Friday, February 07, 2014

Soon my Japanese 3DS LL won't feel so naked

That's because I'm going to buy one of the Monster Hunter airu (felyne) pouches seen below as soon as they're available--which will be at the end of March, according to

Actually, my current plan is to pre-order it via so it can be shipped along with my copy of Kumamon ★ Bomber: Puzzle de Kumamon Taisou, also releasing sometime next month.

As much as I like the front of this particular 3DS LL/XL pouch, I like the reverse even more--thanks in large part to the "From the Monster Hunter" message splashed across its backside.

See also: 'A few photos of (and thoughts on) my gold Pokémon Center 3DS LL'

Thursday, February 06, 2014

It was worth every penny (or, I heart my copy of Lunar: Samposuru Gakuen for the Game Gear)

Actually, I don't know why I decided to imply in the header above that I spent a pretty penny on this particular pick-up, as in reality it only set me back a few bucks (about 30 of them, if memory serves).

Even if I had dropped a boatload on the copy of Lunar: Samposuru Gakuen seen in the photos below, though, it would've been well worth it.

Why? For starters, there's its deliciously colorful cover art (above).

That's not the only reason I consider this Game Gear title to be well worth the 30 or so smackeroonies I spent on it, though. Another: its completely brilliant instruction manual, which not only is surprisingly thick (especially for a portable game) but is filled with fabulous illustrations like the ones seen above and below.

In case you've never heard of it, by the way, Lunar: Samposuru Gakuen (aka Lunar: Walking School) is a Japan-only spin-off of Game Arts' well-regarded RPG series, Lunar. (Here's a video of the game's English fan-translation in action, in case any of you are curious.)

I've had this game on my "to buy" list for some time now, but I'd basically given up on ever acquiring it due to the fact that it tends to fetch high prices on eBay.

So, when I came across this particular copy and saw it was being sold for a virtual steal, I couldn't help but pick it up. The question is: when I finally get around to playing it, will I be able to understand any of it?

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Shall We Do It? (wrapping up A Link Between Worlds, returning to EarthBound and beginning Sweet Fuse: At Your Side)

So, I finally "beat" The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds last weekend. This is one of the few 3DS games I've finished, I think. I mean, there's Rhythm Thief & the Emperor's Treasure and Mario Kart 7 and ... this? I can't remember any others at the moment. Regardless, I haven't conquered many 3DS games to date, so I'm pretty stoked that I was able to beat this one.

The last quarter of A Link Between Worlds was really marvelous, I have to say. I was especially blown away by the last few dungeons--which in my case means Skull Woods, Dark Palace, Ice Ruins and, of course, Lorule Castle--and the bosses who guard them.

I think the Ice Ruins was my favorite of those four experiences, although I got such a kick out of all of them that it's tough to say which one was the best. Oh, and the final battle? Amazing. Exhilarating, even. Although I have to admit I died during my first attempt because I wasn't quite sure what I was supposed to do at one point.

So, my first playthrough of A Link Between Worlds is over--for now. Initially, I considered continuing on for a bit, so I could gather the rest of the game's heart pieces and return all of those poor, lost Maiamai's to their mother, but then it dawned on me that putting Link and company on the back burner for the time being would allow me to start--or, in the case of the next title I'm going to talk about, get back to--one or two other games I've been chomping at the bit to play.

Before I get to the titles in question, though, I want to share the time I spent on my maiden A Link Between Worlds adventure: just under 21 hours. I know the game can be completed more quickly than that, but a couple of locales did such a good job of capturing my attention that I found myself dawdling just so I could take in the sights a while longer.

As for the games that I turned to after A Link Between Worlds: would you believe EarthBound is one of them? Actually, I guess most of you would--especially if you read this post's header. Seriously, though, I'm back to playing EarthBound. Finally. Don't worry, I didn't start a new game--I just picked up where my last attempted (and failed) playthrough left off.

It took me a few minutes to get my bearings, of course, but after that I was happily on my way again. In fact, I quickly plowed through a whole slew of EarthBound's eccentric landscapes, including Scaraba (my starting point this time around), Deep Darkness, Tenda Village and Stonehenge Base.

I know I've said as much before (or at least I think I've said it before), but I really think I'm going to finish this sucker this time around. The only potential stumbling block is that Bravely Default comes out in a matter of days, and there's no doubt that's going to grab some of, if not not all of, my attention for a good chunk of time.

Thankfully, it probably won't arrive on my doorstep until a week after its release date (so, sometime around Valentine's Day), so it's possible I'll finally see EarthBound's end credits before I get sucked into Bravely Default's deadly tractor beam.

One last thing about EarthBound before I move on to the third game mentioned in the header above: I don't think I'll ever tire of seeing "oh, boy!" pop up whenever one of my party members gains a level. Nor will I ever tire of the ditty that plays whenever I waltz into one of the game's many shops.

Last, but not least, I started playing Aksys' Sweet Fuse: At Your Side late last week--in part because I wanted to participate in my friend Anne's #DatingSiMonth extravaganza, and in part because I've been curious about this portable dating sim since I first heard about it (which was right around the time its North American release was announced, I have to admit).

So far, I've only experienced about an hour of this otome game--which may sound like an acceptable chunk of time, but in reality isn't. After all, all I did during those 60 or so minutes was get introduced to Sweet Fuse's villain, meet the gaggle of studs who'll eventually vie for my affection and read a lot of text.

I saved and quit just as I was about to encounter the game's first puzzle (of sorts), though, so hopefully I'll have more to say about that aspect in my next "Shall We Do It?" post. In the meantime, my only comments are that I'm pretty keen on the overall art style on display in Sweet Fuse and I'm similarly loving the wacky theme-park setting.

See also: previous 'Shall We Do It?' posts

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

You know you're an odd gamer when it's 2014 and you're seriously considering buying a metallic rose DSi XL rather than something more current

I know I suggested at the tail end of 2013 that I wouldn't be buying any new systems this year, but I'm seriously considering tossing that pseudo-promise into the trash so I can pick up a metallic rose DSi XL.

Granted, the DSi XL isn't really a "new" system like the PS4, Vita and Wii U are, and those are the kinds of systems I was referring to when I made the aforementioned end-of-the-year proclamation, but if I were to be completely honest I'd admit my original plan was to avoid buying any new systems, period, in 2014, so I feel kind of like a putz for even considering picking up a DSi XL sometime within the next 12 months.

All that said, I really want one. Especially one of the metallic rose variety. 

Why? Well, I've always wanted one, for starters. And then there's the fact that I've always preferred playing games on original hardware. (As in, I'd rather play GBA games on an actual GameBoy Advance system than on a DS, just like I'd rather play DS games on an actual DS than on a 3DS.)

The question is: should I just get over myself and play all of the DS games I recently picked up (and I picked up a bunch--look for posts devoted to them in the coming weeks and months) on one of my 3DSes? Or should I blow $150 just so I can avoid obsessing about the "black bars" and such?  

Monday, February 03, 2014

Maybe I should get a PS3 after all (or, Ranko Tsukigime's Longest Day looks pretty rad)

I've got to be honest here: I'm not entirely sure what's going on in the trailer below, which is for an upcoming PS3 game called Ranko Tsukigime's Longest Day. I mean, clearly it's some kind of side-scroller, but beyond that I'm a bit stumped.

What I'm not as confused about is how I feel about this awesome-looking title, which supposedly will see the light of day in North America sometime this spring.

Ranko Tsukigime's Longest Day was made by same developers that brought the world Tokyo Jungle, by the way--which probably explains the gigantic Pomeranian that pops up partway through this trailer.

Sunday, February 02, 2014

So, will this one be called THE "DENPA" MEN 3: They Came by Waves from the Beyond?

You know, because the first one was called THE "DENPA" MEN: They Came by Wave and the second was called THE "DENPA" MEN 2: Beyond the Waves.

Seriously, though, it appears that the third "DENPA" MEN title, released in Japan last September, will land on Western shores sometime in the coming months, as it recently received a rating from Australia's Classification Board. (Thanks to Twitterer Lance McGill, aka @infernal_monkey, for pointing out this fact, by the way)

Anyway, here's hoping the game is rated and released in other markets--like, um, North America--sooner rather than later, too.

In the meantime, check out the trailer above to see some of what's new in this iteration. (My favorite addition: the ability to decorate your house à la Animal Crossing: New Leaf.)