[PS3] 超次元ゲイムネプテューヌMk2

 Though it seems like a fruitless pursuit (and mainly for my own personal satisfaction anyway), the main reason I started doing reviews of the games I've played (and totally got smitten with) is because I read those done by the gaming media on a regular basis, and needless to say, I'm not impressed. They'd give low scores to a game just because they couldn't understand what it's really all about.

Case in point is Chou Jigen Game Neptune. It got mainly lackluster reviews from the so-called "pros" who have little to no experience with otaku culture, merely dismissing it as "a sexist hack from the land of the rising sun". That statement totally reeks of not being able to appreciate moe, and that irks me to no end. Take your BS degree and shove it if you don't have a clue on what you're dealing with, please.

After going through the game twice (both the Japanese and NA versions) , I impatiently awaited the release of the sequel, Chou Jigen Game Neptune Mk2. The original game featured personifications of home consoles (with several developers in tow) and was ridden with gaming history references, fanservice and dungeon crawling. Mk2 doesn't necessarily pick up from where it's predecessor left off (blame the inflexible ending for that one), but features a whole new universe based on the prior theme, an improved combat system, and best of all, the introduction of the original casts' "younger sisters" all of whom are personifications of contemporary handheld consoles. This also answers the need for otaku fans who get off on siscon moe (and I happen to be one of them, by the way).


[PS3] 超次元ゲイムネプテューヌ/ハイパーディメンション・ネプチュニア

Uh huh.

Once again I need to show a periodical sign of life, and figured that the best way to do that is to tie it in to the main reason for the long lull: I've been playing Chou Jigen Game Neptune to death for quite a while now, since I wanted to get it out of the way before Mk2 gets released on the 18th.

After finishing it to 100% perfection, a crazy thought coursed through my head: What if I also play through the NA version (known as Hyperdimension Neptunia) to get two sets of full trophies for the same game? I bought it mainly for the artbook and haven't touched it until recently.


[PS3] PS3 Getだぜ!!

 I haven't really let on, but I got myself a PS3 a few months ago. After covering for 3 AWOL guys in my part-time job, I earned a pretty fat payoff, so figured that I might as well splurge it on something that I'd actually love. Initially, I planned to hold off on getting one until A.) Zettai Zetsumei Toshi 4 gets pulled out of cancellation, or B.) My birthday comes.

The two reasons got overruled because I already have a handful of games for it that I'm very much raring to play.


[PSP] ペルソナ2罪

Is it Index, or is it Atlus? Make up your minds already!! Ever since the cult game outfit was lynched by their parent company, they've been having somewhat of a collective identity crisis. Index wants it's presence felt while using the Atlus name, which apparently still carries quite a bit of weight. Of course, with the two names struggling for elbow room, something's got to give...

Persona 2 Tsumi (more popularly known as Innocent Sin) was the first of two games originally released for the Playstation. This particular part never saw official stateside circulation because the silly Atlus USA people were "daunted" (this is my best attempt at substituting scathing expletives I'm very much dying to use) by the implied Yaoi undertones and the presence of Nazis and Hitler (they weren't fooling anyone by not giving a specific reason given their miserable track record of letting other Megaten gems slip past)...but wonder of wonders, 2011 seemed to be an uncharacteristic improvement for their part, as the PSP remake somehow got an NA release date for this coming September.

Speaking for myself though, I don't really expect much from them in terms of translation quality, so I'm sticking with the JP version.

9/29/11 EDIT: As usual, Atlus USA does not fail to disappoint. Features from the JP version were removed from the NA release, and worse, they never told anyone until later. Well done, you good-for-nothing freak jobs... well done... *insert sardonic grin here*


[その他] は~い、まだ生きているよ~!

So yeah.

Been out of the radar for a good long time, and while the better part of it was spent writing the ZZT3 FAQ (which rest assured will be concluded soon, for those of you who were looking), more of it was all about dealing with real life, both good and bad.

While I won't go into detail because it's not my style, let's just say that two people were subtracted from my already modest list of social contacts. I don't take kindly to those who insult my hobbies and go as far as to try and convince me to give them up for more "orthodox" interests.

Orthodox my foot.

Letting it go now... I just got my copy of Persona 2 Tsumi for the PSP and will be writing a review for it eventually, but first, allow me to show off a couple of rare otaku finds that I got for a practical steal.


[その他] 絶体絶命都市3 ~お姉さまイベント~

 So get this...

Irem seemed to be planning their time-honored April Fool's gag to serve as a marketing gimmick for the upcoming Zettai Zetsumei Toshi 4 release.However, since much of Kanto is still reeling from the effects of the recent earthquake, they eventually decided not to go through it, even going as far as canceling the release entirely. I would have wanted to see it since I'm a fan of the first three games, but I'm all for taking the feelings of the survivors into consideration too.

Admittedly, I started playing Zettai Zetsumei Toshi 3 again after learning about the disaster, which in turn motivated me to pick up where I left off in the FAQ I was writing for it. That being said, I wanted to share one of my favorite parts of the game with the non-Japanese speaking populace out there. Though it looks labor-intensive, this post actually served as a refreshing break from translating the dizzying array of dialogue choices on offer.

In case anyone asks, these scenes DO happen in the game. You just have to make the right choices to activate the Ayami flag. Irem is freaky like that.

*Beware, this entry is image and spoiler heavy.


[その他] 頑張れ!日本!!!

Shame on me.

For the past week I've been living under my proverbial hikkikomori rock.

It took me a while to hear about the tragedy that has struck Japan, coming in the form of a tsunami triggered by a Magnitude 8.9 (though some experts seem eager to round it off to a flat 9) earthquake. Disasters have been a periodical part of Japanese history because their territory is situated on the so-called "Pacific Ring Of Fire", but that doesn't make things any easier for them. Over 10,000 were killed, and possible nuclear plant meltdowns over some of the affected areas are also a major concern.

This is truly a dark time for a country whose collective culture I study and admire. While I could devote a whole paragraph into making a profound personal dedication, it isn't really necessary. Pro skier Noriaki Kasai pretty much summed up my exact same sentiments in a simple message written on his gloves:

Be strong, Japan!! Don't give in to suffering!


[PSP] ゴーGET!

Looky looky, I got myself a PSP Go.

Only I didn't buy it. Just won it off some raffle I entered for the heck of it. Truth be told, I wanted to win the Neptunia PS3 game (3rd Prize), hoard the artbook for my own viewing pleasure, then sell the game elsewhere standalone (I has no PS3; and as many of you may recall, I'm not really fond of localized games) to get monies for my future UMD purchases. Instead I get this.

I was also inclined to sell the Go at first, but then it hit me: Since I got so used to handling a 3000, maybe I can do my own review of how a Go feels compared to the former. Of course, since this puny squirt doesn't have a UMD drive, the only way I could do a gameplay test was to give it the CFW treatment. 

Keep in mind, I know how to make a JP PSN account, but since I pay for all my stuff with cash, I don't have squat in terms of loading it with Yen credits, since people here only import UMDs and the PSN credits they sell are mainly US, HK and Singaporean Dollars. So forgive me for being a cheapskate and dabbling in the dark side of PSP gaming. Besides, the games I downloaded as ISOs were ones that I own in UMD format anyway. No blood, no foul. 


[その他] 無駄だよ、これ... Orz

GameFAQs is now officially under my least-favorite sites list...

Despite my best efforts trying to re-input the JIS characters using my brand-spanking new Vaio laptop with Windows 7 OS set at 85% Japanese input/display, The recent update for the K-On! Houkago Live!! guide still emerged as a messy string of unicode crud.

My initial reactions were as follows...


[PSP] 探偵オペラ ミルキィホームズ

Over the years, I have read a lot of detective stories, ranging from tween snippets like Encyclopedia Brown to more established classics along the lines of Sherlock Holmes. People who know me often say that my observational skills can be used in the same profession, but while I'm indeed OC with details, I'm also cursed with the "My Pace" habit. If I get too bored with something, I tend to abandon it halfway. That alone would make me an epic failure as a detective.

Bushiroad's Tantei Opera Milky Holmes follows almost the same tradition as any detective story, but adds a freaky aspect to it: the use of "Toys" or inborn abilities that exceed that of a normal human. Both detectives and phantom thieves posses such powers, which allows for a lot of confrontations that go well beyond the normal duels and dramatic pursuits. The PSP game actually serves as a prequel to the anime, so no worries regarding spoilers. Even so, my page break warning link still stands.


[PSP] つくものがたり

Atlus Japan used to be tops in the occult/supernatural games department, but no thanks to financial woes and in-house political hoo-ha, they eventually got swallowed up by their parent company Index Holdings. Given, the outfit still exists (in name, at least), but are now limited to mainly mobile/SNS game releases and paltry remakes. The only thing I'm looking forward from them now is the PSP version of Persona 2: Tsumi, but the release date is still far off and it seemed like there was nothing out there that can help tide me over. But then FuRyu's Tsukumonogatari happened.

The preview videos peaked my interest right away. At first glance, it looked and played like a spiritual (pun intended) successor to Tokyo Mono Hara Shi down to the TV anime-esque flow and severely restricted movement between event scenes. A melded galge and RPG setup, weird events and most importantly, cute girls voiced by established seiyuu... what's not to like?


[NDS] かわいい子猫DS2

Despite having childhood allergies, I absolutely adored cats. It was a lucky break for me that I quickly outgrew such a hindrance, so I have not been without a pet cat for years... that is, until I had to move to a new place where pets were not allowed. I begrudgingly had to bid farewell to my three beloved furbabies, and all I have left of them now are the memories and the multitude of pictures I took during happier times.

I'm not particularly fond of games that involve virtual pets, but had no other alternative since looking after the real thing cannot be done anymore. Kawaii Koneko DS2 was one the initial game purchases for my new DSi, and playing it has become a regular habit ever since.


[NDS] 恋するプリン! ~恋は大冒険! Dr.カンミの野望!?~

While it may not reflect in my prior posts, I like to lose myself in platformers every so often. I'm not a stranger to Mario, Sonic, Rockman, and several other iconic characters who went about their devil-may-care business braving pitfalls, squeezing through narrow pathways and getting past fiendish obstacles, animate or inanimate.

Koisuru Purin! ~Koi Wa Daibouken! Dr. Kanmi No Yabou!?~ is based on the shoujo manga that first ran in Shogakukan's Ciao! magazine. It tells the story of an oddball love triangle happening between an ikemen boy, a high-spirited (*cough*tsundere*cough*) girl and... a cute little blob of pudding? The game itself is a platformer with all the usual flavors, but adds it's own sugary style to the mix.


[PSP] Macross Triangle Frontier

I've been hearing about Macross forever. I first ran into it's localized "Robotech" version via the novels, a handful of which were in our school library. At that time though, the only robot that I favored was Rockman (as well as his eternally moelicious sister Roll) so it didn't really peak my interest.

Funny how people say that our younger years are supposed to be the time when we are most receptive and curious. For me, it was the complete opposite: I was set in my ways before but became more open to new things later on, especially with the Real Robot series. It started with Gundam, and now it's continuing with Macross. Part of my process of getting to know a series aside from the anime is through the tie-in games it has... that being said, I secured a copy of both Macross Ultimate Frontier and the most recent incarnation, Macross Triangle Frontier.


[PSP] GA: 芸術科アートデザインクラス Slapstick Wonder Land

I've been playing Lucky Star: Ryouou Gakuen Otousai Portable for several weeks now and realized that it's not all it's cracked up to be. Or maybe perhaps I'm not as fanatically inclined to Lucky Star as I once was... 

Frankly speaking, I don't know anymore. orz

Either way, I sought a few of my other older galge purchases for refuge, and out of all of them, GA: Geijutsuka Art Design Class Slapstick Wonder Land stood out. I've had it for quite a while now, but waited until I could watch the anime (getting the DVDs took a little over a month) so I can appreciate the scenarios once I started playing.


[NDS] もえスタ~萌える東大英語塾~

It's oftentimes a running joke in Japanese media how the general populace are required to learn English as a second language, but most of them almost always fall flat when it comes to practical use due to it's purported "difficulty". As a Japanese language student, I find myself befuddled by this mentality mainly because English is built on just a few simple rules, whereas Japanese has more complicated quirks, leading a handful of frustrated people to call it "The Language Of The Infinite".

To make the "Language Of The Not-So-Infinite" less difficult, a few English-themed edutainment games have been circulating around. Of course, with the still-prevailing moe culture among otaku fandom, decrypting the lingo will bear more fruit when you feature cute 2D girls as your virtual tutors. Unfortunately, most of these games still fall under the hit-or-miss category, with one or more factors (uncomfortable testing system, poor seiyuu diction, etc.) ruining the whole thing. Mirai Shonen's Moe Star: Moeru Toudai Eigo Juku is one of the more notable titles of it's kind, and while I personally do not need to learn English, I was still curious to know how this game plays out.


[その他] 皆さん、あけおめ!

 どう? 着物、似合うかしら?

Happy new year to everyone! December proved to be a rather trying time for me since I'm preparing to move to a different place, but it's not without it's rewards. I'm not the sort who seriously plans stuff through, but here are my projected inputs for the coming days: