Gegege no Kitarou: Youkai Daimakyou

Reviews
Famicom/NES
04/17/1986 (Japan), 10/29/1986 (US)
ゲゲゲの鬼太郎 妖怪大魔境
Gegege no Kitarou: Ghost Haunts
Ninja Kid
It's interesting to see the early results of a piece of distinctly Japanese source material being made into a game franchise. Gegege no Kitarou is a manga series by Shigeru Mizuki, created way back in 1959. Though Mizuki's series was originally named "Hakaba Kitarou" ("Kitarou of the Graveyard"), "Gegege no Kitarou" was the name of the slightly more kid friendly animated series that was created by Toei in 1968, based on the manga series. It has since been adapted into numerous other animated and live action series and features. While the light hearted and humorous horror vibe that Gegege no Kitarou gives off is not a completely Japanese idea, the ghosts and various monsters (or "youkai") that appear in the series are brought to life straight out of Japanese fairy tales and folk lore. The aesthetic is one not often experienced, so one might wonder how something so unique would translate into a video game back in 1986. The answer, thankfully, is not badly. Continue Reading

Ys

Reviews
Famicom/NES
08/26/1988 (Japan)
イース
Nihon Falcom's Ys series is known as a sprawling epic of games, spanning across many different consoles and computer systems. Back in the summer of 1988 though, the first game in the series had only been released on various Japanese home computers (though it originated on the NEC PC-8801) within the last year. The second game in the series had even already hit the PC-8801 just a couple of months prior. Nihon Falcom began life as a computer game developer, and wasn't very interested in porting their games to home consoles themselves. When one of their titles did make it outside of the home computer world, it was nearly always ported and published by other companies and with little involvement from Falcom themselves. It took Victor Entertainment, music company gone game publisher, and ghost-developer Advance Communication Company to bring us the very first home console port of Ys 1. And it's a very interesting foot note in the history of the Ys franchise for many reasons. Continue Reading

Choujikuu Yousai Macross

Reviews
Famicom/NES
12/10/1985 (Japan)
超時空要塞マクロス
Super Dimensional Fortress Macross
Horizontal and vertically scrolling shooters were incredibly popular in the arcades in the 80s, so naturally that popularity extended to home consoles too. In fact, by the end of 1985 the Famicom had already seen home ports of a lot of the popular arcade shooters of the time: Xevious, Galaxian, Galaga, Space Invaders, and Star Force. It only made sense that the hit anime franchise Macross, known for its mech/fighter plane hybrids, would be transformed into a horizontally scrolling shooter on the Famicom. Actually Macross had already had its first console shooting game on Bandai's own short lived home console, the Arcadia, just about 2 years prior. Though this came after the aforementioned genre establishing shooters, it beat some others (such as Gradius) to the home market by several months. Continue Reading

2013: A Year Reborn

Blog
2013 has been a bit of a strange year for me. It's the second year in a row that a particular set of personal issues have come to light, but it's also been a year of fairly great and interesting discoveries in the gaming world. I haven't played enough games that actually came out this year to make this into your typical "personal game of the year" post. As anyone who has read even a little bit of this site can probably guess, I'm constantly struggling to balance my gaming time between retro and modern games. That makes keeping up with the hot games of the year not always an easy thing to do. However I do want to briefly touch on the few games I did play that qualify. Continue Reading

MonHan-scoveries

Blog
I have been playing Monster Hunter 4 since the Japanese release date. If this were a past iteration of Monster Hunter (let's say, for example, Portable 3rd) my game clock would easily be over the 100 hour mark by now. My game clock in Monster Hunter 4 is just over 50 hours. As I'd mentioned in a previous article about my history with the Monster Hunter series, I'd gone through a bout of decreased interest with the series as of 3G/3 Ultimate on the 3DS/Wii U. However, I was really hoping that the changes brought about in 4 would spark my long held interest again. Well have they? I guess I can't answer "yes" completely given what I just said, so the answer is more like "Sort of". But I've begun to realize that it's because of an aspect of Monster Hunter that I somehow managed to forget about over time and a changing life situation. Continue Reading