Saturday, February 09, 2013

Raise your hand if you're looking forward to the PS4 reveal on Feb. 20

You may be surprised to hear that my hand is raised, too.

Sure, I don't yet own a PS3, but that's not because I have no interest in Sony's current-gen console. The fact is, I only have so much money to spend on games these days, and that pile of dough has to support a lot of systems, including the 3DS, DS, Famicom, PC Engine, PlayStation, PlayStation 2, PSP, Wii and Xbox 360 (among others).

Anyway, I'm interested in the PS3, just as I'm interested in the PS4--or whatever Sony winds up calling its next-gen console.

Speaking of which, Sony's supposedly going to reveal its much-anticipated PS3 successor on Feb. 20 at 3 pm PST/6 pm EST.

Will you be watching the event live (at, I believe), or at least reading about it afterward?

I will, although I have to admit I'm not at all sure what to expect. Will we see a mock-up of the console itself? Will we get a glimpse of its controller, which is rumored to include a small touchpad (a la the back of the Vita)? Will we be shown snippets of in-the-works games, or simply the video equivalent of bullshots?

I'm guessing at least a few of the above-mentioned things will be covered during Sony's presentation, but I'm not so sure all of them will.

Regardless, I'll be sure to post my impressions shortly after it ends. In the meantime, what are all of you hoping to see and hear as part of this event?

Friday, February 08, 2013

Another installment of The Nichiest Podcast Ever is on the way

You know how I spent the latter part of last night? I spent it chatting (via Skype) with Anne and shidoshi. We weren't just shooting the shit, of course; we were recording a new episode of The Nichiest Podcast Ever. (The finished product should be available sometime this weekend or early next week.)

We covered a lot of ground this time around, beginning with discussion about a bunch of niche-y games that we're all looking forward to playing this year, including Atelier Ayesha (PS3), Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers (3DS), Killer is Dead (PS3/Xbox 360), Muramasa: The Demon Blade (Vita), Rune Factory 4 (3DS) and Valhalla Knights 3 (Vita).

We also talked about the physical edition of Class of Heroes 2 that may or may not be offered the game-starved PSP owners in the coming months, the not-so-well-received-by-shidoshi-and-Anne Corpse Party: Book of Shadows (PSP), the recently released PS3 RPG, Ni no Kuni, and the awesome outfit-creation aspect of Animal Crossing: New Leaf (3DS).

Oh, and during this podcast's "Cheerleading" segment, Anne trumpeted Pandora's Tower (Wii), while shidoshi did the same in regards to Fire Emblem: Awakening (3DS) and I once again blathered on about that wacky PS2 "classic," Chulip.

One more thing before I hit "publish" on this sucker: be sure to stick around for the end, when I am deemed (by shidoshi) to be the "bad boy" of this niche-game-loving trio.

See also: previous 'Nichiest Podcast Ever' posts

In a Class (of Heroes) by itself

I'm sure some of you PSP fans are well aware of this already, but for those of you who aren't: Gaijinworks, the publishing company founded by Victor Ireland of Working Designs fame, is considering releasing a physical (you know, with a case, manual and UMD) version of its latest title--the PSP dungeon-crawler, Class of Heroes 2--if it's able to pre-sell at least 2,500 copies within the next few days.

Should this pre-sale prove successful, by the way, boxed copies of Class of Heroes 2--which will include a digital download code for the game as well a UMD--will cost interested parties just $34.99.

Although I've heard mostly bad things regarding the first Class of Heroes, which the folks at Atlus brought to North America in 2009, I'm throwing my hat into the proverbial ring for this sequel mainly because of Ireland's involvement. (Plus, I'm a sucker for dungeon-crawlers and I'm not yet through with my trusty PSP.)

Should you also want to a copy of the physical edition of Class of Heroes 2, head over to ASAP and fill out the form that can be found at the bottom of the page.

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Five favorites: European DS box art

All the way back in mid-November, I published a blog post about five of my favorite examples of Japanese DS box art. Last week, I followed it up with a similar post about five of my favorite pieces of North American DS box art.

As I promised at the end of the latter post, here are five European DS box arts of which I'm particularly fond:

1. Contact--How much do I like this RPG's European cover art? So much that I recently bought it despite the fact that buying the North American version would have been a bit cheaper. Really, though, how could I have said no to those adorably pixelized characters and that awesome, retro-tinged logo?

2. Final Fantasy III--True story: I've seriously considered picking up a European copy of this game (even though I already own the North American version) simply because of its beautiful box art, which brings to mind the classic imagery that appears on the packaging of the Super Famicom release of Final Fantasy VI and the PlayStation port of Final Fantasy IV.

3. Kirby Mass Attack--What do you get when you combine the best elements of the covers created for the Japanese and North American iterations of this portable puzzler-platformer? You get the glorious artwork that can be seen above, of course.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Although I've yet to buy or play Corpse Party: Book of Shadows ...

... I can't help but find myself attracted to the recently announced Corpse Party 2: Dead Patient.

In part, that's because Dead Patient seemingly will return the series to the gameplay found in the eponymous PSP release. Also, as far as I'm aware, this sequel will be the first to be made by Team GrisGris (now known as Grindhouse), the folks responsible for the first Corpse Party.

Here are a pair of teaser trailers for Dead Patient, in case any of you are similarly curious about it:

Word on the street is that Dead Patient will receive at least a PC release, although some suggest it'll be ported to the Vita as well.

Personally, I'd love for it to come to the 3DS, too, but I have a feeling that's about as likely as Sega's wackadoodle golf-meets-pinball title, @field, making a similar platform leap at this point.

(Via apricotsushi)

Kind of embarrassing admission: Osawari Tantei Nameko Daihanshoku is my most-anticipated 3DS title at the moment

Oh, and in case you didn't already know it, Osawari Tantei Nameko Daihanshoku is a match-three spin-off of Beeworks' Touch Detective series of portable point-and-click games.

As for why I'm looking forward to this Japanese 3DS title as much as I am at the moment: for the last week or so I've spent more time than I'd like to admit playing (what I'm pretty sure is) the Osawari Tantei Nameko Daihanshoku demo that can be found at

I know what some of you are thinking after watching the trailer above: isn't it just a Zoo Keeper clone with a few added bells and whistles? Yes, but that's OK with me, as I've long been a fan of that puzzler's gameplay.

Plus, you can't go wrong with all of the cute-as-buttons--not to mention penile-esque--Funghi characters  that are packed into Osawari Tantei Nameko Daihanshoku. (My current favorite: the fuzzy pink ones.)

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

And February's 'Bye-Bye, Backlog' selection is ...

... Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime for the DS.

I know this will shock some of you, but I've already started playing this TOSE-developed, Square Enix-published title. I haven't played enough of it to share any worthwhile impressions, of course, but I will say this: I knew I was going to enjoy it as soon as I encountered its adorable title screen (below)--what with its explosion of bouncing, grinning slimes.

Also, I'm already in love with the game's pixel-perfect graphics and the protagonist's "Elasto Blast" move. I'd previously been "warned" (in a good way) about the addictive properties of the latter, but even then I wasn't fully prepared for just how fun it would be to launch Dragon Quest Heroes' Rocket every which way.

Anyway, expect to see an impressions post (titled something like "My Month with Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime, Part 1") pop up this coming weekend. In the meantime, have any of you played this one? If so, what did you think of it?

See also: Previous posts related to the 'Bye-Bye, Backlog' project

Monday, February 04, 2013

My Month with Chulip, Part 4

Well, the first month of my "Bye-Bye, Backlog" project is over and done with. How did I do? Not so well if you were hoping I'd actually finish my first selection--that being Natsume's odder-than-odd PS2 title, Chulip.

Still, I gave it my best shot and put a good 12 to 15 hours into this sucker, which is saying a lot when you consider how completely obtuse Chulip tends to be.

'Chulip Fan Sprite' by iamnotapixelartist
Actually, that's the main reason I've yet to finish it. Although I absolutely loved the game when I started playing it, over time it came to feel like a chore--thanks in large part to the fact that getting to its end credits seems to be all but impossible without the use of a guide or FAQ.

Don't get me wrong: I'm usually not against calling on such things. In the case of Chulip, though, it often feels like I'm tethered to them (as in, I have to turn to them over and over again in order to make any real progress), which I can't help but find a bit (or a lot) irksome.

Am I giving up on this title now that January's over? Not at all. Yes, my focus throughout February will be on my second "Bye-Bye, Backlog" selection (which I'll reveal first thing tomorrow), but I'll also continue to spend some time with this one until I've "beaten" it.

So, expect to see a "Great Gaymathon" review of this Punchline-made game sometime between now and the end of the month. In the meantime, look for weekly updates about my February "Bye-Bye, Backlog" selection starting this Sunday.

See also: Previous 'Bye-Bye, Backlog' posts

After seeing just a single piece of concept art, Monolith Soft's mysterious 3DS title is now at the top of my 'day one perch' list

Of course, that's assuming that the illustration below, published late last week on Monolith Soft's Facebook page in an attempt to attract designers, is a piece of concept art from the company's known-to-be-in-the-works 3DS title.

Quite a few people think seem to think that's exactly what it is, though, and, well, that's enough for me at the moment.

The reason some folks think that, by the way, is that the artist responsible for the illustration above is Yasuyuki Honne, who is a member of Monolith Soft's Kyoto-based team that has long been said to be working on a title for the 3DS.

Curiously, someone calling himself (or herself) Instro shared the following illustration on NeoGAF yesterday. It's also the work of Honne and, as such, more than a few people believe it may be related to the image above--and to Monolith Soft's mysterious 3DS game, too.

Although I hope both pieces have something to do with the company's latest portable offering (their last was Project X Zone), I'm especially enthralled by the first one thanks to its trippy, Wizard of Oz-esque overtones.

How about you ladies and gents? Do you also like these illustrations and, if so, do you hope they're indicative of a forthcoming 3DS title?

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Great Dreamcast or greatest Dreamcast?

I'm going with the former option, personally, although I wouldn't fault anyone who goes with the latter.

At any rate, the Shenmue-themed Dreamcast console seen in the photo below was produced by the one and only OSKUNK, of course.

A few more photos of this beauty can be seen on OSKUNK's blog, Custom Art, so I highly recommend checking it out if you're a fan of Sega's open-world adventure title (and, really, who isn't?).

See also: Previous OSKUNK posts