Saturday, May 21, 2016

Looks like I'll be blowing $18 bucks on the Romancing SaGa 2 mobile remake this week

If you read this recent post or this recent post, you know I've been drooling in anticipation of the English release of Square Enix's recently revealed Romancing SaGa 2 mobile remake.

Well, it seems my husband won't have to put up with my errant slobber for much longer, as the game will be made available to owners of Android and iOS devices this coming Thursday (May 26).

OK, so the damn thing's going to have a price tag of $17.99 attached to it, which normally would be way too rich for my blood (when it comes to buying a mobile game, at least).

I've wanted to play all three of the Romancing SaGa games in a language I can understand since I was a kid, though, so I'll do whatever's needed to keep those instincts at bay long enough to purchase this sucker on or shortly after its street date. I don't suppose any of you are planning to do the same?

Speaking of this wonderfully weird RPG series, by the way, the Romancing SaGa 2 Twitter account recently teased that a mobile remake of its third entry, which first hit the Super Famicom back in 1995, is on the way.

It even directed interested parties to There's nothing to see there yet, although you can listen to some sweet music--taken from the 16-bit original, if I were to guess.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Nice Package! (Valkyrie no Densetsu, PC Engine)

I've had kind of an up and down history with Namco's ancient Valkyrie no Densetsu (aka Legend of Valkyrie). Early on, it was the kind of gaming experience that caused me to wrinkle my nose in disgust. In recent months, though, my reaction to this antiquated adventure title, first released as a Japanese quarter-muncher back in 1989, has softened.

As for what prompted this change of heart, well, I'd be lying if I said the 1990 PC Engine port's beautiful packaging--its eye-popping instruction manual, especially--didn't play a role.

Really, though, Valkyrie no Densetsu’s cover art, HuCard label and how-to booklet just gave me that last little nudge needed to get me to buy the game.

Before that, I’d actually come around to its initially off-putting visuals and its limited gameplay. The latter was easier to embrace than the former, despite the fact that it pales in comparison to similar offerings like The Legend of Zelda. (Whereas even the first Zelda effort allows you to wander and explore, Valkyrie limits you to a set path—which at times feels annoyingly restrictive.)

Does all of this drool-covered praise mean I’d suggest other folks add Valkyrie no Densetsu to their collections? I guess you could say that—if you own a PC Engine (or some other device capable of playing that system’s credit card-sized cartridges) and if you’re fine with playing games from an entirely different era.

Even if you can shake your head yes to both of those requirements, though, I’d still recommend playing Valkyrie in some form or fashion (such as through emulation) before handing over your hard-earned cash for it.

Thankfully, you shouldn’t find yourself in the poorhouse if you ignore my advice and purchase it anyway, as copies tend to be reasonably priced.

Plus, even if you end up hating the game—or even if you only play it a few times and then decide you’re done with it—you’ll still be able to enjoy its colorful instruction manual, a couple of pages of which can be ogled in the photos found above and below.

There's a lot more where all of this came from, though, believe me. I guess this means I have to hit the scanner soon and produce another "Manual Stimulation" post, eh?

While I get to that, have any of you played any iteration of Valkyrie no Densetsu? Although the PC Engine port is the focus of this write-up, the original arcade version was included on 1997's Namco Museum Volume 5 and it also made its way onto the (Japanese) Wii Virtual Console in 2009.

See also: 'Second Chances (Valkyrie no Densetsu, PC Engine)' and previous 'Nice Package!' posts

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

I didn't love every single thing about Yo-Kai Watch, but I'm still excited the sequel will be released in North America this September

I've got to be honest here: I didn't love every minute I played of Level-5's "Pokémon killer," Yo-Kai Watch.

In particular, I found a good part of the last five to 10 hours of my 40-hour playthrough to be a slog. And I grew tired of the game's frustratingly ineffective ghost-catching mechanic long before reaching that point.

Still, I put 40 hours into this 2015 title--clearly I liked it at least a bit. Actually, I liked it a lot, even taking into consideration the above-mentioned complaints.

As such, I was pleasantly surprised when I heard yesterday that Nintendo is preparing to bring the second Yo-Kai Watch game to North America in late September. (On Sept. 30, specifically.)

The trailer above--which shows off the Japanese versions of Yo-Kai Watch 2, by the way--makes this sequel look like "more of the same" than some kind of extreme makeover, but that's OK with me.

Strike that: it's OK with me so long as Yo-Kai Watch 2's ghost-catching mechanism has been improved to make it less annoying.

Really, though, who am I kidding? I'll buy either Bony Spirits or Fleshy Souls (the subtitles tied to the two iterations of this follow-up) and I'll like it--even if it still takes 20 or 30 attempts to woo a particular spirit to my party.

How about all of you? Do any of you think you'll buy at least one copy of Yo-Kai Watch 2 when it hits the streets (or the 3DS eShop) in a few months?