Saturday, January 28, 2012

This trailer for Theatrhythm Final Fantasy (3DS) makes me sad

You know why the trailer below makes me sad? Because I'm getting the feeling that I'm never going to get to play this strange little 3DS game.

After all, while Square Enix is readying Theatrhythm Final Fantasy's Japanese release as we speak (it'll hit store shelves in that region on Feb. 16), it has yet to even suggest a North American release for this rhythm-based (duh) title.



Should they ever get around to releasing the game here, I hope it features the same colorful and whimsical box art that will appear on the Japanese version. (See it here.)

Also, I hope the folks at Square Enix aren't through with this art style. I'd love to play an actual Final Fantasy title--you know, with turn-based battles and stuff--featuring these visuals.

(Via tinycartridge.com)

Friday, January 27, 2012

Who's up for a Mario Kart 7 'gaymer night'?

The day all, er, some, er, a small handful of you have been waiting for has (almost) arrived! Which day, you ask? Why, the day you get to race other readers of The Gay Gamer and the Video Games Made Me Gay tumblog in Mario Kart 7.

As for when this oh-so-fabulous day--evening, really--will take place: This coming Monday, Jan. 30, at 7 pm PST.


If you've always wanted to see how terrible I am at Mario Kart 7, aim your 3DSes at The Gay Gamer community--22-7203-7866-8075--at the aforementioned time and then arm yourselves with as many blue shells as you can handle.

Thanks to the great guy behind Video Games Made Me Gay, by the way, for suggesting this little soiree and for allowing me to steal the "Gay Pride Mario" image seen above from his tumblog.

Manual Stimulation: Fantasy Zone (PC Engine)

Considering it was released near the end of the PC Engine's first year on the market, Fantasy Zone's instruction manual is surprisingly slick.

That's good, because it's only 10 pages long, and if it were like most manuals of the time and featured just a few black-and-white screenies and a bunch of text it would be a bore and a half.

Instead, the inside pages of Fantasy Zone's manual are nearly as colorful as its cover, which can be seen in the scan below.



Moving inside, you have to love the first page's hilariously dramatic warning to owners to not abuse their HuCards. Following that, there's a little intro page that features Opa-Opa striking various poses.



Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Great Gaymathon Review #51: Mario Kart 7 (3DS)


Game: Mario Kart 7
Genre: Racing
Developer: Nintendo, Retro Studios
Publisher: Nintendo
System: 3DS
Release date: 2011

Is the seventh Mario Kart game the best one yet? Hoo, boy, that's quite a question. My knee-jerk reaction is to say no, it isn't, but the only predecessor that can compete with and possibly surpass it--in my opinion, obviously--is Mario Kart Wii. (Note: I've played and enjoyed every Mario Kart game in existence except Double Dash!!) As such, I'm thinking I should compare and contrast the innovations each of these titles brings to the series in order to come to a conclusion as to which one earns top billing on this blog. Starting with Mario Kart Wii: It has more items (19 vs. 18, three of which are new), more racers (24 vs. 16) and more vehicles with which to race--including motorbikes, which I thought were kind of cool. It also allows for "waggle" control, which is especially fun if you use the steering-wheel accessory, and online races of up to 12 players. Mario Kart 7, on the other hand, adds coins (last seen in Mario Kart: Super Circuit) back into the mix, allows players to customize their karts in a multitude of ways, introduces gliders that aid airborne vehicles, includes SpotPass and StreetPass functionality and offers up an alternate control scheme that enables players to steer by tilting their 3DS systems. Both games feature the same number of tracks (32, 16 of which are new and 16 of which are pulled from previous entries) and similar-enough gameplay, graphics, music and modes. Given all of that, I'm ... not any closer to being able to choose a "winner" than I was at the beginning of this write-up. If possible, I'd suggest getting them both, as I consider both of them to be top-of-the-heap Mario Kart games. (Don't worry, that's a good thing.) If you can only choose one, though, I'd probably go for the Wii iteration, as I find it a bit easier to control and I prefer its course and kart selection.


See also: Previous 'Great Gaymathon' posts

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A few more thoughts on the 3DS

Now that I've had my 3DS for about a month, I thought I should share a few more impressions and opinions of Nintendo's latest dual-screened handheld. So, here they are (in no particular order):

1. The eShop is a bit of a mess--I like a lot of things about it--a trailer is available for seemingly every game, you can buy games using stored credit cards, you can save games to a wish list, etc.--but I also hate a few things about it. For instance, it feels kind of constricted and suffocating to me--especially when compared to the Wii's online shop. (Which, admittedly, had its own share of issues.) Closely associated with the eShop's claustrophobic design: I have a feeling a lot of games--especially old DSiWare ones--are going to get ignored due to the fact that people simply don't know they exist.



2. I'm glad Nintendo's finally offering game demos to European and North American 3DS owners--Without question, this should have been a part of the 3DS' eShop from day one, especially since demos have been on the Wii's online shop for some time now. Anyway, what really matters is that they're finally available. Sure, there's only one on the North American eShop at the moment, and it can only be played 30 times before it self-destructs (or something like that), but I'll take what I can get. Here's hoping Nintendo opens the floodgates (even a crack) and puts up more such demos--especially of niche releases like Sega's Rhythm Thief--sooner rather than later.



Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A dungeon-crawling, turn-based, X-rated RPG aimed at gay guys, you say? Put me down for a dozen (or more) copies!

A strange thing happened to me after I played Sugar Shooter for the first time early last year: I discovered that I have at least a slight fondness for bara games.

I wish I could explain why I'm suddenly finding this type of game appealing, but I can't. The only things I can come up with are that I like the art styles that are used by the folks at companies like Dudedle Studio and Underground Campaign and that I also like combination of comedic cuteness and down-and-dirty smut that seems to serve as the centerpiece of most of this genre's titles.


Anyway, the point of this post isn't to bore you with all of the reasons why I like bara games; the point is to bring a bit of attention to a particular bara game that recently leapt onto my radar.

That game is called Ana Holic! and it's a bara RPG that's being made for Windows-based PCs by the folks at the aforementioned Underground Campaign.


Unfortunately, I have no idea when Ana Holic! will be released or where I'll purchase it once it is. (Although rainbow-shoppers.com is a likely solution to the latter problem.)

While we wait for that information to become available, though, why not spend some time with the demo that can be downloaded here? It's in Japanese, of course, but the folks at the completely-not-safe-for-work baragamer.com have you covered--thanks to their recently published FAQ--if, like me, you don't know a lick of the language.

(Via videogamesmademegay.tumblr.com)

See also: Previous posts about Dudedle Studio and/or Sugar Shooter

Checking in on Captain Rainbow's English translation

To all of you who forgot that someone was even working on an English fan-translation of the skip-developed, Nintendo-published oddity known as Captain Rainbow: No worries, I forgot, too.

Now that you've been reminded, though, you'd probably like to hear how things are going with said fan-translation, right?

Well, according to an update that was posted to kirameki.altervista.org on Jan. 15, the project is back on course after taking a couple of wrong turns over the last few months.



Along with that hopeful message, the folks at Kirameki also shared on their site a new trailer, above, which highlights some of the progress they've made in translating this fabulous (in all senses of the word) Wii title.

Here's hoping that their good fortune continues and that they can get this long-awaited (by me, at least) patch out before the Wii U replaces the Wii as my go-to console.

(Via gonintendo.com)

Monday, January 23, 2012

So, I just pre-ordered Grand Knights History

I was on the fence about this Vanillaware-developed, Xseed Games-published, PSP-based RPG (yes, even after begging North American publishers to bring it to our shores) ... until I watched the following gameplay video the other day:



As soon as I saw the curved, globe-like backdrop and the beautiful, Princess Crown-ish (or maybe I should say Muramasa-esque?) characters in motion, I knew I had to pre-order this game--which is set to hit North American store shelves on Feb. 21--and pronto. (If you'd also like to pre-order a copy of Grand Knights History, you can do so here.)

I'm also on the verge of pre-ordering another PSP game, Hakuoki: Demon of the Fleeting Blossom, by the way. And Growlanser: Wayfarer of Time. And Gungnir.

Anyone who can talk me out of picking up any or all of the above-mentioned releases will earn my (and my bank account's) undying love and appreciation.

LEGO SNES

It's not exactly a secret that I'm a bit fascinated by "LEGO artists"--especially those who enjoy recreating game characters and systems out of those colorful, interlocking bricks that most of us toyed with as kids.

For instance, late last year I published this post about a LEGO GameBoy Color, and before that I published about a million posts about Filip Johannes Felberg's LEGO Pokemon creations.

As awesome as all of the above are, I think the LEGO SNES below may be the most awesome of them all.



Of course, I say that in part because it's a damn near perfect recreation of Nintendo's 16-bit system and in part because it houses a real-life copy of the Quintet-developed, Enix-published RPG, Illusion of Gaia.

For more shots of this stunningly realistic piece of LEGO art--it even has a functioning eject button--check out this photo set by Flick user lego27bricks.

See also: Previous LEGO-focused posts