Ok, so I've managed to screw something up while messing with some of the blog settings and this old entry from New Years Eve 2008 got moved up the list somehow. But hey, at least now I can write something here, since I never bothered to do it back then, and all this entry contained were the pictures.
I probably never wrote anything, because the two WonderSwan games I purchased weren't particularly exciting. I've never been a fan of slow-paced, turn based strategies and that's exactly what 信長の野望 for ワンダースワン is. Add the fact that this installment was developed for WonderSwan mono and the production cost was obviously kept low, and you have a game that will most likely gather dust for all the eternity.
Unless I change my mind when I'm in my 70's and I'll find Nobunaga's Ambition and Japan's unification through turn based war and conquest really exciting. We'll just have to wait and see and I promise to get back to you sometime after my 70th birthday to let you know.
If Nobunaga no Yabou wasn't exciting enough, I bought the special edition of 競馬予想支援ソフト 予想進化論, which is a horse race sim, or rather a betting sim. It comes with a 130 page book with the '99 race statistics and profiles of both horses and the jockeys. How exciting.
Being a collector of all things WonderSwan, I buy even the crappiest of games if the price is right. Truth be told, most of WonderSwan games are fun, but Japan for some reason likes these weird sims, gambling games and other weird titles that I just can't find exciting, and being able to read japanese doesn't help at all. A crappy game is a crappy game, and that's that.
Media Entertainment, the company behind Keiba Yosou Shien Shinkaron, is known for their "casual games" and even the booklet that I mentioned earlier contains ads for their cherry slot games for the PlayStation. They even brag about the games taking advantage of PocketStation. Oh well, two more for the collection. And of course Happy New Year 2008, Cryptic Allusion.
If anyone says Digimon stuff is for kids, well, they're probably right for the most part. But that does not mean you can't enjoy a decent game based in the Digimon world. I bought this one recently, took it for a quick spin and what do you know, it's not half bad.
"Digimon Adventure 02: D1 Tamers" generally follows the story of the second season of the animated series. All starts with Ryo being transported to the Digital World to participate in D1 Tournament. The main objective is to defeat Moon=Millenniummon and that's pretty much it, to make a long story short.
The game plays like you'd expect it to play. It follows the standard Digimon adventure game scheme established by the previous title, so don't expect any "wow" moments. D1 Tamers is your standard variety Digimon / Pokemon / Tamagotchi adventure mix.
What's new, and quite neat in fact, is that the developers have somehow managed to equip this title with some awsome connectivity features. D1 is one of very few titles to support such wide variety of connectivity and data exchange options.
The title supports a standard link cable, a WonderWave wireless link connection, an internet connection through WonderGate [a dongle allowing you to connect your WonderSwan to the internet via a mobile phone in NTT DoCoMo network] and allows you to link WonderSwan with a couple of Digimon handheld devices, such as D-Terminal or Digimon Analyzer. The game supposedly features some kind of connectivity with Sony's PocketStation, but sadly the manual doesn't explain it.
This pretty much proves that Digimon is all about swapping and playing with your friends, and that's where the real fun is. It's pretty amazing when you think about it. WonderSwan came out before GameBoy Advance did, and it already had internet connectivity. For this kind of feat people outside Japan had to wait for DS and PSP.
The game features about 230 digimons, but we'll have to take Bandai's word for it, as I'm not in a real hurry to verify that. One is certain. You'll have plenty to do while playing this game and you will get your moneys worth.
Is it a game for everyone? Not really. First of all, it's in japanese, but then again all WonderSwan titles are. As it is an adventure game, without knowing what's being said, you won't know what to do and you'll get stuck pretty quickly.
If you're familiar with the language, you still have to think if you're willing to spend hours and hours gathering monsters. That, plus the fact that WonderGate service has been down for years and you probably won't fine anyone to connect with via link don't make it an attractive purchase. Still, If you like Digimon and you own a WonderSwan, why not.
It all started back in 1997, when Namco and Klonoa Works made their first game in the series. Klonoa, much like NiGHTS is a guardian of dreams and he travels around the dream world, making sure everything is fine and that we all sleep tight.
First game was a 3D or 2,5D platformer released for Sony's PlayStation. The game was a moderate success and this was enough to make a sequel, which was released later, on the PlayStation 2. In between these two games, Klonoa received its first handheld version. This was of course Kaze no Klonoa: Moonlight Museum.
Being a strong franchise, Klonoa not only recieved a game but also a special bundle pack in which the game was sharing a box with a WonderSwan mono console. Sadly, unlike Final Fantasy editions of WonderSwan Color, the Klonoa bundle console is just a regular skeleton blue version, without any Klonoa logotypes on it.
But hey, that doesn't make it any less special. In fact, the Klonoa bundle is harder to find than the Final Fantasy bundles, which were produced in much larger quantities. I was incredibly lucky to get mine for cheap, and except for some really small signs of wear on the box, everything inside was brand new.
Moonlight Museum is a fun game and its transition to 2D went smoothly. All the key elements of gameplay are still here, even though now it's all black and white on a dot matrix screen. Visually the game may not be as impressive as the GameBoy Advance version, but it can still hold its own.
The game is quite long. Each of the five worlds we'll be visiting is divided into six visions, or sub-stages if you will, which will keep you occupied for a long time. The music is a typical lo-fi chiptune arrangement of some tunes we've heard in the PlayStation game, plus a handful of new ones.
If you come across this title and you like platformers, buy it because it's certainly worth it. The game is right up there with some of the Mario games. Also, because of strong ghosting on the WonderSwan mono screen, I suggest you play it on SwanCrystal. It will make the game much more enjoyable.
WonderSwan is a pretty energy efficient console. It runs on a single AA type battery which will last you longer than any GameBoy model out there. WonderSwan's slim profile made it impossible for the battery to fit inside of the console, so the designers have placed it in a special casing.
This removable battery housing makes it possible to exchange the original piece for a replacement rechargable battery unit which fits the battery housing place perfectly and thanks to its design, it makes WonderSwan even slimmer, removing the bulge that normally holds the battery.
The replacement battery unit comes with a special charger. It's designed to fit japanese sockets and run on japanese 110V, so if you want to use it outside of Japan, you'll need an adapter, so that the unit will fit into a socket that is standard to you, and a stepdown converter, if you're living in a country where 220V instead of 110V is used.
Just like the regular AA rechargable batteries, this one too supplies WonderSwan with 1.2V, unlike regular non-rechargable batteries which output 1.5V. This will not have a noticable effect when it comes to play hours.
This whole solution proves that WonderSwan, unlike every single Nintendo product, wasn't trying to squeeze every last peny out of the customer. While in various GameBoy incarnations and the newer Nintendo DS you're either stuck with regular batteries or a rechargable one sold only by Nintendo, WonderSwan gives you two clear choices.
Sure, you can buy regular rechargable AA batteries for your GameBoy, but what about GameBoy Advance SP and Nintendo DS? These are much newer, like the PSP, but that doesn't change the fact of being forced to stick to original product, as third party ones are quite dodgy.
I always loved WonderSwan for its design and the idea behind this handheld. This slim rechargable battery made me love it even more. Most importantly, it will fit all models, so it doesn't mather whether you own a WonderSwan mono, color or SwanCrystal. This little battery will fit them all.
How could have something with such great design and games fail and lose to Nintendo? I don't know. I guess Nintendo will always come on top thanks to their strong licenses. Nintendo DS proved it doesn't have to be more powerful than PSP to outsell it, but then again, if it's all about the design, BanDai should have stayed on the market.
To wrap this up, if you ever spot one of these batteries, don't hesitate and buy it. It will be worth it, you have my word. I've been using it for some time now and I haven't noticed any decreasing performance. Looks like WonderSwan peripherals are designed as good as the console itself.
01 - 『 wuz↑b?（ワサビ）プロデュース ストリートダンサー 』
02 - 『 スリザーリンク 』
03 - 『 ロードランナー for ワンダースワン 』
04 - 『 TERRORS 2 』
05 - 『 ファイナルファンタジーIV 』
Today I've recieved a package containing five new [to me anyway] WonderSwan titles. Nothing major and nothing particularly hard to find. First one is a Dance Dance Revolution type of game featuring a Japanese TLC knockoff trio, wuz↑b?, or wasabi. "Wasabi Purojusu Sutorito Dansa" is a music game which suffers what no music game should ever suffer from - bad, bad, bad sample and sound quality. Enough said.
The next one is "Surizaa Rinku" or Slither Link. It's a logic puzzle game with really simple graphics and complex rules. The whole thing evolves around connecting horizontally and vertically adjacent dots making a line which later, if you're any good, should form a loop. There's even more to it, but I won't go into details, look it up.
Game number three. Yes, this is yet another port of Lode Runner, or "Roodo Rana". I have to say that the WonderSwan Mono version is rather enjoyable, especially when played on Crystal [no ghosting]. I guess most of you know the title, so enough about that.
TERRORS 2. If you're not japanese, or you can't read japanese, this game will be pretty much useless. Not to mention it's not even a game really. It's a kind of interactive horror novel in which you, the reader, can choose a path at given moments. It comes with a nice collectable card though.
Last but not least, the WonderSwan Color version of Final Fantasy IV. Not as good as the first two remakes [being an SFC title, it didn't get the same treatment in terms of graphics], but enjoyable nonetheless. Strangely enough, Square jumped over the third game so the complete WonderSwan Final Fantasy lineup consists of Final Fantasy I, II and IV. I guess they saved the third one for the DS.