News: Summon Night 4 unveiled

sn4_02.jpg The latest V-Jump issue has another scoop, besides the new ‘Tales of’ games from Namco (we learned today that the TOD remake is getting hi-res 2D graphics unlike we reported, by the way) – The first screens and details of the long-ago announced Summon Night 4. It will repeat almost the same formula and graphic style of its predecessor, which is not a bad thing, we believe, especially since it confirms Flight Plan as the developer. The formal announcement will take part tomorrow on the internet with Summon Night’s official site renewal.

News: Tales of anticipation

Tomorrow, Namco is planning to reveal the next ‘Tales of’ games for this year (after Tempest) via Tales Channel, but we can already tell you what they will be since the very latest V-Jump has the scoop – Tales of Destiny full remake for the PS2 (with 3D graphics, apparently), Tales of Phantasia for the PSP (a direct port of the PS version with full-voice speech this time) and a brand-new episode in the Tales of the World subseries, also for the PSP. In the meantime, you can check out the latest Tales of Mobile episode, just launched.

Update: As you see here, the TOD remake will be 2D, not 3D, while there’s a fourth game coming – a PSP port of Tales of Destiny 2, though this is for 2007.

News: Jingi Storm update

jingistormsmall.jpgRemember that new arcade stripping fighter we talked about a bit ago? Well, we’ve got a bit more info. On the main page there’s an illustration of some of the playable characters, and the girls that strip when you beat them. Given the site’s tendency to take images down and replace them, we’re hosting it.

Next, the professor tells us that the developer has been revealed – it’s a small company called Atrativa. People previously assumed it was Yuki Enterprise, creator of Samurai Spirits V. Well – perhaps they weren’t so far off. If you check the chairman of Yuki against the representative director of Atrativa, you’ll find they’re the same person, plus they worked together to create the mahjong game touryuumon. They do have different physical office locations, so they may not be one and the same, but there are certainly some direct links there. Very curious!

News: Night Creatures, Snatcher PSG, Lords of Awesome

nightcreatures.jpgI looked a little further into that superpcenginegrafx site that I linked in the previous post, and he’s got some interesting stuff on there. The site’s still under construction, but there’s certainly enough content to browse. There are the usual scans and things, but what caught my eye was his direct playthrough of Night Creatures, a late-era, america-developed Turbo Grafx hucard. It’s split into two parts, and I’ll leave it to you to find it, as I don’t want to kill his bandwidth with direct links, but suffice to say this is an awful game. I played my copy a bit, and can tell you it’s not as easy as he makes it look, not least because it’s horribly designed, and controls like an 80s Buick. It’s not very easy to like, either.

You can apparently play through the game in under 20 minutes, after which the game tells you to go to bed, because you probably need some rest. If you ever want to have any kind of interaction with the game, this is the way to do it. Night Creatures was developed by Manley and Associates, which was acquired by EA in the 1990s, and apparently did work for The Minnesota Educational Computing Consortium in the earlier years. It was designed by this strapping young lad (Dave Albert), who went on to become the vice president of external development for Hasbro Interactive (now defunct, of course), and has a long line of special thanks, and little more. A lengthy career without lustre. Night Creatures had a nice concept – shape shifting, Megaman-like gaining of powers, but…well, you’ll see.

Next, there’s a nice mix of the PSG from Snatcher (PSG stands for Programmable Sound Generator, and refers to the proprietary PC Engine soundchip). It’s not something you’ll hear very often, as Snatcher was CD-based, yet used PSG for the music, meaning it was not redbook audio.

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Assuming his bandwidth isn’t dead by the time you’ve downloaded those things, there’s also a really bizarre Lords of Thunder promo video. “I already have Sega, but I’d trade it in for this.” *ahem* I suppose this was before the game got ported to the Sega CD. Gone are the days when a company could rely on a shooter to sell a system, eh? But that’s what TTi did, bless their cold, dead hearts. They even talk to some sort of fisherman in this video, I think, and then film a car going over a dip in the road really fast. It’s…very strange.

News: Sapphire fakes

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You might’ve noticed that the ultra-rare PC Engine arcade card game Ginga Fukei Densetsu Sapphire has been turning up on ebay at reasonable prices recently. The real deal quite often fetches upwards of $400, so these fakes can be rather enticing. Here’s an example of one.

Luckily, the fellow who runs superpcenginegrafx.com has put together a rather extensive guide to determining what’s real and what’s false. Apparently these (rather high quality!) bootlegs were made through the Swiss company care4data, and are easiest to tell from the real deal by the fact that the tear strip goes across the middle of the logo, rather than much lower, where it’d usually be. This is a seriously detailed report. There are six pages of info here (navigate at the bottom), from manual scans to disc images. So now you know – one wonders if this will reduce the value of the original as well? Thanks to SignOfZeta for finding this, and Justin Cheer of superpcenginefx.com for putting the whole thing together.

Mockup: Mother 3 for gamecube

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If I haven’t seen it, it’s news to me! Someone over there in the far east has made a nice Mother 3 mockup for gamecube, taking the Wind Waker cell shaded approach. Ah, what might’ve been. Apparently the mockup was created by this fellow, though he didn’t do the character designs. His original art is quite nice, and he’s done some mother 2D art (with the mandatory yaranaika reference at the end) as well as some 4koma. As a bonus, there’s a little behind the scenes look at the Mother 3 mockup creation. Thanks to tuberculosis for the link.

News: kohler makes good on thriftstore purchase

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Our old pal/hated enemy chris kohler has done something rather interesting. A while ago, he found some Famicom->NES converters housed in some Nintendo launch titles that he purchased at a thrift store. Later, he bought a Famicom Final Fantasy III at the Goodwill store. The following is a photoessay in which he tries to put two and two together. An entertaining read, complete with the burning of plastic, the breaking of cartridges, and kohler’s almost complete transformation into Teen Wolf.

News: Exelica trailers

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rid pointed us to a new streaming trailer of Exelica, Warashi‘s new shooter (their newest since the PS2 Shienryu entry, which got into a D3 ‘shooting’ two and one package some time ago). Admittedly, I hadn’t seen the older ones either, so if you’re the same, there are five movies for you to check out.

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It’s really nothing overly impressive, but Warashi generally does a solid job with whatever they undertake, and the oldschool character and ship design is rather nice. The capture and lock on modes are pretty unique in how they’re used, though it looks like it would be a bit unwieldy in crowded levels. It’s also rather interesting that Sega is publishing it. I wonder if that means a swifter port, or will it be relegated to D3 Publisher status again? If you still want more, check Warashi’s Exelica page – they have some downloads too, in the form of wallpapers and flyers. The game is out in arcades now, on Naomi GD-rom.

News: Tetris and the Sega Ages

Flashpoint_01.jpgThe latest Famitsu issue revealed the next volume in the Sega Ages 2500 Series for the PS2 after Panzer Dragoon. No. 28 will be called ‘Tetris Collection’, which has a website since today. It’ll include the earliest Tetris version from Sega for the arcades (co-licensed with Taito only for the Japanese market, since Atari got the rights for the Western arcades) as well as the derivative iterations Flash Point and Bloxeed. They will be packed along with an unreleased Tetris version for the Mega Drive, some superplays, and most likely some other nice extras. These days, Sega Ages 2500 Series is well known for being, presentation-wise as well as accuracy-wise, the best ‘retro’ series out there (Brandon says: as opposed to the early years, when it was more of a hack job).

News: Furuya playing Gundam Online

toru.jpgThis bright and happy chap is Japanese voice actor, or seiyuu, Toru Furuya. He’s a wee bit famous for being the voice of Amuro Rei.

In true genius marketing fashion Bandai have managed to get Furuya playing their PC MMO Gundam Online, a rather impressive title and very popular with the Japanese laydeez it seems. He’s also got a blog here about his various online escapdes.

It’s safe to say though that Furuya is a bit of a don, after getting his ass handed to him at last year’s TGS on the PlayStation 2 port of the Capcom Gundam SEED arcade game he retorted that “the Gundam didn’t keep up with my reaction time“, an Amuro quote if ever their was one.