Friday, November 14, 2014

What I'm playing for #NISNovember: Marl Jong!! for PlayStation

Those of you who follow me or the Chic Pixel blog (or both) on Twitter probably have already heard that Chic Pixel's proprietress, Anne Lee, has proclaimed this month to be #NISNovember.

For the uninitiated, all that means is that Lee would like whoever is interested to play one or more games that have been developed or published by Japan's Nippon Ichi Software or NIS America at some point during the month of November and then use #NISNovember to tag any social-media posts that are related to your playthrough.

Anyway, thanks to the header above, I guess the cat's out of the bag in regard to which Nippon Ichi game I'm currently playing as part of #NISNovember.

Should Marl Jong!! not ring a bell for you, here's the gist: it's a Japan-only PlayStation game that combines NIS' "Marl Kingdom" characters--featured in games like RhapsodyLittle Princess and Tenshi no Present--with what seems to be a rather basic version of mahjong.

I say "seems" in the sentence above because I'm far from an expert when it comes to mahjong. I know enough to have beaten a few of my opponents in this particular game, though--which is more than I can say about my experience so far with, say, Nintendo's Yakuman for GameBoy.

Although I only recently acquired the copy of Marl Jong!! that can be seen throughout this post, I first became aware of the game some years ago, shortly after I discovered the wonderful world of emulation.

Don't worry, I attempted to track down an actual copy of the game as soon as I fell in love with its adorable graphics and accessible gameplay, but accomplishing that feat proved to be rather difficult--until, like I suggested a few sentences ago, I came across one on eBay.

Thankfully, the wait was worth it, as not only is the cover art that was made for Marl Jong!! all kinds of cute, but so is its disc and manual.

Along with Marl Jong!!, I'm also hoping to play one or more of the following DS titles as part of #NISNovember: Atelier Annie, Disgaea DS and Rhapsody. Have any of you played any of these games? If so, I'd greatly appreciate hearing your thoughts (good or bad) about them in the comments section of this post.

See also: 'On the one hand, I'm glad I finally own a copy of one of Nippon Ichi's first PlayStation games, Cooking Fighter Hao'

Thursday, November 13, 2014

I want the Cupit one, the Diskun one, the Mallo one, the Popo one, the Sukapon one ...

Specifically, I want the Cupit, Diskun, Mallo, Popo and Sukapon throw pillows that are being sold (via by graphic designer and illustrator Jarmez.

Here are the pillows in question, in case anyone's curious:

Cupit is from the Indieszero-made GBA game, Sennen Kazoku.

Diskun was Nintendo's mascot for its Famicom Disk System.

If you don't know Mallo, go buy Pushmo (3DS) now.

Popo is one of the protagonists in Ice Climber for NES.

Sukapon is from the Famicom fighter, Joy Mecha Fight.

The Jarmez-made pillows above aren't the only ones I'm coveting, of course. I'd also like the Chorus Kids one, the Nana one and the Animal Crossing villager one.

Amazingly, that's just the tip of the iceberg in terms of this Redbubble shop's game-inspired head-supporters. Additional "Nintendo Legends" designs can be seen here, for instance, while Mega Man, Pac-Man and Spyro ones can be seen here.

Jarmez is selling small, 16-inch-by-16-inch pillows for just $27.04 ($19.84 if you're only interested in a cover), while medium (18-inch-by-18-inch) and large (20-inch-by-20-inch) ones cost a smidge more.

(Via @hungryhole)

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

I'll be pre-ordering the 3DS version of Rodea: The Sky Soldier, too--as soon as somebody allows it

How's this for a blast from the past? A game that first made noise all the way back in 2011, but has barely been heard from since, is roaring back onto the scene courtesy of the latest issue of Japan's Famitsu magazine.

The game in question is Rodea: The Sky Soldier, a unique-looking action game that, a couple of years ago, was being prepped by former Sonic Team-er Yuji Naka and his team at Prope for an eventual release--courtesy of Kadokawa Games--on both 3DS and Wii.

Unsurprisingly, the Wii iteration has been moved to the Wii U. Aside from that, though, it appears that little else has changed in regard to the "NiGHTS into Dreams meets Shadow of the Colossus meets Sonic the Hedgehog" action that was showcased in this old trailer:

The only thing that doesn't thrill me about all of this: I'm still not the biggest fan of the design of Rodea's protagonist.

Still, I'm all set to put some money down on the 3DS title--as soon as somebody allows me to do so. Considering Rodea doesn't yet have a specific release date (it's supposed to be released "next spring"), I have a feeling my pre-ordering is going to have to wait at least a few months.

In the meantime, I'll save up a few bucks, as the 3DS version is set to be released with a 5,800-yen (about $50) price tag attached to it. (The Wii U game will cost 7,200 yen.)


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

I just pre-ordered a copy of The Legend of Legacy (3DS), which means a North American localization should be announced any day now

Actually, I pre-ordered a number of 3DS games--Japanese and otherwise--in the last week or so, with two of the "otherwise" games being Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. and The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask.

Getting back to The Legend of Legacy, though--as I've said before, this Japan-only (for the moment, at least) 3DS RPG is being developed for FuRyu by a bunch of the same people who worked on Square Enix's now-defunct SaGa series back in the day.

That, along with the game's interesting art style and unique pop-up-book world, was enough to push me to pre-order a copy (it's supposed to hit Japanese store shelves on Jan. 22) via recently, despite the fact that I'm sure to flounder horribly while attempting to play through it.

While I was pre-ordering The Legend of Legacy, I also pre-ordered a copy of Sega 3D Fukkoku Archives, which combines six of the Sega 3D Classics eShop titles that have been released in that region so far (Fantasy Zone, Ecco the Dolphin, Out Run, Shinobi III, Space Harrier and Streets of Rage) as well as two bonus games--updated versions of Sega Master System's (or Sega Mark III's) Out Run 3D and Space Harrier 3D titles.

This budget-priced compilation is set to hit the streets (again, in Japan only--at least for now) on Dec. 18.

Considering Nintendo announced its intentions to publish Level-5's Fantasy Life in the West shortly after I picked up a Japanese copy of that game, I'm hoping these recent pre-orders of mine will prompt similar announcements regarding The Legend of Legacy's and Sega 3D Fukkoku Archives' overseas prospects.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Hold on to your hats, ladies and gents--a new episode of The Nichiest Podcast Ever is here

Can you believe it? The Nichiest Podcast Ever is back, and only four months have passed since its last episode appeared, fully formed, as from the head of Zeus (or something like that), on the World Wide Web.

OK, so four months actually is kind of a long time. Still, there have been far bigger gaps between Nichiest Podcast Ever recordings than that in the past, so I guess we (Anne, shidoshi and myself) shouldn't be too hard on ourselves.

Anyway, as is typically the case, the three of us cover the niche-gaming gamut in this particular 'cast. Among the topics of discussion: shidoshi's experience at this year's Tokyo Game Show, all of our impressions and opinions of the just-released (in some parts of the world) PlayStation TV and new 3DS systems and the miraculous appearance of Vib Ribbon on the North American PlayStation Store.

We also chat about Solitiba (aka Soliti Horse), Mini MetroFantasy LifeBayonetta 2 and Banshee’s Last Cry, a Chunsoft-made "sound novel" that began life (in the mid-1990s) as a Japan-only title--for the Super Famicom, PlayStation and GameBoy Advance--but earned a worldwide iOS release earlier this year via Aksys Games. Can you guess which ones I personally talked up?

Should any of you want to give it a listen, you can do so via iTunes or

Also, some of you may be interested to hear that, moving forward, the three of us are looking to record a new episode on the first Tuesday of every month. Here's hoping we're actually able to stick with that plan.

See also: 'Five reasons it's a shame Game Freak hasn't yet released its quirky 3DS eShop title, Solitiba (aka Soliti Horse), outside of Japan' and 'I've spent two weeks with Fantasy Life (3DS) and here's what I think of it so far'