Saturday, September 24, 2011

WayForward's Austin Ivansmith is a pretty awesome guy

I hope he won't mind me calling him out like this, but I just have to extend a digital/virtual high-five to Austin Ivansmith, a director at WayForward Technologies.

A few days ago, I wandered onto in the hopes of finding a few pieces of gorgeous game-related art that could be discussed and/or drooled over here.

Before I had a chance to search for said images, though, I noticed that a heretofore-unread note was sitting in my deviantart mailbox. The note, of course, had been sent by Ivansmith and included a download code for WayForward's Mighty Flip Champs DX.

I'm guessing he saw the whiny post ("Why didn't somebody tell me Mighty Flip Champs received a PSP port?") I published about said PSP title a few weeks ago, but I can't say that with any certainty since the content of Ivansmith's rather succinct note was limited to the afore- mentioned download code and a cheery reminder to keep an eye out for the company's upcoming 3DS release, Mighty Switch Force (which he promised will "rock your socks off").

Since I've only played through the first few stages of Mighty Flip Champs DX thus far, I can't say much about it at the moment. I'll do my best to spend a bit more time with it this weekend, though, so I can share some impressions with all of you next week.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Reason #397 I could be considered an 'eccentric' (aka bat-sh*t crazy) gamer

I desperately want a PC Engine CD-ROM2 peripheral.

If you don't know what that means, here's a photo of said system (connected to the original, white PC Engine console):

I know what some of you are thinking: That doesn't seem all that insane. Plenty of people probably want a PC Engine CD-ROM2 peripheral!

I'd love to agree with you, but I can't. Why? Because I already own a PC Engine Core Grafx II console and its piggybacking Super CD-ROM2 peripheral. (Here's a photo of both of them, and here's another.) As such, picking up the original CD-ROM2 attachment at this point seems at best a bit silly and at worst completely bonkers.

Still, I want it. As for whether or not I'll ever actually acquire one, well, that's another question entirely...

See also: Other reasons I could be considered an 'eccentric' (aka bat-sh*t crazy) gamer

For those of you wondering: Yes, I'm still waiting for my copy of Xenoblade Chronicles to arrive

I just noticed that this post--"My copy of Xenoblade Chronicles has been 'despatched'"--is getting a lot of hits this week. I'm guessing that's because some of you are eagerly awaiting my impressions of this import-only Wii title?

Unfortunately, it has yet to show up on my doorstep--despite the fact that it was "despatched" over a month ago. (On Aug. 15, to be exact.) I can't really complain, though, as I knew before placing my order that The Hut Group has a history of painfully slow shipments.

That said, here's hoping my copy of Xenoblade Chronicles is still meandering its way across the ocean and hasn't been lost or otherwise "mishandled"...

See also: Previous Xenoblade/Xenoblade Chronicles posts

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Bring out the champagne: Grand Knights History is coming to the States 'this winter'

Earlier today, the folks at XSEED Games revealed that they'll be bringing Vanillaware's fabulous, fantastical RPG, Grand Knights History, to the States "this winter."

They also revealed that this PSP title, which hit Japanese store shelves on Sept. 1 and has since sold nearly 100,000 copies in that region, will be released both digitally (via the PlayStation Network) and physically (on a good ol' UMD).

I'm planning on picking up the UMD version myself--assuming the North American version's cover art is the same as its Japanese counterpart (right). (Oh, who am I trying to kid? I'll buy the UMD version regardless.)

Don't fret if you're a European PSP owner/user: Rising Star Games will be publishing Grand Knights History in your region sometime in 2012.

For more information on this luscious-looking game, read XSEED's press release announcing its localization.

See also: 'Give me Grand Knights History and I'll forget all about Monster Hunter Diary G' and 'Ooooooooooooooooh'

Professor Layton's London Life is going to look great, at the very least

I don't know about you, but the main reason I'm looking forward to Professor Layton and the Last Specter's North American release on Oct. 17 is that it will include a "100-hour RPG" called London Life.

Actually, the word on the street is that London Life isn't really an RPG. A much more accurate way to describe this unlocked-right-from-the-start bonus content, it seems, would be to call it a two-dimensional Animal Crossing clone that looks like Mother 3 and stars characters from the Professor Layton series.

Thankfully, those assertions seem to be at least partially supported by the trailer above, which hit YouTube yesterday thanks to the folks at

How many of you are planning to pick up a copy of this, the fourth installment in Level-5's Professor Layton series? Also, to those of you who answered in the positive: Are you doing so because of London Life, or is that just the icing on this pixelated, puzzling cake?

See also: 'Let's Play: Which Box Art is Better? (Professor Layton and the Last Specter edition)'

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

'Dinner Bell at the Bottom of the Food Pyramid'

Although there's a lot to like about the illustration below, produced by artist Pedro Delgado (aka gogopedro) for the "8-Bit Champions" show that recently opened in Paris, the following trio of elements were the first to jump out at me:

* The Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer noses attached to both Mr. and Mrs. Pac-Man.

* The teal ghost--Inky, I believe the name is--who's praying that the aforementioned duo are so distracted by all of the pellets that surround them that they forget to gobble him up, too.

* The orange ghost--Clyde?--who's so scared by all that's happening around him that he's stuffed his fingers/hands/arms in his own mouth.

Another reason I like Delgado's illustration (which also can be seen here): He and I both have fond memories of playing Pac-Man and/or Ms. Pac-Man at the local Pizza Hut.

"I'd squeeze in a few games between slices and soda during family social outings," he shared recently at "I remember they had a tabletop unit, and I recall being pretty enamored with how it looked and helped create a head to head play style if you happened to be sitting across from your younger brother."

See also: Other pieces of game-related art appearing in the '8-bit Champions' show

This photo has me feeling conflicted

I found the photo below while searching for an image that could be included in the "Who cares what I'm playing, which games are *you* currently playing?" post I published over the weekend.

Anyway, you're probably wondering why I suggest in the headline above that it has me feeling conflicted. Well, on the one hand, the big-headed, doe-eyed "Dal" doll kind of--OK, more than kind of--creeps me out. (No offense to the person who made or owns her, of course.) On the other, the "candy pink" DS system she's playing makes me a bit weak in the knees.

In regards to the latter: Is it wrong that I now want a "candy pink" DS at least as much as I want a "misty pink" 3DS?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Speaking of Kirby Mass Attack ...

Did you know that the European box art for Kirby Mass Attack combines elements of the game's Japanese and North American covers? If not, well, you do now.

Specifically, the game's Euro art, which can be seen below, combines the "circle of Kirbys" illustration that fills most of the Japanese cover and the stylized logo that's front and center on the North American cover.

Did the designers at Nintendo of Europe produce the ultimate piece of Kirby Mass Attack box art, or do you prefer the covers that were made for the Japanese and/or North American versions (both of which can be seen and commented on here) of the game?

Although I'm still quite fond of the game's North American box art, I'd be lying if I said I couldn't see the appeal of its European and Japanese counterparts.

How do you make Kirby's Epic Yarn more beautiful than it already is?

By adeptly playing one of this precious platformer's signature tunes on a pair of pianos, that's how.

The "Butter Building Theme" played in the clip above was transcribed and arranged by Gary Swerdlow, by the way. Listen more of his work on his YouTube channel. Don't expect to hear any more Kirby's Epic Yarn tunes, though--this is the only one he's done (thus far).

Speaking of Kirby, did you know that little pink puff's latest portable title, Kirby Mass Attack, is now available for purchase? Pick up a copy of it here. Also, Kirby's Return to Dream Land, for Wii, will hit store shelves soon, too. (On Oct. 24, to be exact.) Pre-order it here.


Monday, September 19, 2011

And here I thought Bravely Default would be the lone Square Enix title on my 3DS wish list ...

In case you couldn't tell, I'm completely obsessed with the 3DS at the moment. As for what prompted this particular bout of game-inspired craziness: I'm pretty sure Nintendo's decision to release a "misty pink" system is the main culprit, but repeated viewings of the Nintendo 3DS Conference 2011 trailers for Animal Crossing, Mario Kart 7, Mario Tennis and Super Mario 3D Land deserve some of the credit (or maybe I should say blame), too.

Also to blame: The following trailer for Theatrhythm Final Fantasy, a game that piqued my interest when it was announced a few months ago but has been all but ignored ever since.

I won't be ignoring the title any longer, though, thanks to the frenzied gameplay and fabulous tunes highlighted in the video above. The only complaint I can aim at the title thus far: The Final Fantasty VIII scene sticks out like a sore thumb when compared to the highly stylized scenes that come before it.

For more information on Theatrhythm Final Fantasy, read Eric Patterson's hands-on impressions of the forthcoming 3DS title over at

See also: 'Five reasons I'll definitely be buying a 3DS in 2012 (if not before)'

The question is: Will I enjoy blowing the underwear off of the bosses in the second Sugar Shooter as much as I enjoyed doing so in the first?

Yep, that's right: Everybody's favorite--or at least it was my favorite--bara-flavored, boss-rush, bullet-hell shmup, Sugar Shooter, will soon get a sequel. Rejoice!

Here's a brief glimpse of a still-in-the-works version of Sugar Shooter II, for those of you who are interested:

Well, that certainly looks like Sugar Shooter, doesn't it--sans the first game's buff (and in-the-buff) baddies, of course. I'm guessing the guys at Dudedle Studio will be adding them shortly.

See also: 'A somewhat gay review of Sugar Shooter (PC)'