games from mandarake!

Hi everyone!

Today’s post is going to be slightly different from my usual game reviews or playthroughs. In fact, I’m rather excited to share about this.

At the end of 2014, I travelled to Japan with my family and boyfriend. We went to Osaka and made a day trip to Kyoto. The entire trip went swell and was great fun. But, what I will be sharing from that trip is a few games I picked up. ๐Ÿ˜€

My boyfriend and I had heard about Mandarake when we went to Tokyo previously. Unfortunately, as we were on a trip with a society from uni, we did not have much time to check it out. We were really excited when a friend told us about the Mandarake in Shinsaibashi in Osaka.

For those who do not know of Mandarake, it is a massive chain store that sells action figures, game consoles, magazines, games, etc. Their goods are mostly (if not, all) pre-loved. It is tons of fun going through their stock since it changes and can include some rare finds. I wouldn’t really recommend taking children along though as adult material is stocked alongside idol goods and not separated or cordoned off like in some other shops. Unfortunately, I don’t have a photo of the actual Mandarake store but, I think there are images of it on Google if anyone is particularly curious.

Anyway, my boyfriend and I enjoyed going through the merchandise and seeing some cool action figures. From memory, one of the things that I liked was a Persona 4 figure of Yukiko’s persona. I thought that was pretty awesome. Besides that, I was hunting for Tokimeki Memorial Girl’s Side goods but the store didn’t seem to have any in stock. I asked the cashier as well and she wasn’t sure whether there was anything available. I eventually gave up and bought some games. ^___^;;

I bought Hana Yori Dango: Another Love Story and Atelier Marie for the Gameboy Color and Prince of Tennis Driving Smash! side Genius and side King (not photographed) for the Nintendo DS. For the two Gameboy Color games, I still have my old Gameboy Color and Gameboy Advance SP in working condition. I found these while I was packing up during my move several months ago and thought it might be fun to play them again. However, if you are keen to purchase old games and do not have a workingย console, Mandarake also stocks secondhand consoles. Some of which were limited editions and really awesome-looking.

I found the games very reasonably priced since most, if not all, are pre-loved. The prices do vary game-to-game and based on the condition of that individual piece. Each game is graded from A to C on the condition of the game casette, box and the game manual with A being in the best condition and C in less ideal conditions. I have photographed a little tag that was on my games with information about the particular piece I bought. I had already tossed one and only have one to show. I have also added some translations and hope they help people who intend to make purchases from Mandarake in the future! ๐Ÿ™‚

Now, let’s talk about these games! Given that these games are older and mostly played on older consoles, I don’t think they will photograph too well for me to post actual screencaps from the game. Hopefully, you guys can make it out from the back of the boxes. ๐Ÿ™‚

The first game I was really excited to try out was Hana Yori Dango: Another Love Story. I opened and started that the first day I returned home and hence, it is photographed unwrapped. I have also included photos of the contents which include a game manual. The game manual includes basic instructions on gameplay like saving and controls. It has some other cute information about the characters and a little omake bit at the end but was not particularly detailed about the game. This game was the most expensive of the lot at ~Y1260 (or Y1280?). There were a few copies in stock and I chose the cheapest one since I wasn’t fussed about the condition.

I have not played through the game and have only seen the prologue. From the prologue, I believe that the Japanese in this game is not going to be overly difficult. I could understand most of it and make out the bits that I didn’t quite understand, though that might be because I have watched the drama and inferred from the images. ๐Ÿ™‚

For anyone who is reading my blog for the first time, I am a fan of the Atelier series. I managed to snag a few of the games on the PSVita while it was on sale on PSN and fell completely in love with the entire game. The graphics are completely gorgeous and the gameplay is addictive. I could not get enough of it. Anyway, I found this Atelier game that was not released outside of Japan for Y300. It seemed like a really good deal and so I decided to get it. I don’t think the games from this series is quite as straightforward to play when I don’t understand the language so I haven’t really played this game yet.

This game was tagged to have a C grade box and B grade game manual. However, I did not have any issues with the condition of either. The game manual is a little munted but not unbearably so. I don’t see anything wrong with the box at all but, perhaps I don’t really know what to look for. I think the general condition of games at Mandarake is pretty decent and so I wouldn’t be too critical of a game which is not in perfect condition. But, I can’t say for certain since I only got these two games. ^___^

The last game that I will talk about from my haul is the Prince of Tennis Driving Smash! side Genius game. I actually managed to buy both side Genius and side King but have since given away the side King copy to my sister since she is also a Prince of Tennis fan. I forgot to get a picture before I gave it to her and hence, it isn’t shown above. The casing also isn’t shown above as this game came without one. This meant that it was heavily discounted. I paid Y300 for each game, if I remember correctly and I thought it was a steal. Again, I wasn’t particularly fussed about the box since I have a case for my 3DS/DS games.

I bought this because I was interested to find out more about this Prince of Tennis game since I have played a couple previously. There used to be one ages ago on the Playstation 2 which involved actually playing tennis in-game. I also recently started playing the Prince of Tennis Girls! Be Gracious game and was curious what kind of game Driving Smash! would be.

After buying the game, I watched a trailer online that showed that it’s about managing the respective teams (Seigaku and Hyotei) and competing against rival schools. I have yet to play the game or figure out what the gameplay is like but, it does look really cute and I look forward to playing this sometime. ๐Ÿ™‚

That is the end of my small haul from Mandarake. I hope everyone liked this post as much as I enjoyed sharing all this with everyone!

Have fun and keep gaming!

Cheers,
Yen

pokemon omega ruby and alpha sapphire demo: playthrough #1

Hi guys!

It’s been a while since my last proper post. I promised a post about Another Case Solved previously but lost a few screencaps when my phone broke down. ;___; I have been pretty caught up with some other things and have not yet recapped these scenes. But, I will do that soon. It’s just going to take a while because I need to get through some puzzles to get to those bits. ;___;

Anyway, until then, I bring you a little insight from the Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. I was very lucky to have received a Special Demo code from Nintendo for the game. I received it a few days ago but only checked my email and downloaded it a couple nights ago. During my playthrough(s), I decided I would take random screencaps (with my camera. sorry for the quality! :/ ) and comment a bit about them. So, here it goes! ๐Ÿ™‚

Our adventure begins in Mossdeep City after being called in by the local professor. We arrive to find Team Magma members attempting a getaway only to be stopped be Orlando (our character) and Steven. I’m not quite sure how Steven is related to Orlando or this entire situation but he is ‘a quite stunning male specimen’, if that helps. I’m also not sure if playing Sapphire and Ruby would have helped me figure out his place but I, unfortuantely, did not have the chance to play it at the time.

Our first battle! Yay! We finally get our first pokemon. We have a choice between Groyvle, Combusken and Marshtomp. Personally, I find Marshtomp really adorable and so, he’s mine. ๐Ÿ™‚ I also think he looked really cool when he becomes Mega Swampert so that helps. ๐Ÿ˜€ Anyway, first battle is with a Team Magma Grunt. He sends out Poochyena.\

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The graphics for battle are pretty much the same as Pokemon X and Y. However, the menu for the touchscreen does differ. I am slightly sad because I much preferred the in-battle menu for X and Y but I think this is more of a personal preference than anything.

After I take Poochyena down in one hit (I’m sorry, guy!), I meet this Professor. I don’t remember him having a name though it’s possible I just don’t remember or did not cap it. Anyway, he asks for a favour after Team Magma escapes. There is a Pokemon capable of Mega Evolution that ‘Team Something or Other’ is trying to get to. It is our job to protect it. Of course.

Before we proceed with this story, I’m just going to point out the different menu on the touchscreen, again. There is now a new feature called BuzzNav. It seems to just show random headlines and I’m not sure if it is actually relevant or important to the game. I’m not sure if this is meant only for the Special Demo version but I miss the screen from Pokemon X and Y. I found that a lot more useful than BuzzNav as it showed friends, options for GTS, etc.

Anyway, we fly to the island this Pokemon capable of Mega Evoluation inhibits. Team Magma and Team Aqua have already arrived and are looking for said Pokemon. Steven sends Orlando in first while he prepares outside. Orlando obliges, of course. Orlando enters the cave to find two Team Aqua members arguing with a girl. The exchange seems really stilted and kind of odd. I’m not sure if I’m the biggest fan of the writing but I guess it really isn’t an important part of the game. I also don’t like that they keep picking on kids. Considering the number of times the evil guys have had their plans ruined by children, you would think they would stop underestimating children. >____< Old habits die hard?

Anyway, the battles with them are over before I even knew it. Hence, the lack of screencaps. :/ But, I did manage to catch my Marshtomp’s evolution in action. That’s right, after this handful of battles, he is ready for his final evolution. Yay!

I come out of battle to find that this girl knows my name. Who is she? I have no clue but I guess we will find out in the full game. She claims to have come to the island to survey the Pokemon on the island, per her father’s request. Who is her father? I don’t know either. I guess we will find out in due time? This is starting to seem like the beginning of some crazy story arc in a drama series.

We continue further into the cave to find a Team Aqua member and a Team Magma member arguing. This argument is also slightly weird. The Admin of Team Magma feels insulted but tries to rebut that she is only slightly better than she is made out to be. Right, dude. Because it matters so much that you’re called a Makuhita instead of a Hariyama. Anyway, the Admin of Team Aqua, on the other hand, seems like a jovial fellow and isn’t too concerned by his Team Magma counterpart. Of course, they then notice me and decide to get rid of me.

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At this point, Steven rushes in with my Mega Bracelet. Yay! He also gives my Swampert a Mega Stone to hold. Double Yay! Now, together with Steven, we are involved in Double Battle the weird Admins from the two teams. They obviously do not stand a chance against our Mega Evolved Pokemon. Buh-bye, suckers!

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Steven goes on ahead to locate the Pokemon we are looking for. It is hiding on tall grass, as would any Pokemon. After seeing my insane battle skills (let me toot my own horn, why don’t you.), Steven advises me to approach the Pokemon. He believes that I will be able to impress the Pokemon by showing him how well I control Swampert. Right. Well, who am I to argue?

I come face-to-face with Glalie. I was pretty concerned at this point that she might faint after one hit. I did not use Waterfall and instead used the Mud Bombย and Rock Slide to lower her HP. When it was in the red, I threw a Pokeball and ta-dah! I have caught a Glalie. I’m not sure if you can cause Glalie to faint or if multiple Pokeballs may be required but, I would definitely like to hear from anyone who has had issues. ^___^

And, the adventure has now come to an end. It’s time to head back to Mossdeep City. We watch a tiny trailer, showcasing bits and pieces of the full game. It definitely looks cute and does excite me. The characters, graphics and some features seem fairly similar to those presented in Pokemon X and Y. Although, one thing that I found adorable was the bit where Pikachu was dressed in various costumes. It made me laugh pretty hard.

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More adventures are waiting for you in the full game! Or, you could also just play the demo again. ๐Ÿ™‚ Which, I definitely did. But, I will save that for another entry. ๐Ÿ™‚

Steven also offers to help transfer bonuses from the demo to the full game. So far, I’ve only discovered Glalie. I’m not sure if it is possible to move more than just Glalie but I will keep everyone updated as I find out more about the game. ๐Ÿ™‚

Hope everyone enjoyed this post!

Cheers,
Yen

hakuoki: memories of the shinsengumi – post #1: impressions.

Hi all!

I know I’ve been pretty bad at maintaining a regular schedule with this blog. I tend to take some time to really form my opinions and get my thoughts together about a game. Unfortunately, this means I end up taking a bit longer before I sit down and write my entries. ^________^;;; Sorry about that. But, right now, I’ve a bit of a break and so, I’m trying to get some game time in before the semester starts up again.

My friend recently received a discount code for a video game shop online and offered it to me since he didn’t have anything in particular he was looking for. While I was overseas and looking at games, I found a few titles that I was interested in. One of them was a game from the Atelier series as I had mentioned previously and another was Hakuoki: Memories of the Shinsengumi. I had spotted a Limited Edition version which made it look very attractive. So, when I was looking at games, he suggested purchasing Hakuoki: Memories of the Shinsengumi because he said games like these had a tendancy to go out of print pretty quickly. Furthermore, the Limited Edition one was available.

I received it about a week or so later and packaging-wise, it is pretty. It was a bit disappointing that it had gotten crushed in the mail but I don’t think that could be helped. Anyway, the Limited Edition came with an official soundtrack. The contents and unboxing of my game are photographed below. I’m not sure if the soundtrack is a common bonus item but it was for mine since I got the European copy. I’m not sure if they American bonuses are any different.

I went online to read up about the Hakuoki series and found it was a pretty well-known otome game. And, I really like otome games. My favourite from that particular genre would probably be Tokimeki Memorial Girl’s Side. Anyway, for those who are not familiar with the Hakuoki series, it involves a protagonist, Chizuru Yukimura, who ventures to Kyoto in search of her father. She is attacked and saved by members of the Shinsengumi. She ends up in their custody and remains with them for the rest of the game. During this time, she tries to find her father and falls in love with a member. And then, they live happily ever after. I think that pretty much sums up the plot. I honestly haven’t gotten very far.

I’m not very far into the game but I figured that it could be good for me to write an impressions post as I play the game (which I’m doing right now).

It opens up quite nicely and the graphics don’t disappoint. They look like what has been pictured on the packaging. I feel like this hasn’t always been the case when it comes to 3D games so, it is worth a mention. I managed to take a few photos for you guys to check it out. I should note that the guys photographed aren’t necessarily my favourite, they were just the ones I managed to take. ^__^;;

Story-wise, I feel like the writing resembles a teenager writing a piece of fanfiction. It feels like more descriptive than a video game really needs to be. While I understand it is a visual novel, I feel like as a video game, the words should be propelling you forward. Maybe it’s because I’m still in the early stages and the writers feel a need to describe everything to really set the scene. Having said that, I would have appreciated being slowly introduced to the various characters (or eligible bachelors) instead of being shoved into the deep end with a bunch of guys. While there was a cutscene flashing each character and their name, those few seconds they were on screen really wasn’t enough for me. I hope that I remember their names and faces before it becomes crucial. :/

I just made it to the first couple of points where you make choices and I’m not particularly sure if the road forks or not since this is my first playthrough but I’m assuming there will be some differences. So far so good, I haven’t seen any character’s displeasure. Although, I don’t think you can do that so early in the game.

While it felt like a while before I got to the fun part of the game (making those choices), now that I have, I feel a bit more involved in the game and feel more interested in what’s happening and that’s always a good thing.

I’m going to keep playing the game and hopefully, I’ve more opinions of the game soon! ๐Ÿ™‚

Cheers,
Yen

vacation gaming.

Hi all!

I’m sorry for the lack of updates. I was having university exams as I mentioned earlier. Thereafter, I went overseas and had someone visit me for about month. I am still overseas but, will attempt to write this entry about the games that I have been playing during this time. I wasn’t very consistent during this time and as I played most of my games on the go, I lack photos and screenshots. I apologise yet again for that. What I lack in photos, I hope to make up in content. I did play games spanning different genres on different consoles. I wasn’t really thinking of them critically and just trying to enjoy them before my vacation ends and I’ve no longer got time to play video games. D:

The games I played were mainly on the 3DS and DSi. But, I did play some games on my cellphone. I play a ton of games on there usually and am guilty for being one of those crazy Candy Crush people. I am not one of those constantly waiting for updates because I am really bad and can get stuck on one level for months but, I do play the game and try to get past the waiting times. I was also lucky to have been with my brother when he bought the PS3 game Dragon’s Crown and tried it for a bit. I maybe able to get my hands on a PSVita and try it on there but I’ll save my comments until that happens.

For the 3DS, I focused on the couple of games I own and play obsessively – Pokemon and Harvest Moon.

I tried playing Samurai Warriors again. However, the last time I played it was ages ago so I couldn’t quite remember what it was about and did not have the patience to sit through the entire tutorial again. Maybe the tutorial wouldn’t have been very long but the cut scenes between each chapter take ages. And, I really mean ages. I was tapping on any button, willing the scenes to go faster but to no avail. I remember a friend looking at it the first time I got my 3DS and he admired the art for the first 15 seconds before asking me when you’d actually get to play the game. It is a pretty simple game to play, in my opinion. It is mostly hack-and-slash from what I remember but, I believe there is some strategy to it because I couldn’t seem to finish this one level. Then again, it might also be because I don’t remember how to play the game or how to accomplish my goal. I’ll defintiely try this again sometime when I feel more willing to watch cut-scenes but until then, I’ll leave it at that.

I also went back to Dead or Alive Dimensions for a bit. And by a bit, I mean another two attempts at completing the final Survival level. The difficulty for that is True Fighter and it is so hard I feel like breaking my 3DS sometimes because I feel so close to finishing and yet so far. For the record, I have to KO 100 characters consecutively and every 10th character is a Boss level. I think my closest is 89. When I first got the game, I played the Story Mode through really quickly. I think it took me about a day and a half of playing the game between doing other stuff like studying. After that, it was all about completing everything. So, I started playing the Arcade mode which I finished. Then, I started on the Survival mode and this last level is keeping me from the Mission mode. I am one of those types of persons who is anal-retentive about the order in which I do things. Hence, I feel like I can’t continue on until I finish this one crazy level. Otherwise, it is a pretty good game. I know Dead or Alive isn’t quite the stereotypical girls’ game. In fact, I’ve been reminded several times about the Jiggle Physics behind this game by guy friends. But, I do love fighting games and I’m really particular about graphics. I know that sounds really superficial but I feel that if I’m going to be spending obscene amounts of time playing a game, it better appeal to my eyes. Not that I like that kinda stuff but I think the graphics are quite nice.

I was playing Harvest Moon pretty obsessively for a while and I’m currently on 30 Winter of Year 1. Right then, I went back to playing Pokemon Y but I’ll talk about that later. Harvest Moon is a great game to play and I’m constantly looking forward to doing something or achieving something. I think the fact that this game has set goals makes it easier to play because you always feel like you are aiming for something and with every milestone, I’m left excited to see what happens at the next one. It’s been really great so far but, I realise that with this game, you really need a lot of balance and to be really efficient. I was so eager to be a farming tycoon that I overestimated my stamina. I have so many animals and I had so many crops. I had to constantly have food on me so that I wouldn’t faint. I lost a bit of enjoyment in that but once I harvested some crops, I downsized my fields and am managing a little bit better now. Also, to anyone out there who is at the beginning of the game, I highly recommend that you spend your free time fishing because I’m trying to fish in the little windows of time I can and it’s not very successful. It’s espcially hard for me to move forward at this point in time when I’ve achieve barely anything fishing-wise. I don’t want to spoil too much but, I will say it is somewhat important for some things later on in the game. I feel like my progress will be slowed by my lazy arse at the beginning. Oh, well.

In exciting news, I finally finished Pokemon. Yes, finally. I know that this is REALLY late since I started the day of the release but, I was pretty much grinding before I really needed to because I was obsessive about catching Pokemon. Yes, I realise a common theme in this entry is my obsessive nature because I work in a weird way but, I really felt like I needed to catch all the Pokemon in one area before moving on. I knew what I was like after finishing Pokemon Yellow and how bad I was about trying to complete my Pokedex so I figured that if I had a headstart on it, I’d be a whole lot better when trying to complete it post-game. But, I grew tired of that and just headed straight onto the Pokemon League and finished the game. I am still playing the game and basically trying to accumulate Style Points and Battle Points and evolve as many Pokemon as I can. It’s great that I have managed to keep my interest in the game and I will definitely continue playing for the next while. When I will stop, I have no clue.

While contemplating the idea of getting a PSVita, I looked into some games while I was out at the shops and two games that piqued my interest (besides Dragon’s Crown) were Sorcery Saga and Atelier Rorona. My friend told me that Atelier Rorona was all part of a series and I realised that I had Atelier Annie stored away for my DSi so I decided to dig it up and try it out. I pretty much dedicated every bit of free time I had to that game for a couple of games and I really did enjoy it. There were obviously bits of it that I didn’t enjoy as much but, I think it’s still a good game. I felt the cut scenes and dialogues, much like Samurai Warriors, took up more time than I was willing to spend on it. They were enjoyable in the beginning but when a cut scene takes you to a different venue and back, I feel like it’s longer than it really needs to be. I enter each area with a purpose but after such a long cutscene, I either forget or I’m already tired. The only plus is that you can skip these scenes by pressing the Y button. I really refrained from that at the beginning but after a while, I found that sitting through the cutscenes were just too draining. I also found some things a bit unclear but, I think it’s just because I haven’t played a game like this in a while. I’ll definitely be replaying this game soon so a proper write-up is in order.

I returned to the Phoenix Wright series for a while as well. My friend was playing the new one on the 3DS and that made me feel like playing it too. But I had not completed the previous Phoenix Wright games so, I started on them again. I finished the first one and so I managed to get as far as the last case of the second one before losing interest and continuing the games I had on my 3DS. Not very far, I know but, I have time. I hope. It plays through like the first one and I think the addition of the Psyche Locks added to the game. But, I did get really frustrated that my “Life” was going down as quickly as it did because not only was it a part of the game in Court but when I had to deal with Psyche Locks. My friend told me that you were no longer penalised for presenting wrongly in the newest one so that would definitely be a plus.

I should also note that everything I’ve written above is based on my own opinions of each game. I do enjoy games with story and I do like visual novels. Honestly, otome games are one of my favourite genres and one of my all-time favourite games is Tokimeki Girl’s Side. I’m well-aware that these games do have a fair amount of cutscenes and can get fairly dialogue and art heavy. But, I guess I have my own limits. Or, there is just something different about the games I’ve talked about above. But, I will be re-playing most of these games so hopefully, I can elaborate on my annoyances and the bits I like better next time.

That’s pretty much all the games I’ve played or am playing on my 3DS/DSi. While I do spend a fair amount of time playing games on my cellphone, I reckon that could do with a post of its own. I should be doing that next unless something else comes along and steals my attention away. So, no promises. But, I hope to blog again soon.

Until then, take care!

Cheers,
Yen

harvest moon: a new beginning – post #2: mid-game

Hey all,

It’s been a while since I was last able to blog but, real life has been catching up with me. I’m a university student in my final year and my finals are actually starting on Saturday. Right now, I just can’t focus on my notes anymore and decided I’ll attempt yet again to make an entry. I’ve started several times before only to lose my train of thought midway through and abandon my ramblings thereafter.

I previously promised a follow-up post to Pokemon Y as well as Harvest Moon : A New Beginning. And, honestly, I thought that I’d finish posting about Pokemon before I returned to Harvest Moon. But, I was pretty worn from my attempts to catch every Pokemon on my journey and returned to Harvest Moon for a break. And, it’s been a good break so far. Almost too good. It makes for a good break from exams and Pokemon. I will eventually continue Pokemon and probably just continue on the journey, catching what I can and returning post-Elite Four to complete my Pokedex. But, until then, the game of the moment is Harvest Moon : A New Beginning.

There is something absolutely addictive about this game. I’ve not felt this way about a Harvest Moon game since Friends of Mineral Town. Tale of Two Towns felt tedious and every day felt like it dragged on forever. Foraging from Konohana to Bluebell took forever and I spent so much time foraging that I never bought anything. It was so painful. I only got so far as Summer before I stopped playing. As much as I want to go back to it, it’ll probably be a while before I feel like picking it up to play. But, I feel that this Harvest Moon game has a much better balance than before.

The game starts out with you having a lot of time on your hands because there aren’t that many people to interact with, places to explore or things to do. It would be good to use this time to hoard foraged items, go fishing and socialise more. I stupidly wasted all the time sleeping because I wanted to get on with the seasons more quickly and I guess a part of me wished I could have that time to sleep in real life. :/ That aside, I find that this makes for a really good balance because right now, I’m about mid-way through the game and time is really of the essence. I’m furiously trying to make up for all that lost time while I also get on with the game. Originally, I thought I’d lose about two months because I didn’t stockpile Honeycomb in Spring. But, I was pretty lucky and managed to finish Restoration Plan #2 sometime in Fall. I thought I wouldn’t make it but got pretty lucky.

I think that part of the excitement I feel for the game is attributed to the residents whom you are enticing to your town. No matter how much I read about the other characters online, nothing quite beats actually seeing them move in and unlocking everything that comes with them. Some of them are pretty off-putting like Klaus seems pretty condescending but his house unlocks the mine. It’s actually taken me a long time to finally get Rod whom I’ve every intention of dating. Even though I already have two green hearts with Neil and Allen. ^__^;;; In my defence, they’re really easy to befriend since gifting Fodder and Herb Soup respectively increases their friendship points by a fair amount. And, I needed to befriend Neil for the Farm Bell! ^___^;;;

I really like the overall balance of this game. I don’t find myself doing one thing too much or having to spend too much time each day working. I usually sleep in-game around 11PM and manage to get everything in or as much as I can before I’ve got half a heart of Stamina left. :3 My mornings are dedicated to farmwork – watering crops and animal care. Then, I forage and socialise. Depending on whether I need to go to the shops, I may alternate the order. But, I think things can be done in good time, depending on the day itself (ie Festival Day, Event, etc.). And, in my extra time, Fishing is great.

I do find animal care in the game fairly tiring. I guess it’s the same in every Harvest Moon game but, the amount of time I take to take care of my 3 cows, 2 sheep and 2 alpacas makes me get slightly antsy because it makes me feel like it’s a bit of a waste of time each time I brush/clip/milk the animals. Admittedly, I’m not a patient person but, I don’t understand why I have to watch the animations each time. I have not gotten the Speedy line of tools so perhaps it’s just my own frustration with the slow lower-level tools. That makes me sound like I only have livestock but, I assure you that I have chickens too. 4, to be exact. I don’t find this happening as much with chickens though giving a treat to either livestock or the chickens does seem like it takes some time too.

I find even in terms of finances within the game, it’s easier to spend and make money. You can’t make any of the animal feed with the exception of Fodder. Hence, you’d reguarly spend on Chicken Feed and Pet Food. Furthermore, in order to restore the town, you have to purchase blueprints and occasionally, materials. This, in my opinion, can get pretty spendy. I’ve found myself reducing my gold by almost 90% after one trip to Rebecca’s. :/ But, on the bright side, I think it’s actually not too hard to make money either. In the beginning, I was averaging about 2000G per day. That sounds really sad but I think having animals really boosts your income. Right now I earn at least 5000G each day. My animals are a really good source of stable income. It’s just time-consuming, in my opinion.

One other thing that I find time-consuming and just plain annoying is the access to the rucksack. The rucksack itself is great. I love that it’s big and you can sort and combine like items. But, having to access the rucksack through the X button is really irritating. I don’t understand why there isn’t a shortcut for something that would be so regularly used in-game. The Y button doesn’t seem to be used for anything. Why couldn’t that have been a shortcut to the rucksack? I just don’t understand the rationale for me having to dig through my rucksack to find that one item I want to gift. And should the person walk away from me just as I want to give it to them, I have to pick it up and repeat the entire process. I find this entire process pointless and inefficient. I can only hope that future Harvest Moon games will have better access to the Rucksack. Personally, even the having the L button was great as in Tale of Two Towns. So, I don’t understand why a Rucksack shortcut was done away.

Anyway, I’m currently at the tail-end of Fall Year 1 and am on Restoraion Plan #3. I’m almost done; I’ve just got a couple more objectives to complete. At this point, I have managed to unlock Klaus, Tina, Rod, Allen and Clement. I’ve still got a bit to go but, I don’t think it’s too much to do and I’m excited to continue on the game. I will probably blog again about Harvest Moon : A New Beginning so, stay tuned if you would like to hear what else I have to say about it. ๐Ÿ™‚

I will also leave you with some screencaps I managed to take. I use my camera to take photos of the scenes so I do apologise if the images aren’t of amazing quality. And, I apologise for leaving you with just two shots. I don’t necessarily play my 3DS with a camera on hand so I have missed out several events to picture but, I do hope that these will be enough to satisfy your Harvest Moon appetite until next time! ๐Ÿ™‚

ย Dunhill’s usual Introduction

ย Meet Allen – Top Stylist

Cheers,
Yen

pokemon y!

Hi all!

As everyone knows by know, Pokemon was released on Saturday. While I was originally planning a follow-up post to Harvest Moon : A New Beginning, I decided to put that on the back-burner while I play Pokemon. And, there goes another task onto my to-do list. Anyway, my plans for Harvest Moon for those who are wondering is that I will make the next post after I’ve completed Summer of the first year and then, perhaps after I finish one year. Hopefully by these milestones, I would’ve played the game enough to form more opinions about the game. I don’t really want to say too much about what I think of the game right now because my focus is on POKEMON. For this post, at least.

As I did for Harvest Moon, I’ll provide everyone with my own personal history with Pokemon. My brother first introduced me to Pokemon Red when it was first released and while it was fun, I didn’t really understand enough at that point to thoroughly enjoy the game. I was a kid and anything that really kept me occupied was fun. The next Pokemon I remember playing with Pokemon Yellow on my Gameboy Colour. It was fun and I liked Pikachu. Following this, I had the Trading Card Game WHICH I LOVED and I think that was my last encounter with Pokemon until recently.

I recently picked up Pokemon again because of my friends’ influence. This led me to Pokemon Black Version 2. While it was enjoyable, it didn’t quite hit the spot the same way the others did. I’ve yet to finish the game so perhaps, I need a bit more time to feel the same joy and excitement. I’ll report on these feelings in another post, another time. But, basically, from this, I wasn’t as psyched about Pokemon X and Y as some of my friends who lost sleep waiting or the game to come out. While the Nintendo Direct video did a pretty good job psyching me up for Pokemon, a little part of me was also worried that it might not meet my expectations.

But, after six days, I can say this game is amazing and I’m so in love with Pokemon again. I’m currently thirty hours in, which may not seem like a lot for some people but, it is to me. I played the game obsessively for the first three days before deciding that it might not be such a good idea since I was sacrificing sleep. But, it was definitely worth it.

While I wish I could provide screenshots of my playthrough thus far, my first thought when I started the game was not to take photos but to play the game. I apologise for my impatience when it came to the game but, I hope you guys can understand. It is Pokemon!

When the game first started, I was in awe of the graphics. Everything looked so pretty and the animation was great! In the opening scene, Fletchling flies into your room to wake you up by landing on you. My first thought was, “Wooooow”. Followed quickly by “ouch” as I imagined what it would be like to have a sizable bird land on me first thing in the morning. Anyway, I found the pictures very pretty and the entire design very aesthetically appealing. I know this seems very superficial but, graphics matter a lot to me. It pretty much decides if I will play a game, read a manga, watch an anime, etc. And, Pokemon Y (I’m playing Y) does not disappoint in this area. These amazing animations extend to battle scenes and even looking at your Pokemon party.

Besides being very aesthetically appealing, it feels like you don’t need to grind as hard in this game compared to other pokemon games. I’ve just finished the second gym and my pokemon were a lot higher than the gym leader’s. I finished the battle in two moves and that was that. And, the fact that it isn’t as tough to level up, makes me feel that the game is a lot faster and I feel a lot for addicted because I’m constantly waiting for the next big thing to happen. It’s always just a little bit more to the next level and by the time I’ve done that, it’s another little bit more to another level. But, with my pokemon levelling up so quickly, I find that my pokemon kill a lot of pokemon in one hit, making catching pokemon a bit painful. I constantly have to carry in my party a couple of pokemon weaker than my regular battling pokemon to ensure I catch the pokemon I intend to catch and not end the battle in one hit (something I’ve done numerous times). It’s just something to keep in mind when I’m battling a new pokemon that I want to catch. Which pokemon am I using? What level is it? What are the opposing pokemons’ weaknesses/strengths?

I’m currently about 30 hours into the game, so, not thaat much compared to some others who have already finished the game. I eased up a bit in the last couple of days because I could feel it taking a toll on me. I also haven’t gotten far only just beating the second gym because I’m slightly obsessed with catching every pokemon in each area before moving on. You know, gotta catch ’em all? But, I think I’m going to make that a secondary task right now because I see all my friends catching up and overtaking me and it makes me feel left out. So, I really need to get on it!

If anyone wants some tips, I can try to give out some. But, I probably am not the most pokemon-savvy person in the world. I can say that for quick and easy money, battle in the manor. If you are wondering what pokemon I have in my party this very moment, I’ve got Blastoise, Delphox, Skiddo, Vivillon, Amaura and Helioptile. It’s probably a strange mix of pokemon but, I really work with whatever pokemon I want. I was encouraged to by my friend. In his words, “Who cares if they are weak or not? Just use what you like and what you want.” And, I have. I was originally looking online to see what people reckoned would be the best combination but I eventually gave up. So, I’m going with my own unique Yen combination.

Anyway, I’m going to get back to Pokemon now but, I promise I will post photos with my next post.

See you next time!

Cheers,
Yen

harvest moon: a new beginning – post #1: early days

Hi everyone!

So after my last entry, I realised how skimpy my post about Cookie Clicker was and have been planning to make a slightly more detailed entry about the game and its content. However, I got side-tracked because my copy of Harvest Moon: A New Beginning has finally arrived! And, I’ve been playing that whenever I get the time (which honestly, hasn’t been very much). While I fully intend to make more detailed entries about the games I have mentioned, I’d like to make a little entry about my thoughts on the game while playing it these few days.

The mechanics seemed slightly different from the ones I played thoroughly. Friends of Mineral Town focused mainly on having a good farm and getting married. DS Cute from what I remembered involved removing the curse from the Harvest Goddess/Harvest Sprites. I never played that one long enough to have a good memory of it. All I do remember is playing in the casino for most of the time. Anyway, thereafter, I played Frantic Farming, which wasn’t quite the regular Harvest Moon game. I do have The Grand Bazaar and Sunshine Island queued on my list of games to play but, I vaguely remember starting most of them and finding something not quite to my liking and stopping there. However, the next one that I did play a fair amount of was Tale of Two Towns and the story revolved around the two towns and trying to make peace between the two.

While I don’t remember the exact premise of Grand Bazaar and Sunshine Island, I feel that the rest had you being introduced into an already established town. However, with A New Beginning, your character moves into a town that is losing many of its residents to other towns as they search for better opportunities. While maintaining your farm, you have to restore the town to its glory days. This leaves you with many unlockable options and customisable features.

I started playing it and unlike most Harvest Moon games where after the first day, you’re in the deep end and have to slowly manoeuvre through the game, this one features a few days of little tutorials. In fact, the shipping tutorial doesn’t come until the third day or so (I forget). It was easy to figure out since I had experience playing Harvest Moon games and it is mentioned on the first day. However, it is only a few days later that there is a short tutorial, if you can even call it that, is shown on how to make use of the shipping bin.

Furthermore, for the first few days, I found myself ending the day really early. Because Echo Town is losing many of its residents, I find myself in a town with only three other residents and only one store. As such, there isn’t much socialising or things to do after you are done with the errands. While I made the mistake of just going to sleep, I’ve now realised (sometime around the 10th day of Spring) that I could have better dedicated that time to critter-catching in the night time.

While on that note, critter-catching no longer requires the coordination of two buttons for butterflies and other flying insects. Just running up to them and hitting A seems to do the trick. While older Harvest Moon games usually involved multiple buttons to run, the circle pad on the 3DS makes it a lot easier. I find that my hand doesn’t cramp as much while playing, which is definitely a good thing.

I like how foraging seems a lot easier in this version. While Tale of Two Towns had just one long stretch, I found it tedious to search every area for items as each area had different spots to forage. The areas to cover in this version seem a lot smaller and less spread out. Furthermore, it follows an almost direct path. Maybe I’m just boring and/or lazy but, I find this a lot easier to navigate and play.

I also enjoy the fact that gone are the 1 seed days from Tale of Two Towns. I found that really tiring. While the days of having 9 seeds seems to be behind us, the current 2×2 fields seem efficient. You can access every crop to water and harvest, unlike the 3×3 fields which would usually leave one crop without water or with an inaccessible mature cops. It’s also a lot more efficient, in my opinion, than the seed bags containing a token seed as in Tale of Two towns. That left me feeling so frustrated that for each individual crop, I had to buy just one seed. I just did not like having to go to Gome’s to buy many, many bags of seeds to fully utilise the fields I had tilled on the farm in Konohana or even, in Bluebell.

But, having said all that, I don’t quite fancy the cooking function in this version of Harvest Moon. The only way to cook is with a recipe. You can obtain these recipes through various ways like while fishing, purchasing them at the General Store or being gifted them. However, without the recipes, you are not able to cook. While this seems fine, since I admittedly used to refer to recipes online before cooking anything on previous Harvest Moons, I don’t really appreciate the limit set in cooking in this version of Harvest Moon.

All in all, I still have a long way to go in this version of Harvest Moon but am enjoying it, despite it feeling slow at the beginning. The graphics do throw me off slightly and I constantly think about the older versions of Harvest Moon. It leaves me with the urge to replay the older games and I’m definitely putting it on my list of games to play, especially More Friends of Mineral Town. But, before I get to those games, I want to play this as much as I can and I’m excited to see how much I can develop and will be updating with regards to that.

Unfortunately, I’m unable to share very many screenshots of Harvest Moon: A New Beginning, I’m not quite sure how to take screenshots on my 3DS. I intend to just use my camera but have not gotten around to photographing my playing the game. Hopefully, this works out all right and I can use this method on other games I play on the 3DS (like POKEMON).

Until next time,
Yen