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.
Posting this issue a little later than usual…with good reason, though, as there’s plenty to cover this week! As such I’ll shut up and let you get to it -
To all of those who responded to my pleading and imported Mushihime-sama Futari, it looks like your efforts might have paid off, at least for the moment – it looks like one of the company’s other recent shooters, DeathSmiles, is coming to the USA! While it’s not quite as impressive as Futari it’s still both accessible and excellent – at this point we don’t even know who the publisher will be, but the only thing you need to know is that (assuming that the localization is good) when it comes out, you need to BUY IT!!
In other Cave news, Asada’s latest blog post states that the company will have a pair of new game announcements ready over the next two months, and that the “Mega Black Label 1.1” content for DeathSmiles will be available by the end of April. Perhaps Dai-Fukkatsu will have its 360 port confirmed? Or maybe Muchi Muchi Pork? Doubt it, but we’ll see.
Two new movies have appeared on the King of Fighters Sky Stage official site – I think I saw a quick glimpse of Shermie in there someplace, though I definitely saw Rugal. Anyways, the arcade version should be out next week, and the XBLA version is slated for sometime this Spring.
Most of the best shmups on the PSP are ports, but I can’t honestly say that The Flying Hamster doesn’t at least have my attention – it is kind of hard to ignore said flying hamster destroying things with flame-thrower breath. Fingers crossed that this one turns out better than its console-exclusive brethren…
There’s also a new vert-scroller called Eclosion coming out for several systems – the features list doesn’t reveal much about how the thing actually works, so I guess we’ll need to wait for some more on that. There’s a bit more info about for Border Wars, a “notebook paper-style” side-scroller that lets you draw your own ship.
The guys behind Duality ZF are also putting out the four-player Decimation X, which looks like Space Invaders except that both you and the aliens have a boatload more firepower. If you’re interested, it’ll be one whole dollar on XBLA Indie Games. Another indie shmup titled Akujin was also recently released, but impressions of it so far have been less than positive…
Though most of the impressions I’ve heard of the game have been decidedly “meh”, Otomedius G for the 360 is getting a Platinum Hits re-release, so if anyone curious about the game was holding back due to the price, this might be your opportunity to finally surrender (and possibly regret it).
In case you’ve been keeping an eye out for the 360 port of Senko no Ronde DUO, the (Japanese) release date appears to be set for April 28th. Considering how poorly the localized original was received here (not without reason, IMO), methinks you’ll probably have no choice but to import the sequel…
Hot on the heels of their recent publishing announcement, Atlus has posted the official English trailer for Metal Slug XX. (DToid coverage here.) Also check here for some info on DLC character Leona and a few more screens.
Agent Chester offers a quick item on the front page about Death By Cube – and yeah, I’ve never heard of red oil either.
What’s the latest place that the Space Invaders aliens have popped up in? A pair of really tight pants, it would seem.
First things first – if you haven’t read Wry Guy’s latest King of Fighters Love Letter, do it right now. I mean it. Seriously, there are animatronic singing fighting game characters in it. I am not joking.
DToid’s coverage of Super Street Fighter IV continues – on the front page Mr. North posts some CES impressions, while on the c-blogs Everyday Legend links to a video showcasing pretty much every new Ultra featured in the game. Elsewhere, if you’re looking forward to trying Juri in particular, this early spin of her by one of the Kotaku editors might be of some interest to you, while a trio of “walk-through” videos for the Alpha characters should whet your whistle in that department.
Speaking of Guy and Cody, all of you have pretty much certainly heard of Final Fight: Double Impact by now, despite the Tribune’s lack of coverage (it’s kinda-sorta a fighter, but…), though at this point I can no longer hold back from mentioning it – in anticipation of the release, Capcom’s holding a coloring contest! After all, no two things go better together than repeated beatdowns and pretty colors!
Of course, the locals certainly aren’t letting much Tatsunoko vs. Capcom stuff sneak by them either – Mr. North offers some similar (if shorter) CES coverage, while nilcam unboxes Mad Catz’s accompanying joystick (off to the side, Mad Catz has apparently been doing well enough on this front lately that they’re looking to expand operations into Japan). Oh, by the way – one of the semi-new minigames in this version of TvCis a shmup! (DToid coveragehere.) Also check out this commercial if you haven’t already seen it (c-blog item here). Finally, if you’re in NYC the Saturday before release, you might want to check out the pre-launch event at the Nintendo World Store. (DToid coverage here.)
If you’ve been considering importing BlazBlue Portable for the PSP, you might want to hold up – if Gamefly is to be believed, we might be getting a localized version of it as soon as March. Also, the upcoming European version of the “original” BlazBlue has been delayed a bit – it’s also gotten some new cover art, which if nothing else isn’t as bad as what almost happened to Agarest. Also, the PSP port of the game has been officially announced for a US release, on both UMD and as a downloadable title.
Two more worthy fighting-related c-blogs: first up, Blindfire turns into The Hulk whenever he has to unlock stuff in fighting games (well, maybe not that, but he blogs irately about it). Also, Macarratti posts a brief tribute to a handful of bottom-tier fighting game characters, including the king of them all, Dan Hibiki – I mockingly shake my arm in solidarity with his cause (de BLOO kinda-follows up here).
Assuming that a) You want to play the “Campaign” mode in Tekken 6, and b) Someone else out there wants to play it too, next week both of you will get the chance to share your passion, as the promised co-op patch (which includes one or two other tweaks as well) will finally be out. (DToid coverage here.)
Of course, I’d be even more impressed if you managed to find two people eager to see the upcoming Tekken movie – in any event, here’s a new trailer. It’s the People’s Choice! (C-blog coverage here, front page item here.) On a related note, in the Biggest Surprise of This Issue, Rotten Tomatoes has officially awardedStreet Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li its “worst of the year” title. This bodes well for the upcoming Razzies!
The extra-obscure fighting game news just seems to get weirder by the month – in case some of the crossovers the genre’s attempted in the past weren’t wacky enough for you, apparently Aquaplus is putting together characters from a handful of eroge titles for an upcoming fighter. I guess it’s not the first time this sort of situation has come to pass (does that honor technically go to Melty Blood?), though I think this might send things to a whole new level of “who thought this one up?”
The front page continues to teach me things I never knew – who’d have thought that the Mortal Kombat ninjas were Rock Band aficionados?
Finally, if you’re up for yet another Street Fighter: The Movie mashup with a whole bunch of swear words in it, click here.
I was kinda expecting this, and kinda not…while it certainly wouldn’t be the first time that Sting has ported one of its games from a separate platform to the PSP, if there was one of them I thought would be “immune” to that sequence it was Knights in the Nightmare. I was wrong. Considering that the title was seemingly tailored for the DS I’m curious as to how well it’ll translate…in any case, check out a few screens and some additional comparisons. (DToid coverage here.)
More front page goodness on Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey – be sure to follow the link to Atlus’ latest Production Diary for the game, which contains some interesting tidbits regarding the text translation.
We recently learned that Mimana Iyar Chronicles would be coming to local PSPs within the next few months, but now we also know that early adopters can snag some extra stuff – not only will a soundtrack be included with first-print copies, but you’ll also have access to a septet of voicemail recordings done by the game’s VA’s in character. Impress your friends!
Well, while we’re already well aware of the myriad disrobings that the females in Ar Tonelico III will have to go through, at least the developers subscribe to the mantra of “what’s good for the goose”, as they say – looks like some of the guys will be stripping down to their skivvies at some point as well. A bit of this can be seen in a new trailer, which jumps around all over the place.
Rejoice anew, our European brethren – not only is 3D Dot Game Heroes confirmed to be headed your way, but it should be arriving at around the same time there as here in the US. Unfortunately you guys don’t usually get such a break when it comes to waiting for localizations, so make sure to savor this one! (DToid coverage here.)
Over at Siliconera, one of their crew has had the chance to play through the first bit of Sakura Wars: So Long My Love – he hasn’t hit any battles yet, but he does offer some intriguing impressions of the story/character interaction parts of the game, so be sure to check it out if you’re (like me) constantly starving for more info on this thing.
It remains to be seen how much of it will see daylight on our shores once the game comes out here, but if you’re interested in the sort of DLC that Sega’s going to be offering for Valkyria Chronicles 2 in Japan over the next few months, here’s a summary of everything from extra missions to Puyo-Puyo decals.
The latest (lengthy) video for the Super Robot Taisen OG Saga sequel shows off even more of the characters’ super moves (and cleavage, of course) – it also reveals even more support characters and such, including Kos-Mos’s compatriot MOMO from Xenosaga.
While Platinum Games has had its hands plenty full recently with Bayonetta, it doesn’t want you to forget about its upcoming DS RPG, Infinite Space, and posted a new trailer of its own to make sure you don’t. I’m still somewhat on the fence with this one, though…
Atlus’ latest official blog about Shiren the Wanderer for Wii is up, this time focusing on the characters and story, which will apparently be playing a larger role than usual here. (DToid coverage here.)
A pair of brief gameplay movies have also popped up for the not-quite-out-yet Glory of Heracles – some of the stuff I see I like, other things sorta put me off. Guess I’ll be waiting for some impressions before saying much else. Though I can state that this Trojan Horse promo item is pretty neat!
Yeah, I know, another Shadow Hearts game is never happening, but I still felt obligated to report that Feelplus, which contains several former Nautilus/Sacnoth crew members, is possibly developing another RPG for the 360. It probably won’t contain monster morphing or flaming gay shopkeepers, but oh well. (DToid coverage here.
In case you’ve been keeping an eye on Nippon Ichi spinoff Disgaea Infinite, while the game was originally a download-only title it’ll be getting the UMD treatment in April. Still no word on a localization, however.
My obligatory Jim Sterling mention for this issue comes in the form of a pair of nifty “Developer Walkthrough” for Raskulls, focused first on the single-player game and then the multi-player aspects after that. Check out the kooky design aesthetic and Mr. Driller-meets-Mario Kart elements at work.
Check out the “Featurettes” section of the official Trauma Team website to read a set of remarks from the game’s director, touching on a wide range of topics.
The full list of titles to be featured in the Data East Arcade Classics collection is up – nothing too unexpected, but at least it’s out there now. I’m just worried that they’ll use the inferior English-language version of Magical Drop III…
Heaven only knows when we’ll finally get some plain ol’ straight talk on this, but the latest comment from Ubisoft regarding the status of Beyond Good and Evil 2 seems to confirm that the game still exists in some form, though who knows when (if ever) we’ll actually get to experience it. Come on guys, throw us a bone here! (DToid coverage here.)
The Tribune first made mention of gravity-switching platformer VVVVVV a little ways back – now it’s out, and Anthony apparently kinda likes it.
Over at GamerLimit their most recent “Indie Spotlight” feature was on another 2-D platformer titled EmberWind – if running around and blasting things as a gnome sounds interesting to you, check out the official trailer.
Though I don’t know much about it aside from the fact that it’s yet another 2-D platformer, just for the title alone I have to make mention of upcoming PSP Minis title Monsters Probably Stole My Princess.
Finally, in the “apparel that managed to make me chuckle” department, there’s this gaming-themed “Coexist” shirt.
That’s all for now – between this issue and the next one I’ll probably spend most of my time searching for more than one review for Sands of Destruction, which everyone else apparently forgot existed. Anyways, until then, thanks for reading and keep gaming obscurely.