NostalGeek

Don’t Hate the Game, Hate the Player

Dragon Quest IX Sells 2.3 Millions in 2 Days

dragonquestWe hear it all the time, the Japanese market is in trouble, the PS3 is outselling the Wii in the Land of the Rising Sun and so on and so forth. Obviously I’m not denying any of these things but one thing is for sure, the Japanese people play games and they will play games.

The thing is they play differents games than us and some games that are sure sells there are not here, or at least to a very lesser degree. And games like Modern Warfare or GTA never sell well there. It’s all in the eye of the Beholder.

But I’m rambling, the bottom line is that when a new DraQue is released in Japan, fans line up and line up they did. Square Enix sold 2.34 million copies of the game in the first two days which may or may not surprise you.

The last game, Dragon Quest VIII, sold 2.23 in the first two days. The question remains as to how it will fare in the long run. Current record holder is Dragon Quest VII for the PSX which sold 4.1 units over time.

And time, will tell.

July 14, 2009 Posted by | DS News, Video Game News | , , | Leave a comment

The Cover Project + Universal Game Cases = OCD Geek Heaven!

I just found my new compulsive hobby!
I’m a bit of a freak and I hate to have games without boxes, manuals or covers. In fact I won’t buy an old game without these. That said even with the complete package you have to admit that the NES sleeves kinda suck, the SNES and GBA cardboard is a bit bland and so on and so forth…

In comes the Universal Game Case which, as the name applies, is a universal case for Genesis, NES, SNES… about the size of an old VHS… ($42 for 100 on this site).

But it gets even better is when you add The Cover Project to the mix which basically makes custom covers based on original NES, SNES and everything in between games made to fit Universal Game Cases.

And the result of that is this greatness:

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Also you can do the same thing for you GBA collection by grabbing DS cases off of the Nintendo website ($7 for 10) which ends up looking like this:

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The collection pics do not belong to me.

April 8, 2009 Posted by | Random Musings, Video Game Merchandise | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 30 Comments

Blood of Bahamut Trailer

Last week SquareEnix teased us with a new countdown site mentioning Bahamut. Some including myself speculated in a Bahamut Lagoon sequel or remake, others opted on a sort of Final Fantasy spin-off of the infamous summon.

The game has since been announced as Blood of Bahamut, en entirely new game which gives only a half answer but either way the teaser for the game was just released so check it out.

November 17, 2008 Posted by | DS News, Video Game News | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Professor Layton and the Curious Village Review (Nintendo DS)

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Level-5 is mostly known for their highly successful RPGs (Dark Cloud, Rogue Galaxy and Dragon Quest VIII) but with the Professor Layton series they stray into the IQ puzzle genre with great efficiency.
The project was born through President and CEO Akihiro Hino who always loved Tago’s Head Gymnastics series of puzzle books, which have sold more than 12 million copies to date in Japan. As a result Akira Tago developed the game while Hino san served as producer.
If you like puzzle game you are going to be enjoying one of the most charming games on the DS with great graphics and soundtrack and a deceivingly nice storyline.

Graphics

The game starts right off with a lovely CG sequence that is both beautiful and original in design, you feel like you are watching a mix between a Studio Ghibli movie and a classic European cartoon albeit of great quality. There aren’t that many sequences in the game but they are all a joy to watch.
the in-game graphics are divided into two categories, the overall look and the puzzles themselves. Let’s get this out of the way the puzzles look nice and simple, nothing fancy but that is not the point of puzzles. On the other hand the backgrounds are simply gorgeous made of beautifully drawn illustrations that pack a lot of charm. The characters are equally well drawn and each look very different with a lot of visual personality. Layton himself is a hero with an old fashioned style that will no doubt be portrayed in several conventions by fans of cosplay.

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Sound

The soundtrack, composed by Level-5 composer Tomohito Nishiura, is filled with accordions that would be found in a cheesy American movie set in Paris BUT Nishiura never falls into that trap and keeps the score enjoyable and very original for a video game soundtrack. It must be said that the tunes tend to repeat a lot so your enjoyment will vary depending on your tolerance for the style. Personally i loved it.
The voice work on the other hand is top notch and can’t be denied. It consist of great British actors (Layton is voiced by Christopher Miller and Luke by Lani Minella) which you mostly only hear during the CG sequences but these voices will stay with you for a long while, especially the announcements before the success or failure of a puzzle, “I think I’ve got it!” (thick British accent), “Luke, here’s my answer…”, “Well..Here’s my guess…” and so on.
The great voices and atypical soundtrack really help give the game even more personality and charm.

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Gameplay

Very straightforward in this case. You click on people like in any RPGs and they talk to you usually giving you a puzzle to solve, then you just rack your brain until you find an answer.
the puzzles run the gamut of everything from “John is 3 times the age of Astrid but next year Astrid will be half as old as John. How are they?” to liquid games and cube sliding… It’s a bit hard to explain but if you check the images you’ll get the drift.
Each puzzle is worth a certain number of Picarats (basically points) which when accumulated give you bonuses and extras. If you answer a puzzle incorrectly the number of picarats you receive decreases but it only does so twice. As a result once you fail a puzzle twice you can fail it as many times as you want without any consequence. While this helps on some puzzle where the answer is fairly simple on others it doesn’t help at all because you have no clue what to input. But either way puzzles are usually just a matter of thinking, there was only one or two puzzles I had to go look up online because they where too far fetched.
In addition to this you can collect hint coins throughout the village by clicking…well…basically everywhere. You will get the itch to find them and end up putting your stylus anywhere just to see if you can find some. These coins allow you to buy hints for puzzles (3 for each) which give you the opportunity to answer puzzles without losing any picarats potential.
Here’s a hint: use your coins! You will get more picarats in the end. I saved mine for fear of tougher puzzles towards the end and even if they were tougher i ended up with 60 hint coins. So use them and rack up the points.

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Story

For a puzzle game Professor Layton and the Curious Village has a surprisingly good story. You are called to the village after receiving a strange will which picks your curiosity, the will mentions something about a “Golden Apple” treasure. As an infamous puzzle solver you cannot resist and head there with your trusty assistant Luke.
Of course upon arrival several things happen and the plot thickens! Murder, kidnapping… it all makes for a very exciting story that you’ll want to keep discovering. You may figure out the main mystery about halfway through the game, especially after a specific cutscene but the plot still holds a few surprises and I found the ending to be very charming and emotional. Quite a reward for a simple puzzle game.

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Overall Level-5 delivers yet another quality porduct and this new franchise is really a breath of fresh air. The game is part of a trilogy that is almost complete in Japan (the second game was released November 29, 2007 and the third one is coming out November 27 of this year) and Level-5 is hard at work on translating the second opus. I can’t wait for the next games and if you aren’t a complete puzzle-phobic I strongly suggest you pick this game up and thank me later.

November 6, 2008 Posted by | DS News, Video Game Reviews | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Thursday October 23, 2008

Quarterly Reports

I won’t bore you with the details so here are the summaries: Sony‘s down, UbiSoft is up and Microsoft is weathering the storm thanks to price drop.
Voila 🙂

Deus Ex 3 News…Sort of

In an interview with Edge, Jean-Francois Dugas said that the console version of the game was nothing certain right now. The PC version is a certitude but he said they would not release a watered-down adaptation especially concerning the interface and gameplay which shouldn’t bring the game down.
He was also quoted saying that he thought the first Deus Ex was too slow and didn’t feature any memorable scenes.
I wonder if we played the same game but we’ll see what this means for the sequel when more details are revealed.

Ys Book I & II DS Confirmed in the US

Atlus confirmed today that the game will be released in North America on February 10. The game will feature updated 3D graphics, new levels, enemies, and equipment, optional stylus controls (thank God it’s optional), local multiplayer, and remixed music.
Check out the trailer here.

BioShock 2 Teaser in HD

For those of you who missed it and for those who want to see again in HD glory, click here.

October 23, 2008 Posted by | 360 News, DS News, PC News, PS3 News, Video Game News | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Thursday August 28, 2008

Screens for Raven Squad

Atomic Motion released 6 new screens today for their new game that will combine FPS and RTS. the game will let you manage two groups of four soldiers to reach your goals. The strategy part will be there to help you move your your squads, choose abilities and such, you will be able to switch to first person view when combats engage to be more immersed.
The game is set to come out this Fall on PC and Xbox 360.

Max Payne 3 at Rockstar

We all know that Remedy has been busy for a while on Alan Wake so Rockstar apparently decided to take over the development of the third game in the franchise and gave the project to Rockstar Toronto.
Added to this is a rumor that Max Payne 3 might be a PS3 exclusive which all in all seems highly unlikely.

So Blonde on Wii and DS

As some of you may know I reviewed the PC version of the game here.
The point & click game will be similar with adapted gameplay depending on the console. Also the graphics look fairly identical to the PC version but for some reason, even though the locations look the same, the angles and pans are different. The minigames also looks different, less Game & Watch and more cell shaded. Either way it’s a great game so try it out.

August 28, 2008 Posted by | 360 News, DS News, PC News, PS3 News, Video Game News, Wii News | , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments