Friday, April 26, 2013

Who needs a stinkin' Vita when you've got a PSone with a monitor?

OK, so that's kind of a silly question. And, really, I'm not trying to suggest with the header above that I don't want a Vita. On the contrary, I'd very much like to own one someday, despite the fact that I currently find the system overpriced and lacking a bit when it comes to an appealing software catalog (aside from the games I discussed in this recent post).

That said, I can't imagine I'll ever have more fun with my imaginary future Vita than I will with the system seen in the photo below--which is a Japanese PSone with a nifty little Sony monitor strapped onto its back, in case you've never laid eyes on such a thing.

I recently picked up this killer combo via eBay for just $60, by the way. I've been looking to buy a Japanese PSone for ages now, so when this auction popped up I did whatever I could to ensure I won the damn thing.

Anyway, thanks to this awesome acquisition, I'm now experiencing another full-on PlayStation obsession--which of course means I recently snapped up a few Japanese PS games (such as the crazy Shake Kids! that I mentioned during the latest episode of The Nichiest Podcast Ever) to play on my shiny new (not really) PSone.

I'll do my best to write about as many of them as possible in the coming weeks and months, of course. At the very least, though, you can expect me to write about the most interesting ones.

Do any of you own one of these wonderful contraptions, by the way?

I know some will say they're kind of pointless in this day and age, when many PlayStation titles can be played on PSPs and Vitas, but I've always been a sucker for playing games as originally intended. Plus, the PSone is so adorable it's kind of hard to resist--which may explain why I now have two (the one shown above and here is of the North American variety).

See also: additional photos of (some of) my PlayStation 'collection'

Thursday, April 25, 2013

My Month with Super Mario Sunshine, Part 3

If you follow me on Twitter, you likely already know that I've had at least a slight change of heart when it comes to Super Mario Sunshine.

Oh, the wonky camera still makes me want to throw my WaveBird controller against the nearest wall with alarming regularity, as do the game's annoyingly vague directives, but I've also come to accept (if not embrace) those quirks in an effort to experience as much of this GameCube title as possible before the month is up.

Anyway, getting back to my newly softened view of Super Mario Sunshine and what prompted it, may I present Exhibit A:

Honestly, as soon as I was plopped onto the roller-coaster car that first appears around the 2:30 mark in the video above I was pretty sure I was going to love this level. Well, not only did I love it, but it almost single- handedly revitalized my interest in the entire adventure. I mean, if I can encounter such a wonderful stage at this early-ish point in the game, what other surprises await further down the road?

Also helping, of course, is that I'm doing my best to be patient and to take my time as I work my way through Super Mario Sunshine's many challenges.

Does that mean I'm going to finish this sucker before April turns into May? I kind of doubt it, but at the moment I'm planning to continue playing it past that point regardless--which I consider to be quite an accomplishment considering my initial impressions (read them here and here).

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

I'm always up for some more Hakuoki

As if sensing that I don't have enough 3DS games on my lengthy "play sometime during 2013" list, the folks at Aksys Games announced yesterday that they're busy prepping Hakuoki: Memories of the Shinsengumi for a North American release.

Unfortunately, they've yet to say when this 3DS otome game (aka visual novel primarily aimed at a femal audience) will hit our shores. They've also yet to say if it'll receive a retail release, a digital one or both.

Should it wind up earning a boxed release, I'll likely buy a copy on or around its street date, as I really enjoyed Hakuoki: Demon of the Fleeting Blossom on my PSP.

Speaking of which, it seems Memories of the Shinsengumi will be an enhanced port of that 2012 title--with the 3DS iteration including 3D functionality, an image and movie gallery, some sort of "photo booth" and six additional stories.

For more information on this pending 3DS release, check out this piece of PR and the game's official website.

See also: 'A somewhat gay review of Hakuoki: Demon of the Fleeting Blossom (PSP)' and 'My five favorite non-3DS games of 2012'

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Acquisition Time with The Gay Gamer™: Umihara Kawase Shun (PlayStation)

So, you know how I told you a few weeks back that I bought a bunch of (mostly retro) Japanese games via eBay shortly after Christmas? Well, the game you see below was part of that mighty haul.

You're all well aware of Umihara Kawase Shun, right? Especially after reading last week's "Which Box Art is Better" post? If not, all you really need to know about it is that it's the sequel to a two-dimensional Super Famicom-based platformer that stars a girl with a pink backpack and a fishing pole.

Oh, and that girl, the titular Umihara Kawase, uses the latter accessory to grapple onto ledges and even swing from them, Bionic Commando-style.

It's all rather awesome, of course, which is why I've been meaning to pick it up for ages. The only thing that's kept me from doing so until recently: the prices copies tend to fetch on line (generally upwards of $50, although copies of the "Second Edition" can go for a lot more).

The copy you see in the photos above and below, though, was quite a bit cheaper than average, though, so naturally I snapped it up as soon as I was able.

With that out of the way, Umihara Kawase Shun's cover art is pretty great, don't you think? I especially like that its watercolor-esque sheen. The back page of the game's manual (above) is nice, too, with the plucky protagonist using her trusty fishing pole to swing from her own name.

Last, but not least, there's the actual game disc (below), which displays a subtle attractiveness not unlike that of the aforementioned cover art.

If after reading what I've written here you'd like to learn a bit more about the Umihara Kawase series (and you should), I'd highly recommend reading its Hardcore Gaming 101 entry and watching this (translated) episode of GameCenter CX at your earliest convenience.

Note: I recently decided to change the title of this series of posts from "Acquisition #123" to "Acquisition Time with The Gay Gamer™" because, well, I've worried for a while now that the original name could be considered kind of off-putting. The replacement was inspired by the "Adventure Time" TV series, by the way, and the ™ was tossed into the mix because everything looks more professional with a ™ symbol attached to it.

Monday, April 22, 2013

It appears my Game of the Year for 2013 will be released sometime next month

With that game being the follow-up to my favorite game of last year, THE "DENPA" MEN: They Came By Wave.

What will that game's much-anticipated (by me, at least) sequel be called, you ask? The Denpa Men 2: Beyond the Waves, according to this article.

Does this mean that developer and publisher Genius Sonority has decided to shy away from using all-caps and quotation marks? I'm not sure yet, but I kind of hope that isn't the case as I enjoyed typographically shouting THE "DENPA" MEN at the top of my lungs every once in a while.

Regardless, I'll be picking up Beyond the Waves the second it appears on the 3DS eShop--which, according to the aforementioned IGN article, should happen on or around May 2.

Of course, someone who claims to have worked on the localization popped up on GameFAQs (I know, I know) on Friday and suggested the date above is incorrect, so I guess we'll find out soon enough of that's the case or not.

Regardless, are any of you also planning to pick up The Denpa Men 2 (or THE "DENPA" MEN 2, as I prefer to call it)?

See also: 'A somewhat gay review of THE 'DENPA' MEN: They Came By Wave (3DS)'

SHOCKING NEWS: physical copies of Class of Heroes 2 (PSP) may go on sale this week

Sorry for the snarky headline. I'm just feeling a little pissy after being forced to wait for more than two months for actual, straight-from-the-horse's-mouth--with the horse in this case being Gaijinworks' Victor Ireland--news about the physical release of Class of Heroes 2 for PSP. (I realize this is the definition of a first-world problem, by the way.)

It seems I may be just a bit less pissy this week, though, as the word on the street (or, rather, the word from Gaijinworks) is that pre-sales for the game may open up over at within the next few days.

Should that happen, I'll likely order myself a copy. I say "likely" as opposed to "surely" because I'm not a fan of the price tag--$36.99--that'll be attached to the physical-digital iteration of Class of Heroes 2. (Compare that to the digital-only version that will be just $24.99.)

Will any of you be buying copies alongside me, or are the days of picking up PSP games behind you?

Sunday, April 21, 2013

All-new Nichiest

If you're looking for something to do today (or even next week), you could do worse than listen to the latest episode of The Nichiest Podcast Ever.

This "take" covers the gamut as far as niche-y and even not-so-niche-y games are concerned. PSP games like Sweet Fuse: At Your Side, Class of Heroes 2 and Black Rock Shooter are discussed this time around, for instance, as are 3DS games like Bravely Default, Fantasy Life and Sayonara Umihara Kawase.

Speaking of the 3DS, each of us whipped out our pom-poms in support of one of that system's many worth-playing titles during this show's "Cheer- leading" segment, with me hemming and hawing about HarmoKnight, Anne raving about Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate and shidoshi gushing over Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers.

Anyway, to take in all of that fabulosity, direct your browsers over to at your earliest convenience.