It's true that I have not been working without limit on my blog. I blame finals for sapping my energy and making me too lazy to finish writing anything, but the truth is that I'm naturally lazy in the same sense, that, say, the Natural Playboy is naturally a playboy. It's just how we roll. Blogging Tsukihime is a large and perhaps discouraging task, but like everything else I'm going to shrug and say "I'll get around to it." Expect progress soon!
Until then, let's talk about something that is peripherally Tsukihime: the way kickin' fighting game Melty Blood. Perhaps one of the 2D fighter genre's last triumphs, Melty Blood was a collaboration between Type-Moon themselves (right before they went pro) and Watanabe Productions (still in the doujin game and still turning out pro-quality work; now French-Bread). Type-Moon provided the characters and story; Watanabe brought the ruckus.
The PC game was of such quality that it caught the attention of Ecole, a Japanese publisher that we, um, have to "thank" for the Saturn cult anti-classic Death Crimson (which inspired what is very likely the best gimmick controller ever made).
Ecole brought Melty Blood to the arcades as Melty Blood: Act Cadenza (French-Bread's name disappears from the game at this point; what shady developer politics were behind this we may never know). They did very well with it; as of this two-month-old issue of Arcadia I've got here they're the #4 most popular arcade game in Japan, right behind Virtua Fighter 5.
Very recently, Ecole ported the game to the PS2. The fanbase that had been playing Melty Blood on their PCs all this time probably felt screwed, but the PS2 players were not far behind. The week after Act Cadenza's PS2 release, Ecole announced Melty Blood Act Cadenza: Version B for the arcades. If your arcade game is popular enough, this is a time-honored fan-screwing tradition: you make your money in the arcades. When the cash flow dries up a little bit, you put out a home version for the last remaining hardcore fans to buy. Then, you put a new version into the arcade and repeat the procedure. You get a nice bit of supplemental profit and you get your main line of profit going again. Who wouldn't do it?
Anyway, it looks like Ecole is doing a PC release of Act Cadenza after all, and it's Version B. Good things come to those who wait their turn to get screwed, I suppose? The demo just went up today; it's getting hammered by the international legion of Type-Moon fans so be patient. Myself, I just got done playing around with it.
There are two characters, neither of whom appear in the Tsukihime I'm blogging: Len and White Len. They're palette-swap characters, like Ryu and Evil Ryu. White Len is this game's new character (yes, one new character and she's a palette-swap; insult to injury, I know), and she's actually kinda fun to play as. Look how chill she is! We're bobbin'. We're weavin'. We are relaxed.
White Len used to be the final boss character. While she wasn't the kind of pain in the ass that say, Omega Rugal is in King of Fighters, she could still be god damned infuriating, and making her playable as she was would have broken the game irrevocably. As such, they made a whole other character out of White Len. She is not the terror she was, but my preliminary research indicates that she has retained a little bit of her ass-kicking ability. Isn't that a nice screen? Icily flash-kicking one's doppelganger under the full moon. Sigh.