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.
Three posts in three days – well, it just wouldn’t be right to not have at least one installment of Destructoid’s least-read reoccurring feature included in there someplace.
Let’s jump right into the shooter news for starters – first off, while nothing has been officially confirmed yet, there is some evidence, here and here, that the superb 360 compilation Raiden Fighters Aces will be coming to the USA, and bearing a 30-dollar price tag to boot. If this turns out to be true, and the localization leaves everything from the original Japanese release intact, you had better consider it your duty as a gamer to buy it – 3 great shooters, previously unported, treated with so much care and at so low a price, and there is simply no excuse not to enjoy this package and show some support for the people behind it while you’re at it. Okay, enough ranting on this one for now (and yes, I’m aware that I was beaten to this, but I couldn’t help going on at length) – in the meantime, keep your fingers crossed that this is real.
In actually-confirmed shmupping news, Ultimate Shooting Collection is out on the Wii - though Gamestop in particular appears to be having some trouble getting it onto their shelves, other retailers (online and otherwise) apparently have it, so look around a little and you should be able to find this 30-buck trio of Milestone shooters. Only the original arcade ports of each are included, but the reproductions appear to be pretty faithful (at least the high scores save, which can’t be said for two of the Dreamcast ports) – moreover, vertical-screen “tate” mode is present for Radirgy and Karous, though you need to input a code at the games’ title screens to make it work. It’s as follows, entered with the Wiimote - Left, Right, Left, Right, Up, Up, 1, 2. If you do it right you should hear a sound, and be set to play in the original screen orientation. Enjoy!..and hope that Illvelo joins its forebears over here before too long.
Some additional good news on the horizon for shooter fans – rumors of Strikers 1945 Plus appearing on the PSP have been confirmed, and Cave has announced (check page 22 of the following link) a sequel to DeathSmiles, set to debut at AOU 2009, scheduled for February 20-21. Also, after a frustrating set of delays, DoDonPachi Dai-Ou-Jou Black Label X has not only gone gold and had its achievements translated, but it’s apparently been given a new release date of February 19th. Some think that it might be a “placeholder” release date (since it’s listed on the same day as Shooting Love 200X, but I suppose there’s not much to do but wait and see…
Off to the side, a fellow Shmups forum member noted some of the sales figures for shooters over the past year, according to VG Chartz (which is apparently not particularly accurate, but about the best we’ve got offhand) – if you want the exact numbers you’ll have to look around the site, but here are a few general things I thought would be interesting to summarize:
The best-selling commercial shmup was the 360’s Otomedius G, by a good margin, with around 29,000 copies sold – Thunder Force VI (PS2) and Ketsui Death Label (DS) were the only ones to even come close, with between 15,000 and 16,000 copies apiece. 360 hybrid Senko no Ronde (aka Wartech) sold close to 10,000 in Japan, but not even a third of that here – Shikigami no Shiro III, Raiden IV, Raiden Fighters Aces, and Nanostray 2 didn’t move more than a few thousand apiece. On the far more active downloadable front, the clear leader was, as you’d expect, Geometry Wars 2 (220K), followed by Ikaruga (116K), 1942: Joint Strike (68K), Omega Five and Galaga Legions (47K apiece), and Triggerheart Exelica (almost 34K). Most everything else was a good ways back from there.
Moral of the story? Buy more shooters, dangit! ALL of you!
In semi-related shooter news, it would appear that Sega, of all companies, is somehow involved with publishing] the upcoming Cave shooters, and was also involved with several other shmups (Raiden IV, Raiden Fighters Aces, Shikigami III, etc.) and at least one fighter (Battle Fantasia) in similar fashion. Wonder what their role is, exactly…also, while Otomedius has received mixed reviews from shmuppers, Arcadia magazine recently lauded its touch screen functions the “best new idea” of the past year, and named developer Konami the “most popular arcade maker.” Apparently someone likes the game to a good extent – enough to fuel rumors of an upcoming trip to at least one portable system and some DLC/expansions…but we’ll have to wait and see if any of that pans out.
A pair of interesting-looking side-scrollers to mention – first, doujin developer Yuan Works looks to be progressing nicely on its latest project, Little Ninja – check out the dev blog for more info. Also, in a rather unexpected move, none other than (in?)famous Mario clone The Great Giana Sisters is coming to the DS – if there’s one name I never expected to make such a reappearance (and on a Nintendo system to boot), it’s gotta be that one. But hey, I’m more than willing to see what the developers might have in store…
…hm? What’s that? I haven’t announced a disappointing delay yet? How absent-minded of me – King of Fighters ’98 Ultimate Match, originally set to hit shelves in about a week, has been moved back to March 3rd. There, now it’s officially a Tribune issue.
And finally, the usual (and steadily lengthening) recaps of stuff others got to before I did –
Speaking of which, a couple of people got wind of a leaked Atlus release schedule – several nice titles in there, though Knights in the Nightmare has me personally most excited. Also check out this front-page post on the upcoming Class of Heroes, which I’m not quite as hot on offhand, but if it pleasantly surprises me I’ll be all the more gleeful.