“Since 1995 the market has been in steady decline. I established INH to protect these games.” – Minoru Ikeda, INH Co. Ltd
Since the dawn of time people, animals and things have been embroiled in bettering each other at ‘stuff’. For example, if pre historical fact (and fiction) is to be believed, volcanoes are better than dinosaurs. The Romans built a better UK road network than the grassy, muddy mess that existed before it (and the current road network that sprawls across the UK if you’ve ever paid a congestion charge or sat in traffic on the M25). On August 16, 2009 Usain Bolt ran 100 meters in 9.58 seconds. This beat the previous world record of 9.74 seconds held by Asafa Powell. This minute difference in times instantly made Usain Bolt better than Asafa Powell.
Then there are video games. I … Read More »
“What kind of game centre blasts out James Blunt – You’re Beautiful over the sound system?”
So I’m here, I’m in Japan and I’ve an itinerary as long as Santa’s address book of what will be seen and what will done during such a short period of vacation time. Gaming-wise, Akihabara is the obvious priority but no visit would be complete without dropping a few ¥100 coins in a game centre or two.
The game centre. The last true outpost of, what is for many, now a relic of the past. Ancient history. Around the world, almost anywhere you care to visit in fact, the game centre (aka ‘the video arcade’) has virtually disappeared from public life. Once a thriving hotspot for many a person of the 1980’s and 1990’s, the humble game centre has lost out to the convenience of the Internet and … Read More »
I am 32 years old, I’ve wanted a robot since I was 6 and have dreamed of visiting Japan since the very first time I leafed through the ‘Live From Hell City‘ articles by Peter Evans in Super Play magazine some 19 years ago now. In the small hours of the morning on Sunday July 8th, 2012, nearly two decades after my first real exposure to Tokyo, at a time where I was old enough to grasp and completely understand the messages being conveyed through this and other journals of the day, I will be boarding a flight to Tokyo.
These are my ‘memoirs’ of my vacation to Japan, July 2012. I hope you enjoy this series.
Finally, I’m making the pilgrimage that all gaijin gamers and Japanophiles desire to make before they get too old, die alone … Read More »
“I’d like to know who invented eating outside. You can’t blame Neanderthals. They had no choice but to eat outside in the open air. Either that or be eaten alive by a dinosaur should they have wished to mortgage a cave, turn it in to a haute cuisine restaurant and begin charging their fellow villagers in fig leaves and pebbles for the privilege of dining there.”
Isn’t it amazing how warm weather affects us as a human race? The mere sniff of an increase in temperature coupled with a glimpse of the sun that could only be captured by those cameras they use for a photo finish in horse racing or athletics and we’re scrambling like the deranged to get outside and do all sorts of ‘fun stuff’.
Today for example, I was walking around the city during my lunch break thinking … Read More »
“The XE-1 HE Pro simply oozes quality from every aspect. Indeed somewhere on the box it should say Made by God instead of Made in Japan.”
“Oh it’s broken is it? You’ve only had that thing five minutes!” followed by “…well, that’s modern technology for you isn’t it? Stuff isn’t made to last any more. It’s not like the old days…”, a short pause and moments later we’re finally dealt the closing line that feeds us with utmost security and an enormous sense of value, “…I had a television/car/insert name of costly product here that lasted me 57 years… and before that it belonged to [insert name of ancient relative here] and they had it through both world wars AND took it with them on safari where it was trampled on by 100,000 Wildebeest stampeding across the Masai Steppe AND IT … Read More »
“I am on the verge of writing a letter to the World Health Organization demanding this game be shipped with a health warning, or at the very least be available only on prescription from authorized outlets. Ketsui: Kizuna Jigoku Tachi Extra is bowel-butteringly addictive.”
Around 500 years ago, tobacco made it’s grand entrance on the European stage. Few partook in the habit, most actually found it rather amusing and, according to UK history books, crowds actually began gathering in London just to watch people smoke! The habit spread like a virus, an epidemic, a tidal wave of rowdy, nicotein-fulled action that transmogrified the world in an instant.
In 2010 5pb. brought Ketsui: Kizuna Jigoku Tachi to the XBOX 360. I think of Ketsui: Kizuna Jigoku Tachi Extra in the same way as I do tobacco. Apart from the whole bit about Europe … Read More »
“The game industry in general is having a hard time and we refocus on social games and new revenue avenues. But we won’t give up!” – Hiroyuki Maruyama, President. G.Rev.
If ever a video game company commanded a mandatory abundance of respect by the bucketload, it’s G.Revolution (aka, G.Rev). A company initially founded for the sole purpose of developing shooting games, G.Rev quickly discovered that even with the goal set in stone to focus solely on shoot ‘em up games, they simply did not have the capital required to jump in to the arena and destroying all before them with magnificent, multi-million Yen titles. Instead, to acheive their goal, G.Rev worked hard on top grade titles for such respected companies as Sega, Taito Corporation and Treasure. The aim being to raise enough capital from co-devloping other projects in the hopes of … Read More »
“I play shmups to travel to different places. My favorite shmups combine great mechanics with some place I like to visit and encountering entities that surprise me.” – Nathan Fouts
If his games Game Type and Shoot 1Up are anything to go by, Nathan Fouts is a man that quite clearly resides in a realm greater, more psychedelic and infinitely more fun than anything us mere mortals can conjure in our lesser, feeble and distinctly ‘beige’ minds. It seems it’s not something remotely new to him either, upon further investigation in to his portfolio. Originally working on big name commercial projects, Nathan Fouts packed it in and decided to go it alone. Now, with just a small number of years solo under his company, Mommy’s Best Games, proudly boasts a plethora of quality titles, each of which has seen major success across all gaming realms.
A … Read More »
“I can’t quite put my finger on what makes Japanese magazines so special. Maybe it’s the layout of the pages and what appears to be the wealth of information kicked and stuffed in to each and every page. Like watching a shoe addict try to close a wardrobe.”
Famitsu. The final, original true bastion of the Japanese gaming press. Launched in 1986 and still going strong today, the original Famitsu publication remains but has since expanded to publish a wide variety of platform-specific titles. Hardware and software will come and go. Fans have grown older, had children of their own and they become hooked on Japans favourite weekly, monthly, daily, quartley, hourly and nanosecondly (if you follow @famitsu) gaming publication.
Although popular in Japan, these publications are often saught after by salivating otaku outside Japan. Not one of them cares a jot that … Read More »
“All the romance of trout fishing exists in the mind of the angler and is in no way shared by the fish.” – Harold F. Blaisdell, ‘The Philosophical Fisherman’, 1969
Early December 2011, slightly bored, I puh-roozed the Internet with absolutely zero intention of looking for anything gaming-related to purchase. Reading this you can most likely conjure up the scenario. Tapping a few keys in to your search engine of choice, scouring the results and then click… click… click… click click click… Five minutes have passed and your web browser suddenly has approximately 40 tabs open and you’re a million miles away from what you were searching for in the first place because every page you opened had something instantly more interesting to look at than the original page you wanted to look at.
Somehow you, sorry, I, am now staring at … Read More »