Saturday, June 06, 2015

This game's title is a mouthful, but I want it anyway (or, PoPoLoCrois Bokujou Monogatari is heading to North America later this year as Return to PopoloCrois: A Story of Seasons Fairytale)

First, for those of you who don't know your PoPoLoCrois Bokujou Monogatari from your Ore no Shikabane wo Koete Yuke, the former is a 3DS title that curiously combines elements of two different game series, PoPoLoCrois Monogatari and Bokujou Monogatari.

I say "curiously" here because Bokujou Monogatari is what the ages-old Harvest Moon (now Story of Seasons) series of farming simulators is called in Japan, while PoPoLoCrois Monogatari is a rather well-loved series of role-playing games that previously were released for the original PlayStation, the PS2 and the PSP.

In other words, PoPoLoCrois Bokujou Monogatari--or Return to PopoloCrois: A Story of Seasons Fairytale, as it will be known in North America--is going to be a 3DS cart that allows folks to do all of the things that traditionally go hand in hand with playing a Japanese RPG (traversing a sprawling overworld, challenging a variety of baddies to turn-based tussles) while also giving them an opportunity to lovingly tend to a farm in their spare time. (To get a glimpse of all of the above in action, check out this Japanese trailer.)

Anyway, I've had my eye on this sucker, which is being made by Marvelous and will be published in North America via Xseed, since it was first announced some time ago. I've hemmed and hawed in regards to pre-ordering it, though, due to the fact that I assumed the text in it would be too much for me at this point in time. (Plus, it'll hit store shelves in Japan on June 18, and the last thing I need right now is for another game to arrive on my doorstep that I won't be able to play for a month or more.)

So, the revelation that it's being localized as Return to PopoloCrois: A Story of Seasons Fairytale--officially, it's Return to PopoloCrois: A STORY OF SEASONS Fairytale, but I refuse to support Xseed's all-caps abuse--but won't actually released until sometime this winter has me feeling pretty stoked.

Are any of you also looking forward to getting your hands on this 3DS game? If so, feel free to share the love in the comments section below.

Thursday, June 04, 2015

Feast your eyes on Taiko no Tatsujin V Version's first trailer

Considering it was announced almost a month and a half ago, it's kind of shocking that it took the folks at Bandai Namco until a couple of days ago to release the first trailer for Taiko no Tatsujin V Version.

That's the name of the latest entry in the company's vaunted series of music games, by the way. Oh, and it's about to be released for the Vita--a fact that's made patently obvious about four seconds into the following, three-minute-long clip.

Despite the fact that I pre-ordered this sucker the first day I was allowed to do so at, I can't say I'm completely thrilled by what I see here. I mean, it all looks nice enough, but it's also very ... "more of the same," I guess?

At any rate, I'm still looking forward to getting my hands on it--in part because it'll provide my only other physical Vita game (the first Danganronpa) with a bit of company.

See also: 'Taiko no Tatsujin V Version, eh? If it were up to me, it'd be called Taiko no Tatsujin VI Version...'

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Nice Package! (Hyakumanton no Bara Bara, PSP)

Some of you probably know this 2010 PSP title by the name--Patchwork Heroes--the powers that be at Sony gave it before it was released in Europe and North America.

Sadly, the game was only sold digitally in the West. Sure, that made North American and European copies of Patchwork Heroes quite a bit cheaper than their Japanese counterparts, but it also meant that people who picked up the former missed out on Hyakumanton no Bara Bara's beautiful packaging, which can be seen throughout this post.

For starters, there's this quirky action game's box art, seen in the photo above, which I can say without hesitation is one of my all-time favorite examples of PSP cover imagery. 

Quality illustrations are plastered across the front of Hyakumanton no Bara Bara's instruction manual and the label of its UMD, too. (Don't worry, you'll get a better look at the latter near the bottom of this post.)

Actually, sketches done in a style that's similar to the art that graces the cover of this Acquire-developed game's manual also can be found on a number of its inside pages. 

The rest of Hyakumanton no Bara Bara's instruction booklet isn't as noteworthy, but it still wows now and then--with the character bios shown in the snapshot above being a case in point. 

Speaking of this PSP title's characters, a number of them can be found on its colorful UMD label.

Sadly, the backside of Hyakumanton no Bara Bara's packaging, below, doesn't quite achieve the heights that are reached by the rest of it.

Of course, if I had to force the designers responsible for producing this product to skimp on one aspect of it, I'd go with the back of the box, so to speak, so don't expect me to complain too much about the above.

What do all of you think? Do the photos shared here make you want to run out and buy a copy of the Japanese physical release of Patchwork Heroes as soon as you're able?

Note: if you're like me and you aren't entirely satisfied with the quality of the photographs showcased in this post, head over to my Flickr photostream, which features versions that are both brighter and less blurry.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Capcom, Nintendo and Square are doing their darndest to suck me (and my bank account) dry

And here I thought this morning's Japanese Nintendo Direct was going to be a dud.

Instead, it ended with me adding a bunch of items--not just games, but systems and even accessories, too--to my ever-growing 3DS wish list.

Admittedly, a couple of the aforementioned titles that are going to be picked up as soon as is possible--which means the minute they're released--were announced prior to today's broadcast, but I wasn't sure about either of them until I saw them in action or saw their box art.

The 3DS port (of sorts) of Dragon Quest VIII is the game that I had to see in action before deciding to purchase it, by the way.

Speaking of which, its first trailer can be seen at the beginning of the Nintendo Direct. I don't know about you, but I think it looks pretty wonderful. Even if it didn't, though, I'd probably buy a copy of it just so I could experience the "pudding slime" spotted at the 2:07 mark firsthand.

Dragon Quest VIII will hit store shelves in Japan on Aug. 27. Here's hoping it somehow makes its way westward, too.

As for the 3DS game that I want to own now that I've seen its box art, that would be Doubutsu no Mori: Happy Home Designer.

Seriously, look at the packaging above and try to tell me it isn't fabulous beyond belief.

Actually, scratch that. This Animal Crossing spin-off's cover art is just fabulous when compared to the special New 3DS LL system (above) that's set to be released alongside it.

Even more fabulous, in my humble opinion, is the Happy Home Designer-branded kisekae plate that also will hit the streets of Japan on July 30.

You can rest assured I'll pre-order the latter as soon as someone allows me to do so--despite the fact that I've yet to pick up a New 3DS system.

This latest Nintendo Direct didn't focus only on already announced 3DS games, thankfully. A handful of surprises found their way into the broadcast, too, with the side-scrolling Guru Guru! Chibi Robo! and Monster Hunter X being two of them.

To be honest, as happy as I am that Nintendo's giving Chibi Robo another chance, I'm not sure I'll be purchasing this latest effort. (I'd far prefer an adventure that apes the series' original offering.)

Also, as nice as Monster Hunter X looks, I can say with quite a bit of certainty that I won't be adding it to my collection of 3DS games.

I can say with just as much certainty, though, that I'll be buying one of the other out-of-left-field titles that were announced earlier today--with the title in question being MonHun Nikki: Poka Poka Airu Mura DX (aka Monster Hunter Diary: Poka Poka Airu Village DX).

After all, I've wanted to play one of the MonHun Nikki games for ages, and I can't think of anything more appropriate than finally doing so on my Japanese 3DS.

(This kind of puts the copy of the first MonHun Nikki for PSP I acquired a short while ago in a precarious position, I guess, but what can you do?)

What did all of you think about this morning's Nintendo Direct? Did any accessories, games or systems stick out at you as "must buys"?