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LONG BLOG

The Obscurer Tribune # 28

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I’m still not used to putting “10” at the end of everything I’ve dated lately, but thankfully I don’t have to bother here – as long as my basic counting skills remain intact, the Tribune will remain semi-organized! With that pleasant thought in the back of your minds, please proceed to the latest batch of offbeat gaming news:

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Some possibly intriguing bits on the upcoming (and long-overdue) 360 release of Ketsui. For one thing, YesAsia lists its release date as March 31 – as of now no official announcement of this sort has been made, but hopefully this is a harbinger of one to come. Second, if you check Amazon’s Japanese site, there’s a listing for a “limited edition” of the game – I haven’t seen it anyplace else, and there are no details provided as to what might be included, so this may be a mistake, but I’ll be keeping my eye on it just in case.

Getting a little ahead of myself here, but why not – someone out there recently posted some progress in an effort to emulate Cave’s 2005 shooter Ibara. As the page mentions any possibility of actually playing this in such a fashion is many years away, so for the time being we’re stuck with the so-so PS2 port of the game, but hey, if more people eventually get to try it out, so much the better. Also, on The Guru’s site, the January 5th update has some early screens of ESPGaluda II running on MAME – considering that there’s been no announcement yet regarding the region-coding status of the upcoming 360 port, this’ll probably serve a similar function sometime (way) down the line.

After several different updates, Version 1.0 of x.x’s freeware shmup Eden’s Aegis is now available – head to this link to get it!

Now here’s an interesting development. Recently the Tribune mentioned several signs that Ignition would no longer be serving as publisher for SNK’s titles in the West – well, guess who appears to be picking up at least some of the slack? That’s right – Metal Slug XX for the PSP is now listed as being distributed by none other than Atlus, who apparently still don’t have a full enough plate around here. Heaven only knows what else they can afford to take on at this point, but I certainly wish ‘em the best, whatever it is (except this, anyway). Subsequent articles revealed that XX will feature two-player mode, an extra DLC character (Leona), and some other extra stuff – also, there will be no downloadable version of the game, and the UMD will retail for 20 bucks. Be sure to check out the official site as well as an opportunity to win a pair of those boxer shorts mentioned here some time back. (DToid coverage here.

While 0 Day Attack on Earth has received most of the press lately, Square’s “other” downloadable shooter, Death By Cube, has just received a concrete release date on January 20th. If nothing else, it probably features the most bleeding robots you’ve seen since you last watched Evangelion. (DToid coverage here.)

A fellow shmup forumer recently linked me to this gallery of nifty unofficial Ikaruga CG renders – check ‘em out if you haven’t seen them before. Also, for the figure-centric sorts, a new “Shooting Historica” set is coming out soon, featuring models from Xexex, Metal Black, Twinbee and others – a few pics can be found here.

Before now I’d never heard of 7th Deadly Beats, a rhythm/shooter game for the iPhone that looks something like FreQuency or Amplitude – as such, I know little else about it, but it does seem that Falcoon, who’s done work on the King of Fighters series and other games, is contributing some artwork. Credit to Mognet Central for the link.

On other musical fronts, the latest batch of “VGDrums” videos features a short medley of the first few songs from the SNES version of Gradius III, so I had to least make mention of it here.




A combination of Famitsu scans and a GameTrailers video further show off some of the new stuff on the way in Super Street Fighter IV, including new costumes (including The Return of Mecha-Zangief!), super moves, and “rival” battles – also be sure to check out this page (via Mognet Central) for additional screens and sketches (C-blog coverage here, front page item here). Two short clips of Adon and Cody in action are on this page (DToid coverage over here).

Capcom also Twittered a small preview of the semi-new joystick to be released around the same time (DToid coverage here). A bit after that, the front page offered up a full-fledged preview from CES – of course, if you can’t afford one, you could always opt for this keychain!

About Freakin’ Time – after months of silence following the initial leak, Yatterman # 2 is confirmed to be in Tatsunoko vs. Capcom, ostensibly finalizing the roster (additional screens here, hi-res artwork here, DToid coverage, and a video, here). Second, some time ago it was reported that Gamestop would offer a handful of trading cards as a pre-order bonus for Tatsunoko vs. Capcom – if that sort of thing doesn’t matter much to you, Amazon might be the place for you to get the game, as not only is their default price a bit lower than the MSRP, but they’re also giving you ten bucks in credit that can be used for another purchase later on. Either way, you’re running out of excuses not to get this!

And we’re not done with the TvC news yet – let it also be known that our (and Capcom’s) pals over at Udon have created a whole new set of ending illustrations for Ultimate All-Stars, so comic fans in particular have a bit more to look forward to. Also, the game’s accompanying joystick can now be pre-ordered – if you’d rather wait, it should ship at the same time as the game itself. (DToid coverage here.) The front page has also since posted a video preview of this item as well.

Rumor time – not too long ago it was revealed that a new Dead or Alive spinoff a la the Extreme Beach Volleyball series was coming to the PSP, but believe it or not there are rumblings of an actual series sequel (as in, an actual FIGHTING game) being in production. These days that seems almost novel…hopefully something good comes of it, if anything.

The delay that PAL gamers have had to endure in getting BlazBlue released over there appears to have at least a little bit of a consolation prize attached to it – their version of the game will feature “unlimited” character variations and costume colors not found in previous releases, and should also be able to hook up online with players from other regions. Better than nothing, right?

Yup, it turns out that there’s yet another anime-based fighter coming out that I know pretty much zilch about – if any of you are familiar with Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha you might have some idea of what’s going on in the video featured here (the article compares the action to previous Dragon Ball Z games, though I first thought of Psychic Force). Anyways, if you’re interested in importing, the game’s out on PSP later this month.




JOY! Hexyz Force, the PSP “play two sides of one conflict” RPG by Knights in the Nightmare developer Sting, is coming stateside, courtesy of (who else?) Atlus. While I’m always nervous when a developer known for 2D stuff makes the shift to 3D (see my anticipation of Gust’s PS3 output), far be it from me not to support this effort regardless – the game’s out in late May, in the meantime check out the official site, as well as this preview. (DToid coverage here.)

Some new stuff for Ar Tonelico III, due out in Japan later this month – first things first, we’ve got a new trailer, featuring cutscenes, gameplay, and a whole lotta yelling (DToid coverage here). More interestingly, however, while developer Gust hasn’t exactly been shy about catering to fan fetishes, this game will apparently mark the first appearance of a super-manly muscle woman – weirder yet, the character’s voice will be done by the same squeaky actress who does Pikachu in Pokemon. You never can tell what to expect from this bunch…

On that note, actually, Gust recently sent out a Christmas card with an unknown character on it – a preview of an upcoming game? Guess we’ll have to wait to find out.

Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey. DToid preview. Any questions?

Though some might figure (not without reason) that the recent English trailer for Record of Agarest War said pretty much all there is to say about the game, there’s actually some worthwhile information in this interview with a pair of the big-shots over at Aksys and Idea Factory – aside from questions about the creative process, there are details regarding the translation, extra content, downloadable file size, and a possible collector’s edition.

While I haven’t experienced it myself, apparently some people experienced issues with the DLC for Disgaea 2: Dark Hero Days – according to NIS’s newsletter, pretty much everything should be fixed by now, and available on the PSN. Most of the content can simply be re-downloaded if you’ve already paid for it, but it seems that they’re still working on out-and-out refunding people who bought Plenair and Saphire as extra characters.

Just when you thought it was safe to read the Tribune without being linked to yet another Valkyria Chronicles 2 trailer…well, I’ll just link you to this. It’s worth seeing, though – some of the footage is recycled from previous previews, but there’s also a decent amount of new stuff. Heaven only knows how much longer they can keep that up, though! Then again, considering that they’ve also revealed some more information on additional “guest” characters from the first game and how to get them, you never know! (DToid coverage here.)

While most Shiren the Wanderer fans will presumably be picking up the Wii version coming out here in February, a handful of (Japanese-speaking) types might be interested to hear that the game is getting a PSP port – the system’s limits obviously change a handful of the mechanics around, but there’s also some new stuff to chew on. Of course, you could also hope that this version also gets localized at some point…

If you’re curious about the main cast of the upcoming Glory of Heracles, check out a brief rundown of the bunch.

A few more details on the upcoming Fate/Extra – not only can you choose the gender of your player character, but this and other actions will also factor into the “Servant” you’re saddled with. Check the article’s link to a corresponding Famitsu preview for some additional images and such.

We’ve still got a ways to go before Sakura Wars: So Long My Love gets here, but The-Excel is still showing some love to the series in the meantime, mainly by spending lots of money on a box set he can’t/won’t play. Can’t argue with dedication like that!




Atlus certainly can’t be accused of not hyping Trauma Team enough – this week they released another preview video for it, focusing on the “surgery” segments. As you might expect they’re planning similar previews for each of the game’s six specialties, so keep an eye out for those. (DToid coverage here.)

Probably jumping the gun in hopefulness here, but Atlus also recently trademarked the term “Gungnir” (Odin’s spear in Norse mythology) – dare we dream of an Odin Sphere followup via Vanillaware? Probably not, but it’s nice to have fantasies, right? (DToid coverage here.)

Speaking of Vanillaware, recently company head honcho “George” Kamitani posted a bit of artwork, titled “Three Graces”, on the company’s front page. Oh, and by the way, said Graces are lounging around au naturel – no naughty bits are shown outright, but you still probably don’t want to visit while at work. Whether or not this has anything to do with an upcoming game is unknown, but I doubt too many of you care to begin with. (DToid coverage here.)

A short time ago we learned that Hatsune Miku: Project Diva would be getting a sequel, but it looks like Sega’s not done making money off the original game yet, as they’ve been location-testing an arcade version of it. Check the link for a handful of videos, and hope that this gets big enough to see a US release in some form.

The side-scrolling iPhone offshoot of Mirror’s Edge has been delayed – initially expected sometime this month, it’s now listed as sometime in “early 2010”. So long as it’s not cancelled outright…

As the front page notes, the official page for Raskulls has gone live, so if you need a one-stop location for info on this title (aside from Jim Sterling’s recent site postings), you’ve got it!

Perhaps second only to the Phoenix Wright all-female musical in terms of pure chutzpah and unabashed nuttiness, Japan will be putting out a Kenka Bancho movie in March – hopefully it features the latest in eye-laser special effects and banana-suit technology.

Our friends at the ESRB have become more and more frequent guests here at the Tribune lately, and their recent rating for Muscle March appears to ensure that they’ll be regulars here for awhile – prepare for The Return of Flexed Gluteus! (DToid flexage here.) Mr. Zimmerman also recently got his hands on the game and posted a short “impressions” video, so be sure to have a look at that.

Fragile for the Wii has also been written up by the ESRB, but be warned – not only is it not particularly amusing, but it’s rather spoiler-ridden.

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That does it for this week – ‘til next time, thanks again 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)