Friday, February 26, 2010

Remember when I said Square Enix was planning to port Final Fantasy to the iPhone?

Well, the port has hit the U.S. App Store--at the rather attractive price of $8.99. (Attractive compared to the $19.99 price tag attached to the nearly identical PSP version of the game, at least.)

Anyway, here's a video of someone playing said port:

An iPhone port of Final Fantasy II--aka "the Final Fantasy even the biggest Final Fantasy fanboys should ignore"--is available, too, and also costs $8.99.

I'd probably pick up part one if I had an iPhone or an iPod touch. As it is, I'll probably pick it up for the PSP--if I can find it somewhere for $9.99 or less.

See also: 'You don't say: Square Enix is going to release Final Fantasy I and II *again*'

'The fish you can watch on your TV'

You know, Nintendo (and its numerous second-party development teams) have done a great job this gaming generation of producing downloadable titles that differ--creatively, meaningfully and significantly--from the titles that show up on store shelves.

The DSiWare title mentioned in my last post is a great example of the above, as is the soon-to-be-released (in Japan) WiiWare title known as Aqua Living: The Fish You Can Watch On Your TV.

Now, aquarium sims normally don't "do it" for me, but this one seems to be an exception to that rule. For starters, there are so many options they'll make your head spin: After selecting one of eight themes, users can alter the layout of their tank and populate it with fish (there are 40 types). Users can alter the background music (there are seven songs) and the wallpaper that appears behind their virtual aquarium, too.

The first thing I'm going to do when I download this title is drop
my Liza Minnelli Mii into the tank and force her to feed fish.

That's not all: Users also are given a number of options when it comes to viewing their aquarium, including one that allows them to send in a Mii who can simply swim around or feed fish.

Aqua Living
will hit the Japanese Wii Shop Channel on March 8 with a price tag of 800 Nintendo points. Hopefully the title will swim into other territories soon.


OK, you *really* need to check this out ...

The following trailer is for a DSiWare title (Rittai Kakushi e Attakoreda, or Hidden 3D Image: There It Is!) that's set to be released next week in Japan.

The gist of the game: Players tilt their DSis to change their perspective and uncover words (and objects, I think) that are hidden in each picture-book-styled stage.

How is that possible? I have no idea, but someone over on NeoGAF has come up with a pretty plausible explanation: "It's possibly ... using the outside camera and doing color-checking, but I'd wager it uses the front-facing camera and the face-tracking tech," said gamer suggested earlier today.

I can't see Nintendo leaving this one in Japan, so I'm guessing it'll show up on our shores sooner rather than later. Honestly, I'd be more than happy if it showed up later, as I don't (yet) have a DSi and probably won't have one for some time.

For more information on Dimensional Hidden Picture, check out this page on Nintendo of Japan's site and this NeoGAF thread.

500 posts

So, that last post was my 500th--or somewhere thereabouts. I say somewhere thereabouts because I know I've prepped a few posts that have yet to be posted.

Anyway, like birthday presents, it's the thought that counts, right?

Sorry, I couldn't think of anything else to post. The man above isn't me, by the way.
I don't have a beard and I only wear a tie when a gun is pointed at my head.

Honestly, I'm not sure what to make of the fact that I've made 500 posts to this blog. Do I consider it an achievement, or do I consider it a disappointment--because, you know, I've spent so much time typing and editing and posting hundreds and thousands of words that, more than likely, have been read by a small handful of people?

I'm leaning toward the former at the moment, but let me know if you think I should be leaning toward the latter instead.

Guess what magically appeared on my doorstep yesterday afternoon?

If you guessed "a used PSP," pat yourself on the back!

Remember that deal I mentioned a few days ago--the one that fell through? Well, it, uh, un-fell through--and I'm now the proud owner of the sharp-looking PSP system seen in the photo on the right.

I rarely buy used game systems, especially handhelds (most people don't treat their screens very well, and I hate scratched screens), but I made an exception in this case because I'm completely unwilling to pay $169.99 for a new PSP.

I don't have any games at this point, but I plan on buying Half-Minute Hero as soon as I'm able--and Holy Invasion of Privacy, Badman 2 (which I refuse to call by its new name, What Have I Done to Deserve This, My Lord!? 2) as soon as it's available.

Oh, and I'd really like to pick up Patchwork Heroes at some point, too.

For now, though, I'm content to sit and stare at my shiny, game-less PlayStation Portable system.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

iPhone game Valet Hustle is more than just 'Tetris meets Diner Dash'

How so? Well, for starters, both of the title's main characters, Akira and Ren, are gay.

According to GameSetWatch, Akira and Ren "were expelled from boarding school after they were caught kissing another student of the same sex. Upon hearing the news, their respective fathers order them to take over the family's parking valet company."

There's more: As players progress through the game's six levels (three of which take place in New York City and three of which take place in Tokyo), they learn more about the protagonists' personal lives.

Sorry, this is the only gay-ish screenshot I could find of this game.

Andrew Littlefield, CEO of Valet Hustle's publisher, Factory Games, recently told that the title's gay content was intended from the start to be more than just a source of titillation.

"We set out to not only create a game that is an absolute blast to play with incredible visuals and top notch audio," he said, "but we also wanted to make a social statement that gays and lesbians should have the same marital rights as heterosexuals."

Watch: Valet Hustle "sizzle reel"

If Frank Cifaldi says a game is good, it must be so

Frank Cifaldi, the man behind the rather fabulous (which means he's a man well worth listening to), has been trumpeting the recently released Xbox 360 title, Deadly Premonition (formerly known as Rainy Woods), via facebook and twitter.

For instance, a few days ago he tweeted that "Deadly Premonition is the best game IGN ever [gave] a 2 out of 10. It's a low budget David Lynch Shenmue with zombies and fishing and shaving. It just came out and it's $20 and I'm in love."

Later, on facebook, he added that "it looks awful (seriously, PS2 graphics) and is super low budget, but that all adds to the charm. Oh, and the soundtrack is genuinely great. It's like the best Dreamcast game that was never made, and may be one of the last grand Japanese console adventure games."

The promise of fishing and shaving and zombies certainly has me intrigued, as does the following screenshot (taken from the official Deadly Premonition discussion thread over at NeoGAF):

I don't know what's going on here, and I'm not sure I want to.

I don't (yet) have an Xbox 360, Frank, but you can bet I'll pick up a copy of Deadly Premonition as soon as I get one.

Buy: Deadly Premonition

No more 'MR GAY'

A piece of art related to the I-can't-believe-it's-going-to-be-released-in-May Super Mario Galaxy sequel has hit the Interwebs, so I thought I'd post it here, too.

Isn't it wonderful? I'm especially giddy about the inclusion of the ambiguously gay Yoshi.

Speaking of things that (probably) are gay, a few astute NeoGAFfers (and Eric Caoili over at have pointed out that the sparkles in the Super Mario Galaxy 2 logo no longer spell out "U R MR GAY." Instead, they spell out "U R MI ALY."

Hmm, maybe this is Nintendo's way of saying Mario is OK with the fact that Yoshi is gay--and, as such, the general gaming public should be OK with it, too? Yes, I think that's exactly what it is...

Watch: Super Mario Galaxy 2 trailer

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Sorry for the lack of posts lately

It isn't due to the fact that I've lost interest--it's due to the fact that I've been busy (a number of deadlines this week) and sick (a head cold since last Friday).

I'll post as much as possible in the next few days, but I probably won't be back to my normal two-to-five posts a day until the weekend.

Hope all of you are doing well!

Looks like someone needs a second job ...

Before its "media summit" in San Francisco began this morning, Nintendo of America promised (via Twitter) that it had "new info to share." Boy, did it ever.

A surprising number of release dates were announced during the company's presser, including:

WarioWare: D.I.Y. - March 28
Picross 3D – May 3
100 Classic Books – June 14
Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies (which will be published by Nintendo of America) – Summer

Metal Torrent – Spring
Photo Dojo – Spring
X-Scape – Spring

Monster Hunter Tri demo – March 8
Monster Hunter Tri Classic Controller Pro Bundle – April 20
Super Mario Galaxy 2 – May 23
Sin & Punishment: Star Successor – June 7
Metroid: Other M – June 27
FlingSmash (formerly known as Span Smasher) – Summer

WarioWare: D.I.Y. Showcase – March 29
Art Style Light Trax – Spring
Art Style Rotozoa – Spring

Also, the Nintendo DSi XL will be released on March 28 for $189.99. It will be available in two colors: Burgandy (eww) and bronze (double eww).

Looks like a pretty good spring/summer line-up, if you ask me.

The only disappointments in my mind: The lack of an announcement regarding the North American release of the black Wii and red DSi systems that were released in Japan last year, and the lack of an announcement regarding the North American release of Zangeki no Reginleiv.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

You kind of have to imagine the 'wakka wakka wakka' with these ...

I just came across the following image--of a Pac-Man Rub Off Game card from the early 80s--over at

If my memory serves me correctly, cards like the one above were sold in packs along with "sticker cards" like these:

I know I collected these back in the day, but I'm pretty sure I later traded them for some Garbage Pail Kids.

Monday, February 22, 2010

'I'm sexy'

I was randomly flipping through gaming-related photos on Flickr a few minutes ago (I know, I need a life) when I came across the following:

The photo's title: "I'm sexy." And its description: "It's true." I can't say I agree, but I also can't take my eyes off of it. Can you?

Anyway, more images of these self-proclaimed "Katamari cousins" can be found here.

See also: 'It's show-and-tell time!'

Don't mind me, I'm just chillin' with Dragon Quest IX

Actually, I'm not the one chillin' with Dragon Quest IX--some random YouTuber is, as evidenced in this rather strange video:

I'm posting the video here because, as strange as it is, it has reignited my interest in this game. I haven't played a Dragon Quest title since I worked my way through part one as a teen, but I'll definitely be picking up part IX--as soon as, you know, it's released in the U.S.

Hopefully the folks at Square Enix will announce a release date soon. And while they're at it, maybe they'll announce a release date for a localized version of Hikari no 4 Senshi: Final Fantasy Gaiden?

See also: 'Five DS games I hope to see stateside in 2010'

Suikoden II's desperate(ly gay) housewife

Is it worth it to spend hours playing a game just so you can hear a single, female NPC say she's "smitten" with another female NPC? I think so--and so, apparently, does someone over on the Hardcore Gaming 101 blog.

Said gamer spent a fair number of hours playing the PSone classic, Suikoden II, just so he (she?) could see this screen:

"The NPC is located on the path up to the Greenhill Academy," the gamer shares. "She’s clearly female, with a green sash and red hair--Suikoden II’s standard housewife NPC."

When you first encounter this "sandard housewife NPC," she asks you to say hello to the academy’s receptionist, Emilia. Afterwards, she sighs and says the quote included in the image above.


Sunday, February 21, 2010

You had me with the Blinky attack, Namco Bandai

Late last year, the folks at Namco Bandai unveiled Keroro RPG: Kishi to Musha to Densetsu no Kaizoku (Keroro RPG: Knight, Warrior and Legendary Pirate in English).

Developed by the company's Tales Studio, this forthcoming DS title combines the Keroro (known as Sgt. Frog to English-speaking audiences) anime license with the Linear Motion Battle System of the Tales series.

So far, so "meh," right? That was my response, too--until I saw the following screenshot over at

No, your eyes aren't deceiving you: One of the game's characters is calling on the support of Pac-Man and Blinky in the image above.

A number of other Namco classics will be represented in the game, too. Among them: Dig Dug, Katamari Damacy, Klonoa, Taiko no Tatsujin and Xevious.

Normally I'd say there's no way Keroro RPG will be released outside of Japan (à la 2005's Namco x Capcom), but that's exactly what has happened to a number of Sgt. Frog manga volumes in the last few years so, who knows, maybe Namco Bandai will throw us a bone.

Watch: Keroro RPG trailer

One gamer's take on Classic Dungeon (PSP): Disgaea + Shiren + Ys

Actually, said gamer's exact comment (expressed earlier today on NeoGAF) was: "Imagine your favorite parts of Disgaea combined with gameplay straight out of the latest Ys games combined with the best parts of Shiren. Yeah, that is a good combination."

The gamer goes on to explain (in this post) the inner-workings of the title, but it's a bit too confusing and convoluted to go into here. Honestly, I barely understood a word of it when I read it a few minutes ago, but what does it matter? The game seems to be a mash-up of Disgaea, Shiren and Ys--does anything more need to be said?

Well, other than "you'd better bring this to the States soon, NIS America (or Atlus USA or Xseed Games)," of course.

See also: 'Note to Nippon Ichi: You're bringing this title to North America, right? Right?!?' and 'First Classic Dungeon (PSP) footage looks ... classic'

Why'd I have to go and sell my PSone?

That's the question that went through my mind as I watched this old PSone ad from Japan yesterday:

I know, I can play all of my PSone games on my PS2 (and my PS3, if I ever buy one), but neither of those systems can hold a candle to the cute-as-buttons PSone mini (as some call it).