Atlus has finally announced that Arcana Heart is coming to the U.S. – for $30! Official site is here. Release date is April 8 – if you can’t wait til then, the Play-Asia deal still applies! As with the Japanese release, the U.S. version contains Arcana Heart Full, and the rather pointless original Arcana Heart (who plays the original SF III anymore?). Check the site for trailers and things – and buy it! It’s excellent.
Other sites have this now, but hey, they sent it to me first, even if I sat on it for a while! Vintage Computing has done a very nice chart comparing Virtual Console prices versus current used game prices on a game by game, platform by platform basis. Predictably, the PC Engine/TG-16 has the greatest discrepancy, costing almost $900 more to purchase in hard copy, even with three titles unavailable for hard copy pricing. Is the discounted price worth the poor emulation in the wrong resolution? I’m just glad I’ve got most of the games already… The chart was completed by JJ Hendricks of the Videogame Price Charts blog.
Simultaneously, Gamesniped has linked an auction for every U.S.-released Turbo Grafx and Turbo CD game, with three sealed consoles. Usually these things don’t strike a chord with me, but when it’s the turbo…that’s quite a hot batch of stuff. It also comes with a Kisado Converter for imports (those aren’t made anymore). Good stuff all round, only $9,999.99! Yikes. Thanks to Flavor for the link.
If you don’t want to wait for a (quite possible) U.S. release, Play-Asia has Arcana Heart for $30 right now as a special of the week. You can’t really beat that! I’m also considering picking up World Heroes Gorgeous and paying extra money just to get the word Gorgeous on the end. They’re dropping it for the U.S. version, and I have it on good authority that the decision to do that was made back in Osaka, not on this side of the pond.
If you like having hard copies of things, don’t have any new consoles, or simply hate HD (and freedom), The Behemoth is selling Gamecube and PS2 copies of Alien Hominid for $10 in their store. Do keep in mind that they’re communist heathen baby eaters and don’t deserve your money though. While I was over there I also noted their choose your own adventure shirts, which I find to be most choice. I imagine the concept began with one of Dan Paladin’s typically ambiguously excellent drawings of a thing, and a discussion of what it might be in reality…were it to exist.
I interviewed Parappa master Masaya Matsuura in Tokyo a while ago (tim helped too!), and it was quite nice. The whole thing went up here, beginning with a very nice image of Matsuura himself. I have more images from NanaOn-Sha on my camera, I’ll put them in the forums a bit later. Matsuura is the most modest and unpretentious man ever to drive a silver Jaguar and own two houses in Tokyo. Here are some things from it:
BS: You mentioned the “jam session” style development last time we spoke, and you mentioned that there are other creators that you’d like to have that sort of “development jam session” with; have you been able to do any of that yet? Do you think sometime you will?
MM: I don’t know. But basically, this kind of “jam session” style for the development of ideas, came from my music career. On the other hand, currently we are focusing on making the prototype. These kinds of ideas come from the big game companies’ ideas.
BS: Do you mean when you are working on a large game? They are ideas that get thrown off from that, or…?
MM: Ah, yeah, yeah, so one of my friends from one of the biggest game companies in America, he told me they were focusing on making the prototype, and doing the production separately.
Many Japanese developers have to do both — of course we have to — but which one is suitable for us, the answer is very simple. The development, making the prototype, is a very important mission for us. After the prototype is done, it’s easy to find a certain production team [to complete the game].
Oriental Legends 2 was just announced by IGS (official site here) – a sequel to the 2D beat ‘em up. There’s a little movie up there, if you click the third link from the top (the pig looking thing). Check here for shots of the location test. If you check out the flyer, you’ll see that it’s also the first game on the PGM 2, the successor to the company’s original board. Seems to also have internet ranking… For those who still don’t know, IGS is essentially the SNK of Taiwan, with their own board, 2D-centric arcade games, and a niche market. Most of their stuff doesn’t hit console – the exceptions are Spectral Vs. Generations, and Oriental Legends is coming out February 8 in Taiwan. Thanks to Insert
Cacophanus interviewed R-Type Final director Kazuma Kujo a while back, and posted the raw English transcription in the forums. He directed the first Metal Slug, you know! This interview seems to be from around the time of R-Type Final’s release, so doesn’t deal with some newer topics – still pretty neat to see. Here’s a little taste:
C: What is your favourite R-Type game and why?
KK: The first/original R-Type. I have been involved with two R-Type games, R-Type Delta and R-Type Final. When I worked on them, I always aimed for the first R-Type game. I still admire its impact and decisiveness.
C: Would you deem games as an artform, if so why?
KK: I think defining Art itself is difficult, but I prefer to call games as public entertainment, or something enjoyable. Viewing games this way, I think, fit better. When I am working on a game, I try to prepare something users want to see or touch rather than conveying my opinions to others. And if such game can surprise users, that would be best.
Chaz has been telling me to interview this guy for about three years. I hope to some day!
Hammerin’ Harry was a bizarre game for the Famicom, Game Boy, and SFC, and is now getting a PSP sequel. Youtube has your Hammerin’ Harry learning fix here (NES), here (Famicom), and here (SFC). Screens from the PSP game can be seen at Famitsu, and the official site is here, but there’s not much on it, aside from a cute drawing. It’s 3D graphics with 2D gameplay, and is called Ikuze Gensan in Japan. Aside from the 3D, Gen/Harry also gets new outfits and objects to hammer with, and there’s a female character, though the article doesn’t confirm whether she’s playable. Irem says it’s planned for Spring 2008. Thanks to TFP Fanitsu‘s JAPJAC, who thinks it “looks mint,” for pointing it out (British people and their crazy words!).