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About
Thanks kindly for paying my blog a visit.

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.

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'Magnet School

Introduction

Curriculum: Puzzle Games

Course 1: Ochige 101
Course 2: Tossology
Course 3: Ochige 201
Course 4: Phys. Ed
Course 5: Ochige 301 (Adv.)
Course 6: Free Elective
Course 7: Ochige 401 (Hon.)
Course 8: Extra Credit
Graduation Speech

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Reviews/Impressions/Rants/etc.

King of Fighters: Orochi Saga
Ar Tonelico II - Part 1 and Part 2
Prinny and Street Fighter IV
King of Fighters '98 Ultimate Match
Nintendo DS
*King of Fighters XII
How-To: Atelier Annie
How-To: Mushihime-sama Futari

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The Forgotten Essentials

Part 1: RPGs
Part 2: Shmups
Part 3: Fighters
Part 4: Puzzlers

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The Obscurer Tribune

EXTRA! EXTRA!

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Monthly Musings/Writers Wanted

The Fear: The End
*A Time to Destroy: I Cast Thee Out
*Expanded Universes: Triple Triad X
*Those About to Die: Nocturne's Demons
*Untapped Potential: The Second Dimension
*I Suck at Games: and I'm Here to Help
*The Forgotten: Real Life
*Love/Hate: The Weirdo, The Wall, and The Beast
*The Future: A Refreshing Cup of Hemlock
*More Than Just Noise: Digital Cheese LIVE
East vs. West: Where The Old Gods Dwell
Resolutions: Fresh Flowers
Collaboration: IF Only...
Violence: The Gatekeepers

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Assorted Ramblings

Why Am I Here? (intro)
Non-Portable Portable Gaming
Hating the Unhateable
*Soul Bubbles, Mickey Mouse, Journey of the Self
Dreamcast: The Other Shmup Machine
One-Year Anniversary Reflections
Shmups: Gaming's EOE

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Non-DT Writing

Racketboy

Saturn Shooter Rundown
PS1 Shooter Rundown
PS2 Shooter Rundown
Shmups 101
Shmups That Defined the Genre
"Hidden Gem" Shmups

HG101

Deathsmiles
Espgaluda
Shadow Hearts

Misc.

Unofficial Shmup Glossary (shmups.com, WIP)
My Backloggery (Warning: Inherent Shamefulness May Be Too Intense for Some Readers)
Player Profile
Follow me:
BulletMagnet's sites
Badges
Following (28)  




Has it been as sticky weather-wise where you guys are as it’s been here? I certainly hope not…it makes you feel like not doing anything, and attempting to get both this and the next ‘Magnet School article ready when one’s limbs feel like molasses is something of a struggle. Anyways, here’s the best I could come up with for the week:

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A few weeks ago it was reported that there was a scoring bug in DeathSmiles IIX for the 360 – according to Cave’s Asada blog a patch to fix that and address a few other things should be coming next week, which just so happens to coincide with the release of the original DeathSmiles in the USA. By the way, the early reviews are looking good – seriously, if even Western professional reviewers can see how awesome this game is, how much more incentive do you need to BUY IT?

On a much less pleasing note, ARRRRGH. After months and months of delays, yeah, it’s finally official – the U.S. Wii port of Illvelo has been cancelled. Milestone just can’t seem to catch much of a break in the West…guess we’ll have to be satisfied with Ultimate Shooting Collection.

Vertical iPhone shooter Icarus-X was recently upgraded to version 1.5 – check out the official site for a trailer, leaderboards, and other stuff.

If you’ve enjoyed freeware shmup Hydorah, or are just interested in indie game development, a neat “making-of” PDF document for the game can be viewed at this location.

Three other new/upcoming downloadable shooters have been putting out some buzz of their own on the shmups.com forum lately – first is Cosmos X2 for DSiWare, supposedly a retooled non-release for the “regular” DS – not too much info yet, but there are a few screens there. Next up is Vampire Rage on XBLA Indie Games – yeah, I’m sick of the whole “vampire” fad too (though I’m even sicker of zombies), but this still looks pretty good, featuring a “reflect” mechanic along the lines of Giga Wing or Homura. Finally there’s Shark Attack, worth mentioning if only for how bizarre it is…seriously, who the heck decides to build a game around the concept of “shark babes”? A trailer can be viewed here.

In case you’re interested, here are some additional words and stuff on Steel Diver, the submarine sorta-shmup coming to the 3DS.

If you don’t mind a late review of Soldner-X 2: Final Prototype, Gamer Limit just got around to posting one.

Friends, are the shooters you play just too visually practical? Was Space Giraffe not loaded with nearly enough action-obscuring crap for your tastes? Well, I have your solution, and its name is memrrtiks, suashem! (Gesundheit.)

The first of this week’s leftover E3 write-ups are Joystiq’s previews of Child of Eden and PixelJunk Shooter 2 – there will be others.

Like this one, in which Agent Holmes takes charge of the Hard Corps Uprising booth, getting a bit of hands-on time with the game and getting some info from the Konami rep. And somehow tying Bill Cosby into all of this. Joystiq also talks a bit about the game, and offers some screens.

Sin and Punishment 2 is ALMOST out in the USA – to whet this last bit of our appetites, Siliconera interviews the Supervisor and Producer for the game (on a related note, Treasure’s President claims to have never heard the term “shmup” before) and a quick look at the game’s bosses. DToid’s front page, meanwhile, showcases a TV commercial for it, and presents an expert-level play segment as well, while Joystiq offers a plain ol’ review.

Seems like only yesterday that The Red Star made an appearance on PSN…well, now it’s on the iPhone too! Weird that such an obscure(?) game has gotten so many ports…maybe the sales figures are better than anyone thought? LegendPenguin puts up a review of this version on the c-blogs.

“You can’t shoot me! I’m AIDS!” Yup, we’ve finally got a trailer for anatomically-obsessed run-n-gun Privates. (DToid coverage here.)

Not remotely a shmup, but I’ll put it here anyway – while there’s been no official announcement on whether the sequel to R-Type Command will make it here, the ESRB has rated it (sans the “Operation Bitter Chocolate” subtitle), so it appears that there’s at least something at work on that front.

Will the deluge of “cute-n-stumpy” figures based on Touhou characters ever stop? No, it won’t. Well, I guess we can at least be grateful that they’re not “hentai” statues (this time).

This week’s featured Space Invaders curiosities, believe it or not, won’t cost you stupid amounts of money as you indulge your nostalgia – yup, it’s a set of themed “productivity tools” (how’s that for irony) on the iPhone, and they’re all free to download.




Joystiq posts some more stuff about the upcoming Mortal Kombat reboot – on the front page Comrade Zimmrman does the same.

The interviews with the Marvel vs. Capcom 3 folks just keep on coming – this one features the game’s producer. (DToid coverage here.)

It’s been a little while since we last heard anything about the video game adaptation of Deadliest Warrior, but Comrade Zimmerman has tried it out, and rather likes it so far, if you can believe it. Joystiq also has a preview of its own, and makes reference to a “pig carcass-slicing minigame” – yup, Grandma can play too!

This week’s dose of “please don’t kill me” Scott Pilgrim news comes in the form of this interview with the game’s production manager. The thing is, what am I gonna do once the game is out and its coverage levels off? Maybe I should actually read the comics and/or see the movie…

On the c-blogs, s0lesurviv0r starts off an active week with this post about BlazBlue: Continuum Shift – some info about DLC characters and a video of the new training/challenge mode are included (front page coverage here). The same user also shows us a new trailer for Virtua Fighter 5: Final Showdown – c’mon Goh, you don’t challenge the “main guy” of any fighting game in the trailer, especially if it’s in the last sequence! Everyone knows that! By the way, VF5 will now have Twitter support as well – uh, yay, I guess? Granted, the mental image of most of the characters Twittering is amusing in and of itself, so it’s not a total loss.

CHESTO! CharlieKun talks about discovering and attempting to master Makoto in Third Strike and Super IV (and faps himself, so a wag of the finger there).

PS3. Fight. Ranbat. nilcam. Updates. Good. Read. Ungah.

Sunday. Sagat. Stupidity. Non-stupidity. Bald. Brown marker. Selective censorship. Bea Arthur. Oogah.

THINK FAST – Street Fighter IV Tournament Edition Fightsticks are on sale again for 100 bucks at Amazon, and the “standard” Mad Catz sticks are discounted as well. This only last until the end of today (Friday), though, so if you want to pick one up, get to it!

Because fighting games just don’t offer enough fan service (*cough*), I link you to Geoff’s audio interview with cosplayer Ikuy – she’s most famous for her Cammy portrayal, but has also done Sol and I-No from Guilty Gear (not to mention Alice from Shadow Hearts).On a related but much-different note, I missed last week’s episode of Cosplay Fail, which features a particularly epic fighting game group shot, so I’ll make up for that omission here – the usual warning about these segments applies! Though chaotical does redeem himself. Sorta.

Oh, and here’s a figure of Cham Cham from Samurai Shodown. Nope, not NEARLY enough fan service in this genre. Then, of course, there’s this one of Neko Ark from Melty Blood, which just brings a big ol’ sack-o-goofiness to the table instead.

So apparently the Lakers won another NBA Championship recently, and there’s a video of some fans celebrating, and…whoa, wait a sec, right there, about ten seconds in, is that who I think it is? In other celebrity news (sorta), yeesh, Lady Gaga really is everywhere these days (and, in this particular case, NOT flipping everybody off)! Blanka, of course, has far more refined sensibilities than such garish newcomers.




Ever so slowly we begin to focus in on the USA release date for Atelier Rorona…things have been officially narrowed down from “Fall” to “September”, and moreover we’ve got an English-language trailer from NISA to watch. Just make sure to get all the bugs out of this one, okay?

The Level5/Studio Ghibli joint project Ni no Kuni makes a reappearance on the news circuit this week, with a big surprise in store – no longer constrained to the DS (which comes out December 9th, with this book, and also has a new trailer), the game will also rate a full-fledged PS3 port, with the added subtitle Queen of the Holy White Ash and a different battle system. Sort of an interesting console jump, no? Oh, and how’s it look? Maybe these screens and this trailer can help answer that. (DToid coverage here.)

Fan translators continue to make headwinds into “official” video game projects – turns out that a well-known set of translations by a fellow called “Deuce” have been licensed by Xseed as a base for their Ys: Oath in Felghana and Ys I + II Chronicles. I haven’t experienced either of them myself so far (though I don’t mind waiting a bit); can anyone who has offer opinions on how well they turned out?

Agent North reports that Persona 3 Portable might be released in Europe, while Siliconera has found a rating for Hexyz Force in Australia, with Atlus USA as the listed publisher. Hmm…could PAL gamers finally get their (semi-)fair shot at some of these games?

Now that you’ve seen a bit of in-game footage from The 3rd Birthday, you might be wondering about the original “wedding dress” scene that defined the game (or, what existed of it) for many fans up until then – the project’s director won’t say exactly what happens, but assures us that it’s in there, and serves as an important story juncture. Hmm…on a similar note, if you’re curious as to how the title went from a mobile phone project to the PSP, a few notes to that end are here.

It’s far from a sure thing, but it appears that Ignition is “evaluating” Fate/Extra – if you hope to see the game here, cross your fingers that the evaluation turns out well!

This month’s Dungeon Crawler segment features a bunch of new screens and a new trailer for Etrian Odyssey III (yay) and news of a short delay attached to the release of Class of Heroes on the PS3 (aww).

So you think that the ongoing efforts of people to get more and more Twitter followers (with or without Virtua Fighter) are too ridiculous as it stands? Well, you’d best stay away from Followars for the iPad, where people can have their loyal virtual vassals fight each other. Well, in a manner other than verbally, I ought to clarify.

The 3D Dot Game Heroes “Create-a-Hero” contest has finished – behold, t3h w1nn4r! Atlus has posted a video featuring a few of their favorite entries, and you can download the top few submissions for your own use at this location. (DToid coverage here.)

I’m still dithering on whether or not to pick up Resonance of Fate myself, but I did enjoy Freefall’s entertaining review of the game.

NIS’s “Prinny Bomb” newsletter tips us off that Buzzfocus.com is holding a trivia contest for fans of Persona: Trinity Soul – answer the questions correctly by July 6th and you’ll have a chance to win the anime’s box set. There’s a similar contest for Toradora up there someplace too.

It’s been a little while since the PG-13 antics of Super Robot Taisen OG Saga made an appearance around here – well, that streak ends here, with these newly-painted figures of Neige and Kaguya from the second game.




Speaking of NISA, they’ve launched a new online store, aptly called the NISA Online Store – accounts and operations from the old “Rosen Queen” shop will be transferred over to the new place, though orders placed at RQ can still be tracked from there. To commemorate the occasion, NIS has dropped the prices of Disgaea 3 on the PS3 as well as Disgaea DS, Rhapsody, and Atelier Annie for the DS – all of ‘em are 20 bucks each, brand new.

Looks like Japan’s gonna get Okamiden on December 30th…plus a “paintbrush” stylus and cleaning cloth if they scoop up a first-print copy. Here’s one more set of brief impressions to go along with it.

The Tribune has had something of an on-again, off-again relationship with Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom, but for the moment, at least, consider it “on” as we post the front page’s Jimpressions. While I’m at it, I’ll also link Herr Sterling’s front-page musings on Portal 2.

I’m surprised this front-page feature didn’t rate a “Captain Obvious” header, but anyway, while Beyond Good and Evil 2 is still alive, Michel Ancel himself tells us that it’s going to take awhile to finish. Well, thanks for the warning, since, y’know, we were expecting it out, like, tomorrow! Not like we’ve already been waiting ages for this or anything!

Joystiq has a preview of Slam Bolt Scrappers, a puzzle game I mentioned briefly in a previous Tribune…and in this week’s ‘Magnet School course. They also offer a conversation on Portal 2’s co-op, plus some thoughts on Ivy the Kiwi? and another chat with Yuji Naka. Apparently Destructoid passed them on the way out of Naka’s office and conducted their own chat with him on the same subject.

The aforementioned site’s bevy o’ previews continues with the HD version of Might and Magic: Clash of Heroes and Monster Tale, the next game by the Henry Hatsworth crew. On the other hand, their look at Lost in Shadow appears to reveal a seam or two in the experience…impressions by Kotaku and Siliconera are a bit more positive, but hopefully any issues present are ironed out between now and release.

Want even more Miku? Watch an extended version of a previous trailer for the Project Diva - Dreamy Theater application to satisfy all your electronically-warbled needs.

Remember a little while ago that new publisher MonkeyPaw Games revealed itself, and made a promise to bring us “Real Japanese Games”? Well, Joystiq managed to pin down the company’s head honcho for an interview about his plans – I’m afraid we’re looking at download-only stuff here, but hopefully he can get ahold of some interesting stuff. (DToid coverage here.)

Hey, Diverse, where you been? Wherever it was, he’s back on the c-blogs and recommending oddball indie games, in this case Teppoman 2 and Nozumou – while he’s at it he also points us towards the extremely weird-looking Norrland.

Pinball, in both physical and digital form, has a knack for finding strange bedfellows…just in case KISS Pinball on the PS1 wasn’t strange (and awful) enough for you, how does Slayer Pinball on the iPhone sound? I wonder when someone will make James Taylor Pinball or Gordon Lightfoot Pinball or Vivaldi Pinball or something along the other end of the musical scale… (DToid coverage here.)

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Back to the all-consuming slime ball that is the local climate…as always, thanks for reading and keep gaming obscurely.



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