Saturday, February 04, 2012

I may have missed out on a pink 3DS, but I'll be damned if I miss out on one of these

The "one of these" alluded to in the header above, by the way, is the rather posh (and completely fabulous) Princess Peach 3DS case seen below.

Of course, even if I do somehow manage to acquire one of these precious, available-only-in-Japan-at-the-moment cases, I'd more than likely be too much of a chicken to leave the house with it.

Those of you who are less cowardly than I am should know that these must-have, MSY-made accessories will hit the streets of the aforementioned island nation on March 1 carrying a price tag of ¥1,800.


Friday, February 03, 2012

The Great Gaymathon Review #52: Sky Kid (Famicom)

Game: Sky Kid
Genre: Shoot 'em up
Developer: Namcot
Publisher: Namcot
System: Famicom
Release date: 1986

I knew next to nothing about this odd little game before buying it a year or so ago--which shouldn't be much of a surprise to those who know anything about its history. (Although the arcade original was released in the States, it wasn't a very high-profile release and, as such, it didn't see much success. The NES port, published here by Sunsoft, suffered a similar fate.) To be completely honest, I only picked it up because I was on a bit of a Namcot-made-Famicom-game kick at the time and I thought Sky Kid's cover art was cute. Luckily for me, the game that resides beneath that box art quite a lot of fun. I especially like that it's unique in the way that only games from this era seem to be: At its heart, it's a shoot 'em up, but blowing oncoming planes to smithereens isn't really the goal. No, the real goal of the game is to pick up a bomb that's placed about half-way through each stage and then drop it on a specified target that typically sits just before said stage's landing strip. (Yep, you have to land your plane at the end of each mission.) As I'm sure most of you have already imagined, that's a lot easier said than done. In the case of Sky Kid, that's because rival pilots do their best to create havoc by filling the screen--and not just with their planes, but with their bullets, too. At the same time, multitudes of ground units add to the visual cacophony by launching their own ammunition into the air. Thankfully, controlling your little pea-shooter-with-wings is as easy as can be. You even have access to a loop-the-loop maneuver (performed with the Famicom controller's B button) that can help you evade on-coming fire. Two additional reasons to check out this pleasingly unique title: Its graphics, while definitely on the simplistic side, are colorful and well crafted, especially for the era, and its soundtrack enjoyably jaunty--although not to the point of annoyance.

See also: Previous 'Great Gaymathon' posts

Thursday, February 02, 2012

The awesome alternate covers of the Nintendo 3DS Card Case 18

About a month ago, Nintendo of Japan added to its Club Nintendo reward stash something called the Nintendo 3DS Card Case 18.

Admittedly, the item's name isn't the most creative--although it is descriptive. (As you've probably already guessed, the Nintendo 3DS Card Case 18 is an accessory that holds up to 18 DS and/or 3DS cards.)

I don't know this for sure, but I have a feeling the case's name is lacking in creativity because its designers focused all of their attention on its awesome alternate covers.

You see, although the case's standard cover, seen in the photo above, is a bit bland, its alternate covers (each "order" comes with three of them) are anything but. For example, here's one that includes sprites from The Legend of Zelda:

Additional covers--featuring Bowser, Mario, Pikmin's Olimar and more--can be seen in this Flickr photo set.

These cases are now available via the North American Club Nintendo "shop," too, by the way. They're called "Nintendo 3DS Game Card Cases" (I guess the "18" part was too exciting for them) in this region, but the alternate covers appear to be the same.

Who wouldn't want to play an RPG with characters who look part Teletubby, part Tingle, part Pikmin, part Mr. Driller and part Mii?

I don't know why, but I find this soon-to-be-released (in Japan only, for the time being) eShop game's characters--which look as though they're part Teletubbies, part Tingle, part Pikmin, part Mr. Driller and part Mii (I know, that's a lot of parts)--oddly captivating.

Actually, I find its gameplay to be oddly captivating, too. According to, you begin the game by capturing the aforementioned critters (actually, they're "electric wave people") using your 3DS' camera and AR technology before tossing them into dungeons to battle baddies, collect treasure and, of course, rescue "an important person from the demon king." (To see all of the above in action, watch this trailer.)

Denpa Ningen RPG--which was made by the folks at Genius Sonority, whose previous credits include Dragon Quest Swords and Pokemon Coliseum--will hit the Japanese eShop on Feb. 8 carrying a price tag of ¥800 (about $10). Here's hoping it eventually finds its way onto the eShops of other regions, too.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Reason #402 I could be considered an 'eccentric' (aka bat-sh*t crazy) gamer

I have a bit of a "thing" for European DS game cases.

Oh, get your minds out of the gutter. I don't mean that I, uh, do things with them; I mean that I have an odd attraction to them.

It all started when I bought a copy of Freshly-Pickled Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland from the UK. For some unknown reason, that game's clear, thicker-than-the-ones-we-get-in-North-America case (see it in this photo) appealed to me so much that I wanted a few more.

I got my wish a few months later when I picked up a copy of the Euro version of Professor Layton and the Curious Village. (Here's a photo of it, in case you're, er, curious.)

There was, it seems, no turning back after that, as I quickly added Euro copies of Professor Layton and Pandora's Box, Professor Layton and the Lost Future, Last Window (the sequel to Hotel Dusk: Room 215) and Jam with the Band to my collection of DS games. (Photos of the aforementioned games can be seen here, here, here and here, respectively.)

Sadly--for my bank account, especially--I'm not through purchasing such games. I plan on picking up a copy of the Euro release of Inazuma Eleven at some point this year, for instance, and I also hope to buy a copy of Professor Layton and the Spectre's Call (the fourth in the series--it was called Professor Layton and the Last Specter in the States).

After that, though, I probably put a cork in this particular obsession--or at least that's what I'm hoping to do.

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

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

So, what did you think of the first Mario Kart 7 gaymer night?

Now that the inaugural "Mario Kart 7 Gaymer Night" is over, I'd like to ask all of you who participated what you thought of it.

I'm especially eager to hear what you thought of:

* the day (Monday) that was chosen,
* the time (7 pm PST/10 pm EST) that was chosen, and
* the, er, "venue" (150cc, all items, etc.) that was chosen for this event.

Also, if you wanted to join in on the fun but didn't due to any of the aforementioned particulars, let me know that, too.

I'd really like to plan another one of these shindigs--and for sooner rather than later--but I'm not exactly sure how to go about it. Should it be scheduled it for the same day and same time as the first one, or should it be scheduled for a different day and time? Should we continue to use the 150cc community I set up a while ago, or would you prefer to use a 100cc or 50cc community instead?

Please let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.

Finally, I'd like to thank everyone who popped in for even a few races last night. (I was only able to partake in three "cups" myself, due to a rather hungry husband. Next time I'll feed him first, I swear!)

Also, I'd like to thank, many times over, the mysterious man behind the Video Games Made Me Gay tumblog for suggesting this little meetup in the first place.

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

From the back of my boyhood closet, part one

Those of you who read this post from yesterday afternoon will know that I recently discovered a bunch of game-related treasures while digging through my boyhood closet. (And if you haven't read the aforementioned post? Uh, maybe you should read it now.)

Well, one of those finds--I'll write about five more in the coming weeks--is the Sega Genesis 2 system (and controller) seen in the following photo.

Neither item is in perfect condition, but both are in good, working order, so you know what that means: I now can play that copy of Pier Solar I bought early last year. (Read about that situation here.)

I don't expect Pier Solar to be the only game that gets stuck into my recently-rediscovered Genesis 2 this year, of course; I also expect to slide copies of Shining in the Darkness, Shining Force, Shining Force II and Landstalker into the system's cartridge slot at some point or other.

Before I purchase those titles, though, I'm going to have to get one of those slick, six-button controllers, since I've never been much of a fan of the cheap, chunky, three-button ones.

See also: Previous 'from the back of my boyhood closet' posts

Monday, January 30, 2012

From the back of my boyhood closet

While at my parents' home over the holidays, I spent a bit--OK, a lot--of time digging through my old bedroom closet in the hopes of finding a few game-related treasures.

Some of the games and systems I found during that expedition surprised me, while others simply brought a smile to my face thanks to the fond memories I have of them.

Anyway, I shipped most of these finds back to Seattle before I left my hometown (McFarland, Wisconsin) a few weeks ago. Said shipment just arrived, and I'm so excited about it I could spit.

As such, I think I'll document each of them in a short series of posts that will be published over the next few weeks. Expect to see the first one appear tomorrow morning.

In the meantime, have any of you found any long-forgotten games and/or systems while digging through your childhood bedroom or basement?

Note: The photo to the right isn't of the contents of my boyhood closet, although I wish it were.

And here I thought I had seen everything related to that ancient Billy Herrington meme

The always-fabulous Video Games Made Me Gay tumblog proved me wrong by highlighting the following video in a recent post:

I don't know about you, but I think it's a crying shame that no one ever took this idea and made it into a full-fledged racing game.

I mean, who wouldn't want to take control of a nearly naked Herrington as he rides his similarly muscular (and similarly lacking in clothing) bud in pursuit of ... whatever the hell it is they're chasing in the video above.

See also: 'Billy Herrington Tetris'