Friday, March 20, 2015

Which game should I play next as part of my #ADecadeofDS series?

I know they're not the most popular of the many series I've started over the years (a few of which have fallen by the wayside, it pains me to admit), but I'm really having fun digging through my ever-growing stash of European, Japanaese and North American DS games so I can play and write about them in one of my "A Decade of DS" columns.

That said, I'm having a hard time deciding which DS game I should go with for my next such write-up, which will be published in about a week (following the one I publish about Awatama, aka Soul Bubbles).

So, I thought I'd ask all of you to help me choose. I'm not going to ask for you to name random suggestions, though; instead, I'd like you to select one of the following:

Mr. Driller Drill Spirits
My World, My Way

Not that it matters, but the first two DS titles are the European versions of the games, while the third one is the North American release and the fourth is the Japanese iteration.

And what if no one votes, or if some folks vote and there's a tie? In that case, I guess I'll just flip a coin or something.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Guess what? I'm also on Google+

I have a feeling very few of you are on Google+, but if you are, I thought you might like to know that I'm now on sharing links, thoughts and things of a like nature on that oft-ignored social-media site via

I've actually had a Google+ account for ages now, but I only began using it in the last couple of weeks due to learning that the powers that be at Google apparently give added weight to links and shares and such that come from their social-media offering.

I don't make a dime from this blog at the moment and probably never will, so I'm not sure why that matters to me, but I guess that's a conversation that's best left for another day and another post, wouldn't you agree?

Anyway, if by some chance you do have a Google+ account, I'd of course love it if you'd add me to one or more of your circles, share my links now and then or simply make a comment should you ever feel the itch. Also, let met know your name, username or Google+ handle so I can follow you back and ensure ours isn't simply a one-way social-media relationship.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

I know I'm in the minority in wanting this, and I realize Square Enix wouldn't give it to us even if I weren't, but I'd really like to see some sort of follow-up to Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest

I've been fascinated by this weird Final Fantasy spin-off title, originally released in North America in 1992 and then released elsewhere the following year, since I first heard of it in the run-up to its launch.

That said, I've never actually owned a copy of the game, which goes by all sorts of other names--like Final Fantasy USA in Japan and Mystic Quest Legend throughout Europe--outside of the U.S., and which was directed by Kouzi Ide (who also had a hand in Rudra no Hiho for the Super Famicom and Final Fantasy Legend III for the GameBoy).

I did put a good amount of time into it over the course of a month or so back when I was a teen, though, courtesy of the local grocery store that rented out movies (VHS tapes, not DVDs) as well as all sorts of video games (systems, too).

I wasn't able to finish the game during that particular foray, although I definitely made it pretty far into its adventure (which exists in some sort of strange middle ground between mainline Final Fantasy titles and the oddball SaGa series), and I've always wanted to go back to it and see how to story wraps up. 

I've also always wanted to see another such game from Square Enix--with a straight-up sequel being preferred, of course, but an "inspired by Mystic Quest" effort also being acceptable.

What do all of you think about this idea? Would you like the same, or is a modern follow-up to Mystic Quest about the last thing you'd like to see from Square Enix at the moment?

While we wait, I'll strongly consider searching for a and picking up a copy of the original. In fact, maybe I'll buy the Japanese version, as I've always liked its rather triumphant box art.

Monday, March 16, 2015

I'm going to publish my impressions of Awatama (DS) in just a bit, but in the meantime, let's ogle its beautiful box and cart-label art

Although I spent a good amount of time with the North American version of this game--called Soul Bubbles--shortly after it I got my DS Lite back in 2010 or so, the copy I cozied up to wasn't my own. (An acquaintance lent it to me.)

I enjoyed the game so much, though, that I vowed to buy my own copy at some point down the road.

Oddly, it took me until late last year to follow through with that vow--and even then I didn't buy the North American version. Instead, I bought the Japanese version, Awatama, which was released in that region in 2009 by a company known as Interchannel. (Eidos Interactive published it elsewhere the year before.)

After even a brief glance at this game's beautiful cover art, though, I'm sure you'll understand why I went with this iteration over the ones mentioned above. (For the sake of comparison, here's the Euro version's far less appealing box art.)

Awatama's cart label, showcased in the snapshot above, is similarly stunning, if you ask me. I especially like this game's deceptively simple, yet still surprisingly attractive, logo.

I'd be hard-pressed to call the art that covers the backside of Awatama's case stunning, but it's still pretty darn nice, right? After all, it includes a couple of unique illustrations along with the usual array of screenshots.

Have any of you played the European, North American or even Japanese version of this Mekensleep-made title? If so, what are your thoughts on its art style, its gameplay or any other aspect of it?