On The Hunt in Japan: Mzo’s Top 10 Games List!

Hiya, Dinky here! Tonight I am passing the blog over to my fiance, Mzo! I asked him to share his top games wishlist for our trip to Tokyo and why he’s eager to find them. Take it away, babe! (^_^)/

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How Dinky imagines Mzo during their vacation to Japan.

Since we’re just a couple of weeks shy of our Japan trip, I thought it’d be fun to list out the top games I’ll be hunting for during our stay. There are definitely many, many other games on the list but I’m narrowing this down to the ones I want the most and am limiting myself to just one game per system. Some are common and some are rare, but I’m hoping to find each and every one of these and bring them home.

Famicom – Splatterhouse: Wanpaku (Naughty) Grafitti

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The 2nd game released in the Splatterhouse series and the only one to stay in Japan, this game is quite the oddity. The art style features super deformed, cutesy characters with some horror bite, and the story has a more comedic bend to it. It comes in an awesome clamshell case as well, much like Namco’s other Famicom games.

Famicom Disk System – Doki Doki Panic

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This might be an obvious choice, but I’ve just never come across a good deal for this game complete. This is the original collaboration game between Nintendo and Fuji Television to commemorate their Yume Kojo ‘87 (Dream Factory ‘87) event and starring a family of characters created especially to advertise the event. This is the game that was famously reworked into the US’s Super Mario Bros. 2 when the real SMB 2 was deemed too hard for Western audiences.

PC Engine – Valkyrie no Densetsu (Legend of Valkyrie)

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The only time we saw a release of this Namco property here in the US was on the 5th volume of Namco Museum on the Playstation, and I don’t think it made too big of a splash. This is a port of the arcade same arcade game, a hack-and-slash/shooter, overhead action game with platforming elements in the same vein as Pocky and Rocky.

Mega Drive – Bare Knuckle III

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While this game did get a US release as Streets of Rage 3, much of it was changed and censored in the translation. From an extremely flamboyant boat captain boss fight to significantly tweaked difficulty, the Japanese game is the better experience.

Super Famicom – Shin Nekketsu Koha: Kunio-tachi no Banka (The New Hot-blooded Tough Guy: The Eulogy of Kunio’s Gang)

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Everyone loves River City Ransom on the NES, but not everyone knows it’s just one game in a long-running Japanese series. This is the 4th Super Famicom Kunio game and it’s pretty amazing. It’s a prequel to River City Ransom and surprisingly story-heavy. The graphics are amazing and look very different from the super-deformed style we’ve seen in the games that were brought over.

Playstation – Panzer Bandit

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I love belt-scrolling beat-’em-ups, and this one looks fantastic. Colorful and cartoony graphics with a lot of inspiration from Guardian Heroes. I don’t know much about it because I stopped paying attention as soon as I saw it for the first time. I want it and I’ll learn more about it when I have it.

Sega Saturn – Bubble Symphony

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Everyone loves Bubble Bobble! This is that classic game re-imagined on far more advanced hardware and 4 playable characters. It looks gorgeous and makes for a great co-op game.

Dreamcast – Rez

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Rez is one of my favorite games and the Dreamcast is one of my favorite systems. It’s only fitting that I want to play the original release.

Playstation 2 – Monster World Complete Collection

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The Monster World series is one of my favorites in all of gaming, and this M2-developed collection is comprehensive. It features not just the arcade game releases but also any existing Master System, Game Gear, and Genesis port of each included game. It even has the SG-1000 port of Wonder Boy!

Xbox – Metal Wolf Chaos

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Living in the darkest timeline with the worst possible President has fueled my interest in a fictional world with the best possible President. From Software’s satirical explosion-fest features President Michael Wilson fighting back against an evil Vice-President’s plot the only way that makes sense: in a giant mech suit.

WonderSwan – Rockman and Forte

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Mega Man is easily my favorite video game character and playing each and every one of the dozens of mediocre-to-awesome games that Capcom released back when they gave a shit about him is definitely on my bucket list. This isn’t a port but a sequel to the Super Famicom’s Rockman and Forte that takes advantage of the WonderSwan’s design by including horizontal and vertical levels. It looks really bad! I want it.

Of course there are hundreds of other games I’ll be keeping an eye out for and many more I hope to discover, but these are just a few off the top. There’ll be plenty of updates with pictures and more after the trip!


 

Until next week!

-Dinky (and Mzo)

 Psychic World: Lucia Joins the Battle!

Full disclosure: I freaking loved my Game Gear growing up. Yeah, you probably don’t hear (or see) those words in a sentence together very often considering the bad reputation of the handheld system. It was large, awkward to hold with a notoriously short battery life, and didn’t even receive much support from Sega despite coming out strong. In the end, Sega’s attempt at a portable system could never really compete with Nintendo’s Game Boy, but that didn’t matter to 5 year old me. Nope. I felt like a total boss lugging around my suitcase full of games, charging cables, magnifying screen, and other accessories that made my Game Gear some sort of mini transformer robot Frankenstein.

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An actual picture of Dinky, age 5.

Knowing this now, you shouldn’t be surprised if you see me talking about Game Gear games quite frequently on this blog starting today. Let’s begin with Psychic World!

ggcoverjPsychic World (or Psycho World in Japan) is an action platformer with a sci-fi theme that stars a young girl named Lucia who must save her sister from monsters after the lab they work at is destroyed. Lucia is given a special headband that allows her to use psychic abilities to control different elemental beams, fly and become temporarily invincible. What? You never even heard of this game before? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. The company who made this game is called Hertz, and they don’t exactly have a history of making anything notable.

Actually, this is probably the most interesting game they ever made, not to mention psychicworld-ggthe first. The original version of Psychic World released for the MSX in Japan only in 1988, and it is very different from the Game Gear version I grew up playing. The biggest change is the overall length and level design. While the Game Gear edition has completely redrawn sprites (that are way cuter) it is missing a lot of the maze-like level design found in the original. Not surprisingly, the Game Gear version is an easier game to finish than the MSX one. I asked my buddy Geen to play Psychic World with me and we were able to finish it in about an hour and a half without much frustration. (BTW, can you believe how ugly the US cover art is compared to the Japanese one? ABSOLUTELY DISGUSTING!)

Something I can always get behind is having a female lead with cool powers and an outfit that is at least a couple steps above Halloween stripper costume. We get all of  that with Lucia, which makes me wish Sega somehow saved Psychic World from disappearing into oblivion. Her sister Cecile is adorable too.

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The levels are fun and challenging if you let them (by this I mean not spamming your invincibility until you absolutely need it), and the controls are pretty tight. It’s not the most original game of its kind, however, and it leaves players with a bit of wanting. This becomes the most apparent with the boss battles. There is very little strategy involved and some even feel a bit futile without use of the invincibility power. The music also becomes rather forgettable after the first stage.

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On the bright side, using Lucia’s different ESP powers can be amusing in solving small platforming trials. You can use her fire beam to melt ice blocks and the ice beam to freeze waterfalls for bridges and her range increases as you pick up power-ups dropped by enemies. Once you have the stages memorized, you are able to blaze through the tight corridors and manipulate the environment to your advantage. I found that the more I perfected each level, the more fun I had. This is often the case with good old school action platformers where you must restart a level each time you die. This can be a massive drawback for some, but for others it’s all part of the challenge.

Now, for Geen’s retrospective of Psychic World!

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Geen says: I really enjoy the “Psy Power” system in this game! Enemies having different weaknesses and the beams being able to change the environment is a nice touch. The Game Gear version plays better than the original MSX version, in my opinion. The downside is the difficulty in Psychic World just doesn’t seem balanced. The game feels a bit cheap at times unless you’re abusing the invincibility power. The enemies are also entirely bland and the final boss battle leaves so much to be desired. Despite this, I found the game to be enjoyable overall and always enjoy having an empowered female lead.

Geen’s Scoreboard

Story: 4/5

Characters: 3/5

Controls: 3/5

Level Design: 4/5

Boss Fights: 2/5

Individuality: 5/5

Replayability: 3/5

There you have it. Overall, I would recommend this game to those who are looking to explore the Game Gear library. Mega Man fans may also enjoy this title! If you like playing as cute heroines give Psychic World a shot! You may be surprised!

Until next time,

-Dinky (^_^)/

Dinky Reflects: Nintendo Switch

Since this blog only updates on Sunday, I am grateful to have had time to think for a few days before actually sharing my complete thoughts on Nintendo’s announcement. At first, I vented on my FB that the presentation felt lackluster, awkward and drudged up memories of the Wii and it’s gimmicky motion control fetish. I was also disappointed at how few games they actually announced, especially at launch, and I still believe this will hurt the Switch when it becomes available. Sure, the gamers and Nintendo fanboys have all jumped on their pre-orders, but those sales alone will not guarantee the longevity of the system. It really does feel like the Wii all over again- at least for now.

However, I am going to put aside my disappointments and concerns for the rest of this entry and share what I am still excited about as a Nintendo fan.

∠( ᐛ 」∠)_

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1. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild at launch day is reason enough alone for a Zelda fangirl like myself to purchase the system right out of the gate.

This game looks gorgeous and seems to be a welcome departure from the more repetitive concepts in past Zelda titles (and could well make up for the terrible trash fire that was Skyward Sword in my eyes).

Alsc2cfrs_usaaxs3ho, I am overjoyed to see that the Zelda of this universe is given a more adventures outfit featuring PANTS. In the trailer, she appears to be a bit over-the-top in her fragility and is seen sobbing into Link’s arms. I do hope they don’t make her too much of a damsel in distress this time around.

My favorite kind of Zelda is strong, wise, nearly stoic in her grace and collected. It seems there has been a shift to make her more anime-heroine-ish and it bugs me. It really does. (;¬_¬)

That aside, I am 90% positive that I will not leave my house, call out of work sick and die of starvation and/or sleep deprivation from playing Breath of the Wild nonstop when it comes out!

2. Super Bomberman R wasn’t really spoken of during the announcement, but holy gods if it doesn’t look amazing.

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To be honest, I’ve never been crazy good at Bomberman, but I really adore the style of it and have a lot of fun playing it with friends. This is definitely be something to look forward too!

maxresdefault-13. The Dad Bowser and Parental Controls video makes me giddy in ways I can only explain as wannabe mom syndrome. As a woman gamer who dreams of having little gamer children one day, the ability to easily monitor and set restrictions on my kid’s gaming from anywhere is incredibly reassuring and smart. I absolutely love the idea of using technology to aid parenting in a world where our children are using devices of all kinds at a younger and younger age. It is honestly quite frightening, so anything like this gives me a much needed feeling of relief!

nintendo_switch_parental_controls.0.jpg  I also super love the visual of Bowser being a grumpy, concerned father who wants his kid to have fun but also spend time with him and make sure he doesn’t overindulge in games. I mean, how can I ever be mad at him for kidnapping Princess Peach after this? He’s probably just desperately looking for a good female role model to have in Jr’s life. Forget Mario, Peach. Dad Bowser is where it’s at, gurl!

4. Region Free Gaming.

(」゜ロ゜)」FINALLY. THANK YOU.

5. SplatoSplatoon-2-Boxart.jpgon 2 is making a lot of people excited, and I am happy that this IP exists. I’m going to be completely honest with everyone and admit that I am personally not a fan of playing Splatoon, but it really was a necessary installment to broaden Nintendo’s gaming horizons.

My hope is that Nintendo continues to create fresh new games like this one and not just continually remake the same old IPs over and over into oblivion. New Zeldas and Marios are great, but it’s so important that we get new series that are made with just as much love as the old ones.

I mean, come on, the concept of this game world is so original and awesome!! O(≧▽≦)O

6. Tiny baby game cards make me want to scream until I pop.

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AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

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AAAAAAAAAAAA!!!

7. Super Mario Odyssey.

Holy crap. Yes. YES!

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This is what I am the most excited about! A NEW MARIO GAME THAT IS FULL OF WEIRDNESS. It’s clear to me from the trailer and by the title that this new Mario adventure will have him travelling to many different worlds beyond that of the Mushroom Kingdom variety. Everything shown in the video was strange and unfamiliar and overall a breath of fresh air for our favorite plumber!

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While some people cringed at the sight of Mario in a “New York” type of city with normal looking humans, I was overjoyed to see Mario being alienated from his Americanized heritage of being from the Big Apple. Based on the visual clues, some have speculated that the city is related to a Donkey Kong world more than a city in our world, but I honestly don’t care too much about those details. Watching Mario scale cityscapes, wander through mysterious giant forests, leap over odd pastel foods and journey to a colorful, Dias de los Muertos inspired village had me shaking in my seat with an intense hysteria that only my fellow crazed fans will understand.

The things I love most about the Mario franchise have always been those of the more extraordinary variety. I adore the offbeat characters in Mario RPG and Paper Mario games and crave the grand and fantastic scope of the Galaxy games. I am also a huge fan of the charming spin-off character series featuring Luigi and Yoshi more than most of the standard core installments. It’s perhaps easy to better understand  why I am highly anticipating Odyssey and all of it’s quirky design choices with this in mind.

Speaking of Luigi, I wonder if he will make an appearance in this game at all?

Anyway, enough of me and my opinions. What are you most excited about after the Switch Announcement? ヾ(≧∇≦*)ゝ

~Dinky

Dinky’s Wishlist of Kawaii Video Game Stuff

As an American, I am no stranger to the desire to own more crap than necessary to survive, especially when it comes to cool video game junk. Though our puny studio apartment is already packed to the brim with retro games, toys and enough Amiibos to start a tiny, adorable army with, I still have a rapacious void in my terrible human heart to buy, buy, BUY! Since I am indeed mortal, I feel it is my duty to get my hands on as much clutter as possible before death, so that I may expire upon a mountain of nerdy relics like some sad mockery of Smaug upon his Dwarven treasure. This is the dream, people. To live as Smaug lived and die as such.

Joking (or am I?) aside, I thought I’d share with you some items from my personal wishlist of video game associated items, in no particular order of demand.

1. Japan Only Light Blue Sega Game Gear

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Yes, I am a Sega fangirl. And also yes, I loved my Game Gear when I was a kid. While everyone else was playing away on their Nintendo handhelds, I was lugging around a suitcase full of my Game Gear and all of its experience enhancing accessories. While this Japan only version is rarer and a bit more expensive than I’d prefer to spend, it still sits on my list of wants and dreams.

2. Tails Adventure, Game Gear

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Speaking of Game Gear, owning a CIB copy of Tails Adventure is rather high on my radar for collecting. As a gamer, I have my regrets when it comes to games I lost or gave away in my foolish youth, and this is one of them for me. Tails Adventure is a sorely underappreciated little game and a personal favorite of mine. English or Japanese, I want this one!

3. WonderSwan (Basic, Color and Crystal versions)

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When it comes to wanting things most other gamers could care less about, I am the Queen of Junk. The WonderSwan is a Japan only handheld developed by Gunpei Yokoi’s studio Koto Laboratory in collaboration with Bandai, and the system saw three models and lasted only about 4 years before being discontinued. While not the most dazzling or advanced handheld of it’s time, the WonderSwan still sparks my interest and sits rather high on my wishlist.

4. Hello Kitty Sega Dreamcast (Pink version)

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God, I am literally one of those annoying girly gamers who wants to own everything pink and cute as shit. Look at this flipping Dreamcast! I hate it so much that I will purchase it on the spot when I find one of these suckers in Japan! GUH!!

5. Cardcaptor Sakura Gameboy Color

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I really feel like my life would be easier if this didn’t exist. Cardcaptor Sakura is one of my all time favorite anime and I truly hate that this Gameboy is not in my possession.

6. Chulip, PS2
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Weird games are really right up my alley, and this little oddity from Natsume is one of those titles I have been curious about for a few years now. The price has been slowly climbing recently so I should probably snatch this up while I can still afford it…

7. Magical Hat no Buttobi Turbo! Daibouken, Sega Mega Drive

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While we never got this in America, we did get a rehashed version called Decap Attack for the Genesis that doesn’t look nearly as cute as the original. I adore the aesthetics of this game and would really love to own it before it gets too expensive!

8. London Seirei Tantei-dan, PS

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I’m blaming Jimmy Hapa for this one as I was blissfully unaware of this charming little game before he decided to review it. While I would need an emulated version in English to enjoy this title to the fullest, I’d still like to have a hard copy around to plug in now and again. You can view Jimmy’s review for this game here: Import Gaming FTW

9. Avalon Code, Nintendo DS

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This is another one of those games that I already owned but somehow mysteriously lost along the way. I never hear anyone talking about this delightful RPG and it seems to have slipped under the radar as most games produced by Yoshifumi Hashimoto often do (such as a personal all time favorite series of mine called Rune Factory). I need to nab this one and give it another play through so I can share more detailed thoughts about it!

10. And many, many more…

The list of games goes on and on, where it ends remains to be seen. What games or consoles do you dream about owning?

Until next week!

~Dinky

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Art by John Howe

Happy New Year!

Here is wishing you all a happy and healthy 2017 full of nerdy goodness and many hours of video games that don’t suck!

Now that the insanity of the holidays has come to a close, I plan on making many more consistent updates featuring my artwork and thoughts on games I play throughout the year. You may see me experimenting with different mediums such as podcasts and comics as I try to find what sticks and that I generally enjoy creating. I will be updating my blog weekly, starting Sunday the 8th and continuing every Sunday after that!

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Moving on to some updates!

Our trip to Tokyo is quickly approaching, and we have planned to do some really awesome retro video game hunting! Even though filming within shops is prohibited in Japan, I will try to sneak some footage or at least upload photos of our haul afterwards. We will also be visiting several arcades, the Ghibli Museum, Tokyo Disneysea and the Pokemon Center. Anticipate many pictures and gushing about Tokyo during that week in February!

Two days ago, Mzo and I finished The Last Guardian and I promise you that I cried for about 20 minutes afterwards. I don’t want to spoil anything, but I admit to being pretty upset by the negative backlash the game has received over the controls. While I admit that they are a bit wonky, they in no way make the game ‘unplayable’ as so many have whined. The Last Guardian honestly reminded me of playing really good PS and PS2 games back in the day: The controls and camera are tricky and sometimes a bit broken, but the game itself is so fun and unique that you just adapt and forget about it. The game is truly beautiful and memorable, and I am positive that it will stand out as a gem 10 or 20 years from now, when games of this nature are often better appreciated.

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Trico is my precious angel and I will fight! everyone!! (ノಠ ∩ಠ)ノ彡( o°o)

Did someone say Pokemon? ….no? Well, since we aren’t talking about it I haven’t finished Moon yet, but I do really love it. I’m really close to the end, but I got the remastered version of Skyrim for Christmas and I was distracted by The Last Guardian so it took a back seat for a few weeks. I’m almost done, promise!

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<(.●﹏●.)>

With a new year of gaming upon us there are a lot of things to get excited about! What are you looking forward to the most in 2017? I’d love to hear your thoughts! Until Sunday!

-Dinky

P.S.

Oh, and Mzo proposed to me. No big deal. ٩(♡ε♡ )۶

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Pokémon Sun and Moon: I have Decidueyed on my Starter.

I have to confess that I have loved just about every Pokémon design for this region, but I think I speak for everyone when I say that I was waiting to see the final evolution for the three Starters before setting my heart on one.  It had been a close tie between Rowlet and Litten for a while, but after the reveal today my decision has been made.

Grass has always been my starter since I first began my adventures as a Pokémon Trainer with Bulbasaur at my side. I made my very first deviation from the Grass Starter in X&Y with Froakie (because Greninja is a freaking badass), so my allegiance to Grass has remained fairly unshakable. I felt that Fire might win out this time around, but a shocking development has snapped me back to my true heritage. Aside from Grass, Ghost types are my all time favorite kind of Pokémon and I even have a tattoo of Banette to prove it. ♡(ŐωŐ人)

Imagine my surprise and delight when Rowlet’s final form ended up being a Grass/Ghost Typing!

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ლ(́◉◞౪◟◉‵ლ)

YASSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS !

Decidueye is my champion, I feel it in my bones!! Also, props to the seal for winning puberty, am I right?

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٩(ര̀ᴗര́)

Not lame!

My boyfriend Mzo will be choosing Litten, who took a rather beefy turn and probably my least favorite final of the three (which isn’t saying much since I still like him a lot).

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∑(゚ロ゚〃)

Calm down, crazy cat!!

Excitement continue to build for the new games! Can’t wait to catch ’em all!

~Dinky

PS

Here is that tattoo I was talking about…. (*•̀ᴗ•́*)و ̑̑tat

Nintendo Switches Things Up

Many people predicted it, but few truly expected it to shine the way it did. Within 3 short minutes, Nintendo revealed the much anticipated NX, now known as the Nintendo Switch, and got all of us excited for the future of gaming all over again. Playstation VR be damned!

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With the release slated for just a few months away in March, you can bet your sweet asses that I’m holding back on virtual reality for a while longer. I had spoken to friends about not wanting to jump on the Playstation VR bandwagon for a while longer to see how it evolves (and the likely hood that there will be a better model released later next year is high) and I am very glad I chose to do so. With the new Zelda title on the same horizon as the Switch, there will be a day marked on my calendar dedicated to snatching Nintendo’s new console up for myself, no questions asked. It’s not often I rush out to buy a new system, the last time being for the Wii and Twilight Princess.

My biggest wish for this system so far is for their list of third party developers to stick true. I am not ashamed to admit that I squealed like a piggy when Skyrim was shown on the Switch screen, and I think Nintendo really needs more outside development to make this system rise high above their previous consoles.

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Also, can we all just take a moment to appreciate these adorable baby game cards:

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(๑♡⌓♡๑) !!!!

They are so tiny and perfect and cute and I just can’t!!!!! Even!!!! Handle it!!!!!

 

 

Anyway, the Nintendo Switch looks great and I can’t wait to hear more about it! Perhaps we will get more information during the holiday Nintendo Direct? Or hopefully a Direct dedicated just to the new system!

~Dinky