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LONG BLOG

The Obscurer Tribune # 37

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OBSCURERMON – Some pretend critter I just made up in a frustrated, cynical attempt to get you to read this.

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A recent update at Cave’s official blog reveals the box art and some screens for DeathSmiles II – the latter supposedly show off a new mode that incorporates racing and puzzle elements (the second coming of Kingdom Grand Prix?). As much as I like the company, I’m still unsure as to whether to take the plunge on this one…if you think differently, however, there’s going to be another joystick produced for it.

My Japanese-literate fellow shmuppers tell me that this blog hints at an upcoming announcement or two regarding the 360 port of Senko no Ronde DUO, likely regarding new modes among other things. In the meantime we’ve got a few images and a new trailer to keep ourselves occupied.

I don’t play it myself (and I doubt anyone here does), but Korean shmup/MMO hybrid Valkyrie Sky has apparently received a pair of updates recently which smooth out various aspects of the game. If this is your bag, um, enjoy!

Holy crap, someone else has heard of the Cotton games! He leaves some stuff out, but you should still read the 7k’s review of Cotton 2 for the Saturn!

Elsewhere on the c-blogs, Mortrialus tries Giga Wing. And dies a lot. That means you’re doing it right (at least I sure hope so, based on my own experiences)!

I don’t know how far-reaching the applications might be, but it’s still kind of neat to read about Mind Invaders, an experimental shooter which uses a headset to (somehow) measure your level of concentration, which affects your firepower.

The latest (non-Touhou) model for shmup fans to obsess over is this figure of the main craft from Sega CD stalwart Silpheed – it should be out sometime this May. Of course, ZUN’s gals certainly aren’t taking a break, if this preview of some upcoming figures is any indication.

Only marginally shmup-related, really, but this find by RenegadePanda is still something of a sight to behold. Ultra-Modern Arcade Excitement is now his!




Over at de BLOO’s blog, as usual, there’s plenty of Super Street Fighter IV action – first and foremost, Hakan is revealed, and he’s one of Capcom’s goofiest creations in some time (front page item here, and, uh, also this). BLOO also has links to a trio of “character walkthrough” videos from GameTrailers in which tourney stalwart Justin Wong demonstrates some tricks for Ibuki, Makoto and Dudley. I, of course, am looking forward to being owned by the CPU on “easy” difficulty.

Of course, by now the iPhone port of the original Street Fighter IV is out (front page preview here), and a few lucky GDC attendees were able to snag a matching case for their phone as well. Meanwhile, at least one player is having some trouble pulling off a dragon punch via this edition’s control scheme.

The front page offers a few early tidbits about the next Mortal Kombat game – to whit, at this point it looks like the developers are hoping to have it done in time for a holiday release, and also that Sonya, Kitana, and possibly Kano are making returns to the roster. It also appears that more info should be coming next month, so keep an eye out if this franchise still interests you.

Ever see that TV show Deadliest Warrior, in which various historical “warrior” types are hypothetically pitted against each other in the name of non-official statistical supremacy? Me either, but apparently they’re making an XBLA game of it, and according to this preview it’s somewhat akin to Bushido Blade. Not sure who green-lighted this one, but I’m curious as to how it turns out…

Nope, no objectification here! In this front page post you can find two new videos for Dead or Alive Paradise: one of them is the usual stuff except focused on Leifang, while the other is…er, let’s just call it an aptly-placed metaphor involving a primate. I’m calling a followup featuring poultry with an obstructed trachea sometime in the near future.

Not one to be left out of the T+A scene, Aksys has official BlazBlue 4koma comic collections for sale, and the cover artwork certainly catches one’s, uh, eye – as the article goes on to elaborate, however, the things are only 25 pages long and go for 15 bucks a pop. If something is burning a hole in your pocket this might still be of interest. On a slightly more uplifting (sorry) note, here’s a new trailer for Continuum Shift.

Congratulations to MegaStryke on his recent promotion – and what better way to commemorate the occasion than with a long-awaited “Off-Brand Games” article about Fighter’s History?

After a brief delay, Wry Guy bestows upon us the revamped edition of his King of Fighters ‘96 portion of the ongoing “Love Letter” to the series. Once again, I urge all of you to take the time to read it, and enlighten yourselves on all the background stuff going on in these games. (EDIT: Oh, and it now features musical accompaniment, though unfortunately not played by animatronic characters.)

I’m not sure if this is still happening, but 360 Street Fighter IV players might want to quickly check if the “Brawler” costume pack is available for free, because it apparently was at some point.

Quick update from Tomopop – the Super Street Fighter IV Juri figure which had some prototype photos up a little while back is now up for pre-order. The site also has a review for the “twin Cammy” figures mentioned here a little ways back.




Sting is certainly keeping themselves busy these days – a month after the PSP port of Knights in the Nightmare releases and around the time we get Hexyz Force on this side of the ocean, their next project, Blaze Union, will be joining them on the same system. As the name suggests, the title is a prequel to Yggdra Union, and apparently plays much the same way – hopefully Atlus USA will snap it up at some point. (DToid coverage here and here.)

Around here we (read: I) continue to wait for a solid release date for Atelier Rorona, but back in Japan there are already signs that a followup is on the way. Apparently more will be revealed in about two weeks, and you know I’ll be keeping an eye out for it.

Aksys has been messing around with its teaser trailers and such lately, and while it’s not quite in the same ballpark as the Record of Agarest War porn guitar, this one for Mimana Iyar Chronicles still catches the eye pretty effectively. It hasn’t convinced me to reserve this one yet, granted…

Speaking of Agarest, while we’ve still got a little ways to go before getting the game, apparently Compile Heart is pretty confident in its potential, as they’re alreadyshopping around for a Western publisher for the sequel. Heaven only knows what kind of shenanigans might be in store for the NEXT one’s marketing campaign…

Looks like the Endless Frontier variations aren’t the only Super Robot Taisen OG Saga games destined for the DS – a remake of a more mecha-focused Super Famicom entry, subtitled Lord of Elemental, will be joining its cousin on the system in late May. Wonder what the odds are of this one being localized…

Siliconera has managed to pin down a couple of the guys from both Game Arts and Xseed for a two-part interview about several aspects of the recent PSP Lunar remake – worth a read, though you’ll have to throw in (most of) your own pop culture zingers.

Despite all of the customization elements present in Absolute Hero Modding Project, which came out earlier this week, NIS has confirmed that there will be no DLC on offer for the title – nice to know that the “complete experience” in on the UMD, especially after the ridiculous amount of extra stuff they charged players for on Disgaea 3.

Since The Last Story was announced, not a heckuva lot else has been revealed. Until NOW, when…okay, we still don’t have much to go on, but we do have a bit of artwork.

Pretty much the same goes for Ys vs. Legend of Heroes – we’ve got a few new screens and little else for now.

Bit of bad news on the 3D Dot Game Heroes front – some weeks back there were indications that the door was open for a 360 port of the game, but apparently that’s just not going to happen.

Boy, Selvaria of Valkyria Chronicles sure is popular with the figure makers…just a few weeks ago I linked you to Tomopop’s review for a figure of hers that had just come out, but now they’re reporting that a different company is making another one! Wonder if anyone’s bothered to go ahead and do a life-sized marble statue of her yet…if so, that’d be pretty awesome, I hafta admit.

Unfortunately we never got the chance to try Shining Wind over here, but regardless I’ll still point you to Tomopop’s recent article highlighting a figure of Clalacan, aka one of the few female gaming characters practical enough to actually bring a shield and some armor to a battle. Though that ruffly dress probably doesn’t do much for one’s mobility…

Well, if there’s a silver lining to the latest Sakura Wars: So Long My Love delay, it’s that it gives NIS a chance to hold one more contest in the interim – for this one all you have to do is string together four of the pictures on offer to create a comic strip, and then add in some captions. You can do the whole thing right there on the site, though you can also use Photoshop or another image editing program if you’d prefer.



Fragile for the Wii is almost here in the West, but European publisher Rising Star is taking an interesting approach to part of its localization, working with a group of 50 volunteer fans to handle the Spanish text translation for the game. Once finished it will be available as a free download – good show, on the part of both the community and the publisher, to make the game available to more players who would have likely been left out otherwise.

For whatever it’s worth I rather liked Scribblenauts, though it wasn’t as great as it could have been – that being the case, I’m pretty happy to see that the game did well enough to rate a sequel, which will add a bunch of additional words (including adjectives that can be attached to nouns), better controls, a new level editor and more. Looks like this fall will have at least one title for us to get excited about!

Trauma Team Featurette Number Five is up, featuring two of the game’s System Planners, talking about the reasons they made many of the decisions they did, especially those that diverge from the previous “Trauma” games.

I personally wanted to like Might and Magic: Clash of Heroes more than I actually did, but in case you’re curious about trying it you should keep an eye on XBLA and PSN, as a port is on the way – moreover, it features redone graphics, some new stuff, and a handful of tweaks. A brief trailer is available for watching. (DToid coverage here and here.)

Fans of Little King’s Story and other games, prepare for some bad news – developer Cing has filed for bankruptcy. Hopefully they can manage to come out of this semi-intact… (C-blog item here, front page item here.)

Lots of interesting Breakout clone news happening these days in Sony’s neighborhood, with items on Sorcerer’s Maze and Shatter appearing here recently – now they’re being joined by The Block Kuzushi, a budget PS1 brick-breaker that’s coming to the Japanese PSN alongside a few of its fellow “Simple” releases from back in the day. If you have access to it I recommend giving it a try, as it’s pretty neat and less than four bucks (Bonus Tip: European PS1 owners might want to keep an eye out for Block Buster in used game stores, as it’s a localization of this game’s sequel).

Can’t think of too much to say about this item except “here are a few screens for the XBLA version of Spelunky.” I really need to take a Creative Writing class or something one of these days… (C-blog item here, front page item here.)

A quick note from your pals at Irem – while it’s been ages since we’ve heard diddly-squat about the planned sequel to Bumpy Trot (aka Steambot Chronicles), the company assures us that yes, they are still working on the thing. No release date or talk of a localization, however. (DToid coverage here.)

The Tribune briefly mentioned an Incredible Machine-esque DS title called Coropata some time back – if that style of gameplay appeals to you, you might be interested to hear that the developers appear to be seeking a Western publisher.

You may well have already seen these, but just in case you haven’t I’m still going to link these scans of the Game Informer feature on Portal 2, courtesy of a fellow c-blogger. In related news, Valve’s PR silliness isn’t done yet, though they’re apparently pretty confident in their product. Also, the game’s recent announcement has apparently spawned a silly video, which I will of course link.

In case you’re interested in which songs are included in the upcoming DLC pack for Project Diva, here’s the list. Moreover, Sega’s working on an add-on which will allow you to play the game remotely on your PS3.

I didn’t have a whole lot of interest in Sony’s “Playstation Move” controller…until I saw this. A game based around an impractically-dressed secretary downhill surfing on an office chair Tony Hawk-style is way too weird (and shameless) for me not to link here.

This info comes secondhand, but according to this post at the shmups.com forum, Capcom was at one time considering a “Capcom Classics Volume 3” of sorts, featuring a whole bunch of CPS2 games. No concrete lineup list exists that I’m aware of, though I’d definitely have liked to see Progear, Dimahoo, 19XX and Cyberbots, for starters, since only one of them ever got a port (and it never left Japan). This project will probably never resurface, but one can dream…

The most recent Kotaku ‘Shop Contest, featuring the theme of Next-Gen Cereal Systems, is definitely worth a look – Kellogg’s vs. Capcom is one step closer to reality!

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If I could ask a personal favor of the community – please don’t start meme-fests on Fridays (or ever), I need as many readers as I can get! Bitterness aside, 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)