Friday, October 12, 2012

Let's Play: 'Which Box Art is Better?' (Paper Mario: Sticker Star edition)

Although there are a number of 3DS games I'm looking forward to getting my grubby hands on next year--the next Animal Crossing, Etrian Odyssey IV and Fire Emblem: Awakening, among them--I'm eagerly awaiting quite a few 2012 releases, too.

Sitting atop the latter list: The latest (and hopefully greatest) chapter in Nintendo's Paper Mario saga.

As many of you likely already know, this 3DS title will be known as Paper Mario: Sticker Star when it's released throughout North America on Nov. 11. Here is the art that will grace the covers of said release:

The game will sport a slightly different name--Paper Mario: Super Seal--when it hits the streets in Japan on Dec. 6, and naturally it'll sport a different piece of box art, too.

Although I'd love to show you the cover art that'll be used on the Euro version of this Intelligent Systems-developed game, which also will be called Paper Mario: Sticker Star and will arrive on store shelves on Dec. 7, Nintendo of Europe has yet to reveal it.

Given that, I guess we'll just have to judge the pair of illustrations showcased above.

Personally, I much prefer the North American cover art to its Japanese counterpart this time around. Granted, the latter option does a much better job of depicting the game's sticker-collecting aspect, but that isn't enough to trump the former's bold use of color.

Now that I've had my say, what do all of you think of the box art that's been prepared for this portable RPG?

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

Thursday, October 11, 2012

LTTHTGP: Costume Quest (XBLA)

LTTHTGP means "Late To The Halloween-Themed Game Party," by the way. Just in case any of you were wondering.

What does that mean, you ask? It means that I finally picked up (the XBLA version of) Double Fine Production's trick-or-treat-centric RPG, Costume Quest, earlier this week.

I've been meaning to do so since the game was released nearly two years ago but, well, you know how it goes sometimes (especially when you have a backlog as extensive as mine).

Anyway, none of that matters now. What matters is that I'm playing Costume Quest. Finally. And not only that, but I'm enjoying it. It's so completely cute and charming that it's all I can do to keep myself from puking (you know, because everything's so damn adorable) while working my way through Tasha Harris' wonderfully creative and nostalgic tale.

The only aspect of Costume Quest that I'm not absolutely in love with at the moment: The QTE-heavy battle scenes. I wouldn't say I dislike them, but I also wouldn't say I like them as much as I would if they were, say, more traditionally turn-based. Oh, well, you can't have everything, right?

Have any of you played through the PC, PS3 or Xbox 360 version of this game? If so, what did you think of it?

I want Animal Crossing 3DS baaaaaaadly

Ever since the Animal Crossing-branded 3DS LL was announced for Japanese release (alongside the game on Nov. 8) and the Tobidase Dōbutsu no Mori-focused Nintendo Direct was broadcast (on Oct. 5), I've spent more time than I'd like to admit daydreaming about the next entry in this adorable, world-conquering series.

As if that weren't bad enough, I'm so obsessed with the game right now that I've even taken to sites like deviantART in search of Animal Crossing-inspired illustrations.

The first piece of such fan art that I came across is the one you see above (and here), which features Cheri, a bear cub who only appeared in the first Animal Crossing, and Chevre, a Francophonic goat who has been featured in every Animal Crossing title thus far.

It was created by Japanese artist who goes by "Marys-Lamb" by the way. Also, it prompted the punny headline above.

I also came across a few holiday-themed illustrations that were inspired by Animal Crossing, including the one above (conjured up by Thai artist DC9spot).

This effort, produced by US-based artist Rin, caught my eye, too:

Sigh. The next few months are going to be tough for those of us waiting for non-Japanese versions of this game, aren't they?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Professor Layton vs. Ace Attorney's Japanese cover art is all kinds of awesome

The art that will grace the cover of every copy of Professor Layton vs. Ace Attorney when this collaboration between Capcom and Level-5 hits store shelves in Japan late next month was unveiled last week and, as you probably can guess from the headline above, I think it's pretty awesome.

Japanese 3DS owners will be able to get their grubby hands on copies of Professor Layton vs. Ace Attorney on Nov. 29. Unfortunately, both Capcom and Level-5 are being tight-lipped about their plans (or lack thereof) to release the game in other regions.

FYI: the PSP's still got a pulse

You could have knocked me over with a feather after I read on Friday that the folks at UFO Interactive are preparing to bring Elminage Original, a dungeon-crawling PSP title made by a company I've never before heard of (Starfish), stateside sometime in 2013.

Here is a gameplay video of the Japanese version of Elminage Original, which apparently will be a PSN-only release in North America:

Whether or not I end up buying a copy of this interesting (and, admittedly, kind of fugly) looking game--which is said to be "Wizardry hard" and allows players to customize character icons by loading images from a memory card--next year will depend entirely on how much it costs, so here's hoping the powers that be at UFO Interactive attach a reasonable price tag to it.


Tuesday, October 09, 2012

The Nichiest Podcast Ever: Take 003

Got a few minutes (OK, more like 110) to spare? If so, you may want to head on over to and listen to the latest, greatest episode of The Nichiest Podcast Ever.

What do Anne, shidoshi and I chat about this time? The blurb that shidoshi conjured up describes it pretty well, I think: "Nintendo announces shidoshi’s perfect 3DS XL (and some other models), all about the Wii U, a whole lot of talk about Tokyo Game Show 2012, follow-up about the Gaymercom name, Dead or Alive fans love big breasts, Cheerleading (Tokyo Jungle, The "Denpa" Men), and Nichiest of Them All."

I have to add, of course, that "shidoshi's perfect 3DS XL" (aka the "PINK x WHITE" model I've mentioned far too many times since it was announced just over a month ago) is my perfect 3DS XL, too--although the Animal Crossing-branded 3DS XL (or, rather, LL) that's also discussed during this podcast may soon push it out of that top spot (in my brain at least).

Should you decide to check out this episode of The Nichiest Podcast Ever, would you do me, shidoshi and Anne a favor? Would you let us know your thoughts about it--good, bad or otherwise? Feel free to do so in the comments section below or aim a tweet at any or all of us (Anne can be found at @apricotsushi, shidoshi at @pikoeri and I'm at @thegaygamer).

See also: Previous posts about The Nichiest Podcast Ever

Monday, October 08, 2012

A few more QR codes for THE 'DENPA' MEN fans

Silly aside (can you start a blog post with an aside?): My original headline for this series of posts was, "Show me yours and I'll show you mine."

So, why didn't I use it? I wanted as many people as possible to find these posts and not only add my favorite "Denpa" men and women to their parties but also share with me (and you) QR codes of their own fave characters, so I went with the more straightforward header you see above (and here).

Anyway, I've captured a few more cool-looking "Denpa" men since my last post on the subject, so I thought I'd share their QR codes here. Please share some of your own in the comments section below--especially if they're either swirly or cute.

This is Layton. He has sparkly eyes and a rainbow-colored antenna that (eventually) allows him to use "Laser Beam." That skill is pretty useful in one particular dungeon, which is why I'm sharing Layton's QR code here.

I'd like Tyler, above, even if his skill wasn't "Revive (All)." Being able to use "Revive (All)" sure helps, though! Anyway, I have to admit that I didn't find Tyler myself. I'm sharing him here, though, because he's one of the cuter "Revive (All)" characters I've discovered (on the Internet) thus far.

I can't imagine I'm ever going to use Ryder's "Great Weaken" ability, but I'm keeping him around because of his rosy cheeks and puckered mouth.