Released in 1972, long before video games were even a glint in a developers eye, Nintendo were in the business of manufacturing childrens toys. The Lefty was a series of toy RC cars by Nintendo that appeared on the market before rival Tamiya (today a world leader in radio controlled hobby products). With the Lefty, Nintendo aimed to release the world’s first radio controlled car at an affordable price point. To keep costs down the cars featured one servo. A servo with the ability to operate in one motion. A motion that allowed the car to solely turn left. Hence the name, Lefty.
If you are big in to retro video games, you may well have heard of a web site named Retro Collect. A polished and professional gaming site dedicated to all things retro. They have a thriving community to boot. My first article submission has been accepted and published at Retro Collect, the first of, I hope, many more.
I will of course be maintaining this, my personal site and am busy hammering away on various items as and when time allows. If you would like to check out my article discussing starting a family and keeping enthused with video games, please feel free to click the link below and also check out a great web site too!
It’s difficult to leap in to this review without making it first obvious that I am a massive, near-on obsessive fan of the Darius series of video games. From posters to Laserdiscs, to tote bags to model kits, to soundtracks to VHS tapes to the games themselves. You name it, if it’s Darius-related, I’ve either owned it or it’s currently in my collection. So when Darius Burst Chronicle Saviours was announced for the PC, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita, you could say I was mildly excited upon reading said news.
A handful of years ago, I forget exactly when but let us say circa 2011-2013, I was given these 3 sketches from someone whom I purchased some video games from. I hadn’t paid much attention to them since I got them, the person who gave me them simply said something along the lines of I have these sketches, do you want them? I’m not sure if they are real, but you can have them if you want. I agreed, received them, looked at them and didn’t think of them any more. Until today.
On a personal level, 2015 proved to be a remarkable year. I rediscovered my joy for photography. Something that had waned during years prior. Over the course of the year I began taking photos using 120 and 35mm film in conjunction with my trusty Nikon DSLR. I also amassed a, now out of control, collection of film cameras and even invested in some broken (and now repaired by my fair hands!) Super 8 cameras, film stock and even a Super 8 projector, which I am in the process of restoring.
Released in 2012, Burunyanman Portable originally started life as an eroge STG for the PC known as Burunyanman Hardcore! The game was later toned down (aka all the questionable, and I really do stress the word questionable, material was removed) and released for the Sony PSP handheld in both regular and limited editions. The game also appeared as a cheaper ‘best’ edition further down the line.
This is a flyer for the launch in 2012. I picked this up in one of the Trader stores in Akihabara. Burunyanman Portable is actually a great little STG, just like it was on the PC where it made it’s debut. Thankfully removing all seriously dubious adult material did not ruin enjoyment of the actual game. I would advise against importing the PC version of the game, lest you may have your collar felt!
This booklet has been scanned in at 300 dpi. It is a Tower Records pamphlet, titled, Tower Theatre. I picked this up during my visit to Japan in 2012, the Miyazaki cover art caught my eye. I popped it in to a document folder and brought it home to scan 3 years later!
You can download the booklet by clicking the icon below. What do you think? Do any items catch your eye? Let everyone know in the comments section!
In 2012 I was lucky enough to visit Japan. During my stay I visited Akihabara and picked up an English language map of the area. You can download a 300 dpi PDF of the complete map from my website, just click the link below!
How does Akihabara compare today with the Akihabara from 2012? Can you spot any of your favourite stores or game centers? Let me know in the comments below!
Picture the scene. It is late April, 1995. A young Toshiaki Fujino is tucked away in a small room in an already cramped Tokyo apartment. Fujino san is hunched over a desk. Illumination in the room is provided by the glow of a Sharp X68000 cathode ray tube monitor. Amid the cathode flicker, the whir of a ceiling fan and the thick ribbons of smoke emerging from a stagnant Mild Seven, Fujino san is hard at work, creating what would become his first proper shooting game. A milestone that would have become his legacy, but until recently was considered lost forever.
Project Moon would make it’s debut in May 1995, plunging head first in to the chaotic circles of Japan’s crowded, saturated and frenetic doujin (indie, or fan made, for want of a more familiar classification in the West) scene. Ripples were made and the title was well received and passed around said chaotic circles. Project Moon would soon become but a distant memory as Fujino san would take a bold leap forward to form Triangle Service, a company still active today in 2015 and still brand of utmost importance to niche gamers. In particular, fans of shooting games.
“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 bucket load, 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 being able to release their very own, 100% G.Rev titles.
That’s where the respect by the bucket loads part comes in. It’s truly an epic acheivement. Not just because of what G.Rev have accomplished in sticking to their belief of the original goal and actually following through with it, but for the fact that the product that they have produced, both as co-productions and their very own titles have been nothing short of astonishing. Indeed two titles from the G.Rev vault, Border Down and Under Defeat are widely regarded as two of the finest shooting games ever made. The latter of which will see an HD makeover and full retail release (in Japan only) on the XBOX 360 and PlayStation 3 this week.
I was incredibly honoured to be approached by Jacob Iyamu at online retailer Solaris Japan to have my tiny personal blog represented at an interview with the good folks at G.Revolution. Naturally I jumped at the chance and put forward a handful of questions for Jacob to ask Hiroyuki Maruyama, president of G.Rev on my behalf. The interview was recorded and will be available later on this month (stay tuned for more information to follow on this).