Tamagotchi On Review 2019

I just recently purchased the Fairy Pink Tamagotchi On from Barnes and Noble. Here’s my thoughts after the first 24 hours. I did a lot of research prior to purchasing Tamagotchi On. Tamagotchi On is also known as Tamagotchi Meets in Japan and Tamagotchi Some in Korea. The Tamagotchi Meets has a lot of bugs which were all fixed for the English Tamagotchi On. The bugs included things such as draining the batteries in just a day or Tamagotchis getting glitched when they evolved.

I also read that a lot of people received used looking Tamagotchi On from amazon who had badly scratched screens despite being brand new. Luckily mine was in perfect condition. I don’t know if the scratched screens were just from Amazon, or maybe a bad batch, afterall it’s been out for about 2 months now so my tama is from a different manufacturing batch.

I chose to purchase from Barnes and Noble because you can get 30% off your first toy order when you join the free kid’s club. Tamagotchi On are pretty pricey around $50-60 so saving 30% is a big deal.

I also prepared for my Tamagotchi’s arrival by buying a “case” which as far as I can tell is just a decorative touch. It might offer some protection but not much. When it comes to Tamagotchi “cases” there’s 3 basic types. Silicone which is what I bought – I picked out a pink Pusheen case which still isn’t here. Crochet cases from places like Etsy – many of which have cat or rabbit ears. And Bath and Body Works Hand Sanitizer holders which people are using mostly as wrist straps. Unlike the original Tamagotchis of the 90s, the new ones are not keychains. They do have a place you could attach a chain, wrist strap, or lanyard though. Or just pop your tamagotchi into the Bath and Bodyworks hand sanitizer.

The other ways I prepared for my Tama’s arrival include buying a tiny screwdriver and some rechargeable batteries. The battery door is secured with a tiny screw. I bought an eyeglass repair kit. If you live in the united states you can buy these at the dollar tree store. It comes with 2 screw drivers that fit the tiny screw and a cleaning cloth that you can use on the screen. And it only costs a dollar.

I dunno about you, but I am a 90s kid. I grew up with the original Tamagotchi. The new Tamagotchi On is very similar to its 90s counterpart. The basic concept of the game remains the same, you navigate the menus with 3 buttons. The first button toggles through the menus, the 2nd button confirms your selection, and the third button cancels and goes to the previous screen.

The gameplay also has not changed much on the surface. You feed, play with, and clean up after your virtual pet. The big differences between Tamagotchi On and the 90s version are that the Tamagotchi On is in full color and has a backlit screen. The Tamagotchi On also features some new gameplay elements, the biggest of which is the ability to connect to the Tamagotchi On app and play minigames to earn coins, or meet other players from around the world. Once your Tamagotchi is an adult, you can even marry another player’s Tamagotchi and have babies, including twins. The genetics of the parents pass down and there are over 1 million different combinations and ways that your Tamagotchi can look. You  can use the coins from the minigames to dressup your tama, decorate your room, buy toys or food for your tama, or put your Tama in a daycare so you can take time away, perfect if you have to leave your tama when you go to work or school.

If you have 2 Tamagotchi they can have playdates or communicate when you connect via infrared. You may want 2 Tama anyways because there are 2 versions *and more in Japan* with exclusive places you can unlock and a few Tamagotchi exclusive to each version. And in some cases (in Japan) there are rare genes in the special versions. The two places you can visit right now are Magic Land in the Purple or Green Magic Tamagotchi On US versions, or Fairy Land in Pink or Blue Fairy versions. The fairy version has more cute type Tamagotchi while the Magic version has more cool type tamagotchi. So which version you get may be influenced by what type of Tamagotchi you like best. If you like cute things like unicorns, or cool things like bats, vampires, witches, etc. But in the end it really doesn’t matter since you can marry and have babies and get the genes from all of the versions, even the Japanese exclusive versions, so you should just go for the shell color you like best. The white Magic one was limited in Japan but it’s now going to be an amazon exclusive in the US and Canada.

There are also many special events that happen. Like right now it is fall time and sometimes a tamagotchi will visit mine and they will go harvest fall food from the trees. Sometimes my tamagotchi will play hide n seek, or play with bubbles, or try to talk to me to get my attention.

It is a simple cute game with the object being to reach adulthood and breed and aim either for genes you like, or for rare genes that you want to collect.

Is it worth the high price? It faces a tough market, saturated with apps on the phone, some including other virtual pets, or even more complex games, all for free. each day new apps release, and kids have cell phones these days. But maybe Bandai never intended to target kids in the first place; perhaps they’re banking on people like me who collected the first tamagotchi to be willing to pay for the new Tamagotchi On.

What I like about Tamagotchi On is the feeling of nostalgia, the cuteness, both of the graphics, and the outer shell, and the ability to breed and see genes pass down to the babies. I also like that I only need to spend a few minutes a couple times a day checking in on the Tamagotchi. It doesn’t require much time, effort, or thought. It’s just a simple cute game. I like the feel of the egg in my hand, and the buttons are comfortably placed. This Tamagotchi is larger than the 90s version and seems a perfect fit for my hands. The color backlit screen is also a big improvement over the 90s version.

What I don’t like about Tamagotchi On is no built in keychain/wrist strap/lanyard mechanism, and sadly, I think I’ll enjoy the game for a few weeks and then bore/tire of it quickly because it’s just too simplistic. But on the plus side I do think I will revisit the Tamagotchi from time to time, whenever I feel like playing a cute and carefree game.

Tamagotchi On Review 2019 was originally published on GeekySweetie.com – Geeky & Kawaii Anime, Tech, Toys, & Game Reviews & News

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Replay FX Retro Gaming Convention Pittsburgh PA

I attended Replay FX, a retro gaming convention in Pittsburgh PA. I really enjoyed my time there, and definitely plan to return next year as well. The convention includes hundreds of arcade games, console games, and board games. All of the electronic games are from the 80s-90s with no modern games in sight so it’s definitely aimed at Retro gamers.

Replay FX - Pittsburgh PA
Replay FX – Pittsburgh PA

They had tournaments for Dr Mario, Tecmo Bowl, and Smash Brothers, to name a few. They also had a cosplay competition. There are large cash prizes for all of the competitions. We didn’t enter any competitions this time, but I did cosplay, just for fun. I brought out my Love Live School Idol Festival Kotori Cosplay Costume again – I’ve been wearing it a lot lately, and also plan to wear it again soon for Animu at the Zoo also in Pittsburgh, PA.

Replay FX - Pittsburgh PA
Replay FX – Pittsburgh PA

Some popular games that we saw other than the ones mentioned above, included Pac-Man, Zelda, Animal Crossing, Paper Boy, Soul Calibur, Mr. Do, Dig Dug, Maniac Mansion. Mario, Sonic, Battle Toads, Zookeeper, Tetris, Xandu, Centipede, Metroid, Dark Stalkers, Virtua Tennis, Tekken, Donkey Kong, lots of racing games, and tons of different Dance Dance Revolution and Beatmani style arcade games. There were also hundreds of pinball games.

Replay FX - Pittsburgh PA
Replay FX – Pittsburgh PA

All of the games are free of course, because you’re paying for admittance to the convention. There are lots of vendors too selling stuff – some of the things they’re selling may be questionable – like rom/emulator things that come preloaded with thousands of games – pretty sure that’s illegal to sell lol. I almost bought one though, because it is pretty cool – I’ve seen similar on wish and aliexpress. Or you can of course get your own roms online for free – which is illegal if you don’t own the actual games – but in my case, I do own like 80% of the games still I have all my consoles, from 80s, 90s, 2k, etc. But of course I can’t have them all hooked up all the time, too many wires, not enough space, etc, which makes having the roms very handy.

Replay FX - Pittsburgh PA
Replay FX – Pittsburgh PA

The board games were out in a separate more quiet space and provide a nice break from the flashing lights and sounds of all of the electronic games.

Back in the main hall they also had a giant ferris wheel that lit up later in the evening. I didn’t ride it, because it was a very unique ferris wheel – it flipped upside down…. It looked scary as heck to be honest lol. Each car rocked and shook back and forth and occasionally turned completely upside down. The cars are all enclosed of course so you don’t fall out, but still uhm no thanks lol.

Replay FX - Pittsburgh PA
Replay FX – Pittsburgh PA

Later in the evening, they also had live music, but it was hard to hear over the sounds of all the people and all the games.

There are food concessions on site, including alcohol, but it’s over priced, and most of the food is terrible. You can bring your own food – even if it’s against their rules, no one checks bags there.

Replay FX - Pittsburgh PA
Replay FX – Pittsburgh PA

Which brings to the next point, with all the crazy things happening in our country, you’d think they would have SOME type of security there…. There were no metal detectors, no one checking bags, and I didn’t see a single guard or any kind of personnel…. With thousands of loud chaotic games and thousands of people…… this is just a recipe for disaster… And it would be hard to contain or control the chaos, there’s 2 escalators, 1 up/1 down, and maybe some stairs somewhere but I didn’t see/know where. And the escalators and halls and everywhere were super crowded. It’s billed as the largest retro gaming convention in the US.

Replay FX - Pittsburgh PA
Replay FX – Pittsburgh PA

I didn’t really think about that at all while I was there though, and felt perfectly safe, but in retrospect, looking back, I wish they had more security in place. You just can’t trust crazy people these days. I don’t want to get into politics of it… But I will say video games are not to blame. Think about it… They have the exact same games in dozens of other countries, Europe, Asia, Japan, South Korea, Canada, even South America – and you know what they don’t have? Mass Shootings… you know why? Because they have gun control laws and mental health care (or any kind of health care for that matter).

Replay FX - Pittsburgh PA
Replay FX – Pittsburgh PA

Games are not to blame… I don’t play super violent games like shooting games, call of duty, rainbow six,  and whatever else, they just aren’t fun or interesting to me (no story, no cute graphics, snoozeville lol) … So I could care less about if people sell them or play them… But I just think it’s ridiculous that they think banning them will do any good to stop these events from happening. United States needs to look at the rest of the world and “get it together” when it comes to these 2 things, gun control, and health care including mental health care, before it is too late.

Replay FX - Pittsburgh PA
Replay FX – Pittsburgh PA

We also are more diverse than most other nations. And for some reason, a large number of Americans don’t like other Americans who are different from themselves, and it’s not just white people either. My hispanic boyfried told me that he and his friends consisting of another hispanic and 2 asians and 1 white person, were rejected/kicked off a soccer field by some indian people the other day.  All this hatred and racism towards each other is at the heart of all this violence, and until we address those issues, these problems are only going to escalate. Even if we do get reasonable gun control laws and better health care, we still need to find a way to stomp out racism.

Replay FX - Pittsburgh PA
Replay FX – Pittsburgh PA

Anyways I diverted a little bit from the topic here… but yeah… the only complaint I REALLY have with Replay FX is that it might be highly unsafe due to lack of security measures especially in midst of current events in our country right now. I would like to see metal detectors, guards checking bags at the gates – even if that means I can’t bring my own food/drink next year, and guards walking around up and down inside the convention also. We have to be smart and be safe. That whole convention center really needs to step up security. I was there 2 weeks ago for my boyfriend’s sporting tournament and again no security, no bag checking, etc.

Replay FX - Pittsburgh PA
Replay FX – Pittsburgh PA

I’ll still go next year, and still have a good time. I won’t live life in fear of what could happen. That’s what terrorists want. Live each day to the fullest with no regrets. If I were to die at a gaming convention, at least I would die doing what I love lol.

But in all honesty, Replay FX is great. For $35 for an adult day pass, or $100 to go all 4 days… And unlimited gameplay once you’re inside…. it can’t be beat. We spend more than $35 at Dave and Busters and it’s gone in an hour or two. Replay FX is also open late into the night, midnight this year, and opens at 9am, which is great. For 35 bucks you can play unlimited games for over 12 hours. Like I said, it can’t be beat for great value and more bang for your buck! Highly recommend this event for all gamers, especially those who grew up with retro games like Colecovision, Atari, and old school Nintendo. They had them all, plus Dreamcast and more rare retro finds. Very nostalgic – but I think young kids would enjoy this event too! It’s fun for the whole family.

Replay FX - Pittsburgh PA
Replay FX – Pittsburgh PA

Replay FX Retro Gaming Convention Pittsburgh PA was originally published on GeekySweetie.com – Geeky & Kawaii Anime, Tech, Toys, & Game Reviews & News

Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists Ateliers Of The New World PC Game Review

Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists Ateliers Of The New World is a brand new game by Koei Tecmo Games to celebrate 20 years of the series. Wow has it been that long already? I still remember the first 2 games way back when. And you know what else I remember, a little-known Nintnedo DS offshoot game in the Atelier Series called Atelier Annie: Alchemists of Sera Island which came out about 10 years ago.

Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists Ateliers Of The New World
Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists Ateliers Of The New World

So why Am I mentioning Atelier Annie? Because, if you’ve ever played it, then you know what to expect from Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists. Both games are unlike any of the rest of the Atelier Games, and instead put you in a role of managing a city and completing missions to advance.

Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists Ateliers Of The New World Gameplay
Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists Ateliers Of The New World Gameplay

Nelke has some really negative reviews – at least on Steam, but I purchased Nelke anyways, on a hunch it’d be like Atelier Annie, and you know what, I’m not disappointed. If you liked Annie, you’ll like Nelke. Conversely, if you hated Annie, you’ll hate Nelke, and if you’ve never played either game, well there’s only one way to find out then, and that’s by giving it a go for yourself.

Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists Ateliers Of The New World Gameplay
Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists Ateliers Of The New World Gameplay

The reviews on steam are complaining how different Nelke is — and to some — how boring it is… But honestly Atelier Annie was one of my favorites in the series. I loved the humorous story / humorous main character, and yes, I enjoyed the more “Sim Like” gameplay of building a city.

Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists Ateliers Of The New World Gameplay
Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists Ateliers Of The New World Gameplay

Nelke is not without flaws however; Unlike Annie, it lacks the humor and charm, and feels a bit dry and dull so far in the story. I’m 4 hours in at this point… which brings to another flaw, in that 4 hours in, I’m still in the tutorial… This game is very very very linear in the tutorial… Like almost everything will be on lockdown… for a long while… expect your first 8+ hours to be linear AF….

Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists Ateliers Of The New World Review
Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists Ateliers Of The New World Review

After that though there really is a TON of stuff to do in this game. It is NOT boring at all. You can craft items, gather materials, build new buildings, talk to your villagers, discover new recipes, sell items in your shops, and invest in new routes and tools to use in your adventures. There are simplistic turn based combats and different characters to recruit to your village.

Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists Ateliers Of The New World Review
Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists Ateliers Of The New World Review

You have to complete some required, and other optional tasks within a set number of days within the game. This can make it difficult and frustrating, so save often and in multiple save slots to try to minimize time lost if you miss a goal.

The game either runs slow on my laptop, or just is really slow by design, to the point where its a little frustrating. It may just be my laptop though and can probably be improved if I adjust some settings.

Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists Ateliers Of The New World Review
Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists Ateliers Of The New World Review

The main complaint a lot of people have is that while exploring you do nothing but watch your characters walk by on the screen. They will converse, gather items, and occasionally run into random enemy encounters. The battles are also slow and tedious. I do agree with these basic gameplay flaws. However, they don’t detract from my overall enjoyment of the other aspects of city building and mission completing and watching my city grow and evolve based on my decisions and choices made in where to invest and what to build next, etc.

The graphics are insanely adorable as always with the Atelier series.

Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists Ateliers Of The New World Review
Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists Ateliers Of The New World Review

Unlike a lot of the other games in the Atelier Universe, this one does not have English voice acting. I do like to have the original voice actors, but I also sometimes like to have an English cast too. I was disappointed they didn’t offer both.

I assume replay value is high because each city you build will be pretty unique and you will attract different stores, different npcs, and different quests based on how your city is developing.

Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists Ateliers Of The New World Review
Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists Ateliers Of The New World Review

All and all I’d rate the score card like this:

Title: Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists – Ateliers Of The New World –

Platform – (for this review The PC version was used.) It’s also available on PS4 and Nintendo Switch.

Where to Purchase: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07FMZZYK1?tag=amz-mkt-chr-us-20&ascsubtag=1ba00-01000-org00-win10-other-nomod-us000-pcomp-feature-scomp-wm-5&ref=aa_scomp

Geeky: 3/5 – Points for bringing back some of the popular characters from this series over the past 20 years.

Sweetie: 5/5 – For the casual gameplay and kawaii art

Overall: 53/70 78% C+ “Good Game For Girls”

Gameplay: 7/10 – I do love the sim aspects, having been a huge fan of Atelier Annie (easily one of my top 3 games in the Atelier universe). But I do agree that the game is slow and the wait for the payoff/reward is pretty steep. The game also doesn’t run great, can’t tell if it’s just my PC though maybe.

Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists Ateliers Of The New World Review
Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists Ateliers Of The New World Review

Story: 3/10 – I’m not loving the story, or lack there of. I’m 4 hours in and there’s not much of any story to be found; it does keep hinting at solving a mystery about a fruit from a legendary tree. But compared to other Atelier games the story feels less engaging so far.

Characters: 10/10 – I love seeing popular characters from the Atelier games return all in a brand new game. I also love the new characters that were created just for this game.

Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists Ateliers Of The New World Review
Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists Ateliers Of The New World Review

Voice Acting: 7/10 – The original Japanese voice cast does a great job and sounds super cute, but where’s the dual English voice acting? A bit disappointing especially for a 20th anniversary edition, you’d think they would have put a little more time and effort into the localization on this one. It feels cheap and rushed to not have both to choose from.

Music: 10/10 – Always love the music in the Atelier games, and Nelke doesn’t disappoint here either.

Replay Value: 8/10 – I think replay value will be very high, but I’m not looking forward to dredging through 5+ hours of linear handheld tutorials each time.

Overall: 53/70 78% C+ “Good Game For Girls”

Overall I would recommend this game to anyone who does not mind slower paced casual simulation games, or to anyone who remembers playing Atelier Annie on the DS. I like Atelier Annie a lil bit more because of the humorous story; but Nelke’s story may pick up and become more interesting. I may come in eventually and update my review scores if I find the story to improve as I get further into the game. Gameplay wise though it is almost identical to Atelier Annie, so if that’s your thing, be sure to check Nelke out.

Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists Ateliers Of The New World PC Game Review was originally published on GeekySweetie.com – Geeky & Kawaii Anime, Tech, Toys, & Game Reviews & News

Sonic Mania PC Game Review

Title: Sonic Mania

Genre: Platform Game

Publisher: Sega

Platform: PC, Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One

Where to Get: I got Sonic Mania and a buncha other Sonic games in a humble bundle, but if that bundle is over you can find the games on amazon or steam.

Release Date: 2017

Overview: Sonic Mania is one of the newest Sonic Games, however, it pays homage to 90s oldschool Sonic and is very well received by 30+ year old Sonic fans, as well as a whole new generation of gamers.

Gameplay: 10/10 – Sonic is back in a new game, with levels re-designed from the original Sonic games as well as all new levels created for Sonic Mania. You can play as Sonic, Tails, or several “new” characters first appearing in Knuckles Chaotix or Arcade exclusive sonic games. To play the game as other characters you will have to select the characters at the starting screen – you cannot switch characters within the game.

The levels are fun and fast and action packed. You run, jump, spin, and dash through the levels. There are many different paths in each level and many hidden objects, including entrances to bonus stages to capture chaos diamonds. Overall the gameplay is fun and full of nostalgia

Story: 1/10 Sonic isn’t a story-centric game, and it doesn’t really need a story. Timeline wise, it is said to take place after the events in Sonic and Knuckles. Lack of story does not hurt this game, but if you’re looking for a game with a great story, this is not it.

Characters: 5/10 – I enjoyed seeing Sonic and his friends return in an all new game, and it definitely brought back nostalgia and my childhood, but without a story, there’s no real personality or character development here. Once again though, games like this do not really need character development to be central to the player’s enjoyment of the game.

Graphics: 7/10 – The graphics are done in a bright colorful oldschool pixel style. This is not for everyone. Clearly this game is wanting to appeal to old school gamers who grew up with the original Sonic. Me? I liked it. But your opinion may be different. I did see some anti-aliasing and rough edges as to be expected in pixel style games, mostly especially when playing in fullscreen mode. There are different filters and options you can enable in settings to try to minimize this jagged-edginess.

Music: 10/10 – The music is definitely old school too and a great homage to the Sega Genesis Sonic games, which always had some pretty fun music.

Replay Value: 10/10 – The replay value is high because there are different characters that you can play as, each with their own unique abilities that make taking different paths through the same levels very unique experiences. No two characters play exactly alike. There are also different gameplay modes such as time attack and multiplayer competitions.

Nostalgia: 10/10 – This game set out to be a tribute game to the 90’s Sonic games, and it succeeds at this in an unprecedented way, welcoming back into the fold Sega fans who felt disappointed with the past several Sonic games.

Geeky: 5/5 – Nostalgia and pixel graphics and great soundtrack that 90s kids will love, make Sonic Mania chock full of nostalgia.

Sweetie: 2/5 – Lack of story and lack of character dialogue make this a game that is definitely outside the norm of what I normally enjoy or normally review here. However I think the nostalgia and cute/colorful graphics and anthropomorphic animal characters will appeal to most of my readers, who are already probably familiar with the Sonic franchise.

Overall Score: 60/80 75 C “Good Game for Girls”

Sonic Mania PC Game Review was originally published on GeekySweetie.com – Geeky & Kawaii Anime, Tech, Toys, & Game Reviews & News

Princess Maker 5 Review

Title: Princess Maker 5

Platform: PC

Release Date: May 2018

Developer: Gainax

Publisher: CFK

Genre: Raising Sim/ Life Sim / Dating Sim

Geeky: 3/5

Sweetie: 5/5

Overall: 61/80 76% C “Good Game for Girls”

Gameplay: 8/10 This is the last Princess Maker game in the series, aside from some online and mobile spin offs that were released later. As such, you can expect that the gameplay is much more advanced than previous Princess Maker games. Princess Maker 5 brings back the adventure system, previously seen in Princess Maker 2, allowing you to fight in simplistic rpg battles and search for treasure. It does not unlock until later in the game.

It is also the first time that you can select a female character to be the parent – Although if you play as a female, you cannot get the ending where the princess marries you (the parent).

Perhaps more importantly, there are many new activities that your daughter can participate in, compared to previous Princess Maker games. I felt that the gameplay more closely resembled Tokimeki Memorial Girl’s Side (which I reviewed here.)

You select a week’s worth of activities for your daughter. She will attend public school and have club activities but she will also have free time for you to schedule part time jobs or extra lessons to enhance her stats. On the weekends you will take your daughter out to try to reduce her stress or experience special seasonal events.

Princess Maker 5
Princess Maker 5

Like Tokimeki Memorial, you can see which events are happening by reading a paper that lists new events. You can have cube set a reminder on the day of the events so you don’t forget important dates. But the game will not automatically prompt/navigate you to the event so you still have to pay attention and remember when and where to go for the event.

Gameplay feels slow. Especially the first year. It feels repetitive and slow building your stats, and very few random encounters or events. But as I entered my 2nd year, that began to change. Suddenly, classmates/love interests began to invite my daughter out on dates, or suddenly teachers and employers invited my daughter to special events. Now it felt more interesting and exciting.

But still, ultimately, this game is long, and slow, and while this type of gameplay is best enjoyed in small bursts, because of the repetition and monotonous gameplay, it also is a game that doesn’t get interesting until several hours in. I spent over 6 hours in the first year… If like most princess maker games this one goes until the daughter’s 18th birthday, then this game has over 70 hours of gameplay, per playthrough, times 50 endings…. staggering… definitely a highlight of the game — but the gameplay is so monotonous that many people may never reach all 50 endings.

Princess Maker 5
Princess Maker 5

How could I give an 8/10 to a monotonous boring “dull” game? Well because of the added features the game presents, this game is the most realistic child rearing sim, and gives unprecedented freedom and control to the player. Your daughter grows in new ways never present in the previous princess maker games, and she grows more independent with her own hobbies and interests and desires and things become more complicated, it brings back the adventure system, and the new dating/events system seemingly borrowed from Tokimeki Memorial. All of these are an improvement over most of the gameplay features in previous princess maker games.

The game gives you unprecedented freedom to raise any kind of daughter you want, even if you want her to be a cosplaying anime fan who loves going to idol concerts. Seriously, she can become interested in just about anything you can imagine. lol.

Story: 5/10 I think part of the reason the game is so slow is that it has almost no story. You just literally keep clicking and waiting/hoping something changes/happens. Which doesn’t happen for several hours until you’ve been pumping up your stats. The opening movie is not translated or subtitled for the english release on steam. It seems that maybe it may have had at least an interesting introduction. I think from what I can tell, the daughter is a demon maybe. It says it began from bloody events that happened long ago. Seems to hint at a curse, and then from there I haven’t a clue as to what is going on, but you see cube fly away with the girl. The girl also has a special hair clip that lets her communicate with you and allows you to watch the girl while she’s away. Every once in awhile the girl talks about seeing spirits or fairies and other supernatural things. But I’m now about 10 hours into the game and there’s really no overall story, or direction, or plot, it’s basically an open ended sandbox game. Plot isn’t necessary in games like this, but since I play games for their stories, I think that’s why I feel bored while playing this game since it lacks an overarching plot of any kind.

Princess Maker 5
Princess Maker 5

Characters: 10/10 I really do like the characters. They are not strong from a story standpoint, but they feel very real, and their interactions and dialogues with each other are very cute. The independence of your daughter and new complex ways in which she can develop and grow make this the best daughter of all.

Princess Maker 5
Princess Maker 5

Graphics: 7/10 The artwork put me off at first, for years even before this official US release, I would see pictures of this game, compare it to 4 which was my favorite Princess Maker game, and just think YUCK!… But oddly… in the 10 hours I played the game, I now find it cute and charming. I’d played 4 years ago on my nintendo DS, even though I couldn’t read any of it. I loved that art style, and at first found this new art style for 5 to be a huge turn off. But after playing the game, I’ve changed my tune. I suggest if you like me, hate the way Princess Maker 5 looks, just give it a go, it’s a great game, and the artwork is strangely cute once you get used to it!

There’s this little fat boy, which normally would be like a blech, but I dunno there’s something sooo cute about him. He reminds me of the fat lil asian boy from Disney’s “Up” and there’s another little boy that looks like he could be straight outta card captor or some other sugary sweet shojo anime.

Princess Maker 5
Princess Maker 5

The daughter was what I found most unattractive, but watching her study, work, and play, I’ve realized she is the most “real” and endearing of any of the daughters in previous games. I love my little princess.

Music: 3/10 – I really dislike the opening song – it’s awful. blech. But the rest of the music is “OK” I guess. just kinda average to me really.

Voice Acting: 10/10 – the voice acting is very cute 🙂 I’m glad they kept the original Japanese voices in the game.

Replay Value: 10/10 – over 50 different endings and the variety of things to do within this game give it excellent replay value.

Princess Maker 5
Princess Maker 5

Princess Maker 5 Review was originally published on GeekySweetie.com – Geeky & Kawaii Anime, Tech, Toys, & Game Reviews & News

4 Best Cult Classics Translations

4 Best Cult Classics Translations

We may be dating ourselves a bit here, but nothing in gaming holds as big a place in our hearts of those games from the early generations. We’re sure it’s the case for many gamers, that what remains their fondest memories are the games and systems they grew up with. What annoyed us about these earlier days, however, is how many games which we wanted wouldn’t see official translations of releases. Luckily for us today, the translation scene between the east and west is bigger and healthier than ever, and with this comes which might have once been considered niche, but which went on to become cult-classics. So which of these titillated the most, and still have our obsessed attention to this day?

The Hell of Touhou

One of our favorite games growing up was 1942, a vertically scrolling shooter set in World War 2, as you might have guessed. Playing this game always left us with a question – what if instead of WW2 we had anime, and what if instead of a few planes and cannons we had more bullets than the US armed forces? The answer, as it turns out, was Touhou.

Taking the Hand of God

Shinji Mikami is no stranger to the world of successful video games. Following directing Resident Evil 4, which many people consider one of the best games of all time, he wanted to move to a different genre to evolve. With God Hand for the PS2, he managed just that. Despite being underappreciated at the time, with an awful review of the game from IGN even reaching gaming meme status, God Hand would go on to become one of the most highly regarded beat-em-ups of all time, and one of the best games on PS2.

It is also quite strange.

Plinking with Pachinko

An odd series of games based off of the popular Japanese gaming machines, yet ones which have consistently held our attention since the release of the Aladdin version all the way back in 1989. These not only brought us a form of game perfect for gamblers, they also helped build gaming interest in the industry in such a way so that later developments like William Hill Japan could bridge the gap into full east-west translated online casino games.

Dicing with the Devil

This one might be a bit of a cheat, but since we enjoyed it less than a day before going writing this article, we can’t help but hope for a sequel. We talk, of course, about Devil Dice. Released for the PS1, this puzzle game was actually built from the Net Yaroze home developer console, making it one of the few to ever see a full release. With simple match the dice gameplay, we really have to wonder why we haven’t yet seen a mobile version.

What Have we Missed?

One of the best things about modern gaming is translations to and from the east are far more common and far easier than ever. With better infrastructure, a bigger player base, and more diligent minds, those formerly region locked are now becoming a major part of our gaming lives, where they will remain as the gaming industry only grows stronger.

But what have we missed, and what are the translated cult games you love the most?

4 Best Cult Classics Translations was originally published on GeekySweetie.com – Geeky & Kawaii Anime, Tech, Toys, & Game Reviews & News

Review Get Fit with Walk it Out Konami Wii Game

I recently began revamping my lifestyle to try to be healthier. To that end, as part of this healthier lifestyle, I began to play some of my old wii games that encourage you to get up off the couch and get active while playing the games. My favorite “weight loss” game has always been Konami’s “Walk it Out” for the original Wii. Yes, Wii U can play wii games in case you’re wondering. However, the switch cannot.

It is worth mentioning that while Wii games can be beneficial to help motivate you to want to lose weight, they are probably not as effective or strenuous as other forms of exercise. I make no claims that playing these games will help you lose a significant amount of weight, but if you’re like me (and millions of other Americans) who absolutely hate exercising to the point where you have one of those on the wall and haven’t used it in the 2 years it’s been hanging there, well then it’s one of those “better than nothing” things. Sure, you can go join a gym, or buy expensive exercise machines and equipment, but if you can’t motivate yourself to actually work out, then you’re not any better off. I can motivate myself to play Walk It Out because it’s actually FUN. – Now you may think exercising and going to the gym, or playing sports is fun – and that’s cool – but that’s you, and you have to remember not everyone has the same idea of what “fun” is. So I ask you to please respect that different people look at fitness in different ways.

Here’s how I’m using Walk It Out to help lose the weight.

I don’t have a Wii (or Wii U) (yet) at the Boyfriend’s house where I spend my weekends. So for me, this is only something I do at home, Monday – Friday.

I aim for 10,000 steps. The game calculates this for you if you input your height, weight, gender, age, etc.

I use the balance board, but you don’t have to! You can use the DDR dance pad (wayyyy more challenging lol – Trust me, I’ve tried this), or the nunchuck and wii-mote – kinda “meh” and not as fun to me – but everyone has different preferences. Some people place their treadmill infront of their TV and slip the wii-mote into their pocket. . – You can check out Consumers Advocate for reviews on treadmills.

For me currently, 10,000 steps takes about 45 minutes, burns about 500 calories, and works out to just under or just over 3 miles.

I chose 10,000 because multiple sites I’ve researched have said 10,000 steps a day, every day is enough to lose 1 lb a week.

After about a month of 10,000 steps a day, 5 days a week, I found I was not getting as tired/sweaty/winded etc so I’m now up to about 12,000 steps a day, with ultimate goal to increase to 20,000 steps a day hopefully by end of the summer.

In addition to getting my “steps” each day I also began a low carb diet, currently limiting myself to 25 or fewer carbs a day and trying to ensure the majority of those carbs come from veggies, nuts, berries, and other healthy choices. – I skipped “induction” and included nuts and veggies and berries though from the start.

I began my journey about 6 weeks ago at 232 lbs. My last weigh in 2 weeks ago (about 4 weeks into the program) was 227 lbs. A total of 5 lbs lost within those 4 weeks.  I will probably weigh myself again some time this week and expect to be at 225 or less lbs. I’ve been losing 1-2 lbs a week, just as I anticipated based on my steps and diet.

This is slow, and yes, there are better exercises and activities than this, but the fact is, it’s still “effective” – if you don’t care “how long” it takes to lose the weight – I’m prepared that it’ll take me 2 years for example if I want to get to 120-130. – Which is what I weighed like 12 years ago in college. I didn’t gain this weight overnight, I’m not going to lose it overnight. It’s just the way it is. But the scales are moving down each time I weigh myself – I try not to obsess about the scale, so I only weigh myself every other week. In the next 10-20 weeks I expect to be back under 200 lbs for the first time in several years.

I’m currently not doing any other exercise other than Walk-It-Out for (a minimum of) 10,000 steps, 5 days a week on the wii balance board. I am restricting my carb intake which could also be playing a role in the weight loss so I cannot make a claim as to if Walk it Out would be effective without a healthy diet as well.

All I know for sure is that Walk It Out, plus a low carb diet, has led to 1-2 lbs of weight loss, consistently, every week, for the past month and a half.

And I know that I don’t mind playing Walk It Out, whereas, if I were going to the gym or playing a sport I’d hate it, dread it, and eventually stop doing it, probably sooner than later. Because to me, working out, or playing sports, etc is not fun. In fact, it’s pretty much the opposite of fun, it might be exaggerating, but it’s kinda like torture to me lol.

And that’s probably because I’m in such bad shape. But Walk It Out has been effective also at helping with that. And I’ll go ahead and claim/assume that this is from Walk It Out and not from the diet, but I’ve already noticed a big change in my stamina.

Prior to 2 months ago, I’d get winded going up 2 flights of stairs at the boyfriend’s apartment to do laundry, and when I first started Walk It Out, I felt like I was dying after 10,000 steps – but I didn’t stop/slow down, I successfully reached 10,000 steps without any kind of rest or break each day, right from the get go. – Not a huge accomplishment if you’re fit and active – but a significant accomplishment if like me, you’re mostly sedentary and in terrible shape.

But now, I can do 12,000, maybe even 15,000 steps before I get tired/winded. I can go up and down the stairs while carrying the laundry without gasping/panting for breath after setting the basket down. I noticed that the other night, as we folded laundry together. I’m like hey, I’m not gasping for breath, I’m able to breathe/talk/etc.

So in as little as a month, making 2 small changes:

1.) Playing Walk It Out 5 days a week for a minimum of 10,000 steps, using the balance board

2.) Restricting Carbs to 25 or less per day

I’ve lost 5 lbs, and become more “fit” and able to do normal chores/walking etc without getting shortness of breath or rapid heart beat like before.

I also suffer from PCOS which makes it more difficult to lose weight due to insulin resistance and other factors. So if you’re relatively healthy, you might lose even more weight than this while playing Walk It Out. But as someone with PCOS, it has a number of side effects, from infertility to weight gain, to fatigue, pain in the sides/ovaries, and skin/hair problems, just to name a few. Probably the most concerning of these side effects is fertility. It’s also well documented that being obese also impacts a women’s fertility. in fact, that’s why I began this work out and diet plan. I am 37 years old and I want to have kids some day. And for me at this age, that time is running out. I know it will take me a year to lost 50 lbs (guessing because 52 weeks in a year, with a lb of weight loss a week). That will drop me down to about 170-180… Still overweight for my height/age. I should be around 130-140 from what I’ve read – which is why it’ll probably take about 2 years to reach that goal. 52 weeks x 1 b per week = 50 lbs a year, so in 2 years I’d be about 127. In 2 years I’ll also be 39….

Losing weight will do 2 things for me – 1.) help relieve some of the PCOS symptoms, 2.) help increase my fertility – even in women who do not have PCOS – they say losing as little as 10-15% of your body weight can help increase fertility. For me, 15% would mean I’d only need to lost 34 lbs… which would take about 8 and a half months. (At a rate of 1 lb a week).

So although my end goal may be getting back down to 120 – 130, which is going to take about 24 months, there are many smaller goals I can aim for along the way. The first goal will be to drop below 200. With an estimated 25 lbs to go, that goal will take about 6 months. The next goal is a combined total of 34 lbs of weight loss, which I should achieve 2-3 months after my first goal. From there, it’s all about setting different attainable goals for myself. For example, I might decide I want to reach 160 lbs next, another 6 months after the 2nd goal, and then only need to lose another 30 lbs to reach the 4th and final goal.

Since it will take me a relatively long time to achieve my goals, it’s important to me to have an activity I can enjoy and one I can stick with throughout the process. For me, that activity is Walk It Out.

But enough about me and my goals, let’s dive into actually talking about the game and I’ll tell you just why I love Walk It Out more than any other fitness game.

Title: Walk It Out

Platform: Wii (will work also on Wii U)

Genre: Music Game / Fitness Game / Walking Simulator / City Building Game

Publisher: Konami

Price and Where to Get:

Why Do I Love Walk It Out So Much / How is Walk it Out Different from Other Fitness Games:

I think Walk It Out is different for the following reasons:

1.) It’s actually a game – I would not say the same of Wii Fit for example which is just a series of exercises and “mini games” – Wii Fit fails at taking your mind off the fact that you’re exercising. Walk It Out makes it so exercising is secondary to the gameplay.

2.) It is a persistent world – You can see your world developing and evolving each day. You can interact with objects in your world. The world changes and evolves based on your actions.

3.) If you like pop music and 80s/90s/very early 2k music, you’ll love the music in Walk It Out. – I tried looking to see if there’s a Japanese Import version of the game with Japanese music tracks but I couldn’t find one – does anyone know anything about this? I think it’d be fun/interesting especially since I enjoy JPop music. I find it hard to believe Konami would only make a game for the European / North American market – because they don’t seem to give a damn about this market. But all I’ve ever seen is the North American version “Walk it Out” (the version I have) – and another version for Europe called “Walk to the Beat” I think there’s only 2-3 songs that are different/unique for each of those versions, not worth importing the Euro version just for those songs. – But Is suspect if a version of this game does exist in Japan it probably has all Jpop music.

4.) It’s a city building simulation – Do you like city building games? This game lets you build a city while you work out – pretty much the only game I can think of that does this.

5.) It has gradual progression – there are over 300 songs to unlock, and there are numerous things to unlock for your city – thousands of things in fact – and there are different areas/paths to unlock. It also has mini games, although a month in and I haven’t discovered any yet. It takes awhile to earn enough points to unlock everything. – To me, this is a GOOD thing – once everything is unlocked it probably isn’t as fun/exciting. But you can always start a new save file and start over unlocking everything again. If you unlocked things too fast the game wouldn’t feel as “rewarding” – it strikes a good balance of rewarding you, plus giving you new things to strive for.

6.) It’s easy/comfortable even for someone obese and in very bad physical condition. This is not true of other fitness games such as Dance Dance Revolution which is significantly more challenging/tiring for beginners. Walk It Out is low impact and simple and does not require great speed, dexterity, skill, coordination, flexibility, etc, making it a perfect game for anyone of any age to just pick up and play.

But What Is Walk It Out, exactly?

Gameplay: 10/10 Walk it Out is a fitness music/rhythm game from Konami, the creators of Dance Dance Revolution. The gameplay is simple! In the top left of the screen you see a beat meter, just walk in time with the beat. If you are rhythmically challenged, don’t worry, don’t focus too much on listening to the music, instead use this beat meter in the top left as a visual guide to time your footsteps. If you’re still having trouble you can adjust the speed and difficulty settings as needed.

As you’re walking, music will begin playing. There are new tracks to unlock – over 300 of them to be exact, and if you like pop music from the 80s, 90s, and early 2ks, you should enjoy most of these tracks.

The object is to time your steps perfectly for the best score. Points can be used to unlock new music tracks or to build your city by opening capsules around the island. Things that you can find might include trees, street lights, cars, buildings, and more. As you build up your city, you’ll see the changes in the town and in the people. It becomes much more lively.

The game can be played with a number of different controller options including the wii balance board, DDR dance pad, or wii-mote and nunchuck.

There’s even a multi-player mode where 2 people can Walk it Out together!

Is Walk It Out An Effective Workout?

Yes, I feel Walk It Out is effective at helping with weight loss, especially in addition to a healthy diet. Using Walk It Out every Monday through Friday for the past 6 weeks has led to me losing 5 lbs and becoming more active, fit, and healthy. I feel like I have more energy and stamina, even if it’s a little improvement, it’s still a welcome improvement, that overtime will continue to provide growing benefits.

It’s simple, effective, and fun – I don’t feel like I’m working out.

The game also tracks many stats for you, such as calories burned, steps taken, miles walked, playtime, etc for each play session. As well as showing you how much of the island you have left to discover.

It has a lot of various settings you can configure such as selecting or restricting certain songs, setting goals in terms of steps, miles, or play time, and allowing you to adjust the speed or points to fine tune your difficulty settings.

The uniqueness of the game, the fun factor, multiplayer, and peripheral support, as well as ease of use and low entry barriers, make this game my favorite for helping to drop the pounds.

However, there are some areas where gameplay could be improved…

If there is ever a “Walk It Out 2” here are a list of features I’d love to see:

1.) More advanced avatar creation – or at least importing our mii’s. The avatars in walk it out are pretty fugly. And although you can choose between a male or female avatar, and male or female personal trainer, and pick some colors from a limited small pallet, that’s where customization ends. In the future they could add hairs, clothes, and other avatar dress up items to the unlockable capsules which would add an additional element to the game.

2.) More Islands – once you complete an island, it’d be nice to have a whole new island to play in, with different styles of buildings, backgrounds, and environments to explore, to keep things exciting

3.) A more “vibrant” world – either through online play, or the internal clock, it’d be nice to have a more “lively” world, like in Animal Crossing how different things happen on different days, weather patterns, holidays, events, etc.

4.) Ability to use your own music – or at least buy new tracks, similar to most other dancing games that release songs via DLC (downloadable content).

5.) Online Play – to walk with friends online in addition to the great local multiplayer support – perhaps also for the switch, seeing support for up to 4 or even 6 people to walk on one screen together in local play.

6.) Built in scale – I use wii fit to measure myself, but I don’t use Wii fit for the games and exercises very often – it’d be nice to just be able to weigh myself right in Walk It Out.

I think just these few little additions would really add to the immersion and fun of an already super fun game.

Story: 0/10 – Nope no story at all – not that it needs one.

Characters: 2/10 – there are characters if you count selecting your trainer and “customizing” (although extremely limitedly) your avatar, but without a story, the characters are empty shells. The characters that move into your city / walk around on your screen are also just empty shells – they could have done something similar to animal crossing or harvest moon here, which is why it’s so disappointing.

Graphics: 7/10 – I’m not sure what to score this honestly… the characters are fugly, the interface is average at best, but the actual world/environment are pretty good given that this is a retro game now.

Music: 10/10 – If you like pop music from the past 3 decades, you’ll enjoy the music.

Voice Acting:5/10 – The male trainer isn’t too bad – the female trainer sounds like she’s about 8 years old and has way too much enthusiasm and that weird “chipmunk” sound that a lot of early 90s anime female voice actresses seemed to have back in the day. – Which I assume is supposed to sound cute, but really just grates on the nerves. I’ve never played with the female trainer because her voice is so annoying honestly.

Replay Value: 10/10 – The gradual progression of the game will keep you coming back to unlock new things on the island.

Overall: 44/70 63%

Note: if you don’t count the story and characters, you have a score of 42/50 or 84 percent which is much closer to how much I “enjoy” this game 😊

Update: My weigh in today was 222 lbs, a loss of 4.9 lbs since last weigh in (15 days ago) . I continue to consistently lose 1 to 2 lbs per week using nothing but walk it out with the balance board for exercise while eating a low carb diet of 25 or fewer carbs a day. I’ve lost a total of 10 lbs over the course of about 6 weeks.

Review Get Fit with Walk it Out Konami Wii Game was originally published on GeekySweetie.com – Geeky & Kawaii Anime, Tech, Toys, & Game Reviews & News

Gree Animal Days Mobile Game Graveyard Review

Gree Animal Days was my all time favorite mobile game.

Be warned, before reading this review; the game was shut down several years ago.

There are lots of articles available online pointing to why the game failed. But largely, from what I read, the developers over promised and under estimated how difficult it would be to maintain their production schedules for new content and features which ultimately led to them shutting down the game as they could no longer maintain it.

There were not many games like Gree Animal Days at the time available in the android or IOS app stores.

It was kinda like animal crossing, but it also had breeding, city building, dating sim, and other aspects that made it, in my opinion, more fun than even the newly released Animal Crossing Pocket Camp game (which I also reviewed here).

It also shared lots in common with Happy Street which for quite some time filled the “need” for an animal crossing like game available on mobile devices.

But the ability to breed and recruit new animals to your town really set Gree Animal Days apart from the rest. And still to this day, I’ve not found any other games quite as fun as this.

Check out the trailer below:

Here’s a look at some of the features of Gree Animal Days:

Information taken from Game Faqs

Animal Days is recommended for anyone who:- Likes animals- Wants to raise animals- Likes games where you make your own town or village- Wants to try a game where you help raise villagers- Likes simulation games- Wants to try a game with romantic side

Make the most fantastic city in the world in a hidden forest with your animal friends!

Start romances with the animals in your friends town!

Animals fall in love, get married, and have cute animal children!

Get as many animals as you can, and make a bustling animal town!

Make a town in the forest with cute animal friends! In this game you will work together with cute animals to make a fantastic town. Find all types of animals and collect buildings to make a unique town with your cute animal friends!

Romance

Your animals and your friends’ animals will have romances and make children. Start romances with different animals to get new animals that will live in your town.

Buildings

In the middle of the forest near your town lies the Mysterious Pond. You can get free, cute Decorations and Houses from the Mysterious Pond every day! Decorate your town with your favorite buildings and develop your town into the best that it can be!

Animals

Build Houses and start romances to increase the number of animals that live in your town! There are over 100 animals, all with unique personalities! Your favorite animal is waiting for you! You will find Dogs, Cats, Rabbits, Penguins, Mice, and more!

Dilemmas

The animals experience all sorts of Dilemmas. If you help solve their Dilemmas, they will give you items and special buildings, so solve as many as you can and expand your town!


Score Card:

Title: Gree Animal Days

Publisher: Gree

Where to Get: No Longer Available

Platform: Formerly available on Android and IOS

Price: Free

Genre: Casual, City Building, Life Simulation, Dating Sim

Overall: 38/50 76% C – Good Game for Girls

Breakdown:

Geeky: 3/5 – with over 100 animals, and over 300 buildings available at launch, Gree Animal Days was a hugely ambitious project that offered hours of gameplay and innovative fun mechanics in a well polished package. However poor management eventually led to the downfall of this great game. The devs were not prepared to handle the success of this game.

Sweetie: 5/5 – The cute characters and interesting marriage and breeding aspects really set this game apart as a great game for girls.

Gameplay: 10/10 This app offered so much to do! with hundreds of buildings and animals to collect, as well as the ability to date and breed with your friends’ animals too. These features are severely missed as no other cute animal city building game has yet to replicate this unique gaming experience.

Story: 3/10 – There was a loose story about rebuilding a run down village, but it was not terribly interesting. Then again neither are the stories in Animal Crossing games, so it’s about on par with that series there.

Characters:  10/10 – The characters are so cute. Each one had unique personalities and appearances. With over 100 characters at launch and more added in updates, there were a lot of cute characters to collect!

Graphics: 5/5 – This game looked great for the time it was released. It looks similar to even newer apps such as Animal Crossing Pocket Camp and Happy Street. Each character and building was unique, which is part of the game’s downfall as they had to create so many assets in such short time.

Music: 2/5 – Like most mobile games, it’s cute/catchy at first, but lacks variation and will tend to annoy after your first few playthroughs.

Overall: 38/50 76% C – Good Game for Girls

 

Gree Animal Days Mobile Game Graveyard Review was originally published on GeekySweetie.com – Geeky & Kawaii Anime, Tech, Toys, & Game Reviews & News

Imagine: Figure Skater Nintendo DS Retro Videogame Review

With the 2018 Winter Olympics well under way, I’ve been thinking a lot about games and anime (such as Yuri on Ice which I reviewed here) that showcases the dedication that a skater must possess. I remembered fondly an NDS game from “a few” years ago that I played that allowed you to take on the life of a professional skater, competing in various events, training, dating, and dealing with drama.

This game, as it turns out, was Imagine: Figure Skater for the Nintendo DS. The game first came out in 2008 (at least in North America), making it “retro” by my definition (I consider anything greater than 10 years old to be retro.)  I’m thinking about digging out my cartridge and playing it again this weekend. I’ve also been thinking about rewatching Yuri!! on Ice.

Imagine Figure Skater Nintendo DS Otome Olympic Ice Skating Game

Imagine Figure Skater Nintendo DS Otome Olympic Ice Skating Game

First, you might look at the box art for this game, and think it is for little girls. — Not true! The original boxart in Japan was much better – featuring anime style artwork. Why they went with a photograph of an iceskater on the US version, I dunno. They should have aimed it at anime/otome fans, but this was 10 years ago, before otome games had much foothold in the US.

Gamestop has the game in-stock for just $0.99 cents! – If you have a powerups reward card, Even better, you can grab it for just $0.79 cents!!! OMG… Go, go, go!! If you like anime, ice skating, dating sims, or otome games, it will be the best 99 (or 79) cents you could spend today. Click here to buy it before it’s gone.

There’s also apparently a sequel to this game, called Imagine: Ice Champions. I have not played the sequel yet, but Gamestop has it for just $1.59.

Imagine: Ice Champions Nintendo DS Olympic Ice Skating Otome Dating Game

Imagine: Ice Champions Nintendo DS Olympic Ice Skating Otome Dating Game

These games were perhaps too ahead of their times – with the relatively recent popularity of Yuri!! on Ice, and increased representation of Otome Games in the United States, I wonder how a sequel for Nintendo Switch would fare these days, if marketed properly. Why try to forcefully create an audience, when there already exists a large audience begging publishers for such games. Do your research and understand your target audience better.

Most of us are 20+ years old, otaku/anime fans, and would rather buy the original box art on the right, than that which was designed for the US on the left. This alienated most of your “built in audience” while trying to build a new audience with younger girls.

Thankfully the art in the actual game is fully done in an anime and kawaii style which could appeal to either audience.

Now on to the review!!

Scorecard:

Title: Imagine: Figure Skating

Developer: Spike

Publisher: Ubisoft

Platform: Nintendo DS

Genre: Career/Life Simulation Game with Dressup Game, Dating Sim and Otome Game aspects

Where to Buy: Gamestop has both of these for about $0.79 and $1.99. Check out the links above.

Geeky: 5/5 – Gameplay is solid, the graphics are a little bit pixelated, but that’s probably just limitations of the software of the time ten years ago. Gameplay using the stylus to perform ice skating moves is both fun and challenging. It offered high replay value too with different girls to play as and different events and dialogue options. It gave a good look at what skaters go thru when training. If you enjoy watching the Winter Olympics, or enjoy anime such as Yuri!! On Ice, then you will enjoy this game!

Sweetie: 5/5 – This game has a little bit of everything, all in one very cute package! Ice Skating is beautiful and elegant and as you compete you unlock new areas to explore, new outfits to wear, and you interact with friends, lovers, and rivals. It has a good dose of comedy, slice of life, drama, and surprise.

Overall: 59/70 84% B “Very Good Game For Girls”

Imagine: Figure Skater Nintendo DS Retro Game Review

Imagine: Figure Skater Nintendo DS Retro Game Review

Gameplay: 10/10 – Gameplay is where Imagine: Figure Skating really shines! When the game starts, you select one of three girls, each with her own strengths and weaknesses both on and off the ice. From there you’re whisked away to a tutorial where you get to try skating for the very first time.

Do well and advance through various qualifying rounds improving your skill and technique. You will earn money to buy new outfits and get to travel to compete in new arenas and unlock new events.

When not on the ice, you will go to school, work part time jobs, go on dates, or spend time with your friends. Rivals will show up both on and off the ice too which add to the story.

You skate by using the Nintendo DS stylus on the lower touch screen. You perform jumps and spins and get scored for each of your routines. As you play and complete your training, you will unlock more advanced moves to add to your routine.

You have complete control over designing your own ice skating routines. You select your outfits, music, and choreograph your routines to progress through the game and ultimately guide your character to the nationals.

Imagine: Figure Skating Nintendo DS Anime Games for Girls

Imagine: Figure Skating Nintendo DS Anime Games for Girls

Story: 7/10 This game, just like Yuri!! On Ice, does an excellent job portraying the struggles and triumphs of those training for life as a professional or Olympic figure skater. Just like Yuri!!! On Ice, Imagine: Figure skating has that tantalizing blend of romance and rivalry both on and off the ice. It also showcases themes such as platonic friendship, family, travel, adventure, and sportsmanship. Storywise though, this game comes no where close to generating the same emotions and reactions in its audience compared to the beloved Yuri!! On Ice, which has been countless praised by real figure skaters for its realistic portrayal of events and memorable characters.

Characters: 8/10 The characters are cute! I loved the dressup aspects and loved having multiple girls to choose from when starting the game. I loved how this game draws you into the life of the characters, showing you moments of their life both on and off the ice. I didn’t quite connect with them as emotionally and deeply as I had hoped to. This is also probably why the story felt a bit flat.

Graphics: 7/10 – The graphics are a bit outdated, but there’s so many options for costumes and the ability to pick different girls is great. The girls are all so cute.

Imagine: Figure Skater Dressup Game

Imagine: Figure Skater Dressup Game

Music: 7/10 – I feel like almost everything about this game, is about a solid 7, it’s good, but not great. The great gameplay though makes up for the rather “average” other details. I’d say the music is fine, but ultimately far from memorable.

Replay Value: 10/10 – With different girls and different outcomes along with the ability to customize just about everything, this game has very high replay value.

Overall: 59/70 84% B “Very Good Game For Girls”

If you enjoyed Imagine: Figure Skating and Imagine: Champions on Ice, you may also like the other Imagine Games which you can view here. You may also like Princess Debut, which I love and plan to review shortly. There’s also a game called Princess on Ice that you may enjoy – I have not played that one just yet myself.

Imagine: Figure Skater Nintendo DS Retro Videogame Review was originally published on GeekySweetie.com – Geeky & Kawaii Anime, Tech, Toys, & Game Reviews & News

Kingdom Hearts 1.5 and 2.5 HD Remix PS4 Videogame Review

Title: Kingdom Hearts 1.5 and 2.5 HD Remix

Platform: PS4 (note this release combines various Kingdom Hearts games originally found on the PS2, GBA, Nintendo DS and 3DS)

Genre: Action Roleplaying Game ARPG

Publisher: Disney + Squarenix

Where to Buy: $49.99 on Amazon (at time of this writing)

Overall: 68/80 85% B “Very Good Game for Girls”

Geeky: 3/5 The games have fun gameplay, good graphics for the age of the games, and a great soundtrack. However, the Disney segments can be a bit too kiddie for some more serious gamers, and although the entire series is about the juxtaposition of light and dark, the light hearted disney characters can sometimes take away from immersing yourself in the deeper darker story of Sora and his friends.

Sweetie: 5/5 – This game is cuteness overload by combining well loved Square and Disney characters. It also has a surprisingly deep, relatively dark (for a Disney product at least), and mature storyline, which evolves and grows deeper and darker from game to game as characters grow and evolve.

Gameplay: 10/10 Kingdom Hearts is an action RPG. You play as Sora, a young boy who dreams of leaving his home town on a tiny island. When the game begins you are asked to choose a weapon. You may choose between shield, sword, and magic wand. You’re also asked which weapon you will give up. This allows you to customize your fighting style to match your preferences. You’ll also be asked a few questions. These questions do not have any significance on the story, but they do have a large impact on how quickly you will level up throughout the game.

A tutorial will give you a taste for how combat is in each of the games. You can run, jump, push and pull objects, climb, and use your chosen weapons as you chain attacks, dodge, defend, and parry to take down your foes. Enemies will drop small glowing orbs which can offer XP or sometimes restore health or other benefits. You will have to run around and touch the drops, because they do not get added automatically.

After settling into the game, you are allowed to freely explore the island, interact with NPCs, and engage in several minigames, such as fighting or racing with your friends on the island. You will see many familiar faces from both Squaresoft and Disney franchises.

Fairly early in the game, Sora gets his wish of leaving the island, and the rest of the game is played through traveling between different worlds, each representing a key franchise from Disney or Squaresoft. There are numerous battles to fight, areas to explore, sidequests, mini games, and hidden goodies. In fact, to find everything, across all games will take you almost 300 hours (and you’ll be awarded with an extra ending in each game). There’s plenty of content here to sink your teeth into, even for the most seasoned of gamers.

The action based combat is fun and snappy, while the mini games and interaction with a wide variety of characters gives you a break from the hack n slash combat, creating a well balanced game that equally values action as well as adventure.

Story: 8/10 I find it jarring at times how the story jumps between worlds, and I sometimes cringe at some of the Disney characters (and I consider myself a Disney fan! But it can really take away from the story, just when things are getting interesting to flash back to Goofy or Donald, especially with their well known silly voices and all). This can all make the story less immersive. However, at the heart of the story, you have a coming of age tale and a love triangle between 3 best friends. You watch throughout each game as Sora and his friends evolve and grow and change and how their friendships and relationships change as well. The story from each game is directly related from one game to the next. We’ve already watched Sora age by 2 years (and gotten a glimpse at a very young Sora as well). When Kingdom Hearts 1 starts, Sora is 14. By the end of Dream Drop Distance, he is 16. Many speculate he will be 16 or 17 in Kingdom Hearts 3. We witness Sora’s changing emotions as he transitions from adolescence to young adulthood. The main theme song in Kingdom Hearts 1 even hints at this with the lyrics of the chorus stating “Don’t get me wrong, I love you, but does that mean I really have to meet your father? One day when you’re older you’ll understand what I meant when I said No, I don’t think life is quite that simple.” Those lyrics perfectly describe the relationship between Sora and Kairi. An innocent love, a boy who still quite often views love/girls as “gross”, and a boy embarrassed by his emerging feelings of love for Kairi. And we witness not only how friendship can grow to love, but also how platonic friendships can change to rivalries when two boys love the same girl. The depths of both Riku and Sora’s love for Kairi is perhaps the best thing about the story.

I recently picked up Kingdom Hearts 1.5 and 2.5 HD Remix. I had played the original KH1 and KH2 on Playstation 2 but that was over 12 years ago now. And I had not played the other side games.

Every game in Kingdom Hearts is connected, and contains the same 3 characters, Riku, Kairi, and Sora, and the story gets deeper and more complex as the games go on as more is revealed building upon back stories and prequels and sequels and spin off games. It can be intimidating for someone new to the franchise to pick up the games now with almost 15 years of games to catch up on.

Many people recommend the following order to play the games in to get the most out of the story:

Kingdom Hearts 1 (1.5 remix)
Re: Chain of Memories (1.5 remix)
Kingdom Hearts 2 (2.5 remix)
358/2 Days (1.5 remix)
Birth By Sleep (2.5 remix)
Re:Coded (2.5 remix)
Dream Drop Distance (2.8 remix sold separately)
0.2 Birth By Sleep – A Fragmentary Passage (2.8 remix sold separately)
X Back Cover (2.8 remix sold separately.)
Unchained X (free mobile game, available separately)
Kingdom Hearts 3 (sold separately – coming soon)

So you will need bare minimum to purchase 3 games

Kingdom Hearts 1.5 and 2.5 HD Remix
Kingdom Hearts 2.8
Kingdom Hearts 3

And optionally download and play Unchained X on your cell phone.

Some of the “games” above are actually “cutscenes” because they could not emulate the nintendo DS “touch screen” on the PS4. So each of these nintendo remakes are movies which reuse old, and add new cutscenes to tell the story.

You can alternatively purchase and play these Nintendo games separately. But you should be fine with just the cutscenes from an understanding the story standpoint.

Characters: 10/10 I really enjoy watching Sora and friends evolve, age, mature, and change over the course of multiple interconnected games. I also really do enjoy seeing favorite characters thrown in from Final Fantasy and Disney. It’s a strange mashup but it works surprisingly well. If you are either a Disney or Squaresoft fan you will love the cast of characters in these games.

Graphics: 7/10 – Taking into consideration the age of the games, I think the graphics are beautiful and memorable. They are vibrant, full of color, detail, and fun. The character designs blend Disney’s whimsy and charm with Squaresofts more stylistic approach. Sora also reminded me of a brunette Cloud wearing Mickey’s big “clown” shoes. The bobble headed appearance of the characters, makes them cute, but it’s almost a bit too juvenile, given that even when we first meet Sora and friends in KH1, they’re already teenagers. I feel like they look like Precious Moments dolls, and about 7-10 years old because of the proportions of their heads to bodies. — Luckily, the artwork does improve in later games.

Take a look below:

Sora from Kingdom Hearts 1 (Does he look 14 to you? Not even close in my opinion).

14 Year Old Sora in Kingdom Hearts 1

14 Year Old Sora in Kingdom Hearts 1

Sora from Kingdom Hearts 2 (He is supposed to be 15 here, looks about right.)

15 Year Old Sora in Kingdom Hearts 2

15 Year Old Sora in Kingdom Hearts 2

Sora from Kingdom Hearts 3 (Speculated to be 16 or 17 here) (meh this design is alright, I expected to see something like Final Fantasy XV quality here. There are very few details in the hair/face and almost no shading on the clothing, it just looks kinda flat/plastic-y… not what I’d expect from a PS4 title. He does look a tiny bit more mature, slimmer face, etc.)

Music: 10/10 I’m a big Utada Hikaru fan, and I love the opening theme “Simple and Clean” – as I mentioned, I feel the lyrics foreshadow the coming of age story and changes that our little island buddies are about to experience. She also sings “Sanctuary” the opening theme of Kingdom Hearts 2. And it has been confirmed that she will also be involved with the opening for Kingdom Hearts 3. My favorite Utada Hikaru song though will always be “First Love”. The Japanese versions of the tracks are also quite catchy even without knowing the lyrics or understanding Japanese. The background music is also fitting and full of adventure and wonder.

Voice Acting: 6/10 – The voice acting is definitely hit or miss for me. Some characters I think are perfectly cast, and others way off mark. Some give pretty convincing performances, while others are too overdramatic and/or the opposite, lack any feeling or emotion in the deliverance of their lines. The iconic Disney characters also can tend to annoy and detract from the story with their overly cartoonish voices for which they are so well known.

Replay Value: 9/10 Although the games are linear, there are multiple games in this “bundle”, and each game has a secret ending, usually only uncovered for completing all side quests, or playing on the hardest difficulty settings, which will take you around 270 hours total according to How long to Beat. Even if you don’t want to go for the secret endings, you’re still looking at over 130 hours of gameplay just for the main stories of each game. For just $40something, that works out to around 30 cents per hour of entertainment. Therefore your return on investment is quite high in this title, even if you might only play each of the games once.

Overall: 68/80 85% B “Very Good Game for Girls”

Kingdom Hearts 1.5 and 2.5 HD Remix PS4 Videogame Review was originally published on GeekySweetie.com – Geeky & Kawaii Anime, Tech, Toys, & Game Reviews & News