Pasela Resorts is teaming up with Arc System Works once again, this time to offer a BlazBlue-themed café in Akihabara in honor of Blazblue: Chrono Phantasma Extend! I didn’t get the chance to cover their previous Guilty Gear collaboration, but this time I’m not going to miss out on a chance to drool over some cool video game-inspired food and drink.
In a surprising turn of events, Splatoon, Nintendo’s brand new IP for the Wii U, is one of my most anticipated games of 2015. Why? I’d be lying if it wasn’t largely in part of the game’s amazing aesthetic, but the idea of a shooter based around paint guns instead of real guns is really appealing to this cute, peace-loving blogger. Though I was pretty much committed to picking up Splatoon day one, when Nintendo announced they’d be hosting a Global Testfire, I was more than happy to jump in on so I could give Splatoon‘s online multiplayer a spin.
The Testfire was available for three one hour periods this past weekend, allowing players from around the world to play in online matches with a selection of four different weapons and two different maps. While Nintendo gave very little notice before the Testfire commenced, I was able to play during the first session, which started at 1 pm Saturday Australia time. I’m pretty helpless when it comes to shooting games, both first and third person… but even though I only won the very last game I played, I still managed to have a blast!
I’m so glad Tess Young, creator of Charmixy: Witch Academy, approached me about covering the game’s Kickstarter campaign, because otherwise I might’ve missed out on this adorable mobile title! Charmixy is a puzzle action game for mobile phones that the developers plan on releasing completely for free if development is funded in order to reach as wide an audience as possible. It even has some romance game elements and a Puyo Puyo vibe… Totally awesome, right?
That’s right, Amnesia: Memories, one of the most requested otome games by the English community, is actually getting localized! I take back everything I said in my slightly scathing article about Idea Factory International not releasing any games from their Otomate library. According to folk son Twitter who attended the company’s inaugural press event, it turns out they’ve been hard at work localizing Amnesia: Memories for both PS Vita and Steam! Update: The official site is now live, along with an English trailer!
Amnesia: Memories is a relatively unique otome game that starts you out in the shoes of an amnesiac protagonist (okay, that part’s not that unique) who is thrown into a reality of your choice where she’s already in an existing relationship with one of the game’s dateable men. Each reality is slightly different, but the ultimate goal is always the same: figure out what caused the protagonist’s amnesia and get lovey-dovey with your sweetheart of choice.
Amnesia: Memories is slated to launch digitally for PS Vita and Steam in August. Stay tuned for future posts where I’ll talk about my experiences with the Japanese game!I honestly believe Amnesia: Memories is a great choice for an English release, given how popular the title is in Japan and among English-speaking otome game fans. But, while you may find yourself so excited for the game’s impending release that you’re tempted to watch the anime adaptation, I’m going to advise against it… Unless you enjoy things that are laughably bad.
My, how time flies! If the Official PlayStation Blog hadn’t mentioned it, I would never have realized that the PS Vita is now three years old. I bought mine on launch day and haven’t been shy about sharing my love for the somewhat neglected handheld, and while Sony hasn’t been extremely supportive of the system in recent months, it’s great to see them celebrating the occasion with a big digital sale!
In addition to the large list of titles on sale from this week’s PSN update until March 2nd, PS Vita owners will also be able to download the adorable Toro and Friends theme (normally $1.99) from February 26th until the end of the sale. There are also a couple of free items for Destiny of Spirits and Fat Princess – head over to the official post to get all the details.
While you can read the full list of games that are part of the sale over on the Official PlayStation Blog, I thought I’d take the opportunity to recommend a few of my personal picks from the list:
Atelier Rorona Plus, Atelier Totori Plus, Atelier Meruru Plus ($15.99 each with PS+) – If you haven’t had a chance to play any of the games in the Arland Trilogy of Atelier titles, I highly recommend picking at least one of the updated PS Vita versions up. While everyone has their own favorite, Atelier Totori and Atelier Meruru are generally much more polished than the first game in the trilogy, Rorona, and the stories aren’t connected in a significant way that requires each title to be completed before moving on to the next. These RPG’s are prefect for portable play, and if you’re looking for something that is a little more relaxing than a regular JRPG, all three are great options.
Deception IV: Blood Ties ($15.99 with PS+) – I normally wouldn’t recommend a game I haven’t played, but I recently purchased a physical copy of Deception IV: Blood Ties solely based on my Nichiest Podcast Ever co-host shidoshi’s glowing recommendation. But let’s face it, how many games that came out in 2014 are based entirely around executing elaborate plans to murder people? That doesn’t sound creepy at all, right? Wait, where are you going?!
Hatsune Miku: Project Diva F 2nd ($19.99 with PS+) – The Project Diva games are by far my favorite rhythm games on the PS Vita (not that there’s that much competition), and while they’re also available on the PlayStation 3, I highly suggest getting the handheld versions if at all possible. While 2nd is the only Project Diva game in the birthday sale, it’s definitely the better of the two, so I’d say it’s a great place to start. Even if you’re not sure you enjoy Vocaloid music, I can guarantee you’ll find at least a couple tracks to get your toes tapping! If I still haven’t sold you, check out my full review.
Monster Monpiece ($11.99 with PS+) – Okay, I know what you’re thinking. Yes, this is the controversial game where you literally rub your PS Vita suggestively to level up your female monster cards. Funnily enough, the game is actually quite fun outside of the blatant fan service, which I could quite honestly do without. For only $12, though, I’d still recommend it as one of the only card battling games to ever come out in English! You just might not want to whip it out in public…
Unfortunately, my favorite games of 2014, Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc and Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair aren’t part of the PS Vita’s 3rd birthday sale, but as you can see, there are still quite a few great titles that made the cut! I actually own nearly everything I’d want on the list, but I am eyeing Tales of Hearts R… If anyone’s played it, let me know if it’s worth picking up in the comments!
|Waiting in line at the Pokémon Café|
Greetings, Chic Pixel readers! This is Sarah (@everydayfoxlife), one of Anne’s newest correspondents in Japan. Recently Roy (@kotowari) and I had the opportunity to visit the Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire Café Anne wrote about recently in our neighboring city of Shibuya. Was it worth the 7 hour wait? Let’s see…
Getting into the Café
First, we had to wait in line to get tickets in order to make reservations. The process went like this:
- Line up for the entrance of the café. We arrived a half hour after it had opened, and the line went down several flights of stairs. It was maybe a 45 minute wait in total, which wasn’t bad.
- While you wait, staff members come along and ask how many people you have in your party so that they can create tickets ahead of time.
- Once you reach the café entrance, a staff member gives you an assigned ticket with a QR code that you scan with your mobile device, and proceed to actually make the reservation. We hit a snag with this because our QR reader couldn’t open the URL, and we realized that there was a specific app that the café requests you use to read the QR code (geez!). We just got a new Japanese phone plan, which was a life saver because without it we wouldn’t have been able to make reservations. We scanned the QR code and sent off an automated email, which confirmed that they would email us when it’s near time to for us to be able to get into the café.
- We once again lined up with the rest of the group who were called around the same time. This wait felt pretty long because it depended on people being done – a lot of times people will hang out and talk for a while after their meal. While we waited, staff members came by and let us review the menu and order ahead of time.
- Finally, time to eat!
|Our view waiting in line. There was a little photo set where a staff member would take your picture. You could use whatever props you wanted, which were just Pikachu dolls and ears.|
Roy and I both unabashedly love food, so we were extra excited to try out the menu items themed after the game. We decided to each try out one entreé dish and one drink.
|Reviewing the menu while waiting in line.|
First came the drinks. I ordered the “Voltekka Soda,” which had a Pikachu-shaped mango sorbet on top of crushed ice with some rosemary and lime. It came with ginger ale and pop rocks, which you mix to make an especially fizzy drink. The ginger ale, despite being called Wilkinson, is actually a product of Asahi, and has a surprisingly strong ginger flavor – the menu actually goes as far as to have a small warning for younger children.
|The pop rocks came in a tiny plastic bowl which had the pokéball button taped to it.
A laminated Pikachu tail was taped to the spoon handle.
The drink itself didn’t taste like anything special (which doesn’t mean it was bad – the ginger ale is becoming a new favorite for me), but being able to add the pop rocks to it was a lot of fun and I am easily amused. The sorbet was kind of hard to eat, so I let it melt a bit, but then became a goopy mess inside a ton of ice. Guess I should’ve made more of an effort to eat him.
Roy ordered the mix au lait, which is modeled after an in-game item. The presentation was less than thrilling as it was merely a piece of paper taped to a jar.
Roy said the drink tasted similar to a lassi – fruity and creamy – but with too much crushed ice. Maybe the café was anticipating little kids to take their time with the drinks, and not a grown man drinking it down like the world is ending. Who knows.
After hanging around a bit and enjoying the drinks, our food finally arrived.
Roy ordered a mabo tofu dish, which is a spicy tofu and ground meat mixture served alongside rice. The café decided to reinterpret the dish after Groudon.
|The Pokéball-shaped tofu sitting a ground meat mixture next to the red rice.|
|The salad had a “dai” character cut out of a carrot, which resembled the bonfires that are lit on the mountainside in Kyoto during summer.|
Roy initially thought the dish was too sweet, but it became clear that he was supposed to dump copious amounts of spice onto it to increase the heat. After that the dish was pretty good (although he found eating bright red tofu a little unnerving).
I ended up getting the Pikachu omurice (folded omelette with flavored rice) and “aqua” sauce. It came with a complimentary cup designed to look like a Pokéball.
|The black parts of Pikachu’s face were made with dried seaweed sheets, and the rest were cut out of radishes. His ears were the omelettes, and the blue sauce tasted like curry.|
The rice part was a little disappointing because it was room temperature, but as was the case with Roy’s dish, everything became increasingly tastier when mixed together. The omelettes were nice and melty on the inside, and pouring the sauce over everything made it addicting. The salad was refreshing and had a simple vinaigrette, which makes me think the café put some thought into the adults that would be dining in.
I was anticipating the portions to be a lot smaller since the menu is presumably aimed towards kids, but I left the café feeling really stuffed – which was nice after such a long wait.
After we ate, we headed towards the joint goods shop to get some souvenirs. There was a lot of pining after items we didn’t have any use for, so we did the next best thing: take pictures.
|12 year old me needs this.|
|Roy’s purchase: a miniature Farfetch’d doll (sorry – “Duck Onion”)
Special Café Pikachu
Whether you were waiting in line to get in the café or just walking by, you could download a special café themed pikachu as an in-game gift simply by hanging around. This was a nice incentive for people to hang around and create buzz for the event.
So was it worth the arduous wait? I’d say so just for the experience alone! The food, while nothing extraordinary, was still surprisingly good, and the atmosphere was a lot of fun to be in. I will definitely keep an eye out for more Pokémon Café announcements in the future (most likely via this very blog!).
Wow, thanks so much to Sarah and Roy for the amazing coverage of the Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire Café at Shibuya Parco! I was sad I wasn’t able to go, but these photos made me feel like I was right there with them! And what’s this? They even sent me a little souvenir!
In what might very well be the best Humble Weekly Bundle ever to exist, the charity game bundle is offering not only a plethora of quality games at a pay-what-you-want price, but a Hatoful Boyfriend body pillow, as well.
You can grab the lovely body pillow featuring Ryouta and both pigeon and human form by spending $35 or more on the bundle, which is quite the steal! In Japan, body pillows often go for upwards of $100, and though you’re only getting the pillow case for $35, it should be easy enough to find a suitable pillow.
The body pillow will be made to order by The Yetee, who have a great record of offering quality t-shirts at affordable prices. Unfortunately, while worldwide shipping is included in the $35, the Humble Weekly Bundle page states that it may take 3 to 6 months for orders to ship.
Of course, spending $35 won’t just get you an awesome pigeon body pillow, but a slew of great visual novel and simulation games, as well! You can pay any price you desire to receive Long Live the Queen, Analogue: A Hate Story, and Go! Go! Nippon ~My First Trip to Japan~, or spend more than the average and also get WORLD END ECONOMiCA episode.01, Hate Plus, and Roommates – Deluxe Edition. Finally, all that and Hatoful Boyfriend can also be yours for the low price of $8!
Finally, for the low price of nothing, the Humble Weekly Bundle is offering a set of adorable Valentine’s Day cards. You can head over to the official site and enter your email address to download the full set, but I’ve uploaded the best one here for your viewing pleasure!
Of course, I had to go the whole nine yards and get the body pillow, so now I’m swimming in duplicate game codes! As such, I’ve added Long Live the Queen to the Valentine’s Day giveaway I’m currently running – if you haven’t entered yet, please do check it out!