Those of you who've read the last few "Shall We Do It?" posts I've published may be wondering why I didn't include Tomodachi Life in this installment's header. That would be because I recently--as in, this past weekend--stopped playing it. I wouldn't go so far as to predict that I won't pick it up again, but I have to imagine I'll no longer check in on my island's inhabitants every single day as I previously was compelled to do.
I'm pretty much done with another 3DS game that's received a lot of play on this blog over the last few months, too--with the game in question being THE "DENPA" MEN 3. That's not because the bloom is off the rose, so to speak, or because this digital RPG has otherwise lost its appeal, mind you. No, it's because I finished this game within the last week or so.
By the way, it may interest some of you to hear that, in the end, I put more than 40 hours into this sucker. That's quite an accomplishment when you consider I nearly gave up after getting stuck around the seven-hour mark. It only got better and better after that unfortunate hurdle, thankfully, and now that the adventure is over I've got to say it was well worth the time and effort I put into it.
Does that mean I'd heartily recommend THE "DENPA" MEN 3 to all who own a 3DS? No, it doesn't. On the contrary, I have a feeling some of its quirks would turn off a lot of those who wander into it without ample warning. If you like RPGs with turn-based battles, though, and if you're not an easily annoyed gamer, it's possible you'll get as much enjoyment out of this title as I have so far.
As for what I've been playing now that both THE "DENPA" MEN 3 and Tomodachi Life have been put to bed, well, the header above kind of gives it away, doesn't it? Of course, the header doesn't mention which versions I've been playing, so at least there's a bit of new information I can share here.
In that regard, the Rainbow Islands ports I've been playing the last few days are the Famicom, GameBoy Color and PC Engine ones. The latter iteration is the one that's been getting most of my attention, thanks in large part to the fact that it's pretty much arcade-perfect, but the Famicom conversion has gotten a good amount of play, too.
Going back to the PC Engine version of this Taito classic, whose subtitle is "The Story of Bubble Bobble 2," I actually reached its end--the real, "good" one, too, not the "bad" one that's encountered if you failed to collect all of the game's "big diamonds"--for the first time ever a couple of days ago. The last few stages alone--one of which is an homage to The Fairyland Story, while two others pull enemies and other aspects from Darius and Bubble Bobble--were worth the price of admission, if you ask me, as were the song and animation sequence that accompanied the game's credit roll.
I can't say I've been as enamored with the Famicom and GameBoy Color ports of Rainbow Islands at this point, but I'm still enjoying them more than you might think given their various deficiencies. The GBC version, for instance, feels a bit "off" in terms of its controls (jumping, especially) compared to every other iteration I've experienced, but it looks so good--better than its Famicom or Sega Master System counterparts, that's for sure--that for the moment I'm willing to ignore that niggle.
The Famicom release, on the other hand, controls well enough--although not perfectly--but is a bit of a letdown in the graphics department. Actually, that's not an entirely fair assessment, as individual sprites--Bob, Bub and their enemies, especially--look pretty darn nice, all things considered. There are so many fewer colors used here than in the arcade original, though, that the overall impression is a disappointing one.
Honestly, I could fill this post with comments on and impressions of Rainbow Islands for the Famicom, but I don't want to do that, as it's already plenty long. Instead, why don't I round them up and share them in a "Second Chances" write-up that I can publish in a few days?
See also: previous 'Shall We Do It?' posts