Saturday, December 26, 2015

Shin Megami Tensei IV Final looks so good in this new trailer I'm going to get off my butt and finally start playing the first SMT IV in early 2016

So, one of my great gaming regrets of the last few years is buying Shin Megami Tensei IV as soon as I was able and then failing to even pull it out of its packaging until now.

Mark my words, though: I'm going to do my best to change that shortly after I return from vacation.

What prompted this turnaround? To be honest, I've been thinking about finally starting the game for a while now, but the thing that pushed me over the edge was watching the new Shin Megami Tensei IV Final trailer that can be seen below.

Hopefully I'll be able to finish, or at least put a good dent in, the original Shin Megami Tensei IV before Final is released in my neck of the woods--assuming it's actually released outside of Japan, of course.

How about all of you? Are you excited about the possibility of experiencing this Shin Megami Tensei IV follow-up at some point in 2016?

Also, have any of you played the first version of Shin Megami Tensei IV? If so, what did you think about it?

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Another Year of the GameBoy: Seiken Densetsu

Like most people my age who have enjoyed video games since they were youngsters, I distinctly remember my reaction to Seiken Densetsu's unveiling in the early 1990s.

"It's like Final Fantasy and The Legend of Zelda blended together!"

(And in case you're wondering, yes, this is the exact same reaction I had to Secret of Mana's unveiling a few years later--which makes sense, as that game's Japanese title, as most of you surely know, is Seiken Densetsu 2.)

Did the reality of Seiken Densetsu live up to that fantasy once I finally was allowed to put it through its paces? I'd say so.

Sure, the game--renamed Final Fantasy Adventure in North America and Mystic Quest in Europe--isn't as deep as its 16-bit sequel, but it was more than deep enough for my teenage self. Hell, it's more than deep enough for my no-longer-teenage self.

Which should go a long way toward explaining why I finally picked up a complete-in-box copy of the Japanese version of this much-loved action RPG a couple of months ago.

I'm not sure why I waited so long, to be honest. I mean, just look at the photos included in this post. I'd want to own that box and cartridge and instruction manual even if I only kind of liked Seiken Densetsu's gameplay.

I especially love the little enemy illustrations that are hidden on the box's inner flaps. 

Seiken Densetsu's cartridge label is pretty darn nice, too--don't get me wrong. I guess it's the least exciting portion of this particular package thanks to the fact that it uses elements that also can be found on the front of the game's outer box, but I like that cart art is more minimalist.

As for this GameBoy title's manual, well, just take a gander at the snapshot above. A number of similarly great illustrations fill the remainder of its instruction booklet. 

Speaking of which, I'll do my best to scan and share--in another of my "Manual Stimulation" posts--the Seiken Densetsu manual in its entirety sooner rather than later. I know I've said that before, but I hope to make good on all of those promises shortly.

In the meantime, are any of you fans of Seiken Densetsu--or Mystic Quest or Final Fantasy Adventure? If so, please share your thoughts and memories in the comments section below.

See also: previous '(Another) Year of the GameBoy' and 'Nice Package!' posts

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Let's take a minute to chat about (and ogle) Ikenie to Yuki no Setsuna's gorgeous character designs

I'm looking forward to putting loads of games--new and old--through their paces in 2016, but one of the former that I'm especially keen on playing is Square Enix's throwback RPG known as Ikenie to Yuki no Setsuna.

There are a ton of reasons for my interest in this upcoming PS4 and Vita adventure, of course. One is that it features a Chrono Trigger-esque battle system. Another is that it takes place (at least partially) in a breathtakingly wintry setting.

I also love that the in-game versions of Ikenie to Yuki no Setsuna's many party members all boast what can only be described as "stubby feet" à la Bravely Default and Bravely Second. (And, no, I'm not kidding.)

Speaking of the game's color cast of characters, they're also among the reasons I can't wait for my retail copy to arrive on our doorstep shortly after Feb. 18.

Seriously, take a gander at the illustrations found throughout this post and then try to tell me you wouldn't kill to play through a title that stars such beauties.

Setsuna, the ponytailed "hero" and Kuon, above, are my favorites, I've got to say, but I'm also quite fond of Julion, Yomi and Keele (or Kiel).

If I were forced to choose a favorite of all Ikenie to Yuki no Setsuna's currently known party members, I'd probably go with Kuon.

How about you? Which one is your favorite?

Also, are any of you also chomping at the bit to play some iteration of this retro-tinged RPG in the coming year?

See also: 'Square Enix's beautiful throwback of an RPG, Ikenie to Yuki no Setsuna, will be mine sometime on or around Feb. 18'

Monday, December 21, 2015

This soon-to-be-released Romancing SaGa 2 'remake' looks 100 times better than Square Enix's most recent Final Fantasy V and VI re-releases and that makes me really happy

Here's a bit of news I'm guessing will interest about four of you: Square Enix recently announced that it's working on a remake (of sorts) of Romancing SaGa 2 for Android, iOS and Vita.

I describe it as a "remake of sorts" because the few screenshots that have been released thus far suggest that this version of the game will retain the 1993 original's character and enemy sprites while the old backdrops will be replaced with ones that are a bit more detailed.

The result reminds me of the awesome Final Fantasy IV, V and VI Advance titles Square Enix published for the GameBoy Advance between 2005 and 2007.

As for when this reimagined Romancing SaGa 2 will be made available to the masses, all that's known at the moment is it'll see the light of day this "winter."

Will the Vita version earn a retail release? I have no idea, but I'm currently crossing my fingers in the hopes that it does.

I'm similarly clueless as to whether or not any iteration of the game--which began life as a Super Famicom cartridge--will be localized for regions outside of Japan. If I were a betting man, though, I'd probably put my money on "no way in hell."

Will any of you buy it even if it remains a Japan-only offering? If so, why? Also, do you think you'll pick it up for Android, iOS, Vita, or all of the above?