The whole set comes in a cardboard box featuring the Japanese/European box art, which is much prettier than the NA version, in my opinion:
Next we have the soundtrack CD:
|For those familiar with Atelier Rorona –– Sterk is back, but he’s much more broody this time around!|
I’m not particularly fond of Gino (the childhood friend)’s character design, shown right, but one of his earlier versions looks quite appealing! I really wish they stuck with the swashbuckling look. What hair!
Anyone watch the Nintendo Direct livestream this evening (or morning, for those of you on the other side of the world)? Well, unfortunately for me, I was in the middle of having a late dinner and managed to miss the greater part of it, but I did tune in for the last 10 or so minutes, which was long enough to see the lovely Monster Hunter 3G trailer as well as a few announcements from Iwata-san.
I’m sure your favorite game news website of choice will be covering all the announcements, so I won’t attempt to summarize what I saw. I did, however, want to point out these adorable 3DS’s that Japanese Club Nintendo members can enter for a chance to win over the holiday season!
Oh, what I wouldn’t give for one of these! Apparently you need to buy 2 Japanese 3DS games and register them on the Club Nintendo site to be entered for a chance to win. Only 1,000 of each design are available.
I have to say I’m going to go against my usual affinity for Princess Peach and pick the Mario-themed design this time–or I should say I would pick the Mario design, if I were given the choice. Oh, to live in Japan and own a Japanese 3DS!
You can see all the trailers and interviews from the Nintendo Direct conference here. They’re in Japanese, of course, but the language barrier won’t stop you from enjoying some of the lovely new trailers, including one for Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance!
No matter how much I try to deny it, I’m a sucker when it comes to Pokémon. I only play the games so much (I’ve only ever beaten the Elite Four once!)… It’s the cuteness of the Pokémon themselves that gets me every time. Honestly, I’ll never pass up a chance to look at Pokémon merchandise.
So when I heard there was a special promotion going on combining the famous Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu and Pokémon, I had to know what it was all about. Well, in celebration of a new series of Pokémon merchandise titled “Game Dot Series” that is launching in December, Famitsu is holding a contest for its readers to determine the sweatshirt design that will be sold at Pokémon Centers across Japan. Cast your vote in, and if yours is deemed the most popular, then you have a chance to win a sweatshirt for yourself!
Lucky for me I have a host family who is extremely, er, tolerant of me, so I voted using their address. I doubt I’ll win since there’ll only be 10 individuals who score the sweatshirt out of all the entries, but I’d be happy enough to see my pick be the one that gets sold in stores. Unfortunately, as always, the contest is open only to residents of Japan.
Pictured below are the four sweatshirt choices. My favorite has to be #3 for both its color and the fact that there is a giant Pikachu made up of smaller Pikachu sprites on the back. Which would you choose?
|Top right: “Pikachu looks cute hiding in the pocket!”|
|Top right: “The directional button has turned into Pikachu? Go anywhere together”|
|Top right: “Pikachu’s silhouette becomes one big Pikachu!”|
|Top right: “The hood takes center stage for an exceedingly cool style”|
I’ve yet to play a Rune Factory title, and I consider that a crying shame. With my newfound love for the Atelier series and borderline obsession with doing everyday tasks like fishing and furniture purchasing in games like Animal Crossing, Rune Factory, with combined elements Harvest Moon and traditional RPGs, is clearly up my alley. So, of course, I was very excited when I heard there was a Rune Factory game coming out for the PS3. Not only that, but this time it was to feature a female protagonist! Best of both worlds, right?
Unfortunately, a couple of things have come to my attention recently in regards to Rune Factory: Tides of Destiny (also known as Rune Factory: Oceans in Japan). You do get to play as a female, that’s true, but there’s a catch: Azel and Sonia, the male and female protagonists, are trapped in the same body. As such, you’re required to play through the game’s main story as Azel, the male protagonist, before unlocking the ability to switch to Sonia.
Even more frustrating than that is the number of bride to groom options. One of the big draws of Rune Factory, much like Harvest Moon, is the number of potential partner choices available, allowing you to woo the man or lady you choose depending on the gender of your main character. Of course the lack of a same-sex relationship option is a bit disappointing, even though it’s not surprising. In Rune Factory: Tides of Destiny, though you do have the option to marry while playing as Sonia, the pickings are rather slim: there are only 4 marriageable men in the game, including childhood friend Azel, contrasted by a whopping 10 marriageable women for gamers who choose to play as Azel.
According to Yoshifumi Hashimoto, Rune Factory: Tides of Destiny producer, the decision to keep the number of groom characters low was so that they wouldn’t have to cut into the number of bride characters, given the time it takes to create each one. Mr. Hashimoto, I’m sorry, but that just seems like you’re saying,”we couldn’t really be bothered to make more grooms because we’re really catering this game to men anyway” to me.
Needless to say, I’m a bit disappointed… But that probably won’t stop me from buying the game in the future (Even with all the ladies, that trailer still looks gorgeous). I hope that when Rune Factory 4 comes out for the 3DS, however, they will give gamers wishing to play as the female character an experience that is on par with that of the male equivalent.
Why, it’d be me, of course! I had the honor of going to the EB Games Exposition in Gold Coast on Saturday, which featured all the latest and greatest games available to demo, along with a whole lot of other things I honestly didn’t get a chance to check out. Armed with my first ever press pass and my ever-tolerant husband (I think he’d rather be at home playing games than waiting in line to try a 5 minute demo), I endured long lines and more sweaty men than I’d care to remember to try out all the latest games.
Obviously I played a whole lot more than Professor Layton and the Last Specter, but for the purposes of this post I thought I’d just quickly recount what I thought about one element of the game that I was particularly excited for– the additional game, Layton’s London Life. Let’s face it, I really only got to play the thing two days before it’s officially released in America, but early is early, right?
It was a bit sad to see one lone DS XL hiding in the corner of the Nintendo booth, but as soon as I saw the Professor Layton logo I swam through the masses to get my hands on it–and play it I did, because absolutely no one was interested in trying it except for me. Too bad for them, I guess!
The main story mode was more of the same, really, and since I figured I had limited time I decided to see if I could back out and try Layton’s London Life. I honestly think it was a full version of the game, as I actually got to start a whole new Layton’s London Life save and create a character, whom I gave an incredibly grouchy face, pigtails, and the name “Nimmy.” The character creation is a bit limited but the options available make it fun nevertheless, and I was not one bit disappointed by the lovely Mother-esque graphics.
Though people have been calling London Life an RPG, it’s really more of a lifestyle game a la Animal Crossing. You get to dress up your character, go fishing, pick flowers, and do various fetch quests for a myriad of London’s inhabitants. People who like Animal Crossing are going to find a lot to like about London Life. In fact, I’d hazard to say it’ll hold you over until Animal Crossing 3D finally comes out!
So, in the end, I didn’t really get to play a whole lot of Professor Layton and the Last Specter, and the release date is so close that it seems a little silly to write up demo impressions, but suffice it to say if you’re planning on picking the game, I don’t think you’re going to be disappointed. Oh, and any of you who do better tell me your friend codes so we can visit each other’s Little Londons!
I just stumbled upon the most adorable gaming Tumblr! It’s called Gourmet Gaming, and not only does it have a super catchy name and cute pixelated background, but it features weekly recipes for food found in all sorts of video games. There’s everything from the iconic sandwiches from Deadly Premonition to the famous chocolate energy bars of Deus Ex. My favorite so far, however, is the birthday cake from Animal Crossing: Wild World. Don’t you want to eat it right up?
I love how each recipe begins with a story about the game and is concluded with a lovely photo comparing the real version to the in-game food item. Though this cake looks delicious and is certainly one of the dishes I find most appealing personally (because, I admit it, I love Animal Crossing), the dish that I would most likely cook myself would have to be the starkos from Beyond Good and Evil. Which is another amazing game, by the way, and it’s great to see it get some recognition!
Head on over and give Gourmet Gaming some love! What’s your favorite recipe?