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.
Once again, happy trails, Anonymouse – it’s been a pleasure being recapped by you. Also, a warm welcome to GamesAreArt – something tells me we’ll be seeing each other regularly (y’know, just a hunch). Anyways, on to this week’s multitude of obscure news items:
Cave’s next title, Akai Katana, has received an official release date of August 19th, and will be appearing on their long-utilized SH3 arcade board – there’s also a new promo image which shows a pair of (very small) screenshots. Forget about those, though, as we’ve got some footage from the location test – Kotaku links us to one, and another can be found over here. A bit tough to tell exactly how everything works from here, but I’m seeing elements from a whole bunch of previous Cave releases scattered about in here…more info as it comes!
There’s an official English site for the upcoming iPhone port of DoDonPachi Dai-Fukkatsu (which will be translated into DoDonPachi Resurrection) – click the link for an English version of the trailer posted last week.
I usually don’t watch sales figures that closely, but considering how much DeathSmiles is likely to mean for Western Cave fans, I can’t help but be more vigilant than normal. Anyways, in its second and third weeks the game racked up another 12,000 or so sales, again beating out the same time period in Japan (though not by as much as in Week 1) – if you haven’t yet given this game a try, please do so! In case you’re concerned about the differences in slowdown between the Japanese and US versions, apparently Cave says it sped things up on purpose.
Looks like ZUN’s next project is going to be Yousei Daisensou (“The Great Fairy Wars”), technically entry “12.8” in the “Touhou” series – it will star fairy character Cirno, and is (as the numbering suggests) a “side project” more along the lines of Shoot the Bullet, relying on some sort of “bullet-freezing” mechanic. This topic has a full translation of the announcement.
While the well-hidden Gamestop listing puts the price of Otomedius Excellent at 60 bucks, according to Konami it will retail for less than that – how much less remains to be seen. The article also points out that Excellent uses a completely different engine than the first Otomedius, which piques my interest a bit…
There were plenty of hints in this direction, but it’s still good to know that Raiden Fighters Aces has been officially confirmed as coming to Europe, with JoWood as the publisher – mark August 17th on your calendars!
A fellow shmup forum denizen recently had a chance to play King of Fighters Sky Stage in Japan, and posted a video for the rest of us – as he says, he tried Athena, but had a bit of trouble getting the hang of her “teleport” move.
The previously-announced R-Type iPhone port has been confirmed to release sometime over the summer courtesy of EA Mobile, and will feature 3 different control schemes.
Do you need a primer on the proper way to breathe fire while fighting space aliens? This new trailer for The Flying Hamster ought to give you all the info you need.
A new trailer for Shoot 1Up on XBLA Indide Games has just been released – watch it for some insight into the game’s bevy of customization options. Or you could just spend the buck to download the thing and enjoy it in full!
Good news and bad news for doujin shmup fanatics…first, the bad. The eagerly-anticipated Crimzon Clover (a video of the demo is here), which was originally supposed to release around now, has been delayed until sometime this winter. On the bright side, a demo for ALLTYNEX Second (by Siter Skain, probably most famous for Kamui) has been released, and the full version should be available at the next Comiket convention in Japan.
The promised patch for Vampire Rage has been applied, so make sure to download that for a handful of gameplay tweaks (and better box art).
If any of you enjoyed Hikware’s freeware shmup Warning Forever, you might want to at least take a look at Warning Foregone, a simplified browser-based “de-make” of that game. The controls are kinda wonky, but it’s still nice to see titles like this get recognition along these lines from time to time.
Pararalyzer is another doujin shooter whose name has popped up over on the shmups.com forum – check out a video of it and see if it looks up your alley.
Agent North updates us on what he thinks of Hard Corps Uprising after spending some time with it at Comic-Con – so far it sounds pretty good.
Fans of Data East’s old shmups, such as the Vapor Trail and Darwin titles, might want to keep an eye out for this CD collection, which released this week and contains music from a half-dozen of their shooters from back in the day – a preview video with a bunch of samples can be seen here. Also, the Tecnosoft Store, which was down for awhile recently, has come back online, so if you were looking to buy a soundtrack or two from there you’ve still got a chance…once they restock, anyways (and you’ll probably need a proxy service or the like to close the deal).
On the local merchandising front, the “Tap Dodge” t-shirt store (maker of that nifty Cho Aniki print I still need to buy) just debuted a new Ketsui-inspired design.
In case you were thinking of entering that French website’s “win some downloadable 360 shmups” contest, the list of stuff you can try to snag has been updated.
NerfNOW reports on a brewing conflict within the shmup genre: details at eleven!
You know those usually-disturbing “realistic” fanarts of video game characters you see floating around once in awhile? It seems that not only does a Space Invaders version exist, but someone’s seen fit to make a t-shirt out of it.
The PS2 version of Arcana Heart 2 was a disappointment, but Examu has since asked for a bit of help from Arc Systems and is portingArcana Hearts 3 to the PS3 and 360. Obviously it’s just for Japan so far, but I’d certainly love a localization of this!
And that’s not the only girl-centric fighting game news we have this issue: 5pb (who were responsible for the shmup-related fiascos connected to the 360 ports of DoDonPachi Dai-Ou-Jou and Ketsui, have announced a 2-D fighting game called Phantom Breaker – about all we know of it so far is that a visual novel artist is doing the character designs.
Aaaaaand one more! A trailer containing some gameplay footage has appeared for eroge crossover fighter Twinkle Queen…predictably, it’s not looking very impressive (seriously, the vocalist for the theme song can’t even hit the high notes). Stick to shmups, MileStone.
You probably already knew most of them were coming, but here are the two latest sets of revealed characters for Marvel vs. Capcom 3 - first up are Dr. Doom and Super Skrull for Marvel, plus Chun-Li and Trish for Capcom, and following them are Thor and Amaterasu respectively (c-blog item here). If you’re at Comic-Con you can get a chance to take some of them for a spin; I’m just still hoping they manage to finally squeeze a Breath of Fire character or two in here. A commenter at DToid’s coverage links us to some footage of the former group in action, while over here are a few videos of the latter two (DToid coverage here) – if you want to try to guess the silhouettes in the “more characters” still (except Viewtiful Joe, I’m afraid Capcom’s not fooling anyone there), it’s been captured here. On a final note, I doubt that even comic book writer Frank Tieri can give this game a respectable “story”, but he’s gonna try, dangit!
Looks like the ante has been upped on the rumors of a Namco vs. Capcom fighter being in development – the latest version of the word on the street is that TWO games are being worked on, one by Capcom (in Street Fighter IV style) and another by Namco (which will play like Tekken). If this pans out, this project could be bigger than expected…dare we hope for a long-overdue Namco X Capcom localization, or a new (and better) Card Fighters Clash? (DToid coverage here.) Speaking of “upping the ante”, Yoshinoro Ono now hints that he may have more than one big announcement up his sleeve…c’mon, cough something up already!
Technically a rumor at this point, but a flyer for the upcoming arcade version of Super Street Fighter IV says something about “New Challengers”…could this edition have extra characters, or does that line refer to something else? The extra slots found in this screenshot would certainly lend some credence to it…
To continue my current streak of not being killed by vengeful Scott Pilgrim fans, here is another trailer for the upcoming beat-em-up: quirky as Scott is, though, he can’t beat the sheer ludicrousness of Kung-Fu Live, which (apparently) must be played shirtless. Elsewhere on the “beat-em-up” front, apparently fans are cooking up their own Streets of Rage 4, since Sega refuses to do so itself – Bigmoose85 shows us some video footage. Is it possible to cram any more Donovans onto a single screen?
Japanese PSN users should soon have access to the original Art of Fighting, courtesy of D4 Enterprise – whether we ever see any of these Neo-Geo downloads here (then again, do we really need them, since they’re all out on various collections already?) remains to be seen.
One of the Kotaku guys recaps his experience at last weekend’s EVO tournament – never would have expected that someone brought JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure along for the ride!
On the local front, the “Good Games Podcast” recent conducted an interview with Aksys’ Gail Salamanca, on BlazBlue: Continuum Shift in particular, so give it a listen.
Those crazy Super Smash Bros. Brawl hackers are up to their shenanigans again – in this case they’ve given Samus Cammy’s outfit from Street Fighter (sorry fanboys, no “pause for a close-up” moments in this video) and had her fight on a locale from Monster Hunter. Then they top themselves by having Taki and Nightmare from Soul Calibur beat each other up in Castlevania’s clock tower – where will this madness end?!
I don’t know how long this deal will last, but several Capcom games, including fighters, are half price on PSN – Marvel vs. Capcom 2 is the big one, but Darkstalkers and the Capcom Classics Collections on the PSP are discounted too. Several of the company’s iPhone titles, including Street Fighter IV, have been knocked down in price as well.
You’ve already seen at least one exhibition of Mortal Kombat being played with DDR pads…now see it done with hacked guitars (and not the plastic Guitar Hero ones either, these actually have strings and make noise and everything).
Hear ye, hear ye! Thy latest updates concerning the Ran-batt – verily, on the Third Station of Playing - courtesy of thine own nilcam art plain for undeserving eyes to drinketh in! Forget not the final standings of the Super Street Fighter IV portion, O!
Capcom will be debuting some new t-shirts at Comic-Con, and then releasing them on Zazzle for a limited time – one, of course, is the inevitable Mike Haggar parody of the Obama “Hope” poster, which I predict going for ridiculous amounts on eBay before long. On comic book shelves new Darkstalkers and Street Fighter Legends issues are out for consumption.
Need one more reason to be in awe of Daigo Umehara? While you might think he spends every waking hour training at Street Fighter, it turns out that he has a day job – at a nursing home. So, y’know, the domination of the fighting game scene and all that…just something he does on the side. Nothin’ special.
What would happen if you took the Japanese voice actor who does M. Bison (well, technically he does “Vega”) in Street Fighter IV, found some of the other roles he’s played, and made Bison say lines from those? Watch this silly video to find out. Almost as silly is this paper re-enactment of Mortal Kombat’s original fatalities.
And honestly, the above clip is probably more entertaining than any new live-action Street Fighter move Capcom might still be willing to put out at this point…sadly, they have yet to abandon their dreams in that area. In other disturbing news, Handy’s showcase of “Fanart Flops” contains several Street Fighter atrocities…as the label says, several are NSFW, so click with caution.
I don’t think I could have found a more appropriate image to straddle the “Fighting” and “RPG” sections – anyways, if you buy Udon’s upcoming “Art of Capcom 2” book, it’s in there too. Well, then again, there’s Agent Holmes’ review of fighter/strategy hybrid Toribash, that works too.
The front page has a new trailer for Neptune which I haven’t seen elsewhere, and…holy crap, are those summoned characters from Octomania? Compile Heart certainly isn’t letting up on the nerd fan service here, that’s for sure.
If you pre-order Valkyria Chronicles 2 at a participating retailer you’ll be treated to a bonus or two – specifically, a pair of extra DLC missions. This applies to both the U.S. and Europe, so put down the cash now if you want ‘em.
Looks like the PSP is getting some more SRPG love – it’s confirmed that Tactics Ogre: Wheel of Fortune (a remake of the first Tactics Ogre) is on the way, and will eventually be localized (DToid coverage here), plus rumor has it that Phantom Brave Portable might be in the cards too.
Last issue it was confirmed that Zettai Hero was getting a localization, complete with an exceedingly unwieldy new title – some of you might have worried about whether the featured “costume cameos” from several anime series would make the trip as well. Not to worry – NISA says it’s not removing anything, so if you want to dress your guy up like someone from Boogiepop Phantom, you’ll be free to do so! By the way, both ZHP and ClaDun now have official pages up.
Atlus has called the narrator from the Trauma Team videos back up for another gig, namely their latest promo spot for Etrian Odyssey 3, which details some of the character creation aspects: another one goes into ocean navigation. A bit more info on the “sub-class” system is here.
Here’s a much lengthier video of Fate: Extra in action – it’s narrated by three people on the development team though obviously that won’t add much if you don’t speak Japanese. The battles are looking more and more like a sequence of “rock-paper-scissors” guesswork, which doesn’t bode well…
How big is the cloth map included in the collector’s edition of Ys Seven? This big!
Not sure how many of you are into watered-down eroge ports, but just in case you are be sure to keep an eye on Pastel Chime Continue for the PSP, which takes the emphasis off of the nookie and onto dungeon battling and a high school setting.
Siliconera has an article about a new, independent translation group called Carpe Fulgur, and specifically their plans to localize Recettear, a doujin PC RPG where your main task is to successfully run an item shop. It sounds similar to the Atelier series and Iron Master offhand…plus enemies explode into Skittles! A demo is apparently out there someplace if you want a taste (of the rainbow). (DToid coverage here.)
Want the whole story as to how Xenoblade came to pass in its current form? This feature should explain just about everything.
Yeah, so remember that supposed insinuation that The Last Story would be Sakaguchi’s last game? Believe it or not (I know, I know) that wasn’t really what he meant – yes, there’s still money to be made, so don’t worry, he’s still here! (DToid coverage here.)
I’m still not altogether convinced that Trinity: Souls of Zill O’ll is really “my type” of RPG, but what the heck, here are some pictures for it.
Segueing from there, I’m not into the MMO scene even if we’re talking about Shin Megami Tensei: Imagine, but if you dig this sort of thing you ought to be happy to hear about the recent content update, which adds new storyline elements and other things.
Fresh from Japan we’ve got another Okamiden trailer, courtesy of Herr Sterling: still looking pretty good, and moreover I think this is the first glimpse we’ve had of some of Chibi-terasu’s other riders apart from Kuninushi (the one with the sword and purple outfit). There’s also a new English trailer (and some screens) from Comic-con over here.
Here’s some footage of the upcoming Castlevania puzzle game running on the iPhone - could they seriously not have bothered to make the music loop smoothly? The fade in/out effect sounds awful – they’re ripping everything else directly from Symphony of the Night, why not that? Joystiq has a review up, and there are also some new images and some Comic-Con impressions for Harmony of Despair on the front page.
Yeah, it looks like I’m starting to get interested in Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom again…anyways, the US release date will be November 30th. Check the link for some new screenshots, too. (DToid coverage here.)
If you haven’t picked up 3D Dot Game Heroes or Trauma Team yet, Amazon might be a good place to look, as they’ve recently dropped the price on each game to 30 bucks. As the page notes, the same price applies to Demon’s Souls, which had another “Pure White” segment added in to celebrate the fact that online support will keep going at least through next March (DToid coverage here).
In other discount-related news, if you attend Comic-Con in San Francisco and give Super Scribblenauts a try while you’re there, be sure to pick up the five-dollar coupons they’ll be handing out – if you eventually pick up the game at Best Buy you can save a nice crisp Lincoln for something else.
Euro-gamers should be interested to know that Rising Star games is asking which games you’d like to see them bring to their continent – head over there and get in on it!
Tactix posts a short video of his recent trip to the “California Extreme” arcade show – I think that thing with the box-pulling puppets would drive me to kill somebody after a few games (or at least go Happy Gilmore on the machine).
Another hefty issue…hopefully someone out there enjoys this stuff enough to read it. To any who do so, thanks as always, and keep gaming obscurely.