Thursday, December 10, 2015

All I want for Christmas is ...

Well, it's that time of year again--if you celebrate Christmas or any of the other "winter holidays" in some form or fashion, of course.

I do, although not in a religious sense, which means I've been forced--yes, forced, I tell you!--to come up with a list of potential presents for a select few people in my life.

Here are the gaming-related gifts that made it onto my list this year, in case any of you are curious:

16GB memory card for Vita--When I bought my pink-and-white Vita early this year, I was so excited about it that I completely ignored the fact that the system comes with just one GB of internal storage memory. In other words, I've barely bought any digital titles since March. Or, rather, I've bought some, but I can't play them because I don't have enough room on my Vita to download them. So, this may be the present--game-related or not--that I want the most this holiday season.

Kiki Kaikai (PC Engine)--I have kind of a weird history with this Taito-made, Japanese-folklore-themed run-and-gun game. When I first played it a few years back, it made me turn up my nose in disgust. To say the game looks a bit bland is an understatement of nearly criminal proportions. Plus, it's tough as nails--and in this case, I don't mean that in a good way. Over time, though, Kiki Kaikai's grown on me--to the point that I'm now chomping at the bit to own a complete-in-box copy of it.

One of these Japanese 3DS cover plates--Full disclosure: I already own three cover plates for the New 3DS I imported a couple of months ago. I tend to think of these cover plates like I think of my precious baseball caps, though--in other words, I want one for every outfit and every occasion. Which should go a long way toward explaining why I long to own both this pink-and-white striped one and this watermelon-inspired one.

Pink Yarn Yoshi amiibo--Would you believe I don't own a single amiibo figure? Hell, I wouldn't believe it if I weren't me. (Does that even make sense?) After all, I just admitted that I'm gaga over Nintendo's New 3DS cover plates, and I admitted last week that I can't be trusted when it comes to that same company's Nintendo Badge Arcade app. For whatever reason, though, I've yet to be bitten by the amiibo bug. That said, I find the pink Yarn Yoshi ones to be the definition of adorable.

Steins;Gate (Vita)--It is with great shame that I reveal I never pre-ordered this game as I promised in the lead up to its release. Actually, that's not true. I did order it, but I later canceled it when I discovered I'd overextended my gaming budget a bit and had to scale things back a bit. I still very much want to experience this highly acclaimed visual novel, though, so even if my parents or husband fail to put a copy under the tree for me, I'll buy one for myself in the days or weeks that follow.

So, those are the gaming-related items I've included in my holiday wish list. What are all of you asking your loved ones for this season?

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Nice Package! (Ni No Kuni, DS)

You know how in my last post--about Ni No Kuni II, which is being prepped for PS4 as we speak--I mentioned that I might publish a post about the original DS game's beautiful packaging soon?

Well, I decided to go ahead and publish it today rather than wait. Why? Because this Japanese title's packaging is beyond gorgeous, and I desperately want to spread the word about it, that's why.

Don't take my word for all of this blather. Check out the following photos and see for yourself.

This first snapshot, above, is of the front of Ni No Kuni's outer slip cover. This "slip cover" is a lot like those cardboard sleeves that so charmingly wrap around (and protect?) Japanese GameCube cases.

And here--again, above--we have the back of that same wrapper.

Beneath that slip cover is a rather large and sturdy cardboard box that is rather obscenely (I mean that in a good way) decorated.

Unsurprisingly, the backside of Ni No Kuni's box is as much of a looker as its front.

Monday, December 07, 2015

I hate the protagonist's hairdo, but I'm still hot and bothered about Ni No Kuni II

For me, the biggest shocker to come out of Saturday's PlayStation Experience event was the news that the folks at Level-5 are busy prepping a second Ni No Kuni game for PS4.

I know, I know. Some of you are shaking your heads at me because you were most surprised by the first gameplay footage of Square Enix's Final Fantasy VII remake or the North American release announcements for both Yakuza 0 and Yakuza 5.

For me, though, the prize goes to Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom. Speaking of which, here's the game's very first trailer:

OK, so it doesn't seem to show any real gameplay footage--or at least not any footage of its overworld (assuming one exists) or battle scenes, but I don't consider that too much of a surprise. We'll get plenty of that soon enough, I'm sure.

When we finally get it, though, I sincerely hope what is shown makes people in the know believe the gameplay in Ni No Kuni will be more enjoyable than what was included in the first title. (Specifically, I've heard quite a few folks say that the battles in the original Ni No Kuni--the PS3 iteration, at least--left a lot to be desired.)

I haven't heard quite such negative things about the DS version of Ni No Kuni, by the way--which is a very good thing, as I recently bought a complete-in-box copy of that behemoth. Who knows, maybe I'll publish some photos of its beautiful packaging in the next couple of days?