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Tappingo 2 delayed for a good reason ⊟

Nintendo of America helpfully advised Hugo Smits to push the release of the eShop game Tappingo 2 to next week, September 4. Had it been released this week, it would surely have been buried by Gunvolt and Layton vs. Ace Attorney.

So you can play it next week instead – with cool retro console puzzles and indie game sprites, like the Mutant Mudds and Toki Tori puzzles above.

BUY Nintendo 2DS & 3DS/XL, upcoming games

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

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
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

Final Fantasy Explorers' Japanese special edition ⊟

As if the Crystal Chronicles-esque 3DS game didn’t look tempting enough, here’s an unusually classy special edition for Japan, featuring a 3DS case, artbook, soundtrack, and 3DS cover. 

Early purchasers of any edition (the game comes out December 18) get some Onion Knight gear in-game too! Meanwhile, in America, we get… jealous that this game hasn’t been announced yet.

BUY Theatrhythm: Curtain Call, Theatrhythm, upcoming games
  • Source inside-games.jp

Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley’s Sam is that one guy from Futurama ⊟

You know, this guy.

BUY Nintendo 2DS & 3DS/XL, upcoming games

This Slowpoke reggae song ⊟

Yeah, maybe you’ve seen it already, but I hadn’t, and I didn’t want anyone else to miss it. This is what the Pokemon Company is up to right now.

PREORDER Pokemon Omega Ruby / Alpha Sapphire, upcoming games

Enroll in Pokemon Art Academy Oct. 24 ⊟

Do you like to draw, or paint? Or maybe just sketch and doodle? Pokemon Art Academy will come out in North America October 24, Nintendo announced today, helping you do the daily Trubbish sketch practice you desperately need.

You’ll be able to share art on Miiverse, as well as… anywhere else, since you can export your art to SD card.

I don’t actually know if Trubbish is in it.

PREORDER Pokemon Art Academy, upcoming games
Capcom “touching up” localization of Ace Attorney Trilogy ⊟
You got me, Capcom. I will happily buy the Ace Attorney games again. I wasn’t particularly interested in the 3DS ports, but Capcom’s localization team (led by localization director Janet Hsu, who posted this info on Capcom-Unity) went back through and fixed up the text. Hsu outlined some changes:

"We have re-mastered the sound effects and background music, and yes, we’ve even proof-read the text again! Rejoice, for the miracle did happen! Finally! …Not that that’s something I should be saying too loudly… *hangs head in shame* 
All joking aside, the translation has received a much needed touch-up job, including some re-translations that I hope will help the dialogue flow more naturally, and tweaks that should make some of the more difficult cross-examinations easier to solve using, dare I say… LOGIC *gasp!*”

But if you want to avoid the localization entirely, you can do that. The 3DS release has the full Japanese text as well! How awesome! Ready to learn hella puns and legal vocabulary in Japanese? I’m not, but I’m damn sure gonna try!
BUY Ace Attorney games, upcoming releases

Capcom “touching up” localization of Ace Attorney Trilogy ⊟

You got me, Capcom. I will happily buy the Ace Attorney games again. I wasn’t particularly interested in the 3DS ports, but Capcom’s localization team (led by localization director Janet Hsu, who posted this info on Capcom-Unity) went back through and fixed up the text. Hsu outlined some changes:

"We have re-mastered the sound effects and background music, and yes, we’ve even proof-read the text again! Rejoice, for the miracle did happen! Finally! …Not that that’s something I should be saying too loudly… *hangs head in shame* 

All joking aside, the translation has received a much needed touch-up job, including some re-translations that I hope will help the dialogue flow more naturally, and tweaks that should make some of the more difficult cross-examinations easier to solve using, dare I say… LOGIC *gasp!*”

But if you want to avoid the localization entirely, you can do that. The 3DS release has the full Japanese text as well! How awesome! Ready to learn hella puns and legal vocabulary in Japanese? I’m not, but I’m damn sure gonna try!

BUY Ace Attorney games, upcoming releases

Protect Me Knight 2 for 3DS eShop ⊟

Minna de Mamotte Knight is the sequel to an Xbox Live Indie Games release (remember that?) by Ancient Corp., the company run by legendary composer Yuzo Koshiro (and other members of his family!)  – which explains why the music in the trailer is so good and so authentically retro.

It’s sort of a tower defense-ish thing, in that you’re protecting a princess from oncoming waves of enemies, but you get to control the various characters with combo-based attacks and stuff, rather than just setting up and watching yourself fail over like three minutes.

The sequel adds a map editor with QR code sharing, two new character classes (an archer and… a wall-eyed knight on a fake horse join the previous game’s fighter, mage, amazon, and ninja-in-a-Borat-swimsuit). No idea if it’ll come out in the West, but the first one did, and Ancient hopes to release it.

BUY Nintendo 2DS & 3DS/XL, upcoming games
  • Source ancient.co.jp