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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)  




There’s plenty of JOY to go around in the Tribune this week, so stop reading this (*snicker*…“read this”…I slay me) and get to it!

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Okay, so let’s start getting down that the aforementioned JOY – readers already knew that Cave had a new shmup in the works, but now we’ve got a title – Akai Katana. Location tests will begin a week from now, so hopefully we’ll get some vids of the action shortly thereafter: in the meantime check that link for a teaser trailer. (DToid coverage here.)

Cave also has some extra JOY for mobile shmuppers – as it turns out, their next shooter for the iPhone/iPod touch will NOT be Mushihime-sama Futari, but DoDonPachi Dai-Fukkatsu, which has yet to receive a port anywhere else! Cave has indicated that all of their iPhone releases will be available worldwide, so Those More Technologically Advanced Than Me can rejoice – hopefully they’ll continue to give we J360 adopters some love, though. (DToid coverage here.)

Kotaku posts a somewhat late review of DeathSmiles…hopefully you’re too busy to read it, since you’re PLAYING it. Oh, and here are corresponding reviews from NTSC-UK and Game Revolution that you also can’t be bothered to glimpse since That said, I don’t know how accurate these numbers are, but according to VGChartz DeathSmiles sold over 30,000 copies in its first week of release in the USA – around a third more than first-week sales in Japan! It sounds a little too good to be true to me, but I’ll still rejoice, regardless – apparently at least SOME of you bought it! By the way, if you still need to pick up your copy and they tell you to come into the back to get it, don’t do it!

The ESRB has spilled the beans on a few more of MonkeyPaw’s upcoming localizations, and two of them are shmups: namely, the 32-bit edition of Cho Aniki, and the stupidly rare GaiaSeed. To the best of my knowledge the former is only worth playing for the weirdness (and even then, only barely), but the latter is not a bad pickup if you can get it at a reasonable price.

I’m a week late on this one, but you should still be happy to hear that Kenta Cho’s rRootage (which borrows gameplay elements from various other shooters and layers on some abstract visuals) has been given an optimized port to the iPhone, and best of all (like the original game) it’s free!

The “win some XBLA shooters” contest from a French fan site mentioned here last issue has received some updated info – in English, too! Doesn’t seem like too tough a competition to enter, so feel free to submit a quick piece for the titles you’d like.

On the off-chance that someone here could make use of it, one of the shmups.com forum members has uploaded a video showing how to download and view replays on Otomedius Gorgeous. Of course, the sequel, Otomedius Excellent, is being localized in a few months, but hey, knowledge is power, right?

If you’ve been having some trouble getting the hang of Sin and Punishment 2, maybe this short “gameplay tips” video can point you in the right direction. On a related note, the game’s U.S. release (again, according to VGC) appears to have sold almost as well as DeathSmiles…and over three times as much as it did first-week in Japan.

Wednesday’s “Free App of the Day” was Invaders World Tour, a Space Invaders-style game (duh) with some Galaga thrown in – you tap the screen to shoot and tilt to move your ship. Some footage can be found here and elsewhere on YouTube. Of course, if you would rather just play Space Invaders yet another version is now available on the iPhone: moreover, if Gamefly’s listing is accurate, we might be in for a Centipede remake as well (DToid coverage here).

Speaking of overdone things on the iPhone, can you take one more “twin-stick” style shooter? Perhaps the fact that it’s called Meow Meow Happy Fight, and concerns a cat that battles to save us from a future with too much happiness (any cat owner will tell you that this scenario is true to life) will get your attention?

While most characters from the “Touhou” series have gotten at least one figure, fewer have rated plushies – Aya Shameimaru is now one of those.

Finally, the shmups.com forum just finished its annual “Top 25” voting to decide our collective favorite shooter ever – check this thread for the results! Time to start preparing to bring the illustrious Team Loser back to the site-wide tourney later in the year…




A mother lode of new King of Fighters XIII screenshots have hit the scene: looking pretty nice, but I still have to shake my head and say “Hwa Jai? Seriously?

No one except Yoshinori Ono knows what he’ll be revealing at Comic-Con, but he has revealed a few semi-hints via twitter, and at EVO…at least we can now decisively cross an erotic Street Fighter off our lists (an official one, anyways). Aside from this, you might want to keep an eye on the changes being implemented in the arcade edition of Super Street Fighter IV – you could be seeing them as console DLC in the future.

Speaking of teases, Arc System is up to something too…while we wait to figure out what this one is, check out some footage of upcoming BlazBlue: Continuum Shift character Makoto. (DToid coverage here.)

This shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise to most of you, but Daigo Umehara is this year’s Super Street Fighter IV EVO tournament champion (though you’d figure that these guys would have an advantage) – check the comments at that link for a video of the final match (it’s Ryu and Rufus again, but the opponent isn’t Justin – one of the guys who beat the latter got a hero’s welcome on his return home) as well as another link to the results of the other games played. Also check out this guy’s YouTube account for some more vids of the event, and this link for two wacky tool-assisted videos premiered there (the “fireball duel” borrows the DoDonPachi Dai-Fukkatsu soundtrack!). The front page offers a recap and embedded videos here - on the c-blogs, manasteel88 offers a nice writeup while LK404 tries to draw some attention to a particular Marvel vs. Capcom 2 fight. Finally, one last video, focused not on the games or contestants, but on the watchers on the sidelines.

Twinkle Queen, that wacko Wii fighter featuring girls from a bunch of eroge titles beating the heck out of each other, now has an official release date of August 26th in Japan, and has twelve characters confirmed. Sort of a small roster…hopefully the combat system and balance are well-tuned enough to overshadow the limited selection (though I somehow doubt it).

I’m starting to doubt my…doubts about Deadliest Warrior, since Joystiq seems to rather like it too.

Udon is putting out a second “Art of Capcom” book, featuring the work they’ve done for Capcom’s games over the past few years – it will see its debut at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, and will go on sale in August.

We already knew that a follow-up to the “Street Fighter High” fan video was in the works, but now it looks like we’ve got a whole new ball of wax on our hands – not content to simply stick with the previous format, the creators are giving us an all-out High School Musical spoof. I must find out what wonderful drugs these guys are on. (DToid coverage here.)

The front page showcases a few more images for Deadliest Warrior – I’m still having trouble believing that this could actually be worth playing, but I wouldn’t mind being surprised.

Recently-returned blogger lv99ron explains why he’s glad to see the Mortal Kombat franchise coming back. I’m not quite so enthusiastic myself, but then again I’ve always been more of a Pocket Fighter type. In any case, the game ought to turn out better than this one (DToid coverage hre). Meanwhile, jc83 tries to go one better by defending the first MK movie – you guys so crazy!

I have to say I’m not overly familiar with the Los Angeles Podcast on the c-blogs, but this week they’re talking Tatsunoko vs. Capcom (and especially Doronjo, my favorite character!), so I definitely had to pass the link along.

I’m currently scrambling to find out if there’s a Sam’s Club anywhere in my area…why, you ask? Check this deal out – a copy of Street Fighter IV AND a stick for under 45 bucks? Holy schneikies!

On a final note to those of you with kids, do you ever brag about how your child is the cutest one in the world? You’re wrong. That doesn’t mean you can’t dress up too, however. Moreover, any fighting gamer’s offspring would probably enjoy these Lego Street Fighter figures…if they actually existed, that it.




NISA held a press conference this week, and a whole lotta JOY came out of it – first and foremost, we can finally pin down September 28th as the release date for Atelier Rorona, which will have over 30 possible endings and will also be receiving a Premium Package with an artbook (also check the recently-launched official English site). On the home front, “Big” Ben PerLee has some (rather lukewarm) impressions to read, and a TON of screens to look at – he also re-posted the official trailer. Ar Tonelico 3, which will be weirdly retitled Ar Tonelico Qoga: Knell of Ar Ciel, was confirmed for sometime next spring (DToid coverage here).

Also receiving odd new names (and localizations) are Zettai Hero (ZHP: Unlosing Ranger vs. Darkdeath Evilman) and Classic Dungeon (ClaDun: This Is An RPG) – check out trailers for both of those here (DToid coverage here and here). Finally, though details are scarce, NIS’s President confirms that a new Disgaea for the PS3 will be released in Japan before the end of the year: expect more news on that one before long (DToid coverage here. He also restated the company’s goal to focus less on quantity and more on quality – hopefully that’ll bring those profits and stock prices back up, if nothing else.

In terms of stuff we HOPE NISA picks up, here are a few pictures of the main characters from Neptune, in their “human” (as in, “not goddess”) forms. Of course the front page has the risqué PG-13 stuff that you REALLY want.

Not to be left out of the fun, Atlus has released the official trailer for Etrian Odyssey III – I’m honestly surprised that they have yet to work the “F.O.E. song” into one of these. Players might also be interested to know that they’ll be able to make their party walk along a pre-set path if they’d rather not control their every step manually – Agent North looks at this and other features here. In related news, if you’re wondering just how varied the character creation system for Class of Heroes 3 is going to be, word on the street is that over 75,000 combinations total are possible.

Jack Frost and Company have also seen fit to grant Japanese PSN customers the “enhanced” version of the original Shin Megami Tensei as a PSOne Classic – whether anyone else will ever see it, who knows. That said, they’ve also trademarked the phrase “Devil Hunter”…at this point we can’t even be sure whether or not it’s associated with Shin Megami Tensei, but presumably we’ll soon find out. Closer to home, Gamer Limit has put up its review of Persona 3 Portable.

Here come some new Ys Seven screenshots: one of them appears to prove that Xseed wasn’t kidding when it held that “get your name in the game” contest. On related fronts, two more “assist” characters for Ys vs. Sora no Kiseki have been revealed – not only Dela (you might know her as “Alexis”) from Brandish, but the Gurumins from, well, Gurumin will be dropping in to help you out (if they’re on your side, that is).

I missed this announcement, but Aksys has apparently picked up Idea Factory’s Blazing Souls Accelate (no, that’s not a typo) for the PSP – seemingly an offshoot of Spectral Souls, it works the typical “grid” battle screen setup of most SRPGs right into the world map. Follow this link from the comments for a trailer and some additional details.

Aksys hasn’t picked up Agarest Senki 2nd yet (can’t really blame them, since it’s not even released), but there are a few battle screenshots if you’re interested.

If you’re wondering whether The Last Story will be localized or not, rest assured that you’ll know…sometime before the end of this year, anyways. (DToid coverage here.) In any event, you might want to keep an eye on it, as Sakuchi says this might be his swan song…then again, that sentiment has been floated around before, so who knows. (DToid coverage here.)

Curious about how Natsume ended up publishing Lufia: Curse of the Sinistrals in the West, especially in the face of all the acquisitions and other corporate shenanigans that have transpired in the decade-plus since the last one? Some of those details are in here.

Tomopop’s got a couple of Persona-themed items to gaze upon in wonder this week: this preview of one company’s Wonder Festival display has a bit of Aegis and Metis for you (now with extra Metis!), while over here you can check out some new pictures of the assorted cute-n-stumpy figure set that was first revealed a few issues ago. There are also even more pics of Kaguya and Neige from Super Robot Taisen OG Saga.




Siliconera has cooked up a more detailed account of how the “Asagi Wars” mode in Prinny 2 works – apparently your “health” is actually viewer ratings, and viewers tune out as you get hit but come back as you mow stuff down (or come a cross a cute kitty cat). Appealing as that sounds, I’m still not sure my nerves can take a second Prinny game…

The front page makes another brief mention of Slam Bolt Scrappers – especially considering the puzzle kick I’m on these days, I had to pass it along.

Who better to review Castlevania knock-off Soul of Darkness than our own Impresario of the Off-Brand, megaStryke? For some actual assets from the upcoming Castlevania: Harmony of Despair, check here.

Herr Sterling, meanwhile, reminds us that Wii platformer The Kore Gang still exists, by way of a gameplay video – allow me to pass the same sentiment along to Tribune readers. Wait a sec…is that the pigtailed girl from Malice?

Aside from these new screens of Project Diva 2nd, be sure to check out this nifty figure and some Ferrari decals inspired by The Funny-Voiced Pigtailed One herself.

Just in case you’re not already jealous of all the cool Okamiden stuff Japan is getting, feast your eyes on the upcoming Collector’s Edition – that huge box contains a smorgasbord of geeky goodies, including ANOTHER plushie. What do you think we’ll end up with, if anything…stumpy used Crayola crayons handed out with Gamestop pre-orders, maybe? (DToid coverage here.) Elsewhere in merchandising, a new statue of Amaterasu (the non-puppy one) and a pretty nifty t-shirt have also stepped into the limelight for your viewing pleasure (front page coverage here).

I never thought I’d be penning an item for a game named “Dooder”, but here it is – if you don’t mind one more retro-style platformer give the demo a download. Diverse also shows us a trailer for Nikki and the Robots, which both involves lots of physics-based boxes and sounds like an Elton John tribute band.

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I think that’s about all the JOY I can handle for one week…until next issue, thanks for reading (*snicker*) and keep gaming obscurely.



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