Friday, March 08, 2013

Animal Crossing x Disney? Consider me (surprisingly) intrigued ...

Although no one could ever confuse me for a Disney fanatic, I can't help but be intrigued by a Disney-themed game that'll soon be released (only in Japan, for the time being) for the 3DS.

The game in question: Namco-Bandai's Disney Magic Castle: My Happy Life, which will hit Japanese store shelves on July 11.

Based on the trailer belowDisney Magic Castle: My Happy Life appears to include elements of both Animal Crossing and Harvest Moon--with a bit of Fantasy Life's battles thrown in for good measure.

Oh, and according to, the game will feature over 80 Disney characters more than 1,000 collectible items. (Click on the link above if you'd like to catch a glimpse of the Disney Magic Castle: My Happy Life-branded 3DS LL that also will be released on July 11.)

After watching the trailer above, are any of you curious about this title, too, or am I alone this time around?

(Via NeoGAF)

Well, I'll be: yet another PSP game is being prepped for western release

Unlike other coming-soon-to-the-PSN-nearest-you PSP titles like Class of Heroes 2 and Sweet Fuse: At Your Side, though, Black Rock Shooter: The Game western release was announced long ago.

The thing is, so little has been said about this Imageepoch RPG since then that most interested parties concluded it had been canceled.

Well, according to according to's Taylor H., who interviewed a few NIS America staffers during the company's recent press event, that's far from the case. (NIS America will be publishing the game in Europe and North America.)

In fact, not only is Black Rock Shooter: The Game's localization said to be complete, but apparently it's been done for a while now. Oh, and word is it will hit the North American PlayStation Store--and hopefully the European one, too?--"before E3."

Considering my backlog is bursting at the seams right now, I'm not entirely sure I'll be picking up this title once it finally surfaces.

The main thing giving me pause at the moment: I really like the game's art style. Also, I'm a total sucker for a good portable RPG. Of course, who says this portable RPG is a good one?

Are any of you also hemming and hawing when it comes to the supposedly impending western release of Black Rock Shooter: The Game?

(Via NeoGAF)

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Let's Play: 'Which Box Art is Better?' (Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate edition)

I know I'm a bit late to this particular party, but what can I say? I have little (or, rather, no) experience with the Monster Hunter series--although I'd like to change that sometime soon.

Will Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, which will hit store shelves throughout North America and Europe on March 19 and 22, respectively, be the version that prompts me to join the MonHun party? Probably not, and that's mostly due to the fact that this release (once again) eschews online play.

I have to say, though, that if the folks had decided to re-use the Japanese box art (black bar and all), which can be seen below, while designing the North American iteration's packaging, I might have re-considered.

That's not to say I find the art (below) that will grace covers of North American copies--and European ones, too, if I'm not mistaken--of the game horrendous or anything like that. In fact, I think it's rather nice, all things considered.

Still, it lacks the drama of its Japanese counterpart--or at least it does in my opinion. I especially like the color scheme used on the Monster Hunter Tri G (that's what the game's called in its country of origin) cover art, what with its striking use of black, green and red.

Anyway, that's my take on the situation. What do all of you think? Do you prefer one of these box-art options to the other--and, if so, why do you feel that way?

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

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

I'm going to be all over Sayonara Umihara Kawase like white on rice this summer

For those of you who are, like, "sayonara what?"--Umihara Kawase is a wonderfully unique platformer that was created by "developer Kiyoshi Sakai, illustrator Toshinobu Kondo and several others," according to the game's Wikipedia page, and published by a company called TNN for the Super Famicom in 1994.

A sequel of sorts was released for the PlayStation in 1997--which was later ported (rather shabbily, it seems) to the PSP in 2008. Oh, and a DS version containing both the Super Famicom original and the PlayStation follow-up hit store shelves--only in Japan, of course--in 2009.

Anyway, Umihara Kawase stars a Japanese school girl who, for some reason unbeknownst to me, has to make her way through a series of water-filled stages while avoiding various sea creatures such as tottering fish and gigantic, bouncing tadpoles. She does this, mostly, by using her trusty fishing rod and line to both reel in stunned baddies (which she places in her pink backpack) and swing between platforms.

If all that sounds a bit odd, well, it is--but it's also charming and exhilarating and even pull-out-your-hair tough.

As you probably can tell, I'm a big fan of these games--the one that started it all, especially--and, given that, I was beyond excited to learn yesterday afternoon that a new entry in this series is coming to the Japanese 3DS this summer.

The game will be called Sayonara Umihara Kawase, according to the latest issue of Famitsu, and apparently it will be an all-new game (as opposed to another compilation of the Super Famicom and PlayStation titles a la the DS iteration).

Other than that, though, all that's known about Sayonara Umihara Kawase is it will cost 4,980 yen and it is being made by the same team that made the first two titles.

Assuming the finished product looks OK, I'm planning to pick up a copy as soon as it's available. I know that's not an option for every 3DS fan, though, so here's hoping some bold company brings it to the rest of the world sooner rather than later.

(News via, images via

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Which GameBoy Advance is your favorite?

In news that is sure to shock absolutely no one, I currently have GameBoy Advance on the brain. That's especially true since I suggested as much on Twitter last week. (You can follow me here if you'd like, by the way.)

Because I firmly believe in the phrase "misery loves company," I thought I'd rope all of you into obsessing about Nintendo's 32-bit handheld (don't you miss the days when we could refer to systems based on the number of bits associated with them?), too, by asking which of the company's three GameBoy Advance designs you liked best.

Me, I've always preferred the GameBoy Advance SP--in particular, the almost disgustingly cute Pikachu-branded systems (one of which can be seen below) that earned a release in 2005 and 2006.

Photo by diversionmary

As much as I like the Pikachu SP, though, I like the run-of-the-mill SPs nearly as much--thanks in large part to their pre-DS clamshell construction.

Photo by Arturo Martin

Don't take the commentary above to mean that I dislike the GameBoy Micro's design. On the contrary, I love it--especially when it's made to look like a mini Famicom or given a Mother-esque paint job.

Photo by Francois Houste

As for the first GameBoy Advance the folks at Nintendo bestowed upon the masses: I can't say I've ever been a fan of it. I'm not even sure why that is, to tell you the truth.

My first thought it to blame it on the system's toy-like appearance, but the same could be said of the original GameBoy and of the original DS, in particular, yet I consider both of those to be top of the line in terms of design (the former, especially).

What are all of your opinions on this most pointless of matters? Do you have a favorite when it comes to Nintendo's trio of GameBoy Advance designs, or would you just as well forget any of them ever existed?

Monday, March 04, 2013

Acquisition #148: Mr. Driller (WonderSwan Color)

Will the copy of Mr. Driller seen in photo below be the last WonderSwan game I ever buy? I highly doubt it. I'm hoping, though, that it'll be the last one I buy until I (finally) pick up a SwanCrystal system.

As for why I bought it: I had three reasons, although none of them could be called good ones. First, it was cheap. Second, I thought it would be a nice on-the-go game to own. Third, I liked its box art--which, if you look closely, has a fabric-like texture to it that's pretty cool.

The cartridge label (below) is rather nice, too, although I obviously didn't know that until it landed on our doorstep.

Anyway, hopefully I'll be able to put it and all of my other recently-ish acquired WonderSwan titles through their paces sooner rather than later. In the meantime, maybe I'll devote an upcoming "Manual Stimulation" post to this game's instruction booklet (assuming it's actually worthy of such attention, of course).

See also: Previous 'Acquisition #123' posts