Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Shall We Do It? (Clock Tower, Fairune, The Legend of Dark Witch and Tappingo 2)

While I was in the shower the other day (don't ask), it struck me that it's been quite some time since I last published one of these "Shall We Do It?" posts.

To be completely honest, I had kind of forgotten this column even existed--until that fateful shower, I mean.

Thankfully, I think today's "Shall We Do It?" post should make up for some of that lost time. After all, it includes commentary on and impressions of four recently played (by me, of course) games.

Actually, I originally planned to cover a fifth game--Game Freak's Japan-only 3DS eShop title, Solitiba (aka Soliti Horse)--as well, but I decided to devote an entire post (look for it later this week) to it instead.

In the meantime, here are some thoughts on the other games I've played in recent days and weeks:

Clock Tower--I've wanted to play this 16-bit spooker, published by the fine folks at Human Entertainment in 1995, for eons, but I put off doing so until now because, well, I've been too chicken to deal with its scissors-wiedling antagonist. Blogger Anne Lee's "Horrogemonth" play-along is what pushed me to finally play it, by the way--in case any of you were curious.

Sadly, so far I've only played it long enough to get killed by Bobby, the aforementioned scissor aficionado, twice, but that's longer than I originally expected I'd spend with it, so I'm not about to complain.

The only other thing I have to say about Clock Tower at the moment is that I find it hilarious how, every time Bobby arrives onto the scene, I completely forget which button on the controller does what, which I guess goes a long way toward explaining the deaths I mentioned earlier.

Fairune--This adorable Ys clone, made by Japanese indie devs Skipmore and Urara-Works, began life as a mobile game. Don't hold that against it, though, as this 3DS eShop port is pretty darn great. Unfortunately, it's currently only available to people who can access the Japanese 3DS eShop, but I have a feeling the folks at Flyhigh Works will publish it elsewhere sooner rather than later.

Anyway, I've put about an hour into Fairune so far, and like I mentioned a couple of sentences ago, I've had a lot of fun with it in that time. That's largely due to the wonderful look of the game, I have to admit, although the gameplay's far from a slouch. I do wish there were a bit more to that aspect of the title, though, as in its present state it seems to offer less depth than the series it seems to try to emulate (Falcom's Ys).

I'm going to keep plugging away at it regardless, as I'm curious to see how its minimalist story progresses (if at all). Plus, it features a female protagonist, something I think is almost always worth supporting.

The Legend of Dark Witch--If you're anything like me, you probably didn't even know about this 3DS title's impending release--or you knew about it at one point and then promptly forgot about it. At any rate, you know about it now. Kind of. And now you know it's hitting the North American eShop in just a couple of days (on Oct. 16).

Surprisingly, I was granted a bit of a sneak peak at The Legend of Dark Witch this past weekend thanks to an unexpected e-mail--followed up by a review code--from one of publisher Circle Entertainment's PR staffers.

Do I think it'll be worth the asking price of $3.99? It's kind of hard to say right now, as I've only spent about an hour with it so far. What I can say is that it's a nice (at least nice--it could wind up being great, but I haven't experienced enough of it to know that) Mega Man-esque side-scroller that sports some really nice spritework. As such, I think $3.99 probably isn't a bad price if you consider yourself a fan of the genre.

Tappingo 2--Another 3DS eShop game? What a shocker. Seriously, though, a number of great games have been added to the 3DS eShop as of late, and this Picross-esque puzzler is one of them.

Of all the titles mentioned here, I've played this one, developed and published by Goodbye Galaxy Games, the most. In fact, of the 100 or so puzzles that are included in this $2.99 game, I've completed just over 60 of them, and I don't expect I'll stop until I've cleared every last one of them.

The beauty of this digital title, by the way, isn't its graphics or soundtrack, although both aspects are up to snuff; no, the real draw of Tappingo 2 is that it's fun and addictive in all the ways a worthwhile puzzler should be. This is one of those games that will prompt you to tell yourself, "just one more puzzle"--over and over again until, an hour or two later, you finally, reluctantly put your 3DS down because you have to eat dinner or go to bed or do some other task that seems completely unimportant in the face of such addictiveness.

Note: all of the screenshots showcased above were altered a bit because it drives me bonkers to have images of different sizes in the same post. Rest assured each of these games look far better on an actual 3DS or TV screen than they look here.


Justin Difazzio said...

Fairune looks beautiful. And Tappingo looks like something I'd be hooked by. Right now I'm crushing too much on Smash Bros to play anything else...besides, I don't want to start anything too soon, since National Novel Writing Month quickly approacheth.

thegaygamer.com said...

Tappingo 2 probably is the best game of this particular bunch, Justin, so I'd definitely recommend picking it up down the road if you tend to like Picross-esque games.

Oh, and you liked Ys: Book I & II, didn't you? In that case, you might like Fairune as well, assuming it's brought over here. Just don't go into it expecting an overly deep experience. As long as it's just $3 (that's how much the JP version costs), though, you probably couldn't go wrong by picking it up, too.

I'm jealous that you're enjoying Smash 3DS right now, BTW! I probably won't get it until Christmas, at the earliest--and that's assuming I get it at all.

In fact, between now and my birthday (late Nov.), the only new game I'll be getting/playing is Fantasy Life. Hopefully I'll get a few additional ones for my b-day and Christmas, though...

Justin Difazzio said...

I really thought Fantasy Life was coming out last month, and then it wasn't there. So I got Smash instead. And until I am sure of having a job after my B&N closes, I'm probably not going to be buying anything else. Except maybe Smash WiiU.

thegaygamer.com said...

Yeah, it came out in Europe last month. Won't come out here until later this month :| Anyway, here's hoping you have another job all set for you after B&N closes--if not before!

Obscure Video Games said...

I was curious how you're playing Clock Tower, since I know you're not big into emulators. Are you trying out your Japanese skills on it?

thegaygamer.com said...

I'm not big into emulators?!? What on earth game you that idea? On the contrary, I'm quite into emulators--or at least emulators of old systems. Anyway, yes, I'm playing this via emulation. I'm not playing the Japanese version, though--just the English fan translation :)

Obscure Video Games said...

Oh that's great! Usually when we chat about emulation on here, you say that you don't like playing games on your PC and that it's really old. Also, I know you like to buy old games and play them on the original hardware when you can.

thegaygamer.com said...

Oh, right. Sorry. You're right that I hate playing games on PC, but that's not limited to playing emulated games on PC. I don't like playing *any* games on PC, to be honest. Although I'd probably feel differently about that situation if our (now dead) PC wasn't in the basement.

Anyway, although I do prefer to play actual games on real hardware whenever possible, I'm definitely not averse to playing them via emulation--especially overly expensive or hard-to-find games (like Gimmick! and the like). In those cases, though, I usually play them/emulate them on my modded Wii or DS.