Tuesday, July 07, 2015

FYI: two awesome Internet pals recently sent me free copies of three Japanese DS games

Especially astute folks who read the entirety of my most recent #ADecadeofDS write-up likely noticed that in the "next up" portion of it I revealed that I'd play two (rather than just one) games before I publish the series' next entry.

The reason for that change in routine: as mentioned in this post's headline, two rather awesome people (who I've gotten to know via Twitter and elsewhere) recently sent me a trio of Japanese DS games that I'd previously never experienced.

One of those awesome folks (the lovely MintyPocky), sent me a complete-in-box copy of Bokujou Monogatari: Youkoso! Kaze no Bazaar e, which most people in the Western world know as Harvest Moon DS: Grand Bazaar. Here is the Japanese version's vibrant box art:

Meanwhile, another person entirely--Brian, proprietor of the Japanese 3DS tumblog--sent me cartridges for two Japan-only DS games, one of which is Konami's Shounen Sunday x Shounen Magazine: Nettou! Dream Nine.

To be completely honest, I initially turned up my nose at this offering, as I assumed it was "just another boring baseball game." A quick Google search of its title, though, has me believing Nettou! Dream Nine's actually some sort of interactive comic, which sounds far more appealing (if possibly less accessible).

The other "loose" DS cart that was sent my way is Penguin no Mondai: Saikyou Penguin Densetsu! (The first part of the title apparently translates to A Penguin's Troubles.)

Apparently it's based on a rather famous Japanese manga series about a penguin named Beckham Kinoshita, who attends Kirikabu Elementary School and likes to eat hamburgers and "hot chips."

You may be wondering why I'm sharing pieces of cover art that were grabbed from GameFAQs rather than photos of the cases and carts in question. That would be because Blogger is being a dick (yes, that's the technical term) and screwing them up whenever I attempt to upload them.

So, I decided to cut my losses and use the images seen above instead. If you'd like to see the few snapshots I've collected of Bokujou Monogatari's case and manual, as well as Penguin no Mondai's and Nettou! Dream Nine's cartridges, check out my Flickr photostream.

As for what I think of the actual content of this these Japanese DS games, well, I've only played two of them so far--with the pair in question being Bokujou Monogatari and Penguin no Mondai--and even then I've only spent about an hour with the latter and a half-hour with the former.

Still, that's been enough for me to think I'll like both of them in the end--although I've got to admit that attempting to work your way through a Bokujou Monogatari title with only a minimal understanding of the Japanese language is a bit ... trying. It could do wonders for my vocabulary, though, so I'll stick with it for a while for that reason alone.

Penguin no Mondai also features a bunch of mostly unintelligible text to wade through, too, but that's far less of an issue for me because, at its heart, this game is a pretty basic--but still fun--platform. (The aforementioned text tends to be limited to between-stage cutscenes.)

I'll share more impressions about both of these games in my next "Shall We Do It?" post, which will be published shortly. In the meantime, if any of you have played one or more of the games mentioned here, let me know what you think of them in the comments section below.


Justin Difazzio said...

The penguin game looks adorable. And the baseball game? That sounds like something I'd try out.

ZACH said...

Oh man! There's a couple (probably more than a couple, actually) characters from Mitsuru Adachi's different baseball mangas! I think I can see three characters on the cover itself.... wow! I can't wait to hear more about that! Also: if you haven't had a chance to read baseball manga before, I'd highly recommend checking out Adachi (he made me like baseball, enough to read about it at least)! Cross Game is realllllly good. But obviously only if you have time/library access!!

thegaygamer.com said...

That’s really interesting, Zach! Like I said in the post, I initially ignored the game because I thought it was *just* a baseball sim. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, mind you, but I’m not really the biggest fan of the sport, and the only kinds of baseball games I’ve ever really enjoyed are those that are at least somewhat cute (the first RBI Baseball and Baseball Stars for the Neo Geo being examples), so I assumed I wouldn’t like this one. After I saw the game’s box art on GameFAQs, though, I knew it must be something altogether different. Now I just need to give it a try. Maybe this weekend?

Also, I’ll definitely do my best to check out one or more of Adachi’s baseball mangas. I don’t suppose you’ve ever read any tennis manga, by the way—such as The Prince of Tennis or anything similar? I’ve always wanted to check it out, but you know how that goes sometimes J

thegaygamer.com said...

It is cute, Justin. My only complaint at the moment is that, for some odd reason, the devs decided to make the protagonist polygonal, but the backgrounds, enemies, etc., sprite-based. Personally, I would’ve preferred it if everything in the game had been made out of sprites. Also, the game’s definitely a bit on the easy side at the moment, but hopefully that’ll change as I get deeper into it. As for the baseball game, we’ll see how much of a game it actually is in the end. Screenshots almost make it look like it’s simply a digital comic, but who knows? Maybe there’s more interactivity to it than there currently seems to be…

Chief said...

The penguin game has a nice cover. I'm getting Pengo vibes from it.

thegaygamer.com said...

Oh, yeah, Peguin no Mondai'd cover definitely is great. And I can see the Pengo influence a bit, too. That said, this game is *nothing* like Pengo!

Chief said...

I would hope not. That's some arcadey goodness, but far too limited for a DS release.

thegaygamer.com said...


KevinORay said...


ZACH said...

I haven't checked out Prince of Tennis yet! I usually borrow or rent extended series like that from friends or the library. Sports manga tend to be pretty quick reads, though, in my experience (as is most Shonen manga). Look forward to seeing more on the game, though!