A big multi-article feature entitled “The Present State of Shooting Games” which published in the 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!
Translating these more candid sort of conversations that weren’t the usual rigid interviews was very refreshing. The ZUN article implied that there may be another sort of conversation like this published in the future, and I sincerely hope that happens! I’ve never been terribly good at too many shooters, but reading about the love that people from way back have for the genre makes me want to revisit some of my favorites and try to get better at them once again. So everyone get your Salaryman Lasers ready, and go play some shooters!