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The Obscurer Tribune # 27


Welcome to 2010 everyone – no mere mortal can tell just what lies ahead for us until we return to this spot in the sun’s orbit, but I’ll certainly be doing my best to recap the weird parts! Anyhow, let’s get this year started off right:


A full “top route” run-through of Darius Burst (with continues) has been posted on YouTube – technically it’s a video review, so you’ll hear the reviewer talking in the background, but you’ll still be able to see and (mostly) hear what’s going on in the game without much interference. If you want to watch the whole thing here’s part one, part two, and part three. Personally, as much as I like the Darius series’ art direction, the way they play frustrates me, and while this one’s not as nasty as its forebears it still looks little different overall…

Another cell phone video of DoDonPachi Dai-Fukkatsu Black Label has also surfaced.

Additionally, as a follow-up to the magnificent Futari it looks like another Mushihime-sama game is on the way…well, sort of. Mushihime-sama Gaiden: Bug Panic is an iPhone title that appears to play like a cross between Robotron and Every Extend, featuring series heroine Reko on foot (no giant beetle mount this time) tossing bombs to take out as many assailants in one shot as she can. Doesn’t look like anything to get too worked up over, but at least Westerners ought to have access to it.

Genterprise, creator of Z-One and Wonder Land, is putting out another shmup on DSiWare, a side-scroller called Dark Sprits – like the aforementioned pair of games, this one will retail for 2 bucks. Gonna need a video or two to say much else about it…

If this Facebook posting is legit, then it looks like Thexder Neo will be coming to PS3 sometime next year. Alert Jim Sterling!

In the meantime, if you’re hankerin’ for a homebrew Dreamcast shmup, NG:DEV’s shop has lowered the prices on its stock, so now might be a good time to pick up that copy of Last Hope: Pink Bullets that you’ve been putting off.

Over at GamerLimit they’ve recently highlighted an indie overhead shooter with a horror theme called Larva Mortus – check the official site for a trailer and look around on YouTube for some additional gameplay footage.

Last issue the Tribune linked to an interview with Reisuke Ishida of Space Invaders: Infinity Gene – well, guess what, this issue we’ve got another one by a different site! Guy must’ve had a busy appointment schedule recently…on a related note, someone on the shmups.com forum has unearthed what appear to be some original design sketches for the very first Space Invaders, on humble notebook paper. Wonder what they’d eBay for? Finally, remember that Futurama episode which included a spoof of Space Invaders? Well, the circle is finally complete, as someone has made a game out of that sequence.

Cave’s “Matsuri” festival recently went down in Japan, and while “important” gamer-related news from there tends to be slow to trickle to our waiting ears, the product placement comes fast and furious – Kotaku has an item on some of the merchandise seen there (a bit NSFW). One attendee also uploaded a very short video of one part of the event, in case you want a quick (and rather unremarkable, but we’ll take what we can get) glimpse into the proceedings.

On a similar front, I guess it happens pretty much every week, but Tomopop’s most recent pre-order roundup shows two more Touhou figures that are now available for loaded nerds everywhere. An additional “Nendoroid” “squish-i-fied” figure can be seen here.

Within the confines of a single c-blog s0lesurviv0r does a lot of my work for me, by posting a preview of the fighting games due out for 2010, along with a video or two of most of them. Alongside BlazBlue: Continuum Shift and some other stuff we’d been hearing about for awhile, s0le also makes welcome mention of Arcana Heart 3 (which I didn’t even know existed yet), not to mention that Daisuke Ishiwatari, creator of the Guilty Gear series, is looking to do another entry. I was under the impression that Arc lost the rights to that one and created BlazBlue as something of a replacement, but we shall see! (DToid coverage here.)Thanks a bundle for the article, s0le!

Hot on his heels come two more worthy fighter-centric c-blogs – nilcam challenges the community to approach fighting games with an open mind, while de BLOO sums up some of the most worthy tournament matches of the year. Myself, I’ve got to get back to preparing for Wry Guy’s KoF ‘98 competition…

Looks like anyone in the Vegas area on the evening of January 7th might be able to get an early taste of Super Street Fighter IV, as Capcom will have the game there and ready to play, including a tournament for anyone brave enough to test their skills. Off to the side, there was already a bit of protest from Koreans regarding Juri’s character design – as it happens, some are also displeased with her stage background, claiming it’s not “authentic” enough. As quite a few people have already pointed out, is ANY background from ANY game in the series anywhere NEAR culturally accurate? (DToid coverage here.)

If you’re tempted by Fate/Unlimited Codes for the PSP but hesitate to pay for the localized download-only version, you might be interested to know that the original Japanese UMD release of the game is getting a budget reissue, so you’ll be able to pick up the physical game, albeit in Japanese, for roughly the same price as the digital alternative. As it happens, Japan will also be getting a re-release of BlazBlue in early March.

I don’t know if anyone’s going to put aside Tatsunoko vs. Capcom for this one, but apparently there’s an Ultraman fighting game on its way to the Japanese Wii in late February. It’s been ages since I played Towards the Future on the SNES, but my memories of it aren’t pleasant…anybody interested in how this one turns out?

In case you’re still looking for impressions of the PSP version of Tekken 6, here are a couple of recent submissions to that end.

So, you were like me and faithfully pre-ordered Sakura Wars: So Long My Love from a retailer some time ago, right? Well, you might want to cancel, as the RosenQueen store has once again opened up its own preorders, including an exclusive hardcover artbook (different from the one that already comes with the PS2 version) and charging an extra ten bucks for the package. Unlike the PS2 exclusive stuff, this book will be included whether you go with the PS2 or Wii iteration. They really love to do this to us, don’t they?

If you’re keeping up with Record of Agarest War, you can go here and read a few comments from the game’s director regarding the inspiration behind its signature “Soul Breeding” system…and then you can watch the official English trailer\ and be reminded that none of that stuff is actually worth a flying fig. (DToid coverage here, C-blog coverage here.)

Summon Night Granthese, latest in the series and likely the last PS2 RPG, has a five-minute trailer available, featuring a mix of anime cutscene footage and actual in-game action. Too bad we probably won’t see this one here, I’d certainly be interested in giving it a try…

A bit of the expected and not-so-expected from NIS. We already knew that Absolute Hero Modding Project would include some Disgaea references (like everything else the company does), but now their nature has become clearer – pre-orders for the game in Japan received a code card which opens up a secret Disgaea-themed level, and if you beat it you receive “parts” themed after Laharl and company which can be added to your character either all together or in bits and pieces. That’s not all though – the company has also partnered up with a Japanese “light novel” mag to secure a bunch of anime/manga cameos from Spice and Wolf, Boogiepop Phantom, and several others. Efforts continue to develop the perfect sample of condensed geekdom!

Here’s a quick 15-second commercial for the new Super Robot Taisen OG Saga entry – as the accompanying article points out, it gives us a glimpse of another guest character from earlier in the series.

The ESRB has recently rated an upcoming Natsume DS game called Witch’s Wish, which I’d never heard of before now – a handful of commenters in the linked thread, however, turned my attention to a Japanese title called Majo Ni Naru, which this might be a localized version of. I know nothing of either title except that there’s some sort of “witch training” theme – I could care less about most “training” type titles on the system, but then again this might turn out like Atelier Annie, and instantly have my attention. Guess we’ll have to wait and see…

The Tribune made mention of Square’s iPhone SRPG Song Summoner, which creates units based on the songs loaded onto the device, a few issues ago – if you’re still interested, you can read some impressions of the thing, and wonder if the company plans on ever bringing this one our way.

The Japanese update for 3D Dot Game Heroes which was set to add a handful of features and DLC support was delayed at the last minute, and is now coming next month. This is unlikely to affect the status of the Western release, which is still months away.

Strategy geeks now have another reason to love the Virtual Console, at least in Japan – Ogre Battle 64 will be added to the roster over there some January. The rest of us will have to keep overpaying for beat-up carts for the time being.

This one contains a mixture of “Shmup” and “Fighting” news, so I had to plunk it here – in any event, PAL gamers, your long wait for some of the more recent Arc System games is almost over, as a new publisher called pQube is bringing several worthy titles your way, including BlazBlue, Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus, and Castle Shikigami 3. Assuming that they do a good localization job, be sure to give them your support and pick these items up!

Over on the Atlus forums a mini-feature has been posted revealing a few additional details about the various playable doctor types in Trauma Team. Also, apparently giving away free stuff with their games just isn’t enough for these guys, as they’re further “rewarding” a random dozen of their “Faithful” mailing list recipients with prize packages. If you’re already on the list and a resident of the USA or Canada you’re automatically entered, but if you’d like to get in on this sign up for the aforementioned mailer before January 15th.

Mere hours after the previous Tribune was posted, Diverse found true meaning in his life when version 1.1 of Spelunky was released, along with the game’s source code – fan mods ahoy! Looks like you’ve got a good year ahead, sir!

There’s been plenty of talk about MAGFest lately, but I figured I might as well highlight SpeedDemosArchive’s ”Classic Games Done Quick”, event, during which the crew will be speed-running through 70 games over two days for charity. If you’re not at the event to see it live, they’re also streaming it starting tonight.

Not really obscure, but I got too good a laugh out of Bullet William not to put it here.

This has nothing much to do with games at all, but still tugs on the ol’ heartstrings, so here goes – apparently you can now download the first episodes of several old Nicktoons, including Rocko’s Modern Life, for free on XBL. As one of those people who curses Nickelodeon every day for not releasing Rocko on DVD, this might finally give me a reason to connect by 360 to the internet…on a related note, take a trip back in time and realize how stupid Nick Arcade was.


Guess that’s it for now – ‘til next time, thanks for reading and have an obscure new year!
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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.


'Magnet School


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



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


The Forgotten Essentials

Part 1: RPGs
Part 2: Shmups
Part 3: Fighters
Part 4: Puzzlers


The Obscurer Tribune



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


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


Non-DT Writing


Saturn Shooter Rundown
PS1 Shooter Rundown
PS2 Shooter Rundown
Shmups 101
Shmups That Defined the Genre
"Hidden Gem" Shmups


Shadow Hearts


Unofficial Shmup Glossary (shmups.com, WIP)
My Backloggery (Warning: Inherent Shamefulness May Be Too Intense for Some Readers)