Thursday, 3 July 2008
Boku no Natsuyasumi 3 - PS3
This was one of the first games I bought for my PS3. I was intrigued after watching a video clip of the game, and, as it seemed to have elements of Nintendo's Animal Crossing, I just couldn't resist.
The game places you in control of a young boy named Boku, who is staying at his aunt and uncle's farm in the countryside of Hokkaido, Japan, for the summer.
Arriving by train, Boku gets to spend the whole month of August exploring, swimming, and playing in the areas surrounding the farm. He'll get to meet and interact with other characters, and the aim of the game is to allow Boku to have a memorable and fun-packed summer holiday.
It's all very laid back, and you are free to spend your time as you see fit. For example, you could wander down to the local river and dive in, searching the depths for collectable bottle tops, grab your bug net and collect beetles, butterflies and insects, help out on the farm, slide down the surrounding green slopes on a tray, do a spot of fishing, or play your friends at beetle sumo - what you do is entirely up to you.
Of course you'll have to be back in time for dinner and if you don't hit the hay before 11pm, you'll sleep in and miss morning exercises with the rest of the family the next day.
Boku no Natsuyasumi looks beautiful. From the hand-painted backgrounds to the clean, fresh look of the characters and interiors, every screen is a joy to look at. The gorgeous style of the game really drives you on to explore new areas, as you never know what will be around the next corner.
There are also a few options to customise Boku's look. You can download dozens of colourful T-shirts from the Japanese PlayStation store for free and more customisation is also possible thanks to the T-shirt design tool, which is also available for free from the same source.
The Japanese audio and text can throw up a few problems, but as the game is so laid back, it's almost impossible not to find something to keep you occupied, even if you don't understand the many conversations. There's also little point holding out for a western release, as previous games in the series (for PS1 and PS2) have never been translated into English. So it's just as well the PS3 is region free, so importing isn't a problem.