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43 posts tagged natsume

Bust a Move 4 coming to PSN ⊟

Yeahhhh, gonna be able to download Bust a Move 4 on my Vita sometime this spring! And my PS3 and PSP should I decide to. Natsume is publishing the game as a PSOne Classic in North America.

This version of the Puzzle Bobble/Bust a Move series adds pulley levels, in which two sets of bubbles are attached to one another via ropes and pulleys, so you have to keep them balanced while breaking them.

This was a great game… on the Game Boy Color, where I played it, so I can only imagine the PS version is better. It’s got to be better as a handheld Puzzle Bobble than Bust a Move Universe.

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Yumi’s Odd Odyssey is worth the wait, not the binge ⊟
I bought Yumi’s Odd Odyssey intending to review it here. But I’m not going to do that, because I want to write about it soon, while the game’s still new, and because if you had to wait until I finished it for a review, we’d all be waiting until the end of time.
I’ve done a few not-reviews here, and I hope you all don’t mind. You get my thoughts on the game at some reasonable stage of my experience with it, and I get to play a game at my own pace without the extreme stress of trying to marathon it in my very spare spare time.
Anyway, the reason I’m talking about not-reviewing in this not-review is that, for me, Yumi’s Odd Odyssey is a great game when played a bit at a time. When I tried to just get through it, I found myself not only squandering this rare game, but angry and frustrated. So yeah, not doing that.

Yumi’s Odd Odyssey feels mostly identical to its predecessors: the whole thing hinges on the really, really springy fishing line you can deploy, swinging from platform to platform, grabbing onto conveyer belts, and vaulting yourself upward. Even the controls are decidedly old school – you have to opt in to using the analog pad in a menu. Sometimes those controls are a bit finicky, especially when trying to throw your line diagonally or jump and throw, but they’re not unfair. I always feel like I have the ability to do the move I need to do.
Where it diverges from the original: there are new characters, who are, again, hidden behind a menu. I switched over to one who has the power to activate mid-level checkpoints and OH MY GOD THANK YOU. The bosses are also cleverly remixed: they’re the same bosses as before, but dispatched in different ways. I’d say more about it, but it was right around the first boss fight where I decided that I shouldn’t be cranking on this game too quickly.
Image: @hazelnoise via CeeCee
Two nights ago, I faced down this first boss, the series’ signature disgusting giant tadpole guy, 39 times. I know because the game keeps a running count of your successful and failed runs at each stage. The first couple dozen times, I didn’t know how I was supposed to defeat it. Then I knew and couldn’t execute it. Then I got really, extra angry. I got the kind of anger reserved only for me: for a person with a short fuse who has very little free time to play games, and a need to complete games quickly for review.

Yumi’s Odd Odyssey is difficult. It demands mastery of the line mechanics that sometimes the things you have to do feel like tricks speedrunners come up with or something. That first boss fight required me to jump straight up as my line was extending, in order to hook the ceiling – then retract the line and swing left to right, disengaging and reengaging my hook in order to scoot to the right little by little.
I want the time to replay levels, to spend a bit of each day trying to get to a secret exit or a hidden backpack item. I’m not saying it’s impossible to blow through it – I’m sure if you have nothing going on or just plain better dexterity than me, that you can do that. But for me, taking it slow is the difference between a deeply intriguing puzzle platformer and a 3DS snapped in half and thrown in the garbage.
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Yumi’s Odd Odyssey is worth the wait, not the binge ⊟

I bought Yumi’s Odd Odyssey intending to review it here. But I’m not going to do that, because I want to write about it soon, while the game’s still new, and because if you had to wait until I finished it for a review, we’d all be waiting until the end of time.

I’ve done a few not-reviews here, and I hope you all don’t mind. You get my thoughts on the game at some reasonable stage of my experience with it, and I get to play a game at my own pace without the extreme stress of trying to marathon it in my very spare spare time.

Anyway, the reason I’m talking about not-reviewing in this not-review is that, for me, Yumi’s Odd Odyssey is a great game when played a bit at a time. When I tried to just get through it, I found myself not only squandering this rare game, but angry and frustrated. So yeah, not doing that.

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Yumi’s Odd Bosses ⊟

Hey guys, this is still happening!!!! There’s still not a firm release date (“later this month,” Natsume says), but Natsume continues to release updates about Yumi’s Odd Odyssey so I will continue to believe!

The latest screens show off bosses, who are, like all the enemies, giant weird aquatic creatures. I know! The first boss is a big tadpole thing (a returning character!) who jumps around the screen and releases little mini-tadpoles. A later boss is a big ol’ crab.

Thank you, Natsume, for reassuring me once again.

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Natsume eShop sale ⊟

Curious about Hometown Story? Maybe, like me, you feel like you’ve put off sampling Harvest Moon for long enough. Through January 31, a few Natsume games are on sale on the North American eShop, for $10 off.

Harvest Moon: The Tale of Two Towns is $20; Hometown Story and Harvest Moon: A New Beginning are $30. That’s roughly one million hours of gameplay in total.

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  • Source twitter.com

Yumi’s Odd Odyssey English trailer ⊟

We still don’t have a specific release date for this January-bound eShop game, but this is a trailer promoting an English version of Yumi’s Odd Odyssey, and not a trailer announcing its abrupt cancellation, which is a good sign. So I’m not letting myself feel too anxious that this will be forgotten/delayed indefinitely/thrown out a car window and left to die in a ditch. For now.

[Update: Well, this is interesting — it sounds like eShop’s collapse at the end of the year “slowed things a bit” for Natsume, preventing the publisher from getting an earlier notice on this release date.]  

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Yumi’s Odd Odyssey coming in January ⊟

AW YISS. Natsume isn’t making us wait long for the first-ever US release of an Umihara Kawase game. Yumi’s Odd Odyssey will be on the Nintendo 3DS’s eShop next month! Here are some new screenshots! With an “undercover time-travel policewoman” in them!

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Yumi’s Odd Odyssey screens ⊟

One day later, and it’s still happening. I hope Natsume gives us a day-by-day confirmation of that fact.

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Farewell Umihara Kawase hits eShop early 2014 ⊟

Yesss! The fun grapple-based platformer series is finally coming to the States, thanks to Natsume. God bless you, Natsume. You are doing the Lord’s work here. Props to Siliconera for the scoop/screens, and MrWezzle for the tip.

In a strange twist, this is releasing here under the name Yumi’s Odd Odyssey, which was the English title announced for that Umihara Kawase PSP game that had its Western edition cancelled. Yumi is the series’ star (if that’s not obvious), and is apparently a traveling sushi chef — which finally explains why the game is populated by giant fish. 

Here’s a trailer from the Japanese version of Yumi’s Odd Odyssey, in case you’ve been following this blog all these years and somehow haven’t seen our post about the series. 

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  • Source siliconera.com
Hometown Story Diary: Day 3 ⊟
My policy of not bothering to buy anything from the twin blacksmiths paid off. They came in this morning and handed me an axe, asking me to sell it in the hopes that it will draw the attention of their long-lost mentor. They didn’t ask me to pay for it, so helping them with their desperate quest is pure profit for me. 
I wandered out of the shop (leaving a few customers, whoops!) and found a path blocked by a giant rock. I also found a cave in which some kind of secret ruins were hidden. I’m sure I’ll have more to do there, but for now I just stole a chunk of a mural that had fallen off, which maybe I can sell later. If this were an RPG, I’d be rebuilding the mural to decipher the cryptic imagery within, but it’s Hometown Story. I’m a sell it.
As for things I won’t sell, at least not immediately, I received a special order from Rachael the restaurant owner today. She wants paint and a board to make a sign. She just presumed I’d get all of that and then deliver it to her.
…I mean, I probably will. I guess.
Follow along with our Hometown Story diary here: Part 1, 2
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Hometown Story Diary: Day 3 ⊟

My policy of not bothering to buy anything from the twin blacksmiths paid off. They came in this morning and handed me an axe, asking me to sell it in the hopes that it will draw the attention of their long-lost mentor. They didn’t ask me to pay for it, so helping them with their desperate quest is pure profit for me. 

I wandered out of the shop (leaving a few customers, whoops!) and found a path blocked by a giant rock. I also found a cave in which some kind of secret ruins were hidden. I’m sure I’ll have more to do there, but for now I just stole a chunk of a mural that had fallen off, which maybe I can sell later. If this were an RPG, I’d be rebuilding the mural to decipher the cryptic imagery within, but it’s Hometown Story. I’m a sell it.

As for things I won’t sell, at least not immediately, I received a special order from Rachael the restaurant owner today. She wants paint and a board to make a sign. She just presumed I’d get all of that and then deliver it to her.

…I mean, I probably will. I guess.

Follow along with our Hometown Story diary here: Part 1, 2

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Hometown Story Diary: Day 2 ⊟
A few in-game days into my new life, I bailed on work to go wander the surprisingly huge village. I ran into townspeople around the town square, the beach, and the forest. Most didn’t have names, but Rachael the restauranteur and Steve the mayor’s son (who Pochica hates right away) stood out.
A pair of blacksmiths moved in and offered to let me sell their wares in my store, so now I can sell people fine metal goods. My shop, which all the visitors compliment for its excellent selection, usually sells stuff like ore, a hammer, a log, cheese, and a fashion magazine. All the groceries you need to live.
While I was out, I found some weird purple mushrooms in the forest. I put them on my shelves and people bought them right up. I hope they’re not poisonous, although I suppose I am stocking some kind of medicine as well.
I’m still not sure how I should pick my products, and how important it is for me to buy a variety of stock. I’m also not sure what the deal is with the living scarecrow.
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Hometown Story Diary: Day 2 ⊟

A few in-game days into my new life, I bailed on work to go wander the surprisingly huge village. I ran into townspeople around the town square, the beach, and the forest. Most didn’t have names, but Rachael the restauranteur and Steve the mayor’s son (who Pochica hates right away) stood out.

A pair of blacksmiths moved in and offered to let me sell their wares in my store, so now I can sell people fine metal goods. My shop, which all the visitors compliment for its excellent selection, usually sells stuff like ore, a hammer, a log, cheese, and a fashion magazine. All the groceries you need to live.

While I was out, I found some weird purple mushrooms in the forest. I put them on my shelves and people bought them right up. I hope they’re not poisonous, although I suppose I am stocking some kind of medicine as well.

I’m still not sure how I should pick my products, and how important it is for me to buy a variety of stock. I’m also not sure what the deal is with the living scarecrow.

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Hometown Story Diary: Day 1 ⊟
I visited a small town today, guided by a message telling me that “Nana” had disappeared. But who is this mysterious “Nana” character? 
Oh, my grandmother. That makes sense.
Once there, I found the shop that she once ran, and was informed by a flying creature called Pochica that it was now my responsibility. So Pochica walked me through the basics of stocking the shelves, and in no time I had a store that offered a single egg. And then I sold that egg. I’m a tycoon!

I put down a few tables and stocked them with items I found in storage: a tomato, a pencil, a loaf of bread. As customers came in and bought them, I rang them up then ran to put more random items down, replenishing my stock from a merchant who came in.
A few times I picked up the whole table instead of putting an item down on it, but you know, that stuff happens. Also, I inadvertently left someone waiting at the cash register for two hours while I went out and explored the town. I’m sure they understood. It’s my first day.
I still have a lot of questions that need answering. For example, am I supposed to tailor my offerings to the people who come in? Is there some way to know who’s visiting and what they like? What else is going on in town – there’s a big world map, and I don’t know the purpose of any of it? And, uh, do I ever get to go home?
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Hometown Story Diary: Day 1 ⊟

I visited a small town today, guided by a message telling me that “Nana” had disappeared. But who is this mysterious “Nana” character? 

Oh, my grandmother. That makes sense.

Once there, I found the shop that she once ran, and was informed by a flying creature called Pochica that it was now my responsibility. So Pochica walked me through the basics of stocking the shelves, and in no time I had a store that offered a single egg. And then I sold that egg. I’m a tycoon!

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Rune Factory 4 is a game after my own butt ⊟
There’s a great article by Jason Schreier at Kotaku about the work that went into Xseed’s localization for this 3DS JRPG. Read it if fun translations/localizations interest you!
Doktorzara is to blame for the pic above, one of many shots that have done a great job convincing me that I need to try this out.
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Rune Factory 4 is a game after my own butt ⊟

There’s a great article by Jason Schreier at Kotaku about the work that went into Xseed’s localization for this 3DS JRPG. Read it if fun translations/localizations interest you!

Doktorzara is to blame for the pic above, one of many shots that have done a great job convincing me that I need to try this out.

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  • Source instagram.com