Monster Hunter

Monster Hunter Title Screen Image
Playstation 2
03/11/2004 (Japan), 09/21/2004 (US), 05/27/2005 (PAL)
Back in the pre-HD gaming era, big game companies like Capcom were not afraid to take a chance on new franchises. Taking Sega's Phantasy Star Online series as a base for its game play, it was in 2004 that the modern day Japanese gaming powerhouse began: the first entry in the Monster Hunter series was released. Though Capcom invented a brand new genre for this game called "Hunting Action", it was similar to its predecessor in many ways. The basic flow of the game involves accepting specific quests from within a hub world, then setting out into a separate area to complete objectives for that quest. The difference is that in Monster Hunter you're dropped into a prehistoric National Geographic Explorer where your opponents are dinosaurs, dragons, and other creatures that come right out of their natural environments. Though weapons and armor are constantly being upgraded throughout the game, in Monster Hunter there is an added sense of realism: It's done using parts carved right from the carcasses of the monsters themselves. Continue Reading

Akumajo Dracula

Akumajo Dracula Title Screen
Famicom Disk System/NES
Released: 09/26/1986 (Japan, Famicom Disk System), 05/1987 (US), 12/19/1988 (PAL), 02/05/1993 (Japan, Famicom)
Devil's Castle Dracula
When you think about the first entry in the Castlevania/Dracula series, you probably think about two things: The incredible atmosphere  and the high level of difficulty. Neither of these things change when you go from any of the western versions to the Japanese one, though some qualities of the Japanese version alter the difficulty slightly. A common point of frustration in the Western versions of the game is that you can't save your game at all, unless you're playing on one of those fancy emulators. But how would it change Castlevania's difficulty if you could save your progress each time you got a game over? Continue Reading

Hokuto no Ken

Hokuto-no-Ken - Title Screen
Mark III/Master System
07/20/1986 (Japan), 1986 (US and PAL)
Fist of the North Star
Black Belt
Black Belt
It was the right time for the Hokuto no Ken franchise to be made into a video game: The manga and anime series had been popular for 2-3 years already. You could that Hokuto no Ken was made to be a video game since it involves copious amounts of violence. For those unfamiliar with the story, Our hero Kenshiro travels throughout the a post apocalyptic world overrun by gangs to find his kidnapped fiancee Yuria, utilizing his Hokuto Shinken to pummel enemies with fists and feet. This usually results in them gruesomely exploding from the pressure point manipulation that Hokuto Shinken is based around. If this wasn't begging to be made into a side-scrolling beat-em-up, what was? Continue Reading

Dragon Ball: Shen Long no Nazo

Dragon Ball - Shen Long no Nazo Title Screen
11/27/1986 (Japan), 1988 (US and PAL)
ドラゴンボール 神龍の謎
Dragon Ball: The Mystery of Shen Long
Dragon Power
Dragon Ball: Le Secret Du Dragon
While not the very first Dragon Ball console game (that honor goes to a Dragon Ball title on the Super Cassette Vision), this really was where it all started. There was never any doubt that the Dragon Ball franchise would spin-off into the world of home video games. The manga began its run in 1984, and the TV animation in 1986. This game covers the first major story arc in the Dragon Ball series, which involves Son Goku and friends gathering the Dragon Balls, foiling the plans of Emperor Pilaf, and finally summoning the wish-granting dragon Shen Long. He's pictured above in all of his 8-bit glory. Continue Reading

Why Does this Site Exist?

The first question that many will ask upon finding One Million Power is "Why does this site exist? Do we really need another video game site where the author does nothing but talk about news and give his opinion on games?". The answer to that question, in all honesty, is probably "No". My intentions for One Million Power are to do much more than simply to discuss news and reviews though. For starters, this site will largely be focused on the Japanese gaming industry: both the current state of it and its past. Some may respond to this with comments on how the Western game industry is currently far more interesting than the Japanese one. I don't deny that as of the time of writing this post that the Western games industry is doing nearly everything better than the Japanese one is. This does not mean that its past greatness and potential to once again be great should be ignored. Continue Reading