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LONG BLOG

The Obscurer Tribune # 22

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Hello again, all – if you still have some room left after all the well-heated poultry, tubers, and other assorted autumnal indulgences, here’s this week’s oddball gaming news item roundup:

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If you were expecting something else to appear at the very top of this issue, I am extremely disappointed, Anyway, Mushihime-Sama Futari finally released just the other day (yay!) – while I’m still waiting for my copy to ship to me (same probably goes for some of you…you DID all import this, didn’t you?), there are already a bunch of videos up on YouTube, such as this display of the nutty console-exclusive dual-character “Arrange” mode and this overview of some of the game’s options (including some rather vestigial display features), not to mention proof to the doubters that this thing WILL work on non-Japanese systems. Hopefully you’re as eager for your copy to arrive as I am!

In case, for some unfathomable reason, you have NOT imported Mushi Futari, one possible way to stave off my oncoming wrath at your insolence is to head over to the blog of doujin developer “x.x”, where version 0.90 of his latest project, Eden’s Aegis, is now available – this stuff is about as close to Cave as a homebrew project gets, so definitely make sure to check it out.

In other intriguing doujin news, some of you might have heard of a nifty little game called Lethal Application, where your main gun is also your source of propulsion. Well, the creators just released a sequel, Lethal Crisis, and moreover have decided to make the first game available for free in its entirety – head over to their site to download it!

Famitsu has some new screenshots up of Senko no Ronde Duo, currently being ported to the 360. I’m still waiting for Cuilan to square off with Bridget from Guilty Gear and that other guy from the DS [email protected] in crossover super-hit Trap Wars.

Mr. Burch lets us know that Captain Forever, which plays sort of like a cross between Warning Forever and Tumiki Fighters, is now available for free. If you need a visual sampling, here’s one video I quickly tracked down – there are a handful of others up as well.

One of the Matlocks over at the shmup forum has discovered some…similarities between the background music from the Darius Burst trailer and a song off of a Japanese jazz album from the early 80’s. I have no clue how he managed to figure it out, but in any case it gives me an excuse to shake my fist and yell ”shenanigans!”

I’ve highlighted one of the personalities from King of Kong in a handful of issues recently, but if you’re more interested in a similar tale squarely on the shooter side of things check out Fighter Captured, an article about one man’s quest for Galaga glory.

The Space Invaders pop art just keeps on coming – this time around, some guy apparently did a few color edits of one of the signature sprites along various themes, including, uh, “Angry Hitler”.

Only marginally shooter-related, but I still had to mention a nifty Half-Life mod based on the first level of the original Contra – the same guy has also done similar projects based on Castlevania and Super Mario Bros., which are linked in the aforementioned article. (DToid coverage here.)




Here’s your latest batch of Super Street Fighter IV characters – Adon, Cody, and Guy from the Street Fighter Alpha series will be joining the fracas. Moreover, as the article mentions, a kunai can be seen in one of the screenshots, so it looks like fan favorite Ibuki of Street Fighter III might also be arriving soon. I suppose Capcom could have done worse in this round of character choices, but they certainly could have done better as well…seriously, who the frick has been flooding their offices with Adon fan mail? (Front page coverage here, C-blog item here.) Aside from a later front page link to some outside updates, Shin Oni has also managed to dig up a new trailer featuring all of the reveals so far with English voices – the front page has since followed suit and added some screens. Oh, um, and also this. I guess.

Two quick items on Tekken 6 – first off, by the time you read this the latest patch for the game should be available, so check the link for a list of what it includes. Second, while it probably doesn’t surprise you that Namco will likely offer more DLC for the game, you’ll probably be pleased to know that whatever shows up will in all likelihood be free. Here’s to hoping! (DToid coverage here.) Also, Kotaku is having a contest wherein you can win a fightstick bundle – I’d love to see someone from here enter.

Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix apparently sold pretty well. But the digital re-release of Marvel vs. Capcom 2, despite its decidedly less-ambitious setup, still sold better. I choose to interpret this as evidence that fighting gamers demand more random fat cactus characters and pirate girls on rosters – get to it, Capcom!

Just in case Spectral vs. Generation and Dissidia weren’t strange-enough fighting game cross-overs for you, now Falcom’s getting in on the act with Ys vs. Legend of Heroes for the PSP. There are plenty of questions to be asked about this, but the most burning inquiry, of course, is whether they’ll dare to make Adol speak.

Of course, the above is far from the weirdest entry for this month’s section - I swear, the ideas that internet dwellers come up with continue to defy belief. Okay, so there’s a licensed collectible card game featuring some of SNK’s fighting game characters out there someplace – well, what would you say if I told you that some Chinese guy decided, for reasons unknown, to (badly) Photoshop a bunch of celebrities (mostly NBA players) onto the characters, and alter the cards’ names and stats to match? We may never know why these things exist, but if anyone ever asks you “Did you ever see Shaq crossed with Chang Koehan, or Jack Nicholson’s face on Ryuhaku Todo?” you can answer, without hesitation, “Yes. Yes I did.”

In case you’re eager to keep up with the upcoming Darkstalkers comic mini-series first mentioned a short while back, you can head over here to check out an interview with the creative team, along with some preview images. Thanks to Mognet Central for the original link.

I’m not the type to spend MS points just to spruce up my 360 dashboard, but if you’re so inclined to do so for Bayonetta you do get yet another dose of amusing Sega references, including a Virtua Fighter-esque Bayonetta-Jeanne matchup image.

A fighter-loving blogger from distant parts named BigMex stopped by to say hello, and more importantly linked to pretty much every fighting game article he’s written – there are loads of them, so there should definitely be SOMEthing in there you find interesting.

s0lesurviv0r has also managed to dig up a rather amusing video. Nothing teaches kids to be active and have fun at the same time like smacking people around! On a slightly more practical note, RAB has found a couple of nice deals on a fightstick, if you’re looking for one.




Just about everyone is putting out some sort of “Black Friday” sale around this time, but I just had to make specific mention of the deals on offer over at RosenQueen – from now through November 30th you can snag any of these sets for anywhere from a quarter to two-thirds off their normal price, as NIS looks to clear out some unmoved swag stock along with its games. I found myself unable to resist one of them, I must admit…act fast, as by now there are only a few days left for these offers!

Aside from the official site updates mentioned last issue, the Sakura Wars: So Long My Love crew has released a whole slew of screens – the front page has some of them, as well as the game’s rather nifty opening movie . I’m almost as eager for people to snag this one as Mushihime-sama Futari – not to mention that it’s cheaper than the latter and can be had locally. If you want to support niche gaming, this ought to be one of the best ways to do it!

The game was only announced a short time ago, and already yet another twist has emerged in the Lufia: The Lands Cursed By the Gods saga – while the series departures (3D graphics, action elements, etc.) mentioned last issue are all in effect, this is not technically a new game, but a remake of Lufia II for the SNES! While the redesigned characters can be a bit difficult to recognize at first, they’re the same bunch from Rise of the Sinistrals – hoo boy, now I REALLY hope they don’t screw this up. Well, one bit of apparent good news evident from the first trailer is that they aren’t skimping on the production values – hopefully the rest follows suit.

The front page has a trailer for the upcoming Shiren the Wanderer game on the Wii – not only does it show off some of the game’s sights and sounds, but also confirms last issue’s suspicions that we will indeed be getting the game by early February. Atlus has been on the ball getting its releases out earlier than expected lately…don’t know what you guys are doing, but keep it up if you can!

Aaaaand we’ve got another Valkyria Chronicles 2 trailer to share – most of the footage has been seen already, but there is a quick bit on the multiplayer stuff which I don’t think was featured before now. Of course, once we finally get one of these things in English, then the party will REALLY get started…

I had to do a double take after first glimpsing the logo – had NIS somehow acquired the rights to 3D Dot Game Heroes? Nope, false alarm – this is a similarly-themed but completely separate project, known as Classic Dungeon, though as the title suggests this one harks back to classic dungeon crawlers instead of Zelda. It’s headed to Japanese PSPs next year – from there, who knows.

I’m not as familiar with the Summon Night series as I might be, but in any event it looks like the latest game in the series, subtitled Granthese: Sword of Ruin and the Knight’s Promise, is gunning for the coveted “last PS2 RPG” award, and in the process likely (further) dooming our chances to ever get a non-portable entry localized.

WiZman’s World, aka “That RPG Where Jaleco Asked for Help and Got 2chan”, is finally coming out in late February, around the same time as the aforementioned Lufia remake. I honestly know next to nothing else about the game apart from the monster design contest debacle, and am waiting for something else worthwhile to highlight about this one…

Since pitting its old characters against each other (as detailed above) apparently doesn’t give Falcom enough to do with their time, the company, as was mentioned in a previous link, is also porting Ys: Oath in Felghana (a remake of the third game in the series, Wanderers from Ys) to the PSP, and it’ll include some new stuff. Start praying to the gaming gods that this one doesn’t turn out as awful as the portable version of Ark of Napishtim did – especially since, if this article is to be believed, Falcom are preparing to focus a bit more on the Western market.

Over on the forums, The-Excel linked to a rather nifty bit of Persona 4 fan art that I thought I ought to share – psycho soldier also contributed this.




For awhile it seemed like there was something new to feature on Okamiden pretty much every issue – things have slowed down a bit lately, but by now the front page has another trailer to share. Most of the footage has already been seen in other videos, but there are certainly worse ways to spend a couple of minutes than watching this, regardless.

I’ve yet to take the plunge on Kenka Bancho: Badass Rumble myself, but still enjoyed this interview with a couple of the guys at Atlus who localized the game. I always picture a visit to their offices kind of like the Simpsons episode where Bart stops by Mad Magazine’s headquarters.

Mr. Holmes’ latest Super Meat Boy article focuses upon a newly-revealed boss enemy, aptly described as “a giant chainsaw with feet”. Well, what more do I need to tell you?

Next door, local Raskulls correspondent Jim Sterling has a few pictures of a toy figurine based on one of the game’s characters – more may be in store. I tend to be a sucker for collectible stuff, so if the game turns out well and a large series of these follow my wallet might be in trouble…

I’m half-tempted to guess that the time for this sort of title has largely come and gone by now, but either way we’re getting a direct sequel to Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords – exactly what changes are in store this time around will be revealed soon. (DToid coverage here.)

Over on Gamerlimit, a XBLA Indie title called Dark is this week’s “Spotlight” feature – it doesn’t really have much of a “point” and can be finished in under an hour, but it’s got a neat visual style and only costs a buck, so it might be worth checking out.

Closer to home, Tribune regular Diverse informs us about some new shirts available featuring designs from various indie games, such as Knitt, Fez, and (possibly) Cave Story. If printed circuit boards just aren’t enough, fork over some cash for the opportunity to experience your games in cottony form!

Not THAT obscure, but still rather cool – check this front-page write-up for a link to an interview by Capcom’s Seth Killian (who we usually see up in the “Fighters” section) with Maximo head honcho David Siller. Not only does he discuss several aspects of development, but shows off some level design concepts – rendered in freehand on graph paper, the old-fashioned way. Gotta give some credit to a guy who can just whip out a pen and construct a workable 3-D interactive world with it.

Not obscure either, at least in the “big-picture” sense, but as a longtime fan of eternal second banana Luigi I couldn’t help but reference this article about his life and times. Credit to Kotaku for the original link.

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Still hard at work on my next non-Tribune article – as always, though, the Tribune itself is pretty much the only thing I ever put out on a regular schedule around here. In any event, ‘til next time, thanks as always for reading, and keep gaming obscurely.
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About BulletMagnetone of us since 9:04 PM on 10.04.2008

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)