Thursday, 25 March 2021

King of Fighters XV - Yashiro Nanakase trailer - A Quick Look


I hadn't planned to do individual trailer write ups, but considering SNK has seemed to have 'shattered expectations' it means a change of plan...lol. 


Prior to this week's trailer they did tease in the silhouette format that they used to tease upcoming DLC characters for XIV, a lot of people seemed to be guessing Ryo due to way they've been releasing trailers so far, some guessed Yashiro correctly, and others went for characters like Shen or Shingo. 

But as we all know now it's Yashiro returning to the series. Strangely on SNK's Twitter account they say it's the first time back since 2002, but then he was in 98UM and 02UM...Even if they are technically remakes or possibly SNK just doesn't consider them part of the main series? A little strange considering 98 and 02 are dream matches.

Anyway back to the trailer, it seems like Yashiro's design has been slightly updated, also as pointed out by MMaker on Twitter, he has some clever details in his design such as the 1997 on his belt. (The last game he was alive in.)


One of the things I noticed that they didn't seem to show (or I've possibly missed), is his weak attacks in this trailer. I remember back in 98 his weak attacks (standing B, or crouching A) made him a bit of a poke monster, especially considering how good poking was in general in 98. 

It doesn't seem like they've added anything new to his move set, though I did think his qcfx2+P super looks a bit weird how his arm looks a little disjointed? Is it really possible to punch like that? lol...


Other than that I think he looks pretty much as he has in the previous games he's been in. 

On a side note, I was looking up his move lists last night (as I started playing KOF before internet was a widespread thing, I never bothered to learn move names) and I had forgotten his move list was written in Cyrillic (which I normally think of as Russian lol...). 

This led me to check out why his move list was in Cyrillic, and after a while Googling various keywords together I came across the Wikipedia page for the Oroch People!!

It could be just a massive coincidence, but it seems all too similar for it to be. As we all know the Three Sacred Treasures are based on the Imperial Regalia of Japan, so it could be very plausible that they referenced the Oroch people when creating the New Face/Orochi Team. 

As pointed out by others on Twitter it's a little ironic they announced Yashiro today (25th March) considering it's Heavy D and Iori's birthdays. Considering he beat up the former for his KOF invitation and he's rivals with Iori due to band conflict. 


Hopefully this also means the Orochi version of Yashiro is in the works, as I actually used him back in 98, as well as the rest of the New Face Team. All in all, great trailer. I always like seeing more returning characters or familiar faces in the KOF series. 



Wednesday, 24 March 2021

King of Fighters XV - Team Fatal Fury trailers / TARKUN Fatal Fury Definitive Soundtrack Vinyl Record - A Quick Look







On to the next set of trailers, this time focusing on Team Fatal Fury. I feel that this team was an obvious edition to the game, so it wasn't too suprising when their trailers started dropping. It looks like they've received a nice graphical update much like the rest of the cast, especially Andy who looked terrible in XIV. 

 Overall I don't have too much to say about this team, it's just business as usual for the Fatal Fury team. 

 The other thing I wanted to write about today was this related vinyl record that I just received in the mail today.

I've had my eye on this record for a little while now, I still occasionally play the original Fatal Fury game and I'm a big fan of the soundtrack so when I found somewhere selling it in the UK I had to get it. 
The soundtrack features all of the music from the original game, plus a remix of Raiden's theme (ROF Version) at the end of side B. I'm assuming ROF is referring to Rhythm of Fighters. 


Also included is a 'booklet' with interviews with the staff involved with the vinyl release in both English and Japanese, as well as a download code for various quality tracks from this vinyl. 
A nice record and a happy purchase, I believe it was a bit cheaper from the Limited Run website, but I bought it from an online store in the UK (as I don't like to be charged customs anyway) called Vinyl Guru. They have a few other SNK records in stock at the moment, as well as preorders, I was quite tempted to get the AOF2 one as well but spent too much money recently lol. 
They do next day delivery, my vinyl was well packaged and arrived without any serious damage. 

Sunday, 21 March 2021

King of Fighters XV - Team Sacred Treasures trailers - A Quick Look







So while we continue to play catch up on the KOFXV trailers so far, the next set of trailers I'll be looking at today are the Team Sacred Treasures' trailers. 

I wasn't too suprised to see Chizuru's inclusion, it did seem judging on the endings in XIV that it was leaning towards her being included in this game. 
I would say though I was a little disappointed that they didn't update her design a bit. Also something about how she animates is a little bit strange to me, but I can't exactly pinpoint the problem. (It could very well just be that she has more animation than I'm used to seeing for the character.)

Iori is looking good, he reminds me a lot of his Another Striker version from KOF2000.


I can't remember if it was a thing in XIV but it seems his EX hcb+P grabs and blows up the opponent on the ground. 

Also with Kyo it looks like his 'Neo Max' is a lot like Saisyu's qcfx2+P from KOF98. 


Overall, generally positive opinions from this set of trailers. It does make me wonder since the three of them are together for the first time since 03 (if you do the boss code you can pick Chizuru) does it mean that Orochi will turn up in some form for this game? 

Lastly before I finish this post, I was going through my storage boxes yesterday of things I packed away before I went to live in Japan and managed to find some of my old Yujin gacha figures. Always found it kinda amusing that Kyo and Iori look like they're holding hands if you put them next to each other lol...







Saturday, 20 March 2021

King of Fighters XV - Team Hero trailers - A Quick Look









A bit late to the party but thought I'd just share a few thoughts about the trailers shown so far, this time focusing on Team Hero. 

So it seems Team China has ditched Tung in favour of Benimaru this year, also judging by the set ups of the other teams so far it would seem that Benimaru is the leader of this team. 

In terms of the characters shown, I wasn't too much of a fan of the new characters in XIV. 
I did play Meitenkun for a while, but didn't really click with Shun-Ei at all. 
Personally I'm one of those who wants more returning characters rather than new ones. 

But anyway, just based on these three trailers it looks like the game has had a huge graphical overhaul and was probably needed considering the heavy criticism XIV received based on the graphics. 

It does look like they are veering away from the BC combo system in this game, at the moment from what I can tell it looks like the game will instead be based around a simpler cancel system but since we cannot see the super bars it's difficult to guess exactly how this will work. 
To me it looks kind of like how cancels work in the Street Fighter EX games. (attack -> special -> super)

Just as a personal opinion, I feel this was a good idea as I've never liked being on the receiving end of long combos. 

But anyway that's my opinion of this set of trailers, not much really but it's not a team that I'm very excited about personally. 

How about you? What did you guys think of this set of trailers?

[Switch] Neo Geo Pocket Color Selection Vol.1 - A Quick Look


Recently picked up Neo Geo Pocket Color Selection Vol.1 for the Nintendo Switch, and since I have a lot of free time recently (due to the lockdown in London) I thought I'd just do a quick write up with some thoughts on this collection. 


First of all the games on this collection are as follows:

  • Big Tournament Golf (Neo Turf Masters), 
  • Dark Arms: Beast Buster
  • Fatal Fury: First Contact
  • SNK Gals' Fighters
  • King of Fighters R-2
  • The Last Blade
  • Metal Slug 1st Mission
  • Metal Slug 2nd Mission 
  • Samurai Shodown! 2
  • SNK Vs Capcom: Match Of The Millenium
For £35.99 you're getting 10 games, which is pretty good value considering buying just one of the games on the original NGPC can cost more than that nowadays. 


In terms of the game selection I think that it's quite a nice mix, but maybe a bit fighter heavy. 
Also it kind of makes you wonder what titles they'll include in vol.2, considering SNK vs Capcom and Gals' Fighters are two of the more desirable games on the system and are already included in this collection. 

I'm hoping that if there is a vol.2 that they'll include Neo Geo Cup 98, it was one of the few games I owned when I first bought the original NGP years ago and a game I played and enjoyed a lot. 



Anyway getting back to the collection. 
Emulation wise, as far as I can tell, it seems pretty accurate to the original versions.
I've not played far enough into KOF R-2 yet, but I seem to remember reading that the DC Link mode is not possible on this collection (for obvious reasons), so it may mean that in "making mode" that you may not be able to get 100% item collection as the original game required you to connect your NGPC to the Dreamcast port of KOF98. 

A big plus for this collection is that you're able to play two players on a single switch console. with each player given their own screen, a little similar to a cocktail table arcade cabinet, and can be controlled with each of the two joy-cons. 
Having owned the original NGP since it came out, I didn't know many people who owned it as well so over the 20 years I've owned the console I've probably only ever tried 2 player mode once lol...


Since the Switch is portable it means I now have more of a chance to play against someone else. 
(Also note that one of the hidden characters in FF:FC is only playable in 2P mode...)

I mainly play my Switch docked on a 55inch 4K TV, and it looks pretty good in my opinion.





You can turn on or off the 'scanlines' as you prefer, and for the games that were compatible with the original black and white NGP you can also choose that for a more monochrome look. 
For the games that aren't compatible though you'll likely see something like this:


I thought it was a pretty clever touch, it's what you'd really see if you put a NGPC only cartridge into the original NGP. 

You are also able to choose New NGPC mode, as of yet I'm unable to tell any real difference between choosing the New mode vs standard Color. Even though I own both the New NGPC and NGPC, I've always thought the only difference was the size, but according to Wikipedia the only real difference is better quality sound. 

I tested a few different controllers with the collection (HRAPv5 Hayabusa, Switch Pro Controller, 8bitdo M30) just to see which would be more comfortable to play with. 
Of the three I tried I didn't necessarily feel that any of them were as natural as playing with the original clicky stick. I mainly play using the HRAP v5 as i like joysticks but I do find it easier to do spinning pile driver with the pro controller's dpad. 

One thing I thought I'd mention about this collection though is that even when they were first released the console was pretty old technology (considering the GameBoy Advance came out around the same time, or maybe a little later), so some of the games do feel pretty clunky and dated. Still, the games are fun if a little basic.

Personally, back then it was pretty amazing being able to play a portable version of KOF even if it was an incredibly simplified version. 

One thing I didn't really notice when playing it in the past is that some of the fighting games on the NGPC have grab combos similar to the early KOF games where you could do a jump attack and if you input the grab command it would chain it as a combo. So in MOTM you can do Zangief's splash into SPD/Final Atomic Buster

Overall I'm enjoying this collection so far, I'm getting to revisit some of the games I've enjoyed in the past as well as playing a couple of them for the first time (Big tournament golf, and Dark Arms).
There's probably a lot more I could write but I'm probably out of practice writing (considering I haven't blogged for almost four years lol) and it's taken me longer than I expected to just type this far. 

So to end this, I'd recommend this collection for old fans as well as people who have never experienced playing the NGPC. For £35.99 you're getting good value for money for a decent collection of games. 

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Fun Fun Funabashi - Game Center / Arcade (Funabashi, Chiba)


It's been a while since I've posted here but since I have some free time recently, I thought I'd write a little bit about a few of my local game centers just in case anyone visiting Japan may want to pass through.

Starting with Fun Fun Funabashi, located a few minutes away from Funabashi Station.
You can check the location on Google Maps here

This is probably one of my favourite game centers locally, due to the fact that it has a good mix of old and new games, and most importantly it has a lot of Y50 cabinets lol.

They run a lot of tournaments here, but rarely if ever for SNK games. I think the ones I see most often are for Dengeki Bunko, Guilty Gear or DOA.

Although having said that they do have a lot of MVS/SNK games here.

Just as an example (I may have forgotten some games) as of posting this is a list of some of the SNK games:

KOFXIV (Nesica2) - Y100
KOFXIII, KOF98UMFE, KOF02UM (Nesica) - Y100
Metal Slug, Metal Slug 2, Metal Slug 4, Magical Drop 2, Neo Turf Masters, KOF98, Garou MOTW, Real Bout Special, KOF94, World Heroes Perfect, Fighters History Dynamite (MVS) - Y50
KOF02UM (Non Nesica version) - Y50




As you can probably tell there is quite a nice selection of SNK games here, they also have one of those MAME cabinets towards the back of the arcade so pretty much anything not on it's own cabinet is probably there. I've also seen people request that they swap out one of the MVS carts for a different game, but I've never tried it myself.

They only have a single cabinet for KOFXIV here, so you can't play in store/local versus but you can still connect to players in other game centers for versus.

It's been a little uncommon to have played versus on many of the SNK games here, maybe a couple of times on 02UM, but I usually go during non-peak hours so I'm not sure if there are a lot of players at other times.

Also sometimes quite randomly they'll put the Jackie Chan fighting game in.
I've seen on their Twitter page that they've also held a tournament on it recently too but I only found out about it after it was already over. 


I'm not sure I'd necessarily recommend making a day trip to go here, as you can probably find the same games in Tokyo just as easily, if you were passing through or just wanted to go outside of Tokyo it's quite a nice game center to have a look in.

Going from Akihabara to Funabashi is about 30 minutes on the Chuo Sobu line.


Thursday, 4 May 2017

Rest in peace community member Toxico.

I've just seen over on Twitter that fellow FGC community member Toxico (aka Ars Magna, ImbuedGold) has sadly passed away.

It's not often that I write on this blog nowadays, but I felt that as someone who had contributed to the FGC community over the years that I didn't think it would do him justice to just mention it in passing on Twitter.

Although I have never met him in person, we have shared conversations with each online for many years and because of our shared interest in games he was one of my favourite people on the internet.

He had a great knowledge of a variety of games, culture, etc and was always enthusiastic and cheerful when talking about games. I learned a great deal about games when he'd pop over to my blog and leave a comment or on Twitter.

I'd always enjoyed his trivia, the videos he shared, and even checking what game he was playing on PS4. 

He was probably the only person I knew that enjoyed playing Dragon's Crown, so it was always a joy being able to learn about the higher levels of that game and to be able to share my enjoyment of that game with him. 

From the start of my blog and indeed many of my ventures to create things on the internet he has always been supportive of me, and for that I am eternally grateful to him.

It's not often that I feel sad, but in this case he will be sorely missed.

Rest in peace my friend, it was an honour to have spoken with you.

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https://twitter.com/ImbuedGold