Sunday, August 4, 2013

Arino Sharing his Wisdom



Weird Box Art of the Week: Third World War


Wednesday, July 31, 2013

SNES Games for a Rainy Day

In Korea its rainy season. This means two things, always carry an umbrella and stay indoors as much as possible. While staying indoors, why not kick back and play a few SNES games?  Here are some recommendations that can be beat during a rainy afternoon...

Earth Defense Force
This is a solid SNES shooter from Jaleco. While the SNES isn't known for shooters, this game stands up pretty well to other games in the genre, and the graphics are quite nice. It is a fairly obscure gem that doesn't take too long to master and defeat, but I think it is worth a few playthroughs.

Illusion of Gaia

One of my favorite SNES action RPGs is also a fairly short one. The graphics are top-notch and the music is also catchy. If you like Ys or Zelda, try this classic. It is best to play this one in short bursts, but if you have one whole day to relax, you could certainly find worse ways to kill time.

Mega Man X
This is the penultimate Mega Man experience. It takes all the stuff that worked well in the NES games and builds on it to make a great action game. Everything about this game is awesome, so if you haven't played, clear out your schedule and get to it...rain or shine!

Cybernator

Cybernator is for people that love awesome 2-D action and robots. If you fall into this cateogory (and who doesn't) then play this game. It has not been re-released on a virtual service, which is unfortunate, but track it down for a rainy day by legal or shady means. You will not be disappointed. This one also has a fan-made patch that re-implements the Japanese character art and infamous suicide scene for those interested in seeing the original version fully intact.

Violinist of Hameln
The final game I will mention is a Japanese exclusive. It is based on a manga about a girl that can change into animals that is practically unknown in the US. However, this is a wonderful puzzle filled platformer with cute characters and a charming theme that should appeal to anyone with a weakness for retro games. There is an English patch available (http://superfamicom.org/translations/info/violinist-of-hameln-english) so now you can enjoy the story.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Awesome Box Art of the Week: Bahamut Lagoon


Five PSOne Games We Need on PSN

The PlayStation Network has plenty of quality games from the PSOne era, especially if you own a Japanese account. However, there are some glaring omissions in the library that need to be corrected, starting with...
5. Strider 2 
This great 2-D action game has a reboot coming out soon so it seems like a perfect time to stick this baby on PSN. Strider 2 also came with an arcade perfect port of the first game as a bonus disc that should be included for completion's sake. Come on Capcom, release it in a digital format (my Vita needs game), and if you are feeling really kind release the next one as well...
2. The Misadventures of Miss Tron Bonne
The Misadventures of Miss Tron Bonne epitomized the awesomeness of Tron Bonne and the lovable Servbot army from Mega Man Legends. This game is a bit of cult classic which keeps the disc prices high on eBay so I'm sure people would jump at the chance to own a cheap digital copy. I bet many Marvel vs. Capcom 3 players would like to see her origins, but the Mega Man Legends series has been swept under the rug in favor of crap like Lost Planet 3. Sigh.
3. Skullmonkeys
This weird little platformer is not remembered by many people and that is a shame, because it has more charm than half of the PlayStation games worshiped by reviewers and collectors these days. Skullmonkeys deserves another chance, if Tomba and Earthworm Jim can catch a break, why not this one?
2. Sexy Parodius
If you like shoot'em ups, Sexy Parodius should be at the top of your must play list if you've never tried it. The game parodies Gradius and other famous Konami franchises with cute 2-D graphics and a great OST. I'm really shocked that this is not on PSN since so many people loved this game (in Japan, as it was never released elsewhere.)
1. Top Shop
This game was released toward the end of the PSOne era at a super cheap price, but don't let that fool you, this is one of the best multiplayer games around. It is like Monopoly set in a mall with charming chibi anime characters. It can't cost too much to throw this on the PSN store, since this game isn't popular, but it could become popular, especially for people that like board games.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Bad Box Art of the Week: Plumbers Don't Wear Ties

Chickens? Shower Scenes? A Plumber? What type of fucking game is this?

Monday, June 10, 2013

Bravo Sony

Sony just slayed the Xbox One at E3. Wow. No DRM, used games are yours to own forever, and it is one hundred dollars cheaper ($399.) Enjoy this video of Sony trollin' the shit out of Microsoft. Good news for gamers, and maybe even humanity.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Friday, June 7, 2013

Awesome Box Art of the Week: Atelier Escha & Logy


The Good Old Days: Street Fighter 2 Rainbow Edition

In the 1990s, life was good: Fresh of Bel Air and Seinfeld ruled the airwaves, hip-hop music didn't suck yet, and a new Street Fighter update was available every 3-6 months. Some of these updates were of the unofficial variety, which basically meant the arcade owner or some technician tweaked the CPS2 board to "enhance" the game in new ways. Want to throw multiple fireballs at once? Got it. So you want to switch characters during the second round? No problem. You want Zangief to glitch through the screen for no particular reason? Sounds good to me!

You can see plenty of this nonsense in the video above in an unofficial, but popular version of Street Fighter 2 called Rainbow Edition. In Japan, they still have local tournaments for this amazing bootleg. You can find this version in a rom set for MAME if you are curious about it. Sadly, most Westerners can't just walk into an arcade in 2013 and pop a few quarters into some crazy ass hacked game....nope, you could only do that in the good old days.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Jojo's Bizarre Adventure All-Star Battle Will Be Da Bomb

In case you don't know, I am huge fan of Jojo's Bizarre Adventure. The series captured my interest with the old Capcom game back in the day, later I read the manga, and these days I am addicted to the anime series. Cyberconnect (the guys behind Asura's Wrath and the Naruto games) are slaving away on their latest fighting game, Jojo's Bizarre Adventure All-Star Battle for PS3. Literally everything I have seen about the game is awesome, from character selection to the attention given to walking animations taken straight from the pages of the manga.
There have been a ton of characters announced so far, with the latest ones being the suave gentlemen of part 5, Bruno and Narancia, along with their nemesis Diavolo. I am still waiting to hear about Weather Report, Diego, and Hot Pants...hopefully they make the cut. I haven't been this excited for a fighting game in a long time. I just hope it is being balanced better than the Naruto fighters which never gain traction with the FGC. In the meantime, let's dream of an English release in physical form. Or at least an Italian one, I can kinda understand that language (but I will miss the crazy Engrish...SHEER HEARTO ATTACKA!!)
Also check out this fine English patch for the Super Famicom Jojo game, found here: http://agtp.romhack.net/project.php?id=jojo
That is an unusual stand power...

Friday, May 24, 2013

Finally! Game Boy Pocket: Pepperoni Pizza Edition

Yes, this is a real thing. Is it weird that I want to play this badboy in my local Pizza Hut for shits and giggles? It can be ordered here: http://www.8bitaesthetics.bigcartel.com/product/pizzaboy-pocket

as seen on TinyCartridge

Welcome to the D&D World...of Japan

While in the USA, we get a sad digital-only release for the new Dungeons and Dragons collection, Japan will get this sweet ass special edition instead. Their gorgeous special edition comes with a reprint of the official guidebook and the Capcom Secret File. Other goodies include a 2 disc soundtrack and a wallpaper DLC code. I wish Capcom would release this in the West, but I know that is impossible since they do not like to release physical copies of hardcore stuff anymore (ex. Ace Attorney 5 is download only.) Fortunately this is a very import friendly package (and region free) if you are willing to drop $130 for the privilege of preserving this series in your game collection. Personally, these are two of my favorite arcade games ever, so my wallet is ready. It sure beats hooking up a Sega Saturn and fooling with that 4MB Ram crap to play these on my TV.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The New Xbox: Another One Bites the Dust


After carefully and painstakingly analyzing reactions over the Xbox One press conference today, I can sum it all up in one word: disappointment. Bitter, piss-flavored disappointment. It's a sad day for gamers. Let me recap Microsoft's epic failure.

1. The Xbox One plays TV shows and other premium TV services on your TV. If you wanted a new machine for watching TV shows on your TV then the future is here.

2. A once every 24 check of your Internet connection means you are basically renting a license for your games. Note: people without constant Internet connections will not be able to play their own games. This sucks for men and women of the US Armed Forces in places like Afghanistan, where Internet is a luxury. Seems like they will lose a huge customer base, as every soldier I know loves Xbox.

3. Fees for used games are just an added way of reminding customers, they do not truly own anything for the Xbox One.

4. Xbox One's Kinect is not optional. Also the camera and microphone are always on in your living room. Welcome to 1984, your new overlord, Bill Gates anticipates your obedience.

5. None of your purchases will transfer from the 360 except media content. So all those games you play online like Street Fighter 3 and X-Men will be useless when the 360's online service ends.

6. No backwards compatibility ensures that you will not be playing the classics from this gen via disc, but I'm sure they will resell them like PSN's PS2 archives.

7. The system looks like an old VCR, not exactly the sleek design that 2013 calls for, but maybe it will be appeal to my mom or dad.

8. Boring game reveals...oh a new Call of Duty...yawn..."cool dude." They say wait to E3, but I just don't care at this point.

I will not buy this system unless Microsoft somehow sees fit to listen to the gamers that have supported them from the beginning. The casual market will buy this crap, but I hope enough of the gaming community votes with their dollars and shows that this new business strategy is outrageous. It will be like SimCity 4 on a massive scale, and no one wants to see that mess happen again.

I personally think it's time for Sega to come back, guns blazin'. Dreamcast 2 powered by Steam...launch games, Shenmue 3 and Phantasy Star 5.

Bad Box Art of the Week: The Legend of Alon D'ar

High fives for everyone that didn't buy this game.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Returned from Japan

This past weekend, I finally went to Tokyo. It has been a lifelong dream of mine to travel to Japan, the mecca of gaming. I stayed for three days in Shinagawa and from there, I traveled to various hot spots around Tokyo, including Akihibara and Shibuya. Here are some random thoughts from my trip:

  • Contrary to what you may have heard, most people are not reading manga or playing portable game systems on the trains in Tokyo. Out of the several trains I took over my three day stay, I saw three people playing Vitas. I saw no one rockin' a 3DS, but I did get a ton of Streetpasses, so I know they had them hidden somewhere. As far as manga goes, one middle-aged Japanese lady was reading Jojo's Bizarre Adventure (part IV), so she obviously had excellent taste.
  • Akihibara is a weird place. There are tons of otaku-themed places there, including maid cafes and anime PVC figure shops. The game shops were amazing, especially the retro themed place I found, I even found myself a copy of Sexy Parodius to replace the one I lost years ago. Most things seemed overpriced compared to eBay, but the "junk" sections had plenty of gems like Puzzle Bobble 3 for 2 bucks. The staff in most stores could speak some English, and they were very polite. Unfortunately, Akihibara is becoming overrun by porn stores, which seemed to outnumber game stores 2-1.
  • Japanese people are very polite, and most people will speak to you in English if you ask for directions.  Don't try to speak Japanese unless you are fluent, they will assume you can understand them and speak very quickly to you!
  • My hotel was actually positioned across the street from Bandai Namco. One would think with the amount of history those two companies have produced (Pac-Man, Galaga, Tekken, Gundam, etc.) the building would have some sort of monument or statues outside of their corporate headquarters. Sadly, it is a very dull looking building with no signs of the culture they helped to create in Japan.
Overall, my trip to Japan was fun, but I can't help but feel the so-called mecca of gaming is a bit lacking these days. Maybe the gaming culture is losing traction in the Land of the Rising Sun with the masses.The arcades were particularly interesting as they were filled with two groups of people: tired looking salary men chain smoking away and school girls playing crane games. Where were the young men? Anyway, maybe I will return there one day, I just hope games are still a part of the norm at that time. 

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Awesome Box Art Special: The Japanese Game Gear

I think most of us threw out the boxes for Game Gear games. It was like a disposable wrapper, so these days it can be hard to find boxed games in the wild. This is a damn shame, as some of those boxes were pretty classy. The Japanese especially had it good. How good? Here are some fine examples...