Harvest Moon Game Boy (Color) Review: The Original Sit In A Corner For Hours Farm Simulator

When I think of a video game franchise, whose popularity is hidden by its soft-voiced fans (who you know exist, but require looking for), it would be Animal Crossing…well, pre- Animal Crossing: New Leaf. Now, in a post New Leaf world, Harvest Moon takes its place, with tons of sequels and spin-offs of the original 1996 SNES farm-simulator with Visual Novel elements. Personally, my experience with the series is through the fan-thought darker and more adult title, Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life, as well as my personally preferred spin-off, Rune Factory with its added monster fighting and RPG mechanics (internet, you have no idea how stoked I am for Rune Factory 4 coming out later this year).

Problem is, it’s hard for any of developer Natsume’s Harvest Moon games to stand out outside of either visual or mechanical changes to a rather bolted-down formula. Plus, in general it is hard to write on a series where the only people who care will already buy anything with the name. So, I was going to review the first Harvest just to get a feel for the original progenitor, but instead opted out for Harvest Moon GB for Game Boy (actually, its technically Harvest Moon GBC, which is the same game but in color), thinking that as long as I started at the beginning of a hand-held console, I could gain the same effect.

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Dra+Koi Review: Eaten, Devoured Or Consumed, Take Your Pick.

artist-dra-koi

As a fan of visual novels, I have a pretty big list of titles that I want to read, but lack a necessary English translation Among them are three in particular that I really, really want to read: Kanojo wa Sora ni Inoranai -quantum girlfriend-, Ore no Tsure wa Hito de nashi, and Dra+Koi. They have all been on my list for at least two years or more, with Dra+Koi acting as the oldest. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that a translation patch had been released for Dra+Koi (okay, I admit I did know about the project, but the whole thing just sort of died for a long time, as it often happens with these translation projects). Now, finally able to scratch a name off my list of visual novels, I have decided to write about the experience.

It really says something about a setting when imminent, lethal danger is sent to you as a casual text.

Dra+Koi is a visual novel made by the studio Nitroplus that came in a fandisk (like a videogame developer equivalent of a music EP) of their’s called Sabbat-Nabe (something along those lines as the name is fairly difficult to Romanize). It was written by Hagenaya Jin, the main writer for Deus Machina Demonbane, which is actually readily available at J-list or directly through JastUSA.

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Hammerin Hero Review: STOP!…Obvious M.C. Hammer Joke

The PSP, out of all the handheld systems that are readily available is one in which I have the least experience. To be honest Hammerin Hero is the first game I have ever beaten on the system. Frankly at launch I was not impressed with the system, I have always been geared more toward Nintendo when it came to buying handhelds. Ever since the original Game Boy up until now I have associated handheld gaming with.Nintendo.  To me, the PSP always seemed to be the awkward kid at the dance sitting in the bleachers that I wanted to go up and befriend but cool, sexy, and super interesting Nintendo was always more alluring. I am probably missing out on a number of good titles on the PSP for instance, hell the Katamari series has a game for the PSP, and Katamari is in my list of top series of games.

With all of the games I have emulated, reaching way back into the NES and SNES library, I realized why Hammerin Hero sounded familiar when fellow writer Franklin Raines assigned me to review it. I had played its’ first ancestor, Hammerin Harry for the NES, not but a few months prior. While researching Hammerin Hero, I learned that the series was created by Irem, best known for the R-Type and Metal Storm series. Remembering how great it was, I was excited to dive into this game and see what eighteen years would do for the series. 2008’s Hammerin Hero released by ATLUS proves to be more than I expected.

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What a Fist of the North Star Fighting Game Taught Me About Importing and My Love of Anime Tie-in Fighting Games

On staff, Francisco Garcia Fuentes is known as the heavy Japanese import gamer. A neat aspect, in my favor, is currently Francisco has everything he orders shipped to my house, so I get to open boxes filled with titles like Demon’s Gaze, Seventh Dragon 2020 II, and the Queen’s Blade strategy-RPG that came out a few years ago. For me, import gaming is another step one takes to become hardcore, akin to buying and collecting Gen 2 video games like Atari 2600s, translating and crafting foreign language patches, and buying an arcade cabinet. Looking for my own affordable (you know, because importing games is an expensive endeavor) venue into import gaming, I went with a safe bet; a dirt cheap copy of a PSP fighting game based on the Fist of the North Star spin off  Hokuto No Ken: Raoh Gaiden – Ten no Haōh.

I chose Ten no Haōh thinking a fighting game would ease the biggest barrier when playing import games, text, usually, this is a bigger problem with rpgs and strategy games, learning how to even play the game. Deciding I could finger my way around the familiar opening menu, (oddly in English, which I have noticed in the other titles Francisco has played where random text for stats and menus will be in English), with the usual Story Mode, VS CPU, Practice, and Options choices readily available, I went forward, thinking button recognition could be easily learned from a round in practice mode.

I then learned Japan uses the “O” button as the “yes” command, with the “X” button as the “No” command on the PSP. After my entire way of life came crashing down around me, I thought back to how in anime, when exams are handed back, circles mean that the answer is right, where an “x” means the answer is wrong. Makes sense. Even now, I will forget this fact and hammer the “X”, becoming frustrated at how I am now back at the title screen. THIS IS A BIG DEAL FOR ME PEOPLE!

Varied character selection, the one true weakness for a dork like myself.

Varied character selection, the one true weakness for a dork like myself.

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