Thursday, June 18, 2015

Nice Package! (The Adventures of Puppet Princess, PlayStation)

One of the byproducts of my most recent attempt to learn the Japanese language (don't worry, I'm still working on it, albeit slowly) has been a reignited interest in a certain world-conquering system made by a little company called Sony.

The system in question is the original PlayStation, naturally (OK, so I could've said it was the PS2, but to be honest I've always preferred Sony's first effort in this space to its second), and the focus of my renewed interest in this console has been on its amazingly diverse catalog of Japanese releases.

The game seen below, known outside of Japan as Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure, is a good example. I mean, it's an RPG that stars a female protagonist and features all kinds of sing-songy cutscenes.

My original plan was to buy the North American version of this Nippon Ichi-made game, by the way, but I quickly changed course after I came across (while perusing eBay) the copy shown throughout this post.

Granted, it helped that this particular copy carried a surprisingly cheap price tag. (It was less than $5, to be exact.)

It also helped that I found The Adventures of Puppet Princess' cover art to be rather appealing in its Disney-esque simplicity.

The art produced for the front of this title's instruction manual (see above) is even nicer, if you ask me.

The inside of The Adventures of Puppet Princess' manual is stuffed with similarly adorable illustrations, with the ones shown above and below being but a fraction of what's made available to those who pick up copies of this PlayStation game.

Have any of you played some iteration or other of this lovely little RPG? If so, which version have you experienced, and what did you think of it?

See also: other recent 'Nice Package!' write-ups about Hyakumanton no Bara Bara (for the PSP), PoPoLoCrois Monogatari (for the PSone) and my new 'noble pink' Nintendo DS Lite

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

I'd totally buy a copy or two of Keita Takahasi's Wattam if I owned a PS4 (even though I don't understand a second of its first trailer)

I know everyone else in the world who's at all interested in the PS4 is drooling over the "triple whammy" of games--the Final Fantasy VII remake, The Last Guardian and Shenmue III--that were announced at E3 2015 a couple of days ago.

I understand that, I really do, but if I were to be honest (and why wouldn't I be on my own blog?), I'd admit that I'm far more intrigued by Keita Takahasi's Wattam than I am by any of the aforementioned titles.

Which is kind of strange, as I can't say I have a single clue as to what the hell is going on in the trailer that can be watched below.

Still, I wouldn't pass up a chance to put Wattam and its weird collection of characters through their paces, as the ages-old saying goes.

Sadly, that would require me to purchase a PS4--something that isn't likely to become a reality anytime soon, if ever. If Keita and his crew of crazy game-makers (they previously developed the first two Katamari Damacy titles, after all) were to port Wattam to, say, the Vita, though, I'd be all over it like rainbow sprinkles on a frosted doughnut.

How about you fine folks? Are any of you chomping at the bit to sink your teeth into this outlandish-looking PS4 effort?

See also: 'Everything you need to know about Wattam, from Robin Hunicke & Keita Takahashi'

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

What does it say about me that Square Enix's World of Final Fantasy is the E3 game announcement that most excited me yesterday?

Don't worry, I'm fully aware of what it says about me--especially when some of the other games that were announced alongside this one at E3 2015 yesterday were the long-awaited Final Fantasy VII remake (for PS4, at least initially), the presumed-dead Last Guardian and the out-of-left-field Shenmue III.

What was it about Square Enix's trailer for World of Final Fantasy (watch it below or here), which will be released for both the PS4 and the Vita at some point in 2016 as well as one or more other systems afterward, that tripped my trigger?

I guess you could say the focus of my interest in this retro-modern RPG is its chibi character models, which recall the adorable, sprite-based ones that filled the earliest of Final Fantasy adventures.

Despite the praise I've heaped on World of Final Fantasy so far (well, kind of), I'm not chomping at the bit to pre-order it. That's going to have to wait until I see some more gameplay footage.

Plus, I want to make sure I won't be forced to control those ugly, non-chibi characters that also are featured in the trailer above before I even consider handing over my hard-earned cash for this throwback release.

How about all of you? Are you also (somewhat) excited for World of Final Fantasy? And how do you feel about the other PS4-bound games I mentioned at the beginning of this post?

Monday, June 15, 2015

Out of this world: Nintendo's first Mother game finally earns an English release (via the Wii U eShop) as EarthBound Beginnings

I'm sure all, or at least most, of you have heard this news elsewhere already, but just in case you're among the handful who haven't: last night, Nintendo decided to shock everyone and drop an official English localization of the original Mother game on the Wii U's European and North American eShops.

This is the 8-bit precursor to the SNES game, EarthBound (known as Mother 2 in Japan), that has garnered quite the cult following in the two decades since it first hit North American store shelves in 1995, for those of you who are lacking a bit of knowledge about this series of wonderfully and endearingly odd RPGs.

Another morsel of info some of you may or may not know about Mother (aka EarthBound Beginnings): Nintendo translated the game into English shortly after it hit the streets of Japan (in 1989, for the Famicom), but its North American release was scrapped at the last minute in favor of its 16-bit sequel.

If you'd like to learn a bit more about this heretofore-unreleased NES title before handing over nearly seven of your hard-earned dollars for a digital copy of it, you may want to check out the trailer above or the message from series creator, Shigesato Itoi, that can be seen below (and here).

You also may want to check out a couple of previous posts I've published about this game--one of which features a few photos of Mother's fabulous box and cartridge, and one of which offers a glimpse at its similarly stellar instruction manual.

The only other thing I've got to say about this whole she-bang is that I sincerely hope the powers that be at Nintendo eventually decide to put EarthBound Beginnings on 3DS eShops around the world, too, as it would be a real shame if only Wii U owners got to experience it.