Saturday, July 11, 2015

Speaking of interesting Vita games, an expanded version of Hatoful Boyfriend will be released for the system (and the PS4, too) on July 21

Ever since Anne (or was it shidoshi?) declared her love for Hatoful Boyfriend during a past episode of The Nichiest Podcast Ever, I've desperately wanted to sink my teeth into this indie-turned-blockbuster title.

Of course, who wouldn't want to spend some quality time with a visual novel that allows (forces?) you to romance a variety of birds?

At any rate, it seems my dream of finally playing some iteration of this Mediatonic-developed title will become a reality shortly, as an expanded version of it will be released for the PS4 and Vita (I'll be picking up the latter, naturally) on July 21.

Sadly, publisher Devolver Digital has yet to say how much these releases will set people back, but as long as it doesn't cost more than, say, $15, I'm pretty sure I'll buy it day one.

Are any of you planning to do the same? If so, let me and others know about it in the comments section below. Also, feel free to mention any other upcoming Vita games you may be interested in purchasing, as a number have been announced in recent days that make me proud to be an owner of Sony's latest (and probably last, if I'm to be honest) handheld system.

See also: 'Mystery Chronicle is one of many interesting Japanese Vita games I'm currently thinking of buying'

Friday, July 10, 2015

Mystery Chronicle: I Won't Look Back Until I Win is one of many interesting Japanese Vita games I'm currently thinking of buying

Full disclosure: although I fell in love with the Vita the second I pulled my Japanese pink-and-white system from its packaging in early March, I've only played it sparingly in the last couple of months.

I know I'll be calling into action again soon, though, as my pre-ordered-eons-ago copy of Taiko no Tatsujin: V Version, a title that just hit store shelves in Japan, should start making its way across the ocean to our doorstep in a week or two, and once it's in my hand I'm sure it'll keep me busy--and thoroughly entertained--for a good while.

A handful of similarly intriguing Vita titles that'll first, if not only, see the light of day in the Land of the Rising Sun should keep the proverbial ball rolling, with one of the titles in question being a remake of the mobile RPG, Hero Must Die, and another being Nippon Ichi's surprisingly adorable spookathon, Yomawari.

The latter will be released around Halloween, by the way, while the former, which is being made by the same company, Pyramid, that brought the world the three Patapon games that graced the PSP throughout its lifetime, won't hit the streets of Japan (or any other region, I guess) until February of next year.

Between Taiko no Tatsujin: V Version and Yomawari, though, there'll be at least one other import-only (for not, at least) Vita title that's likely to prompt me to pull my system out of storage for a spell.

The Vita game in question is Fushigi no Chronicle: Furikaerimasen Katsu Madewa, which translates to Mystery Chronicle: I Won't Look Back Until I Win in English.

Like the aforementioned Hero Must Die, Mystery Chronicle's roots are in the mobile space. Unlike Hero Must Die, though, Mystery Chronicle is more of an "inspired by" effort than a full-on remake of an earlier release.

Regardless of which version of Mystery Chronicle you play, though, the gameplay is still that of a roguelike that features forced, side-scrolling stages. Don't worry if that leaves a few question marks bobbing around in your head; I'm in the very same boat.

Thankfully, the pair of trailers that can be viewed above do a far better job than I do of shining a light on how this Spike Chunsoft-made game is going to play--and I don't know about you, but I think the action looks pretty awesome. What do all of you think, though; do you think it looks interesting, or something less appealing?

Thursday, July 09, 2015

Come join me in the Rainbow Games community

I know it may not be all that wise for me to push people in the direction of a "competing" website, especially when I'd love for those same folks to start and participate in all kinds of interesting discussions right here, but the fact is that my blog is only ever going to attract and retain a certain percentage of the gaming population.

So, if you don't quite get your fill of retro, niche or Japanese games on this particular blog, or if you're just looking for another online outlet for your Japanese, niche or retro gaming obsessions and thoughts, you may want to head over to, which bills itself as "a community geared toward niche and retro game discussion and celebration," and set up an account.

You'll find me there using the handle "thegaygamer," of course. If you follow suit and start using the community, too, let me know here or via some sort of direct message sent through the dreamwidth site what your username is so I can properly connect with you there.

On a related note, if there are any additional blogs, communities or other sites out there that also focus on retro, niche or Japanese games that you think I might enjoy checking out, please let me know about them in the comments section of this post.

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

FYI: two awesome Internet pals recently sent me free copies of three Japanese DS games

Especially astute folks who read the entirety of my most recent #ADecadeofDS write-up likely noticed that in the "next up" portion of it I revealed that I'd play two (rather than just one) games before I publish the series' next entry.

The reason for that change in routine: as mentioned in this post's headline, two rather awesome people (who I've gotten to know via Twitter and elsewhere) recently sent me a trio of Japanese DS games that I'd previously never experienced.

One of those awesome folks (the lovely MintyPocky), sent me a complete-in-box copy of Bokujou Monogatari: Youkoso! Kaze no Bazaar e, which most people in the Western world know as Harvest Moon DS: Grand Bazaar. Here is the Japanese version's vibrant box art:

Meanwhile, another person entirely--Brian, proprietor of the Japanese 3DS tumblog--sent me cartridges for two Japan-only DS games, one of which is Konami's Shounen Sunday x Shounen Magazine: Nettou! Dream Nine.

To be completely honest, I initially turned up my nose at this offering, as I assumed it was "just another boring baseball game." A quick Google search of its title, though, has me believing Nettou! Dream Nine's actually some sort of interactive comic, which sounds far more appealing (if possibly less accessible).

The other "loose" DS cart that was sent my way is Penguin no Mondai: Saikyou Penguin Densetsu! (The first part of the title apparently translates to A Penguin's Troubles.)

Apparently it's based on a rather famous Japanese manga series about a penguin named Beckham Kinoshita, who attends Kirikabu Elementary School and likes to eat hamburgers and "hot chips."

You may be wondering why I'm sharing pieces of cover art that were grabbed from GameFAQs rather than photos of the cases and carts in question. That would be because Blogger is being a dick (yes, that's the technical term) and screwing them up whenever I attempt to upload them.

So, I decided to cut my losses and use the images seen above instead. If you'd like to see the few snapshots I've collected of Bokujou Monogatari's case and manual, as well as Penguin no Mondai's and Nettou! Dream Nine's cartridges, check out my Flickr photostream.

As for what I think of the actual content of this these Japanese DS games, well, I've only played two of them so far--with the pair in question being Bokujou Monogatari and Penguin no Mondai--and even then I've only spent about an hour with the latter and a half-hour with the former.

Still, that's been enough for me to think I'll like both of them in the end--although I've got to admit that attempting to work your way through a Bokujou Monogatari title with only a minimal understanding of the Japanese language is a bit ... trying. It could do wonders for my vocabulary, though, so I'll stick with it for a while for that reason alone.

Penguin no Mondai also features a bunch of mostly unintelligible text to wade through, too, but that's far less of an issue for me because, at its heart, this game is a pretty basic--but still fun--platform. (The aforementioned text tends to be limited to between-stage cutscenes.)

I'll share more impressions about both of these games in my next "Shall We Do It?" post, which will be published shortly. In the meantime, if any of you have played one or more of the games mentioned here, let me know what you think of them in the comments section below.