• Hey, guest user. Hope you're enjoying NeoGAF! Have you considered registering for an account? Come join us and add your take to the daily discourse.
  • The Politics forum has been nuked. Please do not bring political discussion to the rest of the site, or you will be removed. Thanks.

Let’s talk about the Boku no Natsuyasumi (My Summer Vacation) series

Nightengale

Member
Jun 12, 2013
21,443
0
500
It's unfortunate that Sony never bothered to take a chance on even one of these games. Attack of the Friday Monsters was very charming, but these seem to have a much bigger budget and I prefer the look of the characters in them.

Of course they'll say the cultural differences are the main reason they didn't localize them, but I'm sure it would have found a following had they done it.

SCEA/SCEE of yore never even took a chance at more 'mainstream' games like Wild Arms and Arc the Lad, much less BokuNatsu.

Many Sony-published games of Japan in the PS1/PS2 era were actually published by 3rd-party publishers like Working Design and Bamco. Demons' Souls is probably the most well-known example of this in recent years, where America/Europe doesn't what Japan does.

BokuNatsu was so niche that even 3rd-party publishers didn't care to publish that franchise in US/Europe.
 

wmlk

Member
Aug 7, 2013
12,280
1
0
SCEA/SCEE of yore never even took a chance at more 'mainstream' games like Wild Arms and Arc the Lad, much less BokuNatsu.

Many Sony-published games of Japan in the PS1/PS2 era were actually published by 3rd-party publishers like Working Design and Bamco. Demons' Souls is probably the most well-known example of this in recent years, where America/Europe doesn't what Japan does.

BokuNatsu was so niche that even 3rd-party publishers didn't care to publish that franchise in US/Europe.

These games seem like they're right up the alley for Atlus or XSEED to pick up.
 

Ravage

Member
Jun 6, 2011
2,945
0
0
I really should track down a copy of the art book. The art style of this series is magnificent, pity there's no demand for it outside Japan ;(
 

Acquiescence

Member
Mar 5, 2011
26,037
31
775
This is just a guess, but I feel like when WWS started to become more 'consolidated' under a global umbrella rather than their older 'SCEA manages American studios, SCEJ manages Japanese studios' approach, it's the very, very regionally-focused IPs that suffer as a result.

I imagine that if WWS was established today, stuff like MLB The Show probably wouldn't get greenlit, because it caters by and large to only one market (USA), with very limited 'global appeal.'

Sounds pretty plausible to me. And not just that, the console market in Japan is declining right now, which hardly gives Sony extra incentive to fund another game in a series that's mainly catered toward Japanese gamers. Sony quite clearly have no interest in broadening the series' prospects by introducing it to an international audience, so all in all that doesn't bode well for the future of BokuNatsu. Sad really, but there you go.

It's unfortunate that Sony never bothered to take a chance on even one of these games. Attack of the Friday Monsters was very charming, but these seem to have a much bigger budget and I prefer the look of the characters in them.

Of course they'll say the cultural differences are the main reason they didn't localize them, but I'm sure it would have found a following had they done it.

If the series began life today under the same set of contractual circumstances, there would have been a good chance of localisation I think, what with these #BuildingTheList, eager-to-please times we're living in.

Damn, this is really making me want to grab a PSP to play these games.

That's what I did! They come pretty cheap these days, depending on where you're from.

Love this series of games, they are the sole reason i own a PSP there really is nothing quite like been able to jump inside these tiny beautifully painted worlds and live an endless summer. i'm pretty sad that there hasn't been a boku game since the last one on PSP i do replay the ones i have already, but another new adventure in some more beautiful Japanese countryside is something i really don't tire of.

I love them all but my favourites are 2 & 4, especially number 4 they did seem to get better and better as they went along. Loved the simple & charming interaction with the various people you come across as well as the daily family life, sometimes funny, sometimes a little sad but always charming.

The art is something to behold, i loved it so much that i tracked down the art book for the series. I love looking through as the printing is really high quality.




Half tempted to pick up the PS1 originals & the weird spinoff game but for the time been this is my boku collection.

Awesome post, your sentiments regarding what makes these games so appealing and attractive mirrors my own. There are just few things in this world quite as beautiful as Japanese countryside, even if it's just virtual countryside.

If you think the games get better as they go along then I guess it'll be best if I play them in order of release. I was kind of tempted to start with 3 first because it's the prettiest, but it makes sense to start at the beginning and see how the series evolves with each installment anyway, so that's what I'll do. Just out of curiosity, how much of a handle have you got on the Japanese language? You seem to enjoy the series so much, so it'd be interesting to know whether there was a lack of understanding where dialogue and writing are concerned or not.

Incidentally, you've got the exact same collection as me! Except you have all the original releases and not the cheapy re-releases I had to settle with :p. I wanted to get the original versions because they clearly have the superior cover art, but buying them new meant having to pay obscene prices, and I didn't want to own them used, so I settled with what I got. Not that I can complain too much, they still look really nice. Really love the look of that artbook too. I wouldn't mind owning something like that myself, but I can't imagine it would be available for a reasonable price.

And by spin-off, are you referring to Bokura no Kazoku? I'd love to be able to play that, but alas, it's PS2-only, so short of owning a Japanese console it's just not possible.
 

Tiktaalik

Member
Aug 6, 2004
12,870
0
1,430
So this thread convinced me to go all in...


Cool. Was there an online store you bought these up from? or did you cobble them together from separate stores? I might go ahead and pick them all up myself.

This thread reminded again that this series exists. I read through that whole SCROLL issue when it was first released and was really interested in picking up the games and trying them out, but I guess I kinda forgot about it.

I've never hacked open a game to look at its contents before, but considering how accessible the PSP is to hacking, I was interested in seeing how much potential there'd be in dumping the text of the PSP games. I've never done any fan translating and game patching before, but this would be a great one to start with.
 

Impotaku

Member
Jul 26, 2014
2,550
1,363
585
Leeds / UK
Awesome post, your sentiments regarding what makes these games so appealing and attractive mirrors my own. There are just few things in this world quite as beautiful as Japanese countryside, even if it's just virtual countryside.

If you think the games get better as they go along then I guess it'll be best if I play them in order of release. I was kind of tempted to start with 3 first because it's the prettiest, but it makes sense to start at the beginning and see how the series evolves with each installment anyway, so that's what I'll do. Just out of curiosity, how much of a handle have you got on the Japanese language? You seem to enjoy the series so much, so it'd be interesting to know whether there was a lack of understanding where dialogue and writing are concerned or not.

Incidentally, you've got the exact same collection as me! Except you have all the original releases and not the cheapy re-releases I had to settle with :p. I wanted to get the original versions because they clearly have the superior cover art, but buying them new meant having to pay obscene prices, and I didn't want to own them used, so I settled with what I got. Not that I can complain too much, they still look really nice. Really love the look of that artbook too. I wouldn't mind owning something like that myself, but I can't imagine it would be available for a reasonable price.

And by spin-off, are you referring to Bokura no Kazoku? I'd love to be able to play that, but alas, it's PS2-only, so short of owning a Japanese console it's just not possible.

When i came to the series i kind of came in backwards i started with the 4th game and then got the others on PSP and then eventually quite a while later i got a PS3 so i got the 3rd one as well. So i ended up playing them all out of order, everyone will have their favourites but i love the ones where they are set at the coast i loved the island hopping in the 4th game via the ferry. It would be fun to experience them in order though but not totally compulsory as the stories are all self contained.

My Japanese ability is average at best, i can just about manage my way through them but they don't have furigana on the kanji meaning that some of the text can be hard going, managed to finish them all though but some had a few parts where i got stuck figuring out how to get or do something. Yeah i was referring to bokura no kazoku spinoff game but i don't have a PS2 meaning that would add to the expense of getting to play it, maybe one day though.

As a 38 year old British guy i never would have imagined in a million years that i would enjoy experiencing multiple summers through the memory of an old Japanese guy remembering his summer he had as a kid. But i'm glad i stumbled across the series as they are just the kind of unusual games i love, there are very few games out there that are like these although Houkago shounen on the DS is one that plays very similar.

The games are nothing fantastical storywise just everyday Japanese life and that's part of it's charm, some of the customs i recognise due to my interest in Japan but others like when boku was invited to take part in obon with the rest of his relatives i ended up reading up on as i wasn't sure why they were at the graveyard. See it's fun & educational hehe, i enjoy the scenes at breakfast & supper where the family talk about their day it's enjoyable learning about all the family members plus it also gives you some nice pointers at what things to do for your days activities. On these cold & miserable winter days i'm tempted to fire up my PSP for another playthrough it's been a while since i went butterfly catching.

The artbook i ended up paying through the ass for as at the time i only had ebay as an option to get it as it's been long out of print, found a new copy on there but it cost me the best part of £40 to get it. However since then i now have an account with Tenso which is a shipping forwarding service so i'm able to order from places that usually won't ship outside of Japan. So if you really wanted it there is another avenue than ebay. Amazon Japan has a few marketplace sellers that have the artbook still, they are all used copies though but they are pretty cheap. I wish i had found out about shipping forwarding earlier it would have saved me a fortune compared to coughing up on inflated ebay prices.
http://www.amazon.co.jp/ぼくのなつやすみ美術館-綾部-和/dp/4838103204/ref=pd_rhf_eeolp_p_img_1
 

Impotaku

Member
Jul 26, 2014
2,550
1,363
585
Leeds / UK
Attack of the friday monsters was a suprise to see released over here, it was nice to see that it was well recieved too, a lot of people were drawn in by the beautiful artwork. If only the boku games could have reached a wider audience but part of their charm is also what would probably hold them back it's a very Japanese game at it's core & while some people would be charmed by it i don't think it would sell enough to the mainstream west to justify the cost of translating sadly.

There is the added complication on how the text appears in the game, in the boku games it's top to bottom right to left, the traditional way of displaying Japanese. It would be tricky to make English display the same way. I wish there was a way for them to be playable in english just so more people could experience it, it's not just a game it's the whole atmosphere. When playing on PSP i wear headphones because the sound of the waves crashing at the beach or just listening to the insects chirping is really soothing, i can literally sit there close my eyes and feel like i'm inside the game.

Manged to find a trailer of the 4th one it sums up all the fun things these games offer.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xzGta9sR4zM

And one of the 2nd game
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8L_p4r1l78

And as a bonus i managed to find a trailer of the DS game houkago shounen, Konami copied the idea of the boku games from milennium kitchen but they managed to make it their own thing. It was just as charming as the boku games. The last day before you have to leave all your friends actually made me misty eyed, loved the story.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1F4JU2hSY-U
 

Acquiescence

Member
Mar 5, 2011
26,037
31
775
Cool. Was there an online store you bought these up from? or did you cobble them together from separate stores? I might go ahead and pick them all up myself.

This thread reminded again that this series exists. I read through that whole SCROLL issue when it was first released and was really interested in picking up the games and trying them out, but I guess I kinda forgot about it.

I've never hacked open a game to look at its contents before, but considering how accessible the PSP is to hacking, I was interested in seeing how much potential there'd be in dumping the text of the PSP games. I've never done any fan translating and game patching before, but this would be a great one to start with.

Well, for Boku no Natsuyasumi 3, I purchased that over at Play-Asia. They called it a limited time offer, but that's bullcrap - they're still selling it for the same price right now. As for the three PSP games, I bought them all in one go from a marketplace seller on Amazon UK called Deputi Japan, as they were the ones selling the games brand new for the lowest price. They were gracious enough to avoid customs by both marking the games as a gift and claiming the total value was $20 on the packaging, even though I never asked them to. I don't think that's entirely legal of them, but I'm thankful either way! Hope that helps.

And yeah, I ended up buying that SCROLL issue a while back. It was a great read, very enlightening. I do wish the accompanying section revolving around Jumping Flash! was a bit more comprehensive though, lol.

When i came to the series i kind of came in backwards i started with the 4th game and then got the others on PSP and then eventually quite a while later i got a PS3 so i got the 3rd one as well. So i ended up playing them all out of order, everyone will have their favourites but i love the ones where they are set at the coast i loved the island hopping in the 4th game via the ferry. It would be fun to experience them in order though but not totally compulsory as the stories are all self contained.

My Japanese ability is average at best, i can just about manage my way through them but they don't have furigana on the kanji meaning that some of the text can be hard going, managed to finish them all though but some had a few parts where i got stuck figuring out how to get or do something. Yeah i was referring to bokura no kazoku spinoff game but i don't have a PS2 meaning that would add to the expense of getting to play it, maybe one day though.

As a 38 year old British guy i never would have imagined in a million years that i would enjoy experiencing multiple summers through the memory of an old Japanese guy remembering his summer he had as a kid. But i'm glad i stumbled across the series as they are just the kind of unusual games i love, there are very few games out there that are like these although Houkago shounen on the DS is one that plays very similar.

The games are nothing fantastical storywise just everyday Japanese life and that's part of it's charm, some of the customs i recognise due to my interest in Japan but others like when boku was invited to take part in obon with the rest of his relatives i ended up reading up on as i wasn't sure why they were at the graveyard. See it's fun & educational hehe, i enjoy the scenes at breakfast & supper where the family talk about their day it's enjoyable learning about all the family members plus it also gives you some nice pointers at what things to do for your days activities. On these cold & miserable winter days i'm tempted to fire up my PSP for another playthrough it's been a while since i went butterfly catching.

The artbook i ended up paying through the ass for as at the time i only had ebay as an option to get it as it's been long out of print, found a new copy on there but it cost me the best part of £40 to get it. However since then i now have an account with Tenso which is a shipping forwarding service so i'm able to order from places that usually won't ship outside of Japan. So if you really wanted it there is another avenue than ebay. Amazon Japan has a few marketplace sellers that have the artbook still, they are all used copies though but they are pretty cheap. I wish i had found out about shipping forwarding earlier it would have saved me a fortune compared to coughing up on inflated ebay prices.
http://www.amazon.co.jp/ぼくのなつやすみ美術館-綾部-和/dp/4838103204/ref=pd_rhf_eeolp_p_img_1

Thanks for elaborating further on your experience with the BokuNatsu series and why you like it. I'm always really interested in reading the thoughts of people who imported and played these games. It just feels to me like there is so little known about it from a Western perspective, so it's fascinating to read all these impressions. Your average Japanese is still a lot better than my beginner Japanese, so I'm going to have to keep learning big time.

And thank you for bringing to my attention Tenso. I'm going to look into that at some point.

great thread. god i wish some of these had been localized, attack of the friday monsters is such a lovely little taster.

Thanks bud. Attack of the Friday Monsters was indeed a wonderful little game. I just wish it didn't get all weird at the end, I found that pretty off-putting. I felt it was at its best when it was playing things straight as a standard slice of life adventure.

There is the added complication on how the text appears in the game, in the boku games it's top to bottom right to left, the traditional way of displaying Japanese. It would be tricky to make English display the same way. I wish there was a way for them to be playable in english just so more people could experience it, it's not just a game it's the whole atmosphere. When playing on PSP i wear headphones because the sound of the waves crashing at the beach or just listening to the insects chirping is really soothing, i can literally sit there close my eyes and feel like i'm inside the game.

Couldn't that be remedied by simply shifting the dialogue box from the side of the screen to the bottom to better accommodate the English language though? Or would that just be a nightmare from a coding perspective?

And yeah, I'm looking forward to experiencing all the little atmospheric touches. Instead of headphones though, I was thinking of buying an adapter cable and hooking up the system to my TV. Don't know how well PSP games would fare on a big HD screen though. Not very well I'd imagine.
 

Impotaku

Member
Jul 26, 2014
2,550
1,363
585
Leeds / UK
I suppose they could in theory put the text at the bottom but it would cause another issue of it obscuring the wonderful artwork, that's why i'm assuming they had the game display the text to the side to keep it out of the way plus it also mimics a book like that.

Will be interesting to hear your impressions as you play.
 

Acquiescence

Member
Mar 5, 2011
26,037
31
775
I suppose they could in theory put the text at the bottom but it would cause another issue of it obscuring the wonderful artwork, that's why i'm assuming they had the game display the text to the side to keep it out of the way plus it also mimics a book like that.

Will be interesting to hear your impressions as you play.

I'd like to post some impressions, but the timing doesn't feel right to start playing them. I've still got a huge backlog to contend with, and we're in the midst of this bitterly cold winter.

 

Shadowman16

Member
Feb 19, 2009
3,633
1
0
www.capcom-unity.com
This thread pushed me over the edge to finally pick up the games (starting with the first game on PSP). They've been on my radar for a while, it seems like a great laid back series that I'd really enjoy.
 

bwakh

Member
May 26, 2014
880
0
0
So this thread convinced me to go all in...



Yep, I knuckled down and bought all four games brand new, the last of which arrived today. The three PSP titles averaged about £18 each while the PS3 game cost £23, all free delivery. Not bad really, I was expecting them to fetch for higher prices than that. I also purchased a used PSP 3000 that's in great condition for £30, specifically so that I could play the three PSP games. I'd have honestly rather played the PS1 and PS2 versions of BokuNatsu and BokuNatsu 2 respectively, but obviously there's no easy means of doing so due to the region-locked hardware, so I had to settle with the handheld ports.

This thread also persuaded me to take up learning Japanese. I don't think of the BokuNatsu games as the reason for this, but rather the catalyst; becoming more versed in Japanese is something I've wanted to do for a long time and should have done a lot sooner, but better late than never I guess. It's been three months now and slow going, but I'm studying every day and definitely making progress. And this might sound weird, but I'm not actually going to play the games until summer arrives this year. Not only does it feel outright wrong to play a series of games so revolved around the summer season in the middle of this dank and cold winter, but I'm also hoping my grasp of the Japanese language has improved a fair bit by then. I know it takes years to become fluent so I'm not expecting miracles, but if I can learn enough to at least get the gist of things in the games and understand a little of what's being said, then that'll be good enough. I don't want to go into them completely oblivious of everything with the exception of the most basic phrases, and I think being able to read a little and understand a little of the dialogue will enhance my enjoyment of the games as a whole.

Also, there was some news posted today regarding the Boku no Natsuyasumi franchise, although it's not particularly positive. Kaz Ayabe, creator of the series, was talking on a livestream at Tokaigi some hours ago and revealed info about a cancelled project...

Boku no Natsuyasumi creator divulges past development of winter break-themed game



That sounds like a great concept to me, and it's a shame it never came to fruition. I do wonder what the future holds for the series. I get the impression that Sony isn't exactly eager to greenlight another game.

Man this post might be the thing that pushes me to start learning japanese as well and start playing those unlocalised games.

Boku no Natsuyasumi looks fantastic. Thank you for this thread
 

Acquiescence

Member
Mar 5, 2011
26,037
31
775
This thread pushed me over the edge to finally pick up the games (starting with the first game on PSP). They've been on my radar for a while, it seems like a great laid back series that I'd really enjoy.

Awesome stuff. It's great to see the thread persuading others to check out the games and not just me. I hope you enjoy them.

Man this post might be the thing that pushes me to start learning japanese as well and start playing those unlocalised games.

Boku no Natsuyasumi looks fantastic. Thank you for this thread

That's great man, really great. Makes me feel all fuzzy inside reading that. I used to see the language as a barrier, but with so many unlocalised games around that I'm itching to play, I figured it was just time to set aside the excuses and learn Japanese. I hope I can persevere with it. Good luck to you too if you decide to take it up.
 

AtomskEater

Member
Oct 6, 2007
5,242
0
0
This series looks absolutely charming, and it's on my must play list since most of them are up on JP PSN. The hand painted backgrounds are beautiful, and I love the idea that the only objective is to have a nice vacation in any way you see fit.

Man this post might be the thing that pushes me to start learning japanese as well and start playing those unlocalised games.

Boku no Natsuyasumi looks fantastic. Thank you for this thread

Give it a shot! Learning enough for basic understanding isn't very hard.
 

Lagamorph

Member
Aug 6, 2013
5,974
0
485
36
UK
Whatever you do, do not accidentally google "Natsuyasumi" on its own by not copying and pasting the whole name. For the love of god don't.
 

bwakh

Member
May 26, 2014
880
0
0
Awesome stuff. It's great to see the thread persuading others to check out the games and not just me. I hope you enjoy them.



That's great man, really great. Makes me feel all fuzzy inside reading that. I used to see the language as a barrier, but with so many unlocalised games around that I'm itching to play, I figured it was just time to set aside the excuses and learn Japanese. I hope I can persevere with it. Good luck to you too if you decide to take it up.

:) I do too. I am always just hoping that such interesting games get localised somehow because my Japanese is only limited to a few phrases from subtitled anime that I watch from time to time. It's 90% disappointment when hoping for localisation so after watching you jump in like this makes me feel like I should too. How bad can it be right? Can't wait to get over the language barrier after all this time.

Thank you and good luck to you as well :)
 

bwakh

Member
May 26, 2014
880
0
0
This series looks absolutely charming, and it's on my must play list since most of them are up on JP PSN. The hand painted backgrounds are beautiful, and I love the idea that the only objective is to have a nice vacation in any way you see fit.



Give it a shot! Learning enough for basic understanding isn't very hard.

I definitely will. It's just the writing scripts that scare me :(
 

Acquiescence

Member
Mar 5, 2011
26,037
31
775
Give it a shot! Learning enough for basic understanding isn't very hard.

Pfft, yeah right, I wish that were true! In my case at least. Maybe I'm just slow, but I have a hard time detecting the words and phrases I know off by heart because they're all spoken so fast.

Early days yet I suppose.

Whatever you do, do not accidentally google "Natsuyasumi" on its own by not copying and pasting the whole name. For the love of god don't.

Too late.

i should have listened
 

Raitaro

Member
May 9, 2013
3,321
2
360
Reading
I just wanted to pop in here to say that I really like people's enthusiasm in this thread and that I too had wished these games would have been localised at some stage.

Ever since I saw the SCROLL issue about it, I instantly knew both me and my girlfriend would like this series. I'll probably end up importing the PS3 game at some point, which my girlfriend possibly could try to use for her Japanese language practice.

I'd also love to get my hands on this book, if at all still possible:

The art is something to behold, i loved it so much that i tracked down the art book for the series. I love looking through as the printing is really high quality.



In terms of atmosphere the art reminds me a bit of a picture book titled Tokyo on Foot by Florent Chavouet and it's French sequel of sorts Manabé Shima. Check them out, I'd say!

By the way, what other games come closest to this series, be it in terms of (summer) atmosphere, gameplay or both? Off the top of my head I can only think of Animal Crossing, Harvest Moon, Phoenix Wright and occassional lighter scenes in certain JRPG's (Persona, Mother, Tales of Symphonia, etc.) or Zelda games. (And Outrun of course as far as a more high energy summer vibe goes - but that isn't really what these games are going for.) Are there any similar series to this (stuck in Japan) that we need to know about?

Also, there totally should be a winter holiday game at some point in which you can sleigh down hills, throw snowballs, build snowmen, etc!

...

Also, there was some news posted today regarding the Boku no Natsuyasumi franchise, although it's not particularly positive. Kaz Ayabe, creator of the series, was talking on a livestream at Tokaigi some hours ago and revealed info about a cancelled project...

Boku no Natsuyasumi creator divulges past development of winter break-themed game

Crap! What a shame that this was never finished! Would have loved this even more perhaps! Would have been the ultimate winter game in a way.
 

Acquiescence

Member
Mar 5, 2011
26,037
31
775
By the way, what other games come closest to this series, be it in terms of (summer) atmosphere, gameplay or both? Off the top of my head I can only think of Animal Crossing, Harvest Moon, Phoenix Wright and occassional lighter scenes in certain JRPG's (Persona, Mother, Tales of Symphonia, etc.) or Zelda games. (And Outrun of course as far as a more high energy summer vibe goes - but that isn't really what these games are going for.) Are there any similar series to this (stuck in Japan) that we need to know about?

Well, the obvious suggestion to give would be Attack of the Friday Monsters, a 3DS-exclusive downloadable title by the same developer. It's very similar to the Bokunatsu games, albeit smaller in scale and with a more fantastical slant to its story that I didn't wholly appreciate. Aside from all the guff about aliens, it's a great little game, and absolutely dripping with atmospheric touches that make you really feel like you're in Tokyo in the 1970s.

Other than that though, there are few games like Bokunatsu and even less that made it overseas. The SCROLL issue you mentioned has some examples of other games set in Japan and during a summer vacation - Summer Days for the Mac, Inaka Kurashi:
A Southern Island Story for the PS2 and Houkago Shounen for the DS. Here are the blurbs given for each one...

Summer Days

A one-man production by a prolific developer named Takeshi Sakai, Summer Days was a freeware game made for MacOS just a year before the release of My Summer Vacation. A flare-up in the media led to speculation that Sakai (or someone) was calling Bokunatsu plagiarism, but that was hardly true, and the whole thing was blown way out of proportion. No one was accused or sued, and though Summer Days may have some parts that look eerily similar to Millennium Kitchen’s game, it’s basically a hollow adventure game with a few clichéd elements of summer, devoid of the sentimentality of My Summer Vacation.

Inaka Kurashi

Released mere months after My Summer Vacation 2, Inaka Kurashi (”Country Living”) has more than one obvious similarity to Bokunatsu 2, but it’s really a victim of coincidence than anything. You do play a kid on vacation, only it’s a teenage girl, and it takes place in March in the present day. Set in Okinawa (or a reasonable facsimile), young Tomoko explores the island village she stays at, meeting new people and biking down paths, soaking in the tropical scenery before dinnertime. Inaka Kurashi sets itself apart from Bokunatsu with realtime 3D graphics, but by now, those are pretty dated. Annoying, almost buggy controls don’t help it these days, either.

Gameplay footage

Houkago Shounen

The opposite page may have games with some big similarities to My Summer Vacation, and they may be more coincidental than anything, but Konami’s Houkago Shounen (After-School Boys”) is perhaps the most blatant copying of the setting and formula of Sony’s series. Consider the evidence: it takes place in summer 1975, and stars Osamu, a grade school boy in a yellow shirt who hangs around his idyllic town with his friends, exploring the area and engaging in a myriad of activities, including period-specific toys and games (ones made by Konami, even). That said, Houkago Shounen isn’t that bad of a game on its own, with decent art (not too similar to Mineko Ueda, thankfully) and production values expected of a huge company like Konami, and a delightful cast of characters, some who are actually different than the characters of Bokunatsu games! Its emphasis is more on leisure and fun than nostalgic reflection, though, which makes sense as a portable game, yet because it takes place during the active school year, Osamu runs into some trouble regarding his studies, and faces some discipline from his young dad. At least the story is fairly original, but, y’know, they could’ve went with a different shirt color.

Other than that, I'm at a bit of a loss. Grasping at straws, there's always the opening portion of Yakuza 3, which revolves around the lead character running an orphanage near a beach and helping out the kids there with their own individual problems. It was an opening segment that got criticised by the fanbase at large for being too light on action, but I really enjoyed it. And there's always the Shenmue series, which isn't set during summer, but features similarly slow-paced, explorative gameplay with a huge amount of detail paid to the environment and ambiance in general.

Also, there totally should be a winter holiday game at some point in which you can sleigh down hills, throw snowballs, build snowmen, etc!

...



Crap! What a shame that this was never finished! Would have loved this even more perhaps! Would have been the ultimate winter game in a way.

Can't even begin to fathom how picturesque a Japanese winter wonderland on the PS4 by these guys would have been. A real missed opportunity.
 

Replicant

Member
Mar 20, 2007
28,340
0
0
I've always wanted to buy the PS3 version but with my basic Japanese, I'm afraid it'd be a waste of money/effort.

I hope they'll release a PS4 version and translate it to English this time around.
 

Meciu

Member
May 28, 2013
731
0
410
Ever since I finished Persona 4 for the first time I've always wanted a game that scraps all the figthing etc. and leaves only the social slice of life stuff which I enjoyed the most. Now when I know that a game like that exists i learn that it's in japanese only... :((
 

HOSKINGJ

Neo Member
Jan 8, 2015
38
4
320
Ever since I finished Persona 4 for the first time I've always wanted a game that scraps all the figthing etc. and leaves only the social slice of life stuff which I enjoyed the most. Now when I know that a game like that exists i learn that it's in japanese only... :((

100% agree and 100% feel your pain...
 

Nightengale

Member
Jun 12, 2013
21,443
0
500
I'm quite curious how they'll take the franchise mobile. There are components of BokuNatsu that I could see applied to mobile, but it's at its core a game that tries to transport you to a idyllic vacation with a happy family so not sure how that experience can be translated well.

As much as it annoys me that Sony is taking those set of IPs mobile, I largely recognise it means Sony never cared to revive them for consoles in the first place, so I hope that they'll do well so that some executives on the console side will get legit shook and fund a console version.

Hope to the success of BokuNatsu!
 

Yohanov

Neo Member
Jan 8, 2016
13
1
250
Thanks, I'm thinking there must be some good ones PC as well from the late 90's or early 2000's.

The art direction in itself can be different by the way, I meant good games with these kind of fixed well-drawn backgrounds!
 

Shin-Ra

Junior Member
Oct 10, 2013
12,085
1
0
The two Another Code games by Cing had a similar nature-chill atmosphere for most of the game.
 

Neiteio

Member
Nov 10, 2007
54,436
6
0
Never heard of this series, but I get such wonderful feelings looking at the screens in the OP!
 
May 10, 2013
3,768
58
575
why did they never continue this series! :( did sales dwindle? i guess the mobile one will do but still..
 

Iva Demilcol

Member
Apr 26, 2014
5,240
1
395
LeBlanc Teahouse
*realizes this thread is from 2 years ago*

I wanted to try these games since I found out about them but I had never have the chance. I may try that one by Konami though. Language is not a barrier anymore to me, last year I played Persona 5 so I'm pretty sure these games will be easier to understand. I have a PSP and a PS3 so I guess that at least I can try the cheapest one :p
 

Yohanov

Neo Member
Jan 8, 2016
13
1
250
The 3rd had poor sale in a poor hardware sale context, the 4 and remakes it did OK on PSP. Game cost more to make nowadays maybe?

But I think the formula has nothing more to offer both for designers and players, outside of doing one in 90's era but still... I was hoping for a new full -not boku- Ayabe game on PS4 or Vita but now he is working on the mobile Boku, which was not a good news to me...
I suppose mobile is now more important than consoles in Japan.

--
Yeah it should be not be harder than than the high school part of Persona.
 

billy beane

Banned
Jun 23, 2011
4,432
0
615
That 3DS game Attack of the Friday Monsters is by the same guy right? That was such a charming little game I loved it. I would love a sequel on the Switch.
 

BTA

Member
Jan 30, 2014
4,253
0
315
Why'd y'all have to bump this thread and make me hopeful that one had gotten a fan translation or something?

I loved Friday Monsters so much and I want to play these so badly.
 

Yohanov

Neo Member
Jan 8, 2016
13
1
250
Friday monsters was 2-3h iirc. Cool but not what'd I call a full game like Boku.

Well if you liked it know that boku is a way better, personally I liked the first half of Friday but the end left me disappointed.

Way too much text to see a fan translation coming imo.
 

Joey Jo-Jo Jr

Member
Jan 25, 2016
136
3
270
The ps1 original is one of my favourite games of all time and as far as I'm concerned has the most realistic cast of characters of any game I've ever played.
It's one of the few games I've played that left a genuine mark on me the way a great novel or movie does.

I hate to sound language snobby but this is not just a cute game about walking around looking at things and catching bugs.
It is all about daily interactions with the family members, each of whom has their own well developed personality and story.

I agree it deserves a translation. I think there would be an audience for it in the west, nowadays moreso than back in the ps1 era.
 

Yohanov

Neo Member
Jan 8, 2016
13
1
250
Yeah lot of people are curious about japanese culture, the West is actually craving for such a realistic game.

But since the translation would be expensive I don't see where they could release it now unless they do a HD remake of an old one for the PS4 Japanese market and then localize it.

I'll wait to see what the mobile game look like but I'm not optimistic for the future.
 
Nov 26, 2015
1,859
5
375
Thanks for all the information you folks posted this thread.

I'm going to order the third game, pretty hyped to give it a shot.
 

fortunato

Banned
Jun 14, 2017
284
0
0
Thanks for all the information you folks posted this thread.

I'm going to order the third game, pretty hyped to give it a shot.

Have you ever tried Yo-kai Watch on 3DS?

Of course it's a different type of game: a monster-breeding jRPG w/anime art-style. Nevertheless, it captures perfectly the atmosphere of a small Japanese town (in the second entry, you can also go to the countryside, and to a small fishermen village). It has so many little details that you will feel like living in Japan. Also, there are plenty of side-features, such as bug catching, fishing, hide-n-seek with friends.
 
Nov 26, 2015
1,859
5
375
Have you ever tried Yo-kai Watch on 3DS?

Of course it's a different type of game: a monster-breeding jRPG w/anime art-style. Nevertheless, it captures perfectly the atmosphere of a small Japanese town (in the second entry, you can also go to the countryside, and to a small fishermen village). It has so many little details that you will feel like living in Japan. Also, there are plenty of side-features, such as bug catching, fishing, hide-n-seek with friends.

No, I never really looked into those games. That's a good pitch though, I'll check it out. Thanks
 

Yohanov

Neo Member
Jan 8, 2016
13
1
250
It's been one year since the mobile game announcement!
Kaz Ayabe said he could still not reveal anything.