Our Nostalgic Games ~Retro Gamer Round-table~ #200 Special
For the 200th edition of Our Nostalgic Games, we have some very special guests here to talk about their memories as classic gamers! With us today are unparalleled game-lover MCU, and Fujita, a man well known for his gaming abilities. We’ve invited these two friends here for nostalgic game talk, in this very special edition. In addition, they also took to competing with one another more than the usual contributors.
Two Game Lovers Who Were Fated To Meet
How do you two know one another?
(MCU) I saw him on TV and became a fan, so I sent him a message on Twitter and he replied. Later I went over to his place to hang out, but the next day my back really hurt and I caught a cold. It’s also the first time in my life where I’ve played games with someone where everything was set up vertically.
(Fujita) Well there isn’t enough room for it all to be horizontal!
(MCU) One time when I came over, he said “I’m going to an audition” and suddenly disappeared. He left me alone at his place for like 2 or 3 hours.
(Fujita) I told them that MCU was alone in my house too.
(MCU) No one had any idea what was happening. That’s how we met.
I see (Laughs) How long have you been playing games for?
(MCU) From around the time I was in grade school. I played the machines at small candy stores more than I did at arcades. But I did grow up in the Sugamo area of Tokyo though, So I went to a well-known arcade called Carrot quite a bit. I played machines at a nearby oden shop too. As far as home consoles went, I had a Super Cassette Vision instead of a Famicom.
(Fujita) That’s distorting things a little bit, right? You said that the Super Cassette Vision was just your first console.
(MCU) At that time the Super Cassette Vision was the only system you could play Pole Position II on, after all. And then Falcom made a game for it, so yeah it was my first one.
(Fujita) But you didn’t buy it because it was the one you wanted most in the first place, right?
(MCU) The Famicom was sold out everywhere, so I didn’t have a choice.
(Fujita) There was maybe like one kid in the same grade as me that had a Super Cassette Vision. Starting out with it, I wonder if even as an adult you think of it as being the best system (Laughs)
(MCU) What can I say, I do like the Super Cassette Vision better than the Famicom. But all-in-all my absolute favorite console is the Mega Drive (Genesis). I’m a Sega kid after all.
They’re Both Big Collectors, But Their Rooms Are Completely Different
What are the appeals of “nostalgic games” to you?
(MCU) The music and pixel graphics. They’re fun to play, not to mention deep. They can be unfriendly, but that’s very much a characteristic of older games, so it’s fine.
(Fujita) Why is the Mega Drive your favorite console?
(MCU) It might be the coloring. I really like Sega’s “color scheme” a lot. I love both the Mega Drive’s console design, and the titles for it. It’s hard to say which one is really my favorite console, but the Mega Drive is just the one that comes to mind.
(Fujita) So if you were to rank them in order, it would be Mega Drive, Super Cassette Vision…
(MCU) I think the next one might be the Saturn.
(Fujita) You really are a Sega fan, aren’t you? The Sega Mark III (Master System) wouldn’t be on the list?
(MCU) It would be, but the Famicom would probably come above it. I mean, I do like them all. And it’s not like I don’t play any newer games either. Our concerts have slowed down for the time being, and though I’m late to the party I’m thinking of starting Octopath Traveler.
(Fujita) The Famicom would be number one on my list. I love arcade games too, but it’s tough to collect cabinets and boards. That’s why it’s so great to easily be able to play them with Arcade Archives. And you can just keep adding them on to your existing hardware.
(MCU) How do you do things? Downloadable versions are more convenient, but I really like to line up the packaged versions.
(Fujita) So you prefer the packaged versions of even newer games, after all?
(MCU) Of course I do. And Nintendo Switch games are so easy to store.
(Fujita) Your current place is pretty amazing too, MCU.
(MCU) It’s clean, and kept very well organized.
(Fujita) It is clean, but it has a lot of stuff in it, right? Someday your place will look just like mine.
(MCU) Oh come on. I have everything properly displayed and organized.
(Fujita) But you’ve got stuff packed in floor to ceiling.
(MCU) But nothing’s going to topple over and fall. I’m the type of person where everything has to be neatly organized.
(Fujita) I think at our cores, we’re the same.
(MCU) When it comes to games, yes. I think our collector mindsets may be the same too.
(Fujita) The boxes for Mega Drive games are almost all the same, right? To me that’s just boring. I like that with the Famicom, the boxes are different sizes.
(MCU) But that’s so annoying when you’re lining them up on a shelf. Mega Drive boxes look so cool when they’re all lined up together.
New But Nostalgic Feeling Games That Have Pixel Graphics
Lately there’s been a resurgence in games that purposefully use pixel graphics, hasn’t there?
(MCU) Yeah. And the amount of merchandise that looks that way has increased too. Anime characters are being drawn in pixel graphics, and that kind of thing.
(Fujita) The new Mega Man game is nice and pixel-y looking too, isn’t it?
(MCU) 11, yeah. I went to Akihabara and reserved a copy just before I came here.
(Fujita) You can’t brute force your way through that game.
(MCU) But YOU should at least be able to clear it just using the regular shots, right Fujita?
(Fujita) Sure. I’ll shoot for beating the game using only the Buster (Laughs) But you can adjust the difficulty level, so it should be easy to play for first-timers.
Super Mario Bros. comes to mind when I think of you, Fujita.
(Fujita) I am really good at that game, if I do say so myself.
(MCU) I like Super Mario Bros., I’m just not very good at it. When I see Fujita play it, I lose all my motivation (Laughs bitterly)
(Fujita) You LOSE your motivation when you see me play it?
(MCU) I can’t play it in as focused of a way as you do. And when I see that good of play all the way through the game, I just give up.
(Fujita) I was always getting praised and respected for how good I was at Super Mario Bros. 2 (The Lost Levels) in my second year of grade school, that I started thinking games were a part of me. And that stopped me from killing someone…but you can read all about that in my book “The Man Who Was Raised By The Famicom” (“Famicom ni sodaterareta otoko”).
(MCU) That was an unexpected promotion (Laughs) That part is pretty amazing. And well, it is a really interesting book.
Their Current State Of Wanting Too Much
A comedian that owns over 20,000 games. In addition to appearing on television programs and holding live performances, his book entitled “The Man Who Was Raised By The Famicom” is now on sale.
Which old games would you like to get a hold of now?
(MCU) As far as arcade boards go, Wardner no Mori.
(Fujita) It’s not like you can’t buy that.
(MCU) That’s true, but replacing the control panel and switching the monitor around to be horizontal would be a pain.
(Fujita) Couldn’t you just buy a cocktail cabinet with a horizontal monitor in it? I collect arcade boards too, but I find myself wanting a cabinet more and more.
(MCU) Once I start thinking about it, there’s just no end to it…but I want to start collecting old PC games as well. I think I may want a complete MSX collection even more than a Mega Drive one. I only own one actual piece of MSX hardware, but I’d like to get a variety of them as well. I’d like to get into the PC-9801 and PC-8801 series too.
(Fujita) Those old floppy disks are easily damaged though.
(MCU) Well I just want them, even if I can’t play them. The other day I bought Murder Club for the PC-9801, even though I don’t have the hardware to play it on. It’s just so cool to see “PC-9801” written on the box. I know what kind of game it is from reading game magazines back then, so it’s fine.
(Fujita) Aren’t the packages for X68000 games really cool too? Particularly for the Konami titles.
(MCU) Yeah, they really are.
(Fujita) I bought a copy of Castlevania on the X68000 from an online auction, but when I bought it…not to change topics back to this one again…but my book, “The Man Who Was Raised By The Famicom”, was being published.
(MCU) Here we go again (Laughs) But there really is no end to the games that I want. Like, I’d like to start collecting old issues of Famitsu. Speaking of which, I sent a postcard into the Famitsu Neighborhood Association (A section in which reader-submitted gag cartoons are printed), but it wasn’t selected. Even though I sent in a gag called “Spelunker II: Yuuchan e no tensai” (“The Genius of Yuuchan’s Picture”) (The original subtitle of Spelunker II was “Yuusha e no chousen”, or “A Challenge For a Hero”, so this is a play on words), it wasn’t published.
(Fujita) I still have my Metallic Gavas even now. (A ticket that was sent to readers whose contributions were published in Famitsu Neighborhood Association, etc., that acted as points. These points could be redeemed for consoles, games, etc.)
(MCU) Oh right, you were very proud of that. When I came over and saw the Famitsu Neighborhood Association book, you asked me “Do you know what this is?”
You two see each other fairly often, don’t you?
(MCU) We do. A few days ago, the cocktail cabinet I ordered arrived at my house.
(Fujita) I got to play the ever-valuable Argus, even though it was just released on Arcade Archives.
(MCU) The timing on their releases is always good. When it comes to Argus, you just have to play the arcade version. The Famicom version lets you turn into a robot, or something.
(Fujita) It’s a completely different game. Oh yeah, and we go game shopping together too.
(MCU) We rummage through the junk sections. We didn’t buy anything last time though.
(Fujita) That’s true. Was that the day before your big concert?
(Fujita) You were collecting LCD games too, right?
(MCU) I do like LCD games. Well, I guess I like any kind of games really. Now that I think about it, the ones I really like tend to be from the Shouwa era (1926-1989).
(Fujita) I like stuff from the Shouwa era too.
(MCU) There are just so many cool things from that time period…Boy, this is exactly the kind of old man I didn’t want to turn into (Laughs) But the Shouwa era might be one of the most important things to me.
(Fujita) I collect a lot of things from that period that make me feel nostalgic as well.
(MCU) I just have no idea where you could possibly have room for them at your place? (Laughs)
(Fujita) Yeah, I haven’t really figured that out yet.