Friday, June 10, 2011

Rhythm Heaven Wii's Japanese logo

I was hoping to share the box art for this game--which will be called Minna no Rhythm Tengoku, or Everyone's Rhythm Heaven, in Japan--but it's not out yet. So, I'll just share its logo.



Here's the supposed logo for the North American version of the game, by the way. I say supposed because I really can't see the folks at Nintendo using the same name and logo for two releases (the DS and Wii iterations of Rhythm Heaven, respectively).



Anyway, while you (and I, of course) wait for Nintendo to release the box art for Minna no Rhythm Tengoku, which will be released on July 21, and the official name and logo of the game's North American counterpart, why not check out the Japanese title's official page (here) to hear a funky little tune that, if you're anything like me, will bring back blissful memories of previous Rhythm Heaven/Tengoku playthroughs.

(Via andriasang.com)

The Muscle March fanfic you've all been waiting for (don't deny it)

I don't know about you, but when I first played Namco Bandai's wacky WiiWare game, Muscle March, I thought to myself, "You know, this could inspire some really great fanfic!"

OK, so that's not what I was thinking while I played the game for the first time. Still, I'd be lying if I said that I was anything other than intrigued when one of my most favorite deviantartists, madamluna, shared (via Twitter) a link to a piece of Muscle March fanfic she'd penned a while back.



The piece is called "Love and Muscles," by the way, and it's quite a hoot. (Does anyone under the age of 80 use that term? No? Oh, well.) Don't take my word for it--read the following paragraphs and find out for yourself:

Call him typical, but Pedroso lived for the hunt. The hunt of the heart, that is--the passionate dance of flirtation and courtship that set his Spanish blood a-boiling. The stolen glances, the gentle kisses, the tiny, expensive presents given to coax out the glow in a lady's eyes! Oh, just the thought of it was enough to have him dancing on air for days! Pedroso knew his stuff, all right, and many a señorita had fallen gracefully into his arms.

Which is why it nearly broke the poor man's heart when Abebe, gorgeous, chiseled, newest-member-of-the-team Abebe, spurned Pedroso's every advance. He used the man's rose petals to line his pet chick's 'fro-nest, pulled away in boredom at his veiled romantic poetry, and didn't look at all impressed when the keepsake silver bracelet snapped in half as he flexed his wrist. Pedroso could only watch in horror as every one of his attempts turned into a disaster right before his eyes, and at the end of it all he dragged himself back to his villa, in the deepest despair he'd ever known.

If you were at all tickled by what you just read, I'd highly recommend reading the rest of the piece at archiveofourown.org.

See also: Previous Muscle March posts

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Let's Play: 'Which Box Art is Better?' (Otomedius Excellent edition)

I've long been a fan of Konami's Gradius and Parodius series, so of course I've long been intrigued by the company's Otomedius games, which share a number of attributes with their similarly side-scrolling and space-based predecessors, too.

Given Konami's reluctance to release its Parodius games in countries that aren't named Japan, however, hoping for a stateside release of its Otomedius titles seemed like a waste of both time and energy. As such, I was shocked when the company announced that it would be bringing the second Otomedius game to the US.

Anyway, here's the art that will grace the cover of the US version of the game, which will hit store shelves on July 19 (pre-order the regular edition here and the collector's edition here):


And here's the box art of the Japanese version, which was released earlier this year:


As for which one I prefer: If I were straight, I'd likely choose the US art as my favorite thanks to the close-up of the game's busty protagonist, but since I'm not I'm going to go with the Japanese cover thanks to its better use of color, its less-cluttered design and its superior (and sparkly!) logo.

That said, both pieces of art deserve props for featuring GwinBee, TwinBee and WinBee.

Anyway, that's my rather pointless opinion on the matter. Which piece of Otomedius box art do you prefer?

The art of Dragon's Crown kind of scares me (or, it's obvious Vanillaware's George Kamitani is a thigh man, isn't it?)

I've been a fan of George Kamitani--and his games--ever since I laid eyes on the gorgeous Sega Saturn title he designed, Princess Crown.

As such, I'm going to give the Vanillaware founder the benefit of the doubt when it comes to the rather creepy art he's created for his company's upcoming four-player ARPG for PS3 and PS Vita, Dragon's Crown.

What do I mean when I say Kamitani's art is creepy? Well, take a gander at the following illustration (of one of the game's Amazon characters):


To see more of the thigh-rific characters that are set to appear in Dragon's Crown, which is due to be released in spring 2012, check out this article at siliconera.com.

Also, be sure to read this post and this post at andriasang.com if you're at all interested in this otherwise beautiful brawler.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

I really hope this means a Rhythm Heaven game is in the works for Wii U

The folks at Nintendo of America have been using a handful of demos to show off the capabilities and possibilities of their company's just-announced Wii U system to E3 2011 attendees.

One of these demos is called "Shield Pose" and, surprisingly enough, it seems quite Rhythm Heaven/Tengoku-esque to these eyes and ears.



I know Nintendo's Reggie Fils-Aime has said that these demos are not necessarily of in-the-works Wii U games, but I sure hope he's fibbing in the case of "Shield Pose."

By the way, videos of Nintendo's other Wii U demos can be viewed here.

(Via gonintendo.com)

I think I'm more excited about Luigi's Mansion 2 than Super Mario 3DS

The headline above isn't meant to be a cut on Super Mario 3DS, by the way; I think the mustachioed plumber's next three-dimensional platformer looks absolutely wonderful. There's just something about Luigi's Mansion 2 that makes me go weak in the knees. (I'm not completely sure, but think it may have something to do with Luigi's bouncy little trot, seen on a number of occasions in the trailer below.)



Sigh. I guess this means I'll have to pick up a 3DS sooner rather than later. I mean, I was planning to get one at some point, but I honestly thought it wouldn't happen until late next year--hopefully after a price drop and a DSlite-like revision. Now I'm thinking it may have to happen whenever Luigi's Mansion 2 is released.

The DS and Wii ain't dead yet!

The folks at Nintendo all but ignored the DS and Wii during their E3 presser yesterday morning. In fact, they mentioned just one DS game--the DSiWare version of The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures--and one Wii game--The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword--during the 90-minute event.

Thankfully, the systems aren't quite as dead as they currently appear.

The company's press site, for instance, suggests that Nintendo will be bringing at least four more DS games to the States in the next year: Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker 2, Kirby Mass Attack (aka Atsumete! Kirby), Professor Layton and the Last Specter and Super Fossil Fighters.

Also, along with previously-announced Wii games like Mystery Case Files: The Malgrave Incident and Wii Play: Motion, Nintendo will be bringing something called Fortune Street, Kirby Wii, Mario Party 9 and Rhythm Heaven to North America at some point in 2011 or 2012 (the last two games in the afore-mentioned list are labeled "TBA").

Because I'm especially excited about Kirby Wii and Rhythm Heaven, I'm going to share their must-see trailers below.

Here's the trailer for the former:



And here's the tailer for the latter:



Sadly, Nintendo's press site says absolutely nothing about The Last Story or Xenoblade at the moment. Does that mean the company has decided against bringing these RPGs to North America? I hope not.

On the bright side, both games are supposedly going to be released in Europe later this year, so I guess I can import either or both of them from sendit.com if need be.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

What do you think of Wii U?

Now that we've had most of a day to soak in the details, what do all of you think about Nintendo's next console--officially known as Wii U--and its wacky controller?

Despite the fact that I'm still not sure how powerful the system is going to be or what games Nintendo's stable of designers and programmers are producing for it, I'm pretty darn excited about it.



If you weren't able to catch Nintendo's presser, go ahead and watch it here if you're at all interested in what the company is planning.

Or, read the (surprisingly positive) hands-on impressions that have been shared by the folks at EngadgetGamespotGizmodoIGN and Wired.

The key takeaway from Nintendo's E3 2011 presser: Wii U will (probably) rock U

That was ... interesting, wasn't it?

Nintendo's E3 press conference, which took place earlier this morning, began a bit uncomfortably, in my opinion. The Zelda montage and mini-concert was nice, but Bill Trinen talking over Shigeru Miyamoto was not.

Still, I'm sure Zelda fans were happy to hear that The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening will be available for sale on the 3DS eShop later today, and that The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures will be added to the DSiWare store (and given away for free) this fall. Oh, and that The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Swords will come with--or be sold alongside, I'm not sure which--a special gold Wii Remote when it's released later this year.

As nice as all of those announcements were, they left me feeling more than a bit antsy. Like pretty much any Nintendo fan, I tuned in to this press conference to hear about new games--especially for the 3DS and Wii--and new systems (more on that in a minute), not to hear about games that were announced and/or released long ago.

As such, I probably looked like this during the first portion of the presser:


Thankfully, Satoru Iwata soon kicked Miyamoto and Trinen off the stage and then showed off a bunch of upcoming 3DS games, including Super Mario 3DSStar Fox 64 3DMario Kart 3DS, Kid Icarus: Uprising and ... Luigi's Mansion 2!

I have to say, that last one surprised--and excited--me. Also exciting: The Super Mario Bros. 3-ish Super Mario 3DS. It includes airships, Koopa Kids and Tanooki Suits--'nuff said.

Mario Kart 3DS is due "this holiday season" and Super Mario 3DS is due "before the end of the year," by the way. Oh, and Kid Icarus supposedly will be released "later this year," too.

Unfortunately, that was it was far as first-party 3DS games were concerned. A bit disappointing, if you ask me. (Thankfully, new screenshots and trailers of Animal Crossing 3DS and Paper Mario 3DS can be found here. Also, screenshots and trailers of some of Nintendo's upcoming Wii releases, such as Kirby Wii and Rhythm Heaven, can be found here.)

The so-called sizzle reel of upcoming third-party 3DS titles was similarly lackluster. Here's hoping more will be revealed in the next few days.

Nintendo's Reggie Fils-Aime, along with a little help from Iwata, wrapped things up by, finally, unveiling the company's next controller, er, console (I think), which will be called ... Wii U.

Huh. I have to admit, when I first heard the system's name my face (likely) looked something like this:


Actually, that look remained on my face while I watched a video that showcased the tablet-like Wii U controller--which looks a lot like the uDraw peripheral recently released for the Wii--and some of the things it'll seemingly be capable of when it launches next year.

As you've likely already heard, the controller has a 6.2-inch touch screen in the center of it. Located around said screen are a pair of analog circle pads (like the one found on the 3DS), a traditional d-pad and four buttons. The controller also includes a pair of shoulder buttons and a pair of triggers, an inward-facing camera, a microphone and a speaker. Oh, and an accelerotmeter and a gyroscope.

Basically, the thing includes everything but the kitchen sink.

What will all of those things allow you to do? I'd tell you, but it would require more paragraphs than I'm willing to write at the moment. May I suggest watching the video of Nintendo's presser that can be found at e3.nintendo.com?

What I am willing to say is that I'm intrigued by some of the things the Wii U controller seemingly will bring to the table. I like that I'll be able to continue playing games when my husband comes into the room and wants to watch the latest episode of The Real Housewives of Orange County or The Weather Channel. I also like how the controller's screen will be able to give me a different view of the action taking place on my TV.

Monday, June 06, 2011

The many faces of Sony's E3 2011 presser

Sony's E3 2011 press conference ended a few hours ago, but I haven't had a chance to chime in about it until now because of dinner and work and all of those other things that pop up in an afternoon and keep a guy from blogging about games.

With that out of the way, what did I think about said presser? Well, I enjoyed it more than Microsoft's presser, that's for sure.

That's not to say Sony's conference was one mind-blowing announcement after another. On the contrary, it started rather boringly--with Sony's Jack Tretton apologizing for the recent PSN debacle before yammering on about how well the "PlayStation family" is doing these days. (I can't fault him for that, as it's part and parcel of these sorts of events.)

Anyway, if I had snapped a photo of myself during Tretton's opening salvo, I probably would have looked something like this:


Except, of course, I'd have looked like a grown man and not a young girl.

Anyway, things thankfully turned around as soon as the folks at Sony started showing games. I've yet to play any of the previously-released Resistance or Uncharted titles, but their latest iterations--Resistance 3 and Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception, respectively--looked pretty awesome to these eyes. (Uncharted 3 was especially enticing thanks to the demo's cruise-ship setting.)

That double dose of awesomeness definitely piqued my interest. In fact, if I had taken a photo of myself at that point in time I likely would have looked a bit like this lovely lady:


Unfortunately, Tretton went back to yammering as soon as he was done talking about Resistance 3. The focus of his yammering this time: Some sort of PlayStation-branded 3D TV that will sold later this year for $500. (That price includes a copy of Resistance 3, an HDMI cable and a pair of 3D glasses, by the way).

If you want to know how I probably looked during this particular section of the presser, just scroll back to the image of the bored little girl.

That's also how I looked when Tretton talked about a bunch of in-the-works, Move-enabled titles. Honestly, I don't have anything against the Move, but I'm also not all that interested in it. If you are interested in it, you may like to know that BioShock Infinite, Dust 514 (from the makers of Eve Online), NBA 2K12, Medieval Moves: Deadmund’s Quest, some sort of Star Wars game and a bunch of other games will make use of Move whenever they finally hit the streets later this year or next.

Nasty Navi

Although there's a lot to look forward to in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, I'd look forward to this soon-to-be-released 3DS title a lot more fervently if it featured a foul-mouthed Navi like the one depicted in the drawing below.


This nasty Navi was drawn by ever-bearded artist Drew Green, by the way. To see more of his creations, check out his blog, deviantART gallery, Flickr photostream or tumblog.

Yeesh

I just finished watching Microsoft's E3 2011 press conference. I wasn't impressed.

How unimpressed was I? Well, during the first third of the conference--which focused on creatively-barren sequels like Forza Motorsport 4, Gears of War 3, Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, a Halo: Combat Evolved remake and Modern Warfare 3--my face looked like this:


Don't get me wrong, none of the above-mentioned games looked bad. In fact, all of them looked quite good graphically. That said, their gameplay didn't appeal to me in any way. Of course, I've never been an FPS fan or a fan of racing games that aren't called F-Zero or Mario Kart, so I guess that shouldn't be considered a surprise.

The first third of Microsoft's conference wasn't a complete wash, though; Mass Effect 3 looked nice enough (although the voice controls via Kinect seemed a bit pointless), as did the next entry in the Tomb Raider series.

What did I think of the last two-thirds of the conference--which, aside from the oh-so-shocking (or not) last-second reveal of Halo 4, focused on Kinect titles? This photo does a pretty good job of summing up my thoughts:


Admittedly, Dance Central 2 looked cool. Also, the Wii Sports rip-off Kinect Sports: Season Two looked acceptable. (Laggy, but acceptable.) Other than those two titles, though, the Kinect portion of the conference was filled with yeesh-inducing announcements--like Lionhead's carriage-driving simulator, Fable: The Journey, and the laggy (there's that word again), on-rails Kinect Star Wars.

Will Sony's presser, which takes place later today at 5 pm Pacific, or Nintendo's, which starts tomorrow at 9 am Pacific, be less yeesh-worthy? I sure hope so.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

My PS3 'to buy' list just grew a bit longer

In a way, I think it's funny that I bought an Xbox 360 instead of a PS3 just over a month ago, as there are many more PS3 games--including 3D Dot Game Heroes, Afrika, Disgaea 3 and 4, Siren: Blood Curse and Valkyria Chronicles--on my "to buy" list than there are Xbox 360 ones.

That situation was made even funnier last week thanks to a few rather scrumptious PS3 game announcements and releases.

Case in point: The PSN release of Wizardry: Labyrinth of Lost Souls. Full disclosure: I've never played a Wizardry game before. Hell, it's worse than that: I know next to nothing about this hallowed series of dungeon-crawling RPGs.

That said, I want to play Wizardry: Labyrinth of Lost Souls. Badly. Desperately. Why? Well, although I know it's a bit superficial of me, but I really like how it looks. Also, it reminds me of Etrian Odyssey--although I realize this game is quite different from that DS release.

Wizardry: Labyrinth of Lost Souls isn't the only recently released or soon-to-be-released game that has me jonesing for a PS3. Another is Sony's ICO/ Shadow of the Colossus Collection. (Check out andriasang.com for a pic of the Japanese "Limited Box" version of this release as well as a trailer.)

As for the Metal Gear SolidSilent Hill and Zone of the Enders "HD Collections" that the folks from Konami will soon be bringing to the PS3--I have to admit the only one I'm even somewhat interested in is the Silent Hill compilation. (I'd be much more interested if it included the series' first and fourth entries, too.)

Really, all of the above is just my long-winded way of saying I (still) want a PS3. Of course, I also want a Master System (or maybe a Mark III), a PC Engine LT, a Saturn and a Sega CDX. I guess I'd better win the lottery soon if any of that's going to become a reality, eh?