I'm currently looking for paid writing gigs, so if you might want anything written shoot me a message (craighats at hotmail dot com).
In case the contents of this blog don't make it obvious enough, I have something of an affinity for slightly "offbeat" titles, so if there's something out there that few others cover, there's a fair chance I'm at least somewhat up on it.
If there's any sort of (reasonable) inquiry you'd like me to address, please don't hesitate to be in touch.
Below are a handful of recaps and other links (oldest listed first by section), in case you're interested - asterisks mark promoted articles.
Well, looky what we got here (no, not a multi-assault tank, rookie...and no, pretty much nobody aside from me is going to get that reference). Yes, lady and gentleman (considering my readership I don’t think the use of plurals is appropriate), Destructoid’s most-ignored source of offbeat gaming news is making a comeback…sort of. As the subtitle suggests, this edition is a bit more condensed than previous Tribunes, and also reorganized somewhat, as follows –
1) Instead of simply repeating every piece of obscure gaming news I can find, I’m going to limit myself to a few “big” (relatively speaking) items and devote some additional space to commentary, as opposed to link after link (though obviously I’ll try to provide outside sources wherever I can).
2) While the Tribune was always semi-organized into rough categories, from here on I’m going to split each issue into three distinct categories – “Shmups,” “Fighters,” and “Others,” as most of my reporting/regurgitating concerns the former two genres.
3) Near the end of this segment’s previous run I attempted to get one issue per week out – as of now, though, I’m off anything resembling a set schedule. In short, whenever I figure I’ve got enough topics to fill another one of these things, I’ll make one. Otherwise it’s the usual song and dance for the rest of the blog.
Well, that’s the situation, at least for now – let’s see how it works out, and by all means let me know what you think of the new layout (suggestions and other criticism is more than welcome). That all said, let’s get started -
I hate to kick this off with bad news, but I’m going to get it out of the way quick as I can – homebrew Dreamcast shooter Dux, from the developers of Last Hope, finally came out, after numerous delays…and a day or two after the release, a scoring bug was discovered that allows the player to max out the score counter (and extra lives) on the very first stage. This doesn’t happen all the time, though, and there are currently efforts to figure out exactly what triggers it, but what might be done to rectify the situation is still up in the air – moreover, the developer inexplicably doesn’t allow the player to quit their run after all their lives are lost unless all credits are used up, and furthermore does not reset the score after continuing (if you’re not sure why these are bad things, read this over). A shame, as the title looked to have a good deal of promise, especially after so much additional time was devoted to finishing it. In other news, the aforementioned Last Hope is being pseudo-re-released as a “Pink Bullets” edition, intended to make the game a bit more accessible – those who bought the original game and can provide certain proofs of purchase are eligible for a discount – check their newsletter for more. Hopefully a better reception is in store this time…
Not quite done with the negativity yet, unfortunately - a few of you might have seen this article, which details the recent discovery that code used for the troubled 360 Cave port DoDonPachi Dai-Ou-Jou Black Label X was actually stolen from Arika, who did the PS2 port of the “white label” Dai-Ou-Jou on the PS2. The link, however, only mentions half the story – if the discussion on the shmups.com forum is to be believed (I can’t personally verify, as I can’t read Japanese), the publisher, 5pb, is not the thief, but rather another company, Aqua Systems, whom the development was outsourced to. Apparently 5pb is taking full responsibility for this kerfluffle and paying damages to both Arika and Cave, and is still looking to release a patch or some other means to fix the bugs found in Black Label X, though the latter was already supposed to have arrived by now. Hopefully this doesn’t affect the possibility of a Dai-Fukkatsu port…
There are some positive goings-on when it comes to Cave, though – for one thing, apparently the team working on the long-delayed Ketsui X, also being published by 5pb, is completely separate from the Black Label X bunch, so the above-mentioned mess should have no effect on the progress of that port (and hopefully will ensure that nothing so stupid is allowed to happen this time around). Moreover, it was already announced on the c-blogs that Mushihime-sama Futari is also coming to the 360 (published directly by Cave, not 5pb), but what you might (read: definitely) not know is that, in similar fashion to DeathSmiles, their previous port (which just got a patch to fix a few minor issues a couple of days ago, in case you own the game and hadn’t heard), the game is getting a hi-def makeover, though the original arcade version (in its original resolution) will also be included. As seen here, the difference isn’t as drastic as it was with DeathSmiles, but it’s still welcome – now we’re left to wonder if they’ll mimic DeathSmiles even further, and release the game’s “black label” arcade version as DLC.
Taking a quick trip over from Cave to G-Rev, their 360 port of Mamoru-kun is Cursed! releases in less than a week – if you haven’t checked out the game yet (it looks to play something like Pocky and Rocky), the official site is this-a-way. On the local front, hopefully you’re enjoying a copy of the excellent (and cheap) localization of Raiden Fighters Aces on the 360 – as you do, though, keep in mind that more good stuff is on the way. A short while back it was announced that Raiden IV, also on the 360, will be following Aces to our shores, courtesy of UFO Interactive – while Raiden III was, in my opinion, rather mediocre, those who have played IV say that it’s much-improved, so I’m looking forward to it. Moreover, it looks like the latest Milestone shooter for the Wii may also be headed stateside, as UFO also has the title Illvelo associated with it on Gamefly (bearing a generic “Arcade Shooter” prefix). If this pans out, then we’ll have managed to get every shmup from the company except Radirgy Noah over here so far – good to see that at least one shooter developer is making regular excursions into our neighborhood.
Well, there’s not a whole lot of “new” news on this front that I can think to report, as you’ve likely already noticed that Cardboard Tube Samurai looks to be making an appearance in Tekken 6 – however, these next few weeks are still going to be plenty exciting for fighting gamers, as Blazblue comes out in the US on the 30th of this month, followed by King of Fighters XII a week later, on July 7th. Alongside the recent news that Tatsunoko vs. Capcom is also headed stateside (possibly with new characters, though it’s still a little shaky at this point), these are pretty good times to be a fighting game fan. Dare I hope for a “fixed” localization of Arcana Heart 2 or non-downloadable (and non-PSP…ugh, that d-pad…) US release of Fate: Unlimited Codes? Eh, better not push it.
First and foremost, check out this short Joystiq interview with Vanillaware head honcho “George” Kamitani, which has several interesting bits in it. Allow me to direct your attention, however, to the part most immediately relevant to my interests, at the very end:
Would you want to localize any other Vanillaware titles?
JK: Do you know about Kumatanchi? They told me that I can't bring over that game to the US because it's not good to train little girls in that way. And Princess Crown ... that's a very old game.
If I may elaborate further:
Yes, I know that this doesn’t mean a whole heck of a lot when you get right down to it, but I’m still psyched – this is the first indication of ANY kind that I can recall reading which suggests that anyone other than me is still interested in playing this game in English. The bugger has problems, detailed here, but you know what? I’m still not dissuaded from wanting to experience the beginnings of Vanillaware while actually knowing what the heck is going on (without wrangling with an FAQ). Of course, the right localization team might even put in enough effort to update the gameplay a bit, but honestly I’d still be very happy to see a straight PSP port, and the fact that Vanillaware’s top dog wouldn’t mind making it happen is great news, at least to me. Here’s hoping. And yes, I’m completely ignoring the whole Kumatanchi thing.
Elsewhere, the PSP port of physics-based 2-D platformer Umihara Kawase Shun, originally cited to appear in the US under the title Yumi’s Odd Odyssey, has apparently been dropped from the localization schedule. The Japanese version was supposedly buggy, so maybe it’s for the best – there are still plans for a Japanese DS port, though, and that avenue hasn’t been officially closed off yet, at least. Nothing too new to report on the NIS/Atlus front, but I’ll offer a reminder that Knights in the Nightmare is out (give it a try, it comes recommended, by me and others and Devil Survivor is coming in a few days – also check out the official sites for Mana Khemia 2 and Holy Invasion of Privacy, Badman!, as well as the PSP Persona remake. Still waiting for more news on Sakura Taisen V, A Witch’s Tale, and Atelier Rorona in particular…
Finally, while this isn’t really obscure gaming related, you still ought to take a look at this gallery of Mario Brothers “portraits” done by various artists.
Well, I guess that’s about all for now – again, let me know what you think of the new layout, and feel free to point me in the direction of an interesting story. Until next time, whenever that is, thanks for reading and keep gaming obscurely.