Monster Hunter Orchestra Concerts

Browsing some Nintendo news sites lately, I came around to see the news of Capcom considering Monster Hunter Concerts. Well, considering?

I hastily ran to my CD pile and fished out 3 Monster Hunter Orchestra Concert CDs. So these concerts are already happening, albeit not in the west.

Here are these Japanese CDs that feature recordings of the concerts:

Monster Hunter In Concert 5th AnniversaryThis is the CD of the 2009 5th anniversary concert. Someone actually put a video of the event on Youtube, in case you can’t imagine what it sounds like:

Then there is the 2012 orchestra concert which is superb as well:

Monster Hunter In Concert 2012Last but not least, there is the 2015 concert which features songs from the latest (at least in the west) release: Monster Hunter 4 ultimate:

Monster Hunter In Concert 2015This one is great as well, but not as good as the two former ones. It starts with the Seregios theme, which I don’t really like that much. Again, someone has uploaded tracks to Youtube, so you can get some feels for the music:

These are the orchestra concert CDs I own. There are at least 2 more, one from 2011 and the 10th anniversary concert from 2014. Those will find their ways into my collection eventually, but importing stuff from Japan to Europe being as pricey as it currently is, it will take some more time.

The hype is unbearable now – Bravely Second: End Layer

Bravely Second: End Layer Guidebook

Sometimes it can be great when games are released in other regions different from your own first. It’s rather easy to get the respective guidebooks then. Like in this case: the wonderfully illustrated and very detailed guidebook to Bravely Second: End Layer. The game itself will be released on 26/02/2016 in the EU, so it is just a matter of three weeks before I can play it.

On the other hand, I now have three more weeks to wait till I get the game and have to keep myself from browsing through the book before. Good for me that I don’t know any Japanese and can’t spoil the game at all.

Great Detective Pikachu

Every once in a while, you come around a trailer for a video game that leaves you flabbergasted. Like this one for Great Detective Pikachu for example:

Pikachu as a Sherlock Holmes like great detective aided by the player jumping in as “Dr Watson”. Elementary, that I’d really like to give this game a go. I’m not really sure, however, if this franchise will make it to the west. I’m crossing my thumbs, though!

The Manga Guide To Databases

As I’m currently teaching databases in my computer science class, I thought it would be a good idea to freshen up my memory on the topic before making a fool of myself in front of said class.

Normal textbooks on the matter unfortunately seem to be rather boring with lots of lists and tables. (Ok, being books on relational databases this can’t be helped, but still…) Luckily the comic book industry has embraced the textbook market at least in Japan (and thanks to No Starch Press the English speaking world, too.) Let’s have a look at:

The Manga Guide To DatabasesKeep in mind that this is not an in depth book, but rather a small introduction into relational databases that touches the Why’s, Do’s and Don’ts as well as the most often used SELECT statements.
All of this is presented in the comic story of a princess who learns to run her kingdom’s fruit export business with the help of a database fairy.

It is certainly funny and immensly useful as an introduction or refresher.


Japanese guide books

First things first, I don’t know any Japanese. Neither speaking nor reading/writing. I have absolutely no understanding of the language. Still, I own a few Japanese books (with some more on their way to me) because they are guide books of my favourite 3DS games.

Books like the one below are very detailed, very well made and can even help you if you have trouble with the language, because they clearly map the dungeons and provide the most important monster/enemy stats in Roman letters and Arabic numerals.

Bravely Default For The Sequel Japanese Guidebook
Bravely Default For The Sequel Japanese Guidebook

The book for Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer is fine as well. With 700+ pages it not only lists all the Animal Crossing customers but also all the available items as well as their different colouring/modification options. What a great resource!

Animal Crossing Happy Home Designer Guidebook
Animal Crossing Happy Home Designer Guidebook

The only downside of those books: They don’t come cheap and importing them from Japan doesn’t make them any less expensive. But for some games there isn’t any alternative if you don’t want to browse online all the time.

Legend of Legacy demo available

Thursday’s update of the Nintendo eshop brought us the Legend of Legacy demo. Naturally, I had to get it to find out if a JRPG with the most uncreative and generic name possible could get my attention.

Here is the teaser trailer, btw:

After playing the demo for some time I can say that I really like it. The artwork is nice, albeit a bit like the one in Bravely Default. The story is, who would have thought, rather generic, but the gameplay is solid. Especially the battle system plays well. It’s turn-based, but offers some finesse by giving your party members different roles during combat. So, thumbs up.

The only problematic thing about Legend of Legacy is its release date: February 5. With Bravely Second scheduled for February 28 and Stella Glow for March 11, there is heavy competition.

2015’s worst game: Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego?

Well, I’m rather lucky not to have spent a lot on dull games, but there was one purchase I could have lived without: Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego? published for the Nintendo DS.

I remember this series back from the Commodore C64 and hold fond memories of the original gameplay. Here is a Let’s Play I found on Youtube:

It was a really good game because it made you look out for clues and at the same time taught you some basic geography.
With this mindset I was rather happy to find a used copy of this in the bargain bin of my local GameStop:

Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego?

It was only a few bucks and there was even an instruction manual included. It had to be mine!

Well, what a rather stupid thought. The game is bloody boring.

Input is done with the stylus, only, and the one thing you have to do is mindlessly picking on the screen to either talk to someone, arrange something or pick the order of presented things that the game expects from you.

Watching paint dry is more fun!