Archive for 2015

Rhythm Heaven: The Best+ is a productivity killer

June 17, 2015 - 2:00 am No Comments

Rhythm Heaven: The Best+ is a productivity killer

rhythm heaven fever 1
Rhythm Heaven: The Best+ hasn’t received a worldwide release announcement yet, but it’s already available in Japan as Rhythm Tengoku: The Best+. Which is a great thing for anyone with
a Japanese 3DS, because this is a fantastic conglomeration of 70 of the best minigames from the previous three games, not to mention 30 original ones. There’s only one problem. Well, perhaps two,
if I want to get technical.

See, Rhythm Heaven: The Best+ is distracting. Also, it was released right before E3 2015….

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Five things I love about Theatrhythm Dragon Quest

June 1, 2015 - 2:00 am No Comments

Five things I love about Theatrhythm Dragon Quest

Theatrhythm Dragon QuestI am overjoyed that Theatrhythm Dragon Quest
exists. Sure, it would have been nice if the game weren’t exclusive to Japan, and I suppose I would have preferred not having to import a Japan-region 3DS in order to play it, but it is and I did
and I’ve no regrets. I’ve expressed my desire for this game to happen since the release of the first game, Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy. Its sequel, Curtain Call, proved that Square
Enix wasn’t done with the concept and made substantial improvements to what the first offered. I prepared myself for what the Dragon Quest iteration would include.

But, I am pleased to say, I was not prepared for the whole of Theatrhythm Dragon Quest. What I expected was for the familiar game engine to swap out the Final Fantasy elements such as
graphics, sound effects, and of course music for Dragon Quest equivalents. That we would have classic Dragon Quest attack sound effects, the carriage instead of the chocobo, and a
flying Dracky for the “now saving” animation, such changes were a given. But Theatrhythm Dragon Quest includes several, subtle touches that get things just right and are a joy for longtime
fans of the series. Here are five of my favorites.

The battles are first-person view and robust

This should have been an obvious change, but it’s noteworthy that they retooled the engine to make it possible. Theatrhythm Dragon Quest doesn’t reuse Final Fantasy’s side-view for
battle stages, but instead features a fully redesigned GUI that places character portraits at the bottom of the top screen and respective health and magic bars on the lower screen. This allows for
the…

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Fashion shows are gold mines in Girls Mode 3

May 28, 2015 - 2:00 am No Comments

Fashion shows are gold mines in Girls Mode 3

girls mode 3 savvy 3
I’ve been playing Girls Mode 3: Kirakira Code recently because, well, I couldn’t wait to see if Nintendo announced Style Savvy 3 at E3 2015. (Anyone who’s a fan of the series surely
understands.) The differences from one game to the next are apparent as always, and there’s one that’s exceptionally positive. Participating in fashion shows as a model is a far more beneficial
event.

In Girls Mode 3, a player has to work to get people to attend a show. Once enough people have gathered, you, as well as your in-game friends Nono and Coco, walk the catwalk in themed
outfits. My…

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Girls Mode 3 is welcoming to players of all ages

May 26, 2015 - 2:00 am No Comments

Girls Mode 3 is welcoming to players of all ages

girls mode 3Nintendo and syn Sophia’s Style Savvy/Girls Mode series have always been great because they aren’t only about giving
players an outlet for playing dress-up. The games are more welcoming, with shop simulations that involve strategy, problem management, and wise business decisions that make them more welcoming for
players of all genders and ages. Now, after about five hours spent with Girls Mode 3: Kirakira Code, I feel confident in saying this installment is also skewing a bit younger.

That isn’t to say that Girls Mode 3, the third Style Savvy game, is more casual than previous installments. Rather, it feels like it’s designed to help people normally too young for
this sort of title start thinking critically….

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We won’t get Nikki’s Travel Quiz, and that’s okay

April 28, 2015 - 2:00 am No Comments

We won’t get Nikki’s Travel Quiz, and that’s okay

mainvisual_chara01 nikki's travel quizWe like to tell you all about great imports around here, but sometimes it makes sense for a game to stay in Japan. Nikki’s Travel Quiz is one of them: there’s no reason
you should play it if you don’t know Japanese. We did anyway, of course, and there’s one thing about it that transcends language barriers: it’s adorable.

Released this week as one of the final rewards for Japan’s Club Nintendo service, Nikki’s Travel Quiz (Nikki no Tabisuru Quiz) stars Nikki, who you may remember from her
role as the host of Swapnote before the app was mostly shut down. She gained quite the fan following, especially (and unsurprisingly)
among those who draw fan art. This game shows that Nintendo hasn’t totally forgotten about Nikki,…

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Important Importables: Let’s visit the Marl Kingdom

April 26, 2015 - 2:00 am No Comments

Hot Japanese Imports: Let’s visit the Marl Kingdom

One of the greatest shames in gaming is that Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure never got its proper due. The first installment in NIS’ Marl Kingdom series, the premise was poised to be a
perfect, campy hit. A young girl with a fairy friend uses an army of dolls she’s magically able to communicate with to save a prince from a cougar witch. Also, it’s a musical. It should have been a
huge success in the West.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t, and we haven’t seen a Marl Kingdom game since.

Okay, that isn’t entirely true. We did get a DS port of Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure, though I hesitate to speak of it. The DS port cut content and took away all of the strategic magic to allow for a more
traditional, turn-based battles. It was nice to have, but nowhere near as good.

But it’s a shame, especially given the overlap with Marl Kingdom’s stories with those of other NIS titles. The thing about these games is that there are unexpected connections between them. Let’s
go through the games, so you can see for yourself.

marl kingdom 1 rhapsody a musical adventure

Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure (PSX, DS)

This is where it all starts, though the third game will offer some prequels. A young woman named Cornet has always had a fairy…

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Important Importables: Fire Emblem’s Roy is our boy

April 18, 2015 - 2:00 am No Comments

Hot Japanese Imports: Fire Emblem’s Roy is our boy

fire emblem royNow that the Super Smash Bros. Smash Bros. Fighters Ballot is
open, we’ve begun hearing rumblings over which characters do and don’t deserve to be back in the game. Data has even been mined that allegedly hints at the introduction of Street
Fighter
‘s Ryu and Fire Emblem‘s Roy to the game. However, the latter character may be giving people pause. Who is Roy? Why are some Super Smash Bros. fans clamoring for his
return? Is he the red-haired dude in this Awkward Zombie comic? There are so many questions!

Which is why I’m here with answers. Mainly, because I went to the trouble of importing and playing the game from which Roy hails, Fire Emblem: Fuuin no Tsurugi/Fire Emblem: The Binding
Blade
. It’s a game we really should…

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PS4 Anniversary Edition contest gets a do-over in Japan

March 1, 2015 - 3:00 am No Comments

PS4 Anniversary Edition contest gets a do-over in Japan

20th anniversary ps4

The PS4 Anniversary Edition is a beautiful. Well, beautiful and limited, if you want to be exact. It’s one of those rare gems that will be the prize of a person’s collection, and people went
crazy in the brief period of time they were available. Now, imagine you entered the Japanese contest to win one more »

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Japan gets Bloodborne PS4s

January 28, 2015 - 3:00 am No Comments

Japan gets Bloodborne PS4s

bloodbourne ps4

To celebrate the upcoming launch of Bloodborne in Japan, From Software has announced a limited edition PS4 that features laser engraved artwork for the game. Sure, it’s just a logo of the game,
but that may be enough to force the hands of hardcore fans of the series. In addition to the console, which is more
»

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Picking import games to work with the 3DS region-free mod

January 20, 2015 - 3:00 am No Comments

Picking import games to work with the 3DS region-free mod

3ds region-free karousAll is right with the 3DS world, at the moment. Thanks to a work-around that makes the 2DS and 3DS region-free, people can enjoy games from other
regions without really doing anything wrong or resorting to custom firmwares and flash cards. It’s as simple as putting one file on a SD card, popping in a cart, starting Download Play, then
visiting a webpage. Which means people can start shopping for some of these more exotic games. Which is why I’m offering a little guidance as to what games you may want to play while people are
capable of using the 3DS region-free mod. You know, a few recommendations from someone who went to the trouble of importing a 3DS LL last year, before this lovely (free) mod showed…

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