Letters: Updated

January 30, 2004 11:47 PM PST

insert credit / drew cosner


Drew's 'letters' column has been updated, with ridiculously well thought-out discussion of the Nintendo DS. And some sea slugs thrown in for good measure. Tally ho!


News: DS Kohlerized

January 30, 2004 11:39 PM PST

Chris Kohler / SM


Hey, it's our old friend, Chris Kohler! One of his Wired articles on the Nintendo DS has gone up. Not only that, but it's been translated into japanese. Compare and contrast!

Update! Two more languages have joined the Kohlerfest; Spanish and Portugese.


News: Puyo Puyo Fever Fever

January 30, 2004 11:26 PM PST

Sega / SM


The hype machine for the upcoming Feb. 4 Puyo Puyo Fever release in Japan seems to be gunning up. There will be a number of promotions; the weekend before and after the games release. Participants will be able to play the game with friends and family and receive various "original goods."


News: Biohazard 4

January 30, 2004 11:14 PM PST

Capcom / SM


Don't know if this is new, but Biohazard 4 (Resident Evil) will be released simultaneously in the states and Japan this winter (with a European release following early next year).


News: Kaiju no Shima

January 30, 2004 11:02 PM PST

Sega / BS / E-JRW


This Kaiju (monster) Island game was recently released for the Gamecube. It is interesting for a few reasons. One, it is a Yuzo Koshiro project. Two, it looks very much as though it's the actualization of that MIA Dreamcast game "let's make a monster!" Curious, indeed.


Site News: Contact page

January 29, 2004 11:56 PM PST

insert credit / BS


The contact page has been updated to include the link buttons from the contest, as well as additional information.


News: Nightmare of Druaga

January 29, 2004 11:49 PM PST

Arika / BS


This is a surprise - Arika appears to be reviving the Druaga series for the PS2! Check the product area for more info. It is not clear if the original developer (Chun Soft) will be involved or not, but the game is planned for Spring of 2004, and will be an ARPG, like it's predecessors.


News: ESPgaluda PS2 site

January 29, 2004 11:41 PM PST

Arika / BS


Arika has put up an official page for their PS2 port of Cave's ESPgaluda. There will be new character(s), new system options and a replay DVD in the package. Here's a piece from the DVD, with some hints as to who the new characters are. The game will be released in Spring of 2004.


News: X68000 sleeve warnings

January 29, 2004 11:35 PM PST

nfg games / BS


Lawrence put up some nifty scans of old X68000 label warnings, some of which are quite endearing. Like he says - you don't get these with your ROMs. If you're curious as to what the X68000 is, or what the games looked like, that can be taken care of as well.


Play Asia: Shikigami II, DC titles

January 29, 2004 11:22 PM PST

Play Asia / BS


Check out Play Asia's recent arrivals - for instance the regular and limited editions of Shikigami II for PS2. The limited only costs $10 extra, and comes with a figure of the witch in the game. Falcom's licenced Korean RPG Rhapsody of Zephyr has also been released for PS2. Also a bunch of DC sims have come in; Izumo by Studio Ego (preorder), Tama-cue by NEC Interchannel, and Wind: A Breath of Heart from Alchemist.


News: KOF 2002 PS2 cover

January 29, 2004 11:13 PM PST

SNKP / BS


SNKP has updated their consumer section for KOF 2k2, including the box art for the PS2 version. It's...something.


News: Sakura Taisen CM

January 29, 2004 10:59 PM PST

Sakura Taisen / SM


MMORPGs aside, now I want to highlight the availability of the video and radio CM for Sakura Taisen: Mysterious Paris...The game is planned for a March 18th release at 6980 yen for the PS2.


News: MMORPG in Japan

January 29, 2004 10:57 PM PST

japan.internet.com / SM


Check out this relatively interesting set of results from a recent poll about MMORPG gamers in Japan. The japan.internet.com survey looked into the playing lives of 300 people in Japan. Gamers between the ages of 20 and 40 constituted 73% of MMORPG players, with a slight edge going to the older half. More interesting was the 53/47 ratio of male to female gamers among those polled. Evidently they're out there, and fairly prevalent online. Continuing onwards, Final Fantasy XI leads with 45%, followed by Nobunaga's Ambition (19%), and Ragnorak Online (11%). Finally, the most trumpeted stat has been that 96% of players play at home. The remainder was split between internet cafes and other places. This is quite different from places like Korea.


News: Samurai Shodown 0 Special

January 28, 2004 10:11 PM PST

shitaraba bbs / IGGY


Some info did indeed wind up surfacing regarding Samurai Shodown Zero Special after all. Iggy has translated the good stuff:

It's a dream match! There are 3 new characters: Amakusashir˘, Zankur˘ and Ga˘. The kenki gauge and the mu no Ky˘chi are still here. Some new system will also appear. The release is spring 2004. Nakoruru uses the Yatoropokku. It's the first time since Shin Samurai Shodown that she has it. The illusts seem more japanese, but it's not certain if anything else has been redrawn.

This is of course not the definitive casting, there will be more characters, at least Yumeji and Sankur˘. And now, I understand why SS0 on PS2 was scheduled in June. Very likely the PS2 release will be based on this remix.


News: Rumblefish Euro report

January 28, 2004 9:58 PM PST

Onny / BS


Check out a very informative thread at Video Opera by Onny and The Architect. Some fellows went to the ATEI in London, and the resultant report is quite solid, with lots of details on moves, characters and system.


News: SvC Chaos comic to US

January 28, 2004 9:49 PM PST

Comics One / BS


Comics One has just announced that they will be bringing the Chinese SvC Chaos graphic novel to the US in April. The 128 page comics will retail for $13.95. On the official site, you can check out a bit more info, as well as the rather bland issue 1 cover. Thanks to Brady for the news.


News: HSFII to europe

January 28, 2004 9:36 PM PST

Capcom / BS


Capcom is planning on bringing their Street Fighter II 15th anniversary game to PS2s in Europe. There will essentially be no changes made from the original version, and will retail or 19.99 pounds (roughly the same as the japanese release - $37 or thereabouts) in April.


Off-Topic: Real Otaku Heroes

January 27, 2004 11:59 PM PST

Lejism / BS


Our own vincent diamante has teamed up with the wily Tony "the spatula" Lopez to create a parody of the Bud Light radio commercials. According to vince: "So, after Tony wrote some stuff and I recorded some stuff, we came up with this..."
The song is called Real Otaku Heroes - Mr. Unwashed Convention Attendee, and yes, that is vince singing.


News: ESPgaluda

January 27, 2004 11:50 PM PST

Arika / BS


According to Gamefront, Arika will be bringing Cave's newest arcade shooter ESPgaluda to PS2 at an unnamed date. The game will have an 'original mode', and a 'simulation mode', as well as a replay function.


News: SNK's Xbox plans

January 27, 2004 11:43 PM PST

SNK NG USA / BS


SNK Neo Geo USA recently announced their plans for Xbox support. You may recall that they mentioned this at E3, in our most ridiculous interview ever. Regardless - plans include SvC Chaos and Metal Slug 3 ports. SvC Chaos is confirmed to have Xbox Live support, Metal Slug 3 is not. Not confirmed, that is.


Play Asia: Xbox special editions

January 27, 2004 11:39 PM PST

Play Asia / BS


Play Asia has put up preorders and info regarding Microsoft's new Kasumi Blue and Pure White Xbox editions. The Kasumi Blue edition is limited to 5,000, and actually only costs as much as a launch price US Xbox. Preorders are up for that one. The white version though, is announced as coming soon, as this model is only available through Microsoft's online store. Not quite the Panzer Dragoon Orta edition, but definitely the next best thing.


News: AM2's Osaki interviewed

January 27, 2004 11:32 PM PST

Gamespy / BS


Makoto Osaki of Sega's AM2 console division has been interviewed. He seems to like FPS quite a bit.


Rumor: new nintendo studio

January 27, 2004 11:19 PM PST

Nintendo / E-JRW


Magicbox reports that Nintendo has created a new studio in tokyo, which will be dedicated to developing gamecube-exclusive titles, bringing together staff from Capcom, Namco, Konami, Square Enix and Sega. Interesting news, but listed as 'rumor', given the lack of source.


Feature: Tim's moments of 2003

January 25, 2004 6:06 PM PST

insert credit / tim rogers


Last year, around this time, you may recall that tim wrote a feature on his most striking game-related moments of 2002. Well. It's that time again. This one's got a little more in it, so set your brains on 'reference'. Live from seoul: tim rogers' 2003 insert credit fukubukuro.


Off-Topic: Muscle Factory

January 25, 2004 5:47 PM PST

Muscle Factory / BS


Get ready to be disturbed. Take a look at Muscle Factory, a website that muscle-ifies videogame characters with chou-aniki-esque results. Thanks to Agnes for the link.


News: Caravan guide

January 25, 2004 5:35 PM PST

nfg games / BS


Lawrence, along with a #shmups guy, created this rather nice pictorial guide to score attack in the Caravan Stage of Soldier Blade for PCE. Could be worse.


Rumor: Samurai Spirits Zero Special

January 25, 2004 5:26 PM PST

Arcadia / BS


Arcadia Magazine recently mentioned that they would be featuring a game called 'Samurai Spirits Zero Special' in their next issue. Within a few hours, though, that was taken down. Even so, it could be that SNKP is making something along the lines of a SS0 #reloaded.


News: Soldat 1.2

January 25, 2004 5:20 PM PST

Michal Marcinkowski / GL / BS


"Soldat...takes the best from games like Liero, Worms, Quake and Counter-Strike and gives you fast action gameplay with tons of blood and flesh." And hey - maybe he's right. Soldat version 1.2 has just recently gone up, so give it a whirl.


News: Rumblefish system

January 23, 2004 11:50 PM PST

2ch / IGGY / BS


A report of the Rumblefish play-system has been put up on 2ch. Here's what was said: They are using some new technology to make the polygons match the 2D graphics. There is a gatling system like in GG (also usable in the air). The general pace is much calmer than GG, though. The run is done by holding your joystick to the right/left. Down->up = high jump. Down + D = small jump. D makes you move forward (some sort of roll? invincibility of the top of the body).
Offense Mode: when you hit or the opponent guards, your gauge raises. When it's full, you can use an offense super. LP+LK makes an unblockable attack after which you can combo, but this empties your gauge. HP+HK makes you make...something weird, looks like original combos.
Defense Mode: your gauge raises when you guard. When it's full, you can use a defense super. In both cases, there seems to be a hidden super (common to both styles?).
The unblockable move is too strong at this point ; it's faster than any overhead, there's no particular effect that prevents your doing it, and the opponent freezes like after Dio's "The World".
The general impression was quite good. Many remember the awful beta version of GGX and what the final product turned out to be, and they are quite confident in the game.


News: Fate/Stay Night

January 23, 2004 11:37 PM PST

Typemoon / BS


Typemoon has put up the animated opening movie for their upcoming sim Fate/Stay Night. Looking rather nice, so far. Thanks to a mostly-absentee Zepy for the news.


News: Katamari Damashii

January 23, 2004 11:18 PM PST

Namco / BS


Namco has updated their Katamari Damashii page with some images of two stages; house and world. Thanks to Rid Hershel for the news.


News: ADIC downloads

January 23, 2004 11:05 PM PST

ADIC 2003 / BS


Those GP32 News cats have put up downloads for all entries in the ADIC 2003 competition for GP32 homebrews. Check them out, some nice stuff in there.


Site News: Force Feedback

January 22, 2004 7:33 PM PST

insert credit / VD


Just when you thought it was safe to surf the net, Drew Cosner comes along and unleashes this upon the unsuspecting masses! Of course, we suspected it all along. (Editor's note: we did?) Not quite letters column... not totally op-ed... do you have what it takes?


News: Chatterbox, game talkshow

January 21, 2004 11:30 PM PST

Chatterbox / BS


Chatterbox Game Radio is a talkshow about games, based out of Phoenix, AZ. Their first show was on the 16th - but you can tune in for the second tomorrow (friday the 22nd). It goes live on the net (and is also broadcast over the 'real' airwaves) at 8 pm PST/11 PM EST. Check their site for info on how to access. If it helps, uh...one of the guys knows Tim! Or claims to. Mysterious!


News: GGXX, SvC Chaos on XBOX Live

January 21, 2004 11:15 PM PST

various / IGGY / BS


GGXX# reload is coming to Xbox in april, with menus and story mode that weren't in the PS2 version (thought they may have been in the Korean version?) and, of course, playability on X Box Live. And SvC Chaos is coming to Xbox also! We know nothing about it, except it will allow to play online via X box live.


News: Shikigami II Xbox

January 21, 2004 11:08 PM PST

Alfa System / BS


Gameonline.jp says that Shikigami II is coming to Xbox in April. And who am I to dispute? Kids Station will handle the port again, with score ranking on Xbox live, and a cheap 4,800 yen pricetag.


News: World Reborn movie 2

January 21, 2004 10:59 PM PST

Neopong / BS


Neopong released another video of their horizontally scrolling GBA shooter World Reborn. It was a while back, I believe, but I didn't link it at the time.


News: Nintendo DS

January 21, 2004 10:54 PM PST

Nintendo / IGGY / BS


Nintendo announced their new game-thing, tentatively called the DS. Namae says that the screens will be vertical, and that the LCD may make...some sort of noise? That's got to be wrong.


Feature: CES 2004

January 20, 2004 9:31 PM PST

insert credit / Frank Cifaldi


The wondrous Frank Cifaldi of The Lost Levels has written for us the greatest CES report you're ever likely to read. Funniest too. Aspiring writers, pay careful attention to his unofficial strategy guide to game journalism. It works for the pros, it can work for you!


News: Unity

January 20, 2004 9:26 PM PST

Llamasoft / BS


This news is a shade on the old side, but check out a few images from Jeff Minter's new Gamecube shooter/virtual light machine/thing. Expect good things, friends.


News: Project A

January 20, 2004 9:08 PM PST

Shadow Light Games / BS


Shadow Light Games recently announced a new horizontal GBA shooter by the name of Project A. Odd ship designs, but might be something interesting in spite of that.


News: Hori driving controller

January 20, 2004 9:02 PM PST

Hori / IGGY


Hori is going to make a brand new mysterious controller for racing games. And no, it's not a blow-dryer. The new item will be unveiled on february 26th.
Note: it actually mentions the dryer thing in the text. At least they're paying attention.


News: Sammy show report

January 20, 2004 8:54 PM PST

Gamespot / BS


Gamespot has got a nice report of Sammy's Atomiswave show, with some extra details about The Rumblefish, Force Five and a great report on Salaryman Kintarou, surprisingly.


News: Blasterhead album

January 19, 2004 10:31 PM PST

Monotonik / BS


Monotonik is an online electronica MP3 label headed by Simon of /. fame. They've just acquired a re-release of Blasterhead's limited (500) chip music EP. Who is Blasterhead, you may ask? He's none other than Akihiro Ito, composer of the scores for respected H-games such as Akihabara Otaku School and Moekan (which has been released on DC/is coming to PS2 on 2/5/04). This is not his typical overpowering progressive work (such as the Akiba Gakuen op), but rather an album made entirely with Gameboy tools. Interesting stuff. There's a good deal more chip music on the Monotonik site, by the way, perhaps most notably virt's eps.


News: REZ Vinyl

January 19, 2004 9:53 PM PST

click-stick / BS


click-stick has gathered some interesting information on the rez vinyl. There are two albums, each with three tracks (there's a CD as well), all available right here, and at only 1,333 yen each. Quite the collectibles, those.


Off-Topic: King of ASCII Arts

January 19, 2004 3:30 PM PST

fla / IGGY


2ch presents...the road to the new punchfest!! KOA 2000, from fla (which probably just stands for flash, but let's disregard). More nice stuff on that site as well. Oh, and while we're at it, check out this AA Airmaster ending parody, won't you?


Rumor: SNKP to sell IPs?

January 19, 2004 3:05 PM PST

Trieu / BS


The SNK vs Capcom site has mentioned a rumor that SNKP may be selling their IPs to Sammy. The wording is such that one cannot tell whether the IPs are being licensed, whether SNKP will retain any rights, or just how the whole thing will go down, so we'll wait for official word.


Off-Topic: For the bands...

January 19, 2004 2:41 PM PST

VGUG / BS


Since I screwed this up so royally last time, I'm going to do it again. Captain Howdy/Mike, owner of the Videogame Underground in Toledo, is doing a new advertising campaign. What he needs is for several musicians to contribute musical shorts that will be played on the radio, and TV. Apparently his last campaign won an award of some distinction. mail him for further info (take out the REMOVE, obviously). There's no pay, but you get up to an hour studio time (if applicable) and airplay.


Site News: Recognition!

January 17, 2004 11:57 PM PST

Phil Moy / TR


Tim's at the Anime Expo in Tokyo right now. There, he met Phil Moy, avid insert credit reader, and character designer of the Powerpuff Girls. He drew for us this fine new Official Wallpaper. Download the full version here. It's big, so size it down to your pleasure.

For some personality information: Phil Moy, author of a famed Dirty Pair hentai doujinshi and artist of Powerpuff Girls, loves Wonder Woman, and even has a sketchbook full of drawings of her. "I love all women, actually," he says. When asked what his favorite manga titles and/or videogames are, he replies, after serious consideration, "Outside of hentai?"


News: SNKP news

January 17, 2004 11:45 PM PST

SNKP / BS


SNK Playmore has renewed their main site, for one thing. But more interestingly, they've posted information regarding their lawsuits with Aruze, basically stating which battles they won, and how much they got. That's a whole lot of money. Lastly, there's another release regarding their Metal Slug pachislot game, complete with pictures.


News: GP32 update

January 17, 2004 11:29 PM PST

various / BS


Some older news first: FaMe Soft has a poll up asking if you'd like to see a 'game maker' program on the GP32, or on PC from FaMe. Might be worthwhile to vote. Currently, PC is off to a big lead.

Wizard Of Flame, an adventure/RPG has been released in incomplete form by PainH. GP32 News has the download.

Lastly, ICON has put up a wallpaper for their new game Daydreamin. Click the last link on the main page to find it.


News: Rumblefish flyer

January 17, 2004 11:15 PM PST

Alfa-station / BS


Alpha-station has put up a flyer for The Rumblefish, which shows off the designs, as well as a few new images. Rather bland, but has that Waku Waku 7 charm, perhaps.


News: Silent Hill comics

January 17, 2004 11:02 PM PST

IDW / BS


Newsarama has posted some more information on the new Silent Hill comics from IDW. There are a few pages to view as well. Ships february, with the first to issues illustrated by Ben Templesmith. Thanks to Juan for the news.


Site News: Banner contest results

January 16, 2004 11:57 PM PST

insert credit / BS


The insert credit button contest is over! Number 64 won, created by nothingsx, with animation assist from Toom. You can still check out the full list of buttons here. Look for more contests in the coming months!


Off-Topic: Manga obscenity

January 16, 2004 11:50 PM PST

Japan Times / SM


This is a little off topic, but it might apply to all the H loving folks in audience. A recent case has gone against Shobunkan, ltd. publisher of a manga series called Honey Room. Basically some uncensored scenes were considered obscene and the authors been fined. This is interesting because it's the first case related to pornography in over 20 years in Japan and is the first to deal with comic pornography. Don't know if the ripples will make it over to the sketchier parts of the game industry, but the bar for infringement just got that much lower.


News: Rumblefish/Force Five demos

January 16, 2004 11:39 PM PST

Sammy / IGGY


Game Watch has a report on the public show about a few games, the Rumblefish and Force Five, most interestingly.

The Rumble Fish is done by the team behind KOF 98. The speed is not very fast. People who've had trouble playing recent games (like Marvel vs Capcom) should be able to control this one easily. The cancels normal->special are easy. The commands are those of most other fighting games (quarter forward, dragon punch, etc). There are 9 characters so far, and 7 were playable. I guess it's the price to pay for the (beautiful?) graphics and the tear-able clothes.

Force Five (full 3D). The product they showed felt nearly finished, but they intend to release it after The Rumblefish so there may be some changes in the final version. The game in itself didn't feel that great when compared to other 3D fighting games, especially to Virtua Fighter 4 Evo. But the low cost of the Atomiswave may push the game forward. Update: Seems some people from Tekken worked on it, and the movement shows this.


Rumors: rumor round-up

January 16, 2004 11:26 PM PST

various / IGGY


Iggy has posted a bunch of interesting rumors over at the mmcafe board. For instance:
The event for the anniversary of Street Fighter was a disaster (100 persons? It can't be...)
Actraiser on GBA is in development.


News: Bio Hazard keitai

January 16, 2004 11:21 PM PST

Capcom / IGGY


Bio Hazard on cellphone, "Bio Hazard confidential report", with an original scenario and an original system, the "survival tactical game". Also Dino Crisis ! Well, a puzzle game with a dinosaur, called "Dino Egg". Poor Regina, she's less popular then a stupid dinosaur...


News: Twin Snakes movies

January 16, 2004 11:08 PM PST

Konami / SM


There are some new Metal Gear Solid: Twin Snakes promotion movies up. And if you haven't played the original, there might be a couple of spoilers in here, so consider yourself warned.


News: Iwata on Nintendo

January 14, 2004 11:54 PM PST

1up / BS


1up has just posted in interesting interview translation with Satoru Iwata. The subjects include the new piece of hardware that they're releasing, and their (lack of) Gamecube plans. Strange statements are made, vagaries tossed. So it goes.


News: IS Electronics Saturn

January 14, 2004 11:48 PM PST

nfg games / BS


Lawrence has come across an interesting beast - the IS Electronics Saturn. This thing has LEDs, region switch, Xband...curious! All in the name of science! Or possibly bug testing.


News: Shikigami II to PC?

January 14, 2004 11:31 PM PST

Alfa System / BS


No. Not really. Alfa's Naoki just commented on the demand from fans for yet another port of the game. At this time, it doesn't look likely, he says. He said that about the dreamcast version too though - his requisite "I'll let you know if anything changes" can be a cause of hope for some. Thanks to Nikaiten for the link.


Off-Topic: Comiket 65 cosplay

January 14, 2004 11:25 PM PST

Anime@nifty / BS


Check out this pictorial feature about the best cosplayers at Comic Market 65. Some really impressive hardware in the men's area. Speaking of hardware, those Halo armor guys got interviewed.


News: Canned Dogs death

January 13, 2004 11:59 PM PST

Zepy / BS


Those of you who've read Zepy's cryptic message have a taste of this already, but indeed - Canned Dogs is closing down. Due to unavoidable circumstances, he will no longer be able to update the site, which quickly became the best place for doujin news in english. The site may be updated sporadically in the future, but by and large, the era is over!


News: Playmore's new strategy

January 13, 2004 11:48 PM PST

Softbank Games / BS / IGGY


Softbank Games reports of a conference with a Mr. Koichi of SNK Playmore, in which the company laid out it's plans for the coming years. It seems as though they will be focusing their attentions on the pachislot/pachinko market, and the lion's share of their budget will go in this direction. They will be moving their management resources from games to pachinko, as the pachinko market will be their stable source of revenue. They will also be looking to move overseas (europe) with their pachislot business. SNK Playmore is indeed looking to become a "comprehensive entertainment company." Now - they don't say that they're moving the budget in it's entirety, but this certainly looks like what they'll be concentrating on. Also do bear in mind that most games are developed by SNK Neo Geo, not SNKP, though the distinction may not actually be made here, since most budget ultimately comes from SNKP in turn. This appears to be a ten year plan, so we may not feel the effects anytime soon.
Update: here's the official MS pachislot site. Looks a lot like an NGPC, somehow. And there's better info translated at video fenky.


News: R-Type Final diary

January 13, 2004 11:39 PM PST

Gamespy / BS


Nice article from Gamespy regarding the development of R-Type Final. It seems as though the makers wanted to construct not only the final R-Type game, but the final, seminal title in the entire genre. Luckily, they failed at one of those goals, at least.


Play Asia: Discount Dreamcast

January 13, 2004 11:33 PM PST

Play Asia / BS


Play Asia has put up no less than 31 budget dreamcast titles up for sale in the last few days. Check out the full lists here and here. Most of these are going for under $15. Here are some highlights: DiGiCharat Fantasy (the limited version already sold out), Kita He, which contains Hudson/Red's only serious 2D shooter in the last six years, House of the Dead 2, and Run=Dim. Some titles (like KOF 99) are gone already, so act fast. In addition, several new Korean version PS2 games have been added, with highlights being La Pucelle and Shikigami no Shiro. As a reminder - Korean PS2 games play on systems modded for japanese region, and they just happen to run about $15-20 cheaper.


News: VGUG commercial song request

January 13, 2004 11:21 PM PST

Videogame Underground / BS


Captain Howdy, AKA Mike, owns the Videogame Underground store in Toledo. He's going to be making a new commercial which will hit TV and radio in the coming months, and needs a band to do the music. There's no pay - just recognition, and studio time for the recording. You can find the details, as well as his contact info here.
Update! Toledo, not Canada. Not sure how that happened.


News: Pyu! to fuku! Jagger

January 13, 2004 11:13 PM PST

Konami / IGGY


"Pyu! to fuku! Jagger", the manga by Usuta Ky˘suke (author of "Sexy Commando Gaiden : Sugoiyo! Masarusan!") actually published in weekly Jump (which also features the infamous Bobob˘bo B˘bobo, which already had/has/will have its load of games) is going to be adapted on GBA and PS. It may be old news, but Konami hid an awful secret from us : the game will be sold with shitty 3D glasses! The game will tell you when to put the glasses on, and the game will, like, jump to your face and it will be so cool!
Or not.
March 29th, 2004 at 4800 yen for the GBA version.


News: DISCover More ApeXtreme

January 12, 2004 8:47 AM PST

game watch / VD


Previous articles and the official website allowed you to see VIA's entry into the console market. Now, thanks to Watch Impress, we have some nice shots of the internals, as well as the demo unit running software. And you thought the Xbox was big...


News: Melty Blood Translation

January 12, 2004 8:47 AM PST

revolve / VD


Game translation group revolve is working on hacking and fully translating Melty Blood, the popular fighting game based on the doujin-game Tsukihime. Right now they have the config/splash screen translated but haven't yet touched the story mode dialogue. It will be interesting to see how quickly they can tackle that...maybe they could use some extra translation power?


News: Comiket report 2

January 11, 2004 11:56 PM PST

Zepy / BS


Zepy has put up a second comiket report, covering shooters this time. There's also mention of a nice looking beat 'em up RPG called Manatsu no Akihabara monogatari 2. It's by Jinushi Ihha, but unfortunately there's no public demo yet.


News: KOF 2k2 PS2

January 11, 2004 11:45 PM PST

ES Toys / BS


ES Toys just put up a description of the upcoming KOF 2002 port for PS2. There will be challenge and gallery modes, as well as 'characters not found in the arcade version'. This may well just be King and Shingo, as in the DC release, but time will tell. 6,800 yen on march 25th, for release.


Rumor: Capcom's secret game?

January 11, 2004 11:37 PM PST

Tecnopolis / IGGY


We already knew Sega will show a brand new game at the AOU Show (arcade salon, next month), but even though nothing official has been announced yet, there are more and more rumors that Capcom may do the same. Capcom back in the arcades with something aside from a Gundam game? Some rumors also say that this is a game that many of us have been waiting a long time for. Hmmm.


News: NG Land closure press release

January 11, 2004 11:22 PM PST

SNKNG / BS


SNK Neo Geo have put out a press release regarding the closure of Neo Geo Land in Esaka. It says pretty much the same thing as the previous article, but now it's 'official'. The last day for games at that location will be the 20th. Anyone in the area should give it one last whirl.


News: New shooter from Able

January 11, 2004 11:16 PM PST

Able / BS


Able is a publisher, mostly...but they're releasing a Shooter called Chaos Field on their own, according to Riverservice. No screenshots, nor any mention on their own website. It's planned for spring, so more details should surface in the coming months. Thanks to nikaiten for the news.


News: Neo Geo Land closes!

January 09, 2004 11:55 PM PST

SNKP / BS


Neo Geo Land in Ezaka is closing down, according to Famitsu. This was the place where SNK traditionally location tested their newest games, not to mention a haven for MVS fans of any type. Apparently their 2nd store in the area is still doing alright, but this is enough to bring some concern.

In lighter news, SNK Playmore has put up two more characters on the official KOF 2003 page. Really strange to see Kyo, Iori and Chizuru on a team. Good tension, though.


News: 12 Stag to italy

January 09, 2004 11:33 PM PST

Halifax / BS


Italian game publisher Halifax has brought 12 Stag to Italy. The multi-language release came to pass in December of 2003, with plans to release it in England this February. Thanks to Triggerzone for the news.


News: Llama coding contest

January 09, 2004 11:27 PM PST

PDRoms / BS


PDRoms just announced a new contest - you must create a Llamatron (Robotron clone) style game for any of the following consoles: Gameboy Advance, Gameboy Classic/Color, GP32, Neo Geo Pocket/Color, Dreamcast. You've got until the 8th of february, and the prize is an NGPC with six games. Check here for the full rules. And you can get the original Llamatron here.


News: China Joy 2004

January 09, 2004 11:15 PM PST

Worlcoex / BS


Next week (from the 16th to the 18th), mainland china will be having a game expo, called the China Joy 2004. It's not as big as the Taipei Game Show, but even so...something could come of it.


News: Gaming ghosts

January 08, 2004 11:55 PM PST

IGDA / BS


The IGDA have put up a report of a research project they've undertaken to determine emotional affect on game players. Specifically, they've used ghostly imagery as a means. Quite a nice article, all round, given that they also delve into the possible ramifications of their methods. Thanks to slashdot games for the news.


News: Comiket news

January 08, 2004 11:49 PM PST

Zepy / BS


Zepy has written up a bunch of impressions of various Comiket 65 doujin games - check the site for more. Two fighters, one shooter, one ADV, one racing/action/thing.


News: KOEI, SEGA future plans

January 08, 2004 11:36 PM PST

2ch / IGGY


According to this 2ch games post, Koei will be supplying the PSP with three launch titles. Some foreigners (to japan, that is) were included in the team, as they're aiming for the foreign market with these.

At the end of the year, Sega will launch a big game of a "totally new genre" in Japan and the US. After Shenmue and the Virtua Fighter spinoff, one wonders. They are thinking about a new RPG, a sequel to the ~tsukur˘ series, and are also working on a MMORPG aimed for Asia (where the genre is most popular). They should announce something about the PSP at the autumn game show. (what game show is there in autumn?)


Off-Topic: Hello Kitty laptop

January 08, 2004 11:27 PM PST

FJ's Hierarchy / BS


Finally, the wait is over! You too can make your own Pink Hello Kitty Laptop, from ordinary household parts! Kind of! Thanks to Juan for the link. By the way, Juan has just done a redesign - if you're a fan of that 'art' stuff, take a look at what he's got. Answer: an unhealthy obsession with Penguins.


News: Shinji (Eva) raising sim

January 08, 2004 11:15 PM PST

Gainax / BS


Strangely enough, it looks like Gainax is releasing a Shinji Ikari raising sim (of Evangelion fame). The platform will be PC, but that's all we know for now. Details about gameplay, price and date will be revealed in the spring. Thanks to your local Zepy for the news.


News: PlayOnline hits 500k

January 08, 2004 11:04 PM PST

Square Enix / IGGY


The number of users of Play Online just went over 500 000 people. It's a success for SquEnix, mostly thanks to FF11. They are also releasing another RPG in spring (which will have a 'system that uses the online service', whatever that means), called Ambrosia Odyssey.


News: Famitsu VIP Interviews

January 07, 2004 11:49 PM PST

Game Science / BS


Game Science has posted a translation of various gaming VIPs' plans and ideas for 2004. Says Capcom: "We've also got a few surprising titles in the works that will make you think, "Could they really make something like this?" If you want to read something more personal (and negative), check out Fenegi's translation of Kenichi Nishi's developer's journal (the director of Skip - they're making Giftpia).


News: KOF/Rumblefish rough dates

January 07, 2004 11:40 PM PST

various / IGGY / BS


Challenger has put up some listings for upcoming Atomiswave arcade games; the Rumblefish, Force Five and KOF will be coming this spring, and Net Salaryman Kintaro in March. The Rumblefish and Kintaro, incidentally, will get location tests on the 16th in Tokyo and Osaka.


News: DISCover official site

January 07, 2004 11:21 PM PST

VIA / BS


Turns out the fancy VIA/Apex console has an official site, not to mention a name. It's called the DISCover. Check out the bold statement: "There are thousands of PC games, far more than video games in proprietary formats (i.e. PlayStation2 and Xbox). And the best games are made for the PC."
Well, now you know.


News: ESPGaluda movie

January 07, 2004 11:09 PM PST

Cave / BS


There's a new official ESPGaluda movie up - it's another Stage one, but with a different character.edit: I said player before - I meant character. whoops.


News: SNKP enters Pachinko market

January 06, 2004 11:57 PM PST

SNKP / BS


Word is in that SNK Playmore will be testing out their new Metal Slug Pachinko machine later this month. Locations include Tokyo, Osaka, Fukuoka and Hokkaido. The war begins? Thanks to Nikaiten for the link.


News: ApeXtreme PGC

January 06, 2004 11:50 PM PST

VIA / BS


HardOCP has put up a report on the mysterious VIA console we mentioned yesterday. And actually, far from being another Phantom, the device actually looks useful. It's basically a straight boot-up computer that will play dvds, mp3s, divx, and PC applications. It's got video out, four usb ports on the front, and is not 'locked down' to user modification. More will be revealed thursday!


News: Best income awards

January 06, 2004 11:42 PM PST

Amusement Journal / BS


Amusement Journal has just released their income awards for the top 5 selling Japanese Arcade games in 2003. This year was dominated by Sega - here's the full list:

Virtua Fighter 4 Evolution (Sega-AM2) 7271 points
The King of Fighters 2002 (SNK Playmore) 6651 points
Virtua Striker 2002 (Sega) 6463 points
Mobile Suit Gundam: Federation Vs Zeon DX (Banpresto/Capcom) 6038 points
Power Smash 2 (Sega) 4558 points

This is the second year that Virtua Fighter 4 Evo takes the top spot, coming from behind in september 2002, and retaining dominance through 2003. This is the basic gist of the article that accompanies the list, for the curious.


News: STORM! STG omnibus 2

January 06, 2004 11:27 PM PST

Team-e / BS


On December 17th, Team-e released Blast! The Shooting Game Omnibus volume 1, a soundtrack compilation which takes various tracks from different shooters. Well, as sure as numbers continue on in sequential order, Gpara is slated to release Storm! The Shooting Game Omnibus volume 2 on the seventh; tomorrow, for 2800 yen. The included games appear on the label to the left.


News: KOF ST compilation

January 06, 2004 11:16 PM PST

Sony / BS


According to this listing on Mangaoh, Sony will be releasing the full set of KOF soundtracks in a box set, to commemorate the 10th anniversary. This is all nine soundtracks prior to 2k3, and a DVD, with as-yet unmentioned content. The release is planned for March 10th, at a whopping 14,800 yen. Incidentally, the full title of the product is The King of Fighters Neogeo's Soundtrack 10th Anniversary Memorial Box. Thanks to Nikaiten for the news.


News: Shikigami II DC details

January 06, 2004 11:08 PM PST

Alfa System / BS


There's now an official, if rather small page up for the DC port of Shikigami no Shiro II. Thereon, it has been revealed that the port will contain all of the updates found in the PS2 version, other than variable game speed. The release remains March 25th at 6,800 yen.


Review: Hyper Street Fighter II: AE

January 05, 2004 11:55 PM PST

insert credit / brandon sheffield


On the 18th of December, Capcom released the Anniversary Edition of Street Fighter II. It would have been nice if they'd waited a little longer though. Not a bad game, certainly...it's just that we've played this one before.


News: New console?

January 05, 2004 11:37 PM PST

VIA / VD


And another console enters the fray! On thursday the 8th, VIA, a Taiwanese electronics group, will team up with Chinese(?) DVD makers Apex to unveil a new console. This will take place in Vegas during CES. As luck, or rather, careful planning would have it, we'll have someone there covering the event.


News: SNKP update

January 05, 2004 11:25 PM PST

SNKP / BS


Now, a new portal to a new punchfest opens.
Or so they say. SNK Playmore have put up some well written english versions of the KOF 2003 stories. There's also a nice new year's greeting on the front page.


Off Topic: Nihon Break Kogyo

January 05, 2004 11:11 PM PST

BBC Online / BS


According to a report by the BBC Online, the tiny japanese demolition firm Nihon Break Kogyo has just released their first CD. The 16-man operation recorded an 'anthem', played it in a commercial, and then were inundated with so many requests, that they released a CD single. "We will destroy houses! We will destroy bridges! We will destroy buildings!" proclaim the lyrics in a punk-rock vein. One wonders if they've included the requisite karaoke version.


Review: Billy Hatcher

January 04, 2004 11:45 PM PST

insert credit / eric-jon rossel waugh


I didn't intend to do this, but what it seems I've gotten into is comparing the design legacies and distilled contemporary design formulae of Sonic Team versus Nintendo EAD, and how the relative pitfalls of a decontextualized design paradigm are enhanced when you've a weaker conceptual basis to start with.

I've a feeling not many reviews of Billy Hatcher get into this. I can't figure out how to avoid it, though.


It's true, he couldn't. Hell, I tried to make him.


News: Pocket Calculator Show

January 04, 2004 11:33 PM PST

Pocket Calculator Show / BS


The Pocket Calculator Show is a website dedicated to those old 'nerd watches', walkmen and calculators that were sold during the 70s and 80s. Quite fun to browse through, for those of us who wouldn't afford the things as kids. Many of these calculators and watches had game 'n watch style LCD games built in, which should add to the interest. Thanks to SignofZeta for the news.


News: M2 images

January 04, 2004 11:18 PM PST

Zangardo / BS


Zangardo has sent me a link to some branded images of 2nd-from-production prototype for the Panasonic M2, internals included. Interesting looking beast - and this one's playable, assuming you've got the games for it (well - those are arcade M2 games, but still). Quite the obscurity, that system.


News: Killer 7 flash

January 04, 2004 11:09 PM PST

Capcom / BS


Capcom has put up a Killer 7 flash game on the official site. Presumably, some of the game will play this way - which follows directly from the trailers.


News: Puyo Puyo beanbag

January 02, 2004 11:58 PM PST

Sega Direct / BS


In perhaps the coolest promotion ever, Sega Direct is offering a 70cm (that's big, non-metric people) Puyo Puyo beanbag with every preorder. There's also a cellphone screen cleaner included. This offer is available for all four systems. Expensive shipping, probably. Thanks to Holiday's mmcafe bbs post for the news.


News: Shiki II limited

January 02, 2004 11:46 PM PST

Alfa System / IGGY


Chadran has released more specific information on the pack-in goods for the limited release of Shikigami no Shiro II for the Dreamcast. The extras will include a character voice "soundtrack" (presumably audio drama?), and a character card (or multiple cards, the language is ambiguous). The limited edition sells for 7,800 yen, with a March 25th release date.

Update: Play Asia just put up the limited preorder with a discount - US$ 71.90 until march 20th. Bear in mind that this is below the actual retail cost in japan.


News: Hanagumi 2004

January 02, 2004 11:34 PM PST

Game Watch / IGGY


Game Watch has issued a report on the Sakura Taisen Hanagumi show for 2004. They do this every year, playing out the drama from the series. And...it looks just as frightening as ever.


Play Asia: Posters, shirts, katana?

January 02, 2004 11:27 PM PST

Play Asia / BS


Play Asia has got a few more posters at the $10 mark - they appear to be going fast, as well. The SvC Chaos ones are the newest. They've also gotten ahold of a big shipment of gaming shirts (L and XL only though). While a bit standard-looking, they're certainly a bargain at $4 US. Last, but not least, check out this Onimusha 3 controller from Hori. Shaped like a Katana...not sure how it works. Nice to look at though!


News: Doujin update

January 02, 2004 11:15 PM PST

various / BS


Couple of interesting doujin games today - one is from Rectangle; a 3D flight combat game by the name of RaidersSphere. They've just released a demo movie (direct link).

And from Hungry Macaco comes END - an 'electric novel'. On the linked page there's an MP3 and a trial edition to download. Their respective direct links are here and here if you missed them. Thanks to doujingame for the links.


News: SNES to GBA

January 02, 2004 11:06 PM PST

Mash / BS


Mash has completed another interesting mod. Recently, he modified a GBC to accept an external NES controller. Now he's done the same with the GBA and an SNES controller. Really nice, subtle work. This is the fellow, by the way, who does custom NGPC, WSC and GBA lighting mods. He actually sells that service.


News: New Years greetings

January 01, 2004 11:59 PM PST

various / BS


Several Japanese gaming sites have put up various promotions and notes to celebrate the new year. Check out a few of these, as linked from Nikaiten.

Namco is having a new years giveaway. It's basically over by now, but you can see all the stuff you didn't get.

Konami has a greeting from the president (and reminds you to purchase their games over there on the side).

Aiky has a small New Years graphic and message of...standardness.

The Super Real Mahjongg site has a campaign as well (scroll down, not 100% work safe), but this one continues for a month.

Treasure's New Years message is pretty self-explanatory.

There's a nice graphic on the Inufuku game website. Great to see that Video System is still alive.

Last but not least, Arcadia has got a nice CG up.

Update: two more new years greetings of note:

Alchemist has a nice one. More work than most.

Amusement Vision has a message from the boss-man, as well as a dapper image.

Akemashite omedetou gozaimasu. Kotoshi mo yoroshiku onegaishimasu.


News: 101 secrets of the PC Engine

January 01, 2004 11:49 PM PST

nfg games / BS


For the PC Engine fans, Lawrence has written up 101 of it's deadliest secrets. Some nice knowledge tidbits in there, though most are geared towards those with some extant knowledge of the system. Read if you dare!


News: Alice

January 01, 2004 11:37 PM PST

Patbier et Poche / BS


French Dreamcast homebrewers Patbier and Poche have posted some new information and screenshots of Alice, their upcoming multiplatform adventure game. Find the original Consolevision post here. They're close to releasing their second demo...and the game is looking incredibly sharp.


News: Jun Tsukasa

January 01, 2004 11:24 PM PST

Konami / BS


Jun Tsukasa, artist for such games as Sengoku Blade, and the Hot Gimmick series, appears to be getting work again. Tsukasa is the character designer for Airforce Delta: Blue Knights. Tsukasa is famous for unique female depictions, and is evidently up to those old tricks once more. Thanks to Rid Hershel for the news.

Update: ...Jun Tsukasa, not Range Murata. Murata did the design for NPI: Matrimelee, and my mind is clearly gone. Happy New Year! Thanks to Trevor for pointing it out.


News: FF7 official site

January 01, 2004 11:13 PM PST

Square-Enix / BS


I'm late on this, but so it goes. The Final Fantasy 7 Advent Children DVD has an official site. Lots of FF7 music to be found there, for one thing. Thanks to The_Vagrant's forum post for the link.


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