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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)  




Issues like this one aptly display both why I started the Tribune and why I need a break from it…there’s so much neat stuff to cover, but trying to track down and transcribe even a halfway-decent amount of it is pretty much a full-time occupation in itself. Anyway, here’s what the cat dragged in this past week:

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A new trailer is up for the iPhone version of DoDonPachi Dai-Fukkatsu – if you have a bit of trouble following all the action a rundown of all the features showcased in on Cave’s official blog. It looks like iPhone owners are in for another treat, but I still hope that the company hasn’t forgotten about the rest of us, who prefer larger screens… (DToid coverage here.)

WARNING! A huge bunch of screens and a video from the “location test” of Darius Burst Another Chronicle are approaching fast!

PAL shmuppers, it was indeed a bummer to learn that Raiden Fighters Aces had been delayed for you, but there might be a bit of a “consolation prize” coming up – a couple of indications have popped up suggesting that Castle Shikigami 3 (the best in the series, IMO) is headed your way sometime early next year! Offer an extra prayer to the gaming gods and make sure this comes to pass!

There’s still no concrete XBLA release date for King of Figters Sky Stage, but the English Achievements list has been posted, so hopefully it’s not too far off now. Of course, I’m most intrigued by the reward for taunting a lot…

I’m not 100 percent convinced that VGChartz’ numbers are correct, but if they’re accurate then the US version of DeathSmiles has sold more than the Japanese original (which recently got a reprint). In any event, at least the game is selling in some fashion: do you have your copy yet?

I’m honestly not sure why I keep up with this anymore aside from pure innate stubbornness, but Cave is once again promising an “update” on the long-promised and never-delivered patch for DoDonPachi Dai-Ou-Jou Black Label X at this weekend’s “Cave Festival” event. Looking forward to it…AGAIN. Anyways, once the event actually starts it’ll be streamed here.

The recent Comiket convention in Japan has brought a bunch of doujin names to the surface, and to my attention: check out Hayabusa, Another Apocalypse, Shaftdiver, Super Mate Mate Laser, and Crisis Divider: Device Lost for starters. A “version 1.01” demo of ALLTYNEX Second is also available now.

One of the newer shmups on the Flash scene is Space Gate – it’s a bit rough around the edges, but not too bad overall. Has sort of a “what if Star Soldier was released for the original Game Boy” vibe going.

Readers have seen a handful of snippets on Privates here in the Tribune, but this past weekend the front page finally provided us with a link to download the game (and the requisite double entendre). Now get in there and start shooting some syphilis!

Barry Steakfries is BACK! The movement is automatic, the perspective is side-scrolling, the featured weapon set includes the “machine gun jetpack”, and the title is Monster Dash. Look for it on iPhone next week!

Tuesday’s “Free App of the Day” was a Geometry Wars clone called Critical Wave – give it a look if you’re not already taking a break from “twin-stick” shooters.

Nerf NOW has done a whole bunch of “Touhou”-themed comics lately…and they even feature a cameo by Dan Hibiki! The story begins here, and continues on until the thrilling conclusion. On less savory fronts, a certain former entertainer of ill repute (aptly described in the comments as “creepy Japanese jack Sparrow”) is involved with a certain unofficial Touhou fan music CD – watch the linked video promo at your own risk.

This week’s bit of Space Invaders silliness is a fan-made pseudo-crossover with LEGO Star Wars.




Your point accounts probably haven’t yet had a chance to cool off from forking over the extra bucks for Makoto, but get ready to pay (or at least gripe about paying) again: Rachel’s butler Valkenhayne Hellsing is BlazBlue: Continuum Shift’s next downloadable character. At least it looks like Aksys has its technique down when it comes to eliminating lag. Gamer Limit also posts a somewhat late review of the game here.

Speaking of money, if you have some more laying around you can pay one of four (so far) tournament-level players to tutor you for certain characters in Super Street Fighter IV – all of them are available on XBox Live, but only one also offers his services over PSN. 40 bucks per hour is as cheap as they get, so start saving… (DToid coverage here.)

The next fighter slated for late inclusion in Street Fighter IV for the iPhone is C. Viper – seems kinda weird that they didn’t just put all these “extra” fighters in at the outset, but whatever, they’re all free (unlike some others I could have/did mention).

Here are a couple more shots of Street Fighter vs. Tekken, all of which show Capcom’s fighters smacking around Namco’s cast – not too surprising, seeing as Capcom is the one which posted them.

Collecting signatures for petitions is pretty much always a waste of time in the video game realm, but what if someone who actually works in the industry encourages it? Capcom’s Yoshinori Ono told fans, via Twitter, to start begging for a new Darkstalkers game – could he have actually been serious, or was he just trolling? It’s kinda hard to tell from here…

Scott Pilgrim fever hits its pitch, with both the game (official) and the movie (unofficial) receive new trailers, while even more impressions, opinions, reviews, rundowns, screenings, tips, quotes, contests, and avatar items flood the interwebs. Wonder how many people ever saw this much exposure/success in the series’ future?

The front page has reviewed BlayzBloo: Super Melee Brawlers Battle Royale, and by the looks of things this is not, unfortunately, the second coming of Pocket Fighter. HOW LONG MUST I WAIT???

On the c-blogs, meanwhile, the7k’s latest “RetroGrade” blog takes a look back at Fighter’s Megamix for the Saturn, perhaps the only game in the genre which allows you to play as a racing car: JSL, on the other hand, discusses the role of Super Smash Bros. in crossover marketing (not to mention fanartz). Also, on the outskirts of the genre, garethxxgod’s Monthly Musing puts his love of scrolling “beat-em-ups” on display for all to see.

Others more familiar with the fighting scene might have already heard of a 98-year-old fan called “Oogosho”, but he’s new to me: anyways, Orochinagi recently linked to three videos of him on King of Fighters XIII, making a statement with a Daimon/Raiden pairing – the vids are here, here, and here.

Zoel ushers in the BlazBlue: Continuum Shift portion of the “PS3 Fight Club” – the wheel of fate is turning!

Surprise! The director/producer of Tekken doesn’t think that the recent movie adaptation was very good! Not enough boxing kangaroos, obviously. Or boxing velociraptors. Or Gon.

I’m a little late in picking these up, but be sure to check out these ModNation Racers characters, customized to look like fighters from several different series.

Just about every nerd convention seems to attract at least a couple of fighting game cosplayers, and Wonder Fest in Japan is no exception – Bridget and I-no from Guilty Gear appear here alongside several others.

Sagat (and Felicia) return once more: the former talks about the unintentional ‘training” of gamers to wait for inevitable improvements in favor of spurning original products, while the latter demonstrates (among other things) proper flossing techniques.




Once again, the utter strangeness of Criminal Girls earns it top RPG billing: this week there is a slew of new images as well as a bit of information about 3 of the 7 featured deadly sin-related prisoners. Feel free to check out the official site too. (DToid coverage here.)

“Have some Hero 30 Second screens”, says the front page. “Sure”, I answer. By the way, Japanese pre-order copies will come with some bonus quests and other things, under the combined title of “Sengoku Sexy Roman Pack”. I’d like to see someone refuse ANYthing with a name like that.

Atlus USA’s official trailer for the PSP version of Knights in the Nightmare is up and available for viewing (DToid coverage here); moreover, it would appear that both this title and Hexyz Force will be getting PAL releases sometime in the future, following up the recently-released Persona remake (c-blog reaction to the latter here).

This eight-minute video shows one stage of Blue Roses, and demonstrates how adjacent characters can team up on either attack or defense (sorta like Valkyrie Profile: Covenant of the Plume), as well as some “QTE-style” button-pressing commands during certain sequences. One of the characters also kinda-reminded me of both Karin from Shadow Hearts and Vanessa from King of Fighters, which automatically makes me need to play this.

Not only will Valkyria Chronicles 2 be out soon, but a demo is now available for download if you want an early taste. I know I do!

Korean developer Blueside is working on a DS RPG called Shining Legend – Siliconera theorizes that it might be a “revision” of Princess and Knight, a game announced by the company a while back but which hasn’t come out. Not too much in terms of details on this one as of yet…

Hot on the heels of last week’s selection of new pics for The 3rd Birthday, the game’s director puts up a couple more images and some promo art – more than that, he explains two of the game’s features (namely infinite ammo and battle damage…you can forget about a shower scene, though), accompanying the second with a short gameplay video (which makes me wonder why I keep sticking this thing in the “RPG” section). By the way, it looks like there’ll be a playable build at Gamescom, so keep an eye out for that.

I can’t wait to check out the Limited Edition stuff included with Ys Seven (oh, right, and the game itself, too) next week: in the meantime, here’s a small preview of the artbook portion.

Japanese-literate SMT fans might want to look into accessing the Japanese PSN, since the PS1 version of Shin Megami Tensei II is now available on there. Hey Atlus, truth be told we in the West certainly wouldn’t mind another enhanced PSP remake or two…

Lunar: Silver Star Harmony for the PSP has been rated for release in Australia – it’ll probably end up as a PSN download, but it’s still cool to see more gamers getting a shot at it.

Dungeon crawler fans ought to check out this new trailer for Class of Heroes 3, which shows off (among other things) a new sequential button-pressing mechanic used to launch certain special attacks. Also, Atlus apparently STILL hasn’t spoiled Etrian Odyssey III fans enough – not only will pre-orders get the much-hyped artbook, but every first-print copy will include a 2-sided poster! (DToid coverage here.)

Let us cling together and view some new media for the Tactics Ogre remake, as well as read up on some of the class tweaks being made. Or would that make you uncomfortable?

Did you know that a handful of veterans from the recent Shin Megami Tensei releases were working on Radiant Historia? A few of them and their roles in each project (and the current one) are on display here – oh, and the usual complement of new images (including the cover art) are up too.

Technically you can already play Chaos Rings on an iPad, but now Square has released a “native” version which has some enhanced graphics to take advantage of the device.

I know I’ve used the phrase “Just in case you thought Record of Agarest War 2 couldn’t get an fan-service-ier” before, but I’m gonna hafta dust it off again, thanks to this display of two of the game’s characters strutting their stuff in a cheesy music video.

They’ve still got nothing on Neptune, however, whose Powers That Be put together a cosplay outfit for the main character’s voice actress to wear.

The mental patients at Double Fine are apparently seeking a little piece of the RPG pie with Costume Quest, an upcoming downloadable title in which you play as kids in Halloween costumes, which become a whole lot more elaborate once a battle starts (reminds me of that South Park episode where the kids buy the ninja weapons). Check out some early impressions.

Videos like this one for Lord of Arcana aptly demonstrate why I’m so wary of most “action-RPGs” – seriously, if you can’t get both parts right at once, just pick one and stick with it.

He says he’s too busy to do much at the moment, but Tetsuya Nomura states to us that he’s happy with the reaction that The World Ends With You has gotten, and would be enthused to make a sequel eventually. Will it happen? If the money is indeed there, we’ll surely find out…

Feelplus, the developer which inherited many of the castoffs from Sacnoth/Nautilus, has been absorbed into parent company AQ Interactive…and my already-wounded hopes for some sort of Shadow Hearts followup fade even further.

While they wait for the fourth game in their series to come out (or at least their next crossover with Idea Factory), the Disgaea cast apparently makes ends meet by appearing on stickers packaged with a certain Japanese chocolate wafer snack. Hey, the Underworld has bills to pay too!

Attach the Stone of Shame! Somehow, in my folly, I did not link manasteel88’s excellent impressions of doujin sim-RPG Recettear last issue – please forgive me for finally getting around to it so late! The author, in his wisdom, has since mentioned that the game’s expected price is 20 bucks and the release date should be sometime this month, as posted on here. Beyond this, he’s also posted a Musing about NIS!

Steam Pirates was the “Free App of the Day” back on Monday, but it couldn’t hurt to mention it now too.

Did you forget to pre-order Persona 3 Portable and claim your Junpei Hat? Well, Atlus has seen fit to give you another chance, as it has 100 more caps to give away – first off, join their “Atlus Faithful” mailing list (if you haven’t already) and download any or all of the Junpei-themed wallpaper packs linked within. Doing so by August 27th will automatically enter you into the extra-hat raffle: good luck!




I’m always up for another Okamiden trailer, how about you? I’m not sure how it does it, but that li’l puppy somehow looks fluffier and fluffier every time I see it, an especially impressive feat considering that we’re talking DS polygons here.

News on The Last Guardian has been scarce of late, but Fumito Ueda has said that he’ll be “showing something” at the Tokyo Game Show next month, so hopefully the drought will end then. On somewhat related fronts, here’s a fanart piece with a Portal crossover, not to mention some images “inspired by Ico” from one of Naughty Dog’s artists.

Lost in Shadow, on the other hand, has been rather regular in providing new images and whatnot for us to look at, and continued to do so this week.

Wacko genre mishmash Dangan Ronpa has received a batch of new screens and artwork, along with a bit of info on a few of the characters.

It must be tough for the ESRB to rate a game like Super Scribblenauts, where you can not only summon loads of stuff instantly but give everything a smorgasbord of varying characteristics, but they certainly gave it their best shot. Also, if you pre-order this title at Gamestop, you’ll get a pair of fuzzy earphones in one of three fabric patterns – it’s no Rooster Hat, but it is free! Oh, and have a wallpaper.

If the whole “furry thing” going on in Sola to Robo makes you uneasy, perhaps the blow will be softened with the knowledge that your character eventually gains the ability to (temporarily) transform into a (shirtless) human. Or not.

I’ve never been a huge fan of the Ghosts ‘n Goblins games (having the majority of one’s deaths result from stiff jumping controls never sat too well with me), but supposedly Gold Knights II on the iPhone lubricates the gears a bit, not to mention adds a new character. Anyone have any impressions of this to offer? I’m curious how it turned out…

It would appear that Australian pinball fans have reason to feel a bit of excitement: Pinball FX 2 has been rated for the region.

The phrase “interpretive dance” has become something of a punch line to mock the hipster kitty (or, in my case, hipster salamander) crowd, but you might be curious enough about the whole thing to watch a high school troupe’s performance based on (what else?) Braid. Note: the embedded video there is only part one of several.

Do you like Cave Story? If so, Diverse thinks you’ll like Momodora too.

DToid’s own SeanYourPath heads over to Gamer Limit to recommend a quartet of worthy iPhone titles (Helsing’s Fire, Dungeon Coil, Fastar!, and Babel Rising) which only cost a buck apiece.

Tomopop indulges its Vanillaware fetish (and mine) with reviews of both Velvet from Odin Sphere and Momohime from Muramasa: The Demon Blade. In figure form, of course. *ahem*

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Back for one more next week: hope to see you then. Thanks as always for reading, and keep gaming obscurely.



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