Back when SEGA released Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA F last August, I was amazed to hear that a Vocaloid game would finally be coming out in English. SEGA only brought over the PlayStation 3 version initially, but six months later the PS Vita version followed due to the popularity of the PS3 release. Now, however, the digital idol Hatsune Miku is literally everywhere, from opening for Lady Gaga to performing on Letterman, so it makes much more sense to see Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA F 2nd in English only eight months after the Japanese release. And this time, buyers have the option to choose between the PS3 and PS Vita versions at launch!
Earlier this year, adventure game/visual novel Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc quickly wormed its way into my heart for being one of the most fun and interesting titles I’ve played in recent memory, let alone this year. While NIS America announced from the get-go that they would release the sequel before the year was out, I had my doubts that it could be anywhere near as good as the original, let alone better, as many assured me. How exactly do you follow up a game that throws fifteen elite high school students into a situation where the only way they can escape is by killing one of their classmates and not getting caught?
The trial edition can be downloaded from the MangaGamer website (the product listing page is very NSFW, so beware before you click) or this blog post if you have trouble creating an account on their site. While the game is for PCs, the game’s translator Haro has posted a tutorial on how to run the game on a Mac (which I myself have done). The demo covers the game’s opening scenario as well as one sex scene for each of the main characters, and will probably take about an hour or so to complete depending on how fast you click through it.
In No, Thank You!!!, you play as the amnesiac protagonist Haru, who takes up a job at an upper-class bar after saving the bar’s owner from being hit by a car (which, subsequently, is how he lost his memories). During his first night on the job, you’re introduced to the five main characters and get a glimpse of the game’s overarching narrative before the game offers you the choice to of whose butt you wish to grab, which then leads into a sex scene with that character taken from later in the game.
The main reason I wanted to check out this demo was to see how the localization fared, and I’m happy to report that I wasn’t disappointed! Haru’s internal monologues are often quite humorous and all of the text flowed really well.
Another pleasant surprise was the fact that text you’ve already read appears in blue – a simple addition, but one that’s really helpful in visual novels when completing multiple character paths. I’m surprised not all companies do this!
Of course, one of No, Thank You!!!‘s big claims to fame is the option to toggle the men’s hair on and off at any time in the game. I’ve never seen a BL game do this before, but it’s great that they’re able to cater to different tastes! I hope more games follow suit in the future.
|This doesn’t really sound like sexy fun times to me…|
In the interest of being honest, I think it’s important that I also mention a few issues I have with the game so far. Haru is an extremely outgoing protagonist that takes control in all of the sexual encounters in the demo, making him a traditional seme, and nearly all of the sex scenes have some element that makes them not completely consensual. This continues the trend seen in the bar scenes where Haru constantly invades the other characters’ personal space. He often proclaims that he’s engaging in “sexual harassment,” which is a term often used jokingly in Japanese media (and is similarly used for humorous effect here), but personally, I don’t really find a character that is constantly “harassing” everyone to be all that appealing.
Similarly, I would much prefer to see sex scenes where both parties are really enjoying the encounter, rather than the one-sided slant all but Hiroyuki’s takes in the demo. I’m sure the full game sees Haru’s relationship with each character develop to the point where everyone is clearly having fun when they do have sex, but I didn’t really like the way pleasure was depicted as repressed/resentful in the scenes in the demo.
Regardless, I very much want to support the release of more BL games in English, so I will happily pay $39.95 for the game when it does come out. If my impressions have you on the fence, I highly recommend you check out the demo yourself! I would love to hear everyone else’s thoughts.
Goodness gracious, is this what I think it is? A new episode of Chic Pixel Plus?! Praise whatever you hold dear, because I’m back with (hopefully) fortnightly updates and a constant slew of new and awesome guests!
This episode features games blogger, importer, and frequent Twitter-er @_Kimimi! We talk about what we’re playing, but keep in mind this was recorded all the way back in June, so there’s a little bit of old news if you follow us elsewhere… Hopefully we’ve long since moved past whatever we were playing nearly four months ago (Resident Evil, Magical Beat, etc.)! We also talk about importing games before moving on to our major topic of the episode: What makes a good female video game character? Who knew a topic recorded so long ago would be so relevant to current events…
Of course, there’s always time for some otome game discussion, so Kimimi and I take the opportunity to dig into some older releases such as Angelique.
Please excuse the audio issues, as we had problems with the call cutting out numerous times. Regardless, I hope you enjoy this new episode of Chic Pixel Plus!
Opening ♫ – Fly Me to the Moon (Climax), Bayonetta
Closing ♫ – Shinya Arino fails at Angelique Trois (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4aoc5x9r3kU)
Happy Zettai Zetsubou Shoujo: Danganronpa Another Episode Day! As always, Japan is one step ahead of the rest of the world – while Dananronpa 2: Goodbye Despair just debuted in English earlier this month, Japanese-speaking fans are likely already gobbling up the third entry in the series that goes on shelves today.
After just finishing Danganronpa 2 earlier this week (review coming soon!), I am on a total Danganronpa high at the moment. Though my copy of Another Episode likely won’t be in my hands until late next week, Namja Town has a new Danganronpa event with special themed food items that I can tantalize myself with in the meantime….
Note: If you’ve only just started playing the Danganronpa games, there may be some slight spoilers regarding the characters in this post, so read on at your own risk!
Namja Town is a theme park located inside the Sunshine City shopping center in Ikebukuro. While it was definitely on my radar when I was in Tokyo, I ultimately wasn’t able to give it a visit. In addition to its usual attractions, it is constantly rotating different nerdy tie-in events such as this Danganronpa one that will be held from September to November. Special foods, merchandise, and even games are part of the festivities!
The food items pictured above are all to commemorate the launch of Danganronpa Another Episode, and thus feature the main characters of the game. It’s hard to make out, but the one in the bottom right is the protagonist Komaru’s megaphone hacking gun firing a couple different types of truth bullets – but they’re gyoza!
At the top right is everyone’s favorite psycho Genocide Jill in the form of a sandwich. I love how they depict her infamous scissors! And don’t miss that crazy long red tongue sticking out of the sandwich!
In addition to celebrating Another Story, there are plenty of food items made with other characters in the series in mind. Each order comes with a special collectable card of the character the food item is based on, for 19 in total… Good thing the campaign is on for two months for those who want to collect them all!
My second favorite, though, would have to be this Gundham cake. I love how the yam(?) looks like his scarf! And they even managed to feature the Four Devas of Destruction!
Even the Namja Town mascots are dressed up as Danganronpa characters! Can you tell who’s who?
Be sure to head over to the official Danganronpa in Namja Town 2014 site to check out all the different limited edition goods available at the event! Now I’m back to waiting for my copy of Another Episode to arrive…
This is it, folks. I’ve finally fallen into the deep, money-swallowing hole that is scale figures. I don’t know whether I should be relieved that I lasted a whole year since I bought my first Nendoroid, or if I should be disappointed that I only managed to keep myself away from them for so long. Either way, I’m in it now, and there’s no better way to celebrate the occasion than with a review!
For an anime and video game nerds such as myself, there are a near limitless number of themed cafés waiting to be dined at in Japan. Since I usually visit Osaka when I do get the chance to go to the land of the rising sun, I’ve missed out on all of the exciting themed cafés in Tokyo, of which there are many. One such café is the Artnia Square Enix café, which opened at the end of 2012 in Shinjuku. Now, I can finally say I’ve made the pilgrimage every Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest fan yearns to take!
Since Artnia is located in Shinjuku, here’s a street shot I took that evening to set the scene. While the café is actually located closer to the Higashi (east) Shinjuku station, I had some time to kill before my 8:30 meeting time with Tasmanian Twitter friend Rowan (@link6616), so I walked there from the main Shinjuku station. Did you know Shinjuku station is the busiest train station in the world, with over 3.6 million people passing through it every day? And with over 200 exits, it’s notoriously confusing to navigate!
After making my way to the calmer east side of Shinjuku, I finally located the Shinjuku East Side Tower where the Square Enix main office and Artnia café are located. After looping around the perimeter of the building in search of the egg-shaped café, I finally spotted my destination:
Forgive the poor quality photo, but the café was surprisingly difficult to photograph, and it probably didn’t help that I was there at night. Here’s the posh lit sign that greeted me on my way in:
After finally meeting up with Rowan and making our way inside, it was time to order some treats! We both decided that we’d stick to dessert… After all, it’s usually the desserts that are the most creative in themed cafés.
Even though I perused Artnia’s menu on their website, I was surprised to see the special The World Ends With You and Dragon Quest menus in addition to their usual fare. While I desperately wanted to try the chocobo pancakes or buster sword parfait, the Dragon Quest limited-time menu caught my eye, as not only did it offer an adorable crème brûlée dessert, but a special gift, as well!
Actually, Rowan was so taken with this dessert special that he ordered the same thing! I think it’s safe to say that we were both thrilled by our adorable crème brûlées and the take home slime mugs they came in. The waiter even brought over a bag and box for us to use, and as you can see from the above photo, the crème brûlée itself was in a separate bowl so the cup didn’t get dirty.
As you can see, I was quite thrilled to eat the slime-shaped piece of chocolate that adorned the crème brûlée. The whole dessert was very nice, and for only about $15 for the brûlée and cup, I thought it was very reasonable! For those of you who read my recap of the Rilakkuma Café at Tower Records, I was quite unhappy with the quality/quantity of food served, considering how high the price was. While Artnia wasn’t exactly cheap, I think their prices were much more reasonable, and I left feeling very satisfied.
Of course, how could I go to the Square Enix café and not try one of their special coffees? Though you’re not able to choose what picture you get, they did ask whether I would like a Dragon Quest or Final Fantasy design. Why, Final Fantasy, of course! I believe they also do chocobo coffees, but I had no complaints with the moogle design I got. Rowan ordered a juice, and he was treated to his choice of a Dragon Quest or Final Fantasy coaster to take home.