Friday, April 04, 2014

If nothing else, BurgerTime Deluxe's Japanese packaging is cheerful and bright

I say the above because, well, the design that graces the cover of the Japanese version of BurgerTime Deluxe looks like it was made using cheap clipart in about five minutes.

So, why'd I buy it? Because I'm a big fan of this BurgerTime iteration's gameplay, which I consider to be far, far, more enjoyable than what's present in the arcade original.

I'll chat about all of that further in this game's upcoming "Great Gaymathon" review (because you know I'm going to publish one--and soon). For the time being, let's focus on this version's packaging.

Speaking of which, I have to say that I much prefer the cover art that was created for the North American release of BurgerTime Deluxe, which can be seen here.

The Japanese copy seen above and below actually was cheaper than the complete-in-box copies of its North American counterpart I came across, though, so I went with the slightly less-desirable option.

Anyway, the game's cartridge and manual also sport the same cheesy image that appears on the box cover, which is kind of creepy when you see them all sitting next to each other like you do in the photo above.

Thankfully, that overly cheerful blond is nowhere to be found on the backside of the box. That said, I almost wish she were present, as it's kind of bland as is, don't you think?

Even better would have been the addition of a few of the cute illustrations that can be found within BurgerTime Deluxe's instruction manual.

Now, don't get too excited, as the illustrations I'm talking about aren't quite up to the standard of those included in, say, Painter Momopie's manual, but they're nice enough and they're certainly more interesting than a couple of green-and-white screenshots and a slew of text.

Do any of you have any experience with this game? If so, what do you think about it?

See also: a few more photos of this copy of BurgerTime Deluxe can be found on my Flickr photostream

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Kirby and Meta Knight 'en fleur'

I may be an odd Kirby fan (my first two Kirby experiences were with Kirby: Canvas Curse and Kirby's Epic Yarn), but I'm a Kirby fan nonetheless.

As such, I'm always down for great pieces of Kirby fan art--like the ones below, for instance.

Both were created by artist Pauli Kohberger, aka madamluna, for the soon-to-be-released Kirby’s Dream Zine.

For more on the latter, click on the link above. To see more examples of Kohberger's work, on the other hand, go to or

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Manual Stimulation: Kitchen Panic (GameBoy)

After perusing this recent post and this one, too, you couldn't help but wonder if Kitchen Panic's instruction manual could possibly compare to its packaging, could you?

Hey, I understand. I wondered the same thing myself after I first came across this obscure-ish, Japan-only GameBoy title.

So, what's the verdict? Have a look and tell me yourself.

The front and back covers (above) of Kitchen Panic's manual may be my favorite part of the whole she-bang thanks to the fact that its designers made them ape the look of the original GameBoy hardware.

Next up is the game's backstory, which of course I don't understand. I am pretty fond of the rather touching illustration of its protagonist embracing a woman I presume to be his mother.

A description of Kitchen Panic's controls. Not very visually stimulating, I agree, but this kind of thing was pretty par for the course back then so I'll give the folks responsible this booklet a pass.

Oh, hey, a screenshot of the game's title screen. I'm not sure what else is detailed on that particular page, though, I'm sorry to say. I believe the right-hand page, on the other hand, covers Kitchen Panic's "rules."

Monday, March 31, 2014

Shall We Do It? (leaving Bravely Default behind for a bit and playing Yoshi's New Island, Pokémon Battle Trozei and 3D Fantasy Zone instead)

I think I've reached my breaking point when it comes to playing Bravely Default.

It pains me to admit that, but it's true.

Of course, I've been hurtling toward this realization for some time now (since the middle of chapter six, if memory serves), so I'm not sure why I'm finding it so disappointing.

Maybe it's because I've come to really like the vast majority of this turn-based RPG--its characters, its setting, its soundtrack, its battle system--in the 75 or so hours I've spent with it thus far, and so it saddens me that one or two other aspects of the game are keeping me from wanting to finish it.

As for which aspects are bugging me: surprisingly, the wordiness I've complained about in past "Shall We Do It?" posts isn't one of them. Instead, one is related to where Bravely Default's story takes players during its second half (I'll stop there so as to avoid spoilers), while the other is related to some of the (overly cheap, in my opinion) optional boss fights that pop up near the end of the game.

So, I've decided to take a bit of a break from it. I fully plan to pick it up again soon, if only to finish the damn thing as quickly as possible (on easy, if need be), but I can't currently say when that's going to happen.

In the meantime, I'm going to spend my free time with a few other 3DS games--Yoshi's New IslandPokémon Battle Trozei and 3D Fantasy Zone: Opa-Opa Bros., in particular.

Here are a few early-ish impressions of each of those recently released 3DS titles, in case any of you are interested:

3D Fantasy Zone: Opa-Opa Bros.--After years of turning my nose up at it, Sega's peculiar, pastel-filled shmup, Fantasy Zone, has really wormed its way into my heart in recent months. Because of that, I snatched up this 3D-enhanced version, which just hit the Japanese eShop last week, as soon as I was able.

So far, I've only spent about 30 minutes with it, but already I can tell I'm going to like it. A lot. In particular, I'm in love with the bevy of options that are available to players in this release. For instance, you can display the game using the original aspect ratio, you can make it fill the entirety of the 3DS' top screen or you can morph things a bit so it looks like you're playing it on an old, curved CRT monitor.

That said, pretty much all of the changes that are present here are superficial. The backbone is still a 28-year-old arcade game, so if that sounds at all unappealing to you, it may not be your thing. For me, though, I'm completely stoked that I can now play a slightly enhanced version of this wonderfully quirky little game on my 3DS whenever I feel like it.

Pokémon Battle Trozei--Although I've never been the biggest Pokémon fan, I've always been a fan of the series' colorful cast of creatures. I've also long been a fan of portable puzzle games, as anyone who has visited this blog for any amount of time can attest. So, I decided the second it was announced to pick up Pokémon Battle Trozei the day it hit the North American 3DS eShop--an event that took place just about a week ago.

Anyway, if you haven't yet educated yourself about this game (and there's certainly nothing wrong with that), here's the gist: it's a match-three puzzler than seemingly takes some cues from the über-popular Puzzle & Dragons.

There's a bit more to it than that, of course. For example: while matching panels on the bottom screen, you're also battling a handful (I've encountered between three and five per stage so far) "wild Pokémon" on the top screen. Reduce a creature's hit points to zero and you add it to your collection.

All of that's well and good, but so far the stages have gone by so quickly I've barely had time to acknowledge the presence of the Pokémon I'm facing at the moment let alone devise a proper strategy to use against it.

Thankfully, that hasn't mattered much up to this point. Should it become an issue on later stages, I could see it negatively impacting my enjoyment of the game, but for now I'm glad I decided to pick it up.

Yoshi's New Island--I've experienced a roller coaster of emotions since this game was revealed last April. Initially, I was beside myself with excitement, as the original Yoshi's Island is one of my all-time favorite games. After glimpsing a few rough-looking screenshots and videos of New Island at last year's E3, though, my excitement quickly turned to befuddlement.

I've since waffled back and forth between those extremes depending on the time of day (or so it has sometimes seemed) and the quality of the media I've most recently come across.

Now that I've played a good chunk of it (I've just started the sixth world), which of the previously expressed emotions--excitement or befuddlement--am I currently feeling in regard to Yoshi's New Island? Neither, to tell you the truth. I'm still enjoying the game quite a bit, though, despite the fact that it pales in comparison to its predecessor in nearly every single aspect.

The thing is, this New Island may not look as good as the old one, or sound as good, or feature controls that are as finely tuned, but even then I think it's a lot of fun to look at and listen to and play. It does seem to be slightly less engaging than the original so far, and it also feels a bit "cheaper" (as in, more difficult--in an unfair sort of way), but neither of those things are impeding my enjoyment of the game at the moment.

Are any of you also playing Yoshi's New Island--or Pokemon Battle Trozei or Bravely Default or even 3D Fantasy Zone? If so, what do you think of them so far?

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

Sunday, March 30, 2014

I love pretty much every second of this IA/VT Colorful (Vita) trailer

OK, so the name of this soon-to-be-released-in-Japan rhythm game is a bit weird. Who really cares, though, when said game uses an art style that's as awesome as this one does, right?

The crew that's making Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA clone, which will release in Japan on July 31, is being led by Senran Kagura producer Kenichiro Takaki, by the way.

I'm not entirely sure what that's going to mean in terms of the final product's gameplay or other content, to tell you the truth, but at the moment the game doesn't appear to feature Senran Kagura's giant, jiggling breasts so here's hoping it stays that way.

See also: 'You say htol#NiQ, I say gorgeous Vita game'