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The Obscurer Tribune # 38


It’s late, I’m tired, and I can’t think of anything to introduce this issue with, so just ignore this part (as if you haven’t been doing that already) and get right to the news items:


About a month or so to go before the 360 port of Ketsui finally arrives – for a small side-by-side comparison of the arcade and 360 versions, check out this video. There’s a whole bunch of chatting (in Japanese, obviously, along with various silly sound effects) in there as well, so if you want to see the footage start at around the three-minute mark and stop around 5 or 6 minutes in.

Fishy PSP side-scroller Darius Burst is headed to Europe, under a slightly altered title – as the article mentions, while the format hasn’t been confirmed yet, it’ll probably be a downloadable title. Ready your chips and tartar sauce!

March has finally arrived, and the most anticipated release of the year is at last upon us…huh? No, not Final Fantasy or God of War – I’m talking about the ESRB write-up for Cho Aniki Zero!

The wait for Sin and Punishment 2 continues, but over at Kotaku they seem eager to assure us that it’ll be worth it.

I’m almost a year late on this one, but still figured I’d share in case you hadn’t seen it already – one of my shmup forum fellows recently linked to a certain (and heretofore unknown to me, obviously) “bead sprite” artist who does both 2D and 3D models, including this beauty, namely the Vic Viper from Gradius.

Y’know that “preview” of the Sakuya (aka the knife-wielding maid from the “Touhou” games) figure that was pixelated out last week? Well, it’s been un-pixelated. And the knights rejoiced!

Good news for hardcore MAME shmuppers – one of your fellow nitpickers has crafted a “lagless” variation of the arcade emulator, which reduces or eliminates input lag for many scrolling shooters. More information, and a download link, are available on this thread at the shmups.com forum.

Does Capcom even bother trying to stop leaks these days? The latest bits to trickle out are some presumed shots of a Super Street Fighter IV theme – moreover, said themes appear to depict some heretofore-unrevealed alternate costumes!

According to the producer of Street Fighter IV for the iPhone, the decision to port the game was based on the theory that iPhone and arcade gamers are similar to one another – think there’s truth to that, or is it just PR? In case you’re interested Kotaku has a short review - also, I couldn’t help but link this “Nerf Now” comic strip from last week.

Speaking of which, did the onset of Street Fighter IV make you sigh and wish that something along the same lines would happen to the criminally-neglected Darkstalkers franchise? Well, fortunately for you, SSIV’s producer has said that he’d love to be in charge of just such a project, if Capcom approved it. Beseech the dark digital gods that this comes to pass someday! Oh, and he also offers a few comments about SSFIV in there too, if you’re interested.

It was kind of a foregone conclusion from the beginning, but it’s still nice to have confirmation – Aksys is indeed bringing us BlazBlue: Continuum Shift. As of now there’s no specific date beyond “summer”, but I’m sure that won’t stop anyone from starting hyper-tentative countdowns anyway. (DToid coverage here.)

The release date for Samurai Shodown Sen, on the other hand, appears to have been pinned down – as of now the game is set to release on March 30th for 50 bucks, a tad lower than most new titles. Not sure if that’ll help it much, but… (DToid coverage here.)

Who called it! After the first of Tecmo’s most recent series of Dead or Alive Paradise ads, which featured corporal punishment being inflicted upon a simian, I predicted that the next one would involve poultry, and look what shows up. I’m unsure, however, whether to bet on processed meat product or one of the founding fathers making an appearance in the third one. On a related note, in case you’ve ever wondered why Itagaki is always wearing those sunglasses (aside, of course, from the fact that he’s Itagaki), well, now you know! Oh, and he says some other stuff too (credit to Joystiq for the original link).

On that note, if you scroll down to the bottom of this page credit to Mognet Central for the link) you can (apparently) find news that Lili of Tekken is getting her own “Queen’s Gate” fan book. At this point I think it’d be quicker to compile a list of well-known Japanese gaming females who haven’t gotten one yet…

In case you ever hoped for a Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks sequel, well, it almost happened. Sorta.

For a while there it looked like the onslaught of 3D Dot Game Heroes media had slowed down somewhat – HA! say Atlus and its fans. First up, another trailer, complete with a handful of requisite cheesy Chuck Norris-esque catchphrases. (DToid coverage here.) Then Aram himself gives us a preview of the game’s first dungeon and explains some of the new features while he’s at it. But Agent North was still not satisfied – he offers us a full-fledged Ten-Minute Taste of the game (some still pics of the default hero models can be seen here)! Finally, you can feast your eyes on an interview with the game’s developer. Oh, and, um, Ekans.

The uber-nerdy crossovers just keep coming our way – Trinity Universe has found a Western publisher. The article doesn’t specify exactly who it is, though NISA would be my first guess. Excited, or are you still trying to figure out what the heck is going on in Cross Edge?

Agent North also gives us a bit more to chew on as we await Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey, in the form of a new trailer from Atlus. In case that doesn’t hype you up enough, Siliconera’s corresponding interview with a few of the chaps at Atlus USA ought to do it.

Siliconera has posted some impressions of the recently-released Lufia II DS remake – unfortunately, not all of ‘em are as good as one would hope.

Media Vision, the developers of the Wild Arms series, has done the two things that pretty much every RPG developer that isn’t Square-Enix has been doing – 1) Partnered up with Square-Enix, and 2) Started working on iPhone product. Fortunately, the result of these efforts, Chaos Ring, looks promising so far – the visuals are certainly nothing to sneeze at, especially considering the platform. Heck, if it turns out better than Wild Arms XF did, I’m all for it. (DToid coverage here.)

Bits and pieces of stuff on The Last Story continue to creep out into the open – a few new art pieces, as well as some comments on the general goings-on by ol’ Mr. Sakaguchi, can be found in varying degrees on Siliconera and the front page.

Screenshot time again – today’s contestant is Blaze Union, for which some new media has (obviously) been released.

Okay, now I’m starting to lose track – an issue or two ago the Tribune reported that Compile Heart was looking for a publisher for Agarest Senki Zero, a prequel to Record of Agarest War. That, however, is not all – they’ve ALSO apparently got a full-fledged sequel, currently known as Agarest Senki 2 in the pipeline someplace. At the rate they’re going they’d better hope that the gaming public has a darned healthy appetite for suggestive sausage…

The shameless fan service train just keeps on a-rollin’ – to promote the Shin Megami Tensei: Imagine MMO, ads in Korea have signed on a model to don the bondage gear worn by the “Angel” character in the series. Let’s just hope they don’t break out the Mara cosplay to win over…“additional” demographics…

So, apparently one of the characters in La Pucelle Ragnarok needs to be unlocked with a code…no, not the sort of code you can download/buy, but an actual old-school button-pressing code. Leave it to those kooks at Nippon Ichi to put something like that in a SRPG…

I’m not quite sold on Infinite Space yet, personally, but if you’re more interested in it than I am you might want to check out The Silent Protagonist’s impressions on the c-blogs[/url], as well as a bunch of videos recently posted on Platinum Games’ official site.

Also, if you’re still not sure what to think of Lunar: Silver Star Harmony, perhaps Gamer Limit’s review will offer a bit of insight into what the game’s all about. On the flipside, if you did enjoy the game and would like to see the same treatment given to Eternal Blue, the advice the game’s producer gives is (more or less) “Bug Xseed about it!”

A few additional tidbits concerning Etrian Oddyssey III are also up on the c-blogs, courtesy of matty125.

If my records (and Gamestop’s) are correct, it looks like the (admittedly tentative) Western release date of Valkyria Chronicles has been pushed back, from late June to late August.

If you’ve been considering buying Spectral Force Genesis, apparently there aren’t very many like you, as Gamestop has already lowered the game’s price by a third, to twenty bucks new. Good (if short-term) news for you, though!

Here it is, the sixth and final “walkthrough” video for Trauma Team, featuring the Diagnosis segments, starring Spike Spiegel’s long-lost cousin (DToid coverage here). Also, the ESRB rating (and corresponding commentary) for the game has been released – while not as golden as Cho Aniki Zero’s, there are still some entertaining bits in there, as almost always.

Scribblenauts walked away with two more awards at the GDC recently – moreover, as revealed in this video, the game’s developer is looking for fan suggestions on what to name the sequel (sorry, “Scribblenauts 2” has already been ruled out).

While Nippon Ichi languishes in red ink, it’s good to know that Atlus, in the meantime, is doing pretty well – strong sales of Demon’s Souls, the PSP Persona remake, and (ugh) 101-in-1 Party Megamix are largely credited with its rapidly rising recent profits. Keep up the (mostly) good work over there! (DToid coverage here.) Also, the company has apparently trademarked something called “Radiant Historia” – hopefully more details about it are forthcoming.

In more encouraging (hopefully!) NIS news, go here for a whole bunch of images and artwork for Prinny 2. Credit to Mognet Central for the link.

Last issue the XBLA port of Might and Magic: Clash of Heroes was announced – now some further impressions are available.

In anticipation of the impending WiiWare release of Cave Story c-blogger Mooks has linked us to a really nice video featuring related comments by the game’s original programmer and the new version’s producer – definitely take a few minutes to watch it. (Front page item here.) Over at Kotaku, one of the guys got his mitts on some nifty artwork to boot.

Based on this footage of the first level from Sword and Sworcery EP I’m not sure how much I’d enjoy actually playing it, but it certainly is attractive just to watch. (DToid coverage here, c-blog item here.)

The Tribune made brief mention of upcoming XBLA puzzle-platformer Limbo a little while ago – since then the front page has offered some further insights into the game’s workings, and sound pretty darn excited about it. A similar set of impressions can be found at Joystiq.

While the original GDC showing of Twisted Pixel’s upcoming Comic Jumper can be found here, the direct footage up on the DToid front page is easier to see and hear, and comes recommended instead. Some still shots can also be found over here.

I never did get the chance to play Tail Concerto back in the day, though I have heard good things about it – that said, fans of the developer should be pleased to know that their next game, Solarobo for the DS, also stars animal-people with oddball culinary-themed names. Check out some images for starters - more info on this one as it comes!

About dang time – we’ve finally got some video footage (albeit not very much) of Mirror’s Edge for the iPhone. Moar plz? Speaking of which, if you’re interested (after all this time) in downloading the PC version of the original game, Impulse has it on sale for ten bucks this weekend, and has discounted some other games too.

In case you (like Mr. Devore) missed it, Shatter is now up on Steam.

The following are a few timeless laws. 1) Gravity. 2) Thou shalt not kill. 3) If you make a game called Frobot, which does indeed star a disco-themed automaton, you will have my attention.

After several delays, Fragile (I refuse to type all that gobbledygook they added to the localized title) for the Wii is finally out – reviews have been decidedly mixed, but according to the game’s producer as long as players have some sort of emotional reaction to it he’ll be satisfied. Something tells me he wouldn’t have minded a less-lukewarm reception too, however.

Pinball-related items tend to be scarce even by Obscurer Tribune standards, but this one definitely makes up for a lot of lost time – one enterprising soul has built, almost entirely from scratch, an honest-to-goodness custom machine based on Bill Paxton movies. May the heavens shine kindly upon he and those like him, who allow me to report stuff like this on occasion and make my existence that much more meaningful in the process.

As hopeful as I was that Slider (aka that PlayStation Move-enabled title where you race around in an office chair) might prove to be a worthwhile distraction, apparently at this point things don’t look good.

Figure-philes, you are on notice – Momohime of Muramasa is back in statuary form, and preparing to slice some stuff up (well, if they ever make another sculpt of her actually doing that instead of just preparing to, anyways). (Tomopop item here.)

In other real-life three-dimensional news, Mario is nowhere near obscure, obviously, but I still couldn’t resist sharing the sacri-licious (to quote Homer Simpson) sculpture seen here. I wonder how you say “game over” in Latin? (Tomopop item here.)

NISA’s latest contest adopts the theme “Oh Lord, Spring Break?!, and requires entrants to create a picture of The Overlord, as you might suspect, on spring break. Submissions will be accepted through April 9th, and the top two staff picks will win a free copy of Holy Invasion of…er, What Did I Do to Deserve This, My Lord? for the PSP, which includes the first game on the UMD as well. If you’re entering, best of luck!

On a final note, I probably would have passed right on by this blog if Wry Guy hadn’t specifically pointed me to it, but I’m glad he did so – I just want to say to wanderingpixel that his reference to me earned the biggest LOL I’ve bellowed forth in quite some time. I’m flattered, sir! For the record, though, while I have heard good things about Roll Away/Kula World, I’ve yet to actually play it myelf. Though now I think I kind of have to…


Guess that’s it for now – thanks as always for your readership, and until next issue 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)