Category Archives: Features

Famitsu Special Report – The Mystery of TOSE

Features
The Mystery of TOSE
(The following is a translation from the 04/13/2017 issue of Famitsu magazine) This is the real story behind TOSE: The game development company that's been making games for nearly 38 years (since 1979), but hardly any gamers know.

The Story of the Biggest and Most Beloved Japanese Contract Development Company That's Worked on 2257 Different Games

TOSE logoBack in February, Editor in Chief and author Hayashi went to an office in a business district in the Karasuma area of Kyoto. His destination was the biggest Japanese game development company, TOSE: An independent contract development company. Particularly amazing was the materials room hidden within, shown to us by CEO Shigeru Saitou: The over 1000 games that TOSE developed (excluding digital games) were all lined up in that narrow space. Saitou remarked "It's unfortunate that we can't show everyone all of the software that we've developed". As previously mentioned, TOSE develops games under contract from publishers, so they're rarely able to publicize the games that they develop due to contracts with their clients. Even editors in video games media don't know very much about them. Our Editor in Chief even remarked "Huh? TOSE made that game too?!" several times. What lied there was truly a new history of video games from the Famicom era to the present, unknown to anyone. 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