Friday, June 15, 2012

WonderSwan cartridges (and boxes) in context

While prepping my last two "Acquisition #123" (#132: Engacho! and #133: Tane wo Maku Tori) posts, I realized that some of you (many of you?) might like to see how WonderSwan game boxes and cartridges stack up to their counterparts in the portable world.

So, I took a few photos of a few of my recent WonderSwan pick-ups sitting next to 3DS, DS, GameBoy, GameBoy Advance, Game Gear and PSP carts and boxes.

The photos below, as I'm sure you can see, show that WonderSwan cartridges (the clear one on the left, below Wario Land II, and the black one beneath Balloon Kid) are closest in size to GameBoy Advance cartridges.

The photo above, on the other hand, shows how WonderSwan game boxes compare in size to DS and PSP cases. The box on the right, by the way, is for a WonderSwan Color game called Flash Koibitokun.

All "regular" WonderSwan games are in smaller/squatter boxes a la Engacho!, by the way, while all WonderSwan Color games are in the taller ones a la Flash Koibitokun.

Anyway, so now you know how WonderSwan boxes and carts compare to their 3DS, DS, GameBoy, GameBoy Advance, Game Gear and PSP counterparts.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Acquisition #133: Tane wo Maku Tori (WonderSwan)

How's this for a random acquisition?

I'm guessing most of you have never heard of Tane wo Maku Tori. Don't feel bad--I hadn't heard of it before I stumbled upon this post over at a few months ago.

According to the proprietress of said blog, by the way, Tane wo Maku Tori is often translated into English as The Seeding Bird. ("Tane wo maku" means "to sow seeds," apparently, while "tori" means "bird.")

The translation seems appropriate once you play the game, which is a puzzler, of sorts, that tasks the crow seen on the packaging below with helping direct drops of water that fall from the top of the screen to the seeds that sit at the bottom.

As I'm sure you've already guessed, I haven't yet spent much time with Tane wo Maku Tori. (I don't have a WonderSwan, so I've only played it via emulation--and even then it was only for a short while.)

Anyway, if you'd like to learn more about this peculiar puzzler, click on the aforementioned link to Kimimi's blog (or wait for my review of the title, which will be published ... sometime after I finally buy a WonderSwan).

Also, for a few more photos of this game's box, cardboard "storybook" (above) and cartridge, check out my Flickr photostream.

See also: Previous 'Acquisition #123' posts

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Let's Play: 'Which Box Art is Better?' (Code of Princess edition)

I have extremely fond memories of playing through--or at least trying to play through--Treasure's Guardian Heroes back in the day. As such, I sat up and took notice of Agatsuma Entertainment's eerily similar 3DS-based brawler, Code of Princess, after reading that it was developed by some of the same folks who made the aforementioned Sega Saturn classic.

Another piece of news that prompted me to sit up and take notice of this, er, "bosomy" beat 'em up: Atlus has decided to localize and release it in North America sometime this autumn.

Will the art below actually grace the covers of North American copies of Code of Princess when they hit store shelves later this year? I kind of doubt it, but I'm going to suspend my feelings of disbelief for the time being so all of us can enjoy another round of "Which Box Art is Better?"

For those of you who are game (pun intended), here's the cover art that's been released--but not confirmed to be final, as far as I'm aware--for the North American version of Code of Princess:

And here's the box art that was created for the game's Japanese release:

As for which one I prefer: Well, I'm sure some of you (perhaps many of you) are going to disagree with me, but I like the Japanese cover more than its North American counterpart.

Sure, the former is a bit crowded and cacophonous, but I like that it features a number of characters and quite a bit of color. I find the latter, on the other hand, to be just a bit too straightforward--especially for such a crazy title.

How about you guys and gals? Does the more balanced North American art give you goosebumps, or does the jumbled, messy Japanese art make you jump for joy?

See also: Previous 'Which Box Art is Better?' posts

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Manual Stimulation: PC Genjin 3 (PC Engine)

Despite my undying love of the first PC Genjin (Bonk's Adventure to all of you TurboGrafx-16 fans) and the second (aka Bonk's Revenge), my heart's never skipped a beat for the series' third release, known in Japan as PC Genjin 3 and in North America as Bonk 3: Bonk's Big Adventure.

The main reason I've long given this Red Company-made platformer the cold shoulder: In current verbiage, it's because PC Genjin 3 feels a little to much like an "expansion pack" for PC Genjin 2.

PC Genjin 3 tries to differentiate itself from its predecessors in at least one area, thankfully: Its instruction manual (the cover of which can be seen in the scan below).

How so? Well, for starters, PC Genjin 3's manual is about twice as long as PC Genjin 2's. Also, PC Genjin 3's manual features a comic that runs across the bottom of pretty much every page. Because I don't understand a word of Japanese, I can't say if it's a good comic or not. Regardless, it features a number of nice drawings, so at least there's that.

The rest of this manual's many pages, though, are filled with your usual assortment of instructions ("here's what the I and II buttons do," "here's what happens when you eat a giant hunk of meat," etc.) and illustrations.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Oh, look, another reason to buy a Wii U

I don't know about you, but my "Reasons I Want a Wii U" list already is chock-full of "launch window" releases--like New Super Mario Bros. U, Pikmin 3 and Wii Fit U. (Yes, I actually want Wii Fit U.)

Well, another first-party, launch-window game was not only added to that list but placed atop it over the weekend after watching the following video of the Pikmin-meets-Viewtiful Joe Wii U title that's currently known as Project P-100.

Although I first learned about this Platinum Games-developed title shortly after Nintendo's E3 2012 press conference ended early last week, I only paid attention to screenshots of it at that time. Those screenshots were nice enough, of course, but I'd be hard pressed to say they did much to pique my interest in the game.

The video above, though, did that and then some--as did this video, which shows what happens when you take your hoard of heroes insides one of Project P-100's many buildings, and this one, which features Nintendo's Bill Trinen.

Anyway, as strange as it may sound, Project P-100, or whatever it ends up being called, is now at the top of my Wii U wish list. Here's hoping it's either released alongside Nintendo's next console or shortly afterwards, as I'm extremely eager to give it a go.


Sunday, June 10, 2012

One last 'dad update'

Don't worry, this isn't my last "dad update" because I have bad news to share; it's (likely) my last one because he's back at home with my mom.

Actually, he's been home for just over a week now, and he's doing remarkably well. He's eating home-cooked meals, getting over his fear of the stairs, taking daily walks with my mom and relaxing on his favorite couch.

His left arm is still weak, but even that seems to be improving all the time.

Most important to me is that I'm seeing more and more glimpses of my dad's old personality. Although I wouldn't go so far as to say my dad's usually gregarious personality left him completely in the wake of the strokes he suffered just over a month ago, it definitely took a bit of a backseat during most of his recovery.

While chatting with him and my mom (via FaceTime) a few days ago, though, I happily and surprisingly saw more of my dad's old personality than I've seen a long time.

So, things are good for my dad, mom and me at the moment. Yes, my dad's recovery will continue for a long time, and I'm he (and my mom and I) will encounter a few more potholes as continues down this road, but I'm feeling more positive than ever that he'll not only reach his destination--as normal a life as possible--but do so sooner rather than later.

Thanks again to all of you who have shared words of encouragement or have sent positive vibes since all of this went down. I've truly appreciated the support, and I'm sure my dad has, too.

See also: Previous posts about my dad