about their day. According to Bandai, "you can dominate the enemy with your large army if you walk a lot." Your soldiers can attack with spears, guns, bows and arrows, and more.
There will also be a corresponding website where you can record your weight and how much you've walked. As you progress through your warlord's campaign/storyline, you'll also receive codes that you can put into the website to see details of local warlords and a map of Japan showing the areas you've unified.
Bandai's target audience for Walking Meter: Unification is men and women in their 30s who have an appreciation of history. The company has high hopes for this product, too, expecting to sell over 10 million units by the end of 2010.
And if conquering rival warlords and unifying Japan isn't your thing, apparently there are three other similar pedometer-based titles that've been released in Japan -- Space Battleship Yamato (Star Blazers), Haha wo Tazunete Sanzenri (a.k.a. Marco), and Kacho Kosaku Shima -- all of which are based on manga/anime properties.