Tiny Cartridge 3DS

Still the most beautiful Game Boy ever ⊟
We featured this design a month ago before it was assembled, but I’m sharing the custom Game Boy again since it’s all put together and absolutely gorgeous.
I really hope Georgina and Stardriver make and sell more of these — chiptune artist Trey Frey already claimed this unit and integrated it into his setup.
BUY Game Boy games, upcoming releases

Still the most beautiful Game Boy ever ⊟

We featured this design a month ago before it was assembled, but I’m sharing the custom Game Boy again since it’s all put together and absolutely gorgeous.

I really hope Georgina and Stardriver make and sell more of these — chiptune artist Trey Frey already claimed this unit and integrated it into his setup.

BUY Game Boy games, upcoming releases
  • Source twitter.com

PSA: get Go! Go! Kokopolo before it’s too late ⊟

A very cool DSiWare game is disappearing at the end of this month. Go! Go! Kokopolo is a cute maze action game starring a cat who lures enemies through mazes by enraging them with scratches and then leading them into the mouth of a giant plant. It’s loaded with vibrant, cartoony art. Oh, and speaking of which, look at the amazing TC art made around the launch of the game!

Not sure why it’s being delisted – or what the status is of the 3DS sequel. But if you want to check out the original game, do so before August 31! Thanks to GSK for the heads up.

BUY Nintendo 2DS & 3DS/XL, upcoming games
Gunvolt and the sliding scale of perfection ⊟
Azure Striker Gunvolt is not a Mega Man game, and I mean that in the best way. While it clearly takes inspiration from the series – a blue guy gets weapons from wacky, colorful bosses – developer Inti Creates built on that foundation to create something more flexible, with more room for individual expression and variation on the part of the player.
In that way, it reminds me more of Runner2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien… a game I needed an excuse to write about anyway!

Runner2 maintained the basic gameplay of its predecessor: jump, slide, kick, and block to the beat while automatically running through deadly gauntlets. The sequel improved upon its predecessor by adding more moves, along with totally optional branching paths, hidden items, and analog-controlled bonus loops. You can simply complete a stage – something that requires a total lack of mistakes. Or you can collect all the gold. You could get full scores on all the bonuses; you can even “dance” during free moments to boost your score a lot more. There are many different levels of perfection to achieve, starting with simple survival.
Developer Gaijin Games (now Choice Provisions) kept the gameplay tight and simple, but added multiple avenues for expert players to vary the experience and develop additional mastery. It had a nice side effect of encouraging replays and extending the life of the game.

Gunvolt features the same kind of dynamic, player-controlled difficulty. If you want to simply brute force your way through the levels, it’s not overwhelmingly hard to do so. It’s a lot easier than Mega Man on that level, that’s for sure. The platforming isn’t as extreme, and your shots essentially auto-target – you fire your gun to target enemies, then drain their health with an electric field that arcs to their location. Keeping your field charged is an interesting wrinkle, but rarely a life-or-death challenge. Well, technically. If you still have power, you can auto-dodge attacks (at the expense of some of that power) so I guess it may actually be the difference between life or death. But what I mean is that managing that power isn’t as tense as you might expect, outside of boss fights.
But those systems open up options for virtuoso play. You can play carefully and set up your shots from a safe location, but it’s more fun to dash through the levels at top speed and/or build up impressive combos once you’re comfortable enough. And then you can take on totally optional challenges – complete this stage in this time, etc. – to further test yourself. You can retry levels with new equipment, including the different guns earned from bosses, which vary the number of enemies you can lock on to and the way shots behave.
I like these kinds of systems, because they allow the player to find a difficulty level that suits their expertise and their style of play, without having to make the explicit decision to choose “easy” or “hard.” It’s the same game, but open to different approaches. And, like Runner2, it offers different ways to consider any performance “perfect.” That’s the kind of challenge that makes me want to return to a game.
BUY Nintendo 2DS & 3DS/XL, upcoming games

Gunvolt and the sliding scale of perfection 

Azure Striker Gunvolt is not a Mega Man game, and I mean that in the best way. While it clearly takes inspiration from the series – a blue guy gets weapons from wacky, colorful bosses – developer Inti Creates built on that foundation to create something more flexible, with more room for individual expression and variation on the part of the player.

In that way, it reminds me more of Runner2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien… a game I needed an excuse to write about anyway!

Read more

Pokemon Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire SteelBook edition and preorder bonuses for Europe ⊟

Though Europe gets the new ‘mons a week later than the rest of the world, if you preorder the games there, you’ll receive special SteelBook packaging, elevating you above the plastic casing plebes in other regions.

The official Nintendo UK store is throwing Primal Kyogre and Groudon figures with their respective preorders, as is retailer GAME. It looks like ShopTo is including Torchic keyrings with reservations for standard editions for the game — not sure how you get the other keyrings, but they are things that exist!

PREORDER Pokemon Omega Ruby / Alpha Sapphire, upcoming games
  • Source serebii.net
More Earthbound love ⊟
The adorable GIF comes from Thilink, and is one of many lovely tributes to the Mother series I came across today. Check out these other awesome Earthbound pieces from Layeyes, KurkoBoltsi, and Melissa King.
BUY Mother 3/Earthbound, Hobonichi Techo, upcoming games

More Earthbound love ⊟

The adorable GIF comes from Thilink, and is one of many lovely tributes to the Mother series I came across today. Check out these other awesome Earthbound pieces from Layeyes, KurkoBoltsi, and Melissa King.

BUY Mother 3/Earthbound, Hobonichi Techo, upcoming games
  • Source thilink
Animal Crossing: New Leaf on sale for $24.75 ⊟
I can’t imagine many of you don’t have a copy of this yet, but the deal’s on Amazon if you’ve put off buying New Leaf. And if you do already have the game, enjoy this photo of Isabelle getting ready for her Mario Kart debut with a Lego car, posted by Tanaka the Movie.
BUY Animal Crossing: New Leaf, upcoming games

Animal Crossing: New Leaf on sale for $24.75

I can’t imagine many of you don’t have a copy of this yet, but the deal’s on Amazon if you’ve put off buying New Leaf. And if you do already have the game, enjoy this photo of Isabelle getting ready for her Mario Kart debut with a Lego car, posted by Tanaka the Movie.

BUY Animal Crossing: New Leaf, upcoming games
  • Source tanakathemovie
Discount Ronpa on PSN  ⊟
Danganronpa 2 comes out next week, so if you haven’t checked out the first PS Vita game yet, now’s a good time. A really good time, in fact: it’s on sale on PSN (North America) for 20 bucks right now!
Other cool deals worth noting: a sale on all PixelJunk games. I don’t have a PS Move but I’m really considering 4am for $2.50. That thing is absolutely brilliant. Oh, and Runner2 for less than five dollars! Image via nuclearcherries.
BUY Danganronpa Another Episode, Danganronpa, Danganronpa 2

Discount Ronpa on PSN  ⊟

Danganronpa 2 comes out next week, so if you haven’t checked out the first PS Vita game yet, now’s a good time. A really good time, in fact: it’s on sale on PSN (North America) for 20 bucks right now!

Other cool deals worth noting: a sale on all PixelJunk games. I don’t have a PS Move but I’m really considering 4am for $2.50. That thing is absolutely brilliant. Oh, and Runner2 for less than five dollars! Image via nuclearcherries.

BUY Danganronpa Another Episode, DanganronpaDanganronpa 2
  • Source nuclearcherries

Happy 20th anniversary, Earthbound! ⊟

The SNES RPG released 20 years ago today in Japan, where it came out as Mother 2. Where did all those years go? Why isn’t there an English portable version of this? How am I going to justify buying a Mr. Saturn haramaki?

The series’ creator Shigesato Itoi posted this message today:

It’s been 20 years now since MOTHER 2 came out.

…Are you happy?

・Yes → Me too.

・No → Be happy!!

Thanks to @pimoji for the anniversary photo and artwork.

BUY Mother 3/Earthbound, Hobonichi Techo, upcoming games
  • Source twitter.com

Link, Isabelle, and more coming to Mario Kart 8 ⊟

What. Not sure if this reveal was accidental, but Nintendo UK’s official site posted listings for two upcoming downloadable content packs for Mario Kart 8.

The Zelda pack, coming this November, includes:

  • 3 Characters: Tanooki Mario, Cat Peach, Link
  • 4 Vehicles (is that a Blue Falcon from F-Zero?)
  • 8 Courses (including an F-Zero stage!)

The Animal Crossing pack isn’t due until May 2015:

  • 3 Characters: Villager, Isabelle, Dry Bowser
  • 4 Vehicles
  • 8 Courses (an Animal Crossing stage, yay!)

Each pack is priced at £7.00 or the UK, or around $11.60. The listings note, “As a bonus for purchasing both packs - as a bundle or separately - you can get eight different-coloured Yoshis and eight different-coloured Shy Guys that can be used right away.”

BUY Mario Kart 8, Mario Kart 7, upcoming games
A few things I like about Akiba’s Trip ⊟ 
Akiba’s Trip: Undead and Undressed is sort of a Yakuza-type modern-day Japan RPG thing; it attempts to be salacious, but also about otaku; it’s well-written (at least, in localization) but incessantly talky.
Uh, also, it took a long time for me to get into the actual gameplay, and then froze before I remembered to save, which is maybe half my fault. Basically, what I’m trying to say is that I don’t exactly know how I feel about it.
But I know there are some things I really like about this weird game.

Akihabara: I’ve visited Akihabara three times – not enough to know the layout, but enough to recognize some landmarks and get a vague notion of where a few places are. Akiba’s Trip recreates Akihabara just as I remember it (admittedly, minus a lot of the crowd, and in somewhat simple graphics). Even better, you can actually go into some of the real stores, even if just to buy a t-shirt.
Combo finishers: Combat isn’t as smooth as I would want from a pure brawler, but it’s all right. It’s serviceable, if a bit laggy. Combat, by the way, involves punching and kicking the clothes of enemy “synthisters” until they’re damaged enough to be easily ripped off piece by piece. When you successfully remove an article of clothing, if any nearby enemies are also damaged enough, you can hit a short QTE and remove some of their clothes. This kind of dramatic auto-combo stuff just feels fun. As for the bonus you get for high combos – enemy underwear – whatever.
Clothing: As you’re also a light-sensitive Synthister, your clothes have an in-game function: they’re your armor. Every item of clothing has its own defense level; you can get more from battles or shop for clothes. But the best part of this is that every item you wear reflects on your in-game model. So if you want to look a) fresh-to-death or b) hilarious, you can. 
This Pepper Lunch ad

Seriously, Pepper Lunch is amazing. Whenever I’m in Tokyo, I go to this fast food establishment, where you cook plates of steak, rice, corn, and delicious seasonings to your taste by stirring the contents of the sizzling hot plates around. The best. And this game reminded me of it.
BUY Akiba's Trip: Undead & Undressed, upcoming games

A few things I like about Akiba’s Trip ⊟ 

Akiba’s Trip: Undead and Undressed is sort of a Yakuza-type modern-day Japan RPG thing; it attempts to be salacious, but also about otaku; it’s well-written (at least, in localization) but incessantly talky.

Uh, also, it took a long time for me to get into the actual gameplay, and then froze before I remembered to save, which is maybe half my fault. Basically, what I’m trying to say is that I don’t exactly know how I feel about it.

But I know there are some things I really like about this weird game.

Read more

You Slime up my life ⊟
Here it is, the Dragon Quest Slime Sensor Light, the latest in Square Enix and Taito’s line of things that are shaped like the iconic Dragon Quest enemy.
Now, I have a lot of things in my house that bear the image of the Slime. Magnets, plush toys, a soft drink bottle, a USB battery charger, the beloved Slime Speaker Stand… even my 3DS looks like a Slime. 
Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that none of those things light up, so now I need this too. NCSX will ship it in December for $20.
BUY Dragon Quest games, upcoming games

You Slime up my life ⊟

Here it is, the Dragon Quest Slime Sensor Light, the latest in Square Enix and Taito’s line of things that are shaped like the iconic Dragon Quest enemy.

Now, I have a lot of things in my house that bear the image of the Slime. Magnets, plush toys, a soft drink bottle, a USB battery charger, the beloved Slime Speaker Stand… even my 3DS looks like a Slime. 

Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that none of those things light up, so now I need this too. NCSX will ship it in December for $20.

BUY Dragon Quest games, upcoming games

First Pokken Tournament trailer ⊟

So far, Lucario is in, Machamp is in, Blaziken is likely in… Pikachu, the original starters, and probably a bunch of other starters (Greninja or no sale) also seem guaranteed for this arcade fighter from Namco Bandai, based on their popularity. Who else are you hoping to see in this when it hits Japanese arcades next year? The release of an English trailer so quick, by the way, is a good sign that this will receive an overseas release eventually.

PREORDER Pokemon Omega Ruby / Alpha Sapphire, upcoming games