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LONG BLOG

The Obscurer Tribune # 25

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Expecting snow around here tomorrow…that’s one good thing about being a gamer, I suppose, as being shut in for a day or so is unlikely to bore one to death (perhaps quite the opposite). Anyways, here’s this week’s oddball news roundup, sorry it's a bit late -

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A few places are starting to take pre-orders for the ESPGaluda II 360 port – NCSX and Play-Asia have the “regular” edition up, while YesAsia is already reserving both that and the “Limited” edition. Still no word on whether or not this one is region-free like Mushi Futari was, though. Either way, I’ve already boned up for a copy…keep an eye on Edge Magazine for a preview next month.

Good and bad news revealed here for the long overdue DoDonPachi Dai-Ou-Jou Black Label X patch. While it’s been delayed yet again from December to January, players get a bonus out of it – while originally the fix was meant to apply only to the actual game-affecting bugs, the extra time will allow the game’s lengthy load times to be shortened up as well. Heck, at this point, what’s another month?...speaking of which, supposedly Ketsui X will finally be shown as the “Cave Matsuri” show later this month, hopefully a release date is finally in the cards.

Several sections of the official Darius Burst page have been updated, so if you’re looking to check out some new boss data or the like be sure to stop by. Thanks to my fellow shmup forumers I’ve also stumbled across some footage of a Japanese show which had one of the guys from Taito on to discuss the game and show off some gameplay bits.

The same shmup forum member who shared a pair of DoDonPachi Dai-Fukkatsu Black Label videos with the Tribune last issue has uploaded five more of ‘em – here they are, onetwothreefour – and five. Thanks to the filmer, hope you all enjoy!

The Gunbird series just doesn’t seem to have any luck around these parts…first, the original game had its name sullied via the infamously awful localization known as Mobile Light Force, and now the sequel is being remade as a PSP download, and as of now it’s not looking too pretty. Not only are 3D elements being added to the graphics (the game looked good as it was, and I doubt this’ll improve it) and not only is the new character art pretty awful, but the only screens shown so far are super-stretched horizontal-oriented messes…they’d better at least include a vertical screen option if they want ANY chance of this not being a complete disaster.

This snippet lists Nintendo’s Western lineup for early 2010, and moreover points out that Sin and Punishment 2, originally slated for a “Q1” release, is not present. Gamestop’s listing doesn’t specify a date yet, so things seem rather up in the air at the moment.

The Square/Gulti arena shooter joint project, 0 Day Attack on Earth, has been dated for December 23rd and priced at 1200 points – check the official site for more info. (DToid coverage here.)

Speaking of which, hey, another shmup on XBLA Indie Games with graphics like Geometry Wars! This one’s called Leave Home, and costs 240 points - there’s also short demo if you want to try it first. By the by, I don’t think I ever mentioned that woebegotten claymation shooter Platypus is now on XBLA as well – I always liked the look, though not so much how it plays. Anyway, this version is apparently an improvement on the uber-lousy PSP port, so snap up that demo if you’re curious.

Around the corner, it looks like a bit of a snag has come up concerning the XBLA release of “spit-em-up” Toki HD – while Microsoft was originally planning to publish the title itself, they’ve changed their minds and now developer Golgoth is looking for a new publisher. The game’s producer is confident, saying that talks are already under way with several other companies, but this will probably at least delay the game’s release for a bit.

The list of “Places Where Metal Slug Hasn’t Been Ported Yet” continues to shrink, as Metal Slug Touch is on its way to the iPhone – in this installment players are always in a Slug, and limited to the actions of “move,” “shoot”, and “avoid.” At least they seem to have made some effort to keep the platform’s limitations in mind…let’s hope it translates to something workable.

The front page also has a Ten-Minute Taste up for overhead walky-shooter Alien Breed Evolution – if nothing else I like the atmosphere it builds.

The front page also mentions Grave Breaker, a weird, 80-point XBLA Indie download that looks like a pseudo-run-n-gun, but somehow also works some sort of “massage” thing in there. Not sure who sits around thinking up this stuff, but there it is…

Diverse offers a brief note about Akantares, a small-scale pseudo-shooter from the guy who did Cave Story.

A lucky glimpse over on Tomopop made me aware of a trio of auctions for oil paintings of Touhou characters – check them out, but be aware that the third one is NSFW. The same article offers this link, which reveals that someone has taken custom Touhou figures to the next level, by constructing an action figure not of the games’ characters, but of the creator, ZUN himself! Complete with frothy beer mug, I can’t imagine a fan of the series who wouldn’t want one of those!




We’ve still got a month or so to wait for Tatsunoko vs. Capcom, but that hasn’t stopped Capcom from putting out even more screens to keep us eager. Also, while there were plenty of hints to this effect already, the front page confirms that MadCatz has some licensed accessories for the game in the works. Finally, for some reason some artwork of Phoenix Wright and Ingrid of Capcom Fighting Evolution has been seen connected with the game…wonder what that’s all about?

Two new batches o’ screens for Super Street Fighter IV have also appeared the first featuring Cody smacking Chun-Li around – I wouldn’t worry too much though, as her inevitable comeback album will be a smash hit and his musical career will be more or less over. (DToid coverage here.) The second mostly shows off some of the new stages – aside from all the Final Fight fanservice on display, apparently you can even knock over the hippos in the Africa stage (DToid coverage here). On the c-blogs, meanwhile, RAB has posted yet another Seth Killian interview, featuring some more footage of the new characters in action, as well as some tidbits from a corresponding Famitsu event.

Some more info on BlazBlue: Battle X Battle for DSiWare – while details are still sketchy, apparently “team battles” are part of the setup, and up to four players can participate at once. As long as it’s a step above Isuka they’ve still got our attention…

In case you haven’t picked up the disc-based 360 version of Battle Fantasia (which goes for 20 bucks new by now), the downloadable PSN equivalent will be out next Thursday, though nobody’s sure how much it’ll cost yet.

If you thought that the all-over-the-place playable cast of upcoming doujin project Card Sagas Wars was nuts, wait until you get a load of the “Support Card System”, basically this game’s “Strikers” – over 90 assist characters are in there, ranging from Katamari’s Prince to Bubble Bobble’s Bub to Breath of Fire II’s Katt (which I am VERY happy to see – hopefully Bleu is in there someplace as well). I wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of any lawsuits connected to this game, but it still looks pretty great!

A certain Mr. McPhanus shows off some highlights of a recent Tekken 6 tourney in the UK, which he and several other DToiders attended – am I the only one, however, who’s laughing and crying at the same time due to the fact that a first-time Christie player who didn’t even know how to block at first ended up taking home the top prize?

Fighting game-related in name only, but Dead or Alive: Paradise is coming to the PSP – unfortunately, it’s all gambling, mini-games and relationship-stoking, no brawling (or even volleyball). Then again, perhaps the series’ core demographic has definitively spoken as to what it’s willing to pay for…especially since the game is getting not one, but two Limited Editions. (DToid coverage here and here.)

Also only marginally fighting game-related, but the two-buck DSiWare download Photo Fighter X might still be an amusing novelty to fool around with – someone else takes photos of you and/or others in “fighting” poses, and then you’re able to use a set of poses as a “character”. Just the fact that you and someone else can duel each other in “versus” mode ought to be worth at least a couple of laughs.

Japanese gamers will soon have an alternative to the MadCatz SFIV controller (is that one even available over there?), as Hori is altering its “EX Turbo” pad, most notably giving it a six-face-button setup similar to the Saturn controller. It’s also got turbo settings and all that jazz, but as long as the button placement is comfortable and the d-pad works the rest is just gravy.

If you’re relatively new to the fighting game scene (or just suck, like I do), ZServ, with the help of a few other DToiders, offers some beginning tips that might give you a hand.




More joy from Atlus, though with a slight caveat attached – all initial-release copies of Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey will include a soundtrack CD and outer cardboard box, but in exchange the game’s release has been pushed back a bit, from March 10th to the 23rd. Not too bad a tradeoff, if you ask me, though I’m slightly biased when it comes to these matters. (DToid coverage here.)

On a similar note, one of the guys working on Persona 3 Portable offers some possible hints as to the future of the series. Apparently, after Persona 4 was finished, the team was split in half – one group is responsible for P3 Portable, while the other is currently finishing up an “original work”. Moreover, once those two projects are done they’ll be coming back together for a bigger item. Hmm…let’s hope Persona 5 is in there someplace! (DToid coverage here.)

You might remember Mimana Iyar Chronicles (aka “That PSP RPG With the Big Sprites”) from a previous issue – more recently, Siliconera sat down with the producer and editor of the upcoming English version over at Aksys, and received a combination of cheeky non-answers and useful information about the game. I’m a tad torn…it sounds interesting, but I’m not a huge fan of the Tales or Star Ocean battle systems that this emulates…

Do you not already have enough Lunar swag from back in the PS1 days? Well fear not, as XSeed is offering a LE of the PSP port, Silver Star Harmony, if you’re willing to cough up an extra ten bucks. On tap for the extra Hamilton is a soundtrack CD and 13 “Bromide” (i.e “fan service”) cards – ah, exploitation, is there anything you can’t justify? (DToid coverage here.) Also check out a few notes on the text translation, which is also doing its best to recall the Working Designs days of yore.

A little bit back you might have heard that Vagrant Story was coming to the PSN in Japan – well, guess what, next week PAL gamers are getting it too! Author Herr Sterling is hopeful that the game will be headed to the US in similar form soon – it’d certainly be nice!

Roguelike fans might be a bit disappointed that the upcoming Wii iteration of Shiren the Wanderer is somewhat distancing itself from the “roguelike” label, largely by being a ways more forgiving than most of its ilk – I doubt very many other types of gamers ought to mind TOO much, though.

I’m still not sure whether to put items on Ys vs. Legend of Heroes in the “Fighter” or “RPG” section, but for this issue, at least, it’s here – anyways, Siliconera has some concept art of the characters revealed so far. I wonder if Parin from Gurumin eventually shows up as a hidden guest fighter? Though if anything I’d probably put my money on the fan-servicey Dela from Brandish.

NISA’s official site has received a facelift, and more importantly they’re running another Badman! art contest – for the last one contestants could enter a drawing or other 2-D piece, but this time they’re looking for a sculpture of any Badman character created out of stuff you find around the house. I can’t find any details on their site yet, but according to the newsletter the deadline for submissions (or photos of them) is January 12th, and the top 3 entries will win a copy of Badman 2. Good luck!

Some hi-res screens of Super Robot Taisen OG Saga Endless Frontier Exceed (arrgh, back to square one) are available for, uh, “viewing”. Credit to Mognet Central for the link.

Etrian Odyssey III has gotten a trailer – almost no gameplay is shown, as the article points out, but you can at least get a feel for the game’s “style” with it. (C-blog coverage here.)




Yay, a Fragile item that doesn’t announce yet another delay (at least for now)! An English-language trailer for the game is up – while it’s technically for the PAL version, presumably the North American voice track will be the same. Of course, you can stick with the original Japanese voices if you prefer. (DToid coverage here.)

While we’re still waiting to try out the Rocket Knight remake for ourselves, until a demo is (hopefully) available we can check out the front page’s preview of the game’s first level. It’s been awhile since I played Sparkster, but I recall having to charge up the rocket pack in that one – here it looks like you instantly draw from a replenishing meter, kinda like Gunvalkyrie. As I said, guess I’ll hafta play it myself to see how it translates.

The next “Arkedo Series” game is another platformer, subtitled Pixel! – I probably don’t need to elaborate on the graphical style. There are some off-to-the-side puzzle elements that can earn you bonuses, apparently – for a small title it doesn’t look too bad so far, though the first few games in the series got mixed reviews on DT and elsewhere.

I don’t check Tomopop or Japanator very often, but perhaps I should, as I’ve made some lucky catches via some of the links shown on DToid lately – for instance, did you know that the Culdcept series has been spun off into a manga? I sure didn’t – but now I do, and my day is just that much better for it. Now if only the series could get itself a better foothold around here…

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Hopefully I’ll be dug out by the time I’m due to post the next issue – either way, thanks as usual 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)