Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy birthday to me!

Yep, not only is it Thanksgiving here in the U.S., but it's my birthday, too.

Which is kind of weird, to be honest, but I've never been big on celebrating my birthday, so that's OK.

It's especially OK now that I've opened the presents my parents gave to me this morning, one of which contained the copy of Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call that can be seen in the photo to the right.

I'm kind of surprised Amazon et al still had copies of this game's limited edition, to tell you the truth--not that I'm complaining!

Anyway, it's a pretty safe bet that I'll spend some quality time with it tomorrow--along with Fantasy Life and Solitiba, of course. (Yes, I'm still putting a ton of time into both, especially Fantasy Life.)

My parents also gave me a nice chunk of change, I have to add. Would it surprise you to hear I've already spent a portion of it on Japanese 3DS games?

Don't worry, I'll write about all of them here after they finally arrive on my doorstep (and after I've spent at least a little time with them).

In the meantime, I hope all of you have a wonderful Thursday--whether it's Thanksgiving in your neck of the woods or not.

Monday, November 24, 2014

In honor of the 10th anniversary of the Nintendo DS' release: 10 of my favorite DS games

Rather than refer to the following titles "my 10 favorite DS games," I've decided to call them 10 of my favorites. That's because I love so many DS games that choosing absolute favorites would be like choosing a favorite ... beer? Candy? Diva?

Actually, I think I'd have a far easier time selecting and writing about a favorite candy than I would settling on 10 titles I consider to be my all-time favorite examples of the DS' wonderfully varied game catalog.

As such, you may want to take the following list with a giant grain of salt--or, rather, you may want to read it knowing that if I were to update this post tomorrow, and the next day, too, and then again the day after that, each iteration likely would include a few unique entries.

For this exact moment in time, though, I can somewhat confidently state that the games discussed below are 10 of my favorites for the now-10-year-old Nintendo DS system.

Daigasso! Band Brothers--You know how I mentioned in last Friday's post that I wasn't all that impressed with the early-2004 reveal of the DS? The one part of Nintendo's DS reveal that did impress me was this game. Sadly, it never made it to our shores, so I wasn't able to experience it until a good couple of years after its Japanese release. Was it worth the wait? I sure think so. Mind you, it's a very basic rhythm game--although calling it a "music" game may be more accurate. Regardless, I think Daigasso! Band Brothers' simplicity is a big part of why I enjoy it as much as I do.

Dragon Quest IX--I was pretty sure I was going to like this one before I ever got my hands on a copy of it. It just looked like something I would enjoy, if that makes sense. And you know what? Not only did I enjoy it, but I fell in love with it and played it until I'd wrung every last ounce of enjoyment out of it. (I believe I put just over 80 hours into it before calling it a day, but don't quote me on that.) I know some folks who are long-time fans of the series were a bit disappointed by this entry, but it captivated me completely with its engaging battles and touching storylines.

Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime--Do you want to know why I ignored Rocket Slime, a game that's been called a classic from one end of the Internet to the other (whatever that means), until a couple of years ago? Because I didn't like how it looked, for starters. Also, I didn't much like the idea of its gameplay. I guess I wanted it to be a more traditional RPG, a la its "mainline" namesakes. Boy, was I an idiot. I know I suggested earlier that it would be impossible for me to set aside a single DS game as being my absolute favorite, but if I were forced to engage in that kind of tomfoolery, it's quite likely Rocket Slime would be one of the top contenders for that title.

Etrian Odyssey--I was a late comer to this DS title, too, although that had nothing to do with me initially finding it unappealing in any way. Instead, it had to do with the fact that for some time new copies of it were pretty pricey. It finally got a reprint a couple of years ago, though, which caused prices to drop to far more acceptable levels, and that's when I jumped on board. It quickly earned both my admiration and respect thanks to its demanding gameplay and delectable soundtrack.

Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light--If I were forced to pick a favorite between this game and Dragon Quest IX, I'm honestly not sure which one I'd go with in the end. That said, I prefer most what's found in The 4 Heroes of Light--battles, graphics, overall art style, story, soundtrack (this last one's kind of a toss up, admittedly), chief among them--to the same elements that are showcased in Dragon Quest IX. Two noteworthy exceptions: the latter title's optional quests and visible-from-the-overworld enemies. So, I guess you could say I consider both games to be standouts in one way or another.