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The Obscurer Tribune # 39


So�who�s betting that Sakura Wars: So Long My Love will ACTUALLY come out next week, no more delays, for reals? Anyone�? Well, anyways, I�ll keep my fingers crossed (again) and offer up this week�s obscure gaming recap:


Attention PAX East attendees � Aksys is holding a DeathSmiles tournament there on Friday and Saturday (winners announced on Sunday), so if you want a taste of this title (trust me, you do) make sure to stop by their area while you�re there!

In related news, The Guru reports that the arcade version of DeathSmiles has been dumped � as he himself says, though, it�ll be a long while before it�s emulated properly, so make sure to support the localized 360 version in the meantime (of course, you should do that no matter the circumstances).

Remember that �shooter� based on the Strike Witches anime which was announced a while back for the 360, but nobody was really clear on whether or not the thing was a shmup? Well looky here � it�s going to be subtitled Wings of Silver, it�s a full retail release, and it is indeed a bona fide side-scroller, in which you choose 3 character out of a selection of 11, one of them serving as your �main� ship and the others as helpers. I�m not one to have high hopes for licensed fare, but I still pray that this one doesn�t turn out awful�this genre sure as heck doesn�t need that. The official site is here.

Surprise, surprise � after being delayed several times already, most recently until April, the US version of Illvelo has been pushed back yet again to July 13th. Come on UFO, what the heck�s the problem over there?

A chunk of new screens have surfaced for The Flying Hamster � need I say more? (DToid coverage here.)

In case you�d somehow forgotten, Cho Aniki Zero is available on the US PSN now � go here to watch some footage of Benten (the lone female character) in Stage 1. As one of my shmup forum fellows once put it, �What�s a [freaking] chick doing in my Cho Aniki?� (DToid coverage here.)

While I wasn�t a big fan of X2 on the PS1, fans of Team17 and its original shooter, Project X, ought to look here and here for concept images of a third game in the series which was never released (and, according to the company, probably never will be).

It was mentioned a little ways back that The Red Star would be coming to PSN � in case you needed a reminder, the front page notes that it�s out now for 15 bucks (though you can probably get the PS2 disc-based version for even cheaper by now).

Need something a little bit trippy to start your weekend? How does a bit of previously-unreleased Rez concept art strike you?

This item�s only marginally shmup-related, but a quick mention of Sketchnation Shooter for the iPhone couldn�t hurt.

Lots of Super Street Fighter IV action on the �net this week once again � not only Destructoid but Joystiq and Kotaku have hands-on previews up. Moreover, the former links to a Hakan-centric dev blog and some costume-related announcements, and the latter has a promo for the �thumb fighters� pre-order bonus. DToid�s new video channel also has the (mostly cheesy) story intro sequences for almost all of the new fighters � T. Hawk, Dee Jay, Guy, Cody, Ibuki, Makoto, Juri, and Hakan. Also, after a handful of rumors pointing in that direction, it turns out that the game is indeed getting a Collector�s Edition, and it�s a doozy � along with the game you get a gym bag, t-shirt, water bottle, headband, and 1GB memory stick with some media on it. If you�re tempted, it�ll run you 80 bucks, the same price as the limited edition of the original Street Fighter IV � personally, though, I think I�ll just take the expanded content for a flat 40 and leave it at that this time around. Also feel free to check out a long listof changes and other things featured in the game, as well as a YouTube match video or two (or at least a Training mode demo). On the c-blogs, de BLOO informs us that Pink T-Hawk is back (and includes SSFIV�s intro sequence), while Mognet Central provides a link to this image of Ibuki in a goth-loli getup.

That�s got to be a single-paragraph length record for the Tribune since it switched to the current format.

UK fighting fans eager for the long-awaited BlazBlue will unfortunately have to wait a little longer � the game�s release has been delayed a week, until April 2nd. Not as bad as it might be, but still annoying. Locally, Gamefly has some stuff on sale, and one of those things just happens to be BlazBlue, so if you can�t wait for Continuum Shift you might want to look into it. (DToid coverage here.) Speaking of which, on the c-blogs, FalconReaper lets us know that the soundtrack to BlazBlue: Continuum Shift is floating around on YouTube, and embeds a few samples.

Just in case you needed confirmation that Mai would be making an appearance in King of Fighters XIII, here it is (DToid coverage here). On the c-blogs nilcam reveals a whole bunch more � to name just a few things, King and Yuri are back (and several empty spots still remain), pre-match dialogue returns, and the �critical counter� system has been replaced by �EX� moves, a �Hyper Drive� mode, and the ability to �drive cancel� specials and supers. Looks like at least a step back in the right direction for the series. Finally, your first set o� screens.

Dangit! I KNEW I�d left out a suggestive euphemism or two last week, when I attempted to again predict which one Tecmo would use in its next Dead or Alive Paradise teaser. Oh well � you can see both that and the latest solo girl preview (for Kokoro, to be specific), on the front page.

Wry Guy, who recently scored a front-page writing position over at Orochinagi (congrats again, btw), shares a nice piece with us containing his thoughts on the past, present, and possible future of the 2-D fighting game community.

I haven�t linked to much related to this month�s �Something About Sex� musing, but this entry on Morrigan of Darkstalkers needed to at least be mentioned in here.

To put it mildly he�s not my favorite character (seriously dude, get a third special move, it�s time), but for those who feel differently this Guile statue might be of interest (to the tune of 250 bucks). Also, this tattoo. Also also, Street Fighter Zombies.

There�s been quite a bit of amusing Mortal Kombat-themed fan media popping up lately � here�s a picture and a custom figure to add to the roster.

Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey is finally out, and you�d better be planning to go right back to playing it as soon as you�re done reading this (oh, okay, I�ll let you leave a comment too, since I�m such a reasonable guy) � anyways, if you�re one of the infidels who has yet to experience its majesty for yourself, Siliconera has a nice overview up to get yourself back on track. Also, in case you�re wondering why the pack-in music CD doesn�t work, you�re not alone � thankfully Atlus is working to rectify the problem. Extra kudos to The Silent Protagonist for the LOL-worthy image headers.

More �stuff you shouldn�t even need me to confirm� � if you weren�t already convinced that a new Persona was coming�well, here you go (DToid coverage here). In related news, Persona 4 recently found itself involved in the ongoing internet effort to cross Team Fortress 2 over with absolutely everything. (DToid coverage here.) Finally, on the c-blogs Tray Ben is giving away a Persona 4 poster � I�ve got my entry in!

You might remember that teaser illustration I linked you to a few weeks ago which appeared to be related to Atelier Rorona, but didn�t have any concrete info attached to it � guess what folks, it was an early hint at Atelier Totori, a direct sequel to Rorona for the PS3. Apparently taking place five years after the original, the first game�s heroine is now an alchemy teacher herself (the titular Totori is her student), and the two end up searching together for the latter�s missing mom. Some (rather nice-looking, I think) screenshots are also up � hopefully Rorona does well enough here this summer to open the door for more!

NIS America has been confirmed as the Western publisher for Trinity Universe, and the release date has been narrowed down to sometime in June � click here to see that info as well as some bio information for the two main characters.

Despite some of the doubts that many fans have about it, Sting and Atlus certainly aren�t skimping on the PSP port of Knights in the Nightmare, even going so far as to give it a deluxe pack � cough up the extra yen and you get a small art book, 12 art cards, and a phone card along with the game. Not as extravagant as the CD and larger book we got in the West for the DS release (especially considering that those were free), but it�s something. In other Sting-related news, check out the opening sequence to Blaze Union while you're at it.

Actually, we�ve got a bit more from Sting for this issue � while most of the Hexyz Force media we�ve seen so far has focused on cinematics, now we�ve got ourselves some gameplay to check out. Moreover, another official blog for the game is out, offering a bit of information on the �fusion� and �force scanning� features.

Seems we�ve got one more trailer for 3D Dot Game Heroes on our hands � if nothing else, it appears that killer chickens are confirmed.

If you like me) have been a bit depressed that most of Falcom�s best PSP releases haven�t made it to our shores, take heart � while nothing�s been confirmed, some signs point to Xseed as a possible publisher for some of their stuff. Let�s hope that this turns out to have some truth to it�

Some new screens (well, technically they�re kinda old, considering the text errors) of Sakura Wars: So Long My Love have appeared � technically these are for the Wii version, though I doubt anyone could have told the difference between it and the PS2 equivalent anyways. An extended trailer has also made an appearance of late.

A brief plot summary (and a bit more artwork) has come out for The Last Story � the former apparently revolves around two warrior classes, the Knights (who hold most of the prestige by default) and the Mercenaries (who end up doing most of the dirty work). Guess which class your characters are? (DToid coverage here.)

If you have access to the Japanese PSN store, you can now snag a demo for La Pucelle Ragnarok for your PSP � keep an eye out next month too, as a trial for Classic Dungeon should be out then sometime.

On that note, while I�m kind of afraid to ask what the sales figures so far are for Spectral Force Genesis, Compile Heart isn�t giving up on the series, as it�s already seeking a publisher for Spectral Force Legacy, a PSP sequel. Moreover, the company is also working on another title for the PS3, known as Neptune. Good luck, guys�

Speaking of developers looking for publishers, Acquire is hoping to find somebody willing to localize Class of Heroes 2 � keep your fingers crossed if you�re craving even more dungeon crawling.

Aaaaand speaking further of Acquire, NISA has released the official trailer for What Did I Do To Deserve This, My Lord? 2. Interestingly enough, while the original title was changed, the Overlord is apparently still named �Badman� � guess fears of copyright infringement only go so far in this case!

Most people are busy with a slightly angrier fictional ancient Greek figure this month, but this discussion with a couple of the folks behind Glory of Heracles is worth a few minutes of your time. Also check out MowDownJoe�s shaky-cam review of the game on his c-blog.

Nocturne fanboy that I am, there�s no way I wasn�t linking The Silent Protagonist�s c-blog about his fateful and memorable encounter with the Matador.

NIS has opened pre-orders for the Persona: Trinity Soul anime � more than that, a hardcover artbook and dual-sided poster comes with it.

College Humor once again provides a valuable reminder to gamers, this time specifically making sure we�re aware that RPG heroes are a bunch of jerks. (DToid item here.)

In assorted RPG-related figure news from Tomopop, have another look at a stupidly expensive Kos-Mos, and a still-sorta-expensive (but so worth it) Jack Frost!

Cave Story is finally out on WiiWare, and there�s plenty of related local action afoot � on the front page a conversation between the game�s creator and its publisher touches on several topics, though you�ll have to go elsewhere to find that the former is not a fan of God of War III. On the c-blogs, matty125 informs us that Nicalis is giving away free copies for the remainder of the month, and REvenile posts a review � Diverse, meanwhile, yanks our chains but eventually delivers (AlphaDeus has a breakdown here, Qalamari offers counseling for the grief-stricken here). Best of all, thanks in part to the fans� efforts, the game�s apparently done pretty darn well sales-wise so far. Good stuff all around!

Of course, Doctor Devore reminds us that Cave Story isn�t the only newsworthy retro-styled platformer getting a WiiWare remake, via some video of La Mulana.

It�s been a little while since Herr Sterling last offered us anything new on Raskulls � apparently he himself thought the drought had lasted a little too long, and has tossed up a new trailer. Nothing too groundbreaking therein, but still appreciated.

The official site for Disgaea Infinite is up, and the game is also available for pre-order � more interestingly, NIS is releasing the game for a mere 20 bucks! In the meantime the company�s also holding another �insert-comic-dialogue-here� contest if you�d rather try to get the game for free � make sure your entry�s in by April 9th. One final note: NISA�s phone lines will be down through the 29th, so if you want to get in touch with them before then do so via email instead.

If Destructoid�s review is any indication, I�m in for quite the interesting experience whenever I get around to cracking open my copy of Fragile.

Back on the c-blogs, iconstyle offers up some brief impressions of Patchwork Heroes, whose demo I really need to DL soon (UndeadKnight also offers a few sentences).

Valve�s released some artwork for Portal 2, with new (non-final) designs for heroine Chell and some co-op robots among them. (DToid coverage here.)

Our ol� pal Gaijin Punch has come through for us again, posting another translation of an interview with some former Data East staffers up on Gamengai. I never knew that one of the guys behind Boogie Wings was also involved with Philosoma later on�and that�s just the beginning of the stuff you�ll find in here.

I don�t frequently link �artisan� posts here, but any entry which features work inspired by UN Squadron (and a few cool other pieces to boot) can�t help but find its way to the Tribune.


Back to Strange Journey with me � thanks to all for reading, and until next week, 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)