Friday, August 22, 2014

I guess you could say I bought Bubble Bobble's GameBoy port because of its box art

Have I ever badmouthed Bubble Bobble's GameBoy port in this space before? I'm going to guess I haven't, but who knows. Regardless, it's not the best version of this classic Taito property. It's not a total stinker, but its average graphics and flicker-filled gameplay relegate it to the lower tier of Bubble Bobble releases, in my humble opinion.

All of which likely will prompt at least a few of you to wonder, so why'd you pick up a complete-in-box copy of this sucker recently? The header above mostly gives it away, I'm afraid, although to be honest the prospect of being able to own and stare at this Japanese GameBoy title's beautiful box art (below) wasn't the only reason I bought it.

Another reason was that I wanted to give this portable single-screen platformer a second chance, despite my earlier, rather negative experiences with it.

And then, of course, there was the simple fact that copy seen throughout this post was pretty darn cheap--as in, somewhere around $10 (not including shipping).

Totally random aside: I really like the bold font that appears on the sides of this box. (The symbols spell out Bubble Bobble, by the way--or, Baburu Boburu.)

The blue banding is a nice complement and addition to the cover art, too, I think.

As is often the case with these old Japanese GameBoy boxes, the back side isn't nearly as thrilling as the front side. It's always nice to see that big, beautiful Bubble Bobble logo, at least.

Have any of you played this version of Bubble Bobble before? If so, what do you think about it? Also, have you played Bubble Bobble Junior (aka Bubble Bobble Part 2)? I actually far prefer the latter to the former, even though it's also far from a perfect portable Bubble Bobble experience.

See also: 'Where have you been all my life, Cave Noire?'

Thursday, August 21, 2014

I know next to nothing about Freedom Wars or its mascot, Propa-kun, but I kind of want this adorable sofubi figure anyway

Freedom Wars, for those of you who've never heard of it, is a Vita game that was developed by SCE Japan Studio and released in that part of the world in June. (It'll hit store shelves of one sort or another throughout Europe and North America this October.)

Here's a brief summary of the game pulled from its Wikipedia page: "Set in the distant future at a time when the majority of humankind are imprisoned in penal city-states known as Panopticons that wage war against one another, Freedom Wars involves players cooperating together to fight against enemies and contribute toward their Panopticon."

OK, so that isn't really the most illuminating of synopses. Still, word of mouth related to the game is pretty positive, so it's still occupying a space on my surprisingly lengthy Vita wish list.

Another reason I may pick up a copy of Freedom Wars after I acquire a Vita: its mascot, "Propa-kun," is all kinds of adorable, as evidenced by the sofubi figures based on the character that are now being sold--for just under $37--by folks at (and elsewhere, I'm sure).

Each figure is nearly six inches tall and made out of soft vinyl, in case you're curious. Also, the folks at NCS expect pre-orders to ship sometime in November.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

No kidding: I'm far more interested in Mighty Gunvolt than I am in either Azure Striker Gunvolt or Mighty No. 9

While most gamers were soiling themselves over the pair of Mega Man clones--Mighty No. 9 and Azure Striker Gunvolt--that were revealed late last year and earlier this year, respectively, my own reaction to these retro-tinged action-platformers was decidedly less dramatic.

In fact, although I think both Azure Striker Gunvolt (or is it just Gunvolt?) and Mighty No. 9 look like perfectly pleasant games, I'm currently not planning to pick up either of them once they're finally released.

Or maybe I should say I wasn't planning to pick up either of them until I read that the rather delicious-looking Mighty Gunvolt--an 8-bit-styled action-platformer that features characters and other elements of Azure Striker GunvoltMighty No. 9 and even Gal*Gun--will be given, free of charge, to all who purchase Azure Striker Gunvolt (which is set to hit the North American 3DS eShop on Aug. 29) before the end of November. 

In the meantime, feel free to salivate while watching the video above, which shows the Japanese version of Mighty Gunvolt in action.

Bet you didn't see this one coming: Success is bringing a Touch Detective rhythm game to the (Japanese) 3DS later this year

Specifically, the game, to be called something along the lines of Osawari Detective Ozawa Rina Nameko Rhythm, will hit Japanese store shelves--hopefully both physical and digital ones--on Nov. 13 carrying a price tag of ¥4,800 (about $46).

My initial reaction to discovering this thrilling piece of news while checking out yesterday was, of course, to drop whatever I was doing so I could pre-order a copy.

Thankfully, that wasn't possible on any of the sites I regularly peruse (like and, as upon watching the game's first trailer--which can be found here--this morning, I'm no longer so sure it would be a wise way to spend my hard-earned cash.

Naturally, it's possible I'll have a change of heart between now and when Osawari Detective Ozawa Rina Nameko Rhythm is released. In the meantime, maybe I should finally give the game that started it all--the first Touch Detective title for the DS--a try?

(Box art and other information obtained via

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A PC Engine game that combines aspects of Deep Blue and Fantasy Zone? You've got my attention, Aetherbyte...

Before anyone jumps down my throat for seemingly expressing any kind of positivity regarding Pack-In-Video's much-maligned Deep Blue: I only did so in the headline above because I've always liked that PC Engine shmup's underwater setting.

(I've also always liked its overall art style, it should be said, although I fully understand appreciate that I'm in the extreme minority when it comes to feeling that way.)

Anyway, back to the soon-to-be-release PC Engine game--yes, you read that correctly--that prompted me to think about Deep Blue. It's called Atlantean, it's being made by the trio at Aetherbyte (including the administrator of The PC Engine Software Bible) and it looks like a mix of the aforementioned kusoge (in terms of aesthetics) and Sega's Fantasy Zone (in terms of gameplay).

All that said, I'm not sure it's worth the $60 (plus shipping) asking price. It only includes four stages, for starters, and then there's the fact that the system's quality Fantasy Zone port can be had for quite a bit less than $60, last time I checked.

Still, if you're in the market for another PC Engine game, this one may be worth considering.

Monday, August 18, 2014

One last batch of QR codes for the two of you who are still playing THE 'DENPA' MEN 3

I'm not entirely sure why I wasted my time writing and publishing this post, to be honest. As far as I can tell, very few North Americans picked up this 3DS RPG, and it's likely only a small handful of those folks are still playing it today, three months after first hit the eShop.

I guess I did it because I figure a couple of those THE "DENPA" MEN 3 players might appreciate a little help--in the form of the following QR codes--as they continue to make their way through this oddly endearing (and often frustrating, it has to be said) little game.

All of these "Denpa" men (and women, I think) were caught while driving around Seattle in the last week or so (don't worry, my husband was driving--I was just a passenger), by the way. Not that you really needed to know that, I guess, but I'm letting you know anyway.

Jasiah + "Diamond Dust"

Serena + "Big Bang"

Nikolai + "Great Haste"

Ariella + "Rising Flames"

Jonas + "Laser Beam"

Sullivan + "Rare Treasure x2"

Delaney + "Hurricane"

Travis + "Abyss"

In case any of you are wondering which ones are my favorites: those would be Ariella and her "rising flames" attack, Jasiah and his "diamond dust" spell and the bandage-nosed Jonas and his "laser beam," although I also really like Delaney and Sullivan and Travis. (OK, so I like all of them.)

See also: previous posts about THE 'DENPA' MEN 3