News: Metal Slug collection

Thank goodness they don't actually release one every year
As has become SNK’s modus operandi recently, the company will be releasing another collection, though this one may actually have a bit of some value added. The company plans to port six Metal Slug games to the PSP, on one UMD. The games include MS, MS2, MSX, MS3, MS4, and MS5. It’s worth it just for X and 3, really. If they give the graphics proper treatment, this will make the playing field much wider, which could actually lend some strategic difference to the game. The bad news is that this is planned for November, so there’s a bit of a wait involved.

Update: Here’s an official statement from Terminal Reality, the company doing the PSP port: “We came up with an advanced scaling method to fill the screen with minimal distortion with the original tiles. Most players will be happy with this. But for our hardcore fans, we will have a display option that will be the original pixel for pixel version of the game.

In other, rather wacky Metal Slug news, check out this rather unfortunate press release, probably penned by the only person left at the Sega Amusement offices. Check out this amazing statement: “Metal Slug 6, on Sega’s AW Hardware System, is the 7th installment of the comical and combat-filled Metal Slug series, but the first to land on any arcade platform.” Yes, folks – Metal Slug has FINALLY hit arcades, after years of being…where? “Metal Slug is a series of ‘shoot ‘em up’ video games first released on the NEOGEO game console created by SNK in 1996.” – fully ignoring (or more likely not being aware of) the MVS’s existence.

The cavalcade of genius continues here, by passively claiming that Sega had something significant to do with the development of the game: “When called, Sega answered by delivering Metal Slug 6 on its AW Hardware System.” Now this last part…well I’m not even sure if it’s completely false, but hey, let’s poke fun at it anyway, because it includes a childish definition of what a ‘slug’ is. “The original designers of the series wanted to create an armored fighting vehicle that could crawl on the ground like a “slug”, or snail without an outer shell protecting its body.” And here all this time I though they meant ‘slug’ as in bullet. I am but a humble fool, cowering in the face of the genius that is Sega’s remaining amusement PR staff.

News: Final Fantasy XII makes japanese people sick

her gorjassity, quite frankly, weirds me out Apparently, thousands of people are complaining that Final Fantasy XII is giving them motion sickness. This may or may not have something to do with the perpetual state of motion that is Miss Angela Aki’s hair. (She sings the theme song.) I spent a large amount of time writing about this, though the conclusion ended up being: many people who hadn’t bought a videogame since Final Fantasy X in 2001 bought Final Fantasy XII, and it was the first game they ever played with 3D movement. A lot of my words were probably unnecessary, which is most likely why they were cut out of this article on Next-Gen.biz. It’s still an alright article, at any rate.

All of the “complaints” about the game mentioned in this article were pooled from the (many) one-star reviews of the game on Amazon.co.jp, which is so great a place to see what regular Japanese people think about videogames that, um, some people use it as a research tool in their videogame industry jobs. (Ahem!!)

Just about every piece of information edited out of the article by Next-Gen’s skilled, experienced staff has found its way into my email inbox in the last twenty-four hours. These pieces of information include:

“The bunny woman is totally Chewbacca.” (This relates to the major complaint that the game is a “rip-off” of “Star Wars.)

Final Fantasy games have always paid homage to ‘Star Wars.’ Like, there are characters named ‘Biggs’ and ‘Wedge’ in most of them.”

. . . Actually, um, all of these emails are about “Star Wars.” Uh . . .

Anyway, the article, as posted on the website, is tight and readable, which took a miracle, as I wrote it in a hurricane of tears that someone on the internet didn’t understand something like I wanted them to. What you’ll get if you read it is, at least, an understanding of how Final Fantasy XII works, how it’s different from previous games in the series, and how Square-Enix could have marketed the game just a little bit differently to keep people from getting as angry as they’re getting. One of the alternative marketing methods omitted from the piece, yes, is “Publicize the fact that Akio Otsuka plays a major voice role. Put his name on the poster.”

News: KOF XI for PS2 this June

kofix_10.jpgA PS2 version of The King of Fighters XI has been announced for June 22nd. It was discovered thanks to the release schedule some shops get periodically, as we learn from Game Boku Tenin no Kawagoto. The King of Fighters: Nests Hen is also announced for the same day, so it seems the rumored KOF ’98 Re-Bout won’t be appearing before this ’99~2001 compilation. Anyway, it’s SNK Playmore, so you never know. Melty Blood: Act Cadenza has received a release date too: June 1st, and you also can check the first Ten Chi Jin screens via Famitsu.

Update: There’s a ‘The King of Fighters 2006′ announcement now on SNK Playmore USA’s site, which is obviously either XI or, even worse, KOF Maximum Impact 2 (most likely). USA is different. Oh well.

Aderack Note: Yeah, it’s the U.S. name for Maximum Impact 2. According to a… brief post on the SNK Playmore USA forums, the order came “from Japan” — though what that means, if indeed anything, is up for grabs. At this rate I expect Noise to produce the first new Ikari game in over a decade, then the US branch to rename it “Metal Slug 7″.

What does any of this mean for a US release of KOF XI? Hard to say. Doesn’t look good, though.

News: Street Fighter Zero: Fighter’s Generation

sfzfg_02.jpgTo continue with our Street Fighter Alpha Anthology-related trivia, ‘Street Fighter Zero: Fighter’s Generation’ is the name the game will get in Japan when it gets released there in May. It has a preliminary site here with a couple of interesting hints. Firstly, the nice main illustration (by Bengus?) includes Fei Long, Dee Jay, T. Hawk and Guile’s faces. Quite odd since they were exclusive characters for the home versions of SFZ3 (are they ‘porting’ the PS version instead of the arcade original? Most Japanese shops are mentioning only ’28 characters for SFZ3′, though, much like the arcade game…). Secondly, you can see that the game copyright mentions Capcom USA, confirming that it’s not a Japanese product, which is what we suspected. Otherwise, it could be alluding the fact that Capcom USA owns Street Fighter IPs now, though Japan still has to approve what they can do with them. We can only hope SFIV never gets made, in that case (even if we know it never will). <Brandon’s note: I’ve heard some things, and wouldn’t totally discount SF IV.

Update: IT Media’s preview lets us see now the character select screen from SFZ3, which corresponds to the arcade version. Maybe they’re including PS SFZ3 as an unlockable extra?

News: Iris no Atelier – Grand Fantasm – first screens

grandfantasm_10.jpg As promised, Famitsu revealed Gusts’s latest PS2 game last thursday and there’s also a little preview on its website. The combat system seems to have evolved a bit from the previous episode by featuring what they call the Active Cost Card Battle, wherein the player will be able to chose between different ‘quests’ at the start of the game. It will be released on June 29th.

News: The GameKing 3

gk3.jpg
Fans of Timetop/Daidaixing/GaoMing Electroncic Company’s line of products, or el-cheapo gaming devices from China in general, might be interesting in knowing that a new version of their GameKing console has recently been unveiled.


Whereas the GameKing 1 resembled the original, non-front/backlit GBA, the GameKing 2 looked like a PSP, and the first version of the GameKing 3 appears to be based on the Game Boy Micro, and this second iteration (of GameKing 3) has an entirely unique design, particularly the action buttons, which may not look comfortable, but its at least “different”. And here’s a picture of what might be a working production model. Solid, technical information is scare, but it looks to be backwards compatible with all previous GameKing software, which curiously enough, comes in cartridges that strongly resemble the Game Boy Colors’.

The manufacture’s site is not exactly informative, so the best place to go for answers is this Wikipedia page, which breaks down the technical specification of the pervious GameKings, such as the fact that despite it’s relatively poor display, some games do feature good speed and audio. Plus there’s a listing of all the games available thus far, which not surprisingly are rip-offs of 2600, NES, and SMS games (with the very best one supposedly being Duck Man, a clone of the NES Darkwing Duck). And a more detailed breakdown of various games, as well as pictures of their cartridges (along with promises of screenshots) can be found here.

Credit goes to IC forumite Takashi for the head’s up, who also pointed towards Move Star Game, by the same folks behind the GameKing, and which just might be its killer app (assuming it’s actually a GameKing game – it’s still unconfirmed if any GK sytems support color).

News: Katamari website closes

The Katamari Damacy homepage has come to a close. There is a goodbye message that contains a few words from the staff, such as how surprised they were that the page managed to last for 2 years. They also thank all the fans who’ve played the game, and state that everyone who worked on the game has gone off to pursue their own projects. There’s also mention of another project from the “Katamari Doctor” (no doubt Keita Takahashi, who has already stated numerous times that he was more than reluctant to create sequels to his creation) along with a somewhat cryptic message stating that it doesn’t have rolling, nor does it involve making things big.

>Brandon’s note:> The series isn’t over though. I just heard it from the man himself. It’s just that he’s no longer working on it, and the ‘katamari team’ no longer exists as such.

News: Radirgy cover art

G(eneri)C, get it?You have to give kudos to Milestone for handling their Radirgy license quite well. The game sold well on Dreamcast (it was the best selling game in Akihabara for a couple of days), they demonstrated clever strategies with their upcoming GC and PS2 ports (each one has an exclusive mode), and they never forget to update with a bit of new so that websites like us have something to say until the simultaneous releases in may. On Radirgy’s website, you can now preview the cover art for Radirgy Generic and Radirgy Precious. They’re pretty cute, I think! But I am partial to orange. There are also new previews from the soundtrack to check out. Milestone will celebrate their third anniversary next month.

News?: Chae Lim Exposed!!

According to Thursday’s weekly update to the official KOF: Max Impact 2 website, everyone’s favorite bisexual tae kwon do disciple has been revealed to be more than just a butchy yet delectably realistic female skin for Kim Kaphwan; she is also, much like May Lee and Jhun before her, a stance user! Going by the web-viewable movies thus-far viewable, she has at least three working stances including a normal one, a “backwards” one, and a “raise the knee” one. Ah, her complexity only deepens as we come to know her!

In other news it appears that Seth is in reality Mr. Big’s younger brother, and Terry Bogard has been revealed as a crossdresser. You heard it here first, folks.