Friday, January 23, 2015

I told you I've got Harvest Moon on the brain (plus a Binary Land surprise)

A couple of weeks ago, I admitted to buying the original, SNES version of Harvest Moon from the clunky old Wii eShop.

In that same post, I also admitted to having the Harvest Moon series "on the brain" at the moment. Which makes sense when you consider I got the latest 3DS-based Harvest Moon title, The Lost Valley, for Christmas, then I picked up the SNES iteration and then, about a week ago, I bought a loose copy of Harvest Moon 64 from my Internet pal, Jeremy--who also goes by "Nightmare Bruce" and "the guy who runs the Ribbon Black blog."

Although I've had my copy of Harvest Moon 64 in hand for about a week now, it hasn't even sniffed the inside of my dusty Nintendo 64, as I've been too busy playing--wait for it--Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley.

In fact, I've put nearly 20 hours into The Lost Valley over the last couple of weeks, which has left me nearly no time for other games (aside from my #ADecadeofDS titles, of course). 

Anyway, the photo at the top of this post showcases how fabulously Jeremy packaged the copy of Harvest Moon 64 he sold and sent me. He included a fun postcard, a strip of adorable Mario stickers and ... some sort of "bonus gift" wrapped in sparkly paper?

Inside that sparkly paper was the copy of Binary Land shown in the snapshot that sits just north of this block of text. How cool is that? It's a fully working cartridge, by the way, and the label was designed by Jeremy himself.

Now I just need to find the time to play both of these beautiful-looking carts.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Nichiest Podcast Ever turns 13

Not 13 years old, mind you. Thirteen episodes--or "takes," in shidoshi speak--old.

Anyway, another iteration of The Nichiest Podcast Ever is available for your listening pleasure, should you be a person who enjoys hearing a trio of fellow humans blather on about niche video games and systems.

As always, we cram a lot of niche-y game-y chatter into the latest episode, take, whatever you want to call it of the podcast. Among the topics covered this time around:
  • the impending release of the New 3DS in North America
  • the episodic visual novel, Harvest December, that's being localized by the folks at Circle Entertainment
  • the many Japanese 3DS, Vita and even PC titles that supposedly are being worked on (for Western audiences) by the folks at Xseed
  • the plethora of Vita game announcements that followed the holidays (one of which was tied to an English release of Steins;Gate)
Oh, and during our "Cheerleading" section, Anne declares her love for Pikmin 3 (Wii U), while I do the same--to various degrees--for Coming Out on Top (Mac), Woah Dave! (3DS) and Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley (also 3DS).

Speaking of which, look for me to expound on my feelings--both positive and negative--regarding The Lost Valley in a post that will be published tomorrow.

In the meantime, check out The Nichiest Podcast Ever 13 at, if you dare.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

A little more Catch! Touch! Yoshi! (DS) love

Did you think I was done talking about Catch! Touch! Yoshi! (aka Yoshi Touch & Go) with yesterday's post? I hope not, because I'm going to chat about it again today.

Well, kind of. Instead of discussing this early DS game's gameplay, I thought I'd talk about its packaging.

The centerpiece of this game's packaging, of course, is its cover art, which can be seen in the photos above and below.

This game's cover imagery is among my favorites for the system, and the illustrations produced for its manual and cart label--both of which are shown in the snapshot above--are pretty sweet (and I mean that literally and figuratively), too, if you ask me.

By the way, getting back to the box art for a second, I really like how it features a DS stylus that's apparently responsible for the squiggly pink lines that careen around its ample acreage.

Anyway, the back of the manual features a really nice image, too. Sadly, the interior of this pamphlet isn't quite as fabulous as its exterior, although I wouldn't go so far as to call it a stinker, either.

Still, it's always nice to see a bunch of colorful Yoshis stumbling around as they are in the manual page above.

Have any of you played Catch! Touch! Yoshi!--or Yoshi Touch & Go, or whatever it may be called in your neck of the woods? If so, what do you think about it?

Or, what do you think of the art showcased in the photos shared throughout this post? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

#ADecadeofDS: Catch! Touch! Yoshi!

Amount of time devoted to this DS game in the last week--One hour, 54 minutes.

Most recent boss toppled, location reached or milestone achieved--Erm, I spent a good bit of time with each of its four main modes--will that suffice? (I've yet to experience the game's "Battle" mode for what I'm sure are obvious reasons.)

Overall comments on the experience--For starters, don't read too much into the time listed above. Catch! Touch! Yoshi! (Yoshi Touch & Go outside of Japan) isn't a game you play for hours and hours on end--or at least that's not how I played it. Instead, it's one of those games you put five or 10 minutes into while you're lazing away on the couch on a Sunday afternoon.

Of course, it's possible I would've spent more time with Catch! Touch! Yoshi! over the last week if it had grabbed me from the get-go. Unfortunately, it didn't, and my first few stints with it left me thinking it just wasn't "my cup of tea"--or whatever the gaming equivalent would be.

I stuck with it, though, in part because I felt I needed to give it a fair shake and in part because I found it to be pretty darn easy on the eyes, and I'm glad I did, as its unique, touch-screen-centric gameplay--which alternates between using a stylus to form cloud-puff paths for an airborne baby Mario and using it to guide an always-on-the-move Yoshi through a seemingly endless ground-based stage--eventually grew on me to a surprising degree.

The game's "Score Attack" and "Time Attack" modes have proven to be my favorites, by the way, with the "Marathon" ("Endless" in the Japanese version) and "Challenge" modes being just a bit too tricky for me on most occasions.

Unfortunately, each of these modes are so similar in terms of aesthetics and gameplay that they're nearly interchangeable--a fact that makes Catch! Touch! Yoshi! seem dangerously thin, content-wise.

Still, there's obviously some good, almost "old fashioned" fun to be had here, and that shouldn't be overlooked--nor should the surprisingly attractive visuals that are on offer. (I especially love how the look of each "stage" slowly, but surely, morphs as the seconds tick away--from blue skies, to sunset, to nighttime and back again.) Add in what's sure to be an enticing price point--even for "complete" copies--and it's easy enough to overlook this cumbersome cart's handful of negatives.

Will I continue to play this game in the coming days, weeks and maybe even months?--Yes, on and off. Mind, you, I'd be far more likely to play it on the regular if a digital version of it were on my 3DS at all times, but as it stands, this colorful cartridge will have to settle for only occasionally making the journey from its case to one of my treasured DS or 3DS systems.

Do I recommend it to others?--It's kind of hard to say, actually. If 3DS owners could download Catch! Touch! Yoshi! (or Yoshi Touch & Go) from the eShop for a couple of bucks, I'd throw my full weight behind it, as it's definitely the kind of game a lot of people would enjoy dumping a few minutes into when they have some free time. It's harder to recommend it, though, when playing it requires tracking down an actual cart that's unlikely to stay in someone's DS or 3DS for very long.

Next up--Taiko no Tatsujin DS

See also: previous #ADecadeofDS posts

Monday, January 19, 2015

And the winners of The Gay Gamer Giveaway™ (Drop Wizard Edition) are ...

Congratulations to the following trio for winning the Drop Wizard (iOS) codes the folks at Neuronized so kindly sent my way a week or so go:

* Rui
* Nightmare Bruce
* Justin Difazzio

Jeremy and Justin: I'll send your codes to you through Twitter and Facebook, respectively.

As for you, Rui, drop me an e-mail (bochalla at yahoo dot com) at your earliest convenience so I can get a code out to you, too.

Other than that, I'd just like to thank, once again, whoever mans the Neutronized Twitter account for being so kind as to offer up these codes.