Doukutsu Monogatari (“The Story/Tale of the Cave”), which we already annoyed you with earlier this month, has received spectacular yet appropriate praise and love in the past few weeks. Yet some players might have had issues with the adventure/puzzle elements of the game, which featured a few riddles in japanese. This is why two translations of Pixel’s freeware have been in the works, one of them already being available as soon as today. It’s been taken care of by none other than the AGTP and can be found here. They also included a translation of the music player, Gord bless’em. There, no more excuse to avoid Doukutsu Monogatari.
Further inspection of Funny Character Cafe, the same Japanese papercraft site that birthed the Katamari Damacy papercraft reveals something cuter still – OutRun and Sega Rally papercraft. There’s a choice of palm trees and Ferrari-s, rock columns/windmills and Ferrari-s, and even dustclouds and Lancia Delta-s, and there are full (pictorial and Japanese) instructions and printable plans on each page. There’s also a index page for all the designs, some of which are anime-related.
The latest Independent Adventuring column, for December 2004, is up at DIY Games, and Jozef Purdes runs through a sleepy, but nonetheless quirky month for free graphic/text adventures. Princess Marian and the Fountain of Unicorns? Check. News of a cease and desist for the Quest for Orgy makers from Quest For Glory creators Sierra/Vivendi? Check – and chuckle because of Sierra’s NSFW history. Oh, and the columns for previous (busier) months are well worth checking out, too.
Professor Jiji has been researching again, and has plenty of new info on Hot Gimmick Access-jong, the latest PlayStation 2 conversion of X-nauts’ Hot Gimmick mahjong series. He explains that the game involves “…[fake] surfing to various well-known artists’ websites and of course holding mahjong duels against females they’ve drawn. The artists that contributed to the game include the increasingly popular Mine Yoshizaki (Keroro Gunsou), well-known Ayanami-scribbler and Scrapped Princess character designer Mogudan (NSFW), Ugetsu Hakua, Zen Yasumori, Tsukasa Jun himself, and several others.” The post also links to a good review of the arcade version of the game, from a Russian site which also has an excellent ‘how-to’ mahjong guide.
For members of the continuing Cosmos cult, the Japanese FC Cafe site has newly printable Katamari Damacy papercraft, specifically featuring the Prince of All Cosmos in all his paper-y glory. If you add this to the papercraft already available on the official Katamari Damacy ‘extras’ page, as well as ‘interesting’ KataDama cosplay outfits, it appears that Namco’s ‘little game that could’ is rapidly becoming a global phenomenon. Or something.
Announced back in December, the Sega Ages 2500 [Vol. 18] version of Dragon Force has an official website since yesterday. Some direct-feed screenshots there, showing that in-game illustrations will have a true high resolution display. Release date is 28th of April in Japan.
Whereas Konami struggles in the fitness club business and Capcom allegedly almost lost everything in shady real estate investments, it is little known that Sega Sammy has diversified its Japanese business by adding trendy darts bars to game sales and pachinko parlours. Darts Bar Bee is the name of the franchise and a dozen of places already exist, the newest one opening this weekend in the Kyoto area. The whole concept is to provide a classy and comfy atmosphere for parties, providing food through a buffet and entertainment thanks to trendy music, electronic darts games (with nationwide scores stored online), pinball machines and board games, all of which is, interestingly, pretty much what Sega started their business with about 50 years ago.
Japanese developer Milestone, creator of the arcade, Dreamcast, and soon-to-be GameCube versions of shooter Chaos Field, is developing a new arcade shooting game for Sega’s Naomi GD-ROM arcade hardware, apparently titled Rajirugi [Radio-Allergy?] It will be exclusively one player, and features some… distinct [?!] visuals, to say the least. Thanks to Guest at the click-stick BBS for the tip-off.
Sega’s Derby Owners Club has been a major arcade success in Japan, and the addictive horse breeding/racing game is even locatable in the West in some major arcades. But the original machine is a gigantic, ultra-expensive 8-seater, so it seems that U.S.-based Ultracade, makers of emulated arcade machines such as Taito Arcade Classics and other Midway/Atari/Capcom licensed multi-packs, including the rather neat-looking Street Fighter Anniversary Edition, has decided to compete with Sega on a smaller scale, announcing Breeder’s Cup World Thoroughbread Championships Tournament Edition. Highwaygames also mentions a familiar magnetic card system, but also “online connectivity feature that allows players to compete against other players from around the globe in real time” – basically, networked Derby Owners Club.
A new Namako Team weblog entry makes with the detective work and reveals info on Tomoyuki Kotani, the lead character designer and illustrator for Cave’s 2D arcade shooters Mushihimesama and Ibara. According to Jiji’s post: “Born in 1977, Kotani got his start in the game industry working on art for Psikyo’s mahjong sequel Taisen Hot Gimmick Kairakuten. For the next few years he did sprite animation work for SNK, Eolith, and Playmore on King of Fighters 1999 through 2002, and later on Gouketsuji Ichizoku (Power Instinct) Toukou ~Matrimelee~. Kotani worked at SNK at the same time as Falcoon, whom he respects and by whom he was apparently influenced.”