Friday, November 27, 2015

Happy birthday to me :)

So, as I just gave away in this post's header (above), it's my birthday.

What wild and crazy things have I done since I got out of bed about seven hours ago? Well, playing the "special" mode of the PC Engine port of Parodius Da! counts as wild and crazy, right?

I've also played a good bit of a few other PC Engine games, namely Detana!! TwinBee, Pro Tennis World Court (RPG mode, of course) and Valkyrie no Densetsu.

That's all well and good, I'm sure some of you are thinking, but what about newer games? Have you spent any time with games that were made and released in the last, say, 20 years?

Not really. I'll be playing some of those kinds of games soon, though. Or at least I hope I'll be playing them soon.

That's because between my parents and myself, I received three thoroughly modern games as birthday gifts this year.

OK, so I personally bought two of the three games in question. Also, one of them technically is 20 years old--although the version I snagged is just seven years old.

That particular game would be Chrono Trigger DS, by the way.

Yes, Justin Difazzio, I'm finally going to play this classic Squaresoft RPG. (In case some of you haven't followed every single word I've said on this blog or on Google+, Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr over the years, although I watched my older brother play through most of Chrono Trigger when both of us were much, much younger, I've never played through it myself.)

As for why I bought it now, that would be because Square Enix's online store hosted a bit of a sale yesterday, and one of the best bargains to be had (for a short period of time, it seems) revolved around brand-new copies of Chrono Trigger DS for $6.

Another, far more modern game I bought for myself yesterday: the Vita port of Hatoful Boyfriend.

I've been meaning to buy this pigeon-centric dating sim for ages, but failed to do so until now for all sorts of stupid reasons.

When I heard (via Twitter) that it could be picked up via the PlayStation Store for just $5, though, I hightailed it over there and nabbed a copy as quickly as I was able.

Sadly, I'm not going to be able to play the damn thing until at least Christmas, as the game is 1.9 gigs in size--which is way more than my poor Vita can handle.

As such, until I buy (or receive for Christmas) a Vita memory card, Hatoful Boyfriend is going to have to become intimately acquainted with the other games on my PSN download list.

That leaves just the game my parents so kindly bought and sent me for my birthday: Yo-Kai Watch for 3DS.

I really enjoyed this game's demo, so I'm very much looking forward to playing through the full offering.

Have you played any of these three titles? If so, share your thoughts on them in the comments section below.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

One more reason to buy Sega 3D Fukkoku Archives 2 if you own a Japanese 3DS (hint: it involves Fantasy Zone)

OK, so you'll need more than a Japanese 3DS system and a copy of Sega 3D Fukkoku Archives 2 to take advantage of the "reason" mentioned in the header above.

Specifically, you'll need to own a copy of the first Sega 3D Fukkoku Archives, too.

Why? Because people who own--and have played, for at least a second or two--both Sega 3D Fukkoku Archives 3DS games will gain access to the Sega Mark III (aka Master System) version of Fantasy Zone that's been updated with FM sound.

If that last bit means nothing to you, read this post on Also, watch the video above to see (and hear) this iteration of the original Fantasy Zone in action.

So, with that, now features 10 old Sega games, including Altered Beast, Fantasy Zone (Sega Mark III port), Fantasy Zone 2 (Sega Mark III), Fantasy Zone 2 DX, Galaxy Force II, Maze Walker (Sega Mark III), Power Drift, Puyo Puyo Tsu, Sonic the Hedgehog and Thunder Blade.

You've got a few options if you want to play this version of Sega's pastel-tinged shmup, by the way. If you already own the first Sega 3D Fukkoku Archives, you can simply buy the second compilation, which is due out on Dec. 23. And if you don't own either title, you can pick up the "double pack" that will be released on the same day.

(Via and

Monday, November 23, 2015

Happy (ever-so-slightly belated) 25th anniversary, Super Famicom!

Twenty-five years ago, Nintendo made its second cartridge-based games console, the Super Famicom, available to the Japanese masses.

I breathlessly followed its development in the pages of magazines like Electronic Gaming MonthlyNintendo Power and Video Games and Computer Entertainment. (Note: I remember reading this article--over and over again--like it was yesterday.) I was especially obsessed with coverage of Super Mario World, of course, although I was nearly as keen on "launch window" titles Pilotwings and F-Zero.

Despite my overwhelming interest in the Super Famicom and its initial releases, though, I didn't buy one on or around its Nov. 21 debut. Granted, I was just about to turn 14 at the time, and buying Japanese consoles (or even games) wasn't really an option--especially since doing so likely would have cost me somewhere in the vicinity of $400.

Instead, I had to wait until shortly after the Super Famicom's North American counterpart, the SNES, launched in my own neck of the woods a year later before I was able to experience Nintendo's brand of 16-bit gaming for myself. 

A couple of years later, I finally got to play my first Super Famicom (as opposed to SNES) game when I imported a used copy of Final Fantasy V--which I still have today, mind you--via one of those companies that advertised in the back of DieHard GameFan and the aforementioned EGM.

Actually, I may have picked up Parodius Da! first, but who really cares this many years later, right?

Strangely--given my current love of imported games--those two Japanese titles, along with Final Fantasy VI, may have been the only ones I ever bought to play on my trusty SNES. (Don't worry, I've bought a few more Super Famicom in the last couple of years, although only a few--so far.) 

Also, I've never owned an actual Super Famicom system. Which is a crying shame, as I've always considered its design to be among the most attractive and appealing of the consoles that have seen the light of day since the early 1980s.

What else did I--and do I--love about the Super Famicom? I've always loved its graphics capabilities, which for me represent the peak of two-dimensional, sprite-based game visuals. I've also always loved its audio components, which allowed the best musicians and composers of the day to produce some absolutely stellar soundtracks. 

And then, of course, there was the system's controller, with its four face and two shoulder buttons, which I've long considered to be as eye-catching as it is comfortable.

How about you? Do you have any particularly fond memories of this superb entry in the fourth generation of game systems? If so, feel free to share them in the comments section below.