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The Obscurer Tribune # 44




Looks like XBLA isn�t the only place where you�ll be able to watch Kyo Kusanagi shoot drones out of the sky while zooming through the air � Neo Geo Heroes, slated for a retail PSP release in July, is an expanded port of King of Fighters Sky Stage that will add in a handful of extra playable characters from elsewhere in the SNK-verse, as well as new modes. For the moment, at least, it�s Japan-exclusive, so impatient/pessimistic types might want to be ready to import.

After a sizeable spate of delays, we�ve finally got an English trailer for Raystorm HD � more than that, we�ve also got a concrete release date to go with it, namely May 5th. �Bout time, don�t you think? Be aware, however, that while the title was announced for both PS3 and XBLA, only the latter will be available outside of Japan. (DToid coverage here.)

I�m about two weeks late on this one, but back then the official PlayStation blog posted this update, which confirmed a May release date for Soldner-X 2: Final Prototype � more than that, they included a trailer for your viewing pleasure. Said trailer can also be viewed on YouTube.

Doujin shmup fans might recall hearing about Gundemonium Collection, a three-game package of Platine Dispotif�s products (specifically Gundemonium Recollection, Gundeadligne, and Hitogata Happa) coming to PC from Rockin� Android � lo and behold, the collection is apparently headed to PS3 as well.

As of right now I�m still waiting for my copy of Ketsui X to arrive in the mail (RAAAAGE), but you can read a pair of impressions from fellow shmup forumers here and here.

Homebrew Neo-Geo shmup Fast Striker is now up for pre-order � for the moment the game is only available on MVS cart and thus out of the interest range (and price range) of most of us, but hopefully a port to a more accessible system is in the works. Check the game�s official site for more info.

Over at the shmups.com forum some preview footage of an upcoming XNA game called Operation Bullet Storm has been posted � it doesn�t appear to set the world on fire, at least at this stage, but it certainly looks a lot more solid than most of the more �gimmicky� shooters out there. Oh, and you play as a flying tea kettle.

Gamer Limit has posted its own review of ESPGaluda II for the iPhone � moreover, the article confirms that the game is now working on third-gen iPod Touches. There�s also apparently a demo out there.

For the pseudo-shmup fans out there we�ve also linked to a recent review of After Burner Climax.

There�s also some�unusual banter (as if you were expecting anything else) from the guys at Treasure on how they decided to name Sin and Punishment. Moreover, you can check out some hands-on impressions of the game�s co-op play.

Oh, and by the way, Zombie Panic in Wonderland has been confirmed as coming to US WiiWare on the third of May � certainly can�t say that they�re making us wait too long.

The latest �Touhou� figure to pop up on Tomopop is this one of one of the rabbit girls, who, if memory serves, first appeared in Imperishable Night as bosses � you might also be interested in a handful of repainted re-releases from throughout the series. Ernula from Senko no Ronde is also getting a new figure � my sources tell me that this character not only looks like a female, but actually IS a female, unlike some, ahem, others I could mention.

On a final note, it looks like all of those Space Invaders tchotchkes I post here are finally going upscale � this accessory will run you north of 130 bucks. Where�s ol� Stephen Colbert? We need a new �Colbert Platinum� segment, stat!

Super Street Fighter IV is finally out (and the costume DLC is coming in Japan as follows) � check out the front page for the official DToid review and some Killian comments, as well as a trailer for the OAV, for starters (credit to Mognet Central for the latter link). Capcom apparently expects to do okay with this one. Moreover, there was apparently a launch event for the game a week ago, and the �I Am 8-Bit� production company filmed it � go figure, somebody stole the footage along with some equipment. The company is offering a reward and the promise of anonymity for the safe return of the goods�it always a leaves a bad taste in one�s mouth when something like this happens. Somehow, though, the front page managed to post footage of Justin and Daigo duking it out, and Joystiq put up some photos. Hmmm�

This interview with the producer of Marvel vs. Capcom 3 reveals a handful of interesting nuggets, most notably a few specifically-mentioned characters who will NOT be making it onto the cast list. DToid pins down Seth Killian for a bit on the same subject here, and Siliconera adds its own chat with one of the game-related honchos over at Marvel.

Just to make sure everything�s covered, here�s a link to the Bit Transmission podcast referred to above, featuring Seth Killian.

A new octet of screenshots for King of Fighters XIII is up � no dramatic inferred reveals or the like to be found, but still worth a few moments of precious internet time.

Remember BlazBlue: Battle X Battle, the DSiWare title featuring cute-ified characters from Calamity Trigger? Just in case you thought it couldn�t get any sillier, just check out the localized title � BlayzeBloo: Super Melee Brawlers Battle Royale. Yes, they are bringing it here, and yes, that is what they�re calling it.

I imagine that most people interested in King of Fighters �95 already own it, but just in case anyone�s still feeling left out the title is now available on the Virtual Console. (DToid item here.)

Well, nobody can ever tell Daigo that he wasted all that time playing video games � Mad Catz has signed him up to promote their products in exchange for their sponsorship. Personally, I think this story speaks more to MadCatz�s recent efforts than anything else � no more than a few years ago could you imagine Daigo (or anyone, really) agreeing to hock their stuff? What a difference a well-received joystick or two makes. Speaking of which, the company is also putting out a TE stick for BlazBlue: Continuum Shift which is pretty much the same as their previous editions but with different artwork, a smaller print run, and a higher price.

Just in case you didn�t think that SNK has whored out its fighting game franchises enough yet, check out SNK Gals Island: Battleship Battle � You Sunk My Ship! Yes, it�s a cheap cell phone title that�s basically a scaled down version of the Battleship board game with some fan-servicey gallery work tacked on. Convinced yet? If not, don�t worry - SNK will surely try again to win you over soon.

Speaking of whoring, IT WON�T DIE! Tecmo�s still trying to justify Dead or Alive Paradise in the face of all the bad press it�s gotten�good luck, boys.

Speaking AGAIN of whoring, I�m sure that a few of you have heard of the old hentai game Strip Fighter II in your internet travels � what you might not have heard is that a certain doujin group more recently released an unofficial followup, Strip Fighter IV. But that�s not all � apparently not content to merely take a leak (or worse) in Capcom�s most immediately notable footprints, Super Strip Fighter IV has also been unleashed upon us. In case you needed further proof that the Apocalypse is approaching, there it is.

Hear ye, hear ye, the latest updates for Wry Guy�s �Fatal Impact� tournament can be found here! Meanwhile, Jimbo and nilcam are hocking their own attempts to get us to beat the tar out of each other, so check those out too.

Next door in Wryville, King of Fighters: Maximum Impact is given a well-deserved �E for Effort.�

Fellow user the7k, however, takes things even further and gives the entire �revival� of the 2D fighter the �E�. Hopefully he�ll join me in demanding Waku Waku 7 HD�or, dare I say it, Waku Waku 8!

C-blogger Torzelan shares some electric guitar arrangements of video game tunes with us, including Juri�s theme from Super Street Fighter IV. (Front page item here.)

A handful of other miscellaneous c-blogs � Enkido discusses his first time owning a Street Fighter game, a friend of Louie Leon Edgar Falls can feel it comin� over him, and Danmartigan gets a whiff of a developing story, and can�t help but share the joy with us.

This article over at Tomopop shows off several figures, including one of Dizzy from Guilty Gear sporting a pink outfit (in the loosest sense of the word). This past week�s �Reserve or Regret� segment also mentions a new bust of Blanka, alongside a handful of other figures previously shown down in the �RPG� section.

In related news, Triumvir is apparently putting out yet another batch of Street Fighter shirts, based on some classic concept art (DToid coverage here � you can also click here for some fan mock-ups for yet another (conceptual) jab at a film based on the franchise.

The official site for Trinity Universe has gone live, though not too much is there as of yet � still no release date more specific than �June� for the game, though. Well, at least that goes for the official page � Gamestop is listing it for the 29th, so we�ll wait and see if that holds up. NISA answers some of Siliconera�s questions about the game here and here � wonder what the LE will look like (and when they�ll get around to revealing it).

Japan will be getting Atelier Totori pretty darn soon � June 27th, to be exact. You can also opt for a Limited Edition which includes a paperweight for an extra thirty-some-odd bucks � the unbelievable values just keep on coming at Krazy Gust�s Discount Alchemy Workshop! Check out some info on the battle system (which sounds vaguely Mana Khemia-esque) and new screens here. In slightly more depressing news, if this snippet is correct it looks like the West should expect Atelier Rorona sometime in the fall, rather than the summer as first announced.

Two more summoning passwords for Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey are out, including one for a demon you can�t obtain �normally� in-game.

A Big Fat Greek Bunch of Famitsu Scans have surfaced, featuring pics related to The Last Story, Xenoblade (btw, Yasunori Mitsuda ia apparently on board for the soundtrack), and Ni no Kuni, which we haven�t heard about for a bit (and won�t have a chance to play for even longer, as it�s been delayed again). An additional image or three can be found here and here. (DToid items here and here.)

Also from Famitsu, it looks like the studio behind Half-Minute Hero is at it again, and will be releasing a spiritual follow-up to that game, titled Jikan de Fantasia. Unlike its predecessor, which limited each stage to 30 seconds (not counting gold-fueled rewinds) except in a few special cases, here you can apparently choose from a handful of different time limits, and the game will construct a session for you accordingly. Check the embedded link on that page for more screens and artwork.

Record of Agarest War, which just hit shelves earlier this week, started as a PS3 title in Japan, was later ported to the 360, and soon afterwards made it to the West. Agarest Senki Zero, a prequel to the aforementioned title, also started on the PS3, but is getting a 360 version in July�hmmm. Anyway, here�s some more info on the extra stuff that it�ll include � you can also check out a summary of the downloadable PS3 version of Record, as well as an unboxing of the infamous �Really Naughty LE� on the 360 (which GameStop apparently won�t display on shelves). (Front page and c-blog commemorations of the event here and here respectively.)

Hardly had we gotten word that The 3rd Birthday was progressing in its development (to what extent wasn�t quite clear) that Square�s President more or less confirms that the game will be out sometime in 2010.

Nothing too surprising to see therein since we�ve already gotten the game twice, but Persona 3 Portable has received its ESRB rating, for anyone interested. On a related note, DAMMIT ATLUS! I�ve been somewhat proud of myself for not instantly pre-ordering Persona 3 Portable and spending money three times on (basically) the same game � and then you do this to me. Yep, if I surrender and pre-order I get Junpei�s cap. You bastards.

Roster info for Ys. vs. Sora no Kiseki has been scarce so far, but an image or two in here offers a possible hint as to how many characters total we can expect to see whenever Falcom gets around to telling us who they are.

Yet another reason for me to be less than excited about Arc Rise Fantasia � as seen in these images at least one character will be sporting that god-awful �one long pants leg, one short pants leg� look. Seriously, who in heaven�s name EVER thought that was an acceptable character design option? (DToid coverage here.)

Apparently the marketing push for 3D Dot Game Heroes over in Europe is just as cheeky as its equivalent on this side of the pond � more, even, as a trio of real-life British politicians have been pixel-ized into playable character creations via the character editor. Moreover, anyone from any region can head over to publisher Southpeak�s page and snag them if they�re feeling anglophilic � rule, Dotnia!

If you enjoy Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together but don�t like the load times (or the asking price) of the PS1 version (the only English-language one officially available), you�re in luck � someone has cut-and-pasted the dialogue from the aforementioned localization and made a patch for the original Super Famicom edition. Not the most amazing accomplishment in gaming history, but I�m sure someone out there must be happy about it.

I suppose it�s appropriate that a c-blogger named chaotical should post a review of Chaos Rings � the front page follows suit a bit later in the week. On that note, apparently the title has done pretty well for itself so far.

Another blogger by the name of mjemirzian also put up a pair of articles that touch on a bunch of SRPG and turn-based strategy games (and the genre in general), including a handful of titles I wasn�t aware of personally. Fans of the genres should definitely take a look.

Remember several weeks ago when I mentioned a figure of Clalaclan from Shining Wind, one of the relatively few RPG women who dresses semi-sensibly for battle? Well, this latest plastic iteration of her isn�t so lucky. Of course, I�d still be much more interested in a localization of the actual game, though at this point that�ll never happen. Oh, and have some more of that Aegis figure mentioned earlier on.

Atlus has released another Trauma Team featurette for your reading pleasure, offering a quick preview of the game�s final chapter � meanwhile, DToid�s front page has an early review up for the game. Also, just in case the bugger�s MSRP of 40 bucks is still not thrifty enough for you, order it from Amazon and they�ll give you ten bucks credit towards another purchase. If only real-life health care offered that sort of bargain-hunting opportunity�

Of course, that�s not the only oddball game review up the site�s sleeve this week � here�s another one for What Did I Do To Deserve This, My Lord? 2.

Here�s one that popped out of nowhere � check out a trailer for ilomilo, a nice-looking puzzle-platformer where it appears you switch control between two characters who start at opposite ends of a level and must help each other reach a meeting point by hitting switches and such along the way. It�s coming to XBLA courtesy of the bunch who brought us R-Type Dimensions, so keep an eye on this one! (DToid coverage here.)

In other puzzle-platformer news I haven�t been keeping up with Lost in Shadow very reliably lately, but I will take this opportunity to pass along Japan�s release date of July 22nd � apparently it�s headed our way sometime in the fall. (DToid coverage here.)

Okay, fine, I get it, you guys win � you�ve been demanding that I start keeping track of the Mega Man Zero Collection here, and I humbly offer you this new trailer along with a confirmed June 7th US release date. Keep this up and I might even have to play the thing at some point� (DToid coverage here.)

Hatsune Miku�s popularity among gamers appears to still be going strong � how strong? The upcoming release of the econd Project Diva game on the PSP is accompanied by not one, not two, but three different bundles containing various amounts of extra stuff. Whoever her character designer was must be swimming around in gold coins Scrooge McDuck-style at this point. She�s also getting another figure, where she�s apparently charging up some sort of super attack�possibly in retaliation for whoever carved up her outfit so badly.

We�ve got some exact release dates for the Rocket Knight remake � May 12th on XBLA, the 18th on PS3. (DToid coverage here.)

I knew a guy in school named Chris Davis�I don�t think this c-blogger is the same guy, but anyways he has some preview info for Portal 2 if you�re interested.

Wii owners recently got a shot at Magical Drop III via Data East Classics Collection � soon it appears that (Japanese) players will also be able to snag Magical Drop II via the Virtual Console next month. Not sure why they bothered putting that one up, as the sequel renders it more or less irrelevant�still not a bad game, mind you.

C-blogger DanielCampbell posts a video review of Monsters (Probably) Stole My Princess for PSP. Is it my imagination, or does his voice sound really familiar for some reason�?

Want to see some goofy snapshots of the NIS America office? Here you go!

Finally, while it has little to do with obscure gaming, per se, it does concern one of our fellow bona fide patrons of the quirky � if you�re interested in attending Ms. Davis� upcoming wedding, check here!


That�s it for this round � hope you enjoyed, and �til next issue thanks for stopping by 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)