Saturday, June 26, 2010

And the (final) survey says ...

A little over a month ago (or was it longer than that?) I posed the following question in a poll that was posted along the right side of the site: How do you feel about games with gay characters and storylines?

The most popular response was "I wish there were *a lot* more of them," which earned seven votes (out of 18).

"I'd love it if they were more common, but I won't die if they continue to be a rarity" came in second, with five votes, followed by "Eh, I'm fine with the status quo" (four votes).

Somewhat surprisingly, "Ugh, keep gay characters and storylines out of my games!" garnered two votes.

If you're up for it, I'd love to hear what prompted some of you to choose a particular response. Why are you hankering for more games with gay characters/storylines--or, alternately, why are you hoping such characters/storylines stay far away from the games you purchase and play?

Now playing: Tengai Makyo II

To those of you who, upon reading the headline above, thought, "Tengai what?"--Tengai Makyo II: Manjimaru is a PC Engine RPG developed by Red Company (best known for being the creators of the PC Genjin--Bonk's Adventure in the States--series of games).

It's more than just a PC Engine RPG, though--it's one of the best RPGs ever made. At least, that's what I've heard. I've never actually played the game; I've just obsessed over it ever since I saw the following blurb in an issue of Super Gaming magazine.

Now that I've got a PC Engine Core Grafx II and NEC's Super CD-ROM2 attachment, though, I can stop daydreaming about Tengai Makyo II and start playing the darn thing. Which is exactly what I plan on doing this weekend...

Friday, June 25, 2010

Fabulous flash game alert: Winterbells

I don't play many Flash games these days. In fact, the last one I spent any amount of time with was Robot Unicorn Attack.

That all changed yesterday when I was introduced to a wonderful little gem called Winterbells.

Don't be fooled by Ferry Halim's cute-as-all-get-out graphics--this game is one tough cookie. Although my current high score is 33,210, my typical score is around 3,000.

Anyway, if you find yourself with a few minutes (hours) to spare this afternoon, I'd highly recommend giving it a go. (Play it here.)

See also: 'Fabulous flash game alert: Robot Unicorn Attack'

Thursday, June 24, 2010


That's the first word that came to mind this morning when I saw the following trailer, for the PS3 version of Ni no Kuni:

Unfortunately, this ravishing RPG, a collaboration between Level-5 and Studio Ghibli, won't be released until sometime next year (in Japan). Actually, scratch that "unfortunately"--as the delay should give me plenty of time to save up my pennies (and dollars) for PS3.


See also: 'Reason #10.5 to buy a PS3'

Final Fantasy fetishism

Just a few photos of the Japanese versions of Final Fantasy V and VI (which I found in my old bedroom closet while on vacation last week).

Reason #846 to be thankful for fan translators

The folks at (along with a few "external staffers") are hard at work on a fan translation of the cult-classic Wii title, Captain Rainbow.

Once the translation is complete, a patch will be released that will work much like the one created for Fatal Frame IV (i.e., all gamers will need to play the translated version of Captain Rainbow is an original copy of the game, an SD card and the crew's patch).


See also: 'Reason #845 to be thankful for fan translators'

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I think Nintendo is going after Wii Play fans with this one

The cover art for Wii Party has hit the Interwebs (thanks to and, well, it looks a lot like the cover art for Wii Play.

The question is: Will Wii Party, which hits the streets in Japan on July 8, sell like Wii Play? I guess we'll find out soon enough.

Sadly, the game won't be released in the States until later this year. (Australian and European release dates haven't been revealed, as far as I'm aware.)

Reason #10.5 to buy a PS3

If memory serves, there are 9.5 reasons for me to buy a PS3. Until yesterday, that is.

Before I go on, here are my 9.5 reasons: Afrika, Aquanaut's Holiday, Demon's Souls, Disgaea 3, Heavy Rain, LittleBigPlanet, LocoRoco Cocoreccho (this one accounts for that pesky .5), Katamari Forever, Siren: Blood Curse and Valkyria Chronicles.

The 10th reason, which popped onto my radar yesterday, is Ni no Kuni: The Another World.

Feast your eyes on the first (blurry) images of the PS3 version of Ni no Kuni.

For those of you who have never heard of Ni no Kuni, it's an RPG that's being produced by Level-5 (of Professor Layton fame) and Studio Ghibli, the Japanese animation studio responsible for Ponyo, Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away.

When the folks at Level-5 announced the DS version of Ni no Kuni all the way back in 2008, they also suggested--vaguely--that they were working on a console version of the game. Although most gamers assumed the console version would appear on the Wii, it was revealed yesterday (in the latest issue of Famitsu magazine) that it will appear on the PS3.

Unfortunately, little else is known about the PS3 version of Ni no Kuni at this point--other than it will allow gamers to "adventure in a world that has the feel of a Studio Ghibli anime."


Is that a pistol in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?

Earlier this year, artist Ashley Anderson posted on his Flickr photostream a number of pieces inspired by food items found in video games.

Well, the Atlanta-based artist is at it again--although this time he's focusing on weapons found in video games.

Along with a grenade from TMNT 3: The Manhattan Project, a knife from the Castlevania series and an MP-5 from Rolling Thunder, Anderson has reproduced--using acrylic and poplar--the pistol from Contra Force.

This "Pixel Pistol," as Anderson calls it, can be purchased through the artist's shop for $50 (plus shipping).

See also: 'Dark Cake' and 'Enemy Bait'

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Le sigh: Tomodachi Collection isn't coming to the States

I'm sorry if this is old news to some of you; I was a) on vacation and b) laid up with a bad back when it "broke" (the news, not my back) a few days ago.

Anyway, during last week's E3 event's Jeremy Parish asked Tomodachi Collection producer Yoshi Sakamoto whether or not the Animal-Crossing-meets-The-Sims title would be released stateside. Sakamoto's answer:

"Tomodachi Collection is something we're really interested in bringing to the U.S. The problem is that we only built Japanese language generation into the software, and that's a very important part of the game. We can't make it work with English, so we won't be able to release the game here."

A commenter perfectly summed up my feelings on the matter when he posted the following in response to Parish's article: "Our stupid, cobbled-together language screws us again!"


Is Order Up! Move-ing to the PS3?

Late last year, one of Supervillain Studios' staffers mentioned on the developer's website that "a good amount of work" had been completed on a sequel to what I consider to be one of the most underrated Wii games, Order Up!

Well, it seems that said sequel may appear on the PS3 rather than the Wii. At least, that was my first thought after reading the following post on Supervillain Studios' site:

"They call this a “teaser” in the biz…

…because it could mean something.
…or it could mean nothing.
…or it could be something good, which ends up being nothing.
…or it could be nothing (but still good), which ends up being something…also still good.


…or it could just make you chuckle (also still good) because that happens now and then."

This image was posted alongside the text (click to engorge, er, enlarge):

Hopefully Order Up! 2 will be released for both the PS3 and the Wii--and at a bargain-basement price like its predecessor (which I picked up late last year for a paltry $19.99).

(Via NeoGAF)

See also: 'Special of the day: (News of) a follow-up to Order Up!' and 'Now playing: Order Up! (Wii)'

My $5 is in the mail, Maré

Fans of Maré Odomo's "Letters to an Absent Father" should be happy to hear that the Seattle-based artist is selling pocket-sized (4.25 inches x 4.25 inches) printouts of his Pokémon-themed comic series. (Check out his website for more information.)

Here's the image that appears on the cover:

Send Odomo $3 and he'll ship you a bare-bones edition of the publication, or send him $5 and he'll ship you a special edition that includes a personalized drawing.

I'm pretty sure I'm going to buy the $5 edition and ask Odomo to draw me a Mudkip enjoying a bubble bath (or something similarly saccharine).

See also: 'Ash Ketchum's (and Maré Odomo's) Letters to an Absent Father'

Monday, June 21, 2010

It's one thing to play a pitch-perfect rendition of the Super Mario Bros. theme song on the violin ...

... but it's quite another to play the classic Famicom/NES title's sound effects alongside said tune.

Which is why the following YouTube video--featuring professional violinist and music teacher Teppei Okada--blew my mind when I first saw it this morning.


Sunday, June 20, 2010


You know how I mentioned (a few days ago) that this blog would soon sport a sparkly new header/banner? Well, here it is!

It was made by the bestest sister-in-law in the world. (Thanks again, Jan!) Isn't it fabulous?

By the way, the joystick-wielding "dude" (as my sister-in-law likes to call him) on the left side of the header is Takakazu Abe, meme-inspiring star of Junichi Yamakawa's one-shot bara manga, Kuso Miso Technique (link NSFW).

See also: 'Coming soon: a sparkly (literally) new header!'