Friday, January 18, 2013

Hubba hubba, part quatre

Can a single blog publish too many posts about the hottest hunks in video games? I hope not, as this is my fourth such post on the subject. (The first three can be found here, here and here. Oh, and the quatre mentioned in the headline is French for four, in case you didn't already know.)

Will I pen more of them in the future? I'd say it's pretty likely, although I don't have any particular studs in mind right now.

In the meantime, here's a look at the game-based beefcake that's been bouncing around in my brain as of late:

1. Simon Belmont (Castlevania: Lords of Shadow--Mirror of Fate)--Truth be told, I have little to no interest in the gameplay of this Konami-published 3DS title. I have quite a bit more interest, though, in two of its main characters: Trevor Belmont and Simon Belmont. As for why I decided to highlight the latter rather than the former in this post: Simon isn't afraid to show off his guns. Oh, and he's a ginge.

2. "Conversationalist" (Ana Holic!!)--Don't worry if neither this character nor the game in which he appears ring any bells. After all, Ana Holic!! is a Japanese PC game (a rather adult RPG, more specifically) made by the folks at Underground Campaign and, as such, it hasn't received much press outside of its home country. Given this guy's, er, "fashion sense," I'd have to say that's a crying shame, wouldn't you agree?

3. Marlon (Pokemon Black 2/White 2)--I realize that this choice is a bit suspect at first blush. In fact, I didn't even consider Marlon (aka Shizui) until after I came across the piece of fan art that can be seen above. Now that I've seen what a few years and a little time in the gym could do to him, though, I can't imagine this post without him.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

A trio of terrific(ally gay) tumblrs

Last weekend, I promoted (by way of this post) one of the many tumblrs I tend to frequent. I thought I'd promote a few others today--namely, the trio of tumblrs operated by regular commenter Steve Pixel.

F*CK YEAH CHO ANIKI!!!!!!!--As its name implies, the focus of this NSFW (not safe for work) tumblr is the series of Masaya/NCS Corp. shmups that feature scantily-clad muscle men and surreal imagery. Cho Aniki isn't its sole focus, though; it also includes GIFs, illustrations and screenshots of games, manga and anime that are stylistically similar to the Super Big Brother titles.

Obscure Video Games--Although I love the aforementioned tumblr with all of my heart, I'd by lying if I said I preferred it to this one, which focuses on  GIFs, illustrations and screenshots of "weird old games that most people have forgotten." A good example: the crazy PC Engine cover art seen below, which has long been one of my favorites (due to the mustachioed, muscle-bound dude at its center, of course).

Pixelboys--Last, but not least, is this tumblr, which focuses on male nudity in video games. As I'm sure you can tell by that description, it's completely NSFW--unless, of course, your workplace allows you to look at pixelated and polygonal penises and such.

So, there you have it--three more game-related tumblrs to check out next time you're in the mood for such things. If you know of any others that I should be aware of, by the way, please let me know about them in the comments section below.

Note: only two of the tumblrs discussed above are explicitly gay. Still, all three are quite terrific.

Sexy Shy Guy

I'm not entirely sure why, but awesome, Atlanta-based artist, Drew Green, recently decided to draw a "sexy Shy Guy."

I found it completely adorable when I came across it on Facebook, so of course I had to share it here.

To see more of Drew's work, be sure to check out his deviantart gallery and his Tumblr at your convenience.

Oh, and check out his wonderful comic, Ross Boston, too, if you're into that sort of thing.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

I kind of hate to admit that I'm a bit curious about Final Fantasy: All The Bravest

So, what would you like to hear first--the good news, or the bad?

I think we should start with the good, which is that the folks at Square Enix just announced and released--yes, all in the same day--a new, sprite-based Final Fantasy game.

As for the bad news, well, the aforementioned title--known as Final Fantasy: All The Bravest--doesn't seem to be a "real" RPG, despite the fact that it's being described as a "pick-up-and-go RPG with massive battles."

Oh, and it's an iOS-only affair at the moment, which is a bummer for those of us who prefer to do the bulk of our gaming on dedicated handhelds and consoles.

Still, I'm curious about it. It helps, of course, that the sprites used in Final Fantasy: All The Bravest look to have been pulled from, or at least inspired by, the vaunted series' 16-bit releases.

Also, the battles look pretty crazy--although I'm feeling a bit flummoxed as to why some of the enemies (like the Goblin and Nutkins shown at the beginning) in the trailer above now seem to have sky-high HP.

Since I don't currently own a device capable of playing Final Fantasy: All The Bravest, I'd greatly appreciate it if any of you who wind up buying it would share your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below.

So, who bought Corpse Party: Book of Shadows (PSP/Vita) yesterday?

I'm sad to say I didn't.

The main reasons: I've yet to beat the first Corpse Party (I'm pretty sure I'm not even close to the end credits) and I'm still trudging my way through Elminage Original.

Also, I can't say I'm tickled pink about paying $19.99 for a digital game that likely would cost the same amount if it were given a retail release.

Still, I want it, and I'll probably pluck it from PSN sooner rather than later.

If any of you bought Corpse Party: Book of Shadows yesterday, though, I'd love to hear what you think about it in the comments section below.

For more information on this PSN title (which is perfectly playable on both the PSP and Vita, by the way), check out this blog post and this NeoGAF thread.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Five favorites: non-Capcom, non-Enix, non-Konami, non-Namcot, non-Nintendo, non-Square Famicom games

Is this "five favorites" post even more ridiculous than the PC Engine-focused one I published last week? Yes, I think you could say that--especially since this one is even more limited than its predecessor.

It had to be done, though, in order for this post to not be suffocated by Famicom titles that appear on nearly every such list. You know some of the ones I'm talking about, I'm sure: Hitler no Fukkatsu: Top Secret (aka Bionic Commando), Hoshi no Kirby: Yume no Izumi no Monogatari (Kirby's Adventure), Pajama Hero Nemo (Little Nemo: The Dream Master), Super Mario Bros. 2 and 3 and Wanpaku Dakku Yume Bōken (Duck Tales), just to name a few.

With that out of the way, here are five of my favorite Famicom games that weren't made by Capcom, Enix, Konami, Namcot, Nintendo or Square:

1. Adventures of Lolo 2--Would you believe this was the fifth Lolo game released in Japan? The series' storied history is too long to recount here (read about it at, but the short-and-sweet version is that the first three had the name Eggerland attached to them. Another interesting note about this game: it was known as Adventures of Lolo 3 in North America. Whatever you call it, though, it's an awesome little puzzler that's well worth at least a bit of your time and attention.

2. Binary Land--I'm pretty sure I've written about this early Hudson Soft effort before. (Fake update: yep, I mentioned it in a past post about my five favorite games featuring penguins.) Regardless, it's worth bringing up again, as I'm pretty sure it's one of those import-only puzzlers that's largely been ignored by the non-Japanese masses. It's more than a bit antiquated, and it's not exactly the deepest game around, but it's more enjoyable than the bulk of its flashier, lengthier counterparts.

3. Chô Wakusei Senki Meta Fight--Does the name of this game not ring a bell for you? How about Blaster Master, which is what it was called outside of Japan? My older brother and I spent more time than I'd like to admit playing through this as teens. You don't have to own a pair of nostalgia-tinted glasses to find this part-platformer, part-run-and-gunner appealing, though, as its tight gameplay and atmospheric soundtrack (don't worry, it's graphics are pretty ace, too) can and should be appreciated by gamers of all ages and stripes.

Monday, January 14, 2013

'Bye-Bye, Backlog' diary entry #1: Chulip

Well, I actually went through with it.

Yesterday, I started playing Chulip, Punchline's weirdo adventure game that Natsume rather quietly released for the North American PlayStation 2 in 2007 (nearly five years after it hit store shelves in Japan).

I didn't play it for very long, unfortunately, as I had too many other things to do. I was able to devote about an hour to it, though, and I plan on putting another hour or so into it today.

As for what I think of it so far:

* I love the art style, which kind of reminds me of the Nintendo 64 version of Mother 3 that never saw the light of day.

* I'm similarly fond of the soundtrack, and even the oddly garbled voices that spew forth whenever you decide to chat up one of your neighbors.

* Speaking of odd, that's about the only word I could use to describe Chulip's localization. Was it intentional, or did the folks at Natsume rush it? I have no idea, but I'm guessing it's the latter, as it's often hard to discern what you're supposed to do next.

* My only real complaint about the game so far: the lovelorn protagonist's walking speed. Would it have been so hard for the crew at Punchline (Chulip's developer) to provide players with a run button à la Animal Crossing? I have a feeling the lack of one is going to grow into a rather sore point as I spend more and more time with this quirky PS2 title.

* Conversely, my favorite aspect of Chulip so far is the animation that's triggered whenever you try to kiss someone who isn't in the mood to be kissed. Sadly, you can't overdo it or you'll find yourself staring at a "Game Over" screen.

Anyway, that's what I think of the game after my admittedly brief first experience with it. Expect to see another round of impressions this time next week. In the meantime, please share your own thoughts and opinions in the comments section below.

See also: 'Bye-bye, backlog'