I realize I haven’t been blogging about any games in quite a while, which is mostly due to the fact that I no longer have the free time I once had, and also partly due to the fact that my interest in the game market had waned a little. However I recently decided to purchase a 3DS this summer since there will be a bevy of games coming out starting this fall and well on into the future that I know I must play. My rationale for buying the 3DS this summer is that with the titles that will be released this coming holiday season, it will be impossible to find a 3DS this holiday season without camping some random Target or Walmart. Also Target helped sweeten the deal by offering $25 gift cards with a 3DS purchase last week, so naturally I took the bait. I have to say that so far I’m really impressed by the 3D image quality, especially in the free downloadable Pokedex from the shop channel. Just from enjoying the bundled software for the 3DS, it has me really excited for new games with these plushy graphics, not to mention the fact that the camera technology can add a really interesting dimension to gaming, so I am interested to see what other game developers may do with it.
Animal Crossing 3DS
Enough chatter about the 3DS itself, it’s time to talk games, and first up I want to talk about Animal Crossing 3DS. The game was shown off at this past E3 (2011), but it was just an unplayable movie demo of game footage which had led to much pessimism over a timely release date. On the bright side though, we do know that it is definitely coming, and Nintendo has a page dedicated to it that was posted during E3. You can check out this page, which has both video footage and screenshots of the upcoming game:
What we can glean so far from the information given and things speculated on by watching the videos is that you will be able to be mayor of your town, and you will have a secretary who presumably will help you accomplish certain tasks, as that is generally what secretaries do. Player characters are now taller and we can see the bottom half of their body better, and there has been indication that you will have pants and skirts along with your tops. Also clearly visible on the video footage is that your character can now don a wetsuit and go swimming and diving underwater presumably to scavenge for things. Aside from this there is also that suspicious box in the center of a flower garden that many speculate is a type of bee skep. Can we entice bees into producing honey for us now? Only time will tell, but with each little pebble of something new I see I become more hopeful for an early arrival of this game! Of course if you have kept track of this blog at all in the past you know that I am an avid Animal Crossing fan, and this game will be a must have for my collection….and it was also partly responsible for my haste to purchase the system this summer.
Harvest Moon: A Tale of Two Towns 3D
The next game I want to mention is Harvest Moon: A Tale of Two Towns. This game will be released both on the 3DS as well as the original DS. A bonafide set in stone release date hasn’t really been set yet, but I would not find it unreasonable to expect this game by the end of summer. Currently the speculated release date is September 13th, but anyone with experience in waiting for a game from Natsume knows that setting back release dates is kind of a religion for them. It would be excellent to have this game in September, but it wouldn’t kill me to wait for October.
So, you may be wondering what will be different between the 3DS version and the regular DS version, and there are a couple things that have been confirmed by E3 convention goers, one of which is the addition of an animal petting game and the other is the ability to streetpass to exchange/share crops and such. Could there be more differences than that, sure there could be since game developers don’t usually like to provide complete spoilers, but that could also be the only difference as well. Either way I will be purchasing the 3DS version since I’m lovin’ the 3D and I want as much extra Harvest Mooning as possible, lol. XD
I think I wrote about this game before, so I won’t go into much game play specifics, but here is an overview. You will be able to choose between living in two different rival towns, one of which focuses on crops and the other which focuses on ranching. You are of course free to move to the opposing town during the game, and overall the story goal is to get the two towns to be friendly again and open up the tunnel the links them. Aside from these goals are of course your personal farming and marriage goals, but there will also be a quest system in which you can take odd jobs from villagers to improve your relationship with them. This game will also have “reverse proposals” in which the guy can propose to you, instead of you being the one to put in all of the effort. E3 footage of the game also gave more information about the wilderness area between the two towns, which can be used for scavenging and encountering wild animals, some of which may be hostile and could harm you! The developers say that this will be the largest area of wilderness yet in an HM game, so we can hope for a lot of things to do!
Luigi’s Mansion 2
Another game to keep an eye out for is Luigi’s Mansion 2, which probably won’t be released until early next year. I remember playing the first Luigi’s mansion, which was incredibly fun, so I am definitely looking forward to this title. Along with improved graphics, you are going to have not only 1 house to bust ghosts in, but several! Of course from gameplay trailers it looks like the basics of the game are still intact, you adventure through a haunted house sucking up Boos and such with your trusty vacuum of doom. You can check out the game trailers and screenshots at the official Nintendo site here:
I should also mention that if you own a 3DS you can download the same trailer for free from the 3DS shop and view the footage in it’s full 3D glory, and I do seriously mean that. The depth and space created with the 3D effect is fabulous for this game and overall the graphics are quite a bit better than the original Gamecube game.
When I stumbled upon the scant amount of information for this game I became instantly excited. Here is a game where it appears you make your own custom character, which looks like it’s kind of on the same level of customization you find in the Mii Maker. The trailer shows you adjusting the height and face shape of your character, so I’m imagining/hoping you’ll be able to choose hairstyles, eyes and more.
So, with this custom character you embark on a casual RPG/life simulation game that starts in an endearing little town. The graphics have a little bit of a Professor Layton flavour, which is nice since I fully enjoyed the Layton games and the sort of whimsy the art provides. Anyhow if you watch the game trailer closely you will see a few in game activities that can be had, such as fishing, farming, adventuring, magic and more, all depending on which of 20 jobs you decide to take. On top of this it looks like the game is also going to utilize network gameplay so hopefully there will be the opportunity to streetpass and such. Finally, as if things couldn’t get any better, the game will also have Yoshitaka Amano doing the character illustrations and Nobuo Uematsu creating the music!
The only bad thing about this game is that it’s not even out yet in Japan, which of course means a looong wait for us in the states…so sad. (ToT) However it seems to me that LEVEL-5 isn’t as slow as other game companies in getting games translated for the North American Market…or at least as not as slow at Natsume, blargh. XP So hopefully we can expect it within a year of it’s release in Japan. Anyhow, here is the link to the official Japanese site if you’d like to keep track of the game: http://www.level5.co.jp/products/fantasylife/
Also here is the link to the awesome little trailer that should make you starry eyed like me if you love this kind of stuff!http://youtu.be/gdNiuvuypH4
Professor Layton and the Mask of Miracle
With a possible release for sometime in the fall or holiday season of this year, this title is another that you can look forward to sooner rather than later. Again, as in all Layton games, the professor and his sidekick Luke go around town and solve puzzles to figure out the greater mystery of the game. I haven’t read too much about this game to be honest, but it’s Professor Layton, a series I have come to love and trust, so really you can count me in as a buyer without even knowing much about the game ^^;. It will of course be interesting to see how the 3D pans out for this game. The game trailer I’ve seen so far shows an interesting 3D puzzle and more depth being given to the scenery without loosing the wonderful and whimsical 2D drawings that these games are known for. So, without further ado, here is the link to the Layton and the Mask of Miracle trailer: http://youtu.be/RTKVHaXCh4A
So far those are the five titles I am keeping an eye out for, but of course with a little more research and time to blog, I’m sure I could expand on this list.