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LONG BLOG

The Obscurer Tribune # 34

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So, why did I post last week’s Tribune a day early?



…seriously, I was hoping one of you might know, as I’m completely stumped myself. Anyways, hopefully this edition gets things back on schedule:

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Okay, first up – unbelievably, it was just announced earlier this week that the 360 port of ESPGaluda II will be REGION-FREE! SORT OF! In one of the weirdest announcements along these lines that I’ve heard, it looks like the “regular” edition of the game will not be region-locked and will play on any system, but the “limited” edition will only work on a Japanese 360. Not only is the setup strange all by itself, but the fact that they’d wait so long to mention this makes it even wackier…well, anyways, hopefully that’s all sorted out, and you guys won’t make me threaten to kill you for not buying this like I did with Mushihime-sama Futari! Especially considering, as Diverse notes, that this is probably the last such offering we’ll be seeing for awhile.

Second – assuming that the magazine scans found here are legit, it looks like Ketsui X is indeed FINALLY coming out on April 22nd. Let’s hope that the year or so of delays means that the game comes out of the gate in better shape than Dai-Ou-Jou Black Label X…which, by the way, STILL hasn’t been patched.

In related news, Cave still isn’t revealing much of anything about their all-new wide-release 360 title, but they did participate in this interview, in which they talk mostly about the upcoming DeathSmiles localization and their general mindset when it comes to spreading their wares worldwide. There’s also an IGN preview of the game, which isn’t too worthwhile except for its mention that Aksys might make the leaderboards global – a better interview at GameSugar hints that we might even have a corresponding joystick coming and other goodies our way.

Good times are on the way for Australian DSi owners – you folks are getting perhaps the system’s best shooter, Aa Mujou Setsuna, under the new name Metal Torrent, for 500 points. No exact release date has been named, but at least it’s coming – the rest of us are hoping to follow your lead at some point!

Around a year ago Triangle Service released compilation Shooting Love 200X on the 360 – to commemorate the occasion they’ve put out a free PC version of Minus Zero, one of the included games from there. Some people are having a bit of trouble getting it to work on their machines, but if you can manage it go for a prominent spot on the leaderboards!

Soldner-X 2: Final Prototype has caught the delay bug, and will now be coming sometime in the second quarter of the year – in exchange, however, a new “Challenge Mode” will be in the offing. The article also has a few screenshots for you to look at.

Quite some time ago the Tribune informed you of a PC remake of Armalyte that was in development – it’s been awhile since then, but it looks like the game should be set to go sometime in April. Not like shmuppers aren’t already used to loads of delays as it is, of course.

Japan has its problems, but one area in which the country is undeniably superior to others is the fact that they occasionally hold festivals and events devoted exclusively to shmups. Yep, the beautifully-Engrishy annual Shooting Festa is happening soon, and anyone in that area has a chance to indulge in most of the relevant stuff released so far on the 360 – meanwhile we (i.e. me) start jumping up and down every time someone notices we exist and localizes something. Not like this realization will stop us/me, mind you…

Over at Gamer Limit, you are warned to stay far, far away from XBLA Indie offering Impossible Shoota.

Closer to home, The Thir13n of Spades offers an overview of The Red Star for PS2, one of those games you hear someone praising from time to time, but somehow almost nobody’s actually played. If there’s a copy languishing at a Gamestop near you, consider liberating it!

Classic shmuppers, take notice – over at Gamengai, fellow shmupper Gaijin Punch has posted a translation of an interview with a former employee of defunct shmup developer Toaplan (Fire Shark, Tiger Heli, Truxton, Batsugun, and most infamously Zero Wing, among others). Be sure to give it a read.

Time for your Random Touhou Media of the Day – first up, you can check out some translations of the official (I think) manga for the series. After that, another silly dancing video to the tune of “Smooth Criminal” over at Japanator.

Some of you probably already saw this, but for anyone like me who’s been living under a rock, someone has attempted to translated some of the Arabic street signs from Metal Slug 2 – if the category ever comes up on Jeopardy!, make sure you’re prepared!




A whole bunch of Street Fighter stuff this time – well, an even bigger “whole bunch” than usual, I should say. First and foremost – Capcom more or less spilled the beans with a recent promo item tease, but it looks like Famitsu has blown off the lid – yep, seems like Dudley, Ibuki, and Makoto of Street Fighter III will indeed be coming to Super Street Fighter IV. Get ready to fight like gentlemen - and lady ninjas, and seemingly-genderless grapplers. (DToid coverage here, c-blog gushing here).

Part the second: once the above news got out, fellow c-blogger RAB pretty much took over from there, first linking readers to an initial trailer along with some screens, and soon afterwards posting excerpts from a related Gamespot Q+A along with another video and even more screens. Cazza adds in a bit of obligatory gushing here, and the front page catches up here and here.

Next item: when Street Fighter IV’s assistant producer expressed interest in porting the game over to a handheld someday, most people probably thought of the PSP first, and would have been right. I doubt that the iPhone was what most observers had in mind, but apparently that’s happening too (DToid coverage here). Well, at least Dan is in it. Oh, and speaking of which…

Moving right along, have a look at the highlights of a Q+A session in which Capcom employees comment on the features they lobbied for inclusion in Super Street Fighter IV. Also check out an all-girl trailer and some goofy Valentine’s Day cards, not to mention some more figures. (DToid coverage here.) Phew, I think that’s all of it…

Go figure – just as internet petitioners were building up some steam to try and get Virtua Fighter 5 R onto consoles, Sega goes and announces a whole new tweak for the arcades, titled Final Showdown. Most of the new stuff mentioned is cosmetic, though there are some additional moves being added in – time to apply an edit or two to those angry e-mails!

Europe’s certainly had a long-enough wait for BlazBlue, but fortunately they’re getting some extra stuff in exchange for their patience, including a nice limited edition. Like the US version, any pre-orders for the game will be auto-upgraded without costing you any extra – not only will reservers get a strategy DVD, but a 100-page artbook that we in the States didn’t receive (no soundtrack though).

Senor Gutierrez managed to pin down Microsoft Game Studio’s Ken Lobb at X10, and moreover got him on video saying that, while nothing’s happening at the moment, he’d love to bring back Killer Instinct at some point, and plans to do so if the opportunity presents itself. Hope it happens, as Jon Talbain of Darkstalkers needs a bit more competition in the “fighting werewolf” department (and no, the Bloody Roar bunch doesn’t count).

XBoxers got their fighting game discounts not too long ago, and now it is/was the PS3’s turnMarvel vs. Capcom 2 and the “HD Remix” versions of Super Street Fighter II Turbo and Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo are/were half off for the week.

Tecmo continues to exceed expectations when it comes to Dead or Alive Paradise…in the PR department, anyways. Remember the recent (and quickly-removed) ESRB write-up of the game which described it as “creepy”, among other things? Well, the company actually went so far as to thank the ESRB for the free publicity – apparently they don’t think that their audience will exactly be dissuaded by such a description (DToid coverage here). At this point, methinks I’d best just stop typing and move on to the next item. Well, I guess I’ll link their own Valentine card, new screens, and yet another trailer first.

Of course, the big names in fighter-land aren’t the only ones getting into the V-Day spirit – the official site for in-development doujin effort Skullgirls has a little card for you too. Credit to Mognet Central for the link.

If you’ve been poring over whether or not to snag the official Tatsunoko vs. Capcom fight stick, Agent Holmes has a review for you.

Ironically, SuitcoatAvenger’s purposely-misleading blog title, which was intended for (and succeeded at) garnering extra attention, almost resulted in me passing it by – anyways, check out his latest bit of Street Fighter artwork.

Some new still shots from the upcoming Tekken movie – because you demanded them! (DToid coverage here.) In related news, believe it or not, two companies are fighting over the rights to do a third Mortal Kombat movie – apparently they have a lot more faith in the license then I do.

On a similar note, Gamer Limit shares this life-changing TV commercial for Art of Fighting 2, from back when men were men and costumes were cheesy.

Also, silly GIF time – the c-blogs feature an MK take on the “old guy beats up dude on bus” thing going around, while the forums link you to something a bit more SF-ish. While you’re over there have a more traditional Zangief, and rest assured that as long as videos of people smacking each other exist, someone out there will edit in some lifebars.

Next door in the fighting fan art department, while it’s not quite as eye-catching as the dueling fast food mascots, someone on DeviantArt has created a “character select” screen featuring stylized Disney villainesses.

Everyday Legend offers up the latest round of info about the upcoming “B-KIN” tournament down in Florida, which is happening this weekend.

Also, anyone already participating or interested in doing so, check this quick update on Senisan’s PS3 Street Fighter IV tourney. Er…actually, it’s already started, and here are the brackets.




Shiren the Wanderer for the Wii is already out, and some of you are probably delving into it as we speak – if you can’t wait to find out what awaits you after you’ve beaten the “main” game, however, check Atlus’ latest official blog for the game, which details some of the stuff that’ll still be waiting to kill you post-game.

The US release date for Valkyria Chronicles 2 creeps forward (ever so) slowly…while we wait, here’s another set of gameplay impressions to whet your whistle. Also, the original game on the PS3 is getting its latest batch of DLC (“Challenges of the Edy Detachment”) next week – make sure you’re shored up on the details of what’s in store.

Speaking of release dates, I thought that Lunar: Silver Star Harmony had already been announced as coming out next week, but apparently that label was preliminary – XSeed just announced that we’ll actually be getting it a week or so later, in early March. (DToid coverage here.)

While we already knew a fair bit about the character editor/creator in 3D Dot Game Heroes, Atlus has seen fit to show us some possibilities beyond various humanoid avatars – play around with the thing enough and you can make just about any design you want playable. Start being afraid of the freakish and unspeakable things that’ll be popping up on YouTube after this comes out here! (DToid coverage here.) Agent North gives us a fuller perview over here on the front page, while Siliconera delves into some of the US-exclusive features (DToid semi-coverage here).

Head to Siliconera to check out the new animated opening sequence for the PSP port of Knights in the Nightmare – still waiting for the “Here’s How We’re Making This Game Work On This System” trailer.

Another recently-revealed opening cinematic, namely that of the PSP port of Atelier Judie, is exactly the same as the Japan-only PS2 version’s, but Gust fans like myself will happily watch it anyways. I guess the company's tapped into some sort of subliminal "clumsy alchemist" fetish on my part.

Siliconera also takes a look at Last Rebellion…and don’t particularly like what they see.

With all of the wacky inter-game crossovers happening these days it can be a bit hard to keep track of them, all, but I THINK this is a new one – ten characters from NIS’s Classic Dungeon will be available as DLC characters in From’s 3D Dot Game Heroes if you’d rather not try to replicate them yourself in the latter’s character creator. And that’s not all – there are also some requisite Disgaea cameos to be found in a pair of promotional “Picross” puzzlers on the Classic Dungeon website.

In related news, while details are scarce at this point, to nobody’s surprise the company plans to release another Disgaea game on the PS3. (DToid coverage here.)

In case you were curious, a lot of the new stuff revealed in the latest Super Robot Taisen OG Saga trailer linked last issue has been added, in one form or another, to the game’s official site. Credit to Mognet Central for the link.

Check out another trailer for Tokyo Mono Hara Shi, aka “Persona Meets RC Cola” – in the meantime, I’ll be shoring up my stockpile of silly nicknames in preparation for the next one.

For those who are into harder-core RPGs than I am, matty125 has a few bits of additional info on Etrian Odyssey III.

If you need even more dungeon crawling to satisfy your lust for punishment, you might be interested in Students of the Round, an upcoming PC title which is also receiving a 360 port in Japan.

Did you vote for your favorite entry in the Sakura Wars: So Long My Love fan art contest? Well, either way, the results are here.

The latest items of merchandise that Atlus has yet to send our way? Persona 4 jigsaw puzzles!




Another title whose release (ever so) slowly approaches is Fragile on the Wii – in similar fashion, there’s also a new set of impressions for it as well. There is some additional good news in the interim – at this link you can see not only a few more screenshots but information on Gamestop’s pre-order bonus for the game (a 12-track music CD) and some additional material (dual language tracks, a “gallery” mode) not found in the Japanese release. Man, March is gonna be huge…

Yeah, I’m probably following this one too closely, but what the heck. Recently the Tribune passed on the fact that Okamiden had been trademarked in Europe – now we’re happy to report that the same bit of filing has occurred here in North America. Come on, official localization announcement! (DToid coverage here.)

Atlus’ “Walkthrough” video series for Trauma Team marches on, this time focusing on the Forensics portions – as a prominent DToider once put it, “cheer up, busty emo kid”!

Give a quick read to this brief interview with the Owl Boy crew, and hope that the playable demo will be ready when they say it will!

Up on the front page, Agent North shares some images and video of Project Diva Arcade with us – c’mon Sega, give us Western PSP owners some love already! Well, aside from just Valkyria Chronicles 2, that is…

This isn’t the sort of game that I (or anyone else) usually covers, but I must make brief mention of Sorcerer’s Maze, which is coming to PSN – as the article says, it’s a Breakout clone, but you might not know that it’s a localization of Prism Land, a personal favorite of mine, with nice graphics and a lovely selection of powerups to set it apart from the pack. Yes, the XS treatment cut away some of the trimmings, but it still fun to play, so you might want to give it a shot. (DToid coverage here.)

Only marginally game-related, but it appears that, even in the face of its parent company’s financial difficulties, NIS America is getting into the anime licensing business, and is bringing a handful of series to the USA – most interestingly, one of them is the Persona spinoff, Trinity Soul.

Back in NIS’s actual games division, last issue made mention of “Asagi mode” in Prinny 2, which will play in more of a run-n-gun style – now, thanks to a seven-minute trailer, we can get a look at it in action, alongside some of the new stuff featured in the game’s “normal” mode. Also, courtesy of Mognet Central, a link to some images related to this latest update.

Not sure who came up with this concept, but it’s certainly got my attention – courtesy of c-blogger trunxcam, gaze upon Psycho Waluigi, a freeware platformer project in development where not only do you control Wario’s bean-pole sidekick, but he’s got psychic powers that can be used to capture, hurl and otherwise exploit enemies. So far it looks pretty fun – hopefully a demo is forthcoming!

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I think that about does it for this week – ‘til next issue, 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)