Sunday, January 25, 2004 @ 10:32 (Japan Standard Time)
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A hobbyist video gamer in the middle of Japan's gaming zone. Comments on console, PC, handheld and arcade games.
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2004-01-25 Sun

Under my nose

2004-01-13 Tue

Steady hands, music, no spoilers, leftovers

2004-01-04 Sun

Danmaku Shimai Kouhaku and Wanting a Pentium 4 Screamer

Post-comiket 65 write up

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Under my nose

Now playing:
  • Yumeria (PS2-jp, polygon girls fighting dream)
Now stacking:
  • Hajime no ippo, The Fighting! (GBA-jp, licensed in-your-face boxing game)

I thought real life was going to take me away. Kinda reminds me that I need to poke my head up, take a look around, and enjoy life. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine ep4v2 "The Visitor", great ep.)

Hajime no ippo, The Fighting! was really cheap used, only 1280 yen. I've been keeping my eye on this game, only because Treasure of IKARUGA! fame created it. Um. One look at MrMonkeyman's Treasure fan page shows that Treasure is hit and miss with their releases. Have I turned into a Treasure fanboi? I'm almost there I can feel it.

Yumeria Neneko KomattaAbout all the time I have these days goes into completing Yumeria. I've completed Neneko's scenario already, so there's something to report. Wait, it took a whole week to work through it because work is hectic. Check out the video clip of Neneko going into onedare-mode. She's so cute when she's shaking her head like an idiot (left). Ha haha ha. I think I am the idiot for playing this game. One thing good about Yumeria is the "memory" page. At least I don't need to redo the game to see the interesting animated CG. Althought I am falling love with Mizuki again. No just Masumi Asano's voice.

At work I have a new subordinate working for me. And all the while I've been trying not to be a friend. Isn't one of the goals of people resource management not to "be a friend" to some one you give orders to? But then I found out he plays games. Whoa. And he's a arcade gamer, so I immediately quized him on the question: Do you play shmups?! He said yes, in the past. Whoa! So I asked him what game and he said Battle Garegga, and that he aimed to place nationally with a high score. Funny that, I have a replay video tape on that, I sez. He basically responded, huh, you want me to copy that DVD-R for you? LOL. He told me that the way to play the game is to not hold down fire continously and to die purposely (!) so that the game doesn't get inhumanly hard. I think he said he cleared it. Well he doesn't own any arcade games, but most of his amusement money goes to the arcade and that now he's a PS2 gamer playing online fighting games. Wow. Wow.

Then I asked him the most important question: Have you played teh Ikaruga!?!?! And he says he doesn't recall. Ugh. I was trying to p1mp him the game but he was turned off by the price. 4000 yen for a used DC copy! Well after showing him some screenshots he says yeah, I got to stage 3 or something. Maybe I'll lend him one of my copies.

Then another fellow, my co-worker, shows me his new entertainment toy, a iRiver HP-100. I peruse the music tracks and to my amazement he has Parhelia (misspelled, unfortunately hahah) music! Oh no not another shmup fan?! I basically told him about the music I own, and offered him a copy of Psyvariar musics. He responded in kind with many many musics, stuff I've never played, but there was one that is close in my heart: Raystorm OST. I was surprised that it was a Zuntata work (check out their database!). I thought I never ever listened to any Zuntata stuff. But here it is ingrained in my core shmup behavior. Wow! Of course the conversation turned to Treasure. Heh. And then what he told me made me extremely jealous. He has the Radiant Silvergun CD Single!!!! Ugh. He got it when he pre-ordered it. I offered to buy it from him but he refused. Ha ha ha.

Well, two other shmup fans. Nice.

I'll guess I save my "new challengers" post for later. It is snowing where I live! Sugar has come to play! Yay! And I was going to go swimming today. (In an indoor pool, ha no challenger here.)

Short lived snow 2004

Steady hands, music, no spoilers, leftovers


Now playing:
  • Danmaku Shimai Kouhaku (WinPC-jp, "mari-mite" doujin shmup)
  • Yumeria (PS2-jp, dream a little dream with me)
I have a whole gang load of purchased games waiting for me. Remember they are all stacked. So right now there's a lull in my "wanted games" category on my Palm PDA. Well in fact, most of the games I really really want are a month or two away. Let's see... Gunbird 1 & 2. Psyvariar 2. Jax & Daxter 2. Whoa is that it?

Who else is waiting for Psyvariar 2? Speaking of which... I got spanked playing it at a Osaka arcade shop. Luckily gaming there is only 50 yen a pop. Wow. I had go through the smoke-filled, fight-of-the-century second floor filled with video pugilist fanatics and the gawking wallflowers behind them, all for the promise of "shmups!" on the third floor. I can't explain exactly why fighting games and shmups are seperated but I know the effect. The second floor reeked of cigarette smoke. The third floor was spotless. If you go to the world famous Hirose Entertainment Yard (HEY) in Akihabara, 2nd floor is clean spotless and shmup-ed up. 3rd floor is crowded, dank and dirty fighting scene. It's a trend. Or something.

Okay yeah when I got to the third floor, shmups arcade games only took up 25 percent. Another 25 percent was the strip majong games and that Azumanga-Daioh Puzzle Bobble game. There was even that puzzle/logic game where you try to fill in the boxes based numbers in the intersecting columns. Now really. Well 6 shmup machines, not exactly paradise. And the atmosphere there felt competitive, either put-up or shut-up place. Yet another place to just watch for the gods among us. So when I pulled up a chair, played my quick game and lost, I felt unworthy. Heh. I really really need to start practicing playing on a joystick. But I've been using joypads all my life, how many years now. I just can't fight the feeling.

Kimi ga nozomu eien Animate Telephone CardUnfortunately for my pocketbook I spent mucho money on lots of music in the last 2 or 3 weeks. There was an AV matsuri promotion going on at Animate and I had to get my hands on the above telephone card. Heh heh heh, but I only got 1 sorry. Nevertheless I got some great game soundtracks. Nice. I love fast beat shmup music, and Storm really fills the gap. Of course I get nostalgic, and I luckily found a Famicom greats CD, called Famicom 20th Anniversary Original Sound Tracks Vol. 1. I was a bit disappointed to learn that Clu Clu Land's whimsical tunes were only 20 seconds in length. And Kid Icarus tunes really brought me back to the times I lusted for Metroid. Music sure calms the savage beast. And iTunes windows makes sure that I add pictures to ALL of my mp3 tracks. Hahaha. Yet another time suck.

Ota yori Corner from YumeriaI started to play Yumeria again. This time around I'm aiming for Neneko, the yellow haired girl-cat. Ha ha. She has many personality quirks, such as saying "na no da" at the end of every sentence, or making puzzles even out of simple things. She also wears a yellow cap in the shape of neko-mimi (cat ears), and the cap moves like cat ears. Hmm. If you must know, I am a fan of neko-mimi. It's a thing that automatically makes a character cuter. Once I finish Neneko's scenario, I only have Mone-chan to finish. Mone is the last girl with blue hair. She doesn't seem to be able to speak normally. Instead she says nothing but "mone!" all the time. Kinda like a pokemon dialogue. Piika? Pikachu! Well occasionally she says the main character's name, Tomokazu. I wonder if she'll speak normal later? Ack I am finishing this game now because the anime is being broadcast right now and it seems the two character's I haven't finished, Mone and Neneko, are the lead characters. Preventing possible spoilers, you see. I did the same thing with Kimi ga nozomu eien.

I've had some web pages I wanted to link to for some time, so I finally decided to talk about them here:

Internet Archive: Net Labels is a site filled with hopeful musicians allowing you to download their music for free! I admit I have yet to download a track or two but one online "gaming" friend recommended it. Maybe they have some game-based music there too?

Let us not forget Nintendo's stance on "ROMs and Emulation". The tone of the questions really make it sound like some teenage internet-wired kid at the mic.

Probably my next post will be in two weeks, since I have no time to game.

Danmaku Shimai Kouhaku and Wanting a Pentium 4 Screamer

Now playing:
  • Double Dragon Advance (GBA-us, beat-em-up)
  • Danmaku Shimai Kouhaku (WinPC-jp, manic shmuping with a mouse?)
  • Banshiryu (WinPC-jp, kasuri buzz shmupping with bullet on all sides)
Now stacking:
  • Twinkle Star Sprites (SS-jp, competitive shmup-puzzle)
  • Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (WinPC-us, free-for-all violence jack)
What is up and Happy New Year if I haven't greeted you already. And to all my pals on irc://excalibur.esper.net/insertcredit, "greetz".

Comic Market 65 was pretty fun. Akihabara was fun. But a bit overpriced. Luckily I didn't drop any money on that Sega Arcade Gallery for GBA. It was going 13800 yen used when I saw it last. I should have picked up Gekido Advance at that Trader shop, though, it was gone the day after I checked up on it.

Why is Twinkle Star Sprites up there stacked again? This my second Sega Saturn copy but why? Well this time I found it "mint" with the promotional postcards with it. Hahah. I have the OST CD and I have art book. What am I missing? Or yeah, the MVS cart and the AES cart and the CD version for Neo-Geo. Need is good. Need works.

And Grand Theft Auto: Vice City? I was convinced after reading this editorial by Christopher Byron that the version I wanted would be gone pretty soon. Besides, I found it in the import section of Sofmap and I couldn't let it get away. So I installed it, found it to stutter a lot more that I wished for, and un-installed it. Yes I think I need a Pentium 4 screamer soon.

So what are the games I am playing now? I managed to beat Double Dragon Advance on Easy, Normal and Hard. I am still working on Expert but I am losing patience. What a fun game. The secret options can be unlocked with a secret key sequence that pays homage to the famous key sequences. No battery backup but in this case you don't need it. Just fun.

Danmaku Shimai Kouhaku CM65

This Danmaku Shimai Kouhaku game is so colorful and so cool. It was hard but I can beat it. It's too short. I never thought that I would shmup with my mouse. Imagine dodging and weaving through the colorful bullet storms with the precision of a mouse. Very interesting. I wish this game was longer and had a much gentler difficulty ramp up. The art work is appealing to me. Clean clean lines.

Banshiryu snuck up on me by surprise. This game is hard! Graphically it is exciting, but the screen is too busy. I am getting into the interesting levels, but there are just too many bullets on the screen or in my general direction. I am already dead. Yet another game that I will install after I get a Pentium 4 screamer.

Post-comiket 65 write up

I posted my wrap up about Comic Market 65 onto Shmups forum. Yes I feel a little remorse about shoving a report down these people's throats.

Day 1 (2003/12/28 Sunday):
Akemashite omedetou gozaimasu! (Happy new year!)

I'll finish this topic by posting the spoils. Here's day 1. For shmup fans this is mainly the day to buy paper-based fanzines of games, like anything Cave based.

Ikaruga CG and DDP videos

But unfortunately I wasn't interested in those things. The only thing I got was in the upper left of the picture, a Ikaruga-inspired CG collection titled "AxialPoint". This guy still had a big stack left at the end of the day, so I guess it wasn't a good day for him. Also I mentioned "Kaiten Mokugyou" circle but they are a different from what I reported. They were selling something totally different. I was duped! What is "Kaiten mokugyou" a famous saying in Japanese?

The other spoils were that day's jaunt into Akihabara. The top left shows the map to Akibang 2 shop, where you can readily buy your Ikaruga Appreciate DVD, Battle Garrera and Radiant Silvergun VHS videos. The two VHS videos at the bottom are Dodonpachi SCC titled "DDP- Professional Vol.2" and "Two-three DDP-Professional Vol.3". The website is http://www.es-product.com/kou-mi/sof.htm but I found them at Tora no Ana shop. Actually the circle/group that produced this attended CM65 3rd day. I forget which booth perhaps building West-2 "chi" section. One thing to remember is that similar hobbies are grouped together.

On to day 2...
Day 2 (2003/12/29 Monday):
Here's day 2. For shmup fans there really isn't much of interest. Thus I came away with no spoils. Boo hoo.E

But jumping back to Akihabara, which is known as "the year-round Comic Market", I found the following game:

Gundemonium

Gundemonium seems to be a side scrolling shmup, released late 2003. I haven't seen it around so I picked it up.

Purikura Daisakusen and STG x STG

And Akihabara is good for those other console titles one missed out on. Like the above Purikura Daisakusen: Princess Kurara (left).

Sorry, the doujin soundtrack on the right is STG x STG, which I didn't pick up in Tokyo but is shmup related nonetheless. Two STG meaning side and tate (vertical) shmup-inspired music, including Xevious, Raystorm, Fantasy Zone, and Touhou Koumarou - Embodiment of Scarlet Devil. They were also at CM65, heh I didn't know that. Circle "Cool&Create", day 3, booth West 2 "a"-21b. The above link has some mp3 samples, btw.

On to day 3...
Day 3 (2003/12/30 Tuesday):
The final day, day 3. CM saves the best for last, at least if you're a shmup fan. Let's disseminate shall we?

Day 3 Games Page 1

Top left: OmakeSTG by circle "X The Next Generation" (booth West2 "sa"-26a)

Top middle: CM65 Gomennasai (Sorry!) Disk by "Chronicle:Station" (booth West 2 "a"-49) Guess they didn't finish in time. Heh.

Top right: End Effector Accomplished Edition by "Kyoto University Microcomputer Club" (booth West 2 "sa"-24a) Side scrolling action.

Middle row: Ragshoot! and Nanika No Bouken and "Music Works" music CD by "Harukaze" (booth West2 "sa"-20a) Ragshoot is their newest shooter, based on Ragonrok Online characters. They are probably most famous for Mayu Shoot a side scrolling game which can be had at any doujin shop in Japan.

Bottom left: Danmaku Shimai Kouhaku (Barrage Fire Sisters, Scarlet-White) by "Tocoroten" (booth West2 "sa"-15b). A vertical shmup with rainbow colors. Heheh.

Bottom middle, right: Zen-ichi Final Trial Version and Music Disc by "Equinox Development" (booth West2 "sa"-27a) Trial version means it's not complete but you pay the priviledge of demo-ing it. Me == sucker.

There's more:

Day 3 Games Page 2

Top left, middle: Shuusougyoku and Banshiryu final Version by "Amusement Makers" (booth West2 "sa"-37a). Well, the Samidare demo sold out like hotcakes, so I couldn't get a copy. These guys still haven't got their act together. When I got to their booth, there was a huge line crowding out other booths. I waited 10 minutes just to get close. Why couldn't just make a lot of CDRs? Argh! Heheh.

Top right: Tiyoruga Demo version by "Peach Parasol" (booth West2 "shi"-05a) A game that explores making a game out of Ikaruga energy shot only. This demo version was too popular by itself so they started to sell this demo and their finished game as a set for 1000 yen. The latter is some puzzle game I wasn't interested in, but oh well.

Bottom left: Lilian Blade by "Zwei Trial" (booth West2 "sa"-15) Very nice graphics. If it's anything like GA Angel Soldier A (my review), it will be fun.

Bottom middle: Warning Forever CM 65 0.99 version by "hikware" (booth West2 "sa"-37b) I asked them for two copies of their games, and autographs. The author was shocked, and said it was his first time to be asked for one. Heheh. Not bad at all. I couldn't stay and chit chat with him, though. Too many things to see.

Bottom right: Sound Banditz by "Team Hot Pulse/French Bread" (booth West2 "a"-53a). Music is catchy, and there was plenty of time to grab it.

There was a lot of other stuff, like Touhou Youyoumu - Perfect Cherry Blossom fan art/music booth by Tsumiki but that was sold out. Dang. And the biggest mistake was not taking the time to wait in line for Zun's newest album, Rendai yayakou -- Ghostly Field Club. But luckily he'll be releasing it again come latter half of January, most definately in stores. So I'm not too worried.

Day 3 ends and CM65 is over.
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