Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Arcadia Magazine [Jan 2011] - Preview

The new issue of Arcadia was released today, mine should hopefully be shipping tomorrow and arrive in about a week. No indication of anything KOF/SNKP related from the previews on Arcadia's official site but of course as always i'll post up if there is any. 

Hopefully there will be some information about the NESiCA x Live titles at least.

For those who want to order the magazine themself, you can get it over on Playasia for about £16 (including shipping) or for a slightly cheaper rate if you subscribe

Also check out the card system course for Trouble Witches Neo! which should hopefully be coming to XBLA some time this Winter.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Orochinagi XBL KOF02UM - Beginners and Scrubs Online Tournament

Orochinagi member Giga_D has been hosting the XBL Beginners and Scrubs online tournament, with the first having taken place this past Monday.

Results for that tournament are as follows:

You can see the rest of the matches i played here on my Youtube channel, unfortunately because there is no way to view other people's matches there are only the matches i played.

The sign ups for the next one are taking place now, with the actual tournament running next Monday at 10:30pm, you can sign up for it over at Orochinagi and to see full details.

Or alternatively if you're based in the US there will be an XBL session hosted by Nilcam on Sunday 21st Nov, full details can be viewed over on Dreamcancel's forums.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

SNKP's Interview with Dr. Neo Geo

SNKP has published a short interview with Neo Geo Hakase (Dr.Neo Geo), the producer of KOF02UM, on their Facebook page.

Considering Dr.Neo Geo's blog is normally in Japanese this is a rare chance to read an interview with him in English.

See below for the interview c&p from the SNKP on XBLA facebook page, and enjoy!


Being the fruits of endless 3-on-3 versus fighting game development for almost two decades, KOF 2002 comes back to the fighting gaming scene by offering the most playable character roster ever in the history of the series, a game balance of high quality, new moves and recovery ...moves, enhanced graphics, new soundtracks and many more. With its recent release on Xbox LIVE, THE KING OF FIGHTERS 2002 UNLIMITED MATCH becomes finally "online-playable" for all KOF fans worldwide !!Ready, Fight!!

In order to understand the reasons of this fighting game success, we asked some questions to NEOGEO HAKASE, who was producer of the game and also an eminent specialist of the NEOGEO system and the KOF series. We hope you will enjoy the reading!

-Hi, Mr. NEOGEO HAKASE! First off, could you present us briefly KOF 2002 UM?

KOF 2002 UM is a fully upgraded version of KOF 2002 (a very popular KOF title praised for its game balance of high quality which has contributed deeply to the “Versus Fighting Games” boom on NEOGEO), featuring all the characters of the NESTS Saga and a even better game balance !!

-What was your role during the development of the game? What were the things you cared the most?

As the producer of KOF 2002 UM and in order to satisfy all KOF fans, I have attached great importance to understand which points of the game the players wanted to change or not.

Also, concerning the other contents of the game, we worked hard to offer totally new stages, BGM, character artwork and many more features.

-Did you have any difficulties during KOF 2002 UM’s development?

Indeed, we spend a lot of time to adjust the game balance between the characters. We had also to think about creating a MAX2 to the characters added in KOF 2002 UM and to make a lot of adjustments to fit to the game balance.

-Could you tell us what are the interesting features of KOF 2002 UM, and particularly for the Xbox LIVE Arcade Version?

As this is the first time that KOF 2002 UM is playable online, I would like to invite all KOF fans worldwide to fight each other and show their skills! Also, KOF 2002 UM can be enjoyed on Xbox LIVE by the beginners via the TRAINING and CHALLENGE modes.

-Could you recommend some characters for the beginners and tell us if you have any favorite characters in KOF 2002 UM?

I’d like to recommend “NAMELESS” for the new players. As his normal attacks hits many times, the beginners could learn easily how to perform combos. However, “NAMELESS” becomes a character for advanced players if you want to master fully his techniques. How about starting your training with him?

For the already advanced players, I’d recommend “K’”. As an extremely strong character when he is mastered, I’d recommend to train and improve with him by playing with “K’s” advanced played on Xbox LIVE!

About my favorite characters, as a fan of the “grappler characters”, I often use “DAIMON”, “RAMON” and “CLARK”.

-To conclude our interview, would you like to send a message for all the KOF fans worldwide?

First of all, I would like to thank all KOF fans worldwide for playing and supporting the series since many years! Along with KOF’98UM, KOF 2002 UM is finally available for download on Xbox LIVE Arcade. As a title developed with meticulous care, I hope that KOF 2002 UM will be played and beloved by a lot of players! In conclusion, I would like to say that the KOF Development Team never forgets that the series is supported by fans around the world, and I wish we will continue to create great KOF titles in the future.

-Thank you for your cooperation and your great work, Mr. NEOGEO HAKASE!!

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Arcadia Magazine [Dec 2010] - A Quick Look

Bit late this month due to Playasia not automatically invoicing for this issue, plus the usual one week to be delivered, but my issue of Arcadia came through the door this morning.

This months issue's cover feature is the latest Gundam VS game, and comes with some sort of Darius soundtrack CD as a bonus gift.

Minimal KOFXIII news (i wouldn't expect too much from now on since it's already been out on arcades for quite a while now), but i've taken pictures of most of the other SNKP related stuff.

First up the Maker's Hotline which this month covers Trouble Witches Neo which will be coming out on XBLA this Winter for 800MS, not too sure if you can see properly but the item feature this month is for a Fatal Fury Terry Bogard cap which is sold on cospa.com.

Some sort of mobile phone Sci Fi RPG featuring some of the KOF girls, 'ASUTORO KUESTO' which using my rather limited Japanese reading ability either means Astro Quest or Ass To Row Quest...I prefer the latter translation. :P

Not too sure why SNKP releases all of these games on Japanese mobile phone services but never brings them out via iPhone, as this one looks fairly decent and one i wouldn't mind playing.

The usual Neo Geo fan club showing images sent in by fans, this months winning image is of Twinkle Star Sprites. I quite liked the Ninja Combat one myself.

Some sort of retrospective look at Fatal Fury Special.

In the Tougeki section of the magazine this month there are features on all of the games played this year, along with interviews with the winners and what i believe is their advice on the game in which they won.

As you can see in the KOFXIII page something that really made me laugh quite alot is the Raiden dropkick flowchart.

Also of course is the KOF02UM winners page about Hinako who OZ is most famous for using, along with some advice of how to use her. The small box to the left side explains moves which are most effective at different attack ranges.

Also at the end of this feature is a special report about Duelling the KOF, which is the main KOF major event in Japan, with some of the brackets and write ups for the different games played.

Finally to end up this issue, there was a small comic strip at the end (the topic varies between issues) featuring a bit of Hinako. DOSUKOI!! I have also included the Arcadia Arcade Rankings at the end, KOFXIII still in there at a respectable 6th place.

Just to note again to readers, please do not post up my photos on other websites without linking back to my website. Thanks.

This month's issue of Arcadia is available on Playasia.com or you can subscribe for a slightly cheaper rate here.

Edit: Almost forgot to mention, this month's issue also had a photo of the UK Players who qualified and went for the Tekken team competition at Tougeki. In this team was Cristina who has been a long time KOF player (but now mainly plays Tekken and Guilty Gear), her team i think came in the top 8. Also in the pic are her team mates Inti and Ramzi, who are both also friends of mine.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

The Collection of Drafts about SNK Design Works - A Quick Look

As i mentioned in the previous blog entry i came across this mook as a friend helps me look for SNKP/Neo Geo related goods in Japan, apparently it only cost him 100Y (about 77p!!) but after shipping costs it cost me a bit more than that...

The mook itself was published in 1996, and is vol.40 in the Gamest Mook series.

As you can guess by the title it is a collection of sketches and designs of some of the older SNK titles. In terms of KOF content it only covers KOF95.

Underneathe the cover is actually a different set of images, instead of the usual black and white version of the cover that you get on Japanese books.

The contents page showing all the titles which are covered in this particular mook:

In true SNK fashion there are of course spelling errors in English, the images below show how some of the images changed between the rough design stages and the final product.

After that the mook shows the games in their own section, showing things like sketch work for the manuals or works from Shinkiro's sketch book and in the case of Samurai Shodown it shows sketchbook work from Shiroi Eiji. Stupidly i didn't get any photos of the Art of Fighting stuff, i may upload these into a seperate entry at another time when i get the chance.

Although i'm not much of a fan of the SamSho games (don't really understand how to play them!), the sketchbook artwork is really gorgeous and probably the best stuff displayed in this mook.

To finish up the mook shows some works from other older titles made by SNK such as Baseball Stars 2, Sengoku Denshou 2, amongst others. It was nice to see some of this stuff particularly as these may (or may not) be considered as lesser known titles in the SNK library. (Often overshadowed by the SNK fighting games.)

Overall this is a very nice mook, really pleased that i managed to get hold of it and would recommend it to anyone who ever comes across it. Not much text in it too so you can just open it up and enjoy the images without worrying about having to read Japanese to get the full enjoyment out of it.

If there are any requests for some more images i'll be happy to put up a few more if i have the time to do it.

Monday, 1 November 2010

Parcel From Japan, some old SNK Goods

A friend of mine who is currently living in Japan occasionally helps me buy things from Yahoo Auction, received a fairly large box today full of different things so thought i'd show some of the SNK stuff.

First up several KOF keychains, fairly dirty due to age, but they were only Y100 (77p) each.
From the looks of it they were produced as KOF95 goods, not quite as nice as some of the other ones i've bought from Hong Kong in the past though.

Next up some more KOF95 figures. This time, from the looks of it, some sort of collaboration between Sega and SNK. Can't seem to find much information about these, Google search just brings up loads of results about Sega Saturn KOF95...

Robert and Terry are still sealed, hopefully u can see them through the dusty stained bag, only Athena was opened so i took that out to take photos. Apologies for some of the sideways images, not sure why blogspot uploads them sideways even after i saved them the right way.

Not too sure if u can tell from the images but these figures are fairly big, suprised me when i got them this morning, they looked alot smaller when i saw the images in Yahoo Auction.

Sculpts are not too bad, Athena's face does look kind of amusing and i'm pretty sure her boobs are lopsided.

Lastly the SNK Gamest Mook Vol.40: The Collection of Drafts About SNK Design Works, features pretty much what it says on the cover. I'll try and do a video like the one i did for the All About SNK book when i've got the chance.

Have also got the Tougeki DVD from when they ran NeoWave, i'm not too sure whether i'll rip it though as Youtube seems to like taking down the videos from Tougeki and it seems to take quite long to do. Maybe one of those things i'll do when i have absolutely nothing to do, no promises though.

For some reason Playasia hasn't sent me the invoice for the latest issue of Arcadia (maybe sick of me always asking to refund the price they keep charging me wrong), have sent them an email to ask them to invoice me so maybe will get that issue later than i planned.