Friday, February 17, 2012

The dreamiest Dreamcast ever

True story: Sega's Space Channel 5 is one of my all-time favorite games.

It's one of the few games I've purchased for my beloved Dreamcast--along with ChuChu Rocket!, Jet Grind Radio, Virtua Tennis and a few others I can't remember right now--and it's also one that I never tire of playing.

Given that, it should be of little surprise to hear I've been drooling over the Ulala-branded Dreamcast below ever since I discovered it a few days ago.

An artist who calls himself Oskunk is responsible for this wonderful paint job, by the way. To see more photos of this particular project, check out his (her?) blog,, or his Flickr photostream.

See also: Previous Dreamcast posts

Pixelated PC Engine

Anyone who has been coming to this blog for any amount of time knows that I'm a big fan of the 16-bit system called the PC Engine. (Hell, I even started a second blog--I Was a Teenage PC Engine Fan--dedicated to this awesome console, although I haven't updated it in ages.)

There are a ton of reasons I've been enamored with this "little system that could" since I was a teen, of course. The main one is that the console itself--which is the size of about three CD cases stacked on top of one another--is the definition of cool (and sleek). Another reason: Its games are packed onto credit-card-sized cartridges known as HuCards. Oh, and then there's the content of said HuCards: Colorful, quirky titles like Coryoon, Hany on the Road, Obocchama Kun and PC Genjin are the rule rather than the exception when it comes to the PC Engine catalog.

I bring all of this up in order to explain the illustration below, which otherwise may confuse some of you.

It was created by a German artist who calls himself (on Flickr, at least) bartotainment. It caught my attention while perusing Flickr recently because I could tell what the illustration was supposed to represent even before I saw its (rather straightforward) title.

To see more of bartotainment's work, check out his Flickr photostream or what I believe to be his blog, PIXELkitsch.

See also: Previous PC Engine posts

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Acquisition #123: Patchwork Heroes

Full disclosure: I don't actually own 123 games--or at least I don't think I do. Honestly, I've never counted my collection, and I don't plan on doing so anytime soon. (I'm not sure I want to know how many titles I've purchased over the years, to tell you the truth.)

I had to attach some sort of number to this post, though, so I went with 123.

Expect to see headlines similar to the one above pop up here and there from now on, by the way. I'm tired of writing headers that are akin to "Hey, I just bought another PSP game!" so pretty much all future posts related to acquisitions will become part of this "series."

Anyway, enough about that. As the headline above suggests, my 123rd-ish acquisition is the puzzler-esque PSP game, Patchwork Heroes.

Because Patchwork Heroes is a PSN-only release, I can't share any photos of this purchase. (The box art on the right belongs to the Japanese UMD version, which is known as Hyaku- manton no Bara Bara.) I can share a few impressions of it, though--despite the fact that I've only played a bit of it thus far.

Basically, the game is a bit like a buffed-up (and inverted) version of Taito's arcade classic, Qix. That's not the most accurate comparison, I have to admit, but it is the best one, as far as I'm concerned. What that means in practice: Players control a blue-hatted lad named Titori, who has been tasked with protecting his fellow citizens from what can only be described as a never-ending stream of colossal, bomb-wielding warships. How does he achieve that objective? Why, by latching onto said ships and bringing them down by cutting them into pieces.

I'd like to save the rest of my thoughts on this addictive, charming title for a "somewhat gay review" that will be published shortly. I can already tell you, though, that the gist of said review will be that I heartily recommend Patchwork Heroes to anyone who has a PSP and 10 bucks to spare.

Raise your hand if you picked up a PS Vita yesterday

I know the "regular" versions of the Vita won't land on store shelves in the western world until next Wednesday (Thursday if you're an Aussie), but here in North America a "First Edition" bundle, which includes a copy of Little Deviants and a 4GB memory card, hit the streets yesterday.

Being the inquisitive sort that I am, I have to ask: Did any of you pick up one of these "First Edition" bundles? If so, what do you think of it so far? Was it worth the moolah?

If you're planning to buy one of the, er, second-edition Vitas that will be available starting on Feb. 22 (or Feb 23, if you call Australia home), please feel free to pipe up, too.

As for myself, although I'm intrigued by Sony's second foray into the handheld space, I won't be purchasing a Vita anytime soon. It's too expensive, for starters, and I'm not all that interested in the launch-window games. Plus, I'm still slowly but surely bolstering my (annoyingly meager) PSP collection. Maybe I'll add a Vita to the mix sometime in 2013?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Additional proof that Kimimi (of Kimimi's Blog) is an awesome chick

Everybody who has been to Kimimi's Blog--and that's all of you, right?--knows that said blog's proprietress is an awesome chick.

(I apologize if the word "chick" offends any of you, by the way. I'm only using it here because I called Darwin Yamamoto a "dude" in this similarly-themed post. As such, I thought it would be only fitting to describe Kimimi as a "chick" in this one.)

Well, I recently discovered that Kimimi is even more awesome than I originally imagined. You see, after chatting with her--in the comments section of this blog post--about Sega's Sakura Taisen (aka Sakura Wars) series, Kimimi offered to send me her spare copy of the Saturn version of the series' first title.

Sakura Taisen's beautiful box art.

After hemming and hawing for a bit, I took her up on her generous offer--despite the fact that I don't currently own a Saturn. (Full disclosure: I've owned two in my lifetime, the first of which was bought and sold while I was a teen and the second of which was bought and sold about five years ago.)

I know I could play the game using an emulator like SSF, but I'd prefer to play it on the real thing. So, I'm going to do my best to keep from playing it until I pick up another Saturn (and a copy of the awesome-tacular Saturn Bomberman).

In the meantime, I'd also like to extend a hearty "thank you" to the folks at Aksys Games and Dudedle Studio, who recently sent me review copies of Hakuoki: Demon of the Fleeting Blossom and Sugar Shooter 2, respectively. Expect to see "somewhat gay" reviews of both titles shortly.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

From the back of my boyhood closet, part three

So, the first two of these "from the back of my boyhood closet" posts featured a Nintendo 64 and a Sega Genesis. The focus of this one: The shiny, blue GameBoy Pocket seen in the photos below.

I know it looks like it's in immaculate condition, but it's actually a bit scuffed up (especially its backside). Still, the screen's in great shape, which is all that really matters to me.

The best part of digging this system out of the back of my childhood closet: It had a copy of Wario Land II stuck inside of it!

Unfortunately, I couldn't find Wario Land II's box or case (you know how important that is to me). Who knows, though, maybe I'll find them the next time I pay my parents a visit.

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

Monday, February 13, 2012

And now it's time for a posedown

In case you're wondering: Yes, the headline above is a not-so-thinly-veiled reference to that En Vogue chestnut of yesteryear (1992), "My Lovin' (You're Never Gonna Get It)."

Amazingly, the oh-so-fabulous video for the aforementioned tune has nothing on the following video (of two people going crazy while playing the "Ring Side" mini-game in the Japanese version of Rhythm Heaven Fever), in my humble opinion:

Although I've already pre-ordered my copy of this wonderfully weird looking (and sounding) Wii game, I'm quite certain that I'm going to have to bite the bullet (and drop some cash) on the Japanese version, called Minna no Rhythm Tengoku, at some point--especially since it was revealed in this recent Iwata Asks column that one of Minna no Rhythm Tengoku's mini-games (this one) won't appear in the North American release.

Rhythm Heaven Fever hits store shelves in the States today, by the way. Buy it here, if you haven't done so already.

See also: Previous Rhythm Heaven Fever posts

Another day, another Sugar Shooter 2 demo

Did you download the Sugar Shooter 2 demo that I mentioned in this post early last week? If so, you may want to head back to the Dudedle Studio blog shortly, as a brand spanking new demo of this upcoming, bara-tastic, bullet-hell shmup was added to the site on Friday.

Said demo not only includes a number of bug fixes and other improvements, but it also includes (as far as I can tell) a second stage. So, download away--especially if you're at all interested in shooting the clothes off of a bevy of cartoonish bodybuilders.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

'Blue is Always Stronger'

I don't know about you, but I always appreciate a good piece of Zelda-themed art--especially when it's as awesome as the example below.

This particular piece was produced by Philadelphia-based illustrator and designer Jude Buffum, by the way. A nine-inch-by-nine-inch giclee print (on canvas) of this image can be bought here for $40. (A bunch of additional Buffum prints can be found there, too, so definitely check out the link if you have both the dough and the interest.)