I’ve always been a fan of stories about someone trapped inside an MMO, so when I heard Aksys Games was localizing Period: Cube ~Shackles of Amadeus~, I was thrilled! As an otome game featuring that very premise, Period: Cube centers around a high school girl that gets trapped in the MMO Arcadia. After searching for clues of her missing brother’s whereabouts, all signs point to the mysterious “World V,” a new server in Arcadia where death is absolute. If your character dies, you die!
After 2 installments in the BoxBoy series, the box with legs Qbby is back for his last hurrah in Bye-Bye BoxBoy!. Available for just $7.50 AUD ($4.99 USD) on the Nintendo 3DS eShop, Bye-Bye BoxBoy!‘s clean-cut presentation and bite-sized puzzles make it the perfect game to fit in during a commute or while unwinding on the couch after a long day.
Over the past couple of years, more Japan-related subscription boxes have popped up than you can shake a stick at. Most of the subscription boxes I’ve tried have been dedicated to snacks, all things cute, or trendy pop culture merchandise, but Neko Box stands out for offering high-quality Japanese ceramics, homewares, and other trinkets carefully curated around a different theme every month. They were kind enough to send me their recent Edo Box, which was filled to the brim with lovely traditional items!
Despite having put over 45 hours into NieR: Automata, I still can’t believe it exists. Director Yoko Taro has become something of a niche gaming icon over the years, but due to some very, very rough edges, NieR: Automata‘s predecessor NieR only achieved a small cult following among the few who saw past the subpar gameplay and lackluster graphics to appreciate its atmosphere and heavy-hitting themes.
I fall in the camp of folks who saw what NieR had to offer in terms of an overall experience, but always left my short sessions with the game infuriated by the miserable gameplay. It was clear to me that Yoko Taro had a lot of great ideas that would shine if he only had a just few more resources at his disposal… And lo and behold, those resources have finally come in the way of Platinum Games, a development studio that excels in smooth-as-butter action gameplay!
These days, you can buy almost anything from Japan your heart desires online, but there’s one kind of item that’s always been particularly hard to find: Gachapon! Because gachapon toys are generally only sold through machines that spit out a random capsule toy, living outside of Japan means you miss out of the surprise of putting a few hundred yen into a machine, turning the knob, and waiting with baited breath to see what comes out… But with Tokyo Gacha World, a subscription box dedicated to gachapon, you can experience the delight of receiving random gachapon every month!
I’m not a big fan of platformers. Subsequently, I’m not much of a Mario fan, mostly because I’m hopeless at things like precision-based jumps, and I quickly tire of repeating the same level every time I fall into a pit. Despite that, Yoshi’s Woolly World for the Wii U was one of my favorite games of 2015 due to its adorable visuals, stellar soundtrack, and approachable gameplay. Frustrated with a seemingly unbeatable level? No problem! Yoshi’s Woolly World‘s Mellow Mode, which gave Yoshi little wings and the ability to fly infinitely, meant that players of all skill levels could enjoy what the colorful world of yarn had to offer.
For the 3DS port of Yoshi’s Woolly World, things have been tweaked slightly to fit the handheld setting. Yoshi’s puppy pal Poochy also has more of a spotlight, hence the updated title: Poochy and Yoshi’s Woolly World. Though the game is essentially the same aside from a few extra bells and whistles, I’m ecstatic that more people will finally have the chance to play one of my favorite titles on the Wii U!
I’ve fallen way behind on my monthly OyatsuBox Japanese snack subscription box reviews, so instead of playing catch-up, I thought it would be fun to do one massive review of the last three months of 2016! Seeing the October, November, and December 2016 boxes laid out side by side in the same post is also a great way to quickly compare how the service fares from month to month. Hopefully this post can help you decide how long you want to subscribe if you’re on the fence!
As always, the following impressions are of the standard OyatsuBox, which costs $25 per month and contains 10-14 items, including a variety of snacks, chocolate, and one gachapon. My previous OyatsuBox reviews have all been very positive, but they’ve added something that makes it even easier to recommend than before – a list containing the ingredients of every snack in the box! Now folks who can’t read the Japanese labels will have a better idea what they’re eating, which is always a good thing.