Music: Ketsui on the piano

ketsui.jpgThis came courtesy of Gaijin Punch, and made my day. A tiny japanese site hosted on Geocities has posted two piano re-arranged tracks from Ketsui‘s soundtrack. Ketsui, if you didn’t know, is the best shooting game ever (though of course some would disagree). Anyway, this music brings back great memories from my recent trip to japan. At some point I was spending a couple of hours every single night playing it in Akihabara’s Hey arcade — I think I must have pumped enough coins in it to buy the PCB by now. So yeah, to get the Stage 1 track go here and for the Stage 5 track go here, and look to the top left of each page for the files. It would be a good idea to keep an eye on that site, in case more tracks go up in the future.

News: Culdcept Saga update

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There’s been lots of news regarding Culdcept Saga lately. First off, the US release has been pushed back from may 1st to august 1st. Too bad for the japanese-challenged fans of the series, but hey, at least the cover art looks smart. Moving on, there’s now an updated version of the game out in nippon, which includes the patch that was released over Live a while back. You can get it from our friends at Play-Asia.
And, lastly, a couple of days ago a new map and some accessories were released on the Marketplace. The map is free, by the way, though most of the accessories are not. Strangely, the items will only be available for a limited time ranging from about a month to a year, depending on the item. The complete list is here.

News: Dynamite Deka EX update

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The official Dynamite Deka EX website has been up for a while now, and it’s
deliciously ghetto-looking. There’s not much there other than a few pics and the story, but perhaps it will get udpated nearing the game’s release (Mak Japan now says july). One interesting fact that’s come out since we last talked about the game is that it will come on a ROM board, and not on a GD-ROM. At around 134,000 yen it will also be quite a bit cheaper than other recent arcade releases.

Oh hey, and here’s the flyer, courtesy of Mak Japan.

News: Raiden IV coming to Xbox 360

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A port of Raiden IV for the Xbox 360 is apparently in alpha stage and is scheduled to be released in the US at some unspecified point in the distant future. This news comes from an interview with one of UFO Interactive’s managers recently conducted by Team Fremont. (And don’t forget, UFO is also bringing to the US the PS2 port of Raiden III later this month.)

This is all very surprising, especially considering that it’s going to be a while before Raiden IV is even released in Japanese arcades (it’s currently slated for July). Moreover, no news of a Japanese 360 port has emerged through any of the usual sources. What has me worried the most is that UFO is considering releasing this on XBLA, which could very well mean a shoddy port in unsuitable resolution and with no option for tate. On the other hand, even if this is a regular disc release it could turn out ugly. By Royal decree all Xbox 360 games have to be 720p minimum and Raiden IV is a 640×480 game — which is not even a widescreen resolution. G.rev faced the same problem when porting Senko no Ronde, but then again their game was in yoko so things were much simpler. It will be interesting to see how this gets handled.

News: HRAP 3 and MAME

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Our friends on SRK are reporting that the Hori Real Arcade Pro 3 works fine with Windows and MAME, so if you were thinking about getting one it might be a good idea to place an order soon, as stocks are not expected to last long. For more information on the HRAP 3 check Hori’s page, and also check its cool-looking upcoming accessories: the so-called professional wristpad
and rubber sheet, available in april with an MSRP of 1,575 yen each. Are these things even useful? I’ve no idea, but I’ll let you know once mine arrive.

In the meantime, it’s worth noting that we still don’t know whether Hori’s cheaper Fighting Stick 3 works with Windows out of the box, but at this point I’d say it’s a fair bet. Update: According to tim, who has contacts at Hori, the Fighting Stick 3 does indeed work with Windows.

News: Shooting Love 2007!

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Toshiaki Fujino is back with two new shooters, both of which will be shown for the first time at the upcoming AOU show. Exzeal, the sequel to Trizeal, is of course the one we are most interested in, but the mobile game titled Shooting: Technical Skills Test sounds cool too. Screenshots indicate that it might be just a port of “Shooting Ginokentei”, the omake game included with Trizeal’s PS2 port, but what’s nice about it either way is that it will feature national ranking tables, and, well, the title sounds like something you’d expect to see on the DS.

As for Exzeal, the hardware hasn’t been announced yet, but it will almost certainly run on the Naomi, so I guess we can expect a DC port at some point in the future. Rumor has it that when that happens Fujino will slice off his little finger live on his website, to promote its sales. Thanks to twe and others from Shmups for some of this info.

Link: Xbox Next

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I’ve been playing a lot of japan-only Xbox 360 games lately, most of which have received little to no coverage in the western press. So, in order to get more information on these games, I often have to break out the dictionary and head over to the shady .jp region of the net. A new and promising fansite I recently discovered in this way is Xbox Next. The frontpage features news posted by CT, the site’s owner, as well as so-called “pick-up” news, which are simply links to news on other sites. Though most of the other sections are still empty (we are promised reviews, guides, etc.), the extensive links section is priceless.

Note that the menu on the left side of the frontpage doesn’t work at the moment (at least not in Firefox), so use the menu bar at the top for navigation.

News: Muchi Muchi Pork! official site open

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It’s certainly worth a visit, though there’s only a single page for the moment. According to twe from the Shumps forums, the translation of that line above the logo is “pioneering, plump-style vertical scrolling shooting game”. We are also promised that on the 13th the “Pork Story” will be revealed, though of course no one gives a crap about that. What the STG world wants right now is a screenshot, and some indication as to what exactly the word “pioneering” is supposed to mean, in this context. Well, it won’t be long before we find out…

In the meantime, speculations continue to run wild, and the most compelling one I’ve heard so far is that this could be a Guwange-style walk-along shooter, which would rock all kinds of awesome. Oh, and before I forget, a pic of the game’s promotional flyer for the upcoming AOU show surfaced at Swedish site stgfan. Check it out. Recap says it gives him a Game Tengoku vibe, but I’m not seeing it (most likely in the amalgam of characters and frenetic style ~BS). I guess I am blinded by the plump T&A, which, by the way, is just how I like it.

Brandon’s note: Fabien, our onetime internet niche compatriot, shared with us the not entirely work-safe website of the Muchi Muchi Pork character illustrator recently (known as kawahiko), so this is a good place to put it. And anyone whose taste for T&A runs along the lines of alex’s should probably pay close attention to rid‘s illustration updates.