Monday, December 10, 2012

Old School JRPGs For Your Iphone or Ipad

I finally got around to doing a post about old school JRPGs for iPhone / iPad.  There is a pretty good selection of RPGs in the App Store and it sure competes well with Nintendo DS or PSP.  I will admit right off the start that I'm not particularly big on RPGs so far on IOS as I own very few of them, but I don't really want to pony up the cash ($9.99 to $19.99) for them when I have them on the Nintendo DS or Sony PSP too.  I'm also not a fan of any game with a virtual joystick or D-pad, but it is not quite as bad for turn based games or these old style JRPGs.  I've tried first person shooters with a virtual stick and basically gave up, but I like cover shooters such as Frontline Commando or Epoch which use a simpler control scheme.  However, any redeveloped original console game for a touchscreen needs to eliminate pads if possible.

Shining Force
This is a real old school (and I mean old school) JRPG influenced by Dragon Quest that was well received.  Cheap at 99 cents.  The IOS interface works well with the original game interface.

Fantasy Chronicle
Another JRPG in the classic sense.  An orphan must avenge his village's destruction with the aid of companions both human and beast.  Has received fairly good reviews and shows up in conversations along with Symphony of Eternity listed below.

Symphony of Eternity
Classic JRPG style play in a more modern game.  A young man and a golem seeking a legendary weapon and rescue a princess on their epic quest.  Fairly highly rated in the App Store.  Got it myself on an Android app sale to check it out.

Dawn of Magic
By Lakoo.
Classic turn based RPG in a modern game that has received many good reviews.  Has in-app purchase. Good gameplay and graphics with an enjoyable storyline.  Magic gems power the world.  A small amount of magic remains and there are struggle to hold the world together.

Final Fantasy I
Square Enix
This is a good little JRPG from the classic school again.  It was initially released in Japan in 1987 to good success.
You are the Warriors of Light on a quest to restore the crystals to their former luster. The battles were finally shown from a side view and character classes were added.  A large world could be explored and it set the stage for the later Final Fantasy games.
This edition also contains the bonus dungeons added to later editions of the game--the Soul of Chaos and the Labyrinth of Time
Final Fantasy II
The highly anticipated follow-up to the original FINAL FANTASY, released in Japan in 1988.
Basically, FFII is a more complex game and finicky game than FFI.  I've heard it said that if you can't get into FFI then you might just move onto FFIII which is the big hit out of the three titles.  This edition also contains the bonus dungeons added to later editions of the game--the Soul of Rebirth and the Arcane Labyrinth.

Final Fantasy III
First released in 1990, Final Fantasy III was the first title in the Final Fantasy series to become a million-seller.  This is probably one of the more accessible and established Final Fantasy games on multiple platforms.  Lots of innovation happened in this title.  When darkness falls and the land is robbed of light, four youths are chosen by the crystals to set forth on a journey to save the world.  The full 3D remake released in 2006 duplicated the original's success, selling over a million copies worldwide.

Square Enix
Classic and inventive gameplay.  A classic to play again.  Some warnings about the last update for IOS 6 and usage on Iphone 5. Seems like there are problems with it based on the customer reviews.  I have this on Nintendo DS and it plays great there.

By Gamevil
Another modern RPG remake in a classic JRPG 16-bit style but with real time combat.  Lots of people like it and I have it on the list as the later games in the series have in-app purchase which is a plus or minus depending on your preferences.  Nice graphics and good adventure in this game.

Other Iphone / Ipad App Pages

Saturday, December 8, 2012

More Cool Anime or Manga Apps For Iphone or Ipad 
Last updated December 8, 2012 and into 2013.

Hey!  Hope things are going well.  My other anime and manga app page here was getting pretty big so I'm starting a second page with some new goodies on it.

My other app list pages:
EVAスライドパズル 使徒殲滅作戦
By MediaMagic Co.,Ltd.

This is an Evangelion vs angel match X of a tile type game where your eva battles one angel at a time.  You can only shift tiles left and right on a row and it is quite challenging.  I'd say it is almost too challenging as I haven't been able to unlock Asuka yet  (I finally did it last night.  You can do it on easy if you try to maximize your score against each angel with 3 cascading combos to score bonus points).  The production quality, graphics and sound are quite nice and it wasn't a cheap purchase, but I have enjoyed playing it.

By ColoPL, Inc. (added January 10, 2013)
A knock the prizes down with a pop cork gun game simulator.  Simulates the fairground game you see at Japanese festivals.  Controls work pretty good, and you can have lots of fun if you have some patience and don't spend a pile of money buying corks and such.  You get enough free corks to have fun each day.  I've found the special prizes that appear in the background pretty hard to hit, but the rest is fun.!/id488553344

QBeat -キュウべぇビート-
This is a whack a mole type game where you try and tap the Kyubeys from Madoka Magica.  Very simple with nice theme music.

Kill QB
By Ringo Games
A Fruit Ninja style game based on Madoka Magica where you slice the Kyubeys and witches, but not the soul gems or magical girls.  Again, a simple game, but nicely executed.

My Girls Camera Free - Reunion
By a1c
This is a pretty good little app where you can take a photo and pick a selection of anime girls in different costumes to superimpose into the picture.  Based of a visual novel, but an awesome little app for free at the time of writing.

Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann -iYoko mini-
By MediaMagic Co.,Ltd.
I've written about several different apps like this where you get to tap an anime girl to get her to do or say stuff (see the original post).  This app is cheap, but there is a more expensive version with multiple costumes for Yoko from Gurren Lagaan.

AddressBook HatsuneMiku edition
By MediaMagic Co.,Ltd.
I would probably prefer the Hatsune Miku address book organizer over the Super Sonico version, but again I don't have it on my iPad.  Graphics look nice.

AddressBook SuperSonico edition
By MediaMagic Co.,Ltd.
I'm not using this app myself, but it is free if you need your address book organized by Super Sonico.

Dungeon Village
By Kairosoft Co.,Ltd
A dungeon sim / village builder from Kairosoft.  These guys make good, fun games and it is reasonably priced.

Blind Man's Dungeon
This is more of an arcade style game where your knight must be guided by fairies to the various treasures.  The knight can only turn right when it bumps into an obstacle.  Different!

Nyan Cat: Lost In Space
By Istom Games Kft.
There are many Nyan Cat games, but this one seems to have good tunes and lots of play value.

Shizuku Talk
By OperaHouse Corporation
A cute, well animated anime girl talks to you about news and stories of interest when you tap on her.  The show is updated several times every day.

Kami of Typing - Keyboard speed game!
By Toshihiko Arai
Check your typing speed with a shrine maiden in English and Japanese.

By Seasun Entertainment
A side scrolling jumper where you take a ninja cat on adventures with various power-ups including one that turns you into a Totoro-like beasty.

Moe! Omikuji
Japanese fortune telling sim.  Shake the container to drop a stick then look up your fortune.!-omikuji/id529539938

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Air Kentucky at Japan Airlines (JAL)

Japan Airlines has a new food promo going this 2012 Christmas Season.  It is Air Kentucky!  You heard it right.  They've done Air MOS Burgers, Air Beef Bowl, and now they are doing Kentucky Fried Chicken at 30,000 feet.  These promotional tie-ins are fun.  While it isn't three star Michelin food it is nice that they do these tie-ins with such a nice presentation.

Airline food is a kind of hit and miss thing where they ask you for beef or chicken (in economy class at any rate) and in this case I'll take chicken please.  This is a nice tie-in for the Japanese Christmas celebrations as Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) plays a big role in the localization of Christmas in Japan.

According the the JAL press release:

"TOKYO, November 28, 2012: Japan Airlines (JAL) and Kentucky Fried Chicken Japan (KFC) have collaborated on the 7th installment of the popular AIR SERIES in-flight meal onboard select international JAL flights, and will be serving onboard, [AIR KENTUCKY FRIED CHICKEN] from December 1, 2012 to February 28, 2013.

During this period, customers traveling in Premium Economy and Economy Class on JAL from Narita to New York, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Diego*, London, Paris and Frankfurt, will be served KFC’s Original Recipe two-piece chicken meal during the second meal service. It includes one drumstick, one boneless chicken breast fillet, a piece of complementing flat bread made especially for AIR KENTUCKY, a cup of coleslaw and lettuce leaves. Customers can savor the same, unique taste of KFC’s trade secret recipe of “11 herbs and spices” as it is, or as a sandwich by sandwiching the fresh lettuce leaves and fragrant fillet in the bread, and topping it off with special mayonnaise.

*Available on the San Diego route from the inaugural flight on December 2, 2012.

JAL and KFC have created an exquisite packaging just for this tie-up. The design features JAL and the famous founder and mascot of KFC, Colonel Sanders on a special box and tray mat, unavailable anywhere else but onboard these JAL flights."

Amazing coverage of the actual in-flight meal can be seen here at Kotaku.

Now, back to the role of KFC in many modern Japanese Christmas celebrations. At Christmas, the fried chicken is a substitute for turkey, and it is quite popular.  Queues form outside KFC outlets before Christmas or people reserve their buckets in advance to make sure they get their Christmas chicken.

This tradition started in the mid-1970s as an Aoyama branch manager listened to a foreigner who couldn't get turkey for a party and opted for a bucket of other bird instead.  This Christmas chicken idea was then sent up the old management hierarchy.  According to Danny Choo, "In 1974, KFC then started promoting the catchphrase "Christmas = Kentucky" and poured a load of yen into the marketing effort. The catchphrase soon caught on and together with the commercials on TV, the Japanese then started to consume a load of Chicken during the festive season."

All Japan Wants For Christmas is Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Evangelion's Rei and Asuka Figures Homage

I have a few Rei and Asuka figures in my collection as I am a big Evangelion fan (even though there's quite a bit of angst in the show as everyone seems to be emotionally damaged).  I've found that the story still resonates with me after a decade of fandom so it has to be pretty good.  The reboot movies 1.11, 2.22 are quite good and it'll be good to see the 3.33 movie whenever it leaves Japan finally.
Having the figures is a fun way to bring the show to life and it is pretty interesting to see a 2D figure represented as a 3D sculpture.  Anime and anime figures seem to have gained momentum over the years, but the figures have risen in price too.  

Now for a brief show of the figures.  I've found that the cosplay figure variants are pretty fun too!

This Asuka and Rei in their plugsuits are 1:6 scale version from Alter and were some of my earliest purchases.  Wounded Rei seems to always be popular and eyepatch Asuka will probably be popular in the future.  These are probably eight years old now and much more dramatic poses and such are now common.

This was a series of three UFO catcher machine prizes, with the Mari being released much later.  I believe the figure series was titled "Seat of the Soul."  These are about 1:10 scale with a basic pilot couch included for each figure.  I kind of like these figures as they have a nice level of detail about them, but Rei is the only figure that looks the other way so it is difficult to pose the three in a display.

You have to love the UCC canned coffee promotional tie-ins with Evangelion.  I though this particular series with the bases that attach to the tops of the collectable coffee cans particularly well done.  You kind of get a nice display base and a figure topper!

Here is a series of cosplay variants of Rei and Asuka.  They are ninjas on the left, and special forces troopers on the right.  These are fun little 1:10 scale figures with a medium level of detail that are a nice little addition.

Here are a couple of nurse type variants of Asuka and Rei.  They can take my temperature any time.  I really liked the hypodermic needle base that sticks up out of a pack of prescription medication.  A nice touch at 1:8 scale for the set.

Here are a couple of artsy / gothic variants of Rei and Askuka with angels to boot.  They are Grimrock figures from a Wonderfest in the early 2000s.  Still a couple of my favourites.  They are about 1:10 scale in size.

These two figures are a couple of my favourites with the two cosplaying as witches.  Evangelion meets Kiki's Delivery Service! Again, these are UFO catcher prizes that have a medium level of detail but I love the way they were sculpted.  They action poses and many nice touches(such as the cat and the hat flying off) are pretty good.  About 1:10 scale.

Finally, a couple of Evangelion units and some gashapon figures by Sadomoto.  These figures are tiny but they are nicely detailed.  I like the fact that the bases were interlocking.  I couldn't get the Rei, but a special request when I ordered some figures from Animenation got it for me (they picked one out for me all those many years ago - I really appreciated it!).