A look at the protected inventions behind Mass Effect, Tekken, Final Fantasy, Katamari Damacy, and...Pikmin DS?
Excerpt from the patent: An object of the present invention is to provide a game device which gives variety to a fighting game for leading a player to play the game repeatedly, and to provide an information storage medium usable in the game device. The player can select one of a normal game mode in which a game character controlled by the player fights against an enemy game character and a weapon obtaining mode in which the player's game character can obtain an item (e.g., weapon) to be used. The weapon obtained in the weapon obtaining mode can be used in the normal game mode. Depending on the weapon used by the player's game character, various functions such as the number and type of special techniques, the basic position, a series of actions subsequent to the basic position, a hit area of weapon, offensive power, durability and so on may be changed in the same game character controlled by the player. The weapon obtaining mode may also be used as an operation guidance mode for beginners. In the weapon obtaining mode, a map having a plurality of points set thereon is displayed. The map can display information relating to a weapon obtainable at each of the points on the map.
What it means: Do you remember Soul Blade on the original PlayStation, the precursor to the SoulCalibur series? It had an Edge Master mode that put you through a series of challenges for each fighter, earning new weapon variations for each mission cleared. For example, Rock's default weapon in the game is a battle axe, but he can earn access to a stone club, a warhammer, and other weapons with different attributes. Namco patented this system, as well as the ability to bring those newly unlocked weapons into the rest of the game's modes, and used it in a number of subsequent SoulCalibur titles.