Tag Archives: Shooters

Famitsu Feature: The Present State of Shooting Games

Famitsu Translations
Raiden II - Salaryman Laser
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!
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Talking With Minoru Ikeda, Owner Of Takadanobaba Arcade Mikado: The Allure And Future of Shooting Games

Famitsu Translations
Famitsu Shooters - Mikado Game Center
(The following is a translation from the 07/12/2018 issue of Famitsu magazine, as a part of a larger feature called "The Present State of Shooting Games".) Now it's time to speak with Minoru Ikeda, the owner of the arcade "Mikado" located in Tokyo's Takadanobaba area. Ikeda was first attracted to arcade shooting games by Xevious. He talked with us about the history of shooting games and arcades from the dark days of shooters to the present, and the allure and future of shooting games from the perspective of the arcade. Continue Reading

Darius Plus

Reviews
Darius Plus - Title Screen
PC Engine
09/21/1990 (Japan)
ダライアスプラス
This second port of arcade shooter Darius was based on the PC Engine CD Super Darius (the first home port ever, released 6 months prior to this one), from the same developer and publisher. Being on a standard HuCard instead of a CD, this was obviously the Darius port for those who couldn't afford or just didn't have a PC Engine CD, so a lot more technical limitations were at play here than for Super Darius. But the results of this port are pleasantly surprising. Continue Reading

Super Darius

Reviews
Super Darius - Title Screen
PC Engine CD
03/16/1990 (Japan)
スーパーダライアス
It took four years from the release of the arcade version of Darius before this first port appeared on the PC Engine CD. It took only just about a year for Gradius to make it from the arcade to the Famicom, but there isn't much debating that Darius was much more of a challenge technically to port. Its unique three monitor setup and emphasis on the soundtrack almost guaranteed that a port wouldn't be able to hold up. Naturally that sort of long display setup couldn't be replicated on any home hardware at the time, so the solution was to zoom in the graphics quite a bit, making the sprites bigger but the field of play smaller. The larger sprites definitely look nice, and from a visual perspective the graphics hold up well against the original. The problem is that the game was designed with a wider field of play in mind, so zooming that in and reducing it really has a big impact on how the game plays. Continue Reading

Darius

Reviews
Darius (Arcade) Title Screen
Arcade
1986 (Japan)
ダライアス
The Darius arcade cabinet Darius certainly wasn't the first horizontally scrolling shooter, or probably even the first that comes to mind for most people. It wasn't even the first shooter from developer/publisher Taito. But it was one of the most innovative, and that's mostly because of the arcade hardware involved. Much like Taito's own The Ninja Warriors one year later, Darius was housed in a sprawling setup: Three either 19 or 15 inch monitors (later the 15 inch version would be the only one still in production), a "body-sonic" seat with speakers beneath it to make the player really feel the music, and even a headphone jack (not a common feature on arcade games at this point). Even with modern arcade hardware, it's very rare for a cabinet to be so focused on presenting both a superior audio and visual experience. Continue Reading
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