I'm not sure how many of you out there are like me and import games from other countries, but if you do, then how many of you are the kind of people that actually LIKE Tingle from The Legend of Zelda series? It's an odd correlation to be made for sure, but if you ARE one of the few that are, then I submit to you, Freshly Picked: Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland for the Nintendo DS.
Released only in Japan and PAL regions in 2006 and 2007, this game has you play as Nintendo's quirky, 35-year-old fairy fanboy as he collects rupees for Uncle Rupee in an attempt to go to Rupeeland where all his dreams will come true. Weird concept I know, but the game knows what it is and pulls it off extremely well.
As the title suggests, rupees play a very large part in the game's mechanics, so much so in fact that they also act as your health. Because of this, the standard shop system from the normal Zelda titles was removed in favor of a haggling system which punishes you for going too high or too low with your offer. An easy way to get large sums of rupees is to find a map and fill in the landmarks that are missing from it. Selling the completed map back to the old woman at the end of the town strip will net you some easy money. Extremely large sums of rupees are also needed as offerings to Uncle Rupee who will open up the way to Rupeeland and also gradually opens up the new areas of the world which contain progressively stronger and more annoying enemies and increasingly more difficult dungeons.
Now since Tingle isn't exactly a fighter (with the exception of Hyrule Warriors), he can't really defend himself effectively, so to protect his hide, you need to go to these taverns called "Salons" and hire a bodyguard to help you fight and collect treasures. Bodyguards range in 3 different sizes and 3 different AI patterns and as such, their fee for hiring them also differs significantly. Bodyguards also have unique abilities dependent on their size: Small ones can enter tight places that Tingle cannot enter, medium ones can open locked gates, and large ones can break boulders. Almost all areas that only a bodyguard can access usually guarantee a Rupee Good of which there are 30 to collect.
Now the combat system is extremely simplistic. You walk into an enemy to engage the fight and the entire ordeal is played out in a cartoon dust cloud. You can round up more enemies to fight and even your bodyguard for help while the battle is happening, but the way to win is to rapidly tap the cloud on the screen to help tip the scales in your favor. The more enemies you run into and defeat at once, the better your rewards are after the fight, many of which can be sold or used for cooking in Tingle's kitchen which in turn can be placed in empty jars for use on the field or to be sold for some extra cash later.
Now come the words of warning: This game was rated PEGI 12+ when it was released in Europe. The reasoning behind this is because of the suggestive and somewhat homosexual tone a small handful of characters emit. If this might damper your decision on getting the game, then I would suggest you watch Vinesauce's stream of the game on YouTube instead before you make a final verdict. If it is the region where it was released that is causing a problem with your decision, then I should probably note that Nintendo DS games are region free meaning they will play on any DS regardless of the country you bought it in. If it some other reason, then I honestly think you would be missing out because I had a lot of fun with this game and I think you all would have fun with it too if you gave it a chance. But until then, I'll be seeing you.