Saturday, December 24, 2011

For the eleventh game of Christmas, the UPS man brought to me ...

... Taito's PC Engine port of Don Doko Don.

To those of you who've never played this game, it's a single-screen platformer in the same mold as Bubble Bobble and Parasol Stars. Don Doko Don sets itself apart from those all-time classics, though, by featuring what appear to be hammer-wielding garden gnomes.

Sorry for the sort of awkward shot above, by the way. I didn't want this photo to look like nearly every other one I've taken of a PC Engine game, but the angle I ended up using makes it kind of hard to appreciate Don Doko Don's rather festive cover art, doesn't it?

If you'd like to take a better look at the game's case and HuCard, head on over to my Flickr photostream.

Friday, December 23, 2011

For the tenth game of Christmas, the UPS man brought to me ...

... a beautifully boxed copy of the Famicom version of Kirby's Adventure (known as Hoshi no Kirby: Yume no Izumi no Monogatari in Japan, which translates to something like Kirby of the Stars: Story of the Fountain of Dreams in English).

Honestly, I've never been all that interested in this game, although I couldn't tell you why. I'm guessing it's because it came out after the SNES was released; by then, my mind had moved on to 16-bit games like F-Zero, Final Fantasy II and Super Mario World.

That all changed, though, after playing Kirby's Return to Dream Land, which I enjoyed so much that I decided I just had to own the series' first console outing, too. So, I bought the copy seen in the photos below through eBay.

Anyway, I'm having such a blast with Hoshi no Kirby: Yume no Izumi no Monogatari--expect to hear more about that in an upcoming post--that I've already hit myself over the head a number of times (with one of those giant squeaky hammers) for passing on this magnificent platformer back when it was first released.

Oh, well, all that really matters is that I'm playing and enjoying it now, right?

By the way, if you'd like to see a few more photos of this game's beautiful box and cart, please check out my Flickr photostream at your earliest convenience. 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

So, did you pre-order a copy of Xenoblade Chronicles?

I don't know if you realize, but Monday was Dec. 19--the date Nintendo of America started taking Xenoblade Chronicles pre-orders through its online store.

Did you nab yourself a copy? I did, and I'm very much looking forward to arriving on my doorstep sometime next April.

In the meantime, I think I'll watch and then re-watch this Wii game's official trailer (which can be viewed here) and/or waste my time daydreaming about running through the location shown in the screenshot above.

See also: 'Coming to America after all: Xenoblade Chronicles'

For the ninth game of Christmas, the UPS man brought to me ...

... a complete-in-box copy of the GameBoy Advance puzzler called Zooo.

Most of you likely know this game by another name: Zoo Keeper. For some weird reason, its name was changed to Zooo when it was released for GameBoy Advance and PlayStation 2 in 2003 and 2004, respectively. Also weird: Said ports were released only in Europe and Japan.

As for why I imported the GameBoy Advance version of the game and ignored the more-easily-accessible DS version of it: I've found (through playing both versions via emulation) that I prefer the increased difficulty present in the former iteration.

Plus, I'm on a bit of a GameBoy Advance kick at the moment, and I liked the thought of being able to play this game on that great little handheld.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

For the eighth game of Christmas, the UPS man brought to me ...

... the PC Engine version of Jigoku Meguri (aka Hell Explorer or Bonze Adventure, depending on where you live).

Astute readers will recall that I discussed the change of heart I had in regards to this Taito platformer in this recent "Second Chances" post.

One thing I think I failed to mention in that post is that the PC Engine port of Jigoku Meguri admirably follows in the footsteps of a number of other Taito-published HuCards--including Don Doko Don, KiKi KaiKaiMizubaku Daibouken and The New Zealand Story--as spot-on arcade conversions.

Another thing Jigoku Meguri shares with those games: It has a pretty slick instruction manual. (Expect to see it appear in an upcoming "Manual Stimulation" post.)

As is the case with most of these "12 Games of Christmas" posts, a few additional photos of this game can be found in my Flickr photostream.

See also: Previous '12 Games of Christmas' posts

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

For the seventh game of Christmas, the UPS man brought to me ...

... the PlayStation version of Mr. Driller.

I've been curious about this kinda-sorta follow-up to Dig Dug, released throughout the world in 2000, for some time now, but I didn't bite the bullet on it until I found a complete (case, disk and manual) copy of it on eBay for just a few bucks.

I know I could have bought any of this series' more modern and recent sequels, but I wanted to start with the first one. Also, it's been a while since I've bought a game for my PlayStation, so this was a good way for me to kill two birds with one stone, as the saying goes.

Should I enjoy my first Mr. Driller experience, though, I definitely could see myself buying, say, Mr. Driller A for the GameBoy Advance or Mr. Driller Drill Spirits for the DS down the road.

See also: Previous '12 Games of Christmas' posts

Monday, December 19, 2011

Samba de Amigo + Space Channel 5 = another game added to my too-long 3DS wish list

I'm pretty fond of rhythm games, so you'd think I would have added Sega's upcoming 3DS release, Rhythm Thief & The Emperor's Treasure, to my wish list long ago.

Not so. I couldn't tell you why that is, to be honest, although I think it has something to do with not being all that interested in the game's rather colorless protagonist.

Anyway, my interest has soared thanks to the just-released videos below, which suggest Samba de Amigo and Space Channel 5 segments will be included in Rhythm Thief.

Here's some footage of the Samba de Amigo segment:

And here's some footage of the Space Channel 5 segment:

When will you be able to get your grubby little hands on Rhythm Thief & The Emperor's Treasure? Well, if you're American or Japanese (or you own an American or Japanese 3DS), you'll be able to pick up a copy of the game on Feb. 25. (Pre-order the North American version here.)

I'd guess Europeans will gain access to it on that date, too, but I can't say that with any certainty.

For the sixth game of Christmas, the UPS man brought to me ...

... the Famicom Disk System version of Ice Climber.

Why did I buy yet another version of this classic, confounding game? Because this version differs from the Famicom/NES version in a number of ways. (The main ones: It includes all-new stages that don't appear in its cartridge-based counterpart, some of which feature weather effects that make the game even more challenging than it was originally.)

Another reason I bought this version: The banana-yellow disk seen in the photo above. (One or two more photos of the game can be seen in my Flickr photostream.) Oh, and it was less than $10.

See also: Previous '12 Games of Christmas' posts

Sunday, December 18, 2011

For the fifth game of Christmas, the UPS man brought to me ...

... the PC Engine port of one of Taito's best (or at least cutest) platformers, The New Zealand Story.

I bought this copy of the game through, by the way. I mention that because, as you can see in the photos below (and on my Flickr photostream), it is in absolutely impeccable condition--something that can't always be said for the games I pick up off of eBay. As such, I'd highly recommend checking out the company's online store if you're ever looking to buy complete-in-box copies of old Japanese games.

Anyway, enough about the condition of this game's case and cartridge. How's the game itself? Although it's far from my favorite platformer, I greatly appreciate its quirkiness, its challenging nature and, of course, its cuter-than-a-box-of-kittens protagonist.

See also: Previous '12 Games of Christmas' posts