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Archive For June, 2011

HG101 Updates with Tokimeki Memorial Shooters, Trio the Punch

June 28, 2011 12:00 AM | Danny Cowan

Video game obscurity museum Hardcore Gaming 101 boasts a hefty update this week, shedding light on a number of overlooked oddities from gaming's past.

Among the featured items are iNiS's rhythm game Gitaroo Man, the 21st Century Pinball series, and Data East's wonderfully bizarre Trio the Punch.

The Your Weekly Kusoge column gets an update as well -- not with Trio the Punch, as one might expect, but with a much more controversial choice: Noby Noby Boy. Oh, I can't wait to see the response that's going to get.

Also worth reading: Kurt Kalata's recent write-up concerning all of the different shooter minigames found in Konami's dating sims. Apparently, the Tokimeki Memorial franchise has a history of these things, ranging from TwinBee spinoffs to surprisingly robust original efforts that were never seen elsewhere. Great stuff!

Operation Rainfall's Grassroots Effort To Bring JRPGs To American Wiis

June 27, 2011 10:00 PM | Matthew Hawkins


The clock is ticking for the Wii, with its successor on the horizon. Nintendo has stated multiple times that it's still 100% committed, but a quick look at its upcoming release schedule tells a different story: aside from Skyward Sword and a small handful of first party offerings, there's not much to look forward to. Especially frustrating is how there's a trio of quite superb looking RPGs that are seemingly stuck back home: Xenoblade Chronicles, The Last Story, and Pandora's Tower. That's where Operation Rainfall comes into play.

The grassroots campaign's aim is to convince Nintendo Of America to bring them here. Given how the first two are due to be translated and released in Europe already, it's not an entirely hopeless goal (unlike similar efforts). The push will be done in three equal parts, one for each game. First up is for Xenoblade; in addition to a letter writing initiative, supporters managed to nab the top spot on Amazon's gaming pre-order list. For those unaware, Monado: Beginning Of The World was the name the US version of Xenoblade was appointed before all talk regarding its fate complete vanished among official channels many moons ago.

Other positive signs include an acknowledgement by Nintendo Of America that they've at least heard the message, plus support via Twitter from Soraya Saga (who wrote Xenoblade) and Mistwalker (which is behind Last Story). Hopefully things will all work out and Wii owners in North America will have three additional games to look forward to. Unfortunately, as it's been proven time and time again, Nintendo does what Nintendo does. We wish Operation Rainfall the best of luck!

The Effort To Collect All Unseen Mega Man Tribute Submissions

June 27, 2011 8:00 PM | Matthew Hawkins

When Udon announced Mega Man Tributes, hundreds upon hundreds answered the call and submitted their works of fan art, hopeful for the chance that they'd make into the final, published product. The book, due later this summer, will be 300 pages big and it's assumed that every square single inch will be dedicated to the very best that came Udon's way.

But what about the ones that didn't make the cut? They still have a chance for glory thanks to Soul-Rokkuman, the driving force behind the Art Buster Fan Book Project. He seeks to compile all the rejected work into some kind of digital format (while not formally announced, PDF seems to be one that might end up being chosen).

One of the key tenets behind the initiative is to feature work regardless of artist ability or skill level behind the brush of wacom tablet. All that maters is that whoever simply loves the characters and games, period. Which means the end result might be quite the sight to behold to say the least. For those interested, this blog entry has all the details, though I'll just reiterate the most important point, since it's in bold: "If you want to do a new pic for this book, YAOI, YURY, HENTAI, FURRY AND FANCHARACTERS are NOT allowed."

[via Rockman Corner]

The First Ten Minutes Of La-Mulana For WiiWare

June 27, 2011 6:00 PM | Matthew Hawkins

What you see above is the first ten minutes or so of the upcoming WiiWare remake of La-Mulana. The wait for it's debut has been a lengthy one, but each new morsel has demonstrated that it'll all be worthwhile, and this is by far the most satisfying taste of things to comet.

For starters, the graphical and audio upgrades are simply superb; everything has been skillfully and tastefully enchanted. Not that there was any real fear, but it's just nice to see it all come together in the course of actual gameplay, since the basic point of trailers is to accentuate the positives and downplay any negatives.

Though the jury is still out until it lands in everyone's hands. Some might appreciate a few of the other changes shown displayed, especially as it pertains to some of the puzzles and ability to save underground, especially for those of us who loved the PC version but weren't very good at it. Though I can also see diehard fans of the original crying foul since extremely difficulty has always been one of its defining attributes.

[via Nobuooo]

Portal Plus Others Given Respectable Retro Poster Treatment

June 27, 2011 4:00 PM | Matthew Hawkins


Let's face facts: pop culture of today that's presented with graphic design sensibilities from mid-last century is hardly special at this point. Sure it's a great exercise for creative types, but the end result takes a lot to impress these days, especially those that are particularly internet savvy.

Hence why the piece above truly stands out (the entire image can be seen after the cut). Artist Ron Guyatt has a couple of posters in a similar vein, and a few others are also game related, which can be viewed over at his DeviantArt page. And if the name sounds familiar, he should be; Ron's photographic abilities have already been highlighted once before.

Jeff Minter Updates Superdeflex For iOS

June 27, 2011 2:00 PM | Eric Caoili

Llamasoft's Jeff Minter, who never fails to craft an intriguing experience with each game release, has another iOS title on the way to follow up Minotaur Rescue and Minotaur 2112, and it's an update of a 1982 game some might remember.

Deflex for iOS is a modern take on Llamasoft's Superdeflex on the ZX Spectrum, in which you bounce a space invader named "Sid" around the screen into power pods, moving him around by placing "Deflex shields".

This iPhone/iPad edition (Universal) has a similar control system, letting you drop paddles to bounce the moving ball at 90 degrees angle. Once you collect all the on-screen items, whether it be oxen or smiley faces, you can move to the next stage.

The concept, played out over 52 stages, is interesting enough, but Deflex also plays a pleasing melody as you gather al the characters scattered about. I could see the "yay"s that accompanying the notes getting annoying quick, though...

[Via Touch Arcade]

Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation's Secret, Sweet Note

June 27, 2011 12:00 PM | Eric Caoili

I love when a new story pops up about hidden messages some developers have concealed in their game's code, only visible to those who bother to muck around with a hex editor years later.

It seems like most of the time, though, these concealed notes are from frustrated programmers, like the infamous messages from Pachi-Com, Erika to Satoru no Yumebōken (Karate Kid), and The New Tetris.

The note in 1999's Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation, though, written by former Core Design lead programmer Richard Flower (now CEO at Fuzzy Frog), is an awwwww-inducing note to his then-fiance and kids.

Flowers' last sentence leaves one to wonder if Flowers left more pleasant messages in other games he worked on. Someone should start scouring all the other titles listed in his credits in a hex editor!

[Via pinumbernumber]

Summer Of Arcade Dates, Crimson Alliance Deal Revealed

June 27, 2011 10:00 AM | Eric Caoili

Xbox Live programming director Larry "Major Nelson" Hyrb announced release dates and pricing for all of the features downloadable games in its upcoming Summer of Arcade XBLA campaign:

  • July 20: Bastion - 1200 MS Points
  • July 27: From Dust - 1200 MS Points
  • August 3 :Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet - 1200 MS Points
  • August 10: Fruit Ninja Kinect - 800 MS Points
  • August 17: Toy Soldiers: Cold War - 1200 MS Points
All those titles, based on the media I've seen so far at least, look worth their download, but Microsoft is providing an extra incentive for gamers to buy the entire Summer of Arcade lineup.

If you purchase all five, you will also receive a free copy of Certain Affinity's action RPG Crimson Alliance (usually 1200 MS Points) when that releases some time later this year.

Kairosoft Preparing English Release For Pocket Academy

June 27, 2011 8:00 AM | Eric Caoili

While Kairosoft fans are still waiting for the company to release Grand Prix Story on iOS devices, the developer is readying another title to bring to the West: Pocket Academy, a mobile title that has you managing a school.

Just like Game Dev Story, Hot Srping Story, and Grand Prix Story, this new title is a sim, except here you're hiring teachers, buying school supplies, outfitting classrooms, adding extracurriculars, and designing the building's layout.

We don't know when this will hit the App Store, but Kairosoft typically puts out its games on Sundays. In the meantime, here's a Japanese gameplay video for Pocket Academy:

Pac-Man Fever Grips Rock Band Network

June 27, 2011 6:00 AM | Danny Cowan

The user content-driven Rock Band Network hasn't updated with much of note since relaunching earlier this year with standout tracks from Eiffel 65 and Anamanaguchi, but the dry spell has come to an end at last. Thanks to the charting efforts of Ozone Entertainment, four tracks from Buckner & Garcia's landmark 1982 album "Pac-Man Fever" are now playable in Rock Band 3.

Downloadable songs include the title track (which reached #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1982, if you can believe it), the Frogger tribute "Froggy's Lament," the Asteroids-based "Hyperspace," and a song dedicated to Exidy's Mouse Trap, all of which are priced at 160 Microsoft Points each. A PlayStation 3 release for the tracks has not yet been announced, but is likely.

In addition to offering playable guitar, drum, and bass parts, all tracks are also compatible with Rock Band 3-specific features like backup vocals and Pro keyboard gameplay. While it's unfortunate that the creepy Centipede ballad "Ode to a Centipede" didn't make the cut, it's at least some consolation to know that Rock Band's catalog now includes the phrase "Pluck your magic twanger, Froggy."

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