My latest Japan package came in, bringing lots of early birthday goodies I'll show later, but wanted to quickly show off the first three issues of Hibikino Watcher, the Tokimemo 2 promotional magazine that came with the EVS append discs to enable most of the girls to talk to you. ImageImageImageImage
These are among the last of my Tokimemo white whales, although it was mostly waiting for a deal. The pending PSN shutdown made me finally get them and while that's obviously postponed, I suspect the price of these will shoot up once it is gone, so I'm still glad I nabbed them.
The discs themselves *are* dumped and available readily online, which wasn't always the case. If you wanna do it the proper way so you can hear girls other than Hikari and Kasumi say your name, PSN definitely remains the cheapest; all three discs are in a bundle for 600 yen.
As some of you probably guessed from my earlier Japanese posts, the Windows port of Sentimental Graffiti that I ordered also came in the same package. Some capability wonkiness in Windows 10, but works like a charm when emulating 98 in PCem. A few screenshots in the next post. ImageImage
Sentimental Graffiti was made by some of the same dev behind the influential Sotsugyou games and already had a PC-ish UI on console, so it's no surprise that it translates over quite smoothly. Always a little surreal seeing Japanese games of this vintage look so crisp, though. ImageImageImageImage
Anyway, I'll try to get this dumped eventually. I really need to get a drive that can properly handle CDs at Redump specification, though, so I'd rather hold off and do that rather than upload more functional, but technically improper dumps to Archive like I had to previously.
One nifty feature that's also unique to the PC version—if one that's useless now—is that you can tell the game to take whatever's currently on screen and it'll automatically set it as your wallpaper without having to fuss with manually loading it. This team understood its market. ImageImageImage
Nicer still, you don't even have to manually turn off the UI in-game to get a clear image. It automatically takes care of that for you as part of the process, which is a nice QOL thing they didn't have to do. ImageImage
All told, MIDI-only music support aside (not a dealbreaker by any means, but it lacking any Soundblaster support is still worth noting), I'm genuinely impressed with the quality of this port. Once I get that dump out there, I'd say it'll probably be the definitely version to play
In fact, it *almost* works perfectly in Windows 10 once you run it in 98 mode. Only problem is text spacing is borked and for reasons unknown. I've fiddled with various DPI and magnification settings and no dice. If anyone has suggestions, I'd love to hear them! It's so close! ImageImageImage
Anyway, back to other stuff I actually got in my birthday package. I also ordered a few new nifty (if varying levels of dubious) arcade boards for myself, specifically Mini Vaders, Kosodate My Angel, and (deep breath) Magical Date: Sotsugyou Kokuhaku Daisakusen. ImageImageImage
Mini Vaders is another PCB produced to test new arcade cabinets like my Dottori-kun I showed off before. It's basically a very rude version of Space Invaders where the aliens move quite aggressively. I've never gotten past the third screen. Very one note, but I still dig it. ImageImage
Kosodate Quiz is a quiz game where the types of questions you're good at influences how your child grows up. It's a cheap board and I honestly bought it hoping it would have difficulty dip switch settings, but nope, it doesn't and it still therefore kicks my ass hard. ImageImage
And finally, Magical Date EX, as it's more colloquially known, is a slightly expanded version of Taito's dating themed arcade minigame collection. Unlike the original, this was never ported, which was why I picked it up. The really terrible tree frog fighter remains the best part ImageImageImageImage
I do still intend to stream these arcade dating games I have once I order that new capture gear. It's all so fundamentally divorced from how conventional dating sims play that it's hard to consider them really part of the same genre, but they're a fascinating tangent nonetheless.

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More from @iiotenki

12 Jun
Graduation, the English version of Sotsugyou II produced by proto-Tokyo Pop outlet Mixx Games I bought, is very quick to reassure me in starting it at 5 AM that it was definitely money well spent for a piece of localization history.

(The sound mix is on the game, not me.)
While I'm empathetic to the difficulty inherent in bringing over a raising sim to a market where they were nonexistent, a lot of... decisions were made that don't necessarily do it any favors across the board. Like I said before, par for the course given who was behind it.
I will say that while the voice acting does leave a lot to be desired, it is seemingly a classic case of bad direction given to otherwise capable actors, as the voice cast list includes some not insignificant names. "Rica's" voice is still... an experience either way, though. Image
Read 4 tweets
11 Jun
Honestly, with respect to whoever translated the anime because I'm sure they were under much pressure for not *nearly* enough pay, if someone hands me Uma Musume and tells me I can retranslate its terms for the game, they're getting called "fillies" in English and that's that.
CR can be a blessing and a curse when working on licensed anime games. If the terminology is consistent, it's one less source of stress for me. But if the simultaneous broadcasts result in inconsistent terminology because of lack of licensor oversight, lord help me.
Years ago, I discovered that the anime for a game I worked on (don't ask, can't say) changed a huge chunk of its English terms mid-season. The LNs weren't out yet, either. The client ultimately told me to just improvise and run it by them and so I rewrote a lot from scratch.
Read 5 tweets
10 Jun
I've been very slowly working on collecting the handful of Japanese PC game locs that came out in the 90s and one of my biggest white whales came in: the localization of Sotsugyou 2! It's already dumped, so I'm not breaking the seal, but still excited to have this relic at last.
Anime olds will probably recognize the Mixx brand as a predecessor to Tokyo Pop and, indeed, in its time, this loc was available solely through mail order through them, which didn't exactly do much to move copies at the time, so it tends to show up for sale only sporadically.
As I wrote before, I got a good direct offer from a seller for this copy, far lower than any of the other boxed copies you'll see on ebay, so I promise I didn't completely lose my mind buying it. Still pricey, but very likely I'd never see it sell for that again, so I nabbed it!
Read 4 tweets
10 Jun
Me most days: It sure will be nice to get back to Japan finally so I can live my best days again in the place I'm happiest to call home.
Me tonight: It sure will be nice to get back to Japan so I can search for this Haruka cutout in earnest and propose to her in person finally.
E3 might be going virtual again this year, but I wanna reassure my longtime followers that if any online publication of repute has me on their virtual couch to talk shop (they won't), my resolve in sowing absolute chaos with the Haruka cutout proposal remains absolute.
i had to stop myself from buying a shiori cutout from yahoo auctions like a year and a half ago and she's not even my favorite tokimemo, don't think i won't actually go through with this one day
Read 4 tweets
9 Jun
Very different application, but a lot of the tips here apply just as much to writing good UI text/system messages in game locs, too. It's important to grasp not just the native design context of anything you translate, but also the context of your audience you're translating for.
What I mean is, it's important to be cognizant of any experiential gaps many or even just a portion of your players might have when playing a game in contrast to its native audience. What may be safe to imply natively may need to be spelled out for mechanical accessibility.
I've said it before, but when I know it's safe, it's common for me to add additional information into tutorial text, etc. to level the playing field abroad in terms of players' working knowledge. Failing to do so well can be a big contributor to games/genres staying niche.
Read 4 tweets
8 Jun
Playing an abridged run of Next King because sometimes you're just in the mood to throw dice to make girls like you and these sorts of idle animations you sometimes see characters display still get me every single time.
You don't see these animations every time you talk to the girls, but something about them feeling deliberately over animated, almost in an Animation Magic sort of way (if that makes sense?), manages to sell their idiosyncrasies and reminds you EVERYONE is unhinged. I dig it.
Anyway, still satisfying as hell to throw a bunch of dice and watch your current partner's affection grow for you one point at a time. Like I wrote in my thread, it's a genuinely funny sendup of galge, but also one whose mechanics make their own contributions. Next King is cool.
Read 4 tweets

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