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.

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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:

My Guides Are Out! + News Catch-up.

Today, I can finally breathe a small sigh of relief.  Not a big one mind you, but at least a partial relief-based sigh.  Why?  My two new guides are officially on sale!  There’s still a lot to do, but the hardest part is definitely behind me.

I’ve missed writing on the blog.  The past few weeks I’ve seen news pop up that I wanted to think about, talk about, write about.  But I had to stay focused.  Now I can get as distracted as I want!  So the rest of this post will basically be my two cents on some news from the past weeks (months?) along with my thoughts.

Vita TV

I recently let a friend of a friend borrow my Vita.  Why?  I haven’t touched it since Persona 4 Golden.  And when I say touch, I mean do anything besides:

  1. Realize the battery is dead.
  2. Dig up the charging cable/charge it.
  3. Update the firmware.
  4. Let it sit around until the battery dies.
  5. Repeat.

The individual I loaned it to is a PC gamer who wanted to play some Playstation Classics and Persona titles — two luxuries not easily afforded to those without some of the members of the Playstation family.  For this reason, a relatively inexpensive (~$100-150 USD) device like this is great.

On the one hand, I like it because ever since the Vita was released I desperately wished it had some from of video-output for recording purposes.  I suppose I’m a weird case since I do some recording/streaming now and then…

But it’s also great for people who might not want to fully invest themselves in the world of console gaming.  For around $100 bucks, being able to play a number of classics and/or Vita titles is a very reasonable bar of entry.  According to my research, one could potentially not even own any other Playstation product and still purchase their games from the Sony Entertainment Network Store and synch their account with their Vita TV.  I’m not totally sure on this since initial details are vague, but it just makes sense given the obvious emulation of Apple TV.

More Vita TVs owners could mean better software sales and thus greater interest in developing Vita software.  I think this is a very wise move on Sony’s part and I’m eagerly anticipating a Western release, which I feel is strong possibility:

 

Kojima Loves Butts

I love Hideo Kojima.  I go through phases of my life where all I can think about and play are Metal Gear Solid titles.  Once you’ve had that kind of substance and style, most other games just fall short.  Recently Kojima explained on Twitter his desire to make his characters (presumably female ones) “more erotic”.  Why?  To encourage cosplay and figure sales, of course.  He posted a teaser image of a character named Quiet who will be appearing in Metal Gear Solid V to give cosplayers something to think about:

Naturally, there was some backlash.  I guess that’s to be expected when someone considered to be marginally progressive in a particular field posts a picture of a butt on Twitter.

Kojima explained that this particular character (who is also mute) has a background that explains their appearance, and will make those questioning his motives ashamed.

I want to believe you, Kojima.  I really do.  But this whole idea of attractive women soldiers with terribly sad backstories… it’s kinda been done.

buttz2

Yeah, that was essentially the basis of the enemies (Beauty and the Beast Unit) in Metal Gear Solid 4: attractive women soldiers with PTSD.  The only difference?  The next generation has even less going on in the clothing department, though the posterior still seems to be the focus.  Kojima, please lead by example, and not convenient imitation.

I’m obviously assuming a lot here, but it’s mostly out of concern.

Mighty No. 9

I have a confession.  Are you ready?  Here goes: I’ve never played a MegaMan game in my life.

That said, I’m quite aware of the following the little blue dude has gathered over the years, and the abuse they’ve both endured.  It’s been commonplace for the Big Publishers/Developers to make it clear to their consumers that the bottom-line is what guides their artistic hand.  And so the popular mindset has been to support everything and pray your favorites get another chance (kind of like they’re being held hostage???).

The introduction of crowdfunding has caused a shift of power in favor of the fans and artists.  The artists can show what they want to make, and the fans can literally vote with their money to make it happen.  Sure, once a project is funded it’s not always a guarantee, but a future where this is a more accepted/polished norm is one that has my enthusiastic approval.

Looking at the Kickstarter page for Mighty No. 9 makes me believe that this kind of future is a very real possibility.  There is some amazing talent behind the game, and seeing all the love surrounding it is inspiring.

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That’s all the news I can handle for today.  Look forward to a more regular blogging schedule from yours truly, and please check out my newest guides!