Kelp Direct – February edition

Let’s talk about game announcements! I’m going to try to make this a regular thing going forward, but for this post the focus will be on the February 8th 2023 Nintendo Direct (primarily the US one). We’ll start with The Main Courses…

Wait, isn’t that Style Savvy?

It sure is! Took a little digging, but Fashion Dreamer does seem to be developed by syn Sophia, who were behind the (3)DS series わがままファッション Girls Mode (generally localized as ‘Style Savvy‘ in English).

Also apparently syn Sophia is originally mainly known for pro wrestling games??

Level 5 is back, I guess?

The cop game sure looked like a game. I honestly can’t give much of an opinion on it, besides that it reminded me a lot of another game featured later on (the Spike Chunsoft production RAIN CODE), but also not. I also kind of fell off the Professor Layton games, but I’m more confident that whatever that ends up being will prolly be fine for any casual enjoyers of that genre.

What I am more concerned about is the Fantasy Life follow-up. Both myself and my mom spent a lot of time on that game (I think my original save file clocks in at around 200 hours), and I honestly would have been happy with just some sort of re-release. This is not that.

My first reaction was “Uh, this sure looks a lot like Animal Crossing: New Horizons” and that’s not necessarily a Bad Thing – both my mom and I spent a lot of time on that game too. But the fun part of the original for me at least was the synergy between going out into the field and Killing Things, and then going back into town to craft better gear to go Kill More Things.

(So, uh, Kelp, you’re saying you want it to be Dragon Quest Builders 2, another game you spent hours and hours on?)

I think my trepidation here is I wasn’t really shown much of what made Fantasy Life its own game, which means it needs to compete with quite a few others in order to really hook me. Maybe it will! We’ll see.

Etrian Odyssey!!!

I have to admit, I was very pessimistic about these getting re-released. Of all the Atlus treasures out there, I really don’t run into a lot of diehard fans of this series. But more than that, I felt it had one element that potentially doomed it…

That’s right – a key feature of the series is drawing maps. It’s such a core component of gameplay, in fact, I don’t think you can have the game without it. But look! We can indeed draw the map with Touch Screen controls. It’s a miracle.

These remakes (June release) will also be available on Steam, and of course I saw some people griping about the price, which…is a thing you can do, I guess. There was also speculation whether these were the Untold remakes of the first two games that came out for the 3DS, and my guess based on promotional material is “No, and I’m glad.” Another key part of the fun in Etrian Odyssey is being able to make your own guild of characters, and I honestly kind of resented the Untold remakes for sticking me with a pre-set party. It wasn’t even the additional story elements that rubbed me the wrong way, but a more fundamental problem – the party’s combo of job classes wasn’t what I would have chosen, and I had difficulty figuring out how to optimize their skill trees for Killing Stuff Good, which is a very important part of the game! There also wasn’t an option to have multiple save files – the Untold remakes kind of pushed you to do Story Mode first, then Classic Mode as a New Game+ sorta deal. I love Etrian Odyssey, and I have played one of them more than once, but that’s a huge time commitment.

Did I mention Yuzo Koshiro is the composer for these?

Game Boy (Advance)

That Alone in the Dark game looks like something I’ll definitely try playing for the low, low price of free*. I also believe Wario Land 3 is one of the games I had as a kid that I got stuck on and couldn’t proceed, so I might take a stab at that. (Fun fact: so is Kirby’s Dreamland. It’s kinda hard!)

Actually wait, maybe it was Wario Land 2? I remember having trouble with this faucet.

However, it was the GBA announcement that made me think “Is this it? Is this what makes me get the Expansion Pack?” And that is “the ability to play Fire Emblem (The Blazing Blade) on a portable device with some sort of turn rewind feature.” (Along with other things, of course.)

Nino must be protected at all costs. (And Florina. Axes randomly flying out of the woods are no longer a problem!)

I Love Katamari! I Hate Simulation Sickness!

We Love Katamari was actually the first one I played, after which I quickly tracked down and bought the first. I played the first remake on Switch a while back and still very much enjoyed it, but couldn’t spend too much time on it. This was due to the sinking realization that yes, my simulation sickness that prevents me from playing many, many games, has gotten worse as I’ve gotten older. I actually knew that Katamari was a possible trigger – one of the later iterations had a perma-turbo mode (Beautiful Katamari, maybe?) that made me very dizzy very fast. So I will probably get this, but I will also have to limit my playtime accordingly (as well as those little speed boosts). Thankful for the free trial option so I can at least gauge if I’m okay to play it at all.

Everything Else I Made a Note Of

In roughly chronological order:

That does it for my hastily assembled blog post! Feel free to chat with me on my socials about anything you’re interested about upcoming release wise.

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