Saturday, November 10, 2012

Feel free to DISQUS

While perusing my friend Anne's blog, Chic Pixel, late last week, I noticed that its comments section was different. Specifically, I noticed it was now using DISQUS, which I'd previous seen and used at blogs like Tiny Cartridge, rather than Blogger's built-in comments engine, as had previously been the case.

After putting Chic Pixel's new comments section through its paces (you know, by leaving a few comments), I decided I had to add DISQUS to this blog, too. The main reason: It allows for nested or tiered comments. In other words, should someone named, er, TheGayGamerFan leave a comment that says, "Awesome! I've been waiting for you to fix your broken comment system!!" I'll be able to reply to him/her directly without having to preface my response with something like, "Thanks, TheGayGamerFan..."

Don't worry if little or none of what I just said makes sense. Just do what I did while visiting Chic Pixel last week and leave a comment on this or any other of this blog's many posts. That should go a long way to helping you understand why this comments engine is better than the built-in one I was using before.

Note: Although I enabled "guest commenting" while setting up DISQUS earlier today, I'm not entirely sure if that means you can leave a comment here without signing up for DISQUS. If that's not the case and you do have to sign up for DISQUS to leave a comment, please accept my apologies. Believe me when I say, though, that registering for DISQUS is quick and painless, so please don't shy away from doing so.

Friday, November 09, 2012

I'm finding myself surprisingly interested in Magician's Quest: Town of Magic (3DS)

Like a good number of North American gamers, I'm sure, I pretty much ignored Konami's Magician's Quest: Mysterious Times after it arrived on our shores in early 2009.

The main reason for my relative disinterest in this Vanpool-developed DS title: The word on the street at the time was that it was little more than an Animal Crossing ripoff.

Mind you, I don't have a problem with game-makers ripping off Animal Crossing; I'm just rarely interested in buying said clones.

All that said, I'd be lying if I claimed I wasn't at least a smidge interested in Konami's fourth Magician's Quest title (two more were released for the DS in Japan), which is set to hit store shelves in the Land of the Rising Sun sometime next month.

As for what prompted this change of heart: I find this game's art style--a few examples of which can be seen in the screenshots above--pretty darn captivating (not to mention precious).

Unfortunately, the powers that be at Konami have yet to say if Magician’s Quest: Town of Magic (that's an English translation of the 3DS sequel's Japanese name, by the way) will be brought across the pond.

Should that happen at some point next year, I'll probably add it to my burgeoning 3DS game collection--assuming I'm not knee-deep in Animal Crossing: New Leaf at the time.


You don't say: Another PSP-based Hakuoki game is coming to North America

Unfortunately, it sounds like this Hakuoki title, unlike the one released earlier this year, isn't very good. (That's what a good percentage of the folks posting comments here are saying, at least.)

Still, I'm curious about it. Despite the fact that its gameplay sounds Dynasty Warriors-esque. (I'm not a big fan of hack-and-slash games. Shocking, I know.) Oh, and despite the fact that it doesn't seem to include any scenes in which Isami Kondou makes out with Shinpachi Nagakura.

I've yet to add it to my lengthy "to buy" list, though, because the folks at Aksys Games have done little more than announce their intent to bring it to North America and share its localized name (Hakuoki: Warriors of the Shinsengumi) so far.

More information on this PSP release is sure to appear on its official website sooner rather than later, though, so if you're like me and you're at all interested in it, you'd do well to pay it a visit every now and then.

See also: 'A somewhat gay review of Hakuoki: Demon of the Fleeting Blossom (PSP)'

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Who's that (ASCII) girl?

Did you see yesterday's post about the completely awesome--not to mention complete-in-box--copy of Otocky that I picked up recently? If not, check it out here.

And if so, would one of you--those of you who know Japanese, especially--be so kind as to help me figure out the identity of the girl shown in the photos below?

The first photo is of the front of Otocky's outer box, while the second is of the back of its box.

I'm guessing the second photo, and the text that accompanies it, will be more helpful to those of you who are willing to come to my aid, but what do I know?

Also, I wouldn't be at all surprised to hear that the girl in question won some sort of competition held by ASCII, or that she was one of those "idols" the Japanese seem to be so fond of.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Acquisition #146: Otocky (Famicom Disk System)

My initial idea was to begin this post by saying, "I have no idea why I recently bought this game." I thought that because, truth be told, although I own a rather wonderful Twin Famicom system--a cherry red one; here's a photo of it, and here's another--I rarely play it or the many cartridges and disks I've acquired for it thus far. (Yes, that means I tend to play said games via emulation these days.)

As such, picking up yet another Famicom game--especially a disk system one, as I play them even less than their cart-based counterparts--seemed to me to be a waste of money at best.

So, why'd I go through with this particular purchase? Well, beyond the fact that this game--ASCII's Otocky, which was released in Japan in 1987--is completely awesome, I went through with it because I'd never before seen a complete-in-box copy of it for sale and I was worried I'd never come across one again.

Before I move on to some of the photos I snapped of this acquisition, I probably should share a detail or two about Otocky with those of you who've never heard of it. The main thing you should know: It was conceived and designed by the great Toshio Iwai, who later made Electroplankton for the Nintendo DS.

Otocky is every bit as experimental as the aforementioned DS game, although I personally find this one--which conceals its musical aspects within the confines of a side-scrolling shmup--to be both more accessible and more fun. (To catch a glimpse of the game in action, check out this gameplay video.)

With all of that background information out of the way, let's get to what most of you likely clicked on this post to see: Otocky's packaging. Here's the front of the game's box:

And here's the back of its box:

The game's box is larger than most Famicom games, by the way. In fact, I'd say it's nearly the size of a PC game box. Why? Don't worry, I'll get to that in a second.

The photo above shows off the case that contains the Otocky disk. Sure, the art is the same as what was used on the game's outer packaging, but it's so cute and colorful I'm not going to complain.

So, here we get to the reason for the outer box's girth: Otocky's manual. If someone were to tell me that it's the largest instruction manual to be included with a Famicom game, I wouldn't bat an eye. Not only is it large in terms of dimensions, but it's also large in terms of number of pages. It's 72 pages long!

Thankfully, it's not simply 72 pages of text. In fact, it includes a number of completely adorable illustrations--one of which can be see above, and one of which can be seen below--that are nearly worth the price of admission all on their own, in my opinion.

I also really like the pages shown in the photo below, which shine a light on a few of Otocky's enemies.

If you somehow haven't gotten your fill of Otocky information in this post, head on over to my Flickr photostream to see a few more photos of its outer packaging and its disk.

See also: Previous 'Acquisition #123' posts

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

If only these sprites had been created for an actual Final Fantasy game (rather than an album)

Shocking admission of the day (yeah, right): I prefer the sprite-based Final Fantasy games to those that are polygon-based.

As such, I was pretty stoked when I came across a post on that stated the powers that be at Square Enix recently hired pixel artist Kasuko Shibuya to create sprites for a Final Fantasy tribute album that's in the works.

Here's the result of Shibuya's hard work:

I know this is a pipe dream, but wouldn't it be awesome if Square Enix teamed up with Shibuya to create a Final Fantasy tribute game? My only requirement would be that it feature an HUD that's less hideous than the ones that appear in Final Fantasy Dimensions and Final Fantasy IV: The After Years (WiiWare version).


I like big Pokébutts and I cannot lie

Especially when they're drawn by artist Lindsey Morris (aka Wine Lips), who is hawking a 12-page mini-comic called Pokébutts via her website.

As I'm sure you can tell by the comic's title, Pokébutts features full-color drawings of Pokémon characters sporting ample derrières.

Morris is selling two versions of Pokébutts, by the way. The standard edition can be had for just $5, while the special edition--which is customized with your choice of hand-drawn Pokébutt--costs $8.

I've already decided I'm going for the $8 version, but I haven't yet placed my order because I'm unsure as to which Pokémon character I want Morris to JLO-ize.


Monday, November 05, 2012

I'm baaaaaaaaack

Those of you who follow me on Twitter already know this, and some of the rest of you likely figured it out for other reasons, but for everyone else: I just returned from a two-week vacation that took me and my husband from Seattle to Aruba, Colombia, Costa Rica, Grand Cayman, Panama and back again (via the "Island Princess" cruise ship).

Don't worry, I'm not trying to brag. I'm only bringing it up because I'm guessing a portion of you guys and gals noticed that things were a bit "off" around here during the last two weeks (I rarely Tweeted, I didn't comment on any recent announcements, etc.) and I wanted to make sure you know things will get back to normal as of today.

I also wanted to touch on a few of the aforementioned announcements that I typically would have talked about had I not been sleeping in, stuffing my face and otherwise chillaxing aboard the Internet-challenged Island Princess. Speaking of which, here are the gaming-related announcements that have caught my eye since we returned home on Friday evening:

* Animal Crossing's 3DS sequel finally gets a North American subtitle: "New Leaf"--Well, it's certainly better than "Jump Out," isn't it? Still, it sounds a bit odd. Not that I really care; I would have pre-ordered it even if Nintendo had decided to call it Animal Crossing 3DS.

Daigasso! Band Brothers to make a triumphant return in 2013--During the latest Japanese Nintendo Direct broadcast, Satoru Iwata (with a little help from Barbara the Bat) revealed that another entry in this series of portable music games is being prepped for the 3DS and will see the light of day (in Japan) sometime next year. Which means I have to get off my butt and buy a Japanese 3DS pronto.

* The Denpa Men 2 is coming to North America, too--Unfortunately, the folks at Genius Sonority have yet to say when me and my countrymen (and countrywomen) will be getting our grubby little hands on this follow-up to the 3DS eShop title that has attracted more than 40 hours of my attention so far, but that's OK. After all, they haven't even released the original in Europe yet. Still, I hope The Denpa Men 2 earns a spot in our region's eShop sooner rather than later.

* Dragon Quest VII remake 3DS-bound--And not only that, but it'll be released in February. In Japan only for the moment, of course. Not much information has been released about this effort thus far, but what has been released suggests it will be a full, polygonal remake of Square Enix's two-disc PlayStation RPG. Anyway, here's hoping this Dragon Quest title doesn't get stuck in Japan like Dragon Quest Monsters: Terry's Wonderland 3D and Slime MoriMori Dragon Quest 3 did.

* The pink-and-white 3DS XL will see a stateside release in a few weeks--Can you believe it? I honestly thought Nintendo of America would wait until February (you know, for Valentine's Day) to bring this beauty of a system to our shores. Does this mean I'm getting one? I guess you'll have to wait and see. ( seems to be the only place you can purchase this system right now, by the way.)

So, did I miss anything? If so, please let me know. Also, let me know what you think of any or all of the tidbits discussed above.