Friday, September 21, 2012

Did you know that Japanese Game Gear boxes are about the same size as WonderSwan boxes?

Well, you do now--courtesy of the following pair of photos that I recently snapped with my trusty digital camera.

For those who are curious, the games included in these photos are (clockwise from the upper-left): Pokémon Red (GameBoy), Engacho! (WonderSwan), Ganbare Gorby! (Game Gear), Guru Logi Champ (GameBoy Advance), Balloon Kid (GameBoy), Tane wo Maku Tori (WonderSwan), Magical Puzzle Popils (Game Gear), Rhythm Tengoku (GameBoy Advance) and Flash Koibitokun (WonderSwan Color).

I decided to take these photos when I discovered that the boxes that house Game Gear games are nearly the same size as those that house WonderSwan games. Also, I thought some of you might like to see how those boxes compare in size to the boxes of other portable gaming systems, like the GameBoy and the GameBoy Advance.

I'm planning to take more photos like the ones above (and these) in the coming months as I continue to acquire additional 3DS, DS, GameBoy, Game Gear and WonderSwan titles, by the way, so be on the lookout for them if you're curious about that sort of thing.

See also: 'WonderSwan cartridges (and boxes) in context'

Six mouth-watering 3DS game trailers for your viewing pleasure

Although the Tokyo Game Show 2012 has been a bit of a dud (in my opinion, of course) as far as new game announcements are concerned, the event has been good for at least one thing: The release of a slew of awesome-looking 3DS game trailers, six of which can be viewed below.

Ace Attorney 5 (Capcom):

Bravely Default: Flying Fairy (Square Enix):

Fantasy Life (Level 5):

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The 'Denpa' Men have arrived

Er, kind of.

What I should have said in the headline above is, "The demo of THE 'DENPA' MEN: They Came By Wave has arrived," as the full version of the game won't hit the North American 3DS eShop until next week (on Sept. 27, to be exact).

Sorry, Australian and European 3DS owners: This digital RPG, made by the able folks at Genius Sonority, has yet to receive a release date for your regions, as far as I'm aware.

Anyway, I just downloaded the demo and gave it the ol' college try. My impressions so far: I (surprisingly) like how you catch your 'Denpa men' (who then serve as your party members) using the 3DS' AR functionality, for starters. Also, I find the game's art style completely adorable. Oh, and Dragon Quest-esque battles are fun, too. (Although I wish I had more control over them--unless I'm missing something?)

Have any of you spent a bit of time with THE 'DENPA' MEN demo? If so, what do you think of it? Also, does it make you want to pick up the full game when it's released next week (with a $9.99 price tag attached to it, unfortunately)?

See also: 'I'm totally buying this 3DS eShop game on Sept. 27 despite its rather terrible name'

Up, up, down, down ...

I know some of you won't believe me, but my original intention for this post was to say something along the lines of, "I'm finally going to buy a gaming t-shirt, and this is it!"

Oh, and the gaming t-shirt in question is the one that's being worn by a rather hunky model in the photo below. (FYI: Its illustration instructs both viewers and wearers alike on how to input the famous "Konami Code"--or "Konami Command," as it's known in Japan.)

Sadly, when I went to place my order last weekend (which is when I first came across this t-shirt) I discovered that the seller is out of both smalls and mediums. Damn!

I guess it just wasn't meant to be.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

My kind of house plants

Something most of you probably don't know about me: I have the opposite of a green thumb. (Which I guess would mean I have a reddish-purple thumb--right, color theorists?)

Don't get me wrong: I like flowers and plants well enough. I just don't like taking care of them.

As such, I think Swedish artist Sandra Talving's "pixel plants," a number of which can be seen in the photo below, would be the perfect addition to our house or even our yard.

Of course, I'd have to put them in the backyard if we went with the latter option, since you know some jerk would steal them on sight, but that's OK with me. I'd put them on our back deck, right below our kitchen window, so I could look at them as I wash dishes.

Oh, who am I kidding? In reality, I'll salivate over them for a few minutes and then chicken out when it comes to buying one.

Should you have more guts than I do, you may want to check out Talving's etsy shop at your earliest convenience.

Mario art for those with a lot of moolah

What would I do if I had $2,000 burning a hole in my wallet? Well, I can tell you one thing: I wouldn't spend it on the piece of art below, which was produced by Princeton, New Jersey-based artist Erika Iris.

That's not to suggest I dislike Iris' work. On the contrary, I think this piece, called “Ghost in the Machine: Mario," is pretty darn fabulous. (I also like the pieces she's done that feature Link, Pac-Man and one of Super Mario Bros' goombas.)

Do I think it's worth spending $2,000 on? No, I can't say I do. Should you think it's worth that kind of money, though, by all means pick it up and then invite me over to your apartment, condo or house so I can come ogle it.

For more info on Iris and/or any of the pieces mentioned above, head on over to

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Manual Stimulation: Ganbare Gorby! (Game Gear)

You know what I like most about Game Gear instruction manuals? They're small--and not just in size, but in length, too. That's a big deal to me because, well, scanning each and every page of a thick game manual (for use in one of these posts, of course) can be a real pain in the butt.

The only problem I have with short instruction manuals: Sometimes they're stuffed full of delightful illustrations and other details, and sometimes they're as dull as dishwater.

Sadly, the manual produced for Sega's quirky, Mikhail Gorbachev-focused puzzler, Ganbare Gorby!, falls somewhere between those two extremes.

It certainly starts out promising enough, with the game's colorful cover art showing up once again to remind folks what's in store once they press "play." (If this is the first you've heard of Ganbare Gorby!, it means you'll be acting as the aforementioned former president of the Soviet Union as he alters the course of myriad conveyor belts in order to deliver food, medicine and portable game systems to comrades in need.)

Anyway, the manual's first few pages are as bright and bold as its cover. Also, one of them features a completely adorable drawing of good ol' Gorbachev. I wish I could tell you why he isn't also carrying a Game Gear (one of the items he delivers to the poor in this endearingly odd puzzler), but I can't.

After that, Ganbare Gorby's manual becomes a bit boring, to tell you the truth. At least the following pages feature a number of nice screenshots. (Please note the right-most one in the scan below, which shows a citizen grinning from ear to ear after successfully grabbing a piece of meat that wouldn't look out of place in a PC Genjin game.)

Hey, Atlus USA: It's about time you made a few 3DS game announcements, don't you think?

Specifically, I'd love for you to announce North American release dates for Etrian Odyssey IVDevil Summoner: Soul Hackers and Shin Megami Tensei IV.

Of course, Shin Megami Tensei IV has yet to receive even a Japanese release date, so it's unlikely North American gamers are going to get a release date for our region anytime soon.

An announcement that the game will, indeed, be brought to our shores at some point (hopefully next year) shouldn't be out of the question, though, don't you think?

Speaking of Shin Megami Tensei IV, Atlus' Japanese arm released a new, rather gorgeous trailer of the game yesterday morning. Here it is:

Doesn't it look divine?

I have to say, the first thought that popped into my head while watching the trailer above was, "Man, this would look great on the 3DS XL."

As such, I really hope Nintendo of America lets it be known soon that it'll be bringing the PINKxWHITE 3DS LL to our shores later this year or early next.


Monday, September 17, 2012

Five more favorites: Famicom/NES platformers that don't involve a fat, Italian-American plumber

Just over a week ago, I published a similarly titled blog post featuring five of my favorite Famicom/NES games that didn't star Nintendo's famously mustachioed plumber.

As I'm sure you can tell from the headline above, this post covers five more such titles. Do I put them on equal ground with the games I mentioned in the last one? Not really. Still, they're all great and well worth playing, especially if you've yet to experience them.

1. Akumajō Special: Boku Dracula-kun--Often called Kid Dracula by North American heathens like myself, this Konami-made title is the platforming equivalent of the company's Parodius series of shoot 'em ups--only in this case, Castlevania, not Gradius, is the game being parodied. Anyway, thanks to its focus on projectile weapons, this one's always felt like a mash-up of Castlevania and Mega Man to me--which of course means it's a winner. Additional reasons to give this one a try: Its jaunty soundtrack and its brilliant, cartoon-ish visuals.

2. Gimmick!--My first thought upon discovering this Sunsoft-published gem a few years back was that it was some sort of Kirby rip-off. Although it definitely shares Kirby's Candy Land aesthetic (to a degree), Gimmick! plays nothing like that HAL Laboratory-developed classic. In fact, Gimmick! plays more like a Mega Man game than Kirby's Adventure, if you ask me, what with the adorable protagonist's projectile weapon (a star that spawns above his head) and propensity to bounce. Gimmick! differs from Kirby's Adventure in another important area, too--that being that it's far more challenging. In fact, it took me more than a few attempts to make it past this game's first stage. Don't let that keep you from giving this cart a try, though; tough as nails or not, this is a top-shelf platformer that should be experienced by everyone who knows their d-pad from their start button.