Friday, October 30, 2015

Let's talk about Nintendo's first mobile game, Miitomo, as well as its Club Nintendo replacement and new account system

Actually, the headline for this post probably should read: "can someone please explain Nintendo's first mobile game, Miitomo, as well as its Club Nintendo replacement and new account system to me?"

That seemed kind of silly, though, so I opted what you see above.

Still, the fact is that even after having more than 24 hours to think about it, I still can't say I "get" the three upcoming products Nintendo announced during its investor's briefing in Tokyo yesterday.

Sure, I understand that Miitomo, the Japanese giant's first mobile effort, is some sort of Tomodachi Life-esque communication app, but what exactly does that mean?

As for the Club Nintendo replacement I mentioned earlier, that would be a little thing called "My Nintendo." Based on what I read about it yesterday, it sounds like an expanded version of Club Nintendo that rewards (with swag, discounts on future titles and even DLC) people for playing, and not just buying, the company's games.

Finally, there's something called the "Nintendo Account," which I guess is the next iteration of what's currently known as NNID?

The last one is the "product" I know the least about, so please feel free to educate me if you've got a better grasp on it. Actually, feel free to educate me on any of these upcoming efforts--all of which are set to be released in March of next year, I believe--if you think my descriptions above are a bit off.

Anyway, based on the little I know and understand of all of the above, I'm pretty excited. Or at least I'm pretty intrigued--especially in the "My Nintendo" and "Nintendo Account" creations. That's just my opinion on the matter, though; what do all of you think about it?

Thursday, October 29, 2015

So, who's buying some version of The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky SC today?

Is it weird that I decided to publish a post about a game--and game series--I know very little about today? I guess so.

So many people have been talking about the long-awaited North American release of The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky SC, though, that I couldn't help myself.

The thing is, I really am quite uneducated when it comes to this game and to developer Nihon Falcom's Trails in the Sky series in general. Given that, I'm going to hand the reins over to you fine folks.

Specifically, I'd love to hear from those of you consider yourselves at least somewhat knowledge about The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky SC. What should I and other people like me know about it? Why is it so appealing?

Also, for those of you who picked up either the PC or the PSP version of this highly acclaimed RPG or are planning to do so soon, what pushed you down that particular path?

As for me, I may buy the PSP iteration--for my criminally underused Vita, of course--of The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky SC down the road, but before I do that I want to buy and play the first Trails in the Sky game that Xseed so kindly brought to North America a couple of years back.

If any of you are in a similar situation, by the way, you still can purchase the physical version of the first Trails in the Sky title at Amazon for just $19.99.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Shall We Do It? (The Legend of Legacy, Undertale and the Yo-Kai Watch demo)

Hey, I actually stepped away from The Legend of Legacy, which I've spent about 22 hours with so far, this weekend to play a couple of other games. Who would've thought?

As for the games that took my attention away from the FuRyu-developed, Atlus-published mentioned in the last sentence, they would be Undertale (for the Mac) and the just-released Yo-Kai Watch 3DS demo.

What follows are a handful of thoughts on all three of these intriguing titles.

The Legend of Legacy (3DS)--Why have I played this kinda-sorta RPG (more on that in a second) for more than 20 hours since it arrived on my doorstep two weeks ago? I guess it's because I like grinding. Or, perhaps more accurately, I guess it's because I really like this game's battle scenes. Sure, they're miles away from the fireworks-filled fights found in, say, SaGa Frontier, but they're still pretty fabulous--and fun. (In my opinion, of course.)

Can the battles here be tough as nails? Sure. In fact, they often are--especially when you start the game, or when you start a new area. For me, though, it's a welcome change of pace from the overly easy fights most RPGs offer up these days. Also, the steep challenge forces you to do what's needed--dig through the e-manual, scan GameFAQs, post questions on Twitter--to figure out the game's surprisingly intricate battle engine. When's the last time you had to do that in a modern game?

I also really like exploring each area and, in the process, filling out its map so I can sell it to the shopkeeper in what appears to be The Legend of Legacy's lone city for a few extra bucks. (If a place with a handful of buildings and citizens can even be called that.) Admittedly, I'd probably thoroughly scour each locale even if I weren't forced to do so, but I like that I'm awarded for it here.

I do wish there were more cities or towns or whatever you want to call them. And I also wish there were more people to talk to in those towns--or that the existing ones had more to say. (This includes the king, by the way, who seems pretty much useless after the first couple of hours.) That said, those same elements tend to be so much fluff in other RPGs, so maybe I should be happy that this one's developers decided to make it so they wouldn't get in my way as I work my way through this peculiar, portable adventure.

Undertale (Mac)--I almost feel like I should talk about this game here, as I'm only a smidge past where I was the last time I wrote about it.

In part, that's because I've focused more on The Legend of Legacy and the Yo-Kai Watch demo than I have on this game in the last week or so, and in part it's because I basically had to start over after I bought the full version of this EarthBound-esque RPG. (My previous comments were based on its demo.)

Something I can say here that I think I failed to mention in my earlier write-up about Undertale is that I'm head over heels in love with its soundtrack. Even at this early juncture, it's packed with the sort of amazing, earworm-worthy tunes that make you want to pause your playthrough so the notes can work their way into your bones.

Is that enough for me to heartily recommend handing over $10 for a copy of this digital title? Not entirely, but don't take that to mean anything horrible. After all, there are plenty of additional reasons to pick up Undertale if you're still on the fence about it--with the on-point, retro-inspired visuals, the genre-busting battles and the wittier-than-it-has-any-right-to-be text being three perfect examples.

Yo-Kai Watch demo (3DS)--I've been looking forward to playing Level-5's Pokémon-esque RPG for a long time now. Or maybe I should say I looked forward to it for a long time until I read some comments on line that suggested its battles are yawn-inducing.

Because of those remarks, I downloaded Yo-Kai Watch's North American demo with a bit of trepidation. Would I still like the game I'd pre-ordered some time ago, or would I wish I'd waited before making that decision? Thankfully, I was able to answer that question within a few minutes of booting up this teaser.

Specifically, I quickly figured out that the above-mentioned critics were wrong and that Yo-Kai Watch's fighting scenes were the polar opposite of boring. For me, they're electrifyingly frantic, and the mini-games at their core do an admirable job of keeping things very interesting.

Some other interesting aspects of this demo, in my humble opinion: the wonderfully charming character designs, the amazingly detailed setting and the appropriately energetic soundtrack.

Given all of that, it'll probably come as little surprise to hear that I'm feeling a lot more positive about my decision to pre-order Yo-Kai Watch after spending just 30 minutes or so with its just-released (in my neck of the woods, at least) demo.

Have any of you spent any time with the Yo-Kai Watch demo so far? If so, what do you think of it?

See also: previous 'Shall We Do It?' posts