Starlight Stage A Pop Idol Card Game By Japanime Games

I recently received Starlight Stage A Pop Idol Card Game from RightStuf. RightStuf is one of the oldest and largest distributors of Otaku merchandise in the US. Check out their website at www.RightStuf.com for everything from anime, manga, action figures, Japanese candy, games, and more.

I decided to purchase Starlight Stage because I’m a fan of mobile idol games and idol anime such as Love Live, Utapri, Bang Dream, Ensemble Stars, and yes, Idol M@ster.

I do not know for sure if this board game is based on Idol M@ster but I suspect it is, since one of the early and most popular Idol M@ster mobile games is titled Idol M@ster Starlight Stage. For whatever reason though, if it is in fact at all related, they stripped it of the Idol M@ster title and just dubbed it Starlight Stage. Either way, related or not, if you love the mobile games or anime idol games, you’ll love Starlight Stage Card Game by Japanime Games. read more

Princess Maker 5 Review

Princess Maker 5
Princess Maker 5

Title: Princess Maker 5

Platform: PC

Release Date: May 2018

Developer: Gainax

Publisher: CFK

Genre: Raising Sim/ Life Sim / Dating Sim

Geeky: 3/5

Sweetie: 5/5

Overall: 61/80 76% C “Good Game for Girls”

Gameplay: 8/10 This is the last Princess Maker game in the series, aside from some online and mobile spin offs that were released later. As such, you can expect that the gameplay is much more advanced than previous Princess Maker games. Princess Maker 5 brings back the adventure system, previously seen in Princess Maker 2, allowing you to fight in simplistic rpg battles and search for treasure. It does not unlock until later in the game.

It is also the first time that you can select a female character to be the parent – Although if you play as a female, you cannot get the ending where the princess marries you (the parent).

Perhaps more importantly, there are many new activities that your daughter can participate in, compared to previous Princess Maker games. I felt that the gameplay more closely resembled Tokimeki Memorial Girl’s Side (which I reviewed here.)

You select a week’s worth of activities for your daughter. She will attend public school and have club activities but she will also have free time for you to schedule part time jobs or extra lessons to enhance her stats. On the weekends you will take your daughter out to try to reduce her stress or experience special seasonal events.

Like Tokimeki Memorial, you can see which events are happening by reading a paper that lists new events. You can have cube set a reminder on the day of the events so you don’t forget important dates. But the game will not automatically prompt/navigate you to the event so you still have to pay attention and remember when and where to go for the event.

Gameplay feels slow. Especially the first year. It feels repetitive and slow building your stats, and very few random encounters or events. But as I entered my 2nd year, that began to change. Suddenly, classmates/love interests began to invite my daughter out on dates, or suddenly teachers and employers invited my daughter to special events. Now it felt more interesting and exciting.

But still, ultimately, this game is long, and slow, and while this type of gameplay is best enjoyed in small bursts, because of the repetition and monotonous gameplay, it also is a game that doesn’t get interesting until several hours in. I spent over 6 hours in the first year… If like most princess maker games this one goes until the daughter’s 18th birthday, then this game has over 70 hours of gameplay, per playthrough, times 50 endings…. staggering… definitely a highlight of the game — but the gameplay is so monotonous that many people may never reach all 50 endings.

How could I give an 8/10 to a monotonous boring “dull” game? Well because of the added features the game presents, this game is the most realistic child rearing sim, and gives unprecedented freedom and control to the player. Your daughter grows in new ways never present in the previous princess maker games, and she grows more independent with her own hobbies and interests and desires and things become more complicated, it brings back the adventure system, and the new dating/events system seemingly borrowed from Tokimeki Memorial. All of these are an improvement over most of the gameplay features in previous princess maker games.

The game gives you unprecedented freedom to raise any kind of daughter you want, even if you want her to be a cosplaying anime fan who loves going to idol concerts. Seriously, she can become interested in just about anything you can imagine. lol.

Story: 5/10 I think part of the reason the game is so slow is that it has almost no story. You just literally keep clicking and waiting/hoping something changes/happens. Which doesn’t happen for several hours until you’ve been pumping up your stats. The opening movie is not translated or subtitled for the english release on steam. It seems that maybe it may have had at least an interesting introduction. I think from what I can tell, the daughter is a demon maybe. It says it began from bloody events that happened long ago. Seems to hint at a curse, and then from there I haven’t a clue as to what is going on, but you see cube fly away with the girl. The girl also has a special hair clip that lets her communicate with you and allows you to watch the girl while she’s away. Every once in awhile the girl talks about seeing spirits or fairies and other supernatural things. But I’m now about 10 hours into the game and there’s really no overall story, or direction, or plot, it’s basically an open ended sandbox game. Plot isn’t necessary in games like this, but since I play games for their stories, I think that’s why I feel bored while playing this game since it lacks an overarching plot of any kind.

Characters: 10/10 I really do like the characters. They are not strong from a story standpoint, but they feel very real, and their interactions and dialogues with each other are very cute. The independence of your daughter and new complex ways in which she can develop and grow make this the best daughter of all.

Graphics: 7/10 The artwork put me off at first, for years even before this official US release, I would see pictures of this game, compare it to 4 which was my favorite Princess Maker game, and just think YUCK!… But oddly… in the 10 hours I played the game, I now find it cute and charming. I’d played 4 years ago on my nintendo DS, even though I couldn’t read any of it. I loved that art style, and at first found this new art style for 5 to be a huge turn off. But after playing the game, I’ve changed my tune. I suggest if you like me, hate the way Princess Maker 5 looks, just give it a go, it’s a great game, and the artwork is strangely cute once you get used to it!

There’s this little fat boy, which normally would be like a blech, but I dunno there’s something sooo cute about him. He reminds me of the fat lil asian boy from Disney’s “Up” and there’s another little boy that looks like he could be straight outta card captor or some other sugary sweet shojo anime.

The daughter was what I found most unattractive, but watching her study, work, and play, I’ve realized she is the most “real” and endearing of any of the daughters in previous games. I love my little princess.

Music: 3/10 – I really dislike the opening song – it’s awful. blech. But the rest of the music is “OK” I guess. just kinda average to me really.

Voice Acting: 10/10 – the voice acting is very cute 🙂 I’m glad they kept the original Japanese voices in the game.

Replay Value: 10/10 – over 50 different endings and the variety of things to do within this game give it excellent replay value.

E-Win Racing Gaming Chair Review

var noskimwords = 'true';

Special Thanks to E-Win Racing who sent me this awesome gaming chair to review for my blog. Although I received the product for free, opinions expressed in this article are my own.

Pros:

  • Very sturdy! Supports my weight at 5 ft 4, 216 lbs. Has a steel frame, and memory foam.
  • The memory foam is extremely firm, and even at 200+ lbs, there is no “sinking” feeling – it offers great support!
  • Adjustable base to fit your height
  • Seat back reclines to almost any position
  • Cute design with bright color accents. Many different colors to choose from. And I love how the chair’s wheels look like little race car tires with rims/spokes. So cute!
  • Ergonomic and comfortable! Perfect for gaming, graphic design, web development, programming, or office use. Any task where you will be at the computer for several hours straight.
  • Affordable! E-Win Racing’s chairs start at $379. Many competitor’s Gaming Chairs go for 3 times this much! E-Win Racing also has sales and special promotions and has graciously provided a special discount for our readers for 10% off any order with code “sweetie”
  • The team at E-Win Racing is knowledgeable and friendly and very responsive to any questions or concerns you might have.
  • read more

    At Home or On the Go: Which Gaming Style is Most Popular?

    =&0=&

    According to mygaming.com, an online video gaming magazine, more than 1.8 billion people play video games across the world. Considering that the current global population is around 7 billion, that comes to approximately one in every four people who play at least one video game every month. read more

    Pre-Registration Begins for English Version of Captain Tsubasa Dream Team Anime Soccer Game

    The folks over at KLab Inc. sent me their press release announcement for the English version of Captain Tsubasa: Dream Team. Captain Tsubasa is a very old and popular anime about soccer. I have not watched it yet, though I’ve heard a lot about it.

    I get a lot of Press Releases in my inbox each day, and I don’t always share them here, but this caught my eye with a ton of great giveaways and special events. The fun started yesterday and you only have a short time to take advantage of some of these awesome freebies for new players.

    The timing of this Press Release was also timely and the content relevant to my current life. I’m sure you’ve noticed I’ve not been updating here as frequently the past few months.  I began seeing someone over the end of the summer, and we’ve spent every weekend together ever since we met, and about a month ago now we made it “official”.

    Weekends used to be when I’d work on my blog and schedule posts to go out through the week. But now with a more active social life my blog has been on the back burner. Hopefully I’ll get enough stuff scheduled up over thanksgiving and xmas breaks to kick off the new year with lots of great new game reviews and blog updates.

    The new boyfriend happens to live and breathe soccer. He plays and watches it or coaches and teaches it almost every day (and when it’s not super cold outside I go and watch him play). He’s also from Peru and Peru just made it to the World Cup last week, for the first time in my boyfriend’s lifetime, so he’s very excited about that.

    We are as different as night and day. He’s the typical jock, and I’m the typical geek, both in appearance and interests. But he’s not really the “typical” jock because he’s very attentive and sensitive and warm and kind hearted. He told me he wants to better understand me / my hobbies / interests because It’s what I’m into and important to me. (He even told me he’d come to my next doll meetup with me LOL. How many “jocks” would subject themselves to that?)

    He’s geeky too in his own way, but much more of a closet geek. He dressed up as Captain America for Halloween, and we just saw Justice League together last weekend. But he’s been saying for awhile he wants to watch an anime with me (he’s never watched any before). I’ve been debating what anime to show to him, and then this Press Release came in and brought Captain Tsubasa back to the top of my mind. It’s older and has “bad” art compared to many newer anime, but I think it might be the perfect anime for my soccer loving boyfriend.  And I think I would enjoy the slice of life elements of the series as well. Maybe I’ll even get him to download the new game and play it with me when it comes out next month.

    Anyways be sure to check out the Press Release below from KLab Inc, and pre-register to play Captain Tsubasa Dream Team to take advantage of all of the special events going on right now!

    Pre-Kickoff Campaign for Global Version of “Captain Tsubasa: Dream Team” Starts Today!

    Global Version Planned for Release in December 2017

    KLab Inc.

    (TSE1: 3656) read more

    The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords -Legendary Edition- Preorder Now Available

    I just came across a press release in my inbox sent to me by someone at Viz Media with details about the upcoming Legend of Zelda: Four Swords - Legendary Edition which compiles all 10 volumes of Akira Himekawa’s manga based on the Legend of Zelda video games. Each Legendary Edition Contains 2 volumes of the manga. This is the 5th, and final Legendary Edition.

    Amazon currently has the Legend of Zelda: Four Swords - Legendary Edition available for Preorder at the link below. It will begin arriving on door steps on July 11th. https://www.amazon.com/Legend-Zelda-Legendary-Vol-Swords/dp/142158963X

    Magikarp Jump – Free Mobile Virtual Pet Pokemon Game Review for IOS and Android

    Overview: 10/10 Magikarp Jump is a cute, free, seemingly innocent Pokemon Game for Mobile IOS and Android devices. The gameplay is very simplistic and reminiscent of Monster Rancher in that you take home a pet to train and raise and enter league battles. Pretty basic stuff, right? But actually it is perhaps one of the darkest Pokemon Games of all time, because for the first time ever, your Pokemon can die! There is no going back into their Pokeballs, and no amount of healing from Nurse Joy can bring a KoiKing back after he has become lunch for a wild flying Pokemon.

    Video Games by the Numbers

    Video games by the numbers

     

    Like many of my readers, I have been playing games for over 3 decades now. Some of my fondest childhood memories are of hours spent playing games like Super Mario Kart and Donkey Kong Country on my SNES with my friends, or time spent immersing in the stories of RPG classics back in the 16 and 32 bit era such as Lunar on the Sega CD or Zelda on the SNES and N64.

    Video games have a long history and continue to entertain new generations of kids who are growing up gaming, just like they did back in the 80s and 90s.

    To celebrate video games, the team at The Monitor Monitor has put together this infographic of consoles, the number of games produced for each console, and sales numbers for the top selling games on each console.

    Please note that the graphic is sorted by manufacturer, then number of games produced, not chronological order.

    Enjoy!

    (Infographic published with consent from The Monitor Monitor)

    Report: Nintendo Switch will sell 5 million units in 2017
    Nintendo Defends DLC Expansion Pass For ‘The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild’
    Mario Kart 8 Deluxe On Nintendo Switch Gets New Trailer; Up To 8 Players Local Play
    Wii U eShop Chart – March 3rd
    Mario Kart 8 Deluxe May Be Getting A Price Cut For The Nintendo Switch

    Nintendo Puts Banana Peels In Path of Real Life Mario Kart Business Making Money Off Their Ideas, Hilarity Ensues read more

    Nintendo Switch Live Stream Events and Preorders Begin

    Nintendo has announced plans to begin taking a limited number of preorders for the new Nintendo Switch hybrid handheld/console gaming system beginning tomorrow morning 1/13/2017 at 9am EST exclusively at the Nintendo store in New York City.

    They are kicking off the event with two Live Stream events. The first of which is scheduled for 11pm EST tonight 1/12/2017 and will discuss the system specs, price, launch titles and availability.

    The 2nd Live Treehouse Event will begin tomorrow at 930am EST and will focus on the gameplay from various launch games which will also appear on tonight’s Live Stream event. They will also offer a special live viewing event for the first 250 customers at the Nintendo Store in NYC tonight at 8pm EST.

    You can watch tonight’s 11PM livestream for free on Nintendo’s site at http://www.nintendo.com/switch/

    Tomorrrow morning’s 9:30AM event can be viewed online at http://www.nintendo.com/switch/nintendo-treehouse/

    No other retailers have announced when Preorders will begin, but I would expect them to begin opening preorders shortly after tonight’s live events when pricing details will be made official.

    Nintendo previously showed gameplay footage and introduced the new console in a teaser video from 2016.

    New Amazon Exclusive Lime Green Nintendo 3DS XL with Super Mario World Preinstalled for $199.00

    New Lime Green Amazon Exclusive New 3DS XL with Super Mario World for $199

    Amazon has a new exclusive color for the new Nintendo 3DS XL – a lime green shell with black interior. It comes pre-installed with Super Mario World. — It however does not come with an AC Adapter — When I read that I was kinda all wtf? Is this the case for all “new” Nintendo 3DS XL models? If so, what is Nintendo thinking? This seems like a must have item – cuz once it’s dead, it needs charged. It will work with any NDSi, 3DS, or 2DS adapter but then so what? So they only want to target “existing” customers with this device? — Or they REALLY care about making a few meager bucks by forcing customers to by the dumb adapters instead of including one for free??? Even if they had to “pad the price” of the 3DS XL a little – like make it $225 instead of $199 to cover the cost of the adapter, that seems more intelligent than not including one at all. How many people (especially parents buying gifts for their kids) are not going to read the fine print and not even see it doesn’t include an adapter until it’s too late? – This is just a bonehead move by Nintendo – or Amazon – whoever’s idea this was it’s dumb…

    New Lime Green Amazon Exclusive New 3DS XL with Super Mario World for $199

    You can see the new Lime Green Nintendo 3DS XL here: http://amzn.to/2fWTLOV

    But none the less, the new system is very pretty! It’s what I would call, “Yoshi Green” lol. And Super Mario World (assuming it’s anything like the one on super nintendo) is probably the best Mario game — I also love the 64 version, and Super Mario Bros 3 though a lot too. But Super Mario World has a lot of secrets to explore like Rainbow Road, the Ghost Houses, different exits and hidden warp zones and lots of fun things. It’s a very long and large Mario game, and a classic in the franchise. And it’s just plain fun too!

    Here are some pics of the new unit:

    Target Xbone Black Friday 2016 – Save $50 on any Xbone S Bundle + Get a Free $40 Target Giftcard

    Target’s blackfriday ad has been leaked online and appears to offer up a $40 giftcard + $50 off any Xbone S bundle for black friday.

    This means effectively that (as long as you can get use out of the giftcard for other purchases at Target) your out of pocket cost is just $209 for the system + game – In the ad it mentions specifically Minecraft or Battlefield 1 but the ad does say the offer is good on ANY Xbone S bundle.

    This may quite possibly be the best price we see on an Xbox One this holiday season!

    Which PS4 Should You Buy in 2016? PS4 Slim or PS4 Pro?

    This week Sony announced their two new PS4 Models.

    The first model the PS4 Slim launches next week on September 15th, 2016. This is the model I plan to purchase myself. It will debut with a price tag of $299 and be almost identical in specs to the current PS4’s already on the market. This model will be taking the place of these “old” PS4s from here on out. It features a more slender design with all matte finish. The new design is 16% lighter weight and 30% more slender in appearance than the previous PS4. It has rubber grips on the bottom to make it more stable, and it boasts energy savings of 34% compared to the original PS4 design. Like it’s predecessor, the PS4 Slim also has a 500GB hard drive. Although a 1TB HD version of the PS4 Slim exists in Japan, they have no plans to release this version in North America.

    So in essence, nothing significantly changes with this model. We see a very small price drop from $349 for the “current” PS4 to $299 for the new Slim. I’ve recently saved up enough to finally purchase a PS4, and was going to purchase one regardless of if these new consoles came out or not, so hey, I’ll take a $50 pricedrop, that can buy me a game for the system :).

    The other, more expensive and exciting model is the PS4 Pro. It will debut on November 10th, 2016 and cost $399. The PS4 Pro is designed for “hardcore gamers” (read: FPS (first person shooters, etc). The PS4 Pro is equipped with  an 8 core processor, and 4.2 teraflops graphical processor. This will allow the system to deliver better frame rates in high definition graphically demanding games (such as first person shooters). It’s also able to take advantage of 4k TV sets. I personally have no desire to upgrade to a 4k TV set any time soon – they are nearly 5 to 6 times more expensive than regular HDTVs! These higher CPU and GPU components also better equip the system to take advantage of the virtual reality headset and games designed for PSVR. I have a mild interest in this peripheral but not enough to justify the extra cost of the PS4 Pro. The PS4 Pro also has an additional USB port and an Optical port for connecting things such as PSVR or Streaming devices, etc.

    ALL PS4 consoles including ones released even prior to the announcement of these 2 new models will be receiving a significant update to allow them to take advantage of new HDR technologies that allow HDR capable TV sets to display colors in more true to life fashion. So no matter which PS4 you get, your games are going to look a lot better after this firmware update.

    Keep in mind that ALL PS4 units will play the same games, and have access to the same content. Sony has confirmed that they will not develop exclusive games NOR exclusive game-content that is system specific. — Also all of the systems will work with PSVR – it’s just that the performance of PSVR will be improved significantly on the PS4 Pro – just like the HTC Vive and Occulus Rift require a very high end computer for the best gaming performance.

    So which PS4 will you get? My take on it is this: If you enjoy games where frame rate really matters and impacts your performance such as online and multiplayer games or first-person shooters, OR if you have a 4K TV set, OR you’re REALLY into virtual reality save your money and go for the PS4 Pro. If you are a “hardcore gamer” who cares about overall game performance, the PS4 Pro is your go-to system.  Except wait… the Xbox Scorpio is going to blow the PS4 out of the water, and if you’re a “hardcore gamer” the types of games that you like and purchase are very likely available on Xbone. So maybe you should wait and get the Xbox Scorpio. — And I’m not an Xbox fangirl. In fact, I don’t like it. I owned the original and 360, and I see nothing exciting (game release wise) to make me want an Xbone or Scorpio. So this is just my honest opinion that if you are a core gamer, you might as well wait and get Scorpio. You’ll be better off.

    However, if none of that really matters to you, like me, and you just want to play all the Sony exclusive games, and you tend to favor RPGs and other more “casual games” then the PS4 Slim is your go to console. You save $100, and you can go out in 6 more days and buy it off the shelf – which I plan to do. — If you already have a PS4 – don’t buy the Slim, it’s not meant for you. It’s meant to be a low price model for people who do not yet have a PS4, such as myself.

    Humble Narrative Bundle Features Great Games For Girls with Emphasis on Story and Branching Plots

    This week’s humble bundle is a great one. I already had many of the games but I picked it up because Shadowrun Hong Kong looked interesting to me – and 80 Days was a game I was really excited about when it first came out for mobile devices, and I’m looking forward to playing it on the PC. I already gave away a copy of Broken Age on my blog here a few months back and gave it a full review, and I gifted the copy in this humble bundle to one of my online friends. I have a lot more duplicate keys, both from this bundle and others, so I may try hosting another give away in a few weeks. Read Only Memories is an excellent indie visual novel game which I already have, so I will probably try to rehome that game first. Maybe this weekend 🙂 *hint: check back to this blog throughout June for steam key giveaways!*

    If you’ve never used Humble Bundle here’s how it works:
    How it works:

    Humble Bundle is a site where you can save a lot on video games AND support a charity.

    Each week a new bundle comes out with handpicked games curated by the humble bundle staff.

    The games are available in Tiers.

    For any amount even just $1 you get the first “Tier” of games which in this week’s bundle includes: Her Story, Read Only Memories, and Ciebel. Pay more than the “average” which at time of writing this it was $4.15 and you get all of Tier 1 plus Tier 2 which includes 80 days, Broken Age, and Sorcery Parts 1 and 2. Pay $10 to get Tiers 1 and 2 and a bonus game, which this week is Shadowrun Hong Kong Extended Edition

    You can read my review of Broken Age here (sorry giveaway is over already)

    I also covered “Her Story” But it’s a HUGE SPOILER so do not click here unless you’ve played the game. 

    You can pick up the Humble Narrative Bundle here