Friday, December 30, 2016

My most popular posts of 2016

I know this is a pretty self-serving write-up, but I'm publishing it anyway in the hopes it'll make folks aware of some interesting posts they missed earlier in the year.

Which posts, you ask? The ones on this blog that earned the most views in 2016, that's which ones.

Oh, and I've decided to put them in alphabetical order rather than in order of most views to least--in case anyone's curious.

CIB Sunday: World’s Longest 5 Minutes Limited Edition (Vita)

Five overlooked Japanese GameBoy games you need to play as soon as possible

Five overlooked Japanese PlayStation games you need to play as soon as possible

Four reasons I'm planning to nab one of those adorable Nintendo Classic Mini: NES consoles once November rolls around

How to succeed in Pocket Card Jockey without really trying (or, here's what you need to do if you suck at this quirky 3DS eShop title)

Let's chat about Zero Time Dilemma's cover art

Manual Stimulation (KiKi KaiKai, PC Engine)

Nu-Bo, Nuubou, Noobow, New--oh, whatever...

Six 3DS games I'm looking forward to playing at some point in 2016

Some of my favorite SNES games in honor of the system's 25th anniversary

I'm planning to publish follow-ups to a few of the above in 2017, by the way. Can you guess which ones?

Other than that, thank you for viewing these and all of my other blog posts so many times this past year. I greatly appreciate it, as always.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Six games I bought and regrettably failed to play in 2016

I bought a good number of games this past year. Although I played as many as I could, the majority were lucky to leave their packaging for more than a couple of minutes.

I wish I'd spent quality time with all of them over the last 12 months, of course, but the following six are most responsible for my current pangs of regret.

Dragon Quest Monsters: Terry's Wonderland 3D (3DS)--I only bought this game a few weeks ago, so I probably shouldn't feel bad that I've failed to play it. Regardless, I do. Who can blame me, though? After all, this 3DS remake of the Tose-developed and Enix-published GameBoy Color cart of the same name (well, without the 3D part) is as bright and colorful as can be. Also, the monster recruiting, fighting and breeding that are at the center of Terry's Wonderland look and sound like a lot of fun. Bonus: the game's now fully playable in English, as the screenshot above showcases. Learn more about and download the required patch here.

Grand Knights History (PSP)--I'm pretty sure my eyes popped out of my head when I first caught a glimpse of this game back in 2010 or 2011. Which should be completely understandable, as Grand Knights History is drop-dead gorgeous just like every other game Vanillaware's ever made. The thing is, the initial enthusiasm I felt for this PSP game quickly faded into the ether when I read that connecting to Japanese servers (apparently a near-impossibility for people in other countries) was a must. Apparently that's not entirely the case, though, so now I'm back to desperately wanting to play this tantalizing RPG.

htoL#NiQ: The Firefly Diary (Vita)--I've long been a sucker for games with unique art styles, and this Nippon Ichi Software-made title fits that bill and then some. Unfortunately, I've heard that htoL#NiQ's gameplay isn't quite as enjoyable as its graphics. That isn't why I failed to play it this year, however, No, that would be because I basically ignored all of my Vita cartridges (and digital titles) in 2016. Thankfully, I plan to give those games--and my pink-and-white Vita--lots of love in 2017. Don't worry, I fully intend to let you know what I think of The Firefly Diary's dark adventure after I've plugged away at it for a bit.

Okaeri! Chibi-Robo! Happy Richie Oosouji (DS)--Full disclosure: I have no real experience with the Chibi-Robo! series. My goal is to rectify that sometime next year by playing as much of the Japan-only Happy Richie Oosouji as I can handle. Accomplishing that should be a lot easier than it would've been if I'd picked up a copy of the game on or around its 2009 release, as a patch that translates its text into English hit the Internet in May.

Tomato Adventure (GameBoy Advance)--Speaking of English translation patches, it's a crying shame no one has created one for this Japan-only game. Why? It was developed by the wizards at AlphaDream, best known for Nintendo's long-running Mario & Luigi RPG series, for starters. Also, it's beyond adorable, as the screenshot above proves. Thankfully, it seemingly was aimed at youngsters, so I'm hoping I'll be able to understand enough of its text to make my way through it in 2017.

Xi Little (WonderSwan)--If Xi doesn't mean anything to you, maybe Devil Dice does? That's what the first Xi game (for the original PlayStation) was called when it was brought to North America in 1998. (Oddly, the second Xi title was renamed Bombastic when it made the same trek a few years later.) Anyway, the plan is to pop this sucker--and all of the other WonderSwan cartridges I've acquired in recent years--into the translucent black WonderSwan Color system I bought late last year as soon as possible in the new year.

How about all of you? Which games did you buy and then fail to play this year?