Author page: Jose Williams

Tips For Your First Months in Harvest Moon: A New Beginning

There might be some tiny spoilers in what will happen in the game from these tips but I’ll try to be vague when I can.

Even though all Harvest Moon games share so much of the same concepts and ideas they all seem to need different things to succeed and this is even more true with A New Beginning. You’ll find yourself at the start of this new adventure low on cash and with a lot of work to do (just like every Harvest Moon), and due to how A New Beginning leaves you with little people to interact with (you need to build your town and get people to move in) you’ll probably find yourself trying to do a few wrong things to make cash and kill time. So here are some tips to keep you from feeling the hurt of being unprepared as your come into your second year of the game.

  • Don’t just sell everything you forage from the forest

When you start the game pretty much the only way to raise money and supplies is to take a walk through the forest and catch bugs and pick up flowers, sticks, rocks and whatever else you can. The problem is all of these raw supplies will be used later for something and some of them will be needed to make the game move forward. You see, to progress in this game you’ll be given plans for a town restoration project; which requires you to build certain items. Rocks need to be turned into material stone which are pretty much used for everything and branches are used for potted plants and made into lumber, you need these really badly. One great example though is Honeycomb and Bees which seem prime for selling as they go for a …

Review: Cherry Tree High Comedy Club

After playing Cherry Tree High Comedy Club (which will for the rest of this review be shortened to CTHCC) I have decided that it is a game of misconceptions and misguided first impressions; not all of this is a bad thing. Prepare for a bit of a back story!

You see when I first heard about CTHCC I was pretty excited for it. It was still in development at that time but I loved the art direction, the story ideas and I was really into visual novels at the time. It certainly looked like something I wanted to play and it was cool that a non domestic dojin game would be getting translated and released for a larger audience by its own developers (773 pronounced “Nanami”) and a publication company (Nyu) that aims on bringing these games across the globe.

I waited for the coming release which was slated to come to the Capcom store, their own site, Gamestop and Steam (and a few others). It seemed like a long wait but it finally came out (though still not on Steam). It was initially released for $7.99 and I opted to wait for it to come to Steam (figuring it wouldn’t be long) before getting it. Well that took a long time and during that time a few first impression articles and reviews were released, and they weren’t good. For all the positives of the game there were some big negatives, it was apparently pretty easy, very short (only 4 hours) and had repetitive gameplay and music. So I again decided to wait longer still with hope that it would be good but waiting for it to drop a few dollars in price.

Well when it came to Steam it finally got that price drop during the Winter sale. So …

Review: Harvest Moon – A Wonderful Life (GCN)

If you have never played a Harvest Moon game before know this; you have to like repetition and thinking things like farming and farm animals are fun or at least cute in some way is a must. Because that is all Harvest Moon is, farming, a little story and a little love. I had looked at Harvest Moon games for years and my love for games like Animal Crossing kept me interested but the simplicity of the concept (or what seemed simple) kept me from giving my time to the titles, I wasn’t sure if this was something that could keep my interest.

Finally I was able to borrow a copy of Harvest Moon: A Wondeful Life for Gamecube, an entry in the series often praised. I’ll be blunt, I was instantly in love with the game and I couldn’t put it down for a while. I was almost playing it to the point of obsession; good thing this game is really long.

In this game your father has recently passed away and you inherit the farm him and his friend had always dreamed of fixing up and making successful. You start out with one cow that has recently given birth so it can be milked, and a lot of dirt. You also have a pet dog and of course all of your house, barn and other buildings; but even the few tools you have a pretty worthless just being heavy and making you wear out quickly.

In each day you need to do several things and as you get more successful you’ll only have more to do, but thankfully you do get better at balancing (hopefully) each task and things come to make it a little easier. You’ll probably have a daily routine that includes feeding all your animals, …

Review: To the Moon

Even though To the Moon has been out for a while now, it is (almost) never too late to review an indie title. With it recently making its way onto Steam, going on sale for the Fall sale and likely again for the Winter one coming just around the corner it is a perfect time to do so. Plus it was announced recently that a sequel is in the works, so now is the time to play this gem.

If you have never heard of To the Moon it is an indie game developed by Kan Gao and the Free Bird Games team. It tells the story of a man’s dying wish and your efforts to make that come true, well sort of. It is about the story more than it is about the gameplay and I’ll dive into why later on in the review. It was developed using RPG Maker XP and if you’ve ever used RPG Maker or played a game that used it you’ll recognize that instantly.

Now something I want to get out of the way up front is the genre specific description often given for this game. It is often advertised as an Adventure/ Role Playing Game, neither of these fit right in my opinion. If you have ever considered buying the game because of these two descriptions you should pause for a second and read on. The core gameplay of this title is the hunting for clues in the environment much like a classic adventure title but unlike games like that they aren’t really all that hidden and in fact some will come to you just as you progress the story; almost feeling forced on you taking away that adventure feeling. Sometimes you’ll walk around and look for something that is tied to the …

Review: WiiU System

So I’ve had my WiiU for two days (now entering three as I post this) and I will say that I am happy with my purchase, I do not feel like my $350 was wasted. But before I get into all of that let me tell you about the WiiU and all of its bells and whistles.

 

The System

 

The System is a nice piece of hardware; it feels sturdy and not at all cheap. I’ve had this system on for hours at a time since launch day and I have never felt it get hot or start running loudly. I love how thin it is and how streamlined it seems. It has HDMI and Composite outputs (it comes with a HDMI cable), SD card slot, 4 USB ports, spot for the sensor bar and of course a spot for a AC adapter. Speaking of that AC Adpater, it is a beast. It does get warm but nothing crazy. As I’m sure you know the WiiU comes with either 8GB or 32GB of system memory, a very limited amount, I have the 32GB system. But the good news is it can be expanded with a USB hard drive, all the way up to 2TB, so plenty of memory can be added if you ever need that much anyway. Plus, it will always be cheaper in the long run! You cannot use SD cards for game downloads, that is just for Wii stuff and game saves and Nintendo does not suggest USB sticks. I won’t go into specs since no one has the faintest idea of what this is truly running and what it means except that it is more recent tech than last gen, obviously. I’ll touch more on this later.  Oh, and yes it is a finger …

Kirby’s Dream Collection: First Impressions

Kirby’s Dream Collection was something I had to have as a retro enthusiast; a collection of classic Kirby games leading up to the Nintendo 64 is awesome. Plus it has an art book and a music CD, and as you may know the music from the Kirby series is some of my all time favorites. What I have here will be a quick look of the entire collection; I haven’t had time to sit down in detail through all of it just yet.

The box is just a cardboard sleeve for the whole thing but the art with all the different versions of Kirby is cool. Luckily you do still get a regular Wii game case(aka white DVD case) on the inside for the game and CD, no paper sleeves or some garbage. The game case has a wood burned motif going on and it adds to that old school charm. Also inside is the Celebration book which I’ll get to in a moment.

As I mentioned the entire thing is a collection of classic Kirby games, here is the thing people will either find really cool or kind of lame. The games are not redone in any sense they are kept in their pure form, just emulated. If you are a purist retro fan you might like this, if you aren’t, this may bug you. Personally I’m on the fence, I like that they didn’t update the graphics like the Kirby Superstar remake or the Super Mario All Stars collection but, I would of liked things up scaled a bit. The boxed in games with the pixilated borders makes the collection look a little cheap. But, the games are still fun and you can play them with your choice of controller. As of writing them I just  played them …

Bob-ombs were apparently made by Reebok

The other night I was watching the Super Mario Bros. movie (yes I do watch that for fun, that is for another article) and I noticed something very odd. I’m betting plenty of people really into the Mario series know this already but, Bob-ombs were manufactured by Reebok. I know, this is a crazy thing to say, but I’m telling you the truth.

At the final climax of the movie Mario winds up a Bob-omb and it begins the walk towards King Koopa, of course to extend the climax it falls down a pit and has to find its way back to the target. When it finally does, it is on the under side of a grate and we get to see the underside of the Bob-omb’s feet and printed there is the Reebok name and logo.

Like I said, I’m sure there are a number of people out there who knew this already but this is the first time I can remember noticing it. I was in such shock I had to rewind and do a double take and then I had a hard time not laughing. This is probably one of the most hilarious moments of product placement I have ever seen.

Of course even though I’m sure no one in their right mind would call this “canon” we can discredit it anyway and say it isn’t a Bob-Omb. You know, since it sounds like everyone in the movie says “Ba-Bomb!” and never Bob-omb.…

Identifying Bootleg Game Boy Advance Games

Game Boy Advance games are one of the more popular games to be on the “black market” and many fakes are out there floating around. Some almost seem as common as the original games themselves such as the Pokemon titles. Luckily a lot of them can be spotted up front and if not they are very obvious once you open them. If you see a cart that looks suspicious or a game in your collection is acting up you should follow these steps to see if you have a fake GBA cartridge.

1. Check the label:

Ok, so your label doesn’t look too suspicious or you’re still unsure. The next best step is to flip the cart over and look at the part number on the back. In a little slightly indented box you should see the part number AGB-002, if you bought the game or it was ever sold at a store like Gamestop there is likely a price tag over the exact spot the number is so peel that away. AGB-002 is the part number of the cartridge case for all standard GBA games and that is what it should say. For some reason the majority of cases that floated around not made by Nintendo had the wrong part number and you will likely see AGB-004. That part number is actually for the GBA AC adapter and obviously does not belong on the game.

2The Case Part Number

Ok, so your label doesn’t look too suspicious or you’re still unsure. The next best step is to flip the cart over and look at the part number on the back. In a little slightly indented box you should see the part number AGB-002, if you bought the game or it was ever sold at a store like

The First Five Games to Buy for Your Sega Master System

When starting the journey of collecting for a new video game system where to start is always the hardest part. This is especially true for the Sega Master System where average to mediocre arcade ports or sports games are going to be the easiest to find and especially for an awesome price. But have no fear I have five picks for you to start your SMS collection! This is certainly not an end all be all “Best of” for the system, I haven’t played a large enough chunk of the library to make any kind of list like that, but these are great games that will really get your feet wet to start appreciating Sega’s 8-bit system.

Wonder Boy III: The Dragon’s Trap – $15  to $20

Yeah, starting so far into a series is a little weird but this game (or the one before it) is not tied to the original Wonder Boy and the beginning of Wonder Boy III sums up the ending of  the game before it. So getting into this game even with it being the third title is no big deal . Wonder Boy III is a side scrolling  Action-RPG and probably one of the best ones you can play from the 8-bit era. It may be a little on the easy side for some but it really keeps you engaged the entire time and it has a certain charm that is hard to just shrug off. You’ll find yourself in several different settings, collecting money, experience/charm, buying armor and weapon upgrades and other similar RPG like things. One cool thing about this game is you go through several animal transformations as you try and get back to normal and each one has it’s own special power. After you find the means to transform into

DIY PS2 Slim Base

I was once again (ie: as always) looking to move some of my gaming stuff around and had this nice cubby in my entertainment center that would be a good place for a console. The problem was it wasn’t very wide but very tall. As my set up is I had two options, move my Wii or get a stand for my slim PS2. My Wii is modded, so it has a USB drive plugged in, and I use it for Gamecube gaming so it needed to stay put and on its side; so I used Google to search for a PS2 stand. The ones that came up first were stupid expensive and/or had lights, didn’t need that, but I finally found just the plain round stand I had seen before. The new ones on Amazon were around $12 after shipping! It also didn’t look all that amazing in quality and the cheaper ones looked even worse. So here is how I went about to make the same round stand with free stuff I had laying around my house.

 

 

Supplies:

  • One screw that fits into the base of your PS2, should probably be unpointed, about the size of a computer case screw.
  • A CD/DVD Spindle and one of the clear spacer “discs”
  • Screw driver
  • Super Glue of some variety
  • Maybe a drill

 

1. Step one is to take that CD spindle and remove the actual spindle, we only need the base. Mine just twisted and popped out of the slot, you may need to break or cut it out. Don’t worry if you damage the center hole you don’t need it, just don’t crack the base.

 

2. Next you’ll need to make the hole for the screw to go through. You’ll want it about half an
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