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The Obscurer Tribune # 41


I TOLD you that the Tribune would be gaining weight after turning 40 – this sucker is huge! Er, again!


Pre-orders for the DeathSmiles limited edition (so far the only edition available) are up at Amazon, and believe it or not, at GameStop too!. There’s also an unconfirmed rumor that the game will work on Asian 360’s, though we’ll probably have to wait until someone can test it after release to be sure.

Also, head over here to check out a video of DeathSmiles II – I’m still not particularly enthralled with Cave’s decision to go with 3D graphics for this, but I did surrender to curiosity and pre-order the 360 import, so I’ll be able to judge the package collectively in two months or so. To download a higher-quality version go here.

Check out this big ol’ scan featuring some more screens and other stuff connected to the Strike Witches shmup on the way to the 360. It appears to feature some manner of multi-directional shooting a la Trouble Shooter, though we’ll need some videos before we can get a good idea of how it works. This page also appears to set the game’s planned release date as July 29th.

Over at the shmups.com forum we’ve been shown some early footage of an XBLA Community side-scroller in development called Revolver360 – while it’s supposedly only about a third finished, it’s actually looking pretty cool so far, granting players the unique ability to rotate their viewpoint to “adjust” enemy bullet patterns to make them more manageable (check the video, you’ll see what I mean). Here’s one to keep an eye on…

There’s a bit more info on the iPhone port of ESPGaluda II, out this weekend – for one thing, if you pick it up early you can get it for five bucks (if you wait the price will increase to nine). Moreover, hopefully you have a beefier mobile model at your fingertips, as the game is designed for 32- and 64-gig models. There’s also a link to the title’s official site.

Not every retailer has made this update yet, but word on the street is that the 360 port of Senko no Ronde DUO has been pushed back to May 20th due to netcode issues – on the (kinda sorta) bright side, those who ordered the Limited Edition will get a second drama CD as a bit of compensation.

I’m probably a ways late on this, but at the shmup.com forum a freeware shmup known as Val and Rick has surfaced recently – if you haven’t heard of it, it’s by Kenta Cho, who also did rRootage and Noiz2sa, among others. Anyways, if you haven’t tried it yet (it mixes up fixed- and multiple-direction shooting), there’s a download link in the above-linked page, and a video here.

In (hopefully) more up-to-date freeware news, some time ago the Tribune mentioned a DSiWare title that allowed you to take control of a boss mech to fight off a pesky hero jet – well, thanks to this c-blog, I’m now aware of a PC equivalent of sorts, simply titled Boss Rush.

I forget if the trailer for Cho Aniki Zero found here has been posted here before (at least with English subtitles), but either way, it’s up again. Man up!

In the usual “not a shmup but close enough” news department, check out this piece of back-and-forth with one of the guys working on Zombie Panic in Wonderland, a semi-spiritual sequel to Little Red Riding Hood’s Zombie BBQ soon to see release in Japan. C-blogger Subenu offers some brief impressions along with a trailer.

On a related note, Kraid runs down a few of the differences between the PS2 and PSP versions of The Red Star, in case you were thinking of picking either up.

Also a bit after the fact by now, but apparently earlier in the week someone was going for a new Asteroids world record, and was even Livestreaming his attempt. Anyhow, after several consecutive days’ worth of standing at his cab, he did it! Now get some sleep, dude (if digital meteorites aren’t floating on the backs of your eyelids by now)!

You might have heard of the “shooting watch”, a novelty device which measures how fast you can tap a button (a handy skill for old-time Star Soldier players) – strangely enough, it looks like Europe might be getting an officially-released DS application based on it. Can you match thumbs with Master Higgins himself???

I’m actually kind of surprised that it took this long for the “Shmup” section here to link a piece of Space Invaders kitsch crossed over with Star Wars, but in any event that streak is now over.

The usual Super Street Fighter IV cavalcade resumes! First up, the title’s producer insists that there will be no other “revisions” to SFIV…at least “as a packaged product”. We shall see. Next up, there was quite a bit of doubt as to whether it would happen, but as the front page announces, the game is indeed getting an arcade release, at least in Japan. While you’re at that link you can also watch a Japanese trailer, which I don’t think has been posted before - speaking of trailers, here’s a local TV spot. I’m not sure why the local ad men insist on the “hip-hop” mentality when it comes to the game’s marketing, but they’ve done a lot worse than that in the past…(DToid coverage here.) On a brighter note, there’s Cataract’s nifty write-up about his time with the game at PAX East (ParaParaKing, for his part, offers this). Finally (and most importantly), there were some “unofficial” discussions about the tweaks being made to various characters in the game earlier on, but now Joystiq links to some relevant words from the source, with more to come.

I’m not sure any King of Fighters intro will ever get the fans riled up as well as the anime sequence in the inaccurately-titled Dream Match ‘99 for the Dreamcast, but you can check out the rather generic corresponding bit for XIII now. Rumor has it that the game will be released in July, possibly published by Konami(!), but we’ll have to wait and see on that front.

This one sounds as far-fetched as it always has, frankly, but apparently some semi-reliable evidence has surfaced indicating that Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is in the works. I thought they lost the character licenses or something like that…anyways, I guess the truth will come out sooner or later.

Things have been a bit quiet on the Skullgirls front lately, but thanks to a tip from Mognet Central we’ve got some early footage of the game paired with an impromptu interview with the creator. Lots of neat things happening so far, I really hope he gets to finish it! Be sure to check out the game’s official site for exciting news on the upcoming Virtual Boy port!

Uhhhh…wut? Okay, so there’s a crossover fighter in development for the Wii, called Twinkle Queen – and that’s just for starters. Milestone, best-known (to me, anyways) for shooters like Chaos Field and Radirgy, is developing it. Moreover, to prove it belongs on the Wii, the game will include some “party modes” on the side. The REAL kicker? The playable cast is a cross-over…of EROGE characters. About all I have left to say here is that this is the biggest “Oh, Japan” moment I’ve experienced in some time.

Attention all artist/pugilists – a fellow c-blogger has mentioned that StrengthGamer.com is holding an art contest, with the prize being a copy of Super Street Fighter IV. Even if you’re not participating you might want to stop by just to have a look at the entries.

In case you were thinking about getting back into the recently-resurrected EGM magazine, fighting fans might be interested to know that the publication is coming back the same way it went out, namely with Street Fighter on the cover. The comeback issue will feature quite a bit of content connected to the series (especially the upcoming SSFIV, as well as alternate cover art featuring two different characters (guess which ones).

Warner Bros. apparently recently filed a trademark for “Netherrealm Studios” – as Dr. Nick handily points out, this is quite likely connected to the next Mortal Kombat game. Stay tuned for more…

The front-page review for Dead or Alive Paradise is up, and it’s, well, pretty much what most of us were probably expecting. Of course, that hasn’t stopped the usual nude hackers from doing their thing. (DToid coverage here.)

Final Fight: Double Impact isn’t a “pure” fighting game, but I’ll make an exception and mention this item (besides, if I can cover Dead or Alive Paradise then this one should definitely be on the table). Anyways, check out the sweet swag bundle that Capcom recently sent out for it – including a freakin’ cassette tape! (DToid coverage here.)

This deal might have passed by now, but if you’re still on the lookout for the MadCatz Street Fighter IV sticks, have a quick look over at Buy.com to see if this deal is still valid – you could snag the “non-tourney” stick for as little as 30 bucks.

More screens for Atelier Totori have popped up, along with some brief character descriptions – aside from a guy who reminds me a bit of Yuri from Shadow Hearts, there’s also, and I quote, “a homunculus fueled by pie.” If that doesn’t get you interested in this game, I don’t know what else to say.

Another trailer for Record of Agarest War has appeared, and actually manages to restrain itself from uggestive mealtime imagery…until the end, anyways (DToid semi-coverage here. Aksys also announces that they’re going to put the infamous “porn guitar” music used in several of their ads onto the soundtrack packed in with the “Really Naughty Limited Edition” – whatever else you think, you sure as anything can’t accuse them of lacking in chutzpah. Also, the ESRB has spoken…at slightly greater length than when they just said it’d be a “T” game earlier (DToid coverage here).

Atlus has posted another “vignette” video for 3D Dot Game Heroes – now make sure to go reserve the game…at Dot-Mart! (DToid coverage here.) Also, just so you can know that it has in fact happened, yes, someone made Link in the game’s creature creator. Now you can sleep a bit easier at night.

Our ol’ pal Clayton has also been busy on the video front, putting up a new bit of anime cutscene footage (alongside an older gameplay trailer) from Hexyz Force up on the Playstation blog. In other Sting-related news, you might be interested to know that the nifty Knights in the Nightmare was conceptually inspired in part by, of all things, Pictochat.

In one more bit of Atlus miscellany, the front page informs us that they’ve released some more codes for otherwise-unattainable demons (or at least tweaked versions of existing ones), so make sure to snap those up.

I’m a tad late on this, but a whole bunch of codes for the extra stuff in Sakura Wars: So Long My Love are up at these two locations on NISA’s website. A single “master” code is supposedly coming, I’ll do my best to keep an eye out…

Xenoblade finally has itself a trailer, though since it’s in Japanese I can’t figure out too much of what’s going on (anyone have any multi-lingual assistance to offer?). Artwork for the game also continues to trickle out…have a few more samples, courtesy of the front page. Finally, a concrete release date and a handful of plot details can be found here.

Since The Last Story seems eager to match Xenoblade tit-for-tat in terms of news items, check out this article which reveals some artwork of the main characters and more details on the game’s central themes (C-blog item here). I’ll also link to this front-page tidbit which reveals that ol’ Sakaguchi isn’t particularly pleased by insinuations that he’s simply rehashing Final Fantasy, and that he’s out to prove his critics wrong. We shall see…

On other Nintendo-related RPG fronts, here are some more screens and a new trailer for the latest Super Robot Taisen OG remake (aka The One With Fewer Boobs). The official site also updated recently - thanks to Mognet Central for the latter two links.

You know those anime girl drawings you sometimes see on the internet…no, not THOSE drawings, the ones where the character is based on/crossed over with a military vehicle or Windows iteration or something wonky like that? Well, check out Neptune, which I was hesitant to cover pre-announcement but can no longer resist – the main character of the game is a “console-tan” who fights against an evil goddess (based on the DS flash cart) in a land based on the gaming industry. Hopefully the game itself can hold a candle to the concept, but at this stage I’m willing to follow it just for the latter. Look here for a brief trailer and follow the link found here for more pics and info. (DToid coverage here.)

Did Half-Minute Hero just not do enough to scratch your bite-sized RPG-parodying itch? Check out Synopsis Quest if you have a few minutes to kill. (DToid coverage here.)

If you’ve got access to the Japanese PSN store, a demo for Classic Dungeon can now be downloaded, if you’re curious to try the thing out.

Agent North brings up a pair of delectable rumors on the front page – supposedly, at E3 both a new Valkyrie Profile and a revamped compilation of the first two Breath of Fire games will be announced for the 360. I don’t know how much stock I’m willing to put into this at the moment, but it’ll be pretty darn cool if they do happen!

Er…someone help me out here. I don’t THINK I’ve covered Knights of the Phantom Castle here yet, but for some reason I can’t convince myself 100 percent on that front (and can’t be bothered to check heaven knows how many issues back) …anyways, just in case I screwed up, check out this front page item.

Arc Rise Fantasia never did look all that appealing to me, and this preview on the front page doesn’t do much to change my mind, but if you’re more interested in it than I am then feel free to give it a read.

RPG elements seem to have made their way into just about everything lately, from shooters to puzzlers – now, you can also cross rhythm games off the list (er, actually Zubo already sorta did that, didn’t it?). Anyways, check out Sequence, another RPG-rhythm crossover headed to XBLA.

An old video and some new information (I think) is available for the XBLA/PSN ports of Might and Magic: Clash of Heroes – while they don’t address what I feel is the central (and somewhat unavoidable) weak point of the game, the tweaks do sound nice.

A fellow c-blogger links us to a pair of YouTube videos that mash up some music from Persona 3 and lyrics from Jay-Z. In case you couldn’t already tell, be warned that there are more than a few NSFW utterances in there.

FINALLY! Yes, Virginia, there IS a trailer for Shantae: Risky’s Revenge! Not much info beyond “2010” is offered as far as a release date is concerned, but frankly I’m just glad to see that it hasn’t gone the way of Shantae Advance. You can also check out a few images.

The latest featurette for Trauma team has been unveiled – this time around you can check things out from the perspective of the game’s lead programmer. Also, this comparison between the Japanese and American marketing strategies for the game is worth a look, if only for confirmation that there is only one nation that can beat the good ol’ U.S. of A when it comes to boob overload.

Yeah, I’m pretty much going to keep posting stuff on Fragile as long as people keep writing it – in any case, this pair of playtests at Joystiq is worth a read, as is Gamer Limit’s review.

I’m still not sure whether to put Last Ranker in the “fighter” or “RPG” category (currently leaning towards the latter), but either way you can check out a new trailer, as well as become aware that the release date will be sometime this summer.

Looks like fans looking forward to the Rocket Knight remake won’t have much longer to wait – along with a new trailer (featuring the phrase “Blast Possuming”) and screens, Konami has announced that the game will be available on XBLA, PSN, and Steam sometime next month. Warm up those rockets, you’ll need ‘em soon! (DToid coverage here.)

Here’s an unusual occurrence – a a trailer that actually shows pretty much all in-game footage, i.e. The Stuff You’ll Actually Be Playing. Thanks, Hatsune Miku: Project Diva 2nd!

On a similar note, still conflicted as to whether to drop the 20 bucks on Disgaea Infinite? Well, maybe a trio of video snippets will help you in your decision.

Fans of indie developer Twisted Pixel ought to read this interview at Gamer Limit (with the company’s lead programmer) and this one at Joystiq (with the CEO). Grab a donut (and/or a piece of random meat) to snack on while you read for the truly authentic experience. On a similar front, those same fans should be quite happy to hear that even more songs from Splosion Man are coming to Rock Band.

The Tribune made brief mention of upcoming PSP Mini Monsters (Probably) Stole My Princess – now we’ve got a worldwide release date of April 22nd, as well as a new trailer.

In other indie developer news, apparently Tommy Refenes is not yet ready to cease his feud with Apple, and in fact has just released an iPhone app of Super Meat Boy modeled after the junky Tiger electronic games that he compared most of the iPhone’s games to. It’s intentionally lousy, but only a buck, so if you support his cause you might want to try it anyway. Y’know, ironically. (DToid coverage here.)

The front page has a quick item on (and a trailer for) a new PSN platformer called Freekscape, in which you play a demon trying to escape from Hell (wonder how it took him so long to realize where he was?). Just the fact that you can spear an enemy onto your pitchfork and use them together as a makeshift pogo stick is enough to get my attention.

The “black silhouette” artistic angle seems to be all the rage for indie platformers these days…anyways, Feist is the latest to utilize it (well, actually, it’s been in the works for a while), and I must admit it does look pretty nice.

This one might just be a mistake, but it appears that at least one source is reporting that Portal 2 will be making an appearance on the PS3. Whether it’s true or not, Valve ought to have some entertaining things to say about this… (C-blog item here.)

Little King’s Story unfortunately didn’t do as well as Marvelous hoped it would, but they’ve still got at least a bit of faith in the brand, as they’ve licensed it out for a mobile port – the game itself will be free to play, though there’ll also be stuff to buy in there. Hopefully this’ll keep things afloat, if nothing else…

You probably already know that I’m something of a sucker for “brick breaker” games, so you shouldn’t be surprised to see this link to a front-page announcement that BreakQuest is now available on the PSN.

On a kinda-related note (you’ll see how if you watch), ever wonder what would happen if the aesthetic of 3D Dot Game Heroes broke out of Dotnia and (aggressively) manifested itself in the real world? Well, this nifty movie is a pretty good (I assume) depiction of such an admittedly cool end-of-the-world scenario. (DToid coverage here.)


Hopefully our portly news recap will soon be getting a bit of equally-girthy company…more info to come shortly. In the meantime, 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.


'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)