Thursday, July 30, 2015

I'd totally get these Dragon Quest VIII-themed 'PC' and 'TPU' covers if I owned a New 3DS XL

Thankfully for my bank account, I don't currently own a New 3DS XL or LL. And even if I did own one, it probably wouldn't be an all-white model, which is what it would have to be for the colorful "TPU" cover showcased below to stand out as it should.

Speaking of which, I don't suppose any of you know what "TPU" stands for, do you?

Regardless, if you'd like to pre-order one of these beauties, you can do so at you've got $24.99 to blow.

As for the Dragon Quest VIII-themed "PC" cover alluded to in the headline above, here's how it looks when applied to a blue New 3DS XL or LL.

It also looks pretty cool when it's not attached to either of Nintendo's big-screened New 3DS models, as can be seen in the image below.

These "PC" covers (again, whatever "PC means) can be pre-ordered via, by the way, for the super-low price of 1,260 Yen (about $10).

Or, if you're more of a kind of person, you can buy one on that site for $13.99.

Just be aware that neither cover will reach your doorstep until late August at the earliest--which, curiously enough, is right around when the 3DS version of Dragon Quest VIII will be released.

(Via NintendoTweet)

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

So, what do all of you think about the fact that Dragon Quest XI is being made for 3DS, PS4 and (eventually, probably) NX?

As you've all surely heard by now, the brass at Square Enix revealed during a Dragon Quest-focused press conference yesterday morning that the 11th entry in the company’s vaunted RPG series is being prepped as we speak for the 3DS, the PS4 and the announced-but-still-shrouded-in-mystery system currently known as the Nintendo NX.

Here are some of the most pertinent of the details that were shared about Dragon Quest XI during the event held about 24 hours ago.

Although the same core staff members are working on both the 3DS and PS4 versions of the game, a company called Orca is assisting with the development of the PS4 release, while Toy Logic is helping make the 3DS one.

Despite the fact that they’ll look quite different in the end, both iterations of Dragon Quest XI will tell the same story, à la the pair of Ni no Kuni titles Level-5 made for the DS and PS3 a few years ago.

Intriguingly, Dragon Quest XI for 3DS will feature three-dimensional graphics on the system's upper screen (is it me, or do they look cel-shaded?), while the lower screen will showcase two-dimensional visuals that appear fairly Super Famicom-esque.

Oh, and when it comes to this game's battle scenes, if you're using the 3DS' circle pad when one begins, the fight will be depicted using the afore-mentioned 3D graphics. If, on the other hand, you're using the handheld's directional pad, the contest will be depicted using sprites.

Finally, Square Enix is shooting to release the 3DS and PS4 versions of Dragon Quest XI at some point during the series' 30th anniversary year--which means between April 1 of 2016 and March 31 of 2017.

With all of that out of the way, what do you think of this news--and of the first footage of the 3DS make of Dragon Quest XI, which can be viewed above?

Personally, I think it's great. Sure, I would've loved it if Square Enix had decided to put the game on the PS3, Vita and Wii U, too, but even as is I'm feeling pretty darn stoked.

There's no question I'll be picking up the 3DS iteration, by the way--quite possibly when it first hits store shelves in Japan.

Don't worry, I'll double dip if Square Enix (or Nintendo) eventually brings it to North America, but you just know that's going to take a number of months, if it happens at all.

Will any of you be following suit--by buying either the Japanese 3DS or PS4 releases? Or are you planning to hold out for copies that have been localized for the country or region you call home?

Monday, July 27, 2015

And yet five more games I'm looking forward to playing between now and the end of 2015

Just over a month ago, I published a pair of posts--here's the first one, and here's the second one--that detailed a handful of games I'm looking forward to playing between now and the end of 2015.

My original intention was to wrap up this series (if it can even be called such a thing) within a couple of days of the second post's introduction to this thing we used to call the World Wide Web, but, well, if you've been visiting this blog for any amount of time, you know that's how things go sometimes.

With all of that out of the way, let's get to the final five games that I'm looking forward to playing before this year comes to a close.

The Legend of Legacy (3DS)--Is it weird that I'm going to buy the North American version of this open-ended, SaGa-esque RPG even though I've owned the Japanese release for some time now? (You can read about it, and peruse some photos of its beautiful packaging, in this previously published post, if you're at all curious.) I don't think so, especially since I'm basically stumbling through my current copy of the game at the moment. I was OK with that when it was my only option, but once an English localization joins it as a possibility I won't hesitate in swapping out the former in favor of the latter.

Monhun Nikki: Poka Poka Airu Mura DX (3DS)--Here's another entry that may shock a couple of people, as back in February I devoted an entire post to small handful of photos I'd taken of the first Animal Crossing-ish Monhun Nikki: Poka Poka Airu Mura game that was made for the PSP, which I had acquired a few weeks earlier. Considering I've yet to even pop the aforementioned UMD into either of my PSP systems so far, why would I want to hand over my hard-earned cash to buy this updated 3DS iteration? Because I have a feeling I'll be more likely to play such a game on my go-to portable of the moment (Nintendo's latest dual-screened handheld, naturally), that's why. Here's hoping that's what actually comes to pass once this import cart is in my grubby paws.

Mysterious Chronicle (Vita)--Some of you may know this upcoming PS4 and Vita game by its Japanese name, which is Fushigi no Chronicle: Furikaerimasen Katsu Made wa. It's a remake, of sorts, of a mobile game called One Way Heroics. Both titles are roguelikes that, as far as I can tell, take place aboveground--or at least outdoors--as opposed to indoors or below ground, which is typical of the genre. Honestly, that last bit alone would be enough to make me want to track down a copy of the erstwhile Mysterious Chronicle as soon as possible, so when you add in its stellar spritework, well, you should be able to see why I'm smacking myself around for not having it on pre-order. 

Return to PopoloCrois: A Story of Seasons Fairytale (3DS)--True story: I've wanted to play a PoPoLoCrois (this is how the title is written in Japan, by the way) game for ages. Specifically, I've wanted to play one or more of the three beautiful, sprite-based PoPoLoCrois games--two of which are RPGs and one of which is a roguelike--that were made for the original PlayStation since I first become aware of them a number of years ago. This 3DS-based release isn't as gorgeous as any of those 32-bit efforts, I've got to say, but it still looks pretty good. Plus, I'm intrigued by the fact that this one includes content that calls to mind the Harvest Moon (now Story of Seasons, I guess) series.  

Yoshi's Woolly World (Wii U)--How am I going to play this precious-looking platformer when I don't yet own a Wii U console? I have no idea, but I'm going to do my best to make it happen. After all, I'm going to need a Wii U if I'm finally going to experience Splatoon, Super Mario Maker and Illusory Revelations ♯FE, right? As for what's pushing me to do whatever needs to be done to experience this game, that would be that it gives off serious Kirby's Epic Yarn vibes. That game was one of my favorite Wii titles, regardless of genre, so if Woolly World is even half as entertaining, it will be more than worth the price of admission.

How about you guys and gals? Are you looking forward to playing any of these games between now and the end of 2015? Or maybe you're looking forward to playing some other games that were recently made available or will be made available soon? If so, please let me know about them in the comments section below.

See also: 'Five games I'm really looking forward to playing between now and the end of 2015' and 'Five additional games I'm looking forward to playing between now and the end of 2015'

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Taito + Fez = Asterism?

OK, so I have no idea if the folks at Neutronized were at all inspired by Taito's highly recognizable style (see games like Bubble BobbleMizubaku Daibouken and The New Zealand Story) when they began working on Asterism's visuals, but it sure seems like that may have been the case.

At any rate, the game in question, which will be released for iOS at some future point in time, looks gorgeous.

Of course, that shouldn't be all that surprising to those of you who've experienced another Neutronized-made effort--the decidedly Parasol Stars-ish Drop Wizard, which hit the App Store earlier this year.

Unlike that earlier Neutronized product, however, Asterism seems like less of a Bubble Bobble clone than it does a Fez clone.

I've been assured there's more to Asterism than that, though. In fact, my contact at Neutronized suggests the game is "a sort of Metroidvania" that sees its protagonist regularly teleporting into parallel dimensions.

As if that didn't sound good enough, here's how the company's press department is promoting this intriguing upcoming release: "a game about stars, exploration and love."

With all of that said, who else is now chomping at the bit to add Asterism to the slew of apps on their iPads or iPhones?

Friday, July 24, 2015

With a Dragon Quest XI reveal seemingly just around the corner, what are your hopes and fears for this sure-to-be-slime-filled JRPG?

Well, we all knew it was coming, right? Or at least those of us who care about the Dragon Quest series knew it was coming--with "it" being an official announcement regarding the existence (and possibly release) of Dragon Quest XI.

As for when the announcement in question will be made, all signs point to it happening during an event that'll be hosted (and livestreamed, thankfully) on Tuesday, July 28.

It's not a sure thing that Dragon Quest XI will headline this event, by the way, so keep your expectations in check. That said, what other "big title" would prompt the powers that be at Square Enix to throw such a shindig in its honor at this point?

Anyway, assuming we actually hear something about the 11th entry in the eons-old Dragon Quest series in a couple of days, and assuming you actually give a rat's patootie about such a game, what are some of your hopes and fears for it?

Here, I'll get things started. In a twist that I'm sure will shock everyone who's visited this blog for even a few days, I'd really like it if Dragon Quest XI were released for the 3DS. I know that's extremely unlikely at this point, but I can't help but wish for it all the same.

If it isn't going to be playable on the 3DS, I'd really like it to be playable on the Vita. I'm not sure that's all that likely either--the PS3 and PS4 are where I'd put my money, if forced--but this post is supposed to be all about sharing our hopes (or fears), even bat-shit-crazy ones, so that's what I'm doing.

Now it's your turn. So, tell me: for which system--or systems--do you want Dragon Quest XI to be make? Also, feel free to pass along any other thoughts or opinions you may have about this subject, like whether or not you'd like it to continue to feature turn-based battles.

See also: 'I've got to admit, Dragon Quest Builders looks quite a bit more appealing than I imagined it would when it was first announced'

Thursday, July 23, 2015

I've got to admit, Dragon Quest Builders looks quite a bit more appealing than I imagined it would when it was first announced

Full disclosure: I've never played Minecraft. In any form.

I can't tell you why that is, sadly. I guess it's possible I would've played the game by now if it were available for a Nintendo platform, but I have a feeling even that may not have pushed me to jump on the bandwagon.

That's not to say I have something against Minecraft or its makers or its fans or anything like that. For whatever reason, it just hasn't pinged my radar up to this point.

Anyway, as a result of all of the above, Square Enix's announcement a couple of weeks ago that it is prepping a game called Dragon Quest Builders--which seemingly combines elements of Minecraft with the Dragon Quest series--for PS3, PS4 and Vita didn't exactly send shivers up and down my spine.

I don't know that I would say I'm feeling those shivers now that I've thoroughly perused the first Dragon Quest Builders screenshots that can be seen throughout this post, but I'm definitely a lot more interested in the game than I ever thought I'd be.

The question is: will the powers that be at Square Enix actually release any version of Dragon Quest Builders in North America?

I wouldn't bet against the PS4 iteration crossing the pond, so to speak, especially since Square Enix seems so bullish on that console at the moment, but I'm not so sure about the Vita iteration--which of course is the one I'd buy if I were to do such a thing.

What do all of you think? Will Dragon Quest Builders see the light of day outside of Japan? And should that come to pass, will you buy one or more copies of it?

Sunday, July 19, 2015

In honor of Satoru Iwata, here's my most recent contribution to #CIBSunday

I don't often contribute to the social-media phenomenon that is #CIBSunday, but I decided to make an exception today because I recently acquired a copy of Mother 2 for the Super Famicom and showcasing a few photos of its beautifully minimalist packaging here seemed like an appropriate thing to do given the recent passing of Satoru Iwata, who helped whip this classic RPG into shape back when he worked for HAL Laboratory.

As for what took me so long to add this brilliant game to my collection, well, a big part of the story is that my initial plan was to buy a complete-in-box copy of the North American release, which of course is known as EarthBound. In the end, though, setting aside $300 or more for such a purchase was a bit too much for me to swallow, so I put my dreams of owning some form of this classic RPG on the back burner and turned my attention to other titles that would be far easier to obtain.

I returned to this quest a month or so ago after I came across (while perusing eBay, naturally) the copy of Mother 2 that can be seen in the snapshots shared throughout this post. That was mainly due to the fact this particular copy was cheaper than most of the ones that make their way onto the auction site these days, but it also was due to me figuring I've learned enough Japanese by now to stumble my way through Shigesato Itoi's eclectic adventure in its native language.

Anyway, enough about that. The stars of this post are the lovely box, cartridge and instruction manual that make up the entire Mother 2 package. Personally, I'm not sure which element I love the most--the outer box, with its iconic logo, or the inside of the aforementioned manual, which includes some of the most wonderful clay models you're likely to come across in the gaming world.  

Mother 2's cart label (below) is pretty awesome, too, of course.

Sadly, it'll probably be a while before I stick this cartridge into an actual SNES or Super Famicom and give it a go. After all, I don't own either of those consoles at the moment--or at least I don't have one with me here in Seattle. An old SNES is sitting in a closet in my parents' house back in Madison, Wisconsin, but I won't be able to get my mitts on it until at least Christmas.

Sure, I could use this as an opportunity to, at long last, pitch in and pick up a Super Famicom Jr.--a system I've wanted for ages--before then, but the reality is I'll probably just wait until the holidays so I can spend that money on some other game-related treasure that catches my eye in the coming months.

What all of that said, what do you think of this game's packaging, or what do you think of the game itself? Share all of the lurid details in the comments section below, if you're the sort who's open to such things.