Monday, January 16, 2023

13 games I hope are announced and/or released in 2023

I need more games like I need a hole in the head, yet I can't help but hoping new ones will be announced all the same.

Speaking of which, here are 13 games (presented in alphabetical order) I hope are either announced or released at some point in 2023.

The Alliance Alive 2

Considering FuRyu went from The Legend of Legacy to The Alliance Alive, I doubt they're going to follow up the latter with a direct sequel. I'd take one, though, and in a heartbeat. I'd also take a direct sequel to The Legend of Legacy, actually, especially if it fixed some of the original game's flaws. Should the loopy bastards at FuRyu find a way to come up with something similar that also features an alliterated title, well, I suppose I'd take that, too.

The Alliance Alive

Bravely Default Collection

I'm sure most Bravely fans would prefer a brand new offering over a collection of the series' first two entries. I'd also welcome a Bravely Third or even a Bravely Second II (erm, or a Bravely Default III?), to be sure, but before any of those games are released, I'd prefer to get my greedy hands on a Switch compilation of Bravely Default and Bravely Second. I wouldn't even need anything fancy here; a "simple" remaster would more than suffice.

Deltarune Chapters 34, and 5

I was a bit wary of Deltarune after finally playing and thoroughly loving Toby Fox's previous offering, the transcendent Undertale. I needn't have worried, if Deltarune's first two chapters are anything to go by. I've especially enjoyed Deltarune's brainy and exhilarating battles so far, though its characters and soundtrack have impressed, too. At any rate, I want more, and I want it as soon as possible.

Disaster Report 4

Disaster Report 5

The Switch port of Disaster Report 4 was a complete mess in many regards, but I loved the hell out of it anyway. I've heard even the best versions of the game paled in comparison to previous installments of the series, but since I haven't played any of them, all I can go on is my experience with this fourth iteration. It was tense, touching, and took me places I never saw coming. As such, I'd love to take another run at this long-running series sooner rather than later.

Dungeon Encounters II

This ask should come as little surprise considering the original Dungeon Encounters was one of my favorite games of 2021. How the development team of that game could enhance or expand upon their first effort is beyond me, but I'd sure like to see them take a stab at it. At the very least, I'm confident they could come up with a new cast of creative and colorful party members. That said, the existing Dungeon Encounters includes a caped pumaman, a sword-wielding dog, and a giant roly-poly cat, which could be tough to top.

Dungeon Encounters

Etrian Odyssey VI

I know the Switch, the most likely home for a new Etrian Odyssey game, poses some unique challenges for the makers of this previously dual-screened series, but even so I'm surprised it's taken this long for a sixth entry to see the light of day. Hell, we're not entirely sure a sixth Etrian Odyssey is being worked on, are we? A teaser of sorts hit the internet ages ago, but did it specifically name the Etrian Odyssey series? Regardless, I'll buy and play an Etrian Odyssey VI should it ever make it out of Atlus' secret underground laboratory.

Ghost Trick 2

Does anyone really think Capcom is going to make and publish a Ghost Trick sequel anytime soon, if ever? I doubt it. I have all the power here, though, so I'm going to hope for it anyway. As long as it's released for consoles and not just mobile, I should add. On a related and likely more realistic note, I'd totally buy a remastered release of Ghost Trick if it hit the Switch. The damn thing would probably only be sold through the eShop, but I'd grit my teeth and pick it up all the same. That's just the kind of Ghost Trick fan I am after adoring my virgin playthrough of it in 2019.

SaGa Scarlet Grace: AMBITIONS

A new mainline SaGa game

The last mainline SaGa game, SaGa Scarlet Grace, came out (in Japan, for the Vita) just over six years ago. An enhanced version released worldwide and for more modern systems three years ago. I'd say the time is right for a follow-up to appear, wouldn't you? Please agree with me, as SaGa Scarlet Grace: AMBITIONS is one of my all-time favorite games and I'd desperately like to play another game that's in the same vein. Of course, every SaGa game since Romancing SaGa 3 has been radically different from the one that came before it, which suggests the next release won't be anything like Scarlet Grace. I'll be OK if that comes to pass, too.

Onion Games' new RPG

I'll play anything Onion Games releases at this point, as long as it releases for a system I own (though I'd prefer for such a game to not be mobile-only). After all, I've already had a blast with Black Bird, Dandy Dungeon, Mon Amour, and of course Moon. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't especially thrilled that Onion Games' next offering will be another RPG. In particular, I love that I have no idea what to expect from this mostly unknown game -- though of course we all know it will be weird and dark and beautiful and probably will include kissing in some form or fashion.

Mon Amour

Opoona Remastered

Do I really want to return to Opoona's world? Yes, yes I do. I'm not entirely sure I want to return to it in its original form, though. After all, I got horribly lost, or at least turned around, pretty much every time I played Opoona on my Wii a few years back. To be honest, I don't have the highest of hopes that a remaster would fix this or any of Opoona's other issues, but I'd probably buy it anyway if it were made available for the Switch (and so could be played portably).

Pocket Card Jockey: Ride On! console port

When I started writing this post a couple of weeks ago, I asked for a Pocket Card Jockey remaster or sequel here. Then developer Game Freak announced this reimagined version for the Apple Arcade service. As I don't currently own an iOS device, and I don't expect to own one anytime soon, I sincerely hope Pocket Card Jockey: Ride On! gallops away from its iOS exclusivity and onto consoles (like the Switch, cough cough) as soon as is contractually possible.

Pocket Card Jockey: Ride On!

Tobu Tobu Girl 2

Here's another unlikely announcement or release. I'm going to put it out into the universe anyway, as the original Tobu Tobu Girl thrilled me to pieces in 2018. If you've never heard of it, Tobu Tobu Girl is a fast-paced, high-score-chasing platformer that has you climb the screen rather than race to the left or right. The original was made to the GameBoy's specifications; honestly, I'd take more of the same here, but I'm guessing developers Lukas Erritsø Hansen and Simon Larsen would prefer to change things up the second time around. Sadly, I'm pretty sure they're not up for giving the world a Tobu Tobu Girl 2, but I guess it's possible they've changed their minds since I last chatted with them about the topic?

Tomodachi Collection 3

I had a wonderful time playing Tomodachi Life (the North American title for Japan's Tomodachi Collection 2) back in 2014. So much so I put nearly 130 hours into it that year. I've been daydreaming of a sequel, which I guess would be called Tomodachi Life 2 here and Tomodachi Collection 3 in Japan, ever since. Surely the devs at Nintendo of Japan are hard at work on this game, right? And for the Switch, not its eventual successor? Assuming that's the case, it'd better allow same-sex couplings this time around.

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

A cute kiss of death: early-ish impressions of Uchu Shinshuchu for Nintendo Switch

If you've ever dreamt of playing an old-school action-platformer that has you kiss enemies rather than jump on or otherwise attack them, Uchu Shinshuchu may be the game for you. Or it may not be, as even after conquering 25 of its 51 stages I'm still teetering on the fence as to whether I like or loathe this digital Nintendo Switch title.

My main issue with Uchu Shinshuchu, which tasks players with saving the world from an alien invasion using the power of their puckered lips, is that you have to get really close to an enemy to kiss it. That would be fine if the game provided its protagonist (named Saturday-Chan) a life or health bar and flubbing a kiss resulted in damage rather than death, but it doesn't. As such, you die when you lean in to kiss an enemy but instead miss and run into it.

Uchu Shinshuchu's start screen

That said, I've come to (mostly) appreciate this mechanic. It's strangely... fitting? You generally need to be bold to kiss someone, after all. Well, boldness is required to succeed at Uchu Shinshuchu, too.

A second issue with Uchu Shinshuchu, which may be even more damning than the first one, is that there's no backtracking. If you get stuck on a particular stage, you need to beat it or start over from the very beginning of the game.

Uchu Shinshuchu's story is as wacky as its gameplay

That hasn't proven to be a huge problem for me yet, but what has proven to be a problem is getting stuck during a boss encounter. I'm currently on the game's fifth boss and having a devil of a time defeating him. So, I can either keep trying or give up.

On a related note, another of Uchu Shinshuchu's unique gameplay components has you "befriend" (for lack of a better word) all enemies you kiss. You can toss these so-called frenemies at their comrades to stun them, which then makes them easier to kiss and befriend.

Yes, you kiss enemies into submission in Uchu Shinshuchu

That's cool and at least somewhat useful during the game's regular stages. It's nearly useless during boss fights, though, as if you don't defeat a boss on your first try (and if anything you're like me, you won't), you can't make use of these tossable frenemies. Why? Because you lose your cache of captivated frenemies when you die.

As a result, you usually have to tackle Uchu Shinshuchu's bosses solo. Considering how close you need to get to kiss them, this can be a frustrating challenge. I have a feeling a lot of folks will quickly give up on the game because of this alone.

You'll see this message a lot while playing Uchu Shinshuchu

Which is too bad, as I otherwise like Uchu Shinshuchu quite a bit. Although I found the kissing "attack" off-putting at first, it's since grown on me to the point that I now view it as a pretty novel addition to the often-staid platformer genre. Also, the game has a nice, if simple, look to it and a peppy soundtrack that recalls similar offerings of yesteryear (think Mega Man and the like). It helps, of course, that I don't mind dying over and over and over again. On the contrary, it usually cracks me up. If it's likely to drive you mad, you should probably give the game a pass.

Speaking of buying or passing on Uchu Shinshuchu: I paid $2 for it. The game usually goes for $8. I wouldn't recommend buying it at full price. I'm fine with having spent $2 on it, but I doubt I'd be as happy if I'd spent $8.

Monday, January 09, 2023

Non-game media I enjoyed in 2022

I know this site is called The Gay Gamer, but I regularly enjoy media other than video games.

As such, I thought I'd share some of my favorite books and films from 2022 here. None were actually released in 2022, mind you; I just read or watched and enjoyed them last year.

Still, hopefully my musings will either spur folks who happen upon this post to check them out, too, or at least get them to start a conversation about them in the comments section that follows.

An American Werewolf in London

I long ignored this 1981 film because I erroneously thought it was a goofy 1980s popcorn flick. I had no idea until I started through it just before Halloween that it was a horror movie with some (dark) comedic trimmings. That immediately made it more appealing to me — although I'll admit the opening salvo was a brutal and gory shock. Once I knew what I was in for with An American Werewolf in London, though, I had a blast with it. My only complaint is that it ends rather abruptly. I was hoping writer and director John Landis would draw things out more than he did. Oh, well, it was fun all the same.

The Day of the Triffids

I added this post-apocalyptic novel from 1951 to my Amazon wish list years ago when I was still acutely interested in the genre. The COVID pandemic put the kibosh on such interests, though — or at least I thought it had. An impromptu conversation about the 1962 film adaptation earlier this year reminded me of the novel's existence, and that led to me buying a copy and finally giving it a read. I struggled with it early on due to the depressing nature of the apocalypse that's at the center of The Day of the Triffids, not to mention the sadly realistic response to it. I eventually got over it, though, and from then on I was fully engaged. I'll definitely re-read this one in the coming years, and I may even watch the aforementioned theatrical reimagining of it. 

I Think Our Son is Gay Volumes 1 and 2

I decided early on in 2022 that I'd finally start reading some manga. By the end of the year, I'd read 13 volumes (or 15, depending on how you count them up) of four different series. Two of those 13 or 15 were the opening pair of I Think Our Son is Gay volumes, both of which surprised me by being far more touching and astute than I assumed they'd be. This slice-of-life manga series of four volumes is told from the perspective of a mother who suspects her teenage son is gay. Watching her grapple with her own internal issues, while at the time always being outwardly supportive of her precious offspring, struck a chord with me in a way that I didn't expect. Honestly, as much as I enjoyed these two volumes, I think they (and likely the rest of the series) would be even better for those who are struggling to embrace a gay loved one.

Laid-Back Camp Volumes 1 through 7

Laid-Back Camp may be the most joyous piece of media I've ever experienced. Everything is so peppy and positive that it never fails to bring a smile to my face. Which isn't to suggest it's annoyingly saccharine and lacking in depth. It sure is nice to read something so pure of heart once in a while, though. Laid-Back Camp follows a group of young girls who love to camp. They also love cooking and eating. The series, currently at 12 volumes, offers up surprisingly detailed descriptions of camping equipment, how to set up said gear, and how to prepare delicious-looking and -sounding camping-appropriate meals. That may seem goofy to some, but I loved it — especially when paired with a cast of endearingly dorky characters.

The Lathe of Heaven

Another novel that I had trouble with up to a point. With The Lathe of Heaven, though, the difficulty came from the protagonist being an annoying loser for at least half of the story, which centers on a man whose dreams can alter reality — and another man who takes advantage of that fact. Even when it challenged, though, The Lathe of Heaven remained a enthralling read thanks to the brilliant prose of Ursula K. Le Guin. She takes the story in some shocking and exhilarating directions while also keeping it grounded in the here and now. 


This 1986 release, which stars a young Elisabeth Shue, is billed as a horror flick. It sure didn't seem like one to me. There's some tension to it, but it's rarely scary and I only recall a single scene that could be called gross or gory. I still got a kick out of it, though, as the interplay between Shue and her simian costars rarely fails to captivate. I doubt I'll put Link into regular rotation or anything even resembling it, but I can see myself watching it again. On a related note, those of you who would like to see a real horror movie featuring scary-ass primates should check out Shakma from 1990. Ignore the critics; it's a terrifying treat.

My Brother's Husband Volumes 1 and 2

Similar to I Think Our Son is Gay in many ways, My Brother's Husband focuses on a straight Japanese man who welcomes into his home the Canadian husband of his deceased twin brother. The protagonist here, Yaichi, struggles more mightily with homophobia than does his counterpart in I Think Our Son is Gay, but his growth in this area makes My Brother's Husband an even more rewarding and tear-inducing read. This one is wrapped up in just two volumes, so it's a perfect gift for anyone in your life who is gay or who loves someone who is gay and hasn't entirely accepted that fact.


What a wild ride this manga is. The story begins in the small Japanese town of Kurouzu-cho, where the father of one of the protagonists becomes obsessed with spirals. That obsession doesn't end well for him or anyone else in this omnibus release. It would probably be a tantalizing-enough read in written form, but Junji Ito's macabre black-and-white drawings ensure it reaches that stature and beyond. Even at nearly 650 pages, Uzumaki is easy to race through, as the disturbing drama ratchets up with every new panel.

Thursday, January 05, 2023

How I spent my time with video games in 2022

I've said a few times before that 2022 was a weird year for me and how I interacted with video games. Not only didn't I play as many games as I did in previous years, but I also didn't spend as much time with those games.

A case in point: in 2020, I put more than 80 hours into three different games. In 2021, I put more than 70 hours into two games. This year, I breached the 70-hour mark with just one game.

At least my 2022 game stats cover a range of genres and systems. I played platformers, RPGs, visual novels — even a couple of classic arcade titles.

Made in Abyss: Binary Star Falling into Darkness
  • Made in Abyss: Binary Star Falling into Darkness (Switch) — 90 hours, 35 minutes
  • Pokémon Legends: Arceus (Switch) — 45 hours, 10 minutes
  • The House in Fata Morgana (Switch) — 44 hours, 25 minutes
  • Pocket Card Jockey (3DS) — 34 hours, 30 minutes
  • SaGa 2 Hihō Densetsu: Goddess of Destiny (DS) — 25 hours, 40 minutes
  • Kirby and the Forgotten Land (Switch) — 15 hours
  • The Cruel King and the Great Hero (Switch) — 14 hours, 20 minutes
The Cruel King and the Great Hero
  • Yurukill: The Calumniation Games (Switch) -- 12 hours, 50 minutes
  • Fuga: Melodies of Steel (Switch) — 11 hours, 20 minutes
  • Live A Live (Switch) — 10 hours
  • Rainbow Islands (PC Engine) -- 9 hours, 15 minutes
  • The Fairyland Story (Switch) — 4 hours, 55 minutes
  • Rusty’s Real Deal Baseball (3DS) — 4 hours, 20 minutes
  • Nora and the Time Studio (DS) — 4 hours
Fuga: Melodies of Steel
How did you spend your time with games in 2022? Feel free to share your own stats in the comments section below.