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.
Just as a quick heads up, I MIGHT have something new for you sometime next week. MIGHT. Anyway, for now here’s this week’s oddball gaming news recap:
Just in case you were worried that Aksys would soften their usual irreverent tone when they release DeathSmiles, check out the slogan that’ll be appearing on the back of the box. And then pre-order this. Immediately.
Metal Torrent for DSiWare is out, but Kotaku doesn’t like it that much – most of the shmups.com forum seems rather fond of it (to the point where they’re zestily mocking Kotaku), for whatever it’s worth, so you’ll definitely want to try it for yourself if you can.
Yojimbo helps me out by trying to get you interested in Soldner-X 2: Final Prototype, which should be out by the time you read this. I hear that people actually READ the stuff he writes sometimes – how crazy is that?!
One of this week’s previous “Free Apps of the Day” was Buster Red, which you might want to check out even if you need to pay for it. There are several videos on YouTube, one of which is here. If you’re in the mood for something a little more twin-stick-y there’s 2360: Battle for Cydonia – I couldn’t find any vids for that one offhand. Finally, a fellow shmup forumer recently turned my attention to Ultrablast as well.
This is way late, but I never really gave Prismatic Solid, a “Dream, Build, Play” shmup entry, enough attention back when it might have been relevant, so I’ll try to atone a little bit here. Apart from the video linked above, there’s also this recent interview with the creator that you might want to check out.
If you liked Alien Breed: Evolution, you might be interested to know that a retooled version built on fan feedback, titled Alien Breed: Impact, is coming to Steam and PSN this summer. This followup reveals more details: the exact release date is given as June 3rd (that was fast) and the price set at 15 bucks, though pre-orderers will get a discount and a few extra tchotchkes. A demo is apparently floating around if you want to try in advance, and a video is at the second link for a quicker, hands-off preview.
You don’t see shmups used as inspiration for fan videos too often, but this nifty stop-motion offering does just that – while I’m on the subject, this one doesn’t deal with shmups (or any obscure games at all, really), but it’s still cool enough for me to share.
The first of many screenshot sets for Marvel vs. Capcom 3 have been released…think the game will eventually beat Super Street Fighter IV’s unofficial Tribune record for Most Crap To Report In A Single Week? Don’t touch that dial! (DToid coverage here.)
It would appear that I spoke a little too soon about Gamestop having Super Street Fighter IV on sale for 30 bucks last week – it looks like Amazon’s got a similar deal going, and according to someone in the comments K-Mart’s jumped on the bandwagon too. Basically, if anyplace is still selling the game for 40, tell ‘em to get with the times – full retail is SO one month ago! Also, the “Super Femme Fatale” costume pack is out, just in case the default costumes aren’t silly enough for you. On a semi-related note, tourney legend Daigo Umehara was recently pinned down and asked whether he prefers the original Street Fighter II or the newer Street Fighter IV – his (somewhat predictable) answer can be here.
Gather ‘round, kiddies, it’s Rumor Time again – while there’s no way to confirm this (yet), scuttlebutt is that Tekken 7 is already in the works. Make sure to keep your half-a-lifebar-depleting juggle techniques sharp, just in case.
Someone’s cooked up some more minimalist representations of Street Fighter personalities, though the impromptu “Cammy” posted in the comments is my personal favorite.
The results of Wry Guy’s “Fatal Impact” Mark of the Wolves tourney are finally up, along with a bunch of match videos – make sure to give ‘em a watch, as well as the “Boss Fight” posted here. Also, as a side note, I had no idea that Grant was legal – good thing too, for if I’d been aware I would have entered and totally pwned everyone. Please ignore my nervously-shifting eyes as I say this.
The “PS3 Fight Club” Super Street Fighter IV tourney, meanwhile, is officially in business, and the brackets are here, with updates here, here, here and here – good luck, everyone!
The Podsumaki crew attempts to sort through the impenetrable mire known as the Street Fighter storyline – good luck guys, thou’rt braver souls than I. The latest episode was just posted here.
Torzelan strikes again, with a metal cover of the Killer Instinct theme (not like a whole lot of variation from the original was needed in this case). By the by, did you know that Guile’s theme works with everything?
Ever wonder where Capcom manages to come up with some of their character designs? I think Another Videogame Webcomic has nailed it.
Tomopop reviews a recently released statue of Ayane from Dead or Alive – not to be outdone, Mai Shiranui of King of Fighters is also getting another figure, which easily outdistances the DoA girl in the fan service department (no mean feat, certainly). In fact, you might not want to click that one at work…
The DToid front page continues its long-standing tradition of really stupid original videos – nothing too noteworthy, except that this one has Sagat in it.
(Pre-emptive) JOY! While nothing official has been announced yet, it looks like NIS America is planning to localize Ar Tonelico III at some point – hopefully we can get back to killing evil with singing (and ridiculous outfits) before too long!
Next door in Gust-ville we’ve got two more videos of Atelier Totori – one of them is the game’s official trailer, while the other is an in-game segment showing Totori as she gathers some materials, brews up a new concoction, and turns it in to complete an assignment. There’s also a boss fight to watch, which appears to allude to a “cover the weak magic-user” mechanic similar to that of Ar Tonelico. Hmm…
The characters of Trinity Universe introduce themselves personally in this trailer – I’m not overly fond of the English voice acting here, hopefully the original language track is in there someplace.
We’re still in rumor territory here, but remember a little while ago when it was rumored that anthropomorphized representations of classic Sega games would be appearing in Neptune? Well, some more fuel has been added to the fire, as it’s being reported that Golden Axe, Altered Beast, Alex Kidd, Shinobi, Fantasy Zone and others will be making appearances. Still no solid proof of this, but I think it’s safe to say that everyone’s hoping it turns out to be real.
While initial impressions for Estpolis: The Lands Cursed by the Gods weren’t too encouraging, apparently someone thinks the game’s got a shot at winning over the West – moreover, that someone is Natsume, publisher of the SNES Lufia games. Yes indeed, the renamed Lufia: Curse of the Sinistrals is coming our way: check out some localized screens and hope that this thing is better than its reputation. (DToid coverage here.) On a final note, according to this story the game will carry a semi-cheap 30-buck price tag, so at least that’s one thing in its favor.
Dungeon crawler fans, rejoice – Etrian Odyssey III is coming our way, courtesy of Atlus, under the subtitle The Drowned City. No further info is available yet, but at least we know it’s locked in (C-blog item here)! Elsewhere in Crawlersville, Bakumatsu Revolution is an upcoming PSP genre contribution by Zero Div (the Class of heroes bunch), due out for Japan in late June – oh, by the way, it’s free (though its DLC isn’t). I’m sure a hunk of you out there are hoping a publisher picks this one up too…
Looks like Media Vision, developer of the Wild Arms series and recent praise-getter for Chaos Rings (which, by the way, is coming to iPad), is working on something…and it sounds pretty big. It’ll probably be awhile before we hear too many details, though, as they’re just getting started. (DToid coverage here.) Imageepoch, the Luminous Arc bunch, are also looking for help, so keep an eye on them too.
Down in Australia, a rating has been put out for Shin Megami Tensei: Persona…but for some reason it was listed under “PS3”. As the article points out, this is most likely a mistake, and should probably instead be read as an indication that the PSP remake is coming to the region, but I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
A short video of Ys vs. Sora no Kiseki has surfaced – as one might have expected, it features lots of zooming around.
Siliconera posts the same footage of Xenoblade’s battle system that the front page had last week, but includes a second one alongside it – I dunno, it looks a little clumsy to me…anyways, a new six-minute video showcasing various features and some notes on character customization are also up, and the front page gives us a set of three commercials for the game.
iPhone action-RPG Zenonia is on its way to DSiWare right here in the good ol’ US of A – moreover, so is the “Shooting Watch” application, which lets you see how fast you can press a button repeatedly. Star Soldier trainees (and console repair people), gear up!
The latest DLC character for La Pucelle Ragnarok is Hero Prinny – y’know, the one with the scarf. Apparently he’s even got several of his moves from the Prinny action games – a few screens are here.
In case you (like me) were curious about Glory of Heracles when it first came out but held off buying it at release, at Gamestop the title’s price has recently plummeted – my local store had it for 15 bucks new, and the website lists it even lower than that. For this price, methinks it’s definitely worth it, so if you’re tempted to pick up a new RPG this might be a good bargain for you.
Can you imagine a half-dozen Atlus games selling well enough here to rate “Greatest Hits” reprints? Well, over in Japan that’s happening, as several of the most recent Persona and Etrian Odyssey titles, along with Growlanser, are all getting “Best Collection” re-releases over the summer. Meanwhile, we get this. Sigh… (DToid coverage here.)
On one final SMT-related note, this week’s episode of Bit Transmission will apparently feature a conversation on Shin Megami Tensei headed up by Agent North, so series fans might want to take a listen.
I should probably stop bothering to mention Arc Rise Fantasia here since I’m almost certainly not going to play it, but for anyone more interested than I am here’s an asset blast, featuring a video and screens, courtesy of the front page.
Also, is my wont to mention, here’s another (previous) Free App of the Day, Semi-RPG which might be worth a look for some of you.
Good stuff on the c-blogs this week: GigaMach starts things off with a very nice account of how he got into the Ys series and found that it fit his life situation perfectly, despite its flaws.
ArcticFox also pens a cool article on the soundtracks to the most recent Persona games.
Jomonoe writes about a part of Valkyria Chronicles that affected him – beware, here there be spoilers. Last but not least, congratulations to t3h w1nn4r of Enkido’s “Take My Copy of Valkyria, Please!” contest.
Over at Gamer Limit, Kauza contributes an interesting article in which he claims that JRPGs have a certain je ne sais quoi that Western ones lack, and thus a place in gaming’s future despite persistent dialogue assuming the contrary.
Ever see the video of that Japanese guy in a Jason Voorhees-esque mask who carves stuff out of wood with a chainsaw? Well, he recently unveiled a sculpture based on one of the mechs from the recently-released Super Robot Taisen OG Saga DS remake.
Time to be your very own miracle again – DJ Max Portable 3is coming sometime this year, as both a physical and downloadable release – even better, a US publisher has already been confirmed. Soon I’ll be getting reacquainted with my favorite lyrics from the game – “Four-button, for the beginner!” (DToid coverage here.)
Trauma Team has been out for a bit now, but Atlus continues to push the game, releasing another short trailer, offering a preview of some of the inter-surgery “drama” scenes (DToid coverage here). By the way, quick! If you want to get the game for all of 30 bucks, it’s Amazon’s Deal of the Day for today (Friday), so move it! (DToid coverage here.)
Creepy indie platformer Limbo looks to be on the way, as the ESRB has rated it – unfortunately, despite the listing’s mention of the PS3 and PC, ports to those platforms ain’t happening. (DToid coverage here.)
Luc Bernard is trying again with Reaper, an episodic 2D action-adventure where you play as a renegade scythe-wielder. The art looks good, let’s hope it plays equally well.
Shin’en has started up a “behind-the-scenes” blog for their upcoming WiiWare title Jett Rocket – programmer sorts should be especially interested in the stuff they go into here.
Rumors of HD remakes for Ico and Shadow of the Colossus have been floating around for while, and have recently resurfaced – the latest rumblings point to a release date of early next year. If it exists, that is.
Just in case you thought that Miku and company just didn’t look plasticky enough, here’s this video of Hatsune Miku: Project Diva 2nd. Some new info is also out and about for the Project Diva: Dreamy Theater program which allows you to play the Miku rhythm game on the PS3, with improved graphics – honestly, though, the only thing I’m seeing is the price tag. Over 35 bucks?! Seriously? I like impossible anime hair as much as the next guy, but come on!
Innuendo and all, Shantae: Risky’s Revenge got away with an “E10+” rating from the ESRB – you can read the whole thing here.
If you’ve been keeping an eye on Earthworm Jim 3d you’d probably be interested to know that the 360 and PS3 versions will feature not only new levels and enemies but some form of 4-player co-op. How’ll it work? Who knows, but hopefully they implement it well…
I hate to post such depressing news, but perhaps it will make things clearer as to why I’m such a pest in trying to push readers towards the offbeat stuff covered here – remember Marvelous Entertainment, who were recently partnered up with Xseed but are now ceasing operations in the US? Well, as it turns out the four games they published here under that formation last year shipped (not sold, shipped) 95,000 copies. COMBINED. Seriously, companies like this deserve better – hopefully someday more of them will actually receive it.
Speaking of depressing, things haven’t looked good for Beyond Good and Evil 2 for some time, but a new rumor that creator Michel Ancel has left Ubisoft certainly doesn’t help matters. (C-blog item here, DToid coverage here.)
Gamer Limit makes mention of Orton and the Princess, an indie platformer which bears some resemblance to the upcoming Super Meat Boy.
After a handful of delays, The-Excel has resumed his Sakura Wars: So Long My Love journal – if you’re not afraid of all the spoilers, check it out here!
The usual “Reserve or Regret” figure round-up at Tomopop features Sakuya (Touhou), Selvaria (Valkyria Chronicles), Heihachi (Tekken), and Joseph Joestar (JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure). Yeah, yeah, I know the last one doesn’t really count (and has freaky joints), but I like the fighting game based off of the series, so I’ll mention him anyway.
Finally, I haven’t mentioned anything Katamari-related in awhile, but this little bronze sculpture was too cool to pass up.
Can BM meet his own self-imposed pseudo-deadline? Stay tuned! ‘Til next week, thanks for reading and keep gaming obscurely.