Friday, September 03, 2010

Feeding my Famicom obsession

Earlier today, while scouring the Internet for photos of Famicom carts--yeah, I'm a freak--I stumbled upon

The point of said blog: To chronicle a Japanese law student's attempts to "collect all 1051 of the Famicom games officially released between 1983 and 1994." (He's currently about halfway there, as you can see in the  following photo.)

"I'm basically doing this while living in a mid-sized city in Kyushu," he adds in the blog's "about" section, "hundreds of kilometres away from Tokyo where you could probably find all of them in an afternoon stroll through Akihabara or something."

The blog currently features just a handful of posts (12, to be exact)--this one, about the aesthetics of the Famicom cart, is my favorite--but I'm hopeful that will change as its proprietor inches ever closer to his goal.

Kirby the Yarn

As much as I love the wordplay employed in the title of the forthcoming Kirby's Epic Yarn, I love the awkward simplicity and straightforwardness of the Japanese version's title--which translates to Kirby the Yarn--even more.

Of course, the game could be called Kirby's First Wii and I'd still buy it day one--especially when it looks as fabulous as this:

Keep an eye out for the lens flare made of--what else?--yarn at the 34-second mark.


Thursday, September 02, 2010

No question about it ...

... the recently released Wii version of Prope's Ivy the Kiwi? is a nice little platformer.

What's to like about it? There are the title's graphics, for starters, which have a sepia-toned, watercolor-ish sheen to them. And then there are its controls, which are surprisingly tight considering you don't directly control your character.

What's not to like? You remember those sepia-toned graphics I mentioned a second ago? Well, I would have preferred it if the folks at Prope had left them mostly monochromatic (as they were in the Japanese release, above). The colors that have been added to the North American version are distracting, not to mention garish, if you ask me. Oh, and speaking of distracting: The game's background music, while suitably charming, is a bit boisterous compared to its sound effects.

Given the good and bad, I'd say Ivy the Kiwi? is a keeper--although it would be more of an impulse keeper (if such a thing exists) if it were, say, $10 cheaper. (It currently retails for $29.99 in my neck of the woods.)

Buy: Ivy the Kiwi? (Japanese) or Ivy the Kiwi? (North American)

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

I want to feel excited, but I can't

Late last year, Square Enix released for the DS a remake of the GameBoy "classic"--I put the word in quotes because I'm quite possibly the only person in the world who considers the game a classic--SaGa 2 (aka Final Fantasy Legend 2).

Although the game hardly lit up the Japanese sales charts--retailers have moved just over 160,000 copies since it hit the streets on Sept. 17, 2009--it apparently sold well enough to warrant another DS-bound SaGa remake. 

According to the latest issue of Famitsu, the folks at Square Enix (or, more likely, the folks at Racjin) are hard at work on a DS remake of SaGa 3, which will be called SaGa 3: Shadow or Light when it's released in Japan later this year.

Considering the SaGa 2 remake has yet to make its way to other territories, it's likely (and unfortunate) that this forthcoming sequel will remain a Japan-only release as well. 

I think it's about time I got a DSi

Or, more accurately, I think it's about time I asked someone to buy me a DSi. After all, my birthday isn't too far off and my parents are always looking for gift ideas.

They'll want to wait until Sept. 12 to buy one, though, as that's when Nintendo of America will drop the price on all DSi systems to $149.99. (The company will drop the price on DSi XLs to $169.99 on the same date, although the price of DS lites will stay at $129.99.)

Photo by [cipher]

Unfortunately, it seems Nintendo won't be celebrating the occasion by (finally) releasing the slick, red DSi (above) that hit store shelves in Japan last year and in Europe earlier this year.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

So, where's the Kuribo's Shoe plushie?

Deviantartist Michele Legendre (aka misscoffee) recently posted to her gallery a number of her handmade, game-inspired plushies. My favorite: The artist's absolutely adorable Tanooki Mario figure.

Misscoffee's Frog Suit Mario plushie is pretty fabulous, too, but I had to dock it a few points due to the fact that I've always hated the frog suit. (My least favorite of Mario's many power-ups? Possibly.)

BTW, if you're an Ice Climber fan, you have to check out (here) misscoffee's plushified versions of Popo and Nana.

(Via, by way of

Monday, August 30, 2010

Hey, Nintendo: Where are my Art Style compilations?

At the end of October (on the 25th, to be exact), Nintendo of America will offer up to the DS-owning masses a $19.99 piece of software called Art Academy.

If you don't own a DSi--or if you do but you haven't paid much attention to Nintendo's DSiWare service--you may not know that Art Academy began life as a pair of downloadable titles.

As a DSi-less gamer who would love to experience the above-mentioned, buzz-worthy titles, I'm pleased as punch that the brass at Nintendo have decided to go this route. Given that, I have to wonder why they haven't yet combined all of their DSiWare and WiiWare Art Style games into similar available-at-retail compilations, especially considering seven of the former (Art Style: PiCTOBiTS, right, among them) and five of the latter currently exist.

Admittedly, the Art Academy games may be more attractive to the casual set that Nintendo has shown such an affinity for this generation and, as such, they may be more marketable as well, but I think the Art Style games could go far, too, if given the proper backing.

Pre-order: Art Academy