Category Archives: Features

Famitsu Feature: The Present State of Shooting Games

Famitsu Translations
Raiden II - Salaryman Laser
A big multi-article feature entitled "The Present State of Shooting Games" which published in theĀ 07/12/2018 issue of Famitsu magazine, centered around the recent release of famed shooter Ikaruga to the Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4 stores. Ikaruga got its own set of articles that I won't be translating, however there were three key articles in the bigger feature that interested me quite a bit as a fan of the shooter (Shmups, whatever you want to call it, just as long as you understand I'm not talking about First-Person Shooters) genre:
    • Famitsu's 2D Shooting Family Tree 2018
      • Famitu put together a basic family tree (no it won't have EVERYTHING on it) on the evolution of the 2D shooter as of 2018, which gave me a chance to break out my draw.io flowchart skills for the translation once again!
    • Talking with ZUN from the Touhou Series! A Conversation Hell
      • A very interesting conversation between old-school shooter fans, featuring various writers and editors, as well as Touhou Project creator ZUN. They discuss their memories of classic shooters, as well as how the genre led up to Bullet Hell and the formation of Touhou. All of this comes with pictures of them having a lot of fun in a dark izakaya with very delicious looking beer!
    • Talking With Minoru Ikeda, Owner Of Takadanobaba Arcade Mikado: The Allure And Future of Shooting Games
      • In perhaps my favorite of the three articles, Famitsu talks to owner/operator of famed arcade Mikado in Tokyo's Takadanobaba area Minoru Ikeda about his history with shooting games and as an arcade operator. It's very interesting to hear about this sort of thing from the standpoint of someone who runs an arcade, and how what he feels it will take for shooters and arcades to revitalize themselves. I'll definitely be stopping into Mikado on my next trip to Japan!
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Satoru Iwata – Learn From the President! (An Adult’s Journey Never Ends)

Features
Satoru Iwata and Shigesato Itoi
When Satoru Iwata passed away three years ago, I was made aware of a Youtuber who was looking for help translating various Iwata related articles and interviews for use in a tribute that he was put together. At that point I was beginning to better figure out the types game-related material that I was interested in translating, and they tended to be interviews or behind-the-scenes type things. So I was pretty happy when I found out the material that needed to be translated was a series of transcribed conversations between Satoru Iwata and famed copywriter/game designer/a little bit of everything Shigesato Itoi. The conversations were posted on Hobonichi's website, Hobonichi being the Itoi-founded company that designs and produced various lifestyle goods such as their Techo Planners/Organizers. 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

Region Locking on the XBox 360

Why did I decide I needed a Japanese XBox 360? I cite the plethora of shooters (or "shmups", though I really do hate that word) that never made it out of Japan. One of the first things I wondered though, was just how the region locking worked exactly. Let's face it, there are a lot of ways to play games on the 360: Physical discs, XBox Live Arcade, and Games on Demand being the most popular. I scoured many forum posts that attempted to explain the ins and outs of how points worked across regions, and what games could be played on which region of system. None of them had all of the answers, and often the information was incomplete or just plain wrong. My goal is to ensure that no one else seeking these answers has to go through the same process to find out what they can or can't play on what and where. Continue Reading