Friday, November 27, 2015

Who put adorable baby ducks in my Odin Sphere?!

Not that I'm complaining, mind you.  Velvet gets her own trailer, and God everything I see for this game just hypes me more.  The release can't come soon enough.

In other Odin Sphere news, the new Alter figure of Velvet and Cornelius is now up for preorder!

A nicely dynamic figure, bringing to mind MegaHouse's work on the Elf.

Velvet, last princess of the fallen kingdom of Valentine, and

Cornelius, royal prince of Titania and Velvet's true love - cruelly subjected to the Pooka's Curse, and denied his (lovely!) human form.  He keeps his true name secret from his erstwhile lover as they fight to save their world - for who could ever love... a beast?

I slapped down the preorder money for this earlier today and almost-immediately felt a pang of buyer's remorse.  Then I watched the trailer at top and felt much better about it.

That, then, reminded me that I currently have the Japanese Vita release preordered in two places (it wasn't available at my preferred seller when it first went up), so I need to cancel one of those... annnd Play-Asia doesn't let you cancel orders so I guess I'm getting two Japanese copies of Odin Sphere Leifdrasir.


Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Three Things.

First up, Venture Bros. is coming back and here's a trailer!

Second, the sequel to Retro City Rampage was announced today, and it's made the generational leap to sixteen bits.

Shakedown Hawaii, which is totally not a title spoofing Hotline Miami, is coming to PS4 and Vita.  I know!  Vita!

Third, there's another flash sale up on PSN this weekend, and I wouldn't be mentioning it if it didn't offer Dragon's Crown, my heart of hearts, for the laughably low price of twenty dollars and ninety-nine cents (or eighteen bucks with PS+).

Also there's some kind of DLC up for a game called Bloodborne which people seem pretty excited about - but I'll worry about that when I'm not firmly held in the hypnotic radioactive grip of The Commonwealth.

Oh, and Teslagrad is finally out on Vita today.  I think... I think I'll give that a shot...

Friday, November 20, 2015

Valkyria: Azure Revolution's screenshots are suitably gorgeous.

Any fears about the PS4 game failing to capture the hand-drawn aesthetic of the original are hereby laid to rest.  Click to enhugen (you'll need to in order to see the pencil-esque hatching and shading).

Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir's Oswald trailer is suitably shadowy and knighty.

Eeee!  Popped down to the store and preordered the Storybook Edition and a Vita copy today.  Interestingly enough, it had a release date of April 12th, 2016 in their system.  Usually placeholder dates are the 1st or 30th of a month - the 12th is a Tuesday, and that's awfully specific for a preorder.

...did the game's NA launch date just leak?


Valkyria: Azure Revolution's first trailer.

I need to see some gameplay of this.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Hellooo Nurse.

Well hey, there, good-lookin'.  What's a nice collector's edition like you doin' in a place like this?

The Storybook Edition of Odin Sphere: Leifdrasir - which only goes with the PS4 version of the game - comes wiiith... (official bullet points!):
• 64-page Hardcover Art Book - Filled with the original drawings from the legendary George Kamitani and Vanillaware. 
• Potion Recipe T-shirt - This large-size t-shirt is emblazoned with a helpful reminder of one of the more common uses of Alchemy inOdin Sphere Leifthrasir: turning the living Mandragora plant creatures (Habaneristos, in this case) into potions vital for survival. 
• Collector's Metal Slipcase - The PS4 game will come nestled in a special metal slipcase with the game's key art on the front, and a not-yet-revealed image on the reverse. 
• Art Print - Also included with the game will be a high-quality art print with another not-yet-revealed (but different) design. 
• Premium Outer Box - All the contents in the premium edition will be packaged in a large, sturdy outer box.

But what of the PS3 owners?  Or the Vita lovers?  

They get an art book if they preorder (through "select retailers").

Y'know what that means?  That means I'm gettin' two art books yayyy.

...three if you count the import one.   Also - interestingly - "the non-premium editions will cost $59.99, $49.99, and $39.99 for the PS4, PS3, and PS Vita respectively."

So color me thrilled!  Oh, also, here's a much bigger scan of yesterday's Valkyria: Azure Revolution announcement spread in Famitsu.  ...and I can't tell if it's successfully recreating the hand-drawn-ish style of the original, or just scan artefacts... 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015


It's called Valkyria: Azure Revolution and it's a direct sequel to VC3

So I was with Fallout 4 all week.  Terribly immersed.  Desperate to get back.  Time well spent.

Today I'm back at work, though - so it seems like a reasonable time to get back to blogging and OH MY GOD THAT TRADEMARK WAS FOR A NEW VALKYRIA CHRONICLES GAME AND OH MY GOD IT'S FOR PS4!

And they're remastering the original VC for PS4 and it comes with a demo for the new game and unnnng...

So, what've we got, so far?  Well, the above scan is pretty much it, in terms of visuals.  We've got a bit of it blown up a little... but not much of it...

It's a very, very far cry from the lovely brushstroke and cross-hatch aesthetic of the original PS3 game - and I hope these scans are the reason it doesn't look as "painterly" as it should - but you can see a bit of the original game's style in the glow of Big Sword Dude's hand and the shadows on the sleeve of Angry Smaller Sword Lady.  Elsewhere, the character designs bear little resemblance to the Gallian Militia we came to love in VC 1-3 (not being set in Gallia might have something to do with it), but if you look at the facial structure of the hero and heroine above, you'll notice feature placement and a certain sharpness to the jawlines that are very reminiscent of VC art direction.

What else do we know?

  • Coming "winter 2016" to Japan.
  • Of course a localization hasn't been announced yet - and given that it's SEGA, it's pretty up-in-the-air (but it GODDAMN WELL BETTER BE!).
  • The developer isn't SEGA, but Media Vision - who did a great job handling Valkyria Chronicles III, and made a name for themselves with a little series called Wild Arms.
  • A translation of the Famitsu article notes "the “Gouache” drawing system, which will depict the game with elaborate and bright looks, giving it a painting-like presentation."
  • The battle system is called "LeGION," and is described as mix of real-time and strategy. 
  • Character models by Flight Unit (the Atelier series.)
  • Chief Producer is Yoichi Shimosato (Shining Force)
  • Producer is Katsura Mikami (Shining Force)
  • Director is Takeshi Ozawa (directed VC 2 and 3!)
  • Character Design by Hiro Kiyohara and Takayama Toshiaki (they're manga artists)
Also, a demo for Azure Revolution will be available in the remaster of Valkyria Chronicles when that drops February 10th in Japan.  SEGA say they'll listen to feedback from gamers who go hands-on with the demo, and apply it to Azure Revolution.  

Please, patron deity of gamers, hear my prayer. 

Localize these

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Doc says it's real bad.

-critical miss-

So immature.  Real gamers cash in their vacation days for big game releases.

I sure did.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Been a while since the last music post.

...mostly because I haven't snuffled my nose through obscure Internet sound archives in... a while.  But last weekend, I went to a wedding social - a Canadian construct in which a pair of soon-to-be-weds throw a big party in a community center, charge people ten bucks each to get in, sell cheap drinks and hold raffles to help ease the burden of a modern wedding's price tag.

There are two types of people who buy tickets to socials - one will go because it's a big party with cheap booze and a bunch of people you don't know to hopefully hit on, and the other will buy what are called "support tickets" just to give a little financial hug to the bride and groom.  I am, as a rule, in the latter camp.  As a rule, when people ask me if I'm going to X's social or Y's social, I tell them I bought support tickets, but "I'm not a very... social person - a-hahhhhh see what I did there?"

But last week, I went.  It was a Halloween social, so obviously costumes were involved, and I decided this was finally my year to go as a sexy kitty.  I had cat ears, rinestone-tipped whiskers and a tail, but a lot of people thought it was kind of a lazy costume until I held up my hands - each clad in fingerless fishnet gloves, with an adorable little pink "paw" pattern in the palm - and then they'd just lose it.  It was kind of awesome.

So the DJ was playing a song and I asked Kayla what the name of it was.  She looked at me like I was crazy.  It was a remix of Boney M's Rasputin.  I don't know if this is the mix, but the important part is it really lets the chorus hold center stage.

So I wrote the name down on my phone and pulled it up later, at which point I noticed a note I'd made months earlier, while driving around.

"Ell e king exs and ohs."

I'm like "wtf was that?"  So I found it.

So hmmm... lot of blues influences here, which - as a rule - I am fond of.  Unusual, gritty voice... let's see what else she's got...

Not bad... who is this lady?  I snagged the album, slapped it on my iPod and looked her up.

Turns out, this is Rob Schneider's daughter.  Yes, that Rob Schneider.  Her mom (whose name she took) was a model, and that's why she looks like a normal person.  Why a twenty year old has a voice that sounds like it was carved out by forty years of nicotine abuse is beyond me, but apparently Elle went to New York when she was sixteen, got a fake ID to get into rock and blues clubs, and honed her craft busking on street corners.

I don't know if that's true - the only album she's put out seems a bit too "produced," and you've gotta' wonder how much of it is her talent and how much is the team sitting behind her - but it's... not bad.  It's something I'll turn up when I hear it on an easy listening station.

Oh, and if you want a genuinely surreal experience, pop on some headphones with her album while playing Senran Kagura: Shinovi Versus.  That was a weird night.

Finally, I'm not much of a TV guy - haven't been for years - and while two days ago I would not have recognized the name Kate Micucci, I recognized her face.  Always liked her.  I think I saw her do standup once, and for a while she was Raj's girlfriend on The Big Bang Theory, which my parents watched religiously - but she's had a ton of bit parts.

See, here she is on Scrubs - do you recognize her?

She always plays the weirdo for an episode or two and then disappears, but I've always adored her in anything she's been in, and I turned on Netflix the other day to discover she's the lead in a newly-added show called Garfunkel and Oates, which is for all intents and purposes Flight of the Conchords with two American women instead of men from New Zealand.   Her co-star is Riki Lindhome - another "I think I recognize her from something" actress who's been paying her dues in Los Angeles for a decade or so.

At some point, these two found each other and... one kind of gets the sense that they were both sick of dumbing themselves down for people, and with each other were just able to be radiantly intelligent and funny.  It's awesome, it's hilarious, and I belly-laugh at least once an episode - which is quite an accomplishment for any modern show.

The show, though - as with the Conchords - is simply the result of several comedy/folk/indie albums the pair put out.  The band has been together since '07, and they've got some gems.

Oh, and here's one about good Christian teenagers doing it in the butt.

It's frickin' criminal that that show was cancelled after eight episodes.  These two should be millionaires.

I decree it.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Cornelius gets his own Odin Sphere trailer.

Not to be confused with all those other games which follow the heroic exploits of a tragically cursed, sword-wielding anthropomorphic rabbit.

In other Vanillaware news, a new 208-page art book for Dragon's Crown is going to release at the end of November, and can be pre-ordered over at Amazon Japan for around thirty bucks.

The three-disc Dragon's Crown soundtrack will also become available at the end of the month, but I can only find it through the site Vanillaware linked in their tweet on the matter - a place called, which doesn't seem to have an English option.  Noooo!

There's also the sountrack for all the music that was added to Muramasa via its (exemplary!) Genroku Legends DLC,

coming out - you guessed it! - at the end of November.  Again, at the moment it only seems to be available through, but I'll keep an eye out.

Ah well.  At least I got that new artbook ordered!