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Reviews the best retro and classic JRPGs! Spotlighting differences between Japanese and Western releases of the same games! Following a strict No-Emulation rule – all games are played and completed using physical copies of the game on physical hardware! Currently playing through Super Famicom (Japanese SNES), PS1, PC-Engine and PX-FC RPGs. All game reviews are written only after beating the game.

2/5
Hey everyone, this is just going to be a quick news update. I finished playing Tales of Phantasia (optional dungeon included) about a week ago.

 

Right around the same time, an extremely life changing event (a bad one, not a good one) happened that’s basically made it so that I can’t even think straight, let alone focus long enough to write a coherent review. I was going to make good time this time and would have had the review finished by now, but there’s no way i’m going to be able to write it in the near future…

 

If something really good suddenly happens the time it takes to get back into the groove of things might be shorter, but as of now i’m estimating that I probably won’t be able to do much on here for the next 3 or 4 months minimum…

 

I apologize for the sudden bad news, it was sudden for me too…hopefully Google doesn’t nuke my site from the SERPs due to “being inactive”, but if it does hopefully i’ll be able to come back and rank again so you guys can make your way back here once things start moving again.

 

Thanks for all of the support for the last 3 years!

 

1/1

Hey everyone, sorry for the ridiculously long delay…I expected to get the latest review out near the beginning of December but I didn’t get it out until today…2 entire months. My work situation got extremely busy plus my wife’s job got so busy that she has to work basically 3 or 4 hours of overtime 3 days a week plus go in all day on Saturdays (then I have to make up overtime on the remaining two days), which basically killed any form of gaming/writing for the last two months straight.

 

I mentioned it in the last news update, but the latest review is Cosmic Fantasy/コスミックファンタジー冒険少年ユウ for the PC-Engine! Nowhere near the best game i’ve reviewed on this site, but still worth checking out if you like old-school Dragon Quest clones with a bit of humor and a sprinkle of fanservice.

 

I mentioned this too in the last update, but the next game i’m going to review is Tales of Phantasia for the Super Famicom. I actually haven’t even touched it since the last news update 2 months ago, so that means I still have 95% of the game I have to get through. My current work/home situation is probably gonna continue on til around June of this year so I can’t even really estimate when i’ll be able to finish the game + write the review for it. As much as possible i’m still going to try to get a review up once every month/month and a half.

 

While i’ve been trying to chip away at Xenogears inbetween other games, i’ve come to realize that Xenogears might just be the worst game to try to play little by little inbetween other games over the course of a few months. I’m still not super far into it but I already think I want to just start it over and go through it by itself. Since that’ll be a big endeavor I was trying to avoid by doing it little by little, i’ll try to line up playing it and doing the review during a long vacation at work, which is probably going to be Golden Week which around May…

 

I went back and got a properly cased version of Ys IV for the PC-Engine, so I could review that next after Tales of Phantasia but there’s also an SFC version of Ys IV that kinda looks a bit worse than the PC-Engine version, so it might be better to review that one first. I don’t have the SFC version yet, so i’m still not entirely sure what game i’ll do after Tales of Phantasia…

 

Sorry the latest review took two entirely months to get out even though all I had to do was write it. Hopefully this year i’ll be able to get out a few more posts since last year I think I only got out 7 or 8 reviews (given only 1 of them was a guide book review which are usually really easy to finish). Traffic to the site did grow in 2020 (albeit by a miniscule % compared to 2019), but growth is growth so that’s still keeping me motivated.

 

Hope you guys all have a Happy New Year and hopefully you’ll continue to check back every now and then and take a look at the newest reviews! Thanks again!!

 

11/8

Hey guys, I was finally able to get another post up within a month of the previous one (a month exactly)…

As I said in the last update, the latest review is for Ys III/イースIII on the PC-Engine!

 

If you’ve been reading the latest reviews, you’ll notice that the last 4 games have been PC-Engine games and they’ve all been Nihon Falcom games. The biggest reason for that is that Falcom was basically the SquareSoft of the PC-Engine, so if you saw an RPG that looked cool it was probably going to be a Falcom game.

 

The good news is that while the next game i’m going to review is another PC-Engine game, this time it’s not a Falcom game, so the review should hopefully feel a bit more “fresh”. The next game is going to be Cosmic Fantasy/コスミックファンタジー冒険少年ユウ, which is the first game in the Cosmic Fantasy series.

 

I beat the game ahead of time, so again I just have to get around to writing up the review. While the game was fun and it still passed the criteria to get onto the site, the game is very crude and has some unforgivable aspects, so don’t expect a Chrono Trigger or Symphony of the Night kind of score…

 

Since Cosmic Fantasy is already finished, I actually plan on taking a short break from the PC-Engine – mainly because I ordered Ys IV from my go-to game store here with a case and it ended up arriving in a stupid plastic sleeve, so I’m kinda pissed about that. So until I get a properly cased version of Ys IV, I plan on playing Tales of Phantasia for the Super Famicom that I ordered along with the crappy version of Ys IV that came.

 

I’m not 100% sure if I want to play through Tales of Phantasia and try to get that review out by the end of the year, or if I want to try to blitz through Xenogears and try to get that out by the end of the year. Something about the Xenogears review just makes my stomach hurt (probably gonna be like 15,000~20,000 words, or maybe i’m just psyching myself out…), so chances are i’m probably gonna try to go for Tales of Phantasia and just keep chipping away at Xenogears in the meantime.

 

So, that’s it for this update. Cosmic Fantasy should hopefully be out within the next month, and if everything goes well maybe Tales of Phantasia too! Definitely check em out when they go up! Thanks again for checking back!

 

10/8

Here we go again, almost an entire 2 months without a post.

Just a few minutes ago I finally finished up the next review that I talked about in the previous News update, Dragon Slayer: The Legend of Heroes/ドラゴンスレイヤー英雄伝説 for the PC-Engine! Trails fans will probably be disappointed, but everyone else should find the game a tad bit interesting, at least!

 

Sorry about that, but my guess from the last update was right on the money – I got sucked way deeper into FFXIV, plus ended up getting games I previously already played on PS4 on PC (Monster Hunter World, No Man’s Sky, GTAV) so those games ate up entirely too much time…probably a total of 50 or 60 hours. Not only that, I slogged through Ys Origin on Nightmare Mode with Yunica, so that took another 20 hours too…

 

Though I started on consoles, I definitely prefer playing games on PC, so no matter what I always end up getting sidetracked with some PC games when I shouldn’t. If I didn’t throw 80 hours away at the games mentioned above I probably could have cleared 2 or 3 games and reviewed them by now…

 

Anyways, like I mentioned in the last update, i’m attempting to nibble away at Xenogears. I’m only around 5 hours in still, but that’s because i’m also playing some other stuff for the site. That means Xenogears is probably still a few months away from being finished, but I hope to at least get 3 or so more reviews up by the end of the year since i’ve somehow posted a lot less this year.

 

The next game i’ll be reviewing is yet again another Nihon Falcom PC-Engine game, Ys III! I actually beat it already (played it right after Dragon Slayer: The Legend of Heroes ended), so if I can just get into writing mode that review shouldn’t be much of a problem.

 

I know back when I first made the site I basically just did a constant stream of Squaresoft games so it’s more or less the same thing, but the last few games i’ve reviewed have been Nihon Falcom PC-Engine games, so i’m sort of undecided on if I want to do another Falcom game after the Ys III review (still plenty of them left…) or if I want to switch it up and go do some SFC or PS1 games. Hopefully i’ll have it decided by the time the Ys III review is done (who knows when that’ll be considering my pace this year…).

 

Thanks again for always checking back!

 

8/15

Hey guys, fashionably late as always. I finally finished up my newest review a few days ago, Ys II/イースII for the PC-Engine!

 

This review took a long time to finish for two reasons – first, i’ve had to work around 80 hours of overtime the past 2 months, which means i’ve had way less free time than I usually do (which isn’t much to begin with). The second reason is that I finally got a gaming PC since I moved to Japan 5 years ago. So i’ve been setting it up, installing all my stuff, and playing my PC backlog that I was stuck playing in below-HD resolutions and the lowest settings imaginable in glorious 120fps, finally.

 

As I estimated in the last news update, the Ys II post itself really didn’t take much time (just a few days of writing) and beating the game only took around 10 or so hours. I just got sidetracked by work and then the new PC kinda pulled me in and I got sidetracked with FFXIV, FFXIII, lots of stuff. I’ve settled in to being able to play all my old stuff, so it shouldn’t be as bad from here on.

 

One awesome plus about the new PC is that I can process videos WAY faster than before. If you’ve seen some of my more recent posts, i’ve been uploading gameplay videos to Youtube. With the old PC, a simple 10 minute gameplay video would take about 3 or 4 hours to process on its own. If I happened to record to videos and process them at the same time, they’d end up with audio errors or lost frames, since the specs weren’t high at all.

 

Now with my new rig, I can process a 10 minute 720p 60fps video in around 2 or 3 minutes, so I have way more freedom to just record “whatever” moments along the way while playing games. This means i’ll be able to have a lot more videos per game, and I also plan on uploading gameplay videos to Youtube that won’t be included in reviews (stuff with spoilers, specific boss fights, stuff that doesn’t “fit” in a review), so i’m actually looking forward to that.

 

Another thing is that since I can pump out videos quicker and easier, I think i’ll also throw up videos of stuff that might not necessarily make it onto the website. I don’t plan for the Youtube channel to also be a “needs to score higher than 70% to be on here” kind of thing like the site is – I originally planned for the Youtube channel to just be a supplement to the site. Since there are games that i’ve tried but didn’t continue with, therefore not making it onto the site, it’d be a waste to not at least put up some videos on Youtube of the sections I did play, so people can still get an idea of what so-and-so game is like.

 

So, for the TL;DR version, since I got a new computer that’s capable of processing videos easily, i’ll be able to put a lot more stuff up on Youtube. One more thing is, until now i’ve kind of “hinted” at what the next game is going to be, but I don’t really think there’s much of a reason to hide it. I’m not a big fish at all, so I don’t think I have any direct competition, plus even if some other site sees that i’ll be reviewing FF8 next or something and write a review first, both of our sites are already 20 years late, so from here on i’ll probably just directly say what game will be reviewed next.

 

With that said, i’ve also been waiting to release Youtube videos to “public” until i’ve finished the review on here. I had the Ys II videos already uploaded to Youtube since a month and a half ago…so from here on i’ll just make them public the second they’re uploaded. Since I sometimes do double dip and play a few games at once, unlike the site, chances are there will be times where I upload videos from a few different games around the same time.

 

I think i’ve rambled on for long enough. I know last time I said the next game is going to be a long one. Truth is, I actually haven’t started that game yet. The main reason is that I started a different game accidentally, but another reason is because the “long game” is Xenogears. I never beat it as a kid (only barely got to the first Gear fight), so I absolutely want to play it. I can just tell already that i’ll procrastinate like crazy on the “story” section of the game, if I can even grasp the story in Japanese.

 

I will definitely get around to Xenogears, but I don’t know if it’ll be as soon as I like to. I’ve kind of gotten into a PC-Engine era Nihon Falcom craze recently with the Ys stuff, therefore my actual next game is going to be Dragon Slayer: The Legend of Heroes/ドラゴンスレイヤー英雄伝説 for the PC-Engine. The good thing is that i’m already around halfway done with it I think. If I can pry myself off of FFXIV (doubt it, JUST hit Shadowbringers finally…), I don’t think it’d take much time to write the review again. I already have some videos of the game on Youtube so if you’re interested, definitely go check them out!

 

If you read this far, thanks a lot. I know this was a long update, but it’s technically 2 months’ worth of “news”. I definitely hope to get Dragon Slayer out soon, and if possible at least start chipping away at Xenogears in the meantime! Thanks again for the support!

 

6/17

Hey everyone, I just finished up my most recent review, which is Ys I/イースI for the PC-Engine! This is my first PC-Engine review, so if anyone is interested in that system, definitely check it out!

 

I was expecting to get the review out last week, but i’ve been extremely busy at work this month, and it seems it’ll stay that way for the rest of the month. Last month I also had FF7R and the Seiken Densetsu 3 Remake going on. They’re finished now, so I only have FFXIV left to get in my way. I’ll be getting a new computer next month so I can finally play on something higher than the lowest settings at 40fps, so chances are i’ll be playing even more FFXIV from here on out…

 

In my Ys I review I mention that the PC-Engine version comes bundles with Ys II, so just like I did with my Dragon Quest I & II reviews, i’ll do Ys I and Ys II in order. Ys I was a fairly short game so I expect Ys II to be short too, they also both use the same engine so chances are there will be a lot of overlap between the two games, so I have a feeling the Ys II review will be pretty easy to write.

 

After Ys II I think i’m finally going to bite the bullet and do another long game, since the last one was Final Fantasy VII International Advent Pieces: Limited way back in October/November of last year. A reader emailed me the other day asking what I thought about a game I bought 4 years ago but have yet to play – it also seems like a short game so I might try to play that inbetween the next game. This should make it so I won’t go another 2 or 3 months without posting like I did back with FFVII.

 

As always, sorry for the slow updates. I wish I could return to the days of getting 2 or 3 posts out per month instead of 1, but i’ve been way busier this year. Thanks again for checking out the site, and hopefully you’ll like the Ys II and other upcoming reviews!

 

5/3

I did something good finally this year. I finally got out 2 posts within a month time-frame (barely, 1 day to spare…). Depending on how much of an RPG purist you are, this one might turn some heads, but the latest review is Castlevania: Symphony of the Night/悪魔城ドラキュラX 月下の夜想曲 for the PS1!

 

This game was much more fun than I thought it’d be. I don’t know how many “RPG enough” games i’ll do on this site, and I originally got the game with the intent of just playing it and not reviewing it, but I felt there was enough there to land it a spot on the site.

 

The truth is, I got the game for Christmas and had it “mostly beat” by the middle of January. After that I started another game that I still haven’t finished yet, with the idea of kinda pre-writing and having reviews finished a bit ahead of time and releasing them later to kinda “get into a schedule”.

 

All that ended up happening was I went 2 and a half months with only 1 game review, so I won’t be doing that again, at least not for a long time. The only silver lining is that the other game is still 80% done, so if I just get back to it i’ll be ready to write about it.

 

The only bad part is that i’m still only around half-way done with FF7R and I still haven’t even picked up Seiken Densetsu 3R (Nioh and the free FFXIV week got in the way…). I somehow found the willpower to hammer out a 7.5k word review inbetween 7R (I had to quit playing during an extremely long and drawn out chapter one night, so that helped), instead of waiting til I beat it like I originally planned!

 

For my next review, I already took gameplay videos and stuff while just playing normally, so I have that part out of the way already. Only problem is, it’s on a “new” console (for this site anyways), so I didn’t tinker with the capture card settings. Therefore, there will be multiple videos and each one will probably vary in graphical quality. It’s also the first entry in a very long series, so it’ll open up the rabbit hole for reviews…

 

Since i’m still not done with 7R and haven’t even touched SD3R yet, I can’t say when the next review will be out, but I want to get it out as soon as possible because it’s a really fun game. A bit short too, so hopefully that’ll translate into a quicker review!

 

4/5
Another slow update…I finally got around to doing the guide book overview I mentioned in the last update – Dragon Quest I & II Official Guide Book/ドラゴンクエスト I・II 公式ガイドブック!

 

This last month has been extremely rough in terms of getting anything game-related done. Not only has my job been pretty busy, but i’ve been falling asleep while putting me daughter to sleep way too often this past month, around 13 or 14 nights. I would have been able to do 2 hours worth of stuff each night, so that’s almost 30 hours blown (could have finished an entire new game…)

 

I originally planned to get the next game review out by now – I was aiming for the middle of March actually…but I haven’t even started on it yet even now. The game is rather short in a review sense (much longer in a completionist sense), so I still think it won’t take much time if I can actually just start it up.

 

Only problem is, it’s now Monday so I won’t have much time to do anything review related. That, and the FF7 remake comes out in 4 days…i’m not going to kid myself and say that i’ll be able to finish the next game review in 4 days (if it was a long weekend then it might be possible)…

 

Even if the FF7 remake ends up being really short, the Seiken Densetsu 3/聖剣伝説3 remake comes out 2 weeks later, so i’m basically going to be locked down for an entire month or more with those two games alone. I’d love to say that i’ll be able to squeeze the next review inbetween both of those, but I know I can’t guarantee that.

 

So overall, this was a pretty unproductive month and a half. I’ve been kind of unproductive altogether this last month, not just in regards to the blog itself, so hopefully i’ll get that fixed soon. After FF7 and the SD3 remake are finished, there aren’t really anymore “big” games coming out for a while as far as I know, so I should be able to get on track again.

 

I did get a new console that i’ll be able to add on here which should be pretty cool to see. It’s got a lot of short to mid length games on it too, which will definitely help the rate at which I pump out content. If only the country would put everyone in quarantine and I could get a solid month of time to make up for the lack of posts this year (they’d just make us work remote anyways)…

 

2/17
Only took a few weeks, but since the last update I finally got the latest game review out – Dragon Quest III/ドラゴンクエストIIIそして伝説へ to finish off the Dragon Quest I, II, and III trilogy for the SFC!

 

Sadly, I just checked out my post list and noticed that my last actual game review was the FF7 review, which was posted all the way back on October 13th of last year…can’t believe it has been an entire 4 months…I know I did a Rare Gear post in between then and now so it didn’t actually feel like that long…

 

Anyways, the good thing is that I pretty much know how to work the capture card I got last month, so I can go ahead onto the next game. It’s a game I got for Christmas and finished a week or two later, so it’s already done and still fresh in my mind. It isn’t loaded with much story, and it’ll be extremely easy to cover all of the gameplay mechanics in a single video or two, so it should be easy to grab everything I need!

 

There is a guide book i’d like to get out of the way in the mean-time though, so chances are i’ll probably get the guide book overview out first, and then the next review after that. I’m already half-way through another game too, so i’m a bit ahead of the curve game-wise, but FFXIV is really getting in the way of things recently…so i’ll try overcome the urge to hit 80 in FFXIV and get cracking on the blog again.

 

I know the posts this year got off to a late start, but from here on out everything should return to the usual 1-2 reviews per month + a guide book slipped in every one in a while! Hope you look forward to what’s on the horizon!

 

1/25

Hey everyone, I got some really good news! I was finally able to snag a capture card last week! Since basically every capture card nowadays only supports HDMI input and outputs, I also had to order a separate upscaler + rca -> HDMI converter. That finally arrived a few days ago so i’m officially able to actually record straight off of consoles now instead of the wobbly auto-focusing videos I was taking with my phone up until now!

 

There were a lot of settings and stuff that I had to mess with before I could get everything to record “decently”, so that ate up a few days. Since i’m using an HDTV currently, there are going to be some narrow black bars on the sides of the videos for now (I don’t have any paid video editing software to crop them out), but besides that everything else like the sound and frame-rate all seem to be kept in their original state!

 

This is the reason why I haven’t released the newest review yet. I didn’t want to go through the trouble of recording the gameplay videos on my phone and then have to redo them a few weeks later once the capture card arrived. Therefore, I can FINALLY start writing the new review!

 

Now that I have the capture card, I basically want to go back and either redo all previous videos I have uploaded or add videos to review that don’t have any yet (most reviews don’t). Some games like Valkyrie Profile/ヴァルキリープロファイル and Seiken Densetsu 3/聖剣伝説3 just can’t be done justice without proper gameplay footage.

 

While it will take some time to get through 30 or so games worth of footage, i’ll be doing it here and there inbetween normal reviews, so it shouldn’t get in the way too much.

 

Just as an extremely quick teaser to show that the video is actually being recorded in-game and not on my phone like always, here’s a sneak peak of the next game i’ll be reviewing! I’m sure from the music alone you’ll be able to tell what it is…

 

EDIT: Looks like 720p 60fps causes some artifacting, so i’ll have to mess with the settings a bit more…

 

 

1/1
First off, Happy New Year to everyone who checks out my site! I know in my last news update I talked about how I wanted to get both the Final Fantasy IV post updated and my next game review out before the end of the year…well, I missed the mark on my Final Fantasy IV/ファイナルファンタジーIV update by a few hours, but I FINALLY got that out. Of course, a once 2,000 word article became a nearly 5,000 word article…

 

I do have a really good excuse this time for not getting my next game review out sooner – I got tons of good stuff for Christmas…I basically got 5 different games, 4 of which can and will eventually 100% get posted on here. The other one that i’m not sure about is actually the one that’s been eating up all of my time since Christmas and is mostly to blame for the FF4 revision and next review not getting out much sooner during my 9 days off…

 

The reason i’m not sure if I can put up the game i’m currently playing is because i’m not too sure if there’s enough “RPG” elements in it to truly consider it an RPG. It seems pretty divisive when you look around various RPG circles…

 

The other games, on the other hand, are all going to be posted eventually, the only problem is 3 of the games are all basically 60+ hour games. We all remember how it took me like a month and a half to get through Final Fantasy VII International Advent Pieces: Limited, and then another 2 or 3 weeks to drop the 10,000 word review…so it’d be that all over again x3…

 

The best news is that last month (December) was my biggest legit month so far when it comes to traffic! Back when the Romancing SaGa 3 remaster came out I got some temporary traffic related to that for about a week, which gave me a nice number to gawk at that week alone, but then everything died down again.

 

This month I didn’t get any one-time event related traffic, so I was able to end the year on a high note! Overall site traffic was up 500% from the previous year (the previous year was the site’s first year, so traffic was abysmal as one would expect…), so hopefully in 2020 I can at least still hit some positive growth and not plateau too soon!

 

I know my posting pace has gone down a lot during the winter season – this is mainly because of a few things like my company getting really busy towards the end of the year, at least one person in the house always being sick at any given time, and the embarrassing fact that I sometimes fall asleep under the warm covers while trying to put my daughter to bed because the Japanese winter is way colder than winter in California…

 

I’ve done this twice already during my 9 day vacation alone, which means I essentially blew 8-10 potential hours where I could have been doing stuff. So if you were worried that i’m burning out or losing motivation, don’t worry! I’ve already got a somewhat decent roadmap planned out for the site this year, so even if posts take a while, they’ll come out eventually!

 

As always, thanks for taking the time to read this far down! I hope you have a great new year, and hopefully you’re looking forward to the coming posts! Thanks again for the support!

 

12/11

Honestly can’t believe how quickly time passes…I thought I did good this time and posted in a timely manner since my last news update, but somehow it’s already been two weeks again…

 

Anyways, I finally did was i’ve been threatening to do since September when I went to Tokyo Game Show. I uploaded one of my own CDs to Youtube for the very first time – Final Fantasy The Preludes Original Soundtrack!

 

Since it’s a post about a CD, there’s not really much I could actually type out and talk about, so it’s an extremely short post by my standards (around 600 words). This means you can finish reading the post and jump right into listening to the CD is all but a minute or two, quite different than the usual 10-20 minutes worth of reading for my reviews…

 

This means the next post i’ll be doing is that FFIV touch-up I mentioned before. I already have the gameplay video i’ll be using for the review up on Youtube already, so I just have to write out the parts i’ll be adding to the previous review.

 

Since it’s the end of the year here in Japan, that means work becomes super busy, in addition to mandatory company parties + New Year’s shrine visits and ridiculous house cleaning, so my hands will be tied for pretty much the rest of the year, but i’ll try my best to get both the FFIV revision + new game review out by the end of the year if possible!

 

11/28
Wow, I just realized it’s been an entire month since the last news update…terribly sorry for the lack of updates. Another bad thing I noticed is that it’s been a month and a half since my last review…

 

I have good news at least, I FINALLY finished the next game i’m going to be reviewing. The sad thing is, i’ve actually been playing the game every single chance i’ve had for the last month – the big issue was that I barely had any opportunities to actually play the game. I no doubt clocked in the least amount of game time last month compared to every other month since I started this site exactly 2 years ago. Not only that, I was already about half way through the game by the time I finished up my Final Fantasy VII International Advent Pieces: Limited review, so if I started from the beginning of the game, who knows if I would have finished it by the end of the year at that pace…

 

This means I can finally get crackin’ on that Final Fantasy IV/ファイナルファンタジーIV revision that I talked about in the last update. Like I mentioned last time, i’ll just be adding stuff like character descriptions/filling out thin sections of the review + much better pictures than before. So, i’m assuming it shouldn’t take very long to give it a quick brush up, hopefully only a few hours tops. While it’s not a “new” review, hopefully it’ll be a little bit better than before at least.

 

The next game i’ll be reviewing should be a standard length review. It’s a game that while still very “basic” in terms of systems and how the game plays, there are still a few particular points i’ll have to cover. Therefore, it shouldn’t be a 10,000 word monster like Rudra no Hihou/ルドラの秘宝 was, but probably the “regular” 3,000-5,000 words. I’ll start working on it after I update the FF4 post.

 

One huge problem – Shenmue 3 finally came out after 18 years. Yeah, i’m one of those guys who’s been waiting for Shenmue 3 since Shenmue 2 was released in the States back in ~2001. This basically means that Shenmue 3 is going to get 100% of my attention for the time being, and I don’t want to have that voice lingering in the back of my mind telling me “it’s already been a week since you posted, you need to already be playing through the next game”, so i’m not going to even worry about juggling another review game until I finish Shenmue.

 

This doesn’t mean I won’t post until i’m finished with it, though. I’ll still be doing the FF4 update and the review for the game I just finished, along with that last TGS merch post I’ve been talking about forever (i’d have it done in no time if i’d just take all the stuff out of the closet…) and I can probably squeeze in another Guide Book overview before the end of the year, hopefully.

 

Last thing I want to mention – i’ve recently started to do some quick videos to show off gameplay and stuff like that. I use my phone pointed at my TV screen to record stuff, which means I either have to have my phone in one hand and try to hold the controller/push buttons with the other, or use a tripod. While for me personally, the whole “analog/DIY” authenticity is cool and it’s definitely evidence that I play everything on original hardware, the video quality isn’t the best.

 

So, i’ve been eyeing up a capture card here recently. I had passing thoughts of using one from the get-go originally, but in my mind it’d make it seem like i’m just copping out and recording stuff on my PC while using emulators like 99% of all retro game sites/Youtube channels.

 

I’ve been thinking about maybe doing pictures the same way I have been until now and just using the capture card for gameplay videos. That, or take “screenshots” of stuff recorded on the capture card and use those as pictures, but showing the boxes, manuals, and cartridges/discs from my phone to prove that I actually am using the original stuff. I definitely want to keep the authentic feeling of actually owning the stuff i’m reviewing and taking the time to play them legitimately instead of playing stuff at 2x-4x speed on emulators with save states + hex editing saves to kill final bosses whenever I get stuck. I’ll figure something out…but I definitely do want to record the gameplay videos directly from the console if possible.

 

Sorry for the extremely long news post – that’s what happens when you forget to post updates for an entire month…i’ll be more careful next time. If you read this far, I gotta thank you as always since I kinda ramble on sometimes. I’ll have the reviews up whenever I can – in the mean time, go out and get Shenmue 3 if you haven’t! It’s not AAA Game of the Year kind of stuff, but it was never meant to be. It’ll be a great game to relax to, and since you’re reading this site I assume you like Japanese stuff at least a little bit, so you might find some of it interesting! (Shenmue 2 and 3 take place in Hong Kong/China, but still…)

 

10/25
While working on some of the back-end stuff on my site, I realized that the OST songs I linked to in some of my review had been removed from Youtube, so I went back and linked them to new videos instead. The reviews that were affected were Dragon Quest I & II (Dragon Quest 1)/ドラゴンクエストI・II (ドラゴンクエスト1), Dragon Quest I & II (Dragon Quest 2)/ドラゴンクエストI・II (ドラゴンクエスト2), and Parasite Eve/パラサイト・イヴ. If anyone tried to look at those reviews recently, they’re fixed now…terribly sorry about that.

 

I don’t have the means to do it now, but in a perfect world I would be able to buy the OST for every single game I review so I could just upload the OSTs myself and not have to worry about stuff like this, but considering the fact that by default game OSTs in Japan are never sold for less than 1,500 Yen (most PS1 and SFC games are less than 1,000 BOXED), it’s not something I can do for every game in the foreseeable future…

 

While i’m here, i’ll give a quick status update for the next few weeks I guess. I got most of the stuff I needed to fix up my Final Fantasy IV/ファイナルファンタジーIV post, so I just have to get to writing about it. Since that post is only 2,000 words (yep, only…), I should be able to fix it up with just another thousand words or two, so it shouldn’t take anywhere near as long as my other reviews do nowadays.

 

Aside from that, I think I might be somewhere around half-way or a little over half-way done with the next game i’ll be reviewing, so I should have that done in a few weeks. It would be sooner, but I have a mandatory Company Vacation next week that’s going to eat up an entire 3-day weekend, so i’ll be pretty behind in terms of free time…

 

Last but not least, the website has gone down a few times this week…i’m 99.9% sure it’s the hosting company i’m using. Hopefully it’ll settle down here sometime, but if the site is down sometimes when you try to access it, i’d truly appreciate it if you could try back in 5 or 10 minutes!…

 

10/13

Better late than never I guess – I finally finished up the monstrous Final Fantasy VII International Advent Pieces: Limited PS1 review! This took way longer than I originally imagined, if you combine the time it took me to finish the game + the review time. The review probably took longer in terms of actual days…it took about 3 weeks from start to finish.

 

I had quite a few days where I couldn’t even touch the review, plus I had 3 days where I was sick and went to bed basically right after work, so there was almost an entire week where I couldn’t work on the review. That, plus the fact that I already knew beforehand that the FF7 review was going to be huge, I kind of procrastinated in regards to actually starting it because I knew no matter how much I chipped away at it, i’d still have another 10+ hours left.

 

This was definitely the most difficult review i’ve done so far, and even though I spent a ton of time writing + separate time getting all of the videos and stuff, I know I still wasn’t able to make it perfect. I knew going in that suddenly jumping from reviewing 15-25 hour SFC RPGs vs trying to review a 40 hour+ PS! RPG was going to be quite a change of pace, but Final Fantasy VII is a huge exception to the rule – there’s so much stuff out there about the game that you really had to try to do something to stand out, so that made things even harder.

 

I do plan to eventually do more of the longer PS1 games like Chrono Cross, Legend of Mana, Xenogears and stuff like that, so chances are i’ll have to spend a lot of time on those too. Maybe now that I have experience, I can do things a lot better next time.

 

Now about what’ll come next on the site. I’m not burned out or anything because of the FF7 review, but I want to take this next month or so to try to fix some stuff on the site. First off, I wanna go back and fix my very first review, which is Final Fantasy IV/ファイナルファンタジーIV. It’s just nowhere near as good as it can be, considering I still didn’t find my groove at the time. I wanna go back and add more pictures, video this time, a “Characters” section – I just wanna fill it out a bit more.

 

After that, I wanna fix the mobile version of my site because the Google speed test scores are terrible, which is killing my mobile google rankings. I rank for 300 or so keywords for desktop but only 9 on mobile, so i’m missing out on potentially double the traffic if I can go back and fix the mobile version of the site, so I wanna try to do that as soon as I can.

 

I’ll still be working towards finishing my next game, since i’m already maybe 15-20% the way done with it already. I don’t know if i’ll be able to get the review up this month or not because I still wanna get the last 1 or 2 Tokyo Game Show posts up before everything becomes old news. If I suddenly get tons of free time I can probably get the next game review in inbetween all of this, but i’m predicting it’ll probably be next month instead, to open up some time to do all of the fixes i’m planning to do.

 

Sorry for the super long news post, and sorry for the FF7 review taking what felt like 3 months to finish, hopefully it’s decent enough! Thanks again for always supporting the site, regardless of how slow I am at getting stuff out there to you guys!…

 

9/27

As I kind of expected, the FF7 review is taking longer than I hoped it would (only about 20-30% done, to be honest…), so in the meantime I finally posted up one of my Tokyo Game Show 2019 posts! There wouldn’t really be any reason to post them if I wait too long, so they should still be kind of fresh (2 weeks behind, though).

 

Anyways, the first post is about a cool item I picked up at the Square-Enix Music merchandise area at TGS, the Chrono Orchestra 時を渡る翼 Official Calendar 2020! This is really cool because it’s supposedly an “Event-Exclusive”, which means it should only be available at Square-Enix events such as concerts and expos, making it a little bit rare!

 

My last two weeks have been pretty much full, meaning I wasn’t really able to work on the FF7 review very much, but now I have all of the pictures/video that I need for the review and I have a decent chunk of it done already, so that means it should hopefully be up around the beginning of next month.

 

Between now and the time I finish up the FF7 review, i’d like to be able to do another TGS post, but this time it’ll be about a CD. I’ve never ripped a CD and put it on Youtube before so I don’t really know how i’ll be able to link to it. Even if I do manage to rip it, I don’t know how to avoid Copyright stuff on Youtube, so i’m kind of debating whether to do it before the FF7 review or after when I have more time to research everything properly.

 

Either way, sorry for a really slow posting month, I didn’t really get much done throughout September, but I guess that’s what’ll happen whenever I try to tackle a 50+ hour game (I can usually barely even get a single 30 hour game done each month)…

 

9/19
Well, I beat both Emerald and Ruby Weapon way faster than I thought I’d be able to, so that means I can finally start reviewing FF7 this week!

 

I do want to point out that I still need to go back and record some stuff like battle footage, along with some of the Golden Saucer stuff and things like that, which I probably won’t be able to do until the weekend. Once I get that done though, all i’ll have to do is just hammer away at the review until it’s done, hopefully by sometime next week (since FF7 is such a big game compared to anything else i’ve reviewed until now…)

 

Like I said last time, if it looks like it’ll take too long to finish, i’ll post one of my Tokyo Game Show posts in-between, since those should be rather short and shouldn’t take more than a few hours! Stay tuned!

 

9/14
ff7r tgs2019
Another update that took a month…sorry. I had to post an update today because I just got back from Tokyo Game Show 2019!

 

While I didn’t get to play either the FF7 or Seiken Densetsu 3 Remake (had to have reserved tickets), I did get to see some pretty cool stuff and get some cool shwag that i’ll be able to make some posts about in the RPG Gear section here pretty soon!

 

In terms of my progress in FF7, i’m basically done with the game. I’m saved right outside of the last boss’ area, but i’m in the process of leveling up to beat Emerald and Ruby Weapons, just because. If it looks like it’ll take too long, i’ll just finish the game first and tackle Emerald and Ruby while i’m writing the review (it’ll take a while to finish the review, so it should work out okay).

 

I did cheat a bit and play a few hours in the next game i’ll be reviewing, so i’m a bit ahead in regards to the next game review. If the FF7 review looks like it’ll take too long, i’ll get in the next guide book overview or one of the RPG gear posts from TGS in-between so there isn’t too much of a delay until the next post (more than there already is).

 

Considering the nature of TGS and Japanese events in general, it’s hard to take long videos of stuff since staff members usually hound you to stop recording. So while I did get some FF7 videos, they’re extremely short and nothing too spectacular (couldn’t get any Seiken Densetsu 3 videos because it was completely sectioned off), but i’ll still post them in the RPG gear posts (even though it’s all technically not retro stuff, it’s still related to older Square games, so since TGS is a special deal i’ll make an exception to the rules).

 

With that said, hopefully i’ll have some cool stuff to show off from TGS, even if some of the posts are a bit short. If we’re lucky, I can upload the complete audio of a CD that was a limited edition strictly for TGS. I don’t know how copyright infringement and all that stuff works on Youtube, but if I can do it that’ll be a separate RPG Gear post in itself!

 

8/19
Didn’t realize it’s been a month since the last update (has it really been a month?)…anyways, I finally finished up the last Guide Book Overview for the Romancing SaGa 3 set – Romancing SaGa 3 Fundamental Knowledge Guide Book/ロマンシング サ・ガ3基礎知識編! This means I have all of the “Guides” completed, but there is still the Romancing SaGa 3 Prologue, which is kind of a pre-release “Setting” book that describes the backstory and what to expect during the game. I’d like to write about it eventually, but it’ll most likely be down the road a bit.

 

I didn’t come back after a month empty-handed though! As you might know from the last update, I started Final Fantasy VII. It might not sound like much, but I just finished up Disc 1 the other day. Since i’m playing the game blind, it took me about 26 hours to get to that point (if this was an SFC game i’d be done already and could be starting on the review…).

 

This means that i’m (I assume?) 30-40% of the way through the game I guess. I planned on having the game take 60+ hours right from the start so i’m not entirely surprised, but that means if I really am only 40% done after 26 hours that it really will end up being a 60 hour game. Which then means it’ll probably take me another 3-4 weeks to beat.

 

Then the review for a game like this will be monstrous, of course (I wrote 10,000 words for Rudra no Hihou/ルドラの秘宝

which was a game that basically recycled the same scenario 3 times…), so at this rate the review might not be up for another month or so…if this looks to be the case, i’ll do some more stuff in-between (there’s a Dragon Quest I・II Guide Book I have that i’d really like to post about, those two games’ posts are decently popular).

 

So all in all, i’m somewhere near half-way done with Final Fantasy VII, i’m hoping. If everything goes well I can have the game beat and reviewed somewhere around this time next month. I should hopefully have another Guide Book overview or two up in-between if things look grim.

 

Thanks for reading all the way to the end again! Hopefully the next posts will be of some value to you!

 

7/18
I somehow barely managed to stay on schedule and got out my latest review on time! It’s kind of out left field, but here it is! Arc The Lad/アークザラッド for the PlayStation! As you’ll soon find out if you read the review, I kind of hate SRPGs, so I won’t be doing to many of those. I do owe it to Squaresoft to play through Bahamut Lagoon though, it’s been sitting there collecting dust for the last 3 years…

 

I basically chose to review Arc The Lad because it was a game released rather early in the PlayStation’s life, plus it was extremely short. I had a feeling that FF7 would take a pretty long time to beat and review properly, so I wanted to get a quick review out to buy me some time before I start up FF7 this weekend.

 

In other news, I have 2 announcements. The first is that i’m still working on the subscription freebie, I just don’t know how in-depth I should go before it gets out of hand. It’s still not ready to be released, but i’ll get it out here eventually.

 

My next announcement is that I want to try out affiliate links again like I did back when the site was first released. These will be text-links that link to whatever game i’m reviewing, in-case readers want to grab a physical copy for themselves. Rather than filling the site up with ads and killing the user experience, i’m hoping that a couple of affiliate links at the bottom of posts shouldn’t be too intrusive.

 

There won’t be any pop-ups or anything like that, so even if you’re not interested in them, they should be pretty easy to ignore. I’ll most likely have them placed inside of the “Which version should you play?” sections, so readers can still read the entire review without having to come across them!

 

While this might seem like it’s sudden, i’ve always had the idea to try it again once I finally hit 1,000 views a month on the site. I finally did that last month (thanks everyone!), and this month looks like i’ll break 1,000 again, so I figured i’d give it a shot and see how it works out.

 

So, from here on i’ll be working my way through Final Fantasy VII (though XIV is going to be getting in the way for sure…). If i’m able to finish it in a decent amount of time, I might be able to sneak in another SFC RPG i’ve been jonesin’ to play. If not, I might have to go straight into Final Fantasy VIII. If possible, i’d love to have a bit of a gap between the two Final Fantasy games, so i’ll do my best!

 

7/7
I just finished the next game i’ll be reviewing like I hoped I would! It ended up actually only taking about 7 hours instead of 10 like I thought it would, so I really only had about an hour left this whole time…

 

Not only was the game short, it was actually super basic/bare-bones in terms of gameplay, so the review itself should end up being really short too. I’m hoping to have it done by next weekend, but this weekend looks kind of busy (3 day weekend though…), so if not, it should be out by the middle of next week.

 

One thing i’ll need to do before the review is finished is buy a phone tripod. I wanted to record a video of how the fights work, but due to the nature of the combat system, it would be extremely hard to hold my phone to record and fight at the same time. Hopefully I can grab a tripod during the week so I can bang everything out on the weekend!

 

Like I threatened to do during the last two updates, i’ll be reviewing Final Fantasy VII next. The fact that I accidentally resubbed to Final Fantasy XIV last week, VII might take a little while before i’m finished with it. So in the mean-time i’ll try to get the last Romancing SaGa 3 Guide Book done and if possible, the Rare Gear post for Final Fantasy VII!

 

6/27

My next Guide Book Overview is finally up – Romancing SaGa 3 Complete Walkthrough Guide Book/ロマンシング サ・ガ3完全攻略編! Took a few more days than it should have – it took me 5 days to do an hour’s worth of writing/picture placement…

 

I picked up the last remaining Romancing SaGa 3 Guide Book so I can complete the series all at once! So, after I finish my next game review, i’ll have the last Romancing SaGa 3 book that I can post up inbetween probably doing FFVII.

 

Oh, and about FFVII, since I knew I wouldn’t even rank on Google for that, I decided to do something that would hopefully let me stand out a bit. I got a huge Japan-exclusive special edition of the game from a long time ago! This means that i’ll not only be able to review the game, but i’ll also have something really cool I can add to the Rare Gear section for fans of the game!

 

Other than that, i’m slowly working on the subscription freebie, and will finish up the last few hours of the next game i’ll be reviewing. It should only be 3 or 4 more hours until I beat the game, so it hopefully won’t take too long to actually do it!

 

Thanks again for reading this far and supporting the site!

 

6/15

I got the first of the two Romancing SaGa 3 Guide Book Overviews out like I hoped to – Romancing SaGa 3 Adventure Guide Book/ロマンシング サ・ガ3冒険ガイドブック! That leaves two more Romancing SaGa 3 guide books left altogether, but I only have 1 more right now, so maybe i’ll grab the last remaining one and finish up all of the Romancing SaGa 3 books while i’m at it.

 

That leaves me with 1 more RS3 guide book overview, putting some more work into the “subscription freebie”, and then finishing up the current game i’m playing and get its review up. I copped out and played an extremely short game –  assuming I don’t mess around, it’ll probably end up literally being a 10 hour game. I’m already about 5 hours into it, so if I get one or two decent days for gaming I should have it done!

 

Now, something I definitely wanna mention is that E3 this year basically threw my site out of whack, in many ways. So, i’m gonna go on a huge rant about a few things for a second here. Since it’s really long, here’s the TL;DR – SquareEnix essentially nuked my Seiken Densetsu 3 and Romancing SaGa 3 posts, along with basically forcing me to do FF7 and FF8 reviews quick-styles.

 

First of all, Seiken Densetsu 3/聖剣伝説3 got a western release AND it’s getting a REMAKE that’s also going to be released in the West. Not only did they release it on the Switch, they ALSO changed(?) the name to “Trials of Mana”. So that not only basically means that everyone is just going to go play the Switch version (most “normal” people won’t bother going through all the trouble for the SFC version anymore), it also means that nobody is going to search for “Seiken Densetsu 3” anymore. They’ll all just search for “Trials of Mana” or “Trials of Mana Remake” later on. I’m not gonna lie though, i’m gonna no-life that remake when it comes out – Duran, Kevin, Riesz.

 

TL;DR nobody is going to search for “Seiken Densetsu 3” anymore, especially the original Japanese version, so my Seiken Densetsu 3 post is most likely going to get completely knocked out of the google rankings by stuff like IGN and Gamespot reporting on the remake (those sites automatically get into the top 5 google results even if their article only says Seiken Densetsu 3 once). Even if it doesn’t, search quantity will drop like crazy when everyone switches to saying “Trials of Mana” instead, so either way the post is going to fade from Google existence, so i’ll have to hope that people who check out the site find it linked somewhere…

 

Alright, 1/3 of the rant done. Next is, speaking of the devil, Romancing SaGa 3. I guess the Romancing SaGa 2 port was successful enough for Square-Enix to decide to also port over and translate Romancing SaGa 3 for the first time ever, 25 years later. So once again, all the big gaming news sites and whatever are gonna cover it, blowing my Romancing SaGa 3 post right off the planet (it’s my highest traffic post…). Even if I somehow come out on top of the news sites (not happenin’), people are gonna search for PS4/PC/Switch versions of the game and not the original Japanese SFC version.

 

Sure, it’s a good thing that they’re doing all this, i’m just bitter that they waited til I came all the way over to Japan, learned the language, made a website dedicated to old obscure games that weren’t ever released overseas, and then they decide to bring everything over all at once 2 and a half decades later (wah wah muh Secret Club) . They’re threatening to do this with pretty much their entire SFC/PS1 catalog, so that means Live A Live/ライブ・ア・ライブRudra no Hihou/ルドラの秘宝, everything is probably going to end up on PS4/PC/Switch eventually…so while it’s good for everyone overseas, doing this basically crits my ass for 9999…

 

Okay, last point of my 27 year-old manchild crybaby rant, I promise! Final Fantasy VII Remake suddenly popped its head through the window and said “Hi. I’ll be out in half a year, not 2023 like you probably thought. Later.” Now, i’m of course excited about the Remake, but i’ve been putting off reviewing FF7 for as long as I possibly could.

 

This is mainly because FF7 wasn’t my first FF and the PS1 wasn’t my first RPG console, so I don’t think “FF7 is the best game ever” like everyone says you’re supposed to. Let’s be honest, me writing up a review where I say “DISCLAIMER: I like FF5, FF8, and FF9 way better” at the top is basically a death sentence.

 

But, I DID plan on reviewing it eventually. I’m sure everyone already knows, but there’s millions of FF7-related things on the internet already, so even without the remake coming out, the chances of me ever even ranking in search for something FF7-related are next to nothing. Even moreso if I wait until AFTER FF7R gets released, so if i’m going to review FF7 i’ll need to have it done before March of next year, preferably before Tokyo Game Show this year because I know stuff is going to blow up even more after that.

 

I already had my next few game reviews and stuff planned out, but I guess this means FF7 is probably going to do a hop-skip right over everything else and probably be my next game…FF8 also gets a remaster this year too, so that means i’ll have to get FF8 out kinda soon as well. I’ve been wanting to play FF8 again soon since it’s my favorite FF game (if the FF7 fans didn’t already close this page because of what I said above, they did now!), but I was hoping to space out FF7, FF8, and FF9 a lot further from each other.

 

That was long and painful, sorry. Just wanted to give a heads-up about how the site will be affected by the recent E3 events. Nobody would expect that an E3 could send a site dedicated to 20~30 year-old games to the Shadowrealm. I sure didn’t…

 

Anyways, yeah, SD3 and RS3 got trap-carded and FF7-FF8 are probably gonna be reviewed next-ish! If you read this far, you’re honestly the best! I feel bad though, it was all just a bunch of /wrists, but I truly appreciate the support, as always!

 

6/2

Well, I was able to get the review done over the weekend here like I hoped I could! Out of nowhere, the still very obscure Rudra no Hihou/ルドラの秘宝 for the SFC! This game might have the best box art i’ve ever seen for the SFC/SNES!

 

Problem is, instead of being a nice and easy 3000 word review like I originally planned, I ended up being off by just a tad bit, 7000 words to be exact, resulting in a 10,000 word review – a.k.a a small book. When I originally estimated 3000 words or so, I completely forgot that I would have to essentially do 3 separate story summaries. Not only that, I got pretty wordy during some of my complaints in the “Gameplay” section, so stuff just kinda added up…not sure how I finished a 10,000 word review in 2 days…

 

One thing you might notice if you check out the review is that I finally added my own videos for the first time. GIFs just can’t capture what I want to convey, so I decided to give 60fps videos a try. I originally thought that video quality/performance would be a lot better if I uploaded them directly to the site, so to keep my site from slowing way down /crashing due to bandwidth issues, I kept the videos extremely short – each one is less than 10 seconds.

 

I figured out afterwards that it’s actually all around a better idea to just upload them to Youtube and link them back to the site. Therefore, I won’t need to worry about video size or anything from here on out, so instead of showing a couple of auto-attacks, I can show entire fights. I wanted to show me walking around towns and stuff a lot more too, but I only took 4-5 second long videos of towns this time around – i’ll make sure to do better next time!

 

Thankfully I got the review done by the end of the weekend here, so that should give me time during the week to check out those Romancing SaGa 3 guides I mentioned in the last update. If all goes well, those should be pretty easy to bang out too, considering most of my guide book overviews are only 1,500-2,500 words.

 

I still haven’t decided the next game i’m going to review. WoW Classic comes out in like 2 months or whatever, and that’s probably going to suck me back into the loser life from back when I was 14 playing the game 12-16 back in 2006-2010 (even if I did play “hardcore” nowadays, i’d only be able to do 3-4 hours a day max, which is still casual to be honest…). With that in mind, i’d like to either be able to pre-write reviews (finish games early and post them afterwards “on-schedule”), or clear short games for a few months.

 

For PS1 games, stuff like Arc The Lad, Suikoden, Rhapsody, and Threads of Fate would allow me to probably finish the games in 15-20 ish hours instead of the typical 25-30, which means I could probably still crank out reviews at a decent rate even while wasting my life on WoW again (for a few months at least).

 

I’ll think about it though. It might be best to get a pretty meaty RPG done before then, and if I actually do get sucked back into WoW I can do some of the quicker games during that period. I’ll still be able to do book overviews, and one “plus” about playing PS1 games is that i’ll finally be able to start grabbing special editions of stuff to write about in the Rare Gear section! So one way or another, content should be coming out in some form either way!

 

Hopefully you’ll be able to enjoy the Rudra no Hihou review! I know it must be obnoxious having to read through 10,000 words just to see what some 20 year old game is about. It’s not on purpose, it just kind of happens…hopefully you can soldier through it and either learn something cool or find some cool pictures! Thanks as always for reading!

 

5/29
News update! The game I played actually kinda kept me hooked somehow (story-wise!), so if you’re wondering why I didn’t put out any of the book overviews that I threatened I would, it’s because I accidentally played the game start to finish. Only problem with that is that it was actually a bit of a long game – i’d estimate it took about 35-40 hours (no in-game clock to track the time, so I might be off by a few hours).

 

With the game done, I should be able to start the review this weekend. I have a feeling that it won’t end up being a 5000-7000 word monster like my last few reviews, mostly because the “Gameplay” section should be rather short…and I can’t mention most of the story due to everything pretty much being a spoiler one way or another. So, hopefully it’ll be a decent sized 3000 or so article that I can maybe bang out during the weekend!

 

Going forward, i’ve recently been thinking about making a short little free PDF/eBook that I can offer people to sign up for my mailing list. As of now, out of the ~1900 people that have visited the site since it started a year and a half ago (retro RPGs are a small niche, what can ya do?), I have an amazing 1 email subscriber haha (The awesome dude from France, thanks for subscribing!), so that’s what, a 0.0005 ish conversion rate?

 

I plan on making something that should help make Japanese versions of games a bit more accessible to people who don’t know any Japanese, so hopefully it’s something that some of my regular readers can benefit from! I also plan to make a kinda “preview” post to accompany it, but i’m not sure how well that’ll work, in terms of which category to post it in on the site and stuff like that.

 

I’m not sure how big the freebie will be and how much time i’ll spend on it, but in the meantime, I do plan on getting a guide book overview done for a Romancing SaGa 3 guide (I might have two actually, I forget…if so, then probably 2 overviews). My Romancing SaGa 3/ロマンシング サ・ガ3 review is my 2nd most viewed review so far, so i’d like to have another post or two to complement it, just in-case people checking out the review want a bit more.

 

My next game is still undecided…I thought I was set on playing another SFC game next, but recently i’ve just been craving a PlayStation RPG, any of them really. I’m trying to decide if I want to go with earlier PS1 RPGs like I tried to with my SFC/SNES progression. If I start out playing FFIX and stuff like that and then try to go back to earlier 1995-6 stuff, everything will seem a lot worse that it really is…so I might try an early PS1 RPG.

 

Since PS1 games start having needlessly long attack animations and overall slower battle systems (animations, initial loading times, all that), I assume they’ll generally all take longer than most SFC RPGs, so i’ll try to hack away at it while getting the Romancing SaGa 3 stuff and that PDF done! I might not have the game review out until around July though, but the other stuff should hopefully be done during June!

 

This update was almost the length of a post by itself, sorry about that! For those of you who stuck around and read all the way to the end here, thanks for your interest in the site! I know the intervals between posts are usually pretty long (3-4 weeks), but since I don’t use Emulators, I can’t 2x or 4x speed up games and beat them in 5-6 hours instead of the expected 20-30 like 99% of Retro RPG sites, so by the very principle of the site, I usually have to play through 20-40 hours of a game before I can even begin the review process…

 

My personal “hope” is that the “Authenticity” of physically owning the boxes/instruction manuals/cartridges and playing through the games the way they were originally intended to be played instead of just pirating everything would hopefully resonate with some of the readers. So, hopefully everyone can understand the “once a month” or so posting schedule – it’s not out of laziness! Again, thanks for reading and always coming back! Hopefully i’ll have something useful for you to download in the next month or two to show my appreciation!

 

5/2

Somehow I blitzed the review and got it done today! Finally, the last game of the “SFC” trilogy. You all already knew what it was, but here it is – Chrono Trigger/クロノ・トリガー for the SFC/SNES!

 

There’s no reason for a game that took me 8 hours to finish to take an entire month to review. To my defense, this Golden Week so far has been the most useless 10 days off i’ve ever had. Over the course of the last 6 days i’ve gotten a grand total of 3.5 hours to do game/blog stuff, so that means I haven’t been able to do anything at all, considering a single post takes around 10 hours to write + position pictures.

 

Whining aside, i’ll hopefully be able to actually start the next game soon. If not, I should be able to start it next week when I go back to work. It looks like a long game, so i’ll hopefully get a couple of book reviews or something done in the meantime.

 

Again, sorry for the constant delays, and I hope you enjoyed the “SFC” trilogy, even though it took quite a while to get done. Something I just noticed though, I just got done reviewing 3 of the biggest hitters for the SFC, so chances are most games from here on out aren’t going to live up to those 3…but there should still be plenty of good games left to review!

 

As always, thanks for sticking around and reading, even though the posting speed is really slow!

 

5/1

I apologize for not having the next review done yet. Here I am, lucky enough to have 10 whole days off in a row for Golden Week, and what happens? My wife, daughter, and I all get sick, separately…

 

The two days I had free before everyone got sick, I had to watch my daughter the entire day, so I couldn’t write much of anything during that time. We have 5 more days before work starts again, so I should still at least have it done before then…

 

The review right now is about 50% done, I still have the Gameplay and Music sections to go over, along with placing all of the picture in the right areas. Somehow, the game that I finished the quickest is taking the longest to write up, sorry about that…

 

4/21
Quick update before the next review – there’s good news and bad news! First we’ll start with the good news!

 

I finished the next game i’ll be reviewing! While it only took 2 weeks (quicker than most games), I got sucked into playing the Morrowind multiplayer mod with my buddy, so that destroyed an entire weekend. The total playtime for this playthrough of the game i’ll be reviewing was only about 8 hours…so I should have finished it in a single weekend to be honest (I spent almost double that on Morrowind that weekend…). So, the good news is that the game is already finished!

 

The bad news is – I finished the game on Sunday night here. That means I won’t really be able to really start on the review until this weekend (I write smoother when I bang it all out mostly at once, instead of an hour here and there). So, hopefully I can use the weekdays to get a headstart on the next game before I get to writing the review this weekend. So, for everyone that’s waiting for the final “SFC” series review, hopefully i’ll have it done by next weekend! Stay tuned!

 

4/4
Finally, the (hopefully!) much awaited review of the second game in the “SFC” series is finally finished – Final Fantasy VI/ファイナルファンタジーVI for the SFC/SNES! This review is probably never going to rank in Google since there’s a million FF6 reviews online, so this one is probably going to be an on-site exclusive haha!

 

I’m sure most of you probably know that Final Fantasy VI would be the remaining “F”, so that means you probably also know what the “C” is, if it’s going to be grouped together with the likes of FF6 and Seiken Densetsu 3!

 

I could have had the review finished a few days ago and probably been almost half-way through the next game, but i’ve accidentally fallen asleep at around 9PM like 3 times this past week, basically wasting about 6 or 7 hours worth of possible game time, my apologies…

 

In my last news update, I mentioned that I wasn’t sure if I was going to do another SFC RPG or try a PS1 RPG after my next review. I’ve suddenly been having the urge to play a particular game that I bought for Christmas a few months ago that’s been staring at me ever since. It should make a really cool piece of content, and i’ve personally never seen anyone review a physical copy of it before (at least not in English), so i’m hoping that it might be a pretty cool read for you guys!

 

Since I still have “C” to playthrough and review, this next mystery game will be a month or two away, if I don’t change my mind by the time i’m done with the next game. I probably won’t change my mind, but since i’ll have 3 consecutive SFC RPG reviews up by that point, I might want a change in scenery. Problem is, if I play a PS1 RPG it’ll probably end up being one of the games I never ended up beating as a kid – Xenogears, Legend of Dragoon, Legend of Mana – all 50+ hour looking games. Chances are it’ll be the mystery SFC game next…

 

3/23
Can’t believe it’s been almost a month since the last post…felt like just a week or two ago. Sorry for the delay, but I posted up the second part of the Dragon Quest CD Theater series, Dragon Quest 2 CD Theater/CDシアタードラゴンクエスト2! I don’t own any of the other ones in the series yet, so the next Rare Gear post will be something new next time!

 

For some odd reason it has taken me forever to beat the game i’ll be reviewing next. It’s not a particularly long game, but it just seemed like it took forever even though I’m in the second to last dungeon with I think around only 25 hours clocked in.

 

Good news is, since i’m in the second to last dungeon, i’ll probably have the game finished this weekend. That means the review shouldn’t be too far away, but since I want to make sure it’s a high quality post, it’ll take a bit of extra time and care like my previous Seiken Densetsu 3/聖剣伝説 review.

 

If everything goes as planned, the next game – the 3rd and final game in the “SFC” series – should be a lot quicker to beat than most other games, so if time decides to be nice to me, I could possibly bang that game out in a week or so, meaning that the next game review hopefully shouldn’t take the usual 3-4 weeks!

 

After the “SFC” series is finished, I’m still not sure if I want to try to review another SFC RPG or if I want to try another PS1 RPG. Golden Week is coming up in Japan here at the end of April, so if I’m gonna play a long 40-60 hour PS1 RPG, that’d be the best time for sure. Hopefully i’ll have that decided by the time I do my next News Update!

 

2/25

Really sorry for the huge delay in posts. I’m happy to say that I finally released the “Rare stuff” section and posted about a cool Dragon Quest 1 read-along type thing!

 

I would have gotten this out way sooner, but i’ve been working basically 2 hours of overtime everyday since the beginning of the month, which threw things out of whack. Aside from that, I have like 2 or 3 hours or so left of Kingdom Hearts 3, and I snuck in about 10 hours of gameplay for the next game i’ll be reviewing, so that means I should be about 30-40% of the way done with the game.

 

Just a note about the “Rare stuff” section – the posts are going to be pretty bite-sized compared to the game reviews and guide book overviews. There’s only so much you can say about a rare SFC or PS1 era t-shirt, or a special edition game box with some figures or something included.

 

This should hopefully mean that I can occasionally get some extra posts inbetween the 2-3 week game review intervals and 1-2 week guide book intervals. Not sure if the post consistency will increase THAT much, but an extra post here and there never hurts.

 

A quick shameless gloat – I finally got my first subscriber after a year and 2 months! That made me feel really good and gave me a better outlook on the future of the site! Thanks a lot for that!

 

2/3
Quick functionality update – it seems that Mailchimp, the company I use for my subscriber/mailing list, randomly updated my subscriber page without me knowing and put their logo RIGHT ON TOP OF THE INPUT BOX.

 

This means that it was literally impossible to complete the subscription form and actually subscribe to the site. Not sure how long that was going on for, as I haven’t really updated the page since making it almost a year ago…

 

I always wondered why I still didn’t have a single subscription after a year (out of all of the clicks, not a single one subscribed…). It could mean the site isn’t worth subscribing to yet (probably this, or the lack of freebies/incentive…), but if anyone out there was trying to subscribe but couldn’t, it looks like it’s possible to now!

 

I guess as a brief progress update, Kingdom Hearts 3 looks like it’ll be done this week probably, so I can finally get on to the next game i’ll be reviewing. Since it’ll be a while before it’s done, i’ll probably go ahead and add that “rare stuff” section and post something there…I just have to think of an interesting name for the section!

 

1/21
Finally finished my review for the first game in the mythological 3 game “SFC” set that I talked about last time…Seiken Densetsu 3/聖剣伝説3for the SFC!

 

I basically wrote an entire book on the god damn thing (7,800 words, bring a pillow or two), but there should be a lot of cool pictures and decent info in there, at least!

 

I haven’t beaten the next game that i’m going to review in Japanese yet, so i’ll have to playthrough that one in its entirety. Problem is, Kingdom Hearts 3 comes out in 4 more days here in Japan, and i’m 100% not gonna put it down until I beat it.

 

That means the next review is gonna take a while…i’ll probably get another guide book overview in and maybe actually implement that “rare stuff” section I threatened to do last update!

 

For the remaining two games, “FC”, you can probably already figure out what they are. Especially if you consider that Seiken Densetsu 3 was part of the group! Think it over and see if you’re right when the review comes out!

 

Thanks again for the support. Readers hit an all-time high this month, so i’m really looking forward to getting more content out!

 

1/2
Happy New Year! I just finished up a guide book overview to start the year off – Live A Live Complete Walkthrough Guide Book/ライブ・ア・ライブ完全攻略ガイドブック!

 

As I mentioned in my last update, the stuff I got for Christmas is eating up more time than i’d like it to (I got Dragon Quest Builders 2, too…), so in the meantime I thought i’d put out a quick guide book overview.

 

I’m going to go ahead and start up one of the three games in the “SFC” analogy that I mentioned in the last update. I’m hoping to make it a really awesome post, so it might require a bit of time and care to get it just right.

 

This is a game i’ve previously cleared, so depending on if I can get enough quality pictures from the final save point or not, I might have to end up replaying it again.

 

That means that I won’t be following up on Wizardry 1 for a while…after playing Wizardry 2 I figured out that it’s more of an expansion than an entirely different game, so it’ll be a lower priority for a while. Maybe after finishing up the “SFC” games i’ll be in the mood for more Wizardry!

 

12/16
My recent review is finally up! Wizardry I・II・III Llylgamyn Saga / ウィザードリィI・II・III リルガミンサーガ (Wizardry 1) for the PS1! Finally, one of those CRPGs I talked about liking in the “About” page!

 

It definitely shouldn’t have taken anywhere near as long as it did. Been working 2 or 3 hours overtime pretty much everyday since the beginning of December. The Japanese Salaryman struggle is real. I’ve got a few announcements below, so if you’re interested in the upcoming forecast of this site, take a look below!

 

To change the conversation up a bit – i’ll be officially hitting the 1 year anniversary of this site, I think next week or so! Considering this niche, i’m not sure if the growth has been big or small, or whether my rate of posting is slow/fast/just right. Either way though, it’s been fun so far and I look forward to hopefully doing better next year.

 

That said, I have a few things I feel like doing towards the beginning of next year. One is maybe adding a “rare stuff” section to allow me to post some of the super cool stuff here that doesn’t really fit into the “guide book” category. Some examples would be the Seiken Densetsu 3 card game (yeah, that actually exists!) and some cool Dragon Quest I and II audio cd / animated book read-along type things.

 

This won’t become a main section, I don’t think, but it will allow me to post some cool stuff that I believe most people from overseas will never even know exists. So, hopefully some of you guys can find some cool stuff in there and gain something from it!

 

Next, I’ve had a few games that I completed just before starting this site. They’re pretty big name SFC/SNES games, so I figured that a site like mine would never even get seen in the google results for those games.

 

I was wanting to wait until my site grew a bit before posting those, so that i’d at least have some type of chance of getting seen, but I’ve decided to just go ahead and post them up for those of you already checking out my stuff! If you take the initials of 3 of the games, you’ll get “SFC” ;).

 

I might just replay one of them, since it should be pretty quick, plus a lot of the cool scenes are story scenes, so me loading up a save before the final boss won’t do it justice.

 

Last but not least, i’m getting Red Dead Redemption 2 for Christmas, and Kingdom Hearts 3 is coming out in about a month, so i’ll be slightly side tracked (that’s a lie, i’m gonna be way sidetracked) until probably the end of February-ish. I’ll still be posting stuff, but there might be a few extra days inbetween!

 

If you actually read this far, I truly appreciate your interest in the site and how it’ll hopefully develop in the near future! Thanks again for always coming back!

 

11/25
Finally, my latest review is up! Valkyrie Profile/ヴァルキリープロファイル for the PS1!

My replacement phone took a few days longer to arrive than I had originally planned, so I was put off schedule even more than before. My phone’s camera settings seem to be a bit different than before, too, so pictures might be a bit off. I’ll try to get everything fixed up before my next review.

 

I think i’ve mostly decided what i’ll review next, but it’s a compilation of 3 games in a series, so i’m still not 100% sure. If I do happen to choose it, i’ll probably do one or two of the games in it, and then probably do a different game, and then go back and finish up the 3rd one, depending on if I get a bit burned out or not.

 

The games looks to be very unforgiving, especially if they’re true to the original (this compilation is a Japan only release with quite a bit of touch-up happening, so mechanics also might be a bit different too), so depending on how horrible my luck is, even completing the first game might take a bit of time. I’ll try to bang out the first one as soon as I can, though!

 

11/14

My phone suddenly died, and along with it all of the pictures I had ready for my upcoming review…

 

The review is mostly written, and all I really had left was to edit the pictures and put em up, so now i’ll have to go back and take whatever pictures I can (it’ll only be end-game stuff, can’t go back and do any story stuff at this point), so the next review might be a bit light on pictures…

 

With that said, i’ll be on a trip for the next few days, so the soonest i’ll be able to get everything up and ready will be the middle of next week, so stay tuned…

 

11/7
While waiting to write my next game review, I just threw up my overview for the Star Ocean Official Guide Book / スターオーシャン公式ガイドブック! It might seem kinda negative, but overall I think it should appease some Star Ocean fans, at least.

 

Been super busy these past two weeks, so I just finally finished the game for my next review a few days ago. It isn’t the kind of game that I could play during my lunch break (40 minutes) due to severe lack of save-points, so I lost about 9 hours of potential playtime during the 3 weeks it ended up taking to beat it.

 

Been working ridiculous overtime recently, but the review is ready to write, so if I can just get started on it…

 

10/14
After threatening to do my Elnard The Encyclopedia of Adventure guide book overview for almost half a year, I finally got it done! Sorry to keep anyone who was waiting waiting…

 

With that, i’ll be continuing my playthrough of my next game, though i’m only about 8 hours in, so probably only 25-30% done with it. Since it’ll probably take a while still, I might get another guide book overview done in the meantime.

 

10/3

Finally got my Dragon Quest I・II (Dragon Quest 2) SFC Remake review done!

 

I missed my intended deadline by a day, which I really apologize for. I didn’t have any time on Sunday and Monday to finish up the review, but I finally got it done now!

 

As I mentioned before, my next review will most likely be a decent length PS1 RPG, so the next review will probably go back to taking 2-3 weeks. So in the mean time, i’ll get that Elnard Encyclopedia of Adventure overview up!

 

9/24

Got the first of the two pending reviews up. I reviewed the Dragon Quest I・II (Dragon Quest 1) SFC Remake!

 

As you might tell, that means there’s also Dragon Quest 2 included in the remake, which I also hurried up and completed. So that means the next review will be Dragon Quest 2!

 

I’ll hopefully have that done by Friday, but if not it might end up being Sunday or even Monday of next week because i’ll be busy all day on Saturday.

 

9/22

Since i’m in the middle of a 10 day vacation from work this week, i’ve been able to complete two games in a row. I should have both of these reviews done by Friday of next week hopefully, so if everything goes well i’ll have two new reviews up soon!

 

Before my vacation ends, i’m gonna crack open the Elnard Encyclopedia of Adventure, finally…so should have a new Guide Book overview up here sometime soon too…

 

Next game is undecided, but i’m thinking it’ll be a PS1 game i’ve never had the chance to play before. Might be a bit lengthy, so if it looks like it’ll take too long, I might get another Guide Book overview done inbetween.

 

9/11

Finished up my first PS1 review, Parasite Eve / パラサイト・イヴ (PS1)!

 

Had a busy two weeks (took two weeks to finish a 10 hour game, that was horrible). I’ve already decided what game i’ll review next, it’s gonna be a SFC JRPG (technically a FC/NES game, but you’ll see what I mean). It should also be a pretty quick game, so hopefully i’ll have it up in a decent amount of time!

 

Next guide book will still probably be the Elnard Encyclopedia of Adventure, if i’d ever just get around to doing it…

 

 

8/24
Finished up my review for the new mystery game. Boundary Gate: Daughter of Kingdom / バウンダリーゲート for the PC-FX!

 

Now, the PC-FX only has about 9 or 10 RPGs on it, and only about 3 of them look like they’ll be interesting at all. The fact that the games are so hard to find (the other two are going to be even rarer than Boundary Gate…and expensive here in Japan means that it’ll be a while before I do another PC-FX review.

 

So, it’ll be back to SFC games for the time being, unless I decide to start up PS1 RPGs since I just got a japanese PS2.

 

Potential next review: Maybe the SFC Dragon Quest 1/2 bundle, or either Seiken Densetsu 3 or Chrono Trigger. I’ve had both of these beat since before I started the site, but i’d like to wait until the site gets bigger before I put those two reviews up…if not, one of the many amazing PS1 RPGs.

 

8/18

The game I bought for the “new system” was actually pretty decent, and way shorter than I expected it to be. I was able to beat it in about 12 hours.

 

Considering I was able to beat it within one week somehow, i’ll be writing a review for it here shortly. I feel iffy about reviewing a game without writing up an overview of the console first, but I guess i’ll get around to posting about the console itself someday.

 

8/7

Newest post (August 7th): Live A Live / ライブ・ア・ライブ SFC/SNES!

 

Next review: Undecided. If KH2FM doesn’t eat up any of my time, then…

 

・Depending if the game I just bought is actually fun, I might add my first review for a new system.

 

・If it’s not fun, i’ll continue on with SFC games, and maybe a new guide book review. Still wanna get that Elnard guide overview up!

 

8/3

Newest post (July 15th): Romancing SaGa 3 SFC/SNES!

 

Next review: Live A Live SFC/SNES (hopefully within the next week or so)

 

6/28
Next game review: Still Romancing SaGa 3, probably only still about half way through it…will finish it when I can.

 

Finally finished the Final Fantasy IV Guide Book set, so onto something new!

 

Next guide book overview:  Undecided…might go with the Elnard guide that I threatened to do last update or some of the elusive FF Scoop Books which are super short, so I could probably bang those out in no time at all.

 

6/16/2018
Next game review (probably): Romancing SaGa 3 SFC
Will be a bit later than I expected because I accidentally played through all of KH Final Mix 1.5 instead….

Next guide book overview: Final Fantasy IV Complete Walkthrough Guide Book (to finish off the FF4 book series) or maybe the Elnard Encyclopedia of Adventure.

 

5/26/2018

Next game review (probably): Romancing SaGa 3 SFC (sometime towards the end of June I think…)

 

Next guide book overview (probably): Final Fantasy IV Fundamental Knowledge Guide Book

 

5/6/2018

Next game review (probably): Star Ocean SFC

 

Next guide book overview (probably): Final Fantasy IV Fundamental Knowledge Guide Book

 

5/6/2018

I finally started doing Guide Book overviews/reviews. This is something I was thinking of doing since the beginning, but I figured they would be a good addition inbetween the usual month or so it takes to beat a game and get a review up.

I’ll only be posting guide book overviews for games that i’ve already reviewed, so please look forward to getting a glimpse of some really cool, obscure guides from back in the day!

 

5/6/2018
Our first baby was born at the end of March, so the pace at which I can finish games and review them has slowed down quite a bit. I’ll be trying to keep up the content updates still, so please stick around and look out for the occasional update!

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