From the usual sources, doujin and freeware highlights of the last few days… or weeks (sorry I’ve been busy). Arguably the two most popular names of the japanese freeware scene are in the spotlight again. Pixel, which gained international fame with his mesmerizing action-adventure game Doukutsu Monogatari (a.k.a. Cave Story), is back at it with a not yet named shoot’em up(?) project. There is a useful and up-to-date translation of his comments which you can find here. And this weekend, the cult-followed Kenta Cho released his newest game: Mu-cade (or more accurately, μ-cade). Cho recommends the use of a joypad with two sticks to appreciate the game. Here is good opportunity for Xbox 360 users to try their nifty joypad on a PC, as Mu-Cade shares some similarities with the Xbox Live! Arcade hit (and rather vapid game in this writer’s opinion) Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved. An intriguing echo considering how Bizarre Creations’ little software seemed inspired in part by Kenta Cho’s earlier works. And as we announced last january, Globule uploaded a free version of Cubic 3 on the circle’s website.
Rectangle‘s Raiders Sphere series has set the doujin standard for flight sims in the arcade tradition à la Ace Combat. The game is popular enough to have its own wiki, IRC channel and a quite active 2ch topic. After numerous updates for the second episode, the circle finally announced Raiders Sphere 3rd. Not much information has been unveiled yet. To proceed on 3D doujin games, there are a bunch of interesting polygon-based fighters to watch for this year, such as Fatal/Fake, for which you can see a bunch of new screenshots here. There’s also a new demo version of Iron Duel to download. And last Comiket’s freshest game, Gunners Heart, is now available at Toranoana.
On the more traditional 2D front, check the websites of Arm Joe and Monster for respectively an upgraded version and an online trial to download. Roni also noticed Axel City, made with Fighter Maker. Looks sweet. Shooter fans would rather download the sample tunes made available for the promotion of Suguri‘s official soundtrack, and check out new images from promising projects such as Rayging Blue 2, Magical Pop, and Ichigo Citron’s Melon Squash. That last game will be released on March 10 but, according to Roni, the circle accepts international preorders (which is uncommon enough to be worth mentioning) by sending them a mail in english at the address “otoiawase~at~w-canvas~dot~com”. Whereas fans are waiting for a trial of Murasame‘s next project , the popular and almost decade-old circle released a nice freeware called Starleaf (go here and download the link next to the little banana). Murasame were the guys responsible for Dicing Knight, winner of the WonderWitch GP2002 and last official game of the WonderSwan. There’s also a nice run & gun in the news, Saagyuda! from Milk Tank, but beware for plenty of un-worksafe material. You can download a trial version and demo movies here.
Finally, two disturbing aspects of Japanese subculture meet again (remember Mimipan?) as cute, underaged and royally dressed girls will battle for territorial supremacy in Moeshimu ~Europa Bishoujo Sensen Ijou-ari!?~, a bizarre war simulation from Sylph, focusing on the European conflicts of WW2.