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!

2015 in #3DS games

Concerning games for my 3DS, it has been an exciting year. Here is a list of the games I played in 2015. I’ve added some trailers as well, to break up the desert of words sure to follow.

Pokemon Picross (1:33)
I got interested in this one because of Pokemon. It is an interesting concept of puzzles, but I have to admit it wasn’t something for in the long run. I’m probably not patient enough.

BoxBoy! (1:39)
Another puzzle game. This one I really like. It is it a great game with incredibly simple but pleasing graphics.

Fire Emblem: Awakening (2:25)
I tried to finish this one, but lost interest again. I’m still hyped for the next install of the series: Fates!

Terraria (2:52)

Released in December and sold to me as Minecraft in 2D I’m not sure what to think about this one. The controls are great and the crafting and exploration seem to be endless. However, the first enemies are rather strong.

Citizens of Earth (3:16)
Tried to finish this one, too, but it was too grindy in the end. Also, the jokes started turning stale so I didn’t bother anymore.

Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse (3:31)
Lovely soundtrack and pleasing visuals. I’m going to play this one some more in 2016.

Chibi-Robo! Zip Lash (4:09)

I got this one as a christmas present. Turned out to be a nice platformer that is rather challenging to me. It is cute as hell and the bloody destination wheel is the only thing I really despise about it.

Code Name S.T.E.A.M. 4:21
Ok, I admit that I was pretty hyped about this one. Unfortunately, it didn’t deliver! Made by the people responsible for Fire Emblem, it is a solid strategy game. I liked the soundtrack, visuals and even the heroes. Couldn’t really connect to it, though.

Attack of the Friday Monsters! (4:23)

A real gem of the Nintendo eshop. Playing this brings back the innocence of being a child of 10 re-enacting your favourite TV-show. Not a long game at all and without a lot of replay value. But it is just charming.

One Piece Umlimited World Red (5:16)
It was on sale and I wanted to know what all the fuss was about. Turned out this is a nice action RPG with a lot of quirky dialogue.

Lord of Magna: Maiden Heaven (5:55)
Great battle system combined with a rather cliched story. What really turned me away from this title was  the design of the enemies. I really don’t appreciate battling tin men.

Nintendo Badge Arcade (6:29)
Yeah, I’m a sucker for eye candy. Blame me.

Lego Harry Potter Years 1-4 (6:31)
As Lego titles go, this was a rather mediocre one. Too much input with the stylus. I hope the years 5-7 turn out better.

Mario Kart 7 (7:07)
No brainer. The definite racing game for the 3DS.

Xenoblade Chronicles 3D (7:13)
The (at this moment) only exclusive cartridge for the New 3DS. I totally enjoyed this RPG for its exploration, but the battle system is rather confusing. I like to hit the monsters myself, thank you very much!

Rune Factory 4 (8:07)
I gave this one a fresh start in 2015. Still didn’t really get into it. Far too bothersome to be enjoyed.

Ace Attorney Trilogy (9:08)
Ok, you can object whatever you want, but this one is a nice and funny visual novel with adventure elements. The cases sometimes remind me of old Lucasarts adventures.

SteamWorld Heist (9:30)

Steampunk strategy done right! This game has it all: robots, steampunk and hats. Great 2D turn-based strategy game from Image & Form. My personal 2nd place when it comes to the game of the year. The only thing I’d like to have added are multiplayer and some Streetpass functionality.

Animal Crossing: New Leaf (12:44)
With everyone and their dog talking and loving this game, I simply had to try it. It is cute, it is charming, it is–however–also very tedious because you need money (bells) for everything and this money needs to be earned hard. No, thanks, I have enough of that in real life.

Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer (14:26)
An Animal Crossing where you just design houses? Colour me interested!
A nice idea and also very well done. However, the lack of any negative respones by those NPCs you design homes for takes away any long term fun. You can literally ignore all of their wishes and place nothing but toilets in all the rooms and they are still happy with what you have done. I’ve binge played this for about two weeks and then totally lost interest.

Mario & Luigi Dream Team Bros. (18:14)
I really like this one, but still haven’t finished it. I even won’t for some time in the future as it is a bit too sugar coated for my taste.

Bravely Default (20:01)
Oh, yeah, I’ve made progress in this game. Norende is completely rebuilt and I’ve moved from chapter 2 to chapter 4 (and I did all the sidequests!)
I’ll play this one some more until the sequel arrives on my doorstep.

Pokemon Alpha Sapphire (34:03)
Our lil’one got this for Christmas so I had an excuse to finally become champ as well as beginning to dabble in Pokemon breeding. Not that I turn out to have the diligence and/or patience to breed exceptional Pokemon, but our lil’one loves to trade with me, so I need a constant supply of fresh harder to find mons.

Pokemon X (41:58)
Got this one, too, to get more Pokemon to breed in Alpha Sapphire. I only went through the story, which was really nice!

Monster Hunter 4 ultimate (605:48)

My game of the year. I’ve battled my way up to the G-Special-Permit golden crown. ‘Nuff said!