Friday, February 06, 2015

Persona 4: Dancing All Night and Persona 5 sure look (and sound) like a lot of fun, don't you think?

I may not have much (any) experience with Atlus' vaunted Persona series, but that has absolutely nothing to do with a lack of interest on my part.

In fact, I've been interested in this series since I first read about Persona 2: Innocent Sin and Eternal Punishment back in the day.

Sadly, I can't tell you why I've yet to buy or play any of the games that have been released in English since the original, PlayStation release of Eternal Punishment back in 2000.

I can guarantee you, though, that the Persona-free portion of my life isn't going to last much longer. In part, that's because I recently bought a Vita (don't get too excited--it isn't due to be dropped on my doorstep for a week or so), and as such I'm planning to pick up a copy of Persona 4 Golden "tout de suite," as the French like to say.

Another reason my Persona virginity is likely to end soon is that I just watched the latest trailers for both Persona 4: Dancing All Night and Persona 5, and I'm now beyond stoked for both of these upcoming games.

Am I a bit bummed that I may not be able to play Persona 5 due to not owning a PS3 or PS4 (for the moment, at least)? Undoubtedly.

Persona 4 Golden and Persona 4: Dancing All Night are sure to keep my busy for some time, though, and after that, who knows? Maybe I'll get such a kick out of these Vita titles that I'll finally be willing to buy a PS3 just so I can play Persona 5 (and a few other games).

How about you? Are you, too, frothing at the mouth for either of these delicious-looking games?

Thursday, February 05, 2015

At long last, my review of THE 'DENPA' MEN 3

Unfortunately, you can't read it here. Instead, you have to head over to

Don't worry, this doesn't mean all of my reviews are going to appear on GameCritics rather than here from now on. I wrote this particular review for a site that isn't my own because Senior Editor Brad Gallaway, who has been a Twitter friend of mine for ages now, asked me to write it.

OK, so he also asked me to write a review of Fantasy Life, so at least one more of my reviews will be published there rather than here, but that's likely to be the extent of it. I think.

Anyway, if you're at all curious as to how I felt about THE "DENPA" MEN 3 after spending more than 40 hours with it, check out at your convenience.

Oh, and please share your feelings on this 3DS RPG in the comments section below--should you be one of the five or six people outside of Japan who've actually played it, I mean.

See also: my 'somewhat gay' review of the first 'DENPA' MEN game

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

#ADecadeofDS: Zombie Daisuki

Amount of time devoted to this game in the last week--Two hours, 24 minutes.

Most recent boss toppled, location reached or milestone achieved--Honestly, I'm kind of at a loss as to what to say here, as after completing the first "stage" of this Japanese DS game, everything kind of blends and blurs together. I can say, though, that I've beaten 10 or so levels thus far and I've attracted about 27 zombies to my "mob."

Overall comments on the experience--Much like Catch! Touch! Yoshi!, which I wrote about a few weeks ago, Zombie Daisuki is the kind of DS game that, if made today (instead of in 2011), it would be released digitally rather than via retail and it would cost just a couple of dollars.

Which is to say it's a fairly light (in terms of content), pick-up-and-play sort of experience--not unlike a lot of the mobile titles crowding the market these days. That's most evident in its gameplay, which consists of using your stylus first to corral your mob of blue knuckle-draggers and then again to send them careening toward the handful of humans--survivors of this portable game's apocalypse, I guess--and even presents (naturally they're topped with pretty red bows) that populate every pint-sized stage.

The latter are an important part of this DS game, by the way, because they provide you with all sorts of accessories that can be used to bolster the speed, strength and resiliency of your zombie pals, while the former--actually, killing to former--are key to you finishing each level.

Anyway, the survivor-slaughtering and gift-grabbing action that's at the heart of Zombie Daisuki is enjoyable enough--at first--thanks to its slick controls and cute, pixel-based graphics.

The game's audio deserves a nod here, too, as its jaunty, chiptune-y backing tracks keep the proceedings buoyant and fun, as do the silly sound bites--"oh, no!" and "please stop!" among them--that pop up now and then as the undeniably adorable undead rip all-comers to shreds.

Sadly, even when all of these elements are combined, they're not quite enough to keep your attention--or not for long, at least. Which is too bad, as it's a cute little game and I very much wanted to like it based on its pedigree (Chunsoft, hello!), graphics and focus on zombies.

Will I continue to play this game in the coming days, weeks and maybe even months?--I kind of doubt it. I love the aesthetics, and I think the gameplay's nice enough, but both aspects are so repetitive that the overall experience can't be called anything but a bore.

Do I recommend it to others?--If you can find a fairly cheap ($10, tops) copy of it, sure. If not, you're likely to feel like you've wasted your money.

Next up--Pop Cutie! Street Fashion Simulation

See also: previous #ADecadeofDS posts

Monday, February 02, 2015

Lights, camera, Taiko no Tatsujin DS!

Early last week, I shared some impressions (in this #ADecadeofDS post) of my weeklong playthrough, of sorts, of Taiko no Tatsujin DS.

Although that was my first experience with the vaunted Taiko no Tatsujin series, it was more than enough to get me to fall in love with it.

In fact, I fell in love with it to such an extent that I've since bought (but not yet received) copies of the second and third Taiko no Tatsujin DS games, and I'm seriously considering picking up one of the PSP Taiko titles soon as well.

While we all wait for those copies to make their way to my doorstep, why don't we ogle some of the physical products that are associated with Taiko no Tatsujin DS?

The front cover of this 2007 release can be seen in the photo above, of course, while the back cover can be seen below.

Copies of all three of the DS games--and the first 3DS one, which is known as Taiko no Tatsujin: Chibi Dragon to Fushigina Orb--come with a pair of Taiko-themed styli packed inside their cases, in case you weren't aware.

Here are the two that came with my particular copy of Taiko DS:

Completely adorable, right? Strangely, I've yet to actually use them. Instead, I've used the stylus that came with my original (red) 3DS and the stylus that came with my pink-and-white XL.

As for Taiko no Tatsujin DS' cartridge, well, it's far from amazing in terms of label art, but I snapped a photo of it anyway.

This game's instruction manual is rather nice, though, despite the fact that it was made for a DS title. (In general, I'm not a fan of DS instruction manuals, as they tend to be too long, with too many words and too few photos and illustrations. Of course, the same could be said of most manuals made since about 2001.)

The page above isn't one of the manual's best, mind you, but I'm sharing it here anyway because I love how, in the last of the three boxes explaining how to use the included Taiko styli while playing this game, the document's designers felt the need to point out that you shouldn't stab your 3DS' bottom screen like it's one of the eyeholes in Jason Vorhees' hockey mask.

Pages like the ones above, on the other hand, are nearly worth the price of admission, if you ask me. In fact, I'd do some pretty nasty things if it would net me a poster-sized (and text-free) version of this illustration.

How will the second and third Taiko no Tatsujin titles for DS stack up to this effort? I don't know, but I'm very much looking forward to finding out--and soon. And of course I'll let you know the results of that fact-finding mission as soon as I am able (likely in a post similar to this one).

See also: my #ADecadeofDS write-up about Taiko no Tatsujin DS