Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Everything you could possibly want in an Angry Birds press kit plus more.

Yep, I recently got the PC version of Angry Birds, and just to show you how much I love you, I decided to post a full, complete rip of everything you'll see in the current version of the PC/Mac OS X versions, just so you don't have to go searching through the resources folder or waste your trusted buck-a-ros.

But let me just cut the BS and give 'ya the link. Warning. Contains Smiling Swine.

Click me, brawk!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The terrible but shocking truth of Rosenkreuzstilette

I have been waiting for this moment for a long time. Time to talk about the doujin game series Rosenkreuzstilette and share my personal opinions (yes, mine.) about the characters, games, series, and more importantly, it's fanbase, and two of it's key members (Bare in mind that I'm not doing any personal attacks. I'm just stating what these people have done wrong in contributing to the series, and the payoffs).

First off, if you're not familiar with
Rosenkreuzstilette, you're not alone. Many people in all these online communities are also unaware of the series, and that's what makes it so obscure to many of us. Just to recap, Rosenkreuzstilette (or RKS is the title is just so confusing to spell) is a doujin soft series created by Japanese circle [erka:es], whose main (and only) employes are Isemiya, the game's main programer, and WOMI, the series' main artist, character designer, and graphic artist. Outside of RKS, WOMI specializes in drawing adult-rated fan-artwork of role-playing games, many of whom feature Clair Lasbard from Square Enix's Star Ocean series, whom I personally describe as WOMI's prime idol. Together with Isemiya, WOMI travels to Summer/Winter Comiket every August/December to sell copies of RKS and his own fan-doujins, all for a profit. At the time, this was the only way to get Rosenkreuzstilette, but in Summer 2009, the circle released a digital version of RKS for download on an adult site called DLsite, one of few places where you can post manga/video games you created and host them for a profit even if you didn't design anything in it from scratch w/o getting yo' ass sued to high heck.

So now that I told you a bit about the series and the two responsible for starting it, let's begin with what the first game is, and what it is about. Released on New Year's Eve in 2007, the original
Rosenkreuzstilette, which was initially created as an adult game, ended up transforming into a full-out Mega Man clone that took Spirita Rosenberg, a blond-haired hazel/green-eyed woman (whom I think is around 20yrs. old.) in a world where superpowered- human beings were hated upon, on a quest to stop her teammates, whom are part of The Blades of the Rose Cross, which is a organization consisting of all the major protagonists, all 97% female, who go unexpectedly against her in an effort to start a holy war. In traditional Mega Man style, you go through a prologue stage, then against Spiritia's fellow Magi, then to two castles where you fight off the last bosses, and face the game's main antagonist, Iris Sepperin. For a clone, it works, but of course, there are some things that set it back. The first game in the series succeeded in telling a well-detailed storyline, presenting us with a bunch of beautiful and colorful characters, introducing a lust-filled environment filled with ruins, castles, and towers (Castlevania, anyone?), but fails at presenting an original (even semi-original) experience, featuring character/level/gameplay traits that are taken directly from Mega Man or one of it's many spinoff series, among other titles (Don't believe me? Check out the Game over screens). Now I know these constant "references shoved into your face" are supposed to be somewhat "nostalgic", but these don't help much.

Now I have to mention the music in the game. Yes it is quite a good OST for a doujin game, and I wouldn't mind having some of the tracks on my iPod, but their way of utilizing the BGM and the time they're used kills the whole thing. Take the stage BGM for Zorne's stage, which is very upbeat and joyfull, and place it into a lava-filed cavern filled with boiling hot magma, and then the boss theme, Upbeat during an epic fight? Oh don't get me started. Get the point? Just doesn't work. But that's not to say it didn't work with the other BGMs in this game, like Luste and Grolla's, which their music perfectly fits their stages.

So now that I gave you a little info on what I think about RKS, it's time to summarize what my final opinions are. If you're a die-hard Mega Man fan and enjoy lovely anime girls, you'll probably enjoy this title. If not, then you'll probably be bored with it and find it repetitive once you reach the first castle. Overall, not bad, but nothing special. I give it a 7.4/10, or 74%, which
is a passing grade. I know other people have given much higher scores to this game, but remember, everyone has their own opinions about games. Hopefully the upcoming sequel, Rosenkreuzstilette ~Freudenstachel~ will fare better than it's prequel in terms of originality and value, but we'll see in August.

Perhaps now you'd like to hear what I think about the fanbase to this wonderful series? Well, first to mention, is the bonus content the staff were happy to present. We got a bonus hidden game, some promotional artwork. and... that's it. No fansite kit w/ downloadable renders and logos, no wallpaper/icon downloads, no concept sketches, no nothing. I know not every series needs to have bonus content, but it would be at least nice to see some more content from WOMI than him just pushing out concept art. We did get a preview of Trauare's RKSF sprite and a sketch of Iris, but other than that, zilch. Not even we are able to contact them easily. They have a mailing system right on their site, but they only rarely reply to fan mail and messages, never will they do all of them, no matter what the prime subject is.
In terms of what the fans have produced, not so well either. Now to be fair, RKS isn't and will never be as popular as the widely-recognized
Touhou Project, because RKS is younger, has only one game, has roughly around 15 characters that actually have key roles in the series, but for some reason, I prefer Rosenkreuzstilette. I dunno maybe it's the way the characters are drawn.

From what I can assume, many of you probably first herd of RKS via the popular Mega Man fansite Rockman Perfect Memories. It has an entire section devoted to the game (plus a full MP3 rip, as well as and severely-outdated page on the sequel. I'm sure before I came into town, this was the prime page to get your daily dose of RKS info, but then in December 2008, a new site arose that was entirely based on
Rosenkreuzstilette surfaced. It was a blog created using Google's popular Blogspot service by good 'ol Xelamint, entitled Schwer and Schwer Alike. It seemed like a good idea, but however putting a guy like him in patrol of a site like that isn't, however. Mint is somewhat egotistic, can't take criticism properly (the previous two words came from Puistink), and only thinks the Japanese RKS fans are the only ones that actually put love into the series while the American side does barely anything to support it in anyway possible. I also suppose he, along with AmethystViper are the only ones that think they "get" RKS and know everything about it, and thus gives them the right to brag about the lack of good-quality stuff on the English side of the fanbase. Plus, Viper's fanart contest pretty much wasn't that successful and well-processed, with the concept of having each judge (there were three) select the overall best piece for the contest in terms (which the winner was hissatsukunn, the guy also responsible for designing cute & lovable Dolis Warmind) the must humorous piece (which was given to YukoHanna) and one other mitscalascionus piece.

So what do we do to get RKS more popular?

Well, first off, forming a good fanbase is a gradual process, not flipping on a light switch. Isemiya and WOMI need to keep us entertained with different products, characters and games, as well as expand on the RKS universe before they can draw in a good number of fans outside the series' country of origin, including all those excellent and well-known artists and MAD authors. Look at how long it took
Touhou Project to get this popular. You expect RKS to become an instant hit *fingersnap* just like that? No. Just be patient, wait it out, and see where the series goes, hoping Isemiya and WOMI can make us remain w/ the series long enough to develop a good English-language fanbase. If not, well, you'll see. In the meantime, we can help by (attempting to) spread the word.

I spoke enough. /(v__-¡)\

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Mario & Luigi DOS hack Gameplay

Well hello once again everyone. This is my first post of the new month (and no, it has nothing to do with Groundhog Day, which was just yesterday).
But anyways, Check out what I scouted out on Youtube today.
This is a gameplay video of my rather short Super Mario World hack Mario & Luigi, which was my effort around a year ago to re-create the Super Mario DOS clone under the same title. Sometime after it was released, Youtuber DarkMurdoc666 did a complete playthrough of the hack, and went through all 6 of the main levels. He did miss the secret areas in several of the stages, but that's pretty much the whole purpose about secrets.

Speaking of SMW hacking, sometime in the future, I plan to gather a team and develop a much longer hack of my own w/ more levels than this one. Proving that my SMW Central account is still active and not defunct for my long inactivity.