Author Archives: BClarkOMP

Famista Evolution Interview with MCU

Features
MCU (Main Image)
(The following is a translation from the 06/07/2018 issue of Famitsu magazine.)

Interview With MCU, The First Artist to Sing a Theme Song For Famista!

The Famista series will feature a theme song for the first time in its 32 year history. And we're here with the artist who will sing "Famista Evolution", MCU of Kick The Can Crew!

MCU (Profile Image)Born 08/01/1973, and grew up in Sugamo in Tokyo. He's an MC for popular hip-hop group Kick The Can Crew.     Continue Reading

Darius

Reviews
Darius (Arcade) Title Screen
Arcade
1986 (Japan)
ダライアス
The Darius arcade cabinet Darius certainly wasn't the first horizontally scrolling shooter, or probably even the first that comes to mind for most people. It wasn't even the first shooter from developer/publisher Taito. But it was one of the most innovative, and that's mostly because of the arcade hardware involved. Much like Taito's own The Ninja Warriors one year later, Darius was housed in a sprawling setup: Three either 19 or 15 inch monitors (later the 15 inch version would be the only one still in production), a "body-sonic" seat with speakers beneath it to make the player really feel the music, and even a headphone jack (not a common feature on arcade games at this point). Even with modern arcade hardware, it's very rare for a cabinet to be so focused on presenting both a superior audio and visual experience. Continue Reading

Mr. Video Games – Eric Martin and Game/Japanese Music

Features
Mr. Vocalist - Eric Martin with Guitar before To Be With You
Almost anyone that knows Eric Martin undoubtedly knows him as the singer for the rock band Mr. Big, that enjoyed such popularity in the early 90s for their mega hit "To Be With You". Though they largely disappeared from the consciousness of the American music scene afterward, their popularity in Japan hasn't really diminished. They still exist as a band today, and on the occasion that they do play in the US, you'll usually find them at clubs. When they go to Japan, they sell out the Budokan. I could argue all day long about how "To Be With You" is not very representative of the band's signature sound, and how they deserved to be far more popular in the US than they were, but I'm not here to talk about Mr. Big. I'm here to talk specifically about Eric Martin, and how he's become a small but stand-out part of not only video game music, but Japanese music in general. Continue Reading

Dragon Ninja

Reviews
Bad Dudes vs. Dragon Ninja - Title Screen
Arcade
04/1988 (Japan, US)
ドラゴンニンジャ
Bad Dudes vs. Dragon Ninja
Hitting the arcades almost one year after the genre-changing Double Dragon and three years after grandfather Spartan X, Bad Dudes vs. Dragon Ninja was Data East's first beat-em-up. Like the recently released The Ninja Warriors, Bad Dudes leans into action movies featuring ninjas for aesthetics, since they were extremely popular at the time. Instead of controlling a ninja (well, a robot one anyway) against an army with the goal of assassinating the President though, this time you control a street brawling tough guy (or two, if you're playing multi-player) attempting to rescue the President from a group of ninjas known as Dragon Ninja. Continue Reading

Wild Guns Reloaded Developer Interview

Features
Wild Guns Reloaded - Miyabe and Iwatsuki
(The following is a translation from the 05/03/2018 issue of Famitsu magazine.)

The Reason for Remaking Wild Guns

A remake of Wild Guns by the original staff. We've asked director/programmer Mr. Miyabe and sound composer Mr. Iwatsuki about the secrets behind the birth of this title.

Reloaded was made by the same team that made the original

First of all, please tell us the details of developing Reloaded. (Miyabe) Our biggest reason for doing it was that last year was our company's 30th anniversary. It's not a very big company and the name of it has changed over time. Also "They don't have anyone left that actually makes games" and "No one who used to work there back in the day is still around" are both things that people think about us. Even so, we wanted to say that we still had it in us. We'd hardly released any of our past titles to Virtual Console and such, and we'd been thinking that we'd like to make them available somehow. Also we still had all of the original team members around from back then, so we wanted to try actually remaking it instead of just putting it in an emulator or something. We didn't have much confidence in its success at the time, but being in the Internet age we looked up what people thought about Wild Guns and learned that it's well liked after all. Continue Reading