Friday Link Roundup 9/23-9/27


Every Friday I make a post containing links to interesting articles I have found throughout the week. If you already follow me on Twitter, then you will have probably seen most of the following links. Don’t forget to like the Kotowari Facebook page as well. Enjoy!




An English version of the Metal Gear Solid V Ground Zeroes trailer gives us a first earful of Kiefer Sutherland as Big Boss. Not a fan.

Bravery Default intro trailer.  I didn’t know this game had a world map AND an airship!  Do want.

Fascinating video about the creation of a set of armor from Dark Souls II.

You know that Akira song in the first 10 minutes? You know the one. Watch it performed live.

The Gauntlet in Animal Crossing: New Leaf

Today I had a good, hearty Tidus-laugh over something only Animal Crossing fans may appreciate, though I’ll try to explain it so anyone can.

You see, in Animal Crossing: New Leaf your town can be the home of up to ten random animal residents.  When one leaves, another (of which there are over 100) will eventually take their place.

I’m of the mindset that every resident should be treated with respect because, just like in real life, you don’t really have control over the people around you.  And yet, abusing unwanted residents (hitting them with a bug net/capturing them in a pitfall trap) is the only real way to force them to leave… While I don’t condone this behavior, I can’t help finding it hilarious.  Maybe it’s because the animals are so oblivious?  I’m not sure…

Redditor user enkur has come up with an especially… elaborate means of inflicting abuse on an unwanted resident.  Here’s the Imgur source, which I am unfortunately unable to embed into my site.

Here’s the story about poor, poor Graham the smug hamster:

Two things to note on what you’re about to see:

  1. X-marks on the ground hide (in this case) pitfall traps, which trap a character in the dirt from the waist up when they step on it.  The captured critter (or human) can only free themselves after no small amount of struggling.  Do this to any resident enough times and they’re sure to feel bad about themselves and leave town.
  2. Digging holes in the ground creates impassable barriers to animals.  These can be used to trap NPCs for hilarity’s sake or to just keep them still.
  3. I lied: one final, yet optional, note — read the captions in a Bond villain voice for added enjoyment.

No matter how many times I read through that, I can’t help but laugh at poor Graham’s misfortune. I hope those of you not savvy to the world of Animal Crossing were still able to appreciate this prime example of digital schadenfreude.

Lightning’s Identity Confusion in Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII

The substance we’ve come to expect from the Final Fantasy series is something that may or may not be present in Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII.  There’s just no guarantee that the game will effectively wrap up the convoluted story that most of us just don’t give a damn about after two lackluster games.

What Square Enix CAN guarantee is an AMPLE wardrobe for the game’s titular protagonist, Lightning.  Here’s the whole damn lot of outfits you can look forward to collecting.  Some of these getups even cause Lightning to assume a sexy victory pose.  WOW!  If that doesn’t convince those fat-cats at Famitsu that this game deserves a solid 40/40 NOTHING will.

Just recently it was revealed that you can dress Lightning up like Final Fantasy VII‘s very own flower girl, Aerith Gainsborough.  Does the outfit cost 1 gil??  JKJK.  In total, Lighting can dress up like characters from FIVE different Final Fantasy titles.

But why stop there?  Some Japanese gaming enthusiasts have taken it upon themselves to show that with a bit of photoshopping, you can put Lightning in any outfit you want!  Neato!


Paine’s outfit looks good, though probably not sexy enough????  This kind of character design was before Tetsuya Nomura found his inner diva…

Ah, Final Fantasy VI‘s own Terra Branford (or Tina if you swing that way).  I like it, but some improvements will need to be made in the bust department.  The current generation of gamers just don’t respond to anything below a C-cup… I mean is that even a girl or a boy? LOL

Next up, for you fans of junk in the trunk, we have Ashe’s totally battle-ready mini-skirt.  Excellent!  But how long will we have to wait to know what color her panties are???  I sure hope you can change them using the game’s elaborate color swapping system

Last, but certainly not least, why not have Lightning dress up as a THIRD character from Final Fantasy VII? Who better than Sephiroth!  Again, the chest will need to be brought up to today’s standards before I can sign off on this outfit.

One thing is for sure, the more outfits I see Lightning in, the more established she becomes as an individual, substantive character with her very own game.  Some naysayers have countered that these outfits are a feeble attempt to inject nostalgia into the dying husk of the worst published Final Fantasy universe to date.  If you ask me, these people just need some shopping therapy!

PSA: Earn Your $30 Nintendo eShop Credit Before It’s Too Late!

If you purchased both Fire Emblem: Awakening and Shin Megami Tensei IV for your 3DS, then you are a gamer of impeccable tastes.  You’re also entitled to a $30 credit for the Nintendo eShop!

I wrote about this deal while back, having taken advantage of it myself.  The credit never appeared, and I kinda assumed I did something wrong — Nintendo has never been the best at delivering clarity when it comes to account management/online functionality.

Yesterday I received an e-mail informing me that I had until September 30th to claim said credit:  

Whoa, I had no idea I had to close the deal!  After a few simple steps I was given a code redeemable at the eShop which instantly added $30 to my wallet.

If you’ve been waiting on this credit as well, get proactive and claim it before it’s too late!

If you bought both games but never got around to creating a Club Nintendo account then get on that ASAP.  You’ll also want to link the account to your 3DS (and Wii U if you own one).  Then it’s simply a matter of registering both games and claiming your credit.

Now that I’ve got all this digital cash, the obvious question is: what to spend it on?  Currently I have my eye on both The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD and Pokémon X/Y…  What are you going to do with your free money?

Tokyo Game Show 2013 News Roundup


Tokyo Game Show has officially begun!  I’m not in attendance this year, but that won’t stop me from throwing my two cents around like a hobo at a strip club.

Before I get into TGS stuff, I feel obligated to talk about some news that just recently went from the rumor mill to the… mill where things really happen: Sega Sammy Holdings has indeed acquired Atlus.

Jeez, I gotta be honest, this is some troubling news.  Index wasn’t the most stable company, but Sega’s financial history is none too bright either:sega

It IS important to note however, that a holdings company is the one who made the acquisition, not Sega alone (a lot of sites are reporting this incorrectly).  The slight up-spike in profits that begins in 2003 on that graph is attributed to Sega being acquired by the same parent company.

Sega was made more profitable by shifting the company’s focus to their “profit-making arcade business rather than its loss-making home software development.”  This has made the company somewhat less relevant in my eyes (and probably in the eyes of anyone else in the West, where arcades are basically nonexistent).

The only console game that Sega seems to be able to sell with any consistency is Hatsune Miku: Project Diva, a rhythm game that practically sells itself in Japan.  This begs the question: does Sega Sammy Holdings know how to manage a company that relies on console software sales?  Hopefully they’ll be relatively hands-off and allow Atlus to keep on keepin’ on, but only time will tell.  I’m cautiously optimistic and recklessly pessimistic.


Now that we’ve gotten all that out of the way, let’s talk TGS.

I forgot that there was a Sony event (Asia only) last night and went out with some friends for beers.  I came back a little tipsy and loaded up a livestream of the event.  Other than a hilariously bad translator, there wasn’t much worth repeating.

It is worth noting, however, that the Vita TV can access the Playstation Network, meaning my initial praise for the device was well placed.

Now let’s talk games.

Here is 12 minutes of Metal Gear Solid V gameplay:

I was pretty impressed with the lighting effects (spotlights, truck headlights, pitch blackness) , which I suppose is a feature of that darn Fox Engine Kojima is always going on about.  I’m also a big fan of the little icons that pop up to show what options you have when engaged in CQC (or by simply approaching an item that can be interacted with).  This style is very clean and simple to understand:

Moving right along, it seems like a Gravity Rush sequel is in the works:

I never completed the first one, but I sure do enjoy the game’s concept art and general aesthetics.  It’s clear a lot of love and attention went into Gravity Rush so a new project, whatever it may be, is something that deserves to happen.  But will it be playable on the Vita TV? Hmmm…

A bunch of Deep Down stuff has surfaced, beginning with this new trailer:

I had a hard time wrapping my mind around just what kinda game Deep Down is.  This gameplay video just about confirms that the game combines elements of Dark Souls and Resident Evil:  

Gotta be honest: combat looks somewhat repetitive and a little sloppy.  I wish more than one weapon (lance) was shown.  Watching all that poking got old fast.  It also seemed tough to aim and things got quite chaotic when facing more than one enemy.  I’ll keep watching this game, but still on the fence about it.

Next up — and just because I’m super excited — a new Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster trailer:

Man, I really miss Dresspheres!  This will be my favorite Final Fantasy for the PS3, at least until Final Fantasy XV.

Not quite TGS news, but news all the same: a new Dark Souls II trailer:

This video does a great job showing the glory that comes with trying and failing and trying again until you pass a great difficulty — an important life lesson and one that the Souls series perfectly encapsulates.

While on the subject of insanely popular, yet challenging games:

Monster Hunter Frontier G is coming to Vita in the East. The Frontier series is the MMO-esque version of Monster Hunter, separate from the numbered console releases.  I feel indifferent about this news for a few reasons — mainly because I have no interest in the Frontier series but I also doubt this title will be released in the West.  Still, it’s nice to see the Vita being given a chance when it comes to Monster Hunter.  I hope this will increases the system’s console sales, at least in Japan.

Next, I was happy to see Animal Crossing: New Leaf win best game of 2013 at the Japan Game Awards.  A well deserved honor for a game I still can’t put down.

Honorable mentions go to some great titles, including Soul Sacrifice, Fantasy Life, Dragon’s Quest X and Braverly Default — yea, a lot of portable (mainly 3DS) love from Japan this year.

Boy, that was a lot of stuff to cover.  There may be more posts like this leading up to the end of TGS, so look forward to even more coverage!

I leave you with a video taken at a Grand Theft Auto 5 midnight launch event.  Best grab some popcorn and enjoy: