Friday, December 06, 2013

It's just a little Crush (Roller)

If you were to corner the 20 people in the Western world who've played ADK's Crush Roller and ask them to describe it, at least 19 would include "Pac-Man clone" in their response.

There's a good reason for that, of course--Crush Roller (aka Make Trax) is awfully similar to Namco's classic quarter-muncher in terms of gameplay. (Both titles have players race through single-screen, maze-like stages while avoiding ghost-like baddies.)

That's not to suggest Crush Roller is an unoriginal bore. Actually, it's quite a lot of fun--especially once you come to terms with its, er, "crushing" difficulty. (Which, it has to be said, largely can be blamed on the fact that the aforementioned baddies often are a smidge faster than the paint-brush-shaped protagonist.)

To be completely honest, Crush Roller's challenging nature nearly caused me to give up on the game in disgust on a few occasions. What prompted me to soldier on? Its charmingly crafted graphics and its earworm-esque backing tracks.

Also, its gameplay becomes pretty darn enjoyable once you accept that a bit of frustration is part of the deal (and keeps it from becoming a cakewalk).

Anyway, all of the above is supposed to help explain why I recently went ahead and bought a copy of this game--despite the fact that I don't yet own a Neo Geo Pocket Color system to play it on.

In my defense, I only bought it after noticing that a local game shop (Pink Gorilla) was selling it for a mere $15. (I'd been keeping an eye on a copy that was going for more than twice that on eBay, so $15 seemed like a steal.)

Now that I have said copy in hand, I have to say it was worth every penny I spent on it. I mean, just look at that awesome, snap-closure case. And the colorful cover art. Oh, and the little cart protector that exists despite the fact that the outer case is plenty sturdy. What's up with that?

One thing you can't marvel at in these photos is the size of Crush Roller's packaging. Although it's not as small as, say, the boxes that encased early Japanese GameBoy titles, it's small enough. Maybe I should take a few snapshots of it sitting next to a bunch of DS, GameBoy, Game Gear and Wonderswan boxes soon?

See also: 'Did you know that Japanese Game Gear boxes are about the same size as WonderSwan boxes?' and 'WonderSwan cartridges (and boxes) in context'

Thursday, December 05, 2013

I like pretty much everything about DanganRonpa: Trigger Happy Havoc's first English trailer except for Monokuma's voice

I've been itching to see the North American version of DanganRonpa: Trigger Happy Havoc in action ever since its release was announced a few months ago.

Am I still interested in this suspenseful Vita title, which will hit digital and physical store shelves in this part of the world sometime in February, now that I've gotten my wish (via its first English trailer, below)? Yes, I think you could say that.

In fact, my only qualm with DanganRonpa: Trigger Happy Havoc at this point is that the voice of its antagonist, Monokuma (he's the two-toned bear), doesn't seem quite evil enough to me.

What do all of you think? Are you still curious about this one now that you've seen a bit of it in action?

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Anyone up for a few more QR codes of Animal Crossing: New Leaf Christmas clothing designs?

As if one post packed full of holiday clothing designs for Animal Crossing: New Leaf wasn't enough, right?

Actually, I like the ones featured here a bit more than the ones highlighted in my last post--"Is it too early for me to post QR codes of Animal Crossing: New Leaf Christmas sweater designs?"--on the same subject. They're more fun and creative--or at least I think they are.

The first of the bunch (below) was inspired by Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, obviously.

Now that I think about it, three of the four designs shared here incorporate reindeer--including the next one, which was inspired by those ugly Christmas sweaters that are all the rage these days.

I stole the reindeer "sprites" from this old Animal Crossing: Wild World pattern, by the way.

And then there's the shirt above, which is supposed to depict that iconic moment when Santa and his sleigh (and reindeer) are seen soaring above the rooftops (the gray triangles at the bottom of this particular design) courtesy of the shining moon.

By the way, I seriously considered creating a shirt design that depicted "Santa coming" in a more straightforward and direct manner, but in the end I decided against it. (Drat, right?)

Finally, we have the "Holly Dress," above. It would make a pretty terrific pair when combined with the "Xmas Tree Dress" I shared here, don't you think?

All of the above-mentioned designs were developed in Arbor, my "alt" New Leaf town, by the way. (Ardenne is its mayor.) Should you ever want to pay it a visit, feel free to do so using this Dream Code: 5300-3135-3333.

See also: 'Is it too early for me to post QR codes of Animal Crossing: New Leaf Christmas sweater designs?'

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

I'd love to receive one of these Animal Crossing 3DS XL cases for Christmas (hint, hint)

Don't worry readers, the "hint, hint" in the header above isn't meant for any of you.  It's meant for my husband. Or my parents. Or my sister-in-law.

Basically, anyone who typically buys me a gift or two for Christmas.

Unfortunately for me, none of the above-mentioned folks read this blog with any regularity (if at all), so I'm keeping my expectations low.

Still, I think the snazzy Animal Crossing 3DS XL case shown above is well worth sharing here--especially if it (or one like it) ends up in your possession after this season's holidays.

This particular case was made by etsy seller PaisleyMouseHandmade, by the way, and it can be bought here for just $20.

Green not really your color? No worries, PaisleyMouseHandmade is willing to customize orders--to a point, I'm guessing. Although who knows? Maybe she'd actually make me a rainbow-patterned one if I asked really nicely.

Actually, I think I'd prefer something a little more subdued--like the brown-and-blue 3DS XL case above with an Animal Crossing logo attached to it--but that's just me.

Monday, December 02, 2013

Which version of Persona 3 should this Persona 3 noob purchase?

I nearly pulled the trigger on the PSP port of Persona 3 this past weekend.

What stopped me from following through with the purchase? Online commentary about the portable version's "streamlined" overworld. (From its Wikipedia page: "instead of navigating the game world by directly controlling the protagonist, the player guides an on-screen cursor around an area, allowing interaction with characters and objects.")

On the other hand, I really like the idea of being able to choose a female protagonist at the beginning of Persona 3 Portable and I also like that this version allows players to directly control all party member during battles.

So, my question to all of you who are experienced in at least one or more iterations of Persona 3: which one would you suggest buying--the original PS2 release (Persona 3), that version's "director's cut" (Persona 3 FES) or Persona 3 Portable?