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The Obscurer Tribune # 33


I’d offer the usual silly intro but you probably wouldn’t be able to make out the words through all the mouthfuls of crow I’ve been consuming.


At this point I can’t even really say that this one definitively belongs here in the “shmup” section, but I sure hope it does – we already knew that one of Cave’s upcoming 360 projects was an entirely new non-arcade-port game, but now it’s been revealed that (whatever it is) it’s likely going to be a worldwide release. May I take this opportunity to say “Yes, Moar Plz”?

If you’ve been trying to keep up with Soldner-X 2: Final Prototype, the game’s official site recently updated with some info about the chaining system.

Over on the shmup forum there was recently a post about an iPod/iPhone vertical shmup called Buster Red, which recently received a “version 1.1” upgrade – check out a video over here.

The original game recently made a reappearance as a downloadable, and now we’ve got a full-fledged new iteration to sink our teeth into: Blaster Master Overdrive will have been out on WiiWare for a couple of days by the time we go to print, featuring that signature mix of tank/on-foot and overhead/horizontal gameplay to keep players busy along with shiny new graphics. Anyone already tried it? Mr. Holmes has. (Additional DToid coverage here and here.)

Siliconera has posted an interview with two of the minds behind upcoming side-scrolling PSP project The Flying Hamster – some interesting tidbits lie within, including a confirmation that the title will be downloadable and not a retail release. Oh, and there’s also a wallpaper to pick up.

Hiroshi Iushi, one of the guys at Treasure who was heavily involved with Radiant Silvergun and Ikaruga, recently made this post on his blog – if my Japanese-reading shmups forum compatriots are correct, he seems to confirm that “Project RS3” was in pre-production at one point, but has since been deep-sixed for undisclosed reasons. Too bad, though the picture there possibly suggests an all-new project…

Not like the world really needs another zombie game in ANY form, but Age of Zombies, an overhead undead-killing shooter which features a time travel theme (and a protagonist named Barry Steakfries) still managed to catch my interest. It’ll be available via PSP and PS3 Minis later this month for five bucks. (DToid coverage here.) On a related note, Gamer Limit has a review of XBLA Indie zombie-killing side-scroller Twin Blades.

I’m sure that a hunk of you out there already keep an eye on Orioto’s DeviantArt account, but for any who hadn’t seen it his latest piece is based on R-Type. According to this he’s also working on a Space Harrier illustration. Kotaku also has a nifty link to a bit of pixel art which reimagines Bayonetta as an overhead shmup.

This issue’s Space Invaders and Asteroids-themed tchotchkes come courtesy of this article, which features a link to a set of themed neckties – there might be even more similar material linked someplace in there, but I didn’t go through everything myself.

Okay, first things first – I owe the competitors of the “Fatal Destructoid” tournament, and especially Wry Guy, an apology. After finishing the first round I more or less vanished off the radar for about a week, and by the time I popped back up and got in touch with my next opponent everyone else had moved on and the competition was over. For myself it doesn’t matter too much as I probably wouldn’t have made it any farther than I did, but I still need to say I’m sorry for any scheduling- and roster-related inconveniences I caused by not staying on top of things like I should have, especially considering how much hot air I spent hyping the thing up. I willingly forego any participatory prizes I would have received otherwise, and am thoroughly embarrassed for not having given the tourney the attention it deserves – once again, I’m sorry everyone, and hopefully things were still fun for those who did stick it out. Check out the final results in this post.

So you’ve already seen the super moves for Super Street Fighter IV’s new characters displayed in video form, have you? Well, see if you can handle them as still pictures! Um…yay, I guess? Also, stupid as it is, this video still made me laugh.

Last issue’s accidental Famitsu leak was technically in “rumor” territory, but by now, to pretty much nobody’s surprise, it’s been confirmed that BlazBlue: Continuum Shift is coming to home consoles – but wait, there’s more! The port will include “Legion” mode from the portable edition of the first game, extra backgrounds, a “beginner” mode for newbies, and most importantly a new character. (C-blog item here.)

In the meantime, PS3 BlazBlue players beware – since the game’s last patch went live some players have been having trouble connecting for online matches. Aksys is aware of the problem, though they haven’t out-and-out said that they’re working on a fix.

Having bought Tatsunoko vs. Capcom but currently lacking a Wii to play it on, I hadn’t seen this minigame which you can play during the end credits if you finish the game as Doronjo or Roll – not exactly enthralling viewing, but I’m always a sucker for that goofy bicycle of theirs. Also, nilcam has a few suggestions as to what Capcom should utilize the TvC engine for next.

In case you were curious, the US release of Samurai Shodown Sen by XSeed has been confirmed, and should happen sometime this spring. Hopefully the new publisher (and us) won’t end up regretting the acquisition too much… (DToid coverage, and some screens, here.)

Not sure how much interest remains in King of Fighters XII around here, but in case you’re interested de BLOO linked to a nice-looking combo video on the forums – scroll down to the bottom of the page to see it.

Virtua Fighter fans who believe that internet petitions work might want to visit this link – there’s a gathering movement that’s tying to get Virtua Fighter 5 R ported to home consoles. Good luck, folks!

Week-long sales are always weird to report here in the Tribune seeing as we go to print just as all of them are about to end, but for the sake of thoroughness we’ll still mention that Marvel vs. Capcom 2, along with a couple of other games, is/was discounted by a few bucks on XBLA. (DToid coverage here.)

Apparently MadCatz, thanks to the warm reception of its recent joysticks and controllers, is doing pretty well financially (at least somebody in the industry is!). Moreover, it looks like they may be planning to release yet ANOTHER Street Fighter IV fightstick revision of some sort, that they haven’t even announced yet.

While there’s no way I’m participating in this month’s “Area of Expertise” musing after having written around 9,000 words about sucking, it’s to be expected that a chunk of fighting game-related items from more capable bloggers have surfaced in response – Cataract talks about self-improvement and the fighting community, Pablo Contreras lets us in on some thoughts about Smash Bros., and Yojimbo schools us in the fine art of trash talking.

A new pack of screenshots is floating around for Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey – nothing particularly new is revealed therein, but I’m still happy to see ‘em anyway. There are also a few screens for Trauma Team mixed in there.

The Tribune hasn’t covered Last Rebellion as closely as some other titles, but there’s a bunch of new stuff on that front this week – for one thing, there’s a new trailer up on the game’s official site, and for another it’s been announced that if you preorder it at RosenQueen you’ll get a double-sided poster (with art by Juno Jeong and Hyung-Tae Kim) as a bonus. If you’re in more of a spending mood you could also snag the game’s limited-edition Giclee print. The front page has also posted a Ten-Minute Taste.

Elsewhere on the front page, Shiren the Wanderer should be out for your Wii, and Agent North has handled the site’s official review.

A new set of impressions is up for Sakura Wars: So Long My Love – moreover, the entries for the game’s art contest have been compiled, so look ‘em over and vote for your favorites.

Yet another video has surfaced, featuring the characters of the upcoming Super Robot Taisen OG Saga sequel beating the snot out of each other – this time, though, things get even nuttier than usual, as a bunch of your enemies from the first game are now apparently fighting on your side and jumping into your combos. As the article mentions, just watch Kos-Mos and T-elos team up to dish out some beatings, not to mention Reiji, Xiaomu and Saya forming a triple threat – several of the more minor villains show up too. Insanity, I tells ya! Also, courtesy of Mognet Central, have some fan-servicey magazine scans.

There are some local folks excited about the upcoming release of Persona 3 Portable, but apparently such fervor is nothing compared to that of Korea, where the game is receiving its own PSP bundle. Methinks hardcore Atlus collectors might have a new holy grail to lust after…

I’ve mentioned in passing that I’m not as excited about Infinite Space compared to most other upcoming RPG-ish releases…this preview might give you some idea as to why that’s so. I certainly wouldn’t mind being proved wrong in my assumptions, but…

A previous Tribune noted that PM Studios, aka “The Guys Who Published DJ Max”, were working on an RPG – details are still scarce, but as of now we do know that 1) It’s “based on a book”, and 2) The unnamed platform it was originally supposed to appear on isn’t doing well enough for the developers’ tastes, and the game is now being reworked to appear elsewhere. Hrm, the plot thickens.

If you’re an iPhone owner and in the mood for something Zelda-ish, then Across Age might be up your alley – check out the trailer, and you might even want to interrupt your own Choco-Puffs consumption!

European 3D Dot Game Heroes fans, take notice – if you attend the Midlands MCM Expo in Shropshire, England, you’ll get an early chance to try the game out. Even if you can’t make it, take heart – the planned release date for the title is May 14, just a little bit after the USA gets theirs. Here’s hoping that the doctrine of release date justice continues to spread!

While scouring eBay for Saturn imports, I’ve sometimes happened across a title for the system known as Black/Matrix – I never paid it much mind, but this article let me know that not only is it actually part of a larger SRPG series with Biblical themes, but that one of them has just been released on the Japanese PSN. I wonder if there’s any chance that we’ll ever see it here?

More Ar Tonelico III ratings weirdness – recently it was mentioned that the game had received the Japanese equivalent of a “T” rating in that country, but now it’s been slapped with an “18 +” in Korea…and an “All Ages” marker in Hong Kong. Something tells me we’re in for a particularly entertaining ESRB write-up if this one gets localized.

In other depressing news, last issue reported that Nippon Ichi’s profits were way, WAY down over the past nine months – with the start of stock trading this week, the report struck home via the company’s share price, which dropped by nearly a fifth, to the point where trading was outright halted to keep it from dropping any farther. Boy, I hope they’ve got a good quarter ahead of them… (DToid coverage here.)

The latest “Featurette” attached to Trauma Team is up at the game’s official site – this one focuses mostly on the character design elements, which are more involved than you might think for this type of game.

Nothing official on this yet, but you’re probably still interested to know that Capcom has trademarked Okamiden in Europe – hopefully a genuine localization announcement is soon to follow!

Looks like one of the new (hidden) features in Prinny 2 will be Asagi Mode, which appears to place heavy emphasis on projectile weaponry – what could possibly go wrong? Follow the Dengeki link in the article to see some related screens.

Last issue, the Tribune reported that Ivy the Kiwi? would be coming to the DSi and Wii, though it didn’t specify as to whether the release would be physical or not – regular reader TheCleaningGuy set me straight, linking me to confirmation that it’ll be on cartridge/disc. Thanks for the assist!

In case any of you have been wondering when copyright issues might catch up with Holy Invasion of Privacy, Badman!, well, it finally happened – the series is known as What Did I Do To Deserve This, My Lord? from now on. Also, the sequel’s release date has been pushed back to early May. (DToid coverage here.)

A few pieces of concept art for the Rocket Knight remake have trickled out, the most interesting one depicting a grumpy-looking Axel Gear at a porcine pep rally. (DToid coverage here.)

One of Tomopop’s Wonder Festival roundups gives us a quick look at a figure of Momohime from Muramasa: The Demon Blade.

Recently the Tribune highlighted a blog entry by FunWithBonus, which announced a pinball tournament in Pennsylvania – in case you were planning on going, as he announces here the event has been rescheduled for March 27th.

Dangit, DToid! You just finished tempting me with a contest to win some Muscle March briefs by posing in my undies, which was hard enough to resist, but now you challenge me to do the same in public to snag myself a limited-edition Wii console! You buggers, I might not be able to stop myself this time…and ALL will suffer for it!


On to the second course – my own foot! ‘Til next issue, thanks 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.


'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)