Archive for Japan

“Gross! There’s goo on my wang!” (Guwange Released on North American XBLA)

Posted in Game News, Game Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 26, 2010 by Mat$kat

Here we have it (albeit a tad late on my part, sorry folks)Cave’s magnificent feudal Japanese manic shooter : GUWANGE! Only 800 MSP on Xbox Live Arcade!

Anyone who reads my blog or knows me personally can attest to the fact that I am a big fan of the Japanese arcade game developer, CAVE. Some time ago Cave held a survey asking which one, of several of their back-catalogued games, the fans would like to see fully localized and released on XBLA. Among the choices were Progear, Dodonpachi, ESP Ra.De., and Dangun Feveron (aka Fever SOS).

Votes were cast and Guwange (pronounced GOO-WANG) came out the victor! On November 10th 2010 , Cave fans around the globe saw the interspectacular sight of Guwange available on XBLA for ten bucks!

I encourage Cave fans in the USA to go ahead and drop a Hamilton on this game. Consider it your vote for more Cave games released in the US. Officially the only North American releases thus far have been Deathsmiles NA and Guwange.

What’s up next for Cave on XBLA?

The discomen collecting romp known as DANGUN FEVERON! Keep checking back for news on a release date, etc.

But back to Guwange

I’m not going to bother reviewing this game…I’ve seen several game sites with the headline “REVIEW: Guwange is Bullet…HEAVEN?” – so I’ll spare you all the pun laden review. I’ll just say that the game is a faithful port and also incluses two interesting extra modes of play : Xbox360 Arrange Mode (basically a novice mode) and the PUNISHINGLY difficult “Blue Label” Mode. Blue labe mode is a port of a very rare, specially made version of the original Guwange arcade PCB. Originally given to the three highest scoring players at a Cave hosted event in Japan, the “Blue” version is an extremely tough arrange mode. Imagine walking without an umbrella in a severe rainstorm, where the rain is bullets…

Well, whether or not my attempt at evoking an image just now was successful or not, I digress…

How about some pictures and video? Now THAT’s what I’m talking about!

The History of Shooting Games

Posted in Game News, Random Shit with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 20, 2010 by Mat$kat

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be devoting a series of posts to some of the biggest, most influential names in shooting games. From the commerical studios like Cave, Raizing, and Toaplan to the underground “doujun” developers like Siter Skain, Kenta Cho, Shanghai Alice (aka ZUN), and Platine Dispositif – we’ll try and cover both ends of the spectrum.

To whet your appetites, and to give a little history lesson, I’ve included below a wonderfully made series of videos I found on YouTube. This three part series covers the history of the shooting genre – there is a TON of good information included here and it gives everyone from hardcore players to casual readers of my blog an educated perspective on THIS author’s favorite gaming niche.

So without further ado – I’d like to present the three part documentary “The History of Shooting” masterfully created by GameOne Documentaire.

Enjoy!

KOF:Sky Stage – SNK Developed Shooter Gears Up for US Release

Posted in Game News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 31, 2010 by Mat$kat

In a surprising twist, I discovered today that the SNK Playmore developed King of Fighters spin off, KOF Sky Stage, is heading to the USA by way of Xbox LIVE Arcade.

Sky Stage is a vertical scrolling shooter, populated by some of SNK‘s most prolific characters including Mai, Kyo, Iori, Terry, Mai, Athena, and Kula – each with their own unique feel and shooting style.

Frankly, the game looks startlingly similar in style to the Shikigami no Shiro series (Castle of Shikigami in the West) – we’ll just have to wait and see if the similarities stop at the visual style or if this game has a heavy grazing mechanic like so many of the modern shooters do.

The game recieved an aracde only release in Japan to mediocre reviews, but to US shooter fans this news is great – as we don’t get a lot of shooters.

Xbox 360 owners can, aparrently, get hold of this game Fall 2010 – most likely following the release of King of Fighters 2002 Unlimited Match on XBLA.

This news comes courtesy of Siliconera, and you can read their write-up here.

More news, including a firm release date, will follow as it becomes available.

As usual, here’s a few screens:

Darius Burst : Another Chronicle has Ultra-Wide Arcade Display

Posted in Game News with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 21, 2010 by Mat$kat

Darius – a mainstay of the shooting genre has been around for years and spawned several sequel on a number of platforms.

The frantic gameplay, unique fish-themed enemy types, creative weapon upgrade systems, and challenging stage progression has kept players at home and in the arcades pressing “START” for many years.

We mustn’t forget where Darius‘ roots are, and that is in the arcades.

Now in 2010, arcade gamers in Japan get to play the newest entry in the Darius series : Darius Burst.

In the past Darius has set itself apart from other horizontal scrolling shooters by introducing a revolutionary dual screen, ultra-wide display – virtually unheard of in the shooting genre. Now with Darius Burst, developer Taito has returned to the ultra-wide presentation…this time in HD.

Here is a shot of the game in action (keep in mind the image has been shrunk to fit my layout)

(Click the image above for the FULL SIZE)

This is fantastic news for fans of the series. Unfortunately, this is Japan only, BUT enterprising PSP owners can get a portable copy of the game as the PSP has no region coding on UMDs. I’ve personally played the PSP version and it’s awesome, taking full advantage of the widescreen display.

Will we ever see this in the US? Unlikely, but it’s great to see innovation in the arcades in the form of Darius Burst – in all of it’s ultra-wide HD glory.

I Finally Got a Cabinet

Posted in About Matskat, Game News, Random Shit with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 16, 2010 by Mat$kat

It’s the top brick in the pyramid of gaming addiction.

It’s the height of geekness.

Today I got a SEGA  Aero City candy cabinet. Candy cabinets are sit-down Japanese style machines – usually found in rows inside a Japanese game center.

Crazy story, I posted a “want to buy” on Craigslist – 30 seconds later I get a tip from a random dude to check out the forums over at Aracde Museum. 24 hours later I have the object of my desire.

It has the original Capcom Street Fighter II board in it currently, but after I clean it up and do a little restoration, it’s gonna be a dedicated shooter cabinet. The monitor looks FANTASTIC! I cannot believe that this thing is in as good of shape as it is. Everything works 100%. Buttons and sticks are a little grimy, and will soon be replaced, and the vinyl overlay on the control panel is old and cracked – another easy fix.

My wife is gonna move in with the bleach soon 🙂 That should take care of the 25 years of cigarette smoke that gives it a slight beige hue.

Now with the Pictures…

Arcade Culture – Hitting the Nail on the Head

Posted in Random Shit with tags , , , , , , , , on March 28, 2010 by Mat$kat

Today I read the best piece of writing, from a gamer’s perspective, that I have ever encountered.

The demise of American arcades pains me, along with the idea that my daughter will never experience the wondrous and challenging world of arcades, as I had the privelege of experiencing – THIS is why I’m so passionate about building and sharing my custom joysticks with anyone and everyone who bothers to read this page. To keep the culture alive in America.

In this essay, Alex Kierkegaard wraps up, and ties with a bow, the essence of arcade culture.  More importantly, it explains, for those who just don’t get it (not YOU, beloved reader! You are distinguished, elegant, and have impeccable taste in blogs) the concept of playing a SINGLE CREDIT.

I’m not just preaching to the choir here, this is a great read, even for arcade vets.

So read it, then make a friend read it, then get together with that friend and…

GO FIND AN ARCADE!

**Note** The following link contains salty language, if anyone gives a shit. Sorry kiddies.

Link: Arcade Culture By Alex Kierkegaard / July 8, 2007

Espgaluda II Black Label Region Free (X360) Finally Arrives!

Posted in About Matskat, Game News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 17, 2010 by Mat$kat

I have been waiting since Feb. 25th for Cave’s newest and last region free shooting game, Espgaluda II. Finally today it arrived. I was beginning to get nervous. I ordered it from Play-Asia, and past experiences have been positive. Last order tool 10 days from Hong Kong to Saint Louis, Missouri.

Suffice it to say, I’m super excited to play, I’m gonna be up all damn night.

I’ll post a review as soon as I get through a few of the modes.

CAVE SHOOTING!