Saturday, March 30, 2013

A long-overdue update RE: my quest to learn Japanese

All the way back in early January I mentioned--in this post--that I'd like to start learning Japanese this year.

Well, it took me a good while, but I finally started learning hiragana--one of the language's three syllabaries, along with katakana and kanji--just under two weeks ago.

In fact, as of Thursday I've memorized all 46 "basic" hiragana characters that can be seen in the chart below as well as the "functional marks" that are used to modify a handful of them.

Is this not the most adorable hiragana chart you've ever seen?

With that out of the way, though, I'm not entirely sure what to do next. Should I take the next week or so to learn the katakana syllabary, or should I start learning hiragana words and basic grammar and then come back to katakana?

I have a feeling I should go with the first option, but I'm completely open to suggestion at this point. What do those of you who've already learned Japanese think I should do?

Friday, March 29, 2013

Bit.Trip Runner meets Rhythm Heaven with a dash of Space Channel 5

FYI: the headline above is supposed describe Game Freak's just-released (throughout Europe and North America) 3DS eShop title, HarmoKnight.

I can't take credit for said description, mind you--that honor belongs to NeoGAF user Boss Doggie. I thought it was spot-on, though, so I stole it and used it here in an effort to increase awareness of this rhythmic platformer.

Before I go on, I probably should point those of you who've never heard of HarmoKnight to the following trailer:

Sure, the game's price tag ($15 in North America) is a bit hefty for an eShop release, but I personally think it's worth it based on its Saturday-morning-cartoon-by-way-of-Japan aesthetic alone--assuming, of course, you don't completely suck at platformers or rhythm games.

Have any of you already picked up this plucky digital title? If so, what do you think of it so far? Don't worry, I'll share my impressions soon enough (i.e., sometime next week).

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Don't worry, Luigi, I'll get to Dark Moon eventually

Do you ever pre-order a game and then forget about it? I do.

Not often, mind you, but every once in a while the release date of a game--even one I've been looking forward to for some time--catches me off guard.

Such has been the case with Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon for the 3DS. I knew it was going to hit store shelves across North America this spring, but until Newegg sent me an e-mail last week saying my order had been shipped, I hadn't realized its release was so near.

As I'm sure you've already assumed based on the photo above, my copy of Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon arrived yesterday. Although I've freed it from its cellophane wrapper, I only did so because I know I'll get around to playing it sooner rather than later.

Don't expect "soon" to arrive, say, next week, though, as there's no way I'm popping this cartridge into my 3DS until I beat both EarthBound and Fire Emblem: Awakening (my current gaming obsessions).

In the meantime, are any of you playing through Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon? If so, what do you think of it so far?

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Here's a pink-and-red equal sign I can get behind

I don't know about you, but my Facebook wall has been awash in pink-and-red equal signs like the one below since early yesterday.

For those of you who haven't experienced the same, here's the gist: in an effort to show that they support marriage equality (aka same-sex marriage), swarms of people have been changing their Facebook profile photos to that of a pink-and-red equal sign that apes the Human Rights Campaign's omnipresent--in my 'hood, at least--blue-and-yellow logo.

Although I haven't joined that crowd for a number of reasons (I'm not a fan of HRC, for starters), I'd be lying if I said I wasn't tempted to do so after coming across this altered version:

By the way, as far as I can tell, a chap named Derek Eclavea is responsible for this awesome creation (while one of my Facebook friends, Eric Starker, is responsible for turning me onto it).

Should you want to read a bit more about these pink-and-red equal signs, may I suggest checking out the following blog posts: 'Don't Let That Red Equal Sign Become a Hollow Gesture' and 'HRC’s Branding Attempts'

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Let me know if any of you own a CIB copy of Bubble Bobble for the Game Gear and are willing to part with it (for a price, of course), will you?

I wouldn't go so far as to say the Game Gear version of Bubble Bobble is one of my gaming Holy Grails, but I would say that it's a game I've been meaning to add to my collection for some time now.

Specifically, I've been meaning to pick up a complete-in-box copy of this portable platformer--and apparently they're not at all easy to come by. I mean, I've happened across a number of loose cartridges while perusing eBay over the last few years, but I've yet to encounter an auction that includes the game's cart, instruction manual and box.

Don't worry, I realize how silly it is for me to long for a complete-in-box copy of Bubble Bobble's Game Gear port--especially since I don't currently own the system that's required to play it. What can I say? It's one of my favorite Game Gear titles, plus it's a really unique re-imagining of one of my all-time favorite games.

So, if any of you own a complete-in-box copy of this iteration of Bubble Bobble and you're willing to part with it, please let me know in the comments section below.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Oh, hey, Capybara Games' Super T.I.M.E. Force is still a thing?

I hate to admit it, but I lost track of Capybara GamesSuper T.I.M.E. Force long ago. As such, I was surprised to see a thread about this upcoming XBLA release pop up on NeoGAF this morning.

That NeoGAF thread promised nine minutes of Super T.I.M.E. Force gameplay, by the way, and, boy, did it deliver. Here it is, in case any of you are interested:

The game kind of recalls the great Gunstar Heroes--or even that Konami classic, Contra--with a curious time-altering element thrown in for good measure, don't you think?

Sadly, I can't seem to find a release date (or even a release window) for Super T.I.M.E. Force at the moment, so I'm guessing the folks at Capybara Games have yet to share one.

Here's hoping it hits XBLA sooner rather than later--and with a not-too-steep price tag attached to it.