Friday, May 08, 2015

I really like these recent examples of Japanese Vita box art, too

You may recall that at one point in the post I published yesterday (about recent examples of Japanese 3DS box art that I also like) I complained that far too many games released in the Land of the Rising Sun these days sport cover illustrations that are little more than lazy collages of the title in question's colorful cast of characters.

Sadly, that's exactly how some folks will describe the four pieces of Vita box art showcased below, and even though I agree with them--to a point--I'm still more than a bit fond of each of them.

The cover art shown above, for Persona 4: Dancing All Night, is my favorite of the bunch. Of course, how could it not be, right? After all, it features a bunch of the Persona series' regulars striking furious poses while a glittery disco ball bathes them in rainbow-colored light. In a word: fabulous.

As much as I love Dancing All Night's cover imagery, I think I love the example above just as much. Or at least nearly as much. It's for a game called Fushigi no Gensokyo, or Mystery Gensokyo: The Tower of Desire, by the way, and I'm desperately hoping it makes its way to North America sometime soon.

That's not because of its box art, mind you, but because of its adorable roguelike gameplay. Also, it seems this title is going to be a digital-only affair in Japan, which means me picking up that version probably is going to be out of the question. So, here's hoping someone brings it to my neck of the woods--and soon.

In the post I devoted to Bandai Namco's oh-so-attractive RPG, Ray Gigant, a couple of days ago, I mentioned its also-beautiful box art. Well, here it is. Stunning, right? Possibly not as stunning as the pair of examples that preceded this one, I guess, but it's definitely "pretty nice."

This is another Vita title that I hope crosses the pond, as they say--as long as it winds up being a better game than the similar-looking Time and Eternity.

Full disclosure: I know next to nothing about this particular game. Well, other than its title, which is Makai Shin Trillion, I mean. And that it was made by the folks at Compile Heart. That last fact doesn't fill me with much hope, I've got to admit, as I've nothing but complaints about that developer's past efforts.

Not helping matters is that Makai Shin Trillion looks to be some sort of Disgaea ripoff, which rubs me the wrong way for some strange reason. Oh, well, at least its cover illustration and logo are kind of snazzy, right?

See also: 'I really like these recent examples of Japanese 3DS box art'

Thursday, May 07, 2015

I really like these recent examples of Japanese 3DS box art

I don't think there's ever been a time in my life when I wasn't interested in game box art.

OK, so I obviously wasn't all that into it before I started playing games (all the way back in the mid-1980s), but it didn't take long for that interest to set in once the introductions were out of the way.

In fact, I remember being more than a bit intrigued--some would say obsessed--with a good number of NES box covers, including Castlevania, Crystalis, Dragon Warrior, The Legend of Zelda, Little Nemo and Super Mario Bros. 3.

Fast forward to the present, and there's no question that I've become a full-on "box art nut." Sure, most of the stuff that's produced today can't hold a candle to the wonderful cover illustrations that were conjured up during my teen years, but that doesn't mean none of it is worth ogling.

Take the following five, recent-ish examples of Japanese 3DS box art. I'm guessing some of you will take issue with at least a few of them, but I myself find all of them pretty appealing.

The cover art above was made for an RPG I can only imagine is aimed at the Pokemon (or maybe I should say Yokai Watch) set, called Minarai Majo to MokoMoko Friends.

Honestly, I consider the overall image to be a snooze, but I think the assertive use of pastels, the whimsical logo and the surprisingly adroit character designs make up for it.

Next up, we have New Atelier Rorona, above. Yes, it's true that almost any piece of box art that includes a lot of pink is going to catch my eye, but that's not why I'm including it here. No, I'm including it here because I'm fond of the image that appears in front of all of that pink, too.

I'd definitely agree with anyone who chose to describe this game's logo as being a few steps past "overboard," but I guess it could be worse.

By the way, I'm genuinely interested in this game's content, too--to the point that I really hope Koei Tecmo announces its North American release soon. And if they don't? I may have to consider picking up the Japanese version.

I had a really hard time deciding if I should include this iteration of Fire Emblem If's cover art here or the other one, which is darker and features a lot of purple.

Both are marvelous, if you ask me, but for whatever reason the one above is doing more for me then the other at the moment.

Despite the fact that I made room for this game's box art in this post, I really debated with myself as to whether or not it belonged.

On the one hand, I like how aggressively colorful it is, but on the other, I consider it to be more than a bit cliche in terms of its design. (How many Japanese games sport cover illustrations that are little more than a messy collage of all, or at least most, of their characters? Far too many, in my opinion.)

To wash the above out of our mouths, let's take in the subtle beauty of PoPoLoCrois Bokujou Monogatari's box art. 

Strangely, the only thing I don't love about it is the pairing that serves as its centerpiece. Aside from that, though, I like the use of perspective, the classy logo and the almost delicate shading and use of color. 

This is another Japanese 3DS title that I hope makes its way across the pond, by the way. Come on, Xseed, make it so I don't have to import this sucker as well as New Atelier Rorona (and Rhythm Tengoku: The Best Plus and probably a handful of others). 

What do all of you think of the pieces of box art showcased in this post? Also, if you like any recent-ish examples of Japanese 3DS cover imagery that aren't included here, please let me know about them in the comments section below.

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

How on earth did I fail to hear about Ray Gigant (Vita) until now?

OK, so we all know the answer to the question posed in the header above: the reason I'm only now learning of this upcoming Bandai Namco RPG's existence is that I've been far too focused on trying to wrap up Atlus' My World, My Way for DS.

Seriously, though, I'm fairly surprised this game avoided appearing on my radar until the last few days, as the final product is going to sport some pretty snazzy cover imagery.

Actually, "snazzy" is a word I'd use to describe the look of Ray Gigant's battles, too, as they utilize a perspective that's pretty unique as far as Japanese RPGs are concerned. Here are a handful of examples:

Unfortunately, that's about all that's known about this Vita title, which will be released sometime this summer in Japan, at the moment. Well, other than the fact that parties will be limited to only three members and the gameplay will be broken into an undisclosed number of chapters.

Hopefully the folks at Bandai Namco will share a trailer for this sucker with the world soon--and if it proves to be impressive, hopefully they'll follow it up with an announcement that the game will see the light of day in other regions at some point, too.

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Have you always wanted to play a visual novel featuring lesbian romances? Starlight Vega may be the game for you...

While recording the latest episode of The Nichiest Podcast Ever early last week, Anne (Lee, of the Chic Pixel blog) took the opportunity to educate shidoshi and I about an in-the-works visual novel (for PC) that will feature lesbian romances--an unfortunate oddity when it comes to this particular gaming genre.

That alone makes this game, called Starlight Vega, worth discussing, but what makes it doubly so--in my opinion, at least--is that it actually looks like it could wind up being pretty darn good.

I especially like its art style, which appealingly straddles the line between what's traditionally found in Japanese visual novels and what's usually created by your typical Western illustrator.

Starlight Vega's Kickstarter--which wraps up on May 22--surpassed its initial goal ages ago, but some of you may still want to invest in it given that its final stretch goal would allow for the creation of additional endings (including a "harem" one).

If you'd like to learn more about Starlight Vega, I'd suggest checking out its Kickstarter page, its official site, its Tumblr or its Twitter feed.

Monday, May 04, 2015

Here's hoping the SaGa game for Vita looks more interesting than the browser-based Imperial SaGa

I don't know about you, but I'd completely forgotten than the folks at Square Enix are working on a browser-based SaGa game--called Imperial SaGa--as well as one for the Vita.

After watching Imperial SaGa's first trailer, below, I have a feeling that game would be better off forgotten, actually.

OK, so that's not completely fair, as Imperial SaGa looks to have at least a couple of redeemable qualities. For instance, I like some of the enemy designs, and some of the attacks look appropriately bonkers.

I can't say I'm all that impressed with the rest of it, though--with the character sprites being a prime example. For me, these creations just don't hold a candle to the ones Square Enix's (or, rather, Squaresoft's) staffers produced during the Super Famicom and PlayStation eras.

Anyway, I still have somewhat high hopes for the Vita SaGa game--although, really, who knows when we'll finally get a look at that one, let alone be given the chance to play the finished product?

With that said, what do all of you think of this first Imperial SaGa trailer? Do you think it stinks, or do you think it smells like freshly baked chocolate chip cookies (which, for me, is a decidedly positive thing)?