In a first for my monthly Community Game-Alongs, I’m excited to announce a themed giveaway! The wonderful folks at NIS America have offered two copies of Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair for the November Game-Along which, as you probably know by now, is centered around Nippon Ichi Software and NIS America games. If you’ve already been participating, great, but if you haven’t, now’s the time to start playing those NIS games!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
The giveaway closes on November 30th at 12 am, EST. Two randomly-selected winners will receive a physcial copy of Danganronpa 2. The prize can only be shipped within the U.S. and Canada, sorry! There will be many more chances for international folks to enter future giveaways.
Good luck and happy gaming!
The back is equally fun, too, aside from that giant Australian PEGI rating sticker in the middle. At least they matched up the green with the green of everyone’s favorite other worldly-prince.
The manual is virtually the same as We Heart Katamari‘s North American counterpart aside from the lack of text, but the disc art sports a bunch of animals and princes instead of the King of All Cosmos. I really like the crayon art style, and the decision to use it on both the front and back cover of the box as well as the disc makes it so much more cohesive than the North American version!
I imagine the contents of the manual are pretty similar between versions, but just in case you haven’t seen it before, here are a couple of my favorite pages. Just flipping through this makes me wistful for when games always came with some kind of manual to look at…
Even a guitar can roll a katamari!
The Katamari games all have such great art! Now I want to go dig up one of my games and roll up some innocent children…
Oh, wait! Before I do that, I’d like to share with you some exciting news: this month’s Chic Pixel supporter-exclusive giveaway is going to be this PAL copy of We Love Katamari! All you have to do is donate $5 or more by clicking the Paypal donate button at my supporter page to be in the running. Not only do you have the chance to win a super cool game, but your donation goes a long way to help expand the content on Chic Pixel! Giveaway closes on November 30th at 10 pm EST.
Next month I’ll be back at the ranch (which is in no way an actual ranch, but that seems like a pretty cool way to refer to the house I grew up in), and I need to go through a lot of games, anime, manga, and more that I haven’t had the chance to bring over to Australia. I’m planning on getting rid of a lot of things through giveaways and quick-fire auctions on Twitter to help raise money for the site, so please keep an eye out for that if you’re interested!
The time has finally come… to show off my haul of video games from my recent trip to Japan! I was originally going to throw everything together in one massive post, but it turned out to be far too unwieldy (apparently I like to write a lot… who knew?), so I’ve broken it up into two: the PlayStation edition, which you’re viewing now, and a Nintendo edition, which will come later this week. Sorry for all the “hey look what I got!” posts, but what’s a Japanese entertainment blog without excessive Japanese entertainment purchases, right?
|I bought a new bookshelf specifically to hold everything I bought in Japan.
Feel free to judge
But before I begin, I’ll briefly detail my “criteria” for game purchases during my trip. I spoke briefly about my wishlist on episode 3 of Chic Pixel Plus, but I was most looking forward picking up a few GBA games to beef up my collection and a handful of random titles that are harder to find/more expensive outside of Japan. Ultimately, I was a little disappointed by the GBA game selection in Osaka (more on that in the Nintendo post), but I ended up with eight PSP games, five PS2 games, five GBA games, four PSone games, and two DS games. That’s 24 games total! Since I needed an easy way to break this up into two posts, I’ll just be going over the games I bought for PlayStation systems today.
First up are the four PlayStation one titles I picked up during my trip: Chocobo no Fushigi na Dungeon (Chocobo’s Mystery Dungeon), The Vision of Escaflowne, Marriage, and Tamamayu Monogatari, better known as Jade Cocoon: Story of Tamamayu. Chocobo’s Mystery Dungeon and Marriage were my two whim purchases – Chocobo’s Mystery Dungeon was only $1 and I’ve been amassing a bit of a Chocobo game collection lately, whereas Marriage caught my eye because of the oh-so-descriptive title and the fact that the back of the box touts that it’s a dating sim that takes place after the protagonist has already married the girl of his dreams. Sure, sign me up!
The Vision of Escaflowne and Tamamayu Monogatari, however, are two titles that I’ve been wanting to add to my collection for quite a while. In particular, The Vision of Escaflowne is a game I’ve been pining for for a number of years now, so finding a copy in great condition was a real highlight of my many game store visits. And, while I’ve always wanted to play Jade Cocoon, I’ve been holding out for Tamamayu Monogatari due to its awesome cover art illustrated by none other than Katsuya Kondō of Kiki’s Delivery Service fame, so it’s great to finally have that, as well!
Next we have the first half of my PSP game haul. Final Fantasy Type-0, Pop’n Music Portable 2, and Gekka Ryōran Romance were all on my list, so no big surprises here. Actually, these three games were probably the ones that cost me the most, as none of them have really gone down in price. I looked for a used copy of Gekka Ryōran Romance (an otome game) for ages and finally settled on a new copy for around $50, only to find a used limited edition for about the same price the very next day!
Ao no Kiseki and Nayuta no Kiseki, however, were, without a doubt, my biggest random splurges of the trip. For those unfamiliar, they’re both part of what’s known as the The Legend of Heroes series by developer Nihon Falcom, with The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky for the PSP probably being one of the most well-known titles available in English. Well, I know next to nothing about the series aside from the fact that many of my good friends say it’s one of the best JPRG series out there, so when I saw both of these collector’s editions available for relatively cheap, I figured I’d bite. From what I understand, Nayuta no Kiseki is actually more of a spinoff that doesn’t need any prior knowledge of the series to play. Ao no Kiseki, on the other hand, is the second part of the seventh entry in the series and is preceded by Zero no Kiseki, meaning I really need to play that before diving into this one.
Above you can see two PS2 gems I grabbed – the one on the left, Love Com, is the game adaptation of one of my favorite shojo manga series. It seems like it might have some otome game elements, and for less than $5, I couldn’t pass up!
Otometeki Koi Kakumei Love Revo!!, on the other hand, is a title I’ve had my eye on for ages but never picked up. As you can probably guess from the cover, it’s an otome game, but with a twist – Love Revo puts players in the shoes of an overweight girl who wants to return to her thinner “glory days” and win the guy of her dreams. If you think that sounds rather horrible (“Lose weight and you too can get a boyfriend!”), don’t worry, I’m mainly interested in it because I’d like to see how the game handles the weight loss/relationship aspect. I don’t have high hopes, but it could prove to be an amusing train wreck. Again, at $5, I won’t consider it a major loss even if it is awful.
Next up is a little title I’ve been meaning to get my hands on for ages, Boku no Natsuyasumi 2! Well, not this title specifically, but I’ve always wanted to try a Boku no Natsuyasumi game and this is the one I ended up with. I can’t wait to give it a go!
Now these were a great deal – I managed to grab the premium boxes of both Harukanaru Toki no Naka de 3: Unmei no Labyrinth and Harukanaru Toki no Naka de 4 for only $10 total! As you can probably tell, they are entries in the same series, which is well known for being one of the few otome games that incorporates RPG elements. While I originally just wanted to pick up 4 due to it having more appealing character designs (to me), when I saw the HaruToki 3 premium box for only $5, I had to snag it, as well.
The unfortunate part of this story is that Unmei no Labyrinth is actually what’s usually referred to as a “gaiden” game, meaning it’s a side story (I believe in this case it takes the characters out of their fantasy world and puts them in a high school setting). I can’t very well play it if I haven’t played the original HaruToki 3! I guess that’s another game to add to my list…
Now here’s a game I wasn’t thinking would pick up at all, but I couldn’t pass it up when I saw a brand new copy of the limited edition on sale for only $3! So into the basket it went. Kanuchi Shiroki Tsubasa no Shou is, as you’ve probably guessed, another otome game. I don’t know much about it aside from the fact that it takes place in a fantasy setting and is broken into two games, with “white” being the first part and “black” being the second part. Since there are a lot of neat goodies in all these limited edition boxes, I’ll do a more in-depth posts on them in the future.
If it isn’t obvious by now, PS2 otome games are extremely cheap and in great abundance! Many of these titles also have PSP versions that generally go for $40 or more and are often only ports or have minor additional content. As such, I highly recommend folks interested in checking out otome games to look for PS2 titles… but be wary of eBay! Otome game prices seem to be hugely inflated there, so I’d suggest going through a friend who can buy second-hand titles from Japan and mail them to you or an import service that will help you buy from sellers on Amazon.co.jp or Yahoo Japan and ship internationally.
|fuzzy stegosaurus not included|
Well, that’s it for the PlayStation side of my game purchases in Japan… Stay tuned for the significantly smaller Nintendo side of things later this week!
Jade! Please leave your email address in the comments so we can discuss how to get you your prize!
As always, thanks to everyone who entered, and I’m very sorry that you all couldn’t win something. The good news is that I have another giveaway planned for August as part of my Japan 2013 trip coverage, so be sure to check back often! I have a feeling this one will be of particular interest to otome game fans…
I’ve also got a massive Pokémon Center Osaka post in the works for tomorrow, so if you enjoyed my Steins;Gate Café post, I highly encourage you to check that out when it goes live. Don’t worry, the Japan trip coverage is far from over!
Anyone with even a passing interest in Japan has probably heard of maid cafés, but did you know they also have butler cafés? I’ve summoned the courage to investigate a maid café once before, and ever since I learned that butler cafés also existed, I knew I had to check one out someday. Unfortunately, Osaka doesn’t appear to have any permanent butler cafés (I’m told they sometimes do
“pop up” butler cafés at events and such), so I decided to settle on a cosplay café that featured both male and female staff.
When we actually arrived at the café, however, I was mildly disappointed to find that even the staff cosplaying male characters were women! In fact, looking back at the “members” page of the website, it’s likely that all of the staff are actually women. Whoops!
|2.5D Dimensions Café Afiilia Collaborations… Quite a mouthful!|
Upon arriving, my cohorts and I were surprised to see that the café was all decked out with Steins;Gate images… Turns out the café was in the middle of a Steins;Gate collaboration event running from April August. If it hasn’t become glaringly obvious, I really didn’t do my research before choosing this café as a destination. See, I actually know next to nothing about the Steins;Gate game or anime!
I must admit, it’s rather embarrassing going to a cosplay café in the first place, but that embarrassment is multiplied infinitely when you don’t even know the characters the staff are cosplaying as!
Mayuri, the gal in the center, and Kurisu, the one to her right, were both there during the hour we spent at the café, as was a Faris cosplayer (not pictured). Yes, I had to look up each and every one of those names and yes, that’s a Itaru cosplayer on the right. You had to pay extra if you wanted to take photos of them, but I mistakenly thought that also meant you weren’t supposed to take pictures of the café itself, so all of the following images were taken with my phone. Sorry about that!
After explaining the surprisingly complicated rules of the café (you had to pay by the hour just to be there, and were required to order at least one drink), the Faris cosplayer handed us each a bell and lead us upstairs to the seating area. Of course, literally everything was decked out with Steins;Gate images. The bell was used to summon staff, both when you wanted to order or just wanted to chat. I accidentally rang one of the bells after we ordered and we were treated to a fairly lengthy and rather awkward conversation with the Mayuri cosplayer.
|The menu cover|
I was rather proud of my sneaky photography skills here – you can see one of the cosplayers chatting with a patron in the background (fun fact: aside from myself and my friend, everyone else in the café was male).
If you spend over 3,000 yen (approximately $30), you’ll receive a special character sticker. Unfortunately, the quality of the sticker itself isn’t all that great… but it’s cute, none the less!
All in all, the café was a lot of fun! Many thanks to my friend Saori for suggesting we check it out! Now I feel obligated to learn more about Steins;Gate…
Note: The Steins;Gate game is getting an official English release courtesy of JAST USA!
|Felyne Roll Call: Lagomi Armor art print available at Culty|
The time has come to announce the winners of the Culty Monster Hunter Beginner’s Guide giveaway! Many thanks to all 16 who entered and to Culty for supplying two PDF copies of their amazing guide! The lucky winning hunters are: