Friday, July 31, 2015

I've never been a fan of Final Fantasy Explorer's art style, but I'll probably pick up the upcoming North American version anyway

In case you didn't see this news elsewhere yesterday: Square Enix will be bringing its Monster Hunter-esque 3DS game, Final Fantasy Explorers, to North America and Europe in early 2016.

Specifically, this Final Fantasy spin-off will be released in the former region on Jan. 26 and in the latter one on Jan. 29.

The out-of-nowhere announcement came as a shock to the handful of Westerners who actually cared about the fate of this so-far-Japan-only cart, as it hit store shelves in that territory all the way back in December of 2014.

Why did Square Enix wait so long to bring it to our shores? I have no idea, although I hope it had something to do with its staffers making some additions, or even changes, to it.

Sadly, I doubt they'll do anything to Final Fantasy Explorer's character designs, which are about as boring and lifeless as can be, in my opinion. (Especially when you compare them to the ones found in a game like Bravely Default.)

Still, I'm currently planning to pick up a copy of this strange looking title--if only to show the brass at Square Enix that us Americans actually want them to localize more of their 3DS games (such as all of those wonderful Dragon Quest adventures that are languishing in Japan) in the coming months and even years.

How about you guys and gals? Do any of you think you'll buy Final Fantasy Explorers at some point down the road?

See also: 'And yet five more games I'm looking forward to playing between now and the end of 2015'

Thursday, July 30, 2015

I'd totally get these Dragon Quest VIII-themed 'PC' and 'TPU' covers if I owned a New 3DS XL

Thankfully for my bank account, I don't currently own a New 3DS XL or LL. And even if I did own one, it probably wouldn't be an all-white model, which is what it would have to be for the colorful "TPU" cover showcased below to stand out as it should.

Speaking of which, I don't suppose any of you know what "TPU" stands for, do you?

Regardless, if you'd like to pre-order one of these beauties, you can do so at you've got $24.99 to blow.

As for the Dragon Quest VIII-themed "PC" cover alluded to in the headline above, here's how it looks when applied to a blue New 3DS XL or LL.

It also looks pretty cool when it's not attached to either of Nintendo's big-screened New 3DS models, as can be seen in the image below.

These "PC" covers (again, whatever "PC means) can be pre-ordered via, by the way, for the super-low price of 1,260 Yen (about $10).

Or, if you're more of a kind of person, you can buy one on that site for $13.99.

Just be aware that neither cover will reach your doorstep until late August at the earliest--which, curiously enough, is right around when the 3DS version of Dragon Quest VIII will be released.

(Via NintendoTweet)

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

So, what do all of you think about the fact that Dragon Quest XI is being made for 3DS, PS4 and (eventually, probably) NX?

As you've all surely heard by now, the brass at Square Enix revealed during a Dragon Quest-focused press conference yesterday morning that the 11th entry in the company’s vaunted RPG series is being prepped as we speak for the 3DS, the PS4 and the announced-but-still-shrouded-in-mystery system currently known as the Nintendo NX.

Here are some of the most pertinent of the details that were shared about Dragon Quest XI during the event held about 24 hours ago.

Although the same core staff members are working on both the 3DS and PS4 versions of the game, a company called Orca is assisting with the development of the PS4 release, while Toy Logic is helping make the 3DS one.

Despite the fact that they’ll look quite different in the end, both iterations of Dragon Quest XI will tell the same story, à la the pair of Ni no Kuni titles Level-5 made for the DS and PS3 a few years ago.

Intriguingly, Dragon Quest XI for 3DS will feature three-dimensional graphics on the system's upper screen (is it me, or do they look cel-shaded?), while the lower screen will showcase two-dimensional visuals that appear fairly Super Famicom-esque.

Oh, and when it comes to this game's battle scenes, if you're using the 3DS' circle pad when one begins, the fight will be depicted using the afore-mentioned 3D graphics. If, on the other hand, you're using the handheld's directional pad, the contest will be depicted using sprites.

Finally, Square Enix is shooting to release the 3DS and PS4 versions of Dragon Quest XI at some point during the series' 30th anniversary year--which means between April 1 of 2016 and March 31 of 2017.

With all of that out of the way, what do you think of this news--and of the first footage of the 3DS make of Dragon Quest XI, which can be viewed above?

Personally, I think it's great. Sure, I would've loved it if Square Enix had decided to put the game on the PS3, Vita and Wii U, too, but even as is I'm feeling pretty darn stoked.

There's no question I'll be picking up the 3DS iteration, by the way--quite possibly when it first hits store shelves in Japan.

Don't worry, I'll double dip if Square Enix (or Nintendo) eventually brings it to North America, but you just know that's going to take a number of months, if it happens at all.

Will any of you be following suit--by buying either the Japanese 3DS or PS4 releases? Or are you planning to hold out for copies that have been localized for the country or region you call home?

Monday, July 27, 2015

And yet five more games I'm looking forward to playing between now and the end of 2015

Just over a month ago, I published a pair of posts--here's the first one, and here's the second one--that detailed a handful of games I'm looking forward to playing between now and the end of 2015.

My original intention was to wrap up this series (if it can even be called such a thing) within a couple of days of the second post's introduction to this thing we used to call the World Wide Web, but, well, if you've been visiting this blog for any amount of time, you know that's how things go sometimes.

With all of that out of the way, let's get to the final five games that I'm looking forward to playing before this year comes to a close.

The Legend of Legacy (3DS)--Is it weird that I'm going to buy the North American version of this open-ended, SaGa-esque RPG even though I've owned the Japanese release for some time now? (You can read about it, and peruse some photos of its beautiful packaging, in this previously published post, if you're at all curious.) I don't think so, especially since I'm basically stumbling through my current copy of the game at the moment. I was OK with that when it was my only option, but once an English localization joins it as a possibility I won't hesitate in swapping out the former in favor of the latter.

Monhun Nikki: Poka Poka Airu Mura DX (3DS)--Here's another entry that may shock a couple of people, as back in February I devoted an entire post to small handful of photos I'd taken of the first Animal Crossing-ish Monhun Nikki: Poka Poka Airu Mura game that was made for the PSP, which I had acquired a few weeks earlier. Considering I've yet to even pop the aforementioned UMD into either of my PSP systems so far, why would I want to hand over my hard-earned cash to buy this updated 3DS iteration? Because I have a feeling I'll be more likely to play such a game on my go-to portable of the moment (Nintendo's latest dual-screened handheld, naturally), that's why. Here's hoping that's what actually comes to pass once this import cart is in my grubby paws.

Mysterious Chronicle (Vita)--Some of you may know this upcoming PS4 and Vita game by its Japanese name, which is Fushigi no Chronicle: Furikaerimasen Katsu Made wa. It's a remake, of sorts, of a mobile game called One Way Heroics. Both titles are roguelikes that, as far as I can tell, take place aboveground--or at least outdoors--as opposed to indoors or below ground, which is typical of the genre. Honestly, that last bit alone would be enough to make me want to track down a copy of the erstwhile Mysterious Chronicle as soon as possible, so when you add in its stellar spritework, well, you should be able to see why I'm smacking myself around for not having it on pre-order. 

Return to PopoloCrois: A Story of Seasons Fairytale (3DS)--True story: I've wanted to play a PoPoLoCrois (this is how the title is written in Japan, by the way) game for ages. Specifically, I've wanted to play one or more of the three beautiful, sprite-based PoPoLoCrois games--two of which are RPGs and one of which is a roguelike--that were made for the original PlayStation since I first become aware of them a number of years ago. This 3DS-based release isn't as gorgeous as any of those 32-bit efforts, I've got to say, but it still looks pretty good. Plus, I'm intrigued by the fact that this one includes content that calls to mind the Harvest Moon (now Story of Seasons, I guess) series.  

Yoshi's Woolly World (Wii U)--How am I going to play this precious-looking platformer when I don't yet own a Wii U console? I have no idea, but I'm going to do my best to make it happen. After all, I'm going to need a Wii U if I'm finally going to experience Splatoon, Super Mario Maker and Illusory Revelations ♯FE, right? As for what's pushing me to do whatever needs to be done to experience this game, that would be that it gives off serious Kirby's Epic Yarn vibes. That game was one of my favorite Wii titles, regardless of genre, so if Woolly World is even half as entertaining, it will be more than worth the price of admission.

How about you guys and gals? Are you looking forward to playing any of these games between now and the end of 2015? Or maybe you're looking forward to playing some other games that were recently made available or will be made available soon? If so, please let me know about them in the comments section below.

See also: 'Five games I'm really looking forward to playing between now and the end of 2015' and 'Five additional games I'm looking forward to playing between now and the end of 2015'

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Taito + Fez = Asterism?

OK, so I have no idea if the folks at Neutronized were at all inspired by Taito's highly recognizable style (see games like Bubble BobbleMizubaku Daibouken and The New Zealand Story) when they began working on Asterism's visuals, but it sure seems like that may have been the case.

At any rate, the game in question, which will be released for iOS at some future point in time, looks gorgeous.

Of course, that shouldn't be all that surprising to those of you who've experienced another Neutronized-made effort--the decidedly Parasol Stars-ish Drop Wizard, which hit the App Store earlier this year.

Unlike that earlier Neutronized product, however, Asterism seems like less of a Bubble Bobble clone than it does a Fez clone.

I've been assured there's more to Asterism than that, though. In fact, my contact at Neutronized suggests the game is "a sort of Metroidvania" that sees its protagonist regularly teleporting into parallel dimensions.

As if that didn't sound good enough, here's how the company's press department is promoting this intriguing upcoming release: "a game about stars, exploration and love."

With all of that said, who else is now chomping at the bit to add Asterism to the slew of apps on their iPads or iPhones?