Friday, November 08, 2013

King Boo's balls and Birdo's bits

What would King Boo, Birdo and all sorts of other Nintendo characters--yes, including Mario, Luigi, Link, Peach and Zelda--look like in the buff?

Brooklyn-based artist Aedan Roberts answers that question in a most amusing way via his recent "Nüdtendo" portrait series--two pieces of which can be seen below.

Here, for instance, is King Boo--and, er, his "bits":

Unsurprisingly--given the above, at least--Birdo's bits also are on display in Roberts' humorous portrait of the much-loved Super Mario Bros. 2 baddie.

To see the rest of Roberts' Nüdtendo series--my current favorites are Wario, Tingle, Peach and Link--check out his site,

If you're interested in either of the pieces shown above, by the way, the King Boo one can be bought here (for $275), while the Birdo one can be bought here for the same price. (A few others also are for sale via Roberts' etsy shop.)


Thursday, November 07, 2013

These Japanese Super Mario 3D World commercials make me feel all tingly

I know there are a lot of gamers in the world who no longer care about Mario or his pixelated or polygonal exploits--if they ever cared about them in the first place.

I am not one of those people.

Now, I'm also not one of those people who snap up each and every game that features Nintendo's iconic protagonist.

For the most part, I stick to the company's Paper Mario series (although that'll no longer be the case if its next entry is as disappointing as the last two), some of its two-dimensional Mario Bros. releases and its three-dimensional Mario games.

That last group is the one that interests me most these days--mainly because, with the possible exception of Super Mario Sunshine (which I like in theory, but not in practice), Nintendo has yet to produce a 3D Mario game that fails to at least compete with (if not top) the ones that came before it.

When it was first announced, I actually thought Super Mario 3D World might join its GameCube counterpart at the bottom of Nintendo's Mario-branded barrel. I mean, that first trailer the company showed to the world during this year's E3 event was the definition of "ho hum," wasn't it?

Thankfully, subsequent trailers have washed that taste from my mouth. Not only that, but they've transformed the game from something I consider only mildly intriguing (if that) to something I now view as a must-purchase release.

Although the commercials included above aren't exactly trailers, they still provide a smile-inducing glimpse at why this game has caught the attention of a lot of folks in the few weeks and months.

Before you watch either of them, though, I have to warn you that they likely include spoilers.

Anyway, are any of you finding yourselves similarly attracted to Super Mario 3D World? If so, what aspects appeal to you most right now?

This second English trailer for Bravely Default looks and sounds a lot better than the first

You could say that the first English trailer for Square Enix's Bravely Default didn't impress me much.

Actually, that's being a bit harsh. The game certainly looked great, as it always has. It didn't sound so great, though--or at least the English voice acting didn't.

Do the voices featured in this new trailer (above) sound any better? Surprisingly, I think they do, at least a bit, although it's possible my ears are playing tricks on me again.

Regardless, I'm still looking forward to this 3DS game more than I am any other. If only we North Americans were getting it early next month like they are in Europe...

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

You really need to try these three GameBoy titles, if you haven't already

Warning: despite the fact that I'm enjoying the hell out of my 3DSes right now--thanks in part to games like Pokemon X, Sayonara Umihara Kawase, Touch Detective: Funghi's Big Breed and, yes, Animal Crossing: New Leaf--that system actually pales in comparison to the original GameBoy and its catalog when it comes to taking up space in my brain at the moment.

Yes, I'm currently a bit obsessed Nintendo's first handheld. Actually, I've been obsessed with it for a few months now--ever since I became aware of and wrote about import-only curiosities like Noobow and Peetan.

Reading about and eventually playing those titles prompted me to do some digging to find a few similarly overlooked (by myself, if not by others) "gems," three of which can be seen in the photo above.

Although the GameBoy port of Snow Bros. Jr. (above, upper left) is well worth checking out, especially if you're into single screen platformers like Bubble Bobble, the games I want to focus on in this particular post are Painter Momopie (upper right), Penguin Land (lower right) and Osawagase! Penguin Boy (lower left).

Painter Momopie's probably my favorite of the bunch right now. Why? Because it stars an adorable little witch, for starters. Also, it's a surprisingly appealing Pac-Man clone--which tasks the aforementioned witch with racing through a home (hers? I'm not sure...) and painting (I think) its floors while avoiding various baddies. Sure, it gets a little repetitive after a while, but the same can be said for the iconic Pac-Man, so I'm not going to be too harsh on that aspect of it. My only real qualm: that its developers never released an updated version for the GameBoy Color.

As for Penguin Land: well, it's actually a port of Sega's Doki Doki Penguin Land, an odd little game that brings together the platformer and puzzler genres in a really unique (and fun) way. (Play revolves around guiding an egg to the bottom of each level by moving or destroying blocks that are in the way.) The Master System and Mega Drive versions of this title look better than this Pony Canyon-made one, of course, but I still wouldn't say the latter is at all unattractive. Plus, as is often the case with old games like this, there's far more to Penguin Land than its outward appearance.

Finally, there's Osawagase! Penguin Boy, released in North America as Amazing Penguin. I'm not exactly sure how this one escaped my attention for so long, although I think its rather terrible box art may have played a role. Thankfully, I first discovered Penguin Boy via a review of its gameplay, so the crappy cover didn't keep me from giving it a try once I became aware of it (the game, not the cover art). As for its gameplay: it's basically a mash-up of Pac-Man, Pengo and Qix, if that makes any sense. If not ... uh, watch the video above, which explains things pretty well.

See also: 'From the back of my boyhood closet, part seven'

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

The question is: will I enjoy Hometown Story more than shidoshi has so far?

Full disclosure: I only bought Hometown Story now--as opposed to waiting and asking for it as a birthday or Christmas gift--because I wanted the "Red Ember" plushie seen in the photo below that was given to everyone who pre-ordered the game from Amazon.

Because as anyone who has visited this blog in recent months likely is well aware, the last thing I need at the moment is to add more games to my 3DS backlog. (My as-yet-unused copies of Etrian Odyssey IV, Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask and Shin Megami Tensei IV are glaring at me right now, as are my underplayed copies of Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon and Paper Mario: Sticker Star.)

Still, I bought it. And now that it's in my hands, I can't say I regret that decision one bit. I mean, just look at the adorableness below:

Of course I've yet to actually pop the Hometown Story cart into my 3DS. There's a reason for that, though: rather than play it this past weekend, I put a good amount of time into Pokemon X, Sayonara Umihara Kawase and Touch Detective: Funghi's Big Breed (an import puzzler I've been meaning to try for ages) instead.

This coming weekend (if not earlier), though, I promise to put Hometown Story through its paces--or at least devote an hour or two to it.

By the way, do you think this game's cover has enough logos and other text on it? First, there's the "Family of Harvest Moon" logo in the upper-left corner, followed by the Hometown Story one to its right. Then you have the ESRB rating in the lower-left corner, Natsume's logo opposite and ... the gigantic blob of text you see above.

Although I applaud Natsume's design folks for their nod to French and Spanish gamers, I'm not sure we really needed the "Playable in 2D and 3D" blurb repeated three times.

Anyway, I don't suppose any of you also picked up a copy of this "Family of Harvest Moon" title--or plan to do so soon?

Monday, November 04, 2013

The reports of The Nichiest Podcast Ever's death have been greatly exaggerated

Considering Anne, shidoshi and I haven't gotten on the horn together since April, some of you may have started to believe the Nichiest Podcast Ever had been quietly put out to pasture, as the saying goes.

Well, I'm here to tell you that it's still alive and kicking--and not only that, but another episode (or "take") is ready for your listening pleasure.

We cover a lot of ground this time around, including the just-released Sweet Fuze: At Your Side for PSP, Sayonara Umihara Kawase for the 3DS and a ton of other niche-y Japanese games that have been announced for Western release in recent weeks. 

Oh, and of course we have another spirited discussion during the "Nichiest of Them All" segment, which finds Anne and shidoshi chatting about a pair of DS treasures (although some will obviously argue that designation) and me talking about a long-forgotten (for most) GameBoy title that features a beret-wearing penguin. 

Should you want to tune in after reading all of the above, please direct your favorite web browser to at your earliest convenience. 

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Yep, Super Time Force still exists (and here's a new trailer for it)

Is it me, or have we been waiting for Cabybara Games' Super Time Force for an eternity?

OK, so that's a bit of an overstatement. Still, we've been waiting for it for a long time--or at least I have.

Anyway, here (er, above) the latest trailer for this curious-looking--due to the time-bending element--XBLA title:

Sadly, the game still is without a release date--well, other than "before the year is out."