News: Sengoku Basara X updates

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Some videos from location tests have surfaced. Check them out here, here, and here. People on the MMC forums, with the assist of BlackKite have gathered a bit more about the Engun system in the game from the updated official site. Now quoting TreIII:

As some of us surmised, the Assist continually just levels up as time goes on, for a max of 100. When you think it’s charged up enough (or you just want some help immediately), press the Engun button, and your dudes will come running out to the background, ready to assist you. Attack power, recovery speed and in some instances, who may be the one to actually help you (if you got two supports) all depend on the level you let the Engun get to.

During normal situations, pressing the Engun button will result in usual support attack.
Pressing it at the same time while being damaged/thrown will result in support counter. Pressing it while doing a special/super will result in support assist to go along with that attack.

Quick impressions: Jeanne D’arc

jeannedarc.jpgI got to play Jeanne D’arc at Comic Con this weekend, and it was quite excellent. I’ve been looking forward to it for some time, since I love turn-based strategy RPGs, even though I’d prefer if the characters were sprites, and the super deformed look is a little disturbing in 3D. Still, this is a very Japanese interpretation of the Joan of Arc mythology, which is quite amusing. First of all, Joan/Jeanne is spoken to by god – god is a voice in her head, telling her to do things. That’s all well and good, but when god tells her to raise her armlet thing up into the air, she has a sentai-style transformation into a suit of armor, and produces a giant sword from nowhere. That’s pretty awesome. And she has different suits she can transform into.

The actual gameplay is quite good, with simpler attack assists (merely stat bonuses, not joint attacks), and simple unified guards. I played the two stages available in the demo, and magic wasn’t a big force there. I hope that remains true, as it can really wreck the balance of a game like this. One curious thing is that Jeanne has a skill called ‘godspeed’ when she’s transformed, wherein if she kills an enemy, she can take another turn immediately, which means she gets a lot more exp. They really want her to be your tank! One thing I didn’t like was that attacking basically ends your turn. I like to be able to do any of the things I can do in any order, ie attack and then move, and choose the direction my character is facing. The game is very nice though – and when I beat the second level (which was actually pretty far into the game, it seemed), the boss character said ‘well played, but it won’t be so easy in the retail version!’ Really took me back to the old days…

News: Shooting Watch returns

watch_f.jpgHudson has once again started selling the button tapping speed tester “Shooting Watch“. Basically, you use it to test how fast you can tap the button in 10 seconds and see if you can tap the button as fast as Takahashi Meijin. The original Shooting Watch was launched in 1987 and had sold over 1 million units in Japan while riding on the button tapping wave that Takahashi Meijin had started. This revival of the Shooting Watch is a limited one however, only 10,000 units will be sold in total.

News: Fire Pro Returns… to America

danshoku.JPG In a shocking yet entirely appropriate turn of events, the rights to publish Spike’s Fire Pro Wrestling Returns for Playstation 2 in the United States and Europe have been acquired by Agetec. This news comes from a post made on the unofficial Fire Pro Club message board by Mark Johnson, the producer of such classic Agetec localizations as Rising Zan. He reports that SCEA has already approved the release of this nearly two-year-old, sprite-based, Japanese pro wrestling game. Wrap your head around that. Though two modern installments of the Fire Pro series have been localized for English markets on the Gameboy Advance, it will be particularly interesting to see how this (relatively) higher profile translation is handled. In his post, Mark Johnson specifically notes that he is in search of knowledgeable fans within the Fire Pro community to assist in the localization.

Hopefully, for Agetec’s sake, he also has suitable legal advice to help skirt the many potential copyright violations that could result. Fire Pro’s facsimiles of real wrestling characters have drawn the attention of their owners in the past. As illustrated by Zuffa‘s previous legal action against BAM!, publishers of Fire Pro on Gameboy Advance, this series is obscure enough to bomb at retail in America but not necessarily obscure enough to fly under the radar.

News: Barnyard Blast: Swine of the Night

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Remember Barnyard Blast? We introduced the game to the public back in March, when the developer, Sanuk Software, was at GDC. If you don’t recall, it’s a bit like a 2D Castlevania with guns, whips, and a porky protagonist, and it played very nicely for the early stage it was in. Well, Yan from Sanuk just mailed me to say that due to our post, and the fact that it was picked up by a few other sites from there, Sanuk was able to show that people were interested in the game, and it now has publishers in the EU and US, and will actually be coming to market.

They’ve launched their official website/blog, and also announced that they took on DS Fanboy’s mock subtitle from when they posted about it – Swine of the Night. There are three screenshots from the first three stages up now, and Sanuk promises more screens and interviews forthcoming. We can keep 2D alive! Believe in the power of the press!

News: Sengoku Basara X update

Maese Spt on the Madman’s Cafe forums has posted his quick impressions of Sengoku Basara X from the location test. They’re not very specific, but in terms of hard data, the beta only had 4 playable characters: Yukimura, Masamune, Keiji, and Kenshin. He mentioned that the backgrounds are a bit static, and while colorful, don’t have a lot of life. The character animation seemed to be decent though. And here’s an interesting quote from Maese: “Did I mention the fangirls? I knew Basara had a somewhat strong following among yaoi fandom, but I didn

Video: The Greatest Inventor

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I was meant to link this a very long time ago, but I’m doing it now! The Greatest Inventor is a video tribute to Gunpei Yokoi, creator of the Game & Watch, the D-pad, the Game Boy, the WonderSwan, etc etc etc. It’s probably the best, most informational video I’ve ever seen on any game site, and is really a good viewing experience, with a Game & Watch style throughout. This video, done by Robotbling, is ‘part one’, but I don’t know if part two is ever coming, since this was done several months back. Well worth the eleven and a half minutes it takes to watch this. I have to say though, during the street scene I was just waiting for the Game & Watch-ized Yokoi to get hit by a Taxi – that’s how he died, after all. The man is legend. LEGEND.