Thursday, November 19, 2015

Square Enix's beautiful throwback of an RPG, Ikenie to Yuki no Setsuna, will be mine (and yours, too?) sometime on or around Feb. 18

If you're anything like me, you slobbered all over Project Setsuna's first trailer, which made its debut during a Sony Japan event held in September.

What's happened in the two months since? Not a whole lot--again, if you're like me. Although maker Square Enix promised this breathtaking PS4 and Vita RPG would hit the streets of Japan "early next year," that was too far away for my puny little brain so I pushed its released onto the proverbial back burner until the date was a bit closer.

Admittedly, it's still three months away as I type this post, but at least now those of us who are interested in the game have a solid release date--Feb. 18--to focus on moving forward.

We also have a final name--Ikenie to Yuki no Setsuna, which I've been told translates to something like The Sorrow of Sacrifice and Snow--a retail price (4,800 yen, or about $39) and a cover illustration.

The only thing we're missing at the moment: a handy pre-order link. OK, so Play-Asia has a pair up on its site--here's the one for the PS4 version and here's the one for the Vita version--but I prefer to buy upcoming and current Japanese games via AmiAmi, so I'm waiting for it to allow pre-orders before finally biting the bullet (on the Vita iteration, naturally).

Are any of you planning to buy one or more copies of Ikenie to Yuki no Setsuna? Or are any of you hoping it'll cross the pond and find its way onto the store shelves in your neck of the woods?

If so, please let me and others who visit this blog know all about it in the comments section below when you have a free second or two.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

If I didn't already own a Vita, I'd totally buy one of the Dragon Quest Metal Slime Editions hitting Japanese store shelves on Jan. 28

Don't take the comment above to mean I'm at all unhappy with the precious pink-and-white Japanese Vita I picked up earlier this year, by the way.

In fact, if I had to choose between that version of Sony's latest handheld and one of the Dragon Quest Metal Slime Edition models showcased throughout this blog post, I'd still probably go with old pinky.

If the pink-and-white one didn't exist, though, there's no question in my mind that I'd blow the needed amount of money on a Metal Slime system.

Speaking of the latter, these slick special editions are set to hit the streets--and store shelves--of Japan on Jan. 28 alongside Square Enix's intriguing Dragon Quest Builders game.

A copy of that Minecraft-esque title will be included with each Metal Slime Edition package, as will an adorable Metal Slime headphone jack figure, an AC adapter, a power cord and a USB cable.

I don't suppose any of you fine folks have pre-ordered one of these suckers--or have designs on purchasing one down the road?

If so, please let me know in the comments section below so I can become your new best friend.


Sunday, November 15, 2015

Random musings on the other games that were and weren't mentioned during last week's Nintendo Direct broadcasts

The trio of Nintendo Direct broadcasts that aired a couple of days ago featured a bunch of wonderful looking games.

Two of them: localized versions of the 3DS iterations of Dragon Quest VII and VIII, which amazingly are being brought to both Europe and North America by Nintendo at some point in 2016.

Of course, Nintendo also ignored a bunch of 3DS and Wii U games during these latest Directs.

Speaking of which, here are a few thoughts on some of the ones that actually earned a mention as well as some of the ones I wish had been mentioned.

First, the chatter about the ones that were given a nod:

Bravely Second (3DS)

Bravely Second: End Layer--Unfortunately for North Americans like myself who are chomping at the bit to play the English version of this Bravely Default sequel, the only attention Second received in the Nintendo Direct aimed at our neck of the woods was a sentence or two. Still, among those few words was a promise that the game would hit store shelves here this coming spring, so I won't complain too loudly about that oversight. (If you call Europe home, you'll be able to get your hands on Bravely Second within the first three months of 2016.) Anyway, although I would've loved a specific release date or glimpse of the title's Western box art, I'm happy we at least were given confirmation it'll be out soon.

Final Fantasy Explorers--I've had the North American version of this 3DS-based MonHun wannabe pre-ordered for some time now, so it would've really sucked if I thought the footage included in this Direct was subpar to the point of turning me off of the game entirely. Delightfully, that wasn't the case. In fact, the gameplay showcased here made me even more interested in this title than I was earlier. Sure, it's more than a little rough around the edges, with low-poly character models and a shockingly iffy frame rate, but even then it looks like good fun to me. The question is, do I keep my pre-order in place for the standard edition, or do I cancel it so I can go for the pricey collector's edition instead?

Fire Emblem Fates (3DS)

Fire Emblem Fates--This is another 3DS title I pre-ordered a while back. Did the snazzy special edition, which features all three versions of the game (Birthright, Conquest and the digital-only Revelation) as well as an art book and a carrying pouch, prompt me to ditch that "standard" copy in favor of this $80 counterpart? Nope. Don't get me wrong, the Fire Emblem Fates SE sounds awesome, but I've only played about seven hours of Fire Emblem Awakening thus far, so I don't think I need to own three different iterations of its follow-up. Or at least I don't need to own all three right from the get-go.

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD--Ah, a Wii U game. Finally! Sadly, unlike a lot of people, I don't find this one all that appealing--and I would say that even if I actually owned a Wii U system. That's not a rip on Twilight Princess, mind you; rather, it's more of a comment on how I feel about the Zelda series as a whole these days. In other words, if we're not talking about throwback games like A Link Between Worlds (which I adored), I just can't muster up much interest.

Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam (3DS)

Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam--If you'd like, you can take some of what I just said about Twilight Princess HD (the part about not being able to muster up much interest, mainly) and use it here, too. Why? For starters, the Mario & Luigi series has never really done it for me, especially from an aesthetics standpoint. I'm feeling similarly apathetic about the Paper Mario series these days--which is a shame, as I loved its first two entries for the Nintendo 64 and GameCube. Both Super Paper Mario for Wii and Sticker Star for 3DS ended up boring me to tears, though, and none of what I've seen of Paper Jam makes me think it'll provoke a more positive reaction, so until and unless that changes, this game is getting a "hell no" from yours truly.

Pokémon Blue, Red and Yellow--It's about time, Nintendo. It's about time. Why the company decided to wait until the end of the 3DS' life to add this trio of classic RPGs to the system's Virtual Console is beyond me. Did it have something to do with Nintendo's crack team of engineers figuring out how to make it so gamers could swap monsters, which most folks surely consider to be a staple of this decades-old series? Maybe. Whatever the case may be, I'm glad I'll finally be able to try my hand at Yellow. I finished Red way back when, and later picked up a copy of Blue, too, but Yellow's always been a mystery to me. Hopefully the wait will have been worth it.