Saturday, March 05, 2016

I don't know about you, but I'm going to be pretty disappointed if Culdcept Revolt (3DS) doesn't receive a North American release

If this is the first you've heard of Culdcept Revolt, the gist is it's a 3DS title that will be published by Nintendo in Japan this July.

Want a longer description? A lot of people--including my friend, Jess--say the game's a lot like a mash-up of Monopoly and Magic: The Gathering, of all things.

Not that I'd know. I've never played any of the series' entries--and believe me, there have been a lot of them over the years. The Saturn was home to the first Culdcept title all the way back in 1997, and a bunch have followed in its footsteps since then--for the original PlayStation, the PS2, the PS3 and even the DS and 3DS.

Speaking of the 3DS, I've long wanted to buy the Culdcept that was released for that system in 2012. I've dragged my feet on doing so for the last couple of years, though, because the language barrier makes me especially nervous when it comes to games like this one.

Which is a big reason why I desperately hope someone--I'd prefer it to be Nintendo, of course, but at this point I'll take what I can get--brings that cartridge's follow-up to North America before the 3DS fully peters out in this region.

That isn't the only reason I want someone to localize Culdcept Revolt, though. Unlike its predecessors, this one features character art by the brilliant Kinu Nishimura. I was regrettably unaware of this former Capcom artist's existence, I have to admit, until I was made aware of the fact that she was responsible for the beautiful illustrations that filled 9 Hours, 9 Persons, 9 Doors for the DS.

Is it possible I'll pick up a Japanese copy of Culdcept Revolt if no one brings an English version of it to my neck of the woods? I guess so, but I really hope it doesn't come down to that.

How about you? Are any of you also chomping at the bit for some brave publisher to localize this 3DS game for folks who don't understand Japanese?

Also, are any of you long-time Culdcept fans--or have you played even one of the Culdcept titles that have been released to date? If so, let me know what you think of the series or what you thought of that particular entry in the comments section below.

See also: 'Nice Package! (9 Hours, 9 Persons, 9 Doors, DS)'

Friday, March 04, 2016

Giddyup! Game Freak's Solitiba will gallop its way onto the North American 3DS eShop this May as Pocket Card Jockey

For a lot of folks, the highlight of yesterday's North American Nintendo Direct was the surprise announcement that a new Kirby 3DS game--its subtitle is Planet Robobot--is going to hit digital and retail store shelves in this part of the world on June 10.

Others swooned over the fact that Monster Hunter X and Genei Ibunroku #FE are heading our way this summer, too. (The former's localized name is Monster Hunter: Generations, while the latter's is Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE.)

And of course a bunch of people turned their eyes to the heavens--or something of that sort--when they heard Nintendo of America's Bill Trinen say the company's Rhythm Tengoku: The Best Plus will be released (as Rhythm Heaven Megamix) here "later this year."

Although I found myself grinning--broadly--following each of those reveals, the one that prompted the most joyous reaction from me was this one:

Yes, the game showcased in the video above is a localized version of one of my most-loved Japanese 3DS titles, Solitiba.

In fact, I loved it so much I put nearly 60 hours into it in 2014 alone. (See why that is in my "Five reasons it's a shame Game Freak hasn't yet released Solitiba outside of Japan" post.)

That Game Freak-made head-scratcher--it deftly combines elements of both horse racing and golf solitaire--galloped its way onto that region's 3DS eShop all the way back in 2013, by the way. Which means I've been waiting quite a long time to play it in a language I fully understand.

Are any of you in the same boat? Even if you aren't, are you at all curious to give this kooky game a try?

See also: previous posts about Solitiba

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Five thoughts on Witch & Hero II (3DS)

Now that I've spent about two hours with the just-released (in Japan) Witch & Hero II, I thought I'd pass along a few impressions of this digital 3DS title.

Before I get to them, though, here's my review of the first Witch & Hero (short version: I loved it), and here's a trailer for the sequel.

With that out of the way, let's get to my (admittedly early) thoughts on Witch & Hero II:

For better or worse, this game appears to have a lot more content than the original--I'm basing this observation on the fact that Witch & Hero II's overworld map--see the screenshot at the bottom of this post--looks a lot bigger than the one I traversed while working my way through the first title a few years ago. I've only played (many times over, in most cases) 10 or so of the game's stages so far, though, so who knows just how much ground I'll be asked to cover when all is said and done.

Being able to move the witch in part two is ... interesting--As far as I can tell, the main gameplay addition Witch & Hero II offers to folks familiar with the original is that, this time around, they can move the witch as well as the hero. (One is controlled with the 3DS system's d-pad or circle pad, while the other is controlled with its A, B, X and Y buttons.) This is important, as it lets you nudge your purple-wearing, magic-wielding companion out of harm's way when the need arises. Sounds great, right? I thought so, too--at first. A couple of hours later, I'm less sure of that fact, as it currently feels more fumbly than fun. Still, I have hope it'll "click" eventually.

Warning: the developers toss you right into the deep end this time around--If you made it pretty far into the first Witch & Hero, you know it took its sweet time introducing players to the many components of its gameplay. I rather liked that approach, I have to admit, as it allowed me to come to terms with each individual element before I had to tackle another. Here, you're basically plopped into the game with a slap on the back and a terse, "figure it out!" Normally I wouldn't have a problem with that, but in the case of Witch & Hero II, the tactic makes the early rounds feel like more of a grind than developer FK Digital's maiden effort.

If you liked the first Witch & Hero's adorable enemies, you'll faint when you play the sequel--Like pretty much every other sound-minded person who's come across the original Witch & Hero, I fell head over heels in love with its Dragon Quest-esque slime enemies the second I encountered them. I found the rest of its adorably pixelated baddies similarly swoon-worthy. How about the ones found in this successor? They're cute as buttons, too. Even better: it looks like a bunch of new ones were created for part two--although I can't yet say that with a whole lot of confidence. (Like I said, I haven't spent a ton of time with the game yet. Plus, my memory of the first one's cast is kind of fuzzy.)

Despite all I've just said, Witch & Hero II doesn't (yet) seem to be a huge departure from its 2013 predecessor--Don't take that the wrong way. I love that the brass at Flyhigh Works green-lit this project and I love what I've experienced of it so far. I didn't expect, nor did I want, it to veer far from the company's first effort. Still, I'm sure some folks have a different opinion about the situation. If you're one of them, be warned that, at least at this (admittedly early) juncture, Witch & Hero II isn't a huge departure from its predecessor.

See also: previous write-ups about Witch & Hero and Witch & Hero II

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Just in case you were worried I'd never play anything but the first Danganronpa on my Vita ...

The truth is, I've spent a lot more time talking about the Vita and its catalog of games than I have playing the system and carts currently in my possession.

There are reasons for that, of course. One of which is that it's just easier for me to play my 3DS at the moment. Admittedly, that's because I'm terrified of taking my Vita to work (for fear that its screen will be scratched to hell and back as it bounces around in my field bag), but I'd still say it's a valid excuse.

All that said, I'm going to do my best to turn things around in the coming months. The question is: which Vita game will I play once I finally make my way to Danganronpa's credit roll?

I certainly have a number of titles from which to choose. Along with Dokuro, a handful of digital offerings and a couple of Japanese Vita carts (which I'll chat about in an upcoming post), I've also got the following:

Showcased in the photo above are four North American Vita games I recently picked up: Danganronpa 2, Persona 4 Golden, Steins;Gate and Virtue's Last Reward.

Actually, I bought all four of them around the holidays. And not only that, but if memory serves, each one was on sale when I placed my order.

At this point, I think there's little doubt I'll want to take a vacation from Hope's Peak Academy once I've wrapped up Danganronpa, but other than that I'm not sure which of the titles mentioned earlier to stick into my pink-and-white Vita when a vacancy opens up in its cartridge slot.

What do all of you think? Part of me thinks I either should go with Virtue's Last Reward (because I so loved 9 Hours, 9 Persons, 9 Doors) or Persona 4 Golden, but I'm open to any suggestions you're willing to leave in the comments section below.

See also: 'Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears ... as well as your Vita game recommendations'