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The Obscurer Tribune # 26


I know you�re all busy with your various celebrations and such, but you�d still better take some time to thoroughly read this Tribune posting, or else risk displeasing the Krampus!


For starters, to finish off the year I�ve made a few slightly overdue revisions to my Mushihime-sama Futari �How-To� article, fixing some errors in the �Modes: Part 2� segment detailing how to obtain the �Black Label� DLC (as alluded to in a previous issue), and also included a link to a direct hitbox reference picture in the �Think Small� segment. If anything else turns out to need changing, I�ll fix the article up and let you know � believe me, in case I haven�t made it clear enough by now, the game�s worth it.

By now Darius Burst should be on Japanese shelves (and possibly en route to a few of you with exorbitant import fees attached) � for the rest of us, the game�s Famitsu page has been recently updated, so if you�re still in �look but don�t touch� mode this should be a good place to visit. On that note, Famitsu also had a live stream up of the game in action, plus a live performance from Taito�s in-house band Zuntata � by now it�s long finished, but someone did upload one song from the concert here � the actual music starts about 2 and a half minutes in.

The latest entry over at the Cave blog has some menu screens for ESPGaluda II, which appears to be split up into even more modes than Mushihime-sama Futari was � currently most eager for some info as to how the new console-exclusive modes work. Siliconera has a small write-up on a bit of it.

A short while back, a French gaming site conducted an interview with one of the head honchos over at shmup developer Milestone � the previous link is available if you can read French, but one of my fellow shmup forumers was also kind enough to translate it into English. Check out this thread over there to see it.

New indie shmup ahoy! Check out the official site for Hydorah, a side-scroller primarily influenced by Gradius, and download the demo while you�re there � the game isn�t finished yet, but looks pretty promising, especially for �old-school� shooter fans.

The Tribune has also previously mentioned freeware shmup Genetos, in which each level serves as a phase of the �evolution� of the scrolling shooter � while previously only incomplete demos were available to try, now the full game is finished, and it�s still completely free, so download this bad boy, what�re you waiting for?

The front page has its first-ever (I think) Five-Minute Taste, of 0 Day Attack on Earth � over on the c-blogs, attackitsweakpoint has a less-then-glowing set of impressions to offer on the game.

Jeff Minter�s back at work, this time on the iPhone � a bit of footage is available of his latest cattle-referencing title, Mutant Oxen. The entire game is controlled via tilting, and the visual style is a definite departure from his signature psychedelic tone, a la Space Giraffe � someone who actually owns an iPhone will have to tell me if it�s any good once it comes out.

In other iPhone news, a little ways back a fellow shmup-forumer did an interview with the director of Space Invaders: Infinity Gene � by now it�s finally online, and definitely worth a few minutes to read.

Can�t decide whether to kill aliens or zombies? Why not do both at once, in the upcoming PSP Minis platformer-shooter Alien Zombie Death? Ah, modern technology makes SO many wonderful things possible!

If you feel like testing your skills on the recently re-released Blaster Master in WiiWare, Vic Ireland has a proposition for you � around New Year�s he�s going to have all the details for a speed run contest for the game. While only the top few entries will win the big prizes (which will apparently be worth �thousands of dollars�), anyone who successfully finishes the game will get a �participatory� reward (which Vic also promises to be �a real-deal item in the Working Designs tradition�). Warm up those trigger fingers if you�re interested!

Diverse, my friend, you continue to surpass my expectations�even as you cause me to quietly and awkwardly inch away from you sometimes. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the aforementioned c-blogger�s latest indie game feature � Dildo Tank. Before you click that link, in case you had any doubts, yes, it�s pretty much exactly what you think it is.

Speaking of which, Byg Juice has posted an impressively manly overview of the second game in the Cho Aniki series � I hear that you get most of your daily protein allowance just by reading it!

I forget if I�ve ever mentioned G.Rev�s online shop here before�in case I haven�t, most of the stuff there is connected to the Senko no Ronde games, but recently they�ve put up an item or two for Border Down and Under Defeat, two of their older shooters which have so far only been ported to the Dreamcast.

Tomopop strikes again, with a feature on a new Marisa figure as well as a nice-looking Youmu, and even a few more � by this point, do fans even have any room left on their shelves (or in their wallets) for more of these? Also, I missed last week�s pre-order roundup, which has links to three other Touhou figures, of Raimu, Marisa, and Patchouli by a different maker.

Last issue RAB posted some images and details from a Famitsu Super Street Fighter IV event � this time around de BLOO has managed to get ahold of some actual video of the thing. Meanwhile, on the front page the game�s hype train rolls on, as Capcom hired some poor gal to strike a few poses in a Juri outfit at a press event. Well, I suppose there are definitely more embarrassing outfits to prance around in, though I doubt that helped her morale much. Of course, the only thing that REALLY matters to us is that the game has been delayed (Gamestop says till April) � either way, boo! (DToid coverage here.)

In other Street Fighter IV news, not only has the San Jose Mercury News declared the original game to be its best of this year, clothing company Triumvir is putting out a set of clothes based on those of a �Shadaloo Foot Soldier�. Want to really impress on a first date? Show up in these (please don�t actually do that)!

In case you�re wondering what the heck happened to Samurai Shodown: Edge of Destiny, you�re not the only one � neither Gamestop nor Amazon list it anymore, and over in Australia SNK is listed as the publisher instead of Ignition, so it looks like those two companies may have had a falling-out. Where this leaves Edge of Destiny and (more importantly) other (better) titles remains to be seen�

Also last issue, I linked to a c-blog which featured some photos and a write-up from a recent Tekken 6 tournament which several members of DToid UK attended (I�m still floored, and yet somehow not that surprised, by the fact that a novice Christie player got first place). Anyways, since then another participant has posted some video of the proceedings, if you prefer your coverage in moving form (and with a helping of pole dancing). Over on Kotaku, you can check out the winners of their recent Tekken costume contest, as well as a Japanese poster for the upcoming movie.

Speaking of fighting game movies, the front page commemorates the 15th anniversary of the Street Fighter movie�s release � but you were already planning your parties for that anyway, right? Also, did you know that Cameron Diaz might have played Sonya Blade in the Mortal Kombat film, had fate (i.e. injuries) not intervened? Now there�s an interesting �what if� for you. (DToid coverage here.)

After announcing a new bikini-fluff game recently, the Dead or Alive series is returning to more traditional forms of gratuitous fan service, in the form of a new Ayane figure � of course, the aforementioned game includes a different figure with its LE, so I guess it kind of already had all the bases covered, didn�t it?

Aside from a few extra joints (and being a whole lot more expensive), I�m not sure what the differences are between �Mini-Mates� and regular ol� Legos, but I have been made aware that they make Darkstalkers versions, specifically Morrigan and Demitri, in block-i-fied form.

I guess it was kind of inevitable that someone would attach Street Fighter II graphics and sound effects to that infamous clip from �Jersey Shore�. Also, an additional SFII-themed t-shirt can be seen here.

We already knew that Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey would be one of the few DS games to receive an �M� rating, but now we�ve got the actual writeup from the ESRB � among other things, it sounds like Mara�s back!

As I�ve mentioned before, I�m a good deal more inclined to stick with the aforementioned Strange Journey for my first-person dungeon-crawling needs, but for those who prefer human classes to demon allies Novakaine has some new info from Famitsu about Etrian Odyssey 3, mainly concerning new character types.

Meanwhile, Tokyo Mono Hara Shi, aka �That Thing From Atlus That Looks Like Persona But Isn�t�, has been mentioned once or twice on here before � now you can check out the upcoming game�s opening movie.

Atlus has also put up a new entry up at the official Shiren the Wanderer blog, focused on tactics, specifically against sword-wielding giant centipedes. Never know when such knowledge might come in handy! If you require further info, check out the front page�s preview of the game.

I�d never so much as heard of Letter Bee until I saw this item, but a quick trip to Wikipedia informed me that it�s a manga series focused on characters who deliver mail while fighting off giant armored insects (the Japanese sure do love their giant bugs, don�t they?). Anyways, as the article says, Konami�s releasing a PSP RPG based on it next March � any of you guys familiar with the original material? Does the concept have potential?

Good news for Badman fans � disappointed that the first Badman didn�t rate a retail release? Well, NIS has got you covered, as the UMD version of Holy Invasion of Privacy, Badman! 2 will also include the original game in its entirety, accessible via a simple code! Nicely done, NIS! (DToid coverage here.) Also, the demo for Badman 2 should be available on the PSN by now.

NIS has also opened up the official site for Last Rebellion, and set the release date for sometime in February. For some reason I�m having trouble getting very excited about this one�maybe the lousy reviews for A Witch�s Tale are part of it. Elsewhere, the official sites for Badman 2 and Sakura Wars also received recent updates.

Lots of stuff flying around and a whole bunch of words that I don�t even remotely understand, yet still feel compelled to cover, since I�m kinda-sorta-not really familiar with the original license � yep, we�ve finally got a Fate/Extra trailer!

Of course, this time of year just about every game company starts sending �cards� out to fans and the press, but naturally I have to devote at least a quick mention to Atlus� offering, which features a 3D Dot Game Heroes theme.

Nurse North proves himself a valuable asset to our operation, as he hands over some new Trauma Team screenshots, stat. Now if he could only make that Persona 2 thing happen that he mentions�barring that, you could also check here for a behind-the-scenes peek at the voice-recording process.

Hunky Holmes, meanwhile, graces us with even more Muscle March footage�it all looks kinda the same, I suppose, but you sure as heck won�t mistake it for any other game.

Jumpin� Joe LeRay, for his part, highlights Saira, an indie puzzle-platformer for the PC � some footage can be viewed here. Off the cuff it looks a little too trial-and-error-based for my personal tastes, but I might be wrong. If something off the ground sounds more your style, check out his article on Bob Came In Pieces instead.

While I respectfully disagrees with Reverend Anthony on his assertion that the �office life makes you subhuman� theme has more or less run its course (as far as I�m concerned, especially in an economy like this where workers are worth even less than before, the theme needs to be trumpeted to the heavens louder than ever), I�ll still make a quick mention of his feature on Every Day is the Same Dream.

Some more information about Prinny 2 for the PSP has shown up � aside from the plot revolving around the hapless penguins being sent to recover Etna�s stolen panties (you knew they�d be going there eventually), a new �Baby� mode has been introduced to ease lesser players (i.e. me) into the proceedings, and the �combo� meter hopefully has more practical applications this time around, as filling it up activates �break� mode and enables special attacks. I�m most interested in whether the challenge will be less memory-based this time around�oh, and better jumping controls, please! (DToid coverage here.)

I suppose it was kind of a foregone conclusion considering how high her popularity remains, but impressively-pigtailed vocaloid mascot Hatsune Miku will be getting a sequel to her PSP debut, Project Diva. No details on the nature of said sequel yet, but Sega�s also planning DLC packs and more for the original game, so all we can do is hope that we Westerners are treated to a bit of this eventually (seriously, if Domo-kun and Docomodake can both make it here in video game form, why not her?).

I�m absolutely awful at Lemmings-style puzzlers, and their offshoots, but I still need to mention Coropata, an Incredible Machine-esque DS title which tasks you with indirectly leading a little blue-haired girl from one end of each stage to the other, via various objects and devices. Interestingly, depending on the mood she�s in, she interacts with some items in different ways, which adds another layer to the proceedings (which, like all the others, flies way over my head and flummoxes me even further).

The spate of delays for the Wii version of Cave Story has now reached the point where the game will officially not be here until 2010, but we�ve also got a bit more information � the alternate color scheme for the player character that was seen earlier actually showcased the palette-swapping that will occur in the game�s three difficulty modes. Also, the developer is planning a lot of DLC, and is even taking a few requests � hopefully whenever this thing does get here, it�ll be worth it!

From now through January 7th, pretty much every Sega item on the PSN is on sale, including the DLC for Valkyria Chronicles, PSP action-puzzler Crush, and a few other worthy pickups (if you don�t already have them). (DToid coverage here.)

Both this series and Destructoid have made occasional mention of Segata Sanshiro, aka �That Guy Who�ll Beat You Up If You�re Not Playing Sega Saturn�, aka The Greatest Marketing Gimmick Ever. Well, his legacy has gotten even more interesting, at least in my mind � did you know that at some point they actually made a collectible figure of him? Check out this video showcase of this item, and then immediately inform me as to where I can get one.

Castlevania isn�t too obscure, but I still had to make mention of the 19-disc music collection that Konami�s putting out in Japan � 18 of those discs contain actual music from across the series, while the 19th is a �behind the scenes� DVD. My question is, how many versions of �Vampire Killer� and �Bloody Tears� can one person take? (DToid coverage here. Also, the front page notes that a new site and movie are available for the Castlevania Adventure �Rebirth� edition, not to mention that Rondo of Blood is coming to the Virtual Console�in Australia, at least. (DToid coverage here.)

sheppy might have stumbled onto a whole new level of obscure � covering unknown video games is one thing, but unknown board games take the mindset even further. Anyways, check out his write-up on Tsuro: Game of the Path if you�re looking for something even more different than usual on here.


Well, I guess that about does it for The Obscurer Tribune in 2009 � sort of strange to think that earlier in the year I indefinitely suspended this series, but it didn�t take long to not only come back, but dominate the output of this blog. Anyways, the calendar tells me that I�ll be seeing you again on New Year�s, so until then 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)