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On ‎2018‎-‎07‎-‎12 at 8:52 AM, kitsunebi77 said:

And give up that prime location accessible directly from the drop-down support tab?  You're crazy!

In the name of consistency, yes :)

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17 hours ago, kitsunebi77 said:

Looking at the new software release schedule, one of the reasons for Japan's odd computer gaming scene is the fragmentation of the market.  A big list of PC-98 games, followed by a smaller list of FM Towns games, followed by a tiny list of DOS and Mac titles.

Yes, knowing the composition of the computer market and how it evolved over the years would give a better understanding, but it should be less than surprising than 1. the Japanese protected their market and slowed down the arrival of western computers, 2. as a consequence, lots of western games didn't come out there, or with some delay.

But this doesn't bother me, au contraire. What I love when I browse old mags from another country is discovering a new vision of this universe, local publishers and local games unknown out of their own country. With Japan, I know there's a whole world of detective games, hentai RPGs, baseball games and horse riding management software waiting for me. :lol: The problem is that these magazines aren't available online and that I don't read Japanese - and I suppose it would take years to hardly understand a paragraph.

And if the discovery of Japanese computer games contradicts the narrative of legions of Nintendo fanboys trying to convince us that Mario and Zelda are perfectly representative of the spirit of Japanese video games, it's even better. :)

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2 hours ago, Hoagie said:

And if the discovery of Japanese computer games contradicts the narrative of legions of Nintendo fanboys trying to convince us that Mario and Zelda are perfectly representative of the spirit of Japanese video games, it's even better. :)

Mario IS fairly popular with children, although I think he's more successful as a game character that's used to sell merchandise.  Pokemon, Monster Hunter, and Splatoon are the games the kids actually care about.  Zelda is much less popular and pretty much unknown to anyone except the kids who are really into games.  It has zero name recognition for casual gamers.

Japanese gaming is extremely monochromatic in the sense that almost all of the popular games fall into a couple of categories and are all very similar to each other.  The West chooses what to import, and so we pick out the interesting stuff, giving the West has a much different view of Japanese games that would lead one to think that there is more variety than there actually is.

Famitsu's 2012 Top 100 games of all time list is almost comical in how little variety is on display.  8 of the top 10 are RPGs.  Jesus, 17 out of the top 20 are RPGs.  All in all, 57 out of the top 100 games of all time are RPGs, most of which are only superficially different.  Apparently.

As for Mario, he doesn't show up till #21.  Mario 3 usually places in the top 5 of Western all-time lists, but here it places at #99.  Mario 64 doesn't even make the list.

3, count em, 3 Western games make the list.  The admittedly influential, yet terrible and unplayable in this day and age Wizardry (originally released in 1981), Vice City, and Sim City.  Anyone who feels this is a fair representation of Western games hasn't played any Western games.  Which to be fair, is true of most Japanese gamers, since so few Western titles are released in Japan.

  1. Final Fantasy X (2001)
  2. Final Fantasy VII (1997)
  3. Dragon Quest III (1988)
  4. Dragon Quest VIII (2004)
  5. Machi (1998)
  6. Final Fantasy IV (1991)
  7. Tactics Ogre (1995)
  8. Final Fantasy III (1990)
  9. Dragon Quest VII (2000)
  10. Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (1998)
  11. Dragon Quest V (1992)
  12. Far East of Eden II (1992)
  13. Sakura Wars (1996)
  14. Dragon Quest IV (1990)
  15. Final Fantasy V (1992)
  16. Xenogears (1998)
  17. Dragon Quest II (1987)
  18. Sakura Wars III (2002)
  19. Kingdom Hearts (2002)
  20. Street Fighter II (1992)
  21. Super Mario Bros (1985)
  22. Final Fantasy VIII (1999)
  23. Tokimeki Memorial (1995)
  24. Final Fantasy IX (2000)
  25. Final Fantasy VI(1994)
  26. Metal Gear Solid 3 (2004)
  27. Valkyrie Profile (1999)
  28. Chrono Trigger (1995)
  29. Kingdom Hearts II (2005)
  30. Dragon Quest (1986)
  31. Zelda 3 (1991)
  32. Final Fantasy X-2 (2003)
  33. Resident Evil (1996)
  34. Dragon Quest VI (1995)
  35. F-Zero (1990)
  36. Sakura Wars II (1998)
  37. Mother 2 (1994)
  38. Mother (1989)
  39. Virtua Fighter (1994)
  40. Dragon Quest 5 (PS2 remake) 2004
  41. Zelda Windwaker (2002)
  42. Metal Gear Solid 2 (2001)
  43. Animal Crossing (DS) 2005
  44. Tales of the Abyss (2005)
  45. Ogre Battle (1993)
  46. Legend of Zelda (1986)
  47. Virtua Fighter 2 (1995)
  48. Mysterious Dungeon 2 (1995)
  49. Sonic the Hedgehog (1991)
  50. Metal Gear Solid (1998)
  51. Pokemon Red and Green (1996)
  52. Ys 1 and 2 (1989)
  53. Romancing Saga (1992)
  54. Toke Meke Memorial (PC Engine) 94
  55. Super Robot Taisen Alpha (2000)
  56. Resident Evil 2 (1998)
  57. Tales of Eternia (2000)
  58. Digital Devil Story Megami Tensei II (1990)
  59. Shin Megami Tensei (1992)
  60. Final Fantasy II (1988)
  61. Super Mario World (1990)
  62. To Heart II (2004)
  63. Final Fantasy (1987)
  64. Puyo Puyo (1992)
  65. Family Stadium Pro Baseball (1986)
  66. Wizardry (1987)
  67. Hokkaido Murder Mystery (1987)
  68. Fire Emblem (1994)
  69. Super Mario Kart (1992)
  70. Dynasty Warriors 4 (2003)
  71. Monster Hunter (2004)
  72. Best Play Pro Baseball (1988)
  73. Grandia (1997)
  74. Resident Evil 4 (GC) 2005
  75. Gran Turismo 4 (2004)
  76. GTA: Vice City (2004)
  77. Super Monaco GP (1990)
  78. Torneko Mysterious Dungeon (1993)
  79. Tales of Destiny (1997)
  80. Street Fighter II Turbo (1993)
  81. Dynasty Warriors III (2001)
  82. Final Fight (1990)
  83. Monster Hunter Portable (2005)
  84. Final Fantasy Tactics (1997)
  85. Monster Hunter G (2005)
  86. Mysterious Dungeon 2 (2000)
  87. Kung Fu (1985)
  88. Toke Meke Memorial (Saturn) (1996)
  89. Tales of Destiny II (2002)
  90. Kamaitachi No Yoru (1994)
  91. Sakura Wars IV (2002)
  92. Tales of Rebirth (2004)
  93. Sim City (1991)
  94. Saga 2 (1990)
  95. Pro Baseball Family Stadium 87
  96. Tetris (Gameboy) (1989)
  97. Secret of Mana (1993)
  98. Gradius (1986)
  99. Super Mario Bros III (1988)
  100. Resident Evil 4 (PS2) 2005

 

Famitsu made another top 100 games of all time list last year (apologies for the numbers going in the opposite direction from the first list.)  Well, at least Final Fantasy X is no longer considered the best game ever made.  Because that is a !$@#ing JOKE.

This time, only 2 Western games.  Once again, Wizardry, which I think is getting by more on its name than by anyone actually enjoying playing it.  And The Witcher III, probably one of the better games on this list, yet all the way down at #98.  Which for a Western game in Japan is about as good as it gets.

This time, Mario doesn't appear until #33 (SMB).  It is the only Mario game on the entire list.  Japan doesn't give a shit about Mario, apparently.  So put that in your pipe and smoke it, Nintendo fanboy.

100. Zelda: Majora’s Mask
99. Mystery Dungeon: Shiren the Wanderer
98. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
97. Super Smash Bros. Melee
96. Hatsune Miku: Project Diva Arcade
95. Kowloon Youma Gakuen Ki
94. Arc The Lad II
93. Final Fantasy VIII
92. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney
91. Lufia
90. Valkyrie Profile
89. Shiren the Wanderer 2
88. Tengai Makyo II: Manjimaru
87. Seiken Densetsu 3
86. Final Fantasy Tactics
85. Sonic Unleashed
84. Phantasy Star Online
83. Shadow of the Colossus
82. Final Fantasy IV
81. Shadow Hearts II
80. Kirby Air Ride
79. Dragon Quest II
78. MAG
77. Romancing SaGa 2
76. Steins;Gate
75. SaGa Frontier
74. Bloodborne
73. Animal Crossing: New Leaf
72. Wizardry
71. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
70. Metal Gear Solid 3
69. Pokemon Mystery Dungeon
68. The Legend of Zelda
67. Pop’n Music
66. Ico
65. Digital Devil Saga: Avatar Tuner
64. Machi
63. Phantasy Star Online 2
62. Demon’s Souls
61. Valkyria Chronicles
60. Hatsune Miku: Project Diva F 2nd
59. Final Fantasy V
58. Kirby Super Star
57. Sonic Adventure 2: Battle
56. Monster Hunter Freedom Unite
55. Dragon Quest IV
54. Kantai Collection
53. Sakura Wars 2
52. Dragon Quest VIII
51. Romancing SaGa 3
50. Final Fantasy VI
49. Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne
48. Final Fantasy XIV
47. Pokemon Red/Blue
46. Kingdom Hearts
45. Persona 4
44. Earth Defense Force 4.1: The Shadow of New Despair
43. Final Fantasy IX
42. Sakura Wars 3
41. NieR
40. Hatsune Miku: Project Diva X
39. Final Fantasy XV
38. Hatsune Miku: Project Diva Arcade Future Tone
37. Dragon Quest X
36. Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai Deluxe
35. moon
34. Kingdom Hearts II
33. Super Mario Bros.
32. Persona 3
31. Fate/Grand Order
30. Tactics Ogre
29. Sonic Adventure 2
28. Monster Retsuden Oreca Battle
27. Xenogears
26. Final Fantasy X
25. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
24. Dragon Quest V
23. EarthBound
22. Danganronpa
21. Danganronpa 2
20. Final Fantasy XI
19. Suikoden II
18. Xenoblade Chronicles
17. Okami
16. Persona 4 Golden
15. Otoca D’Or
14. Yakuza 0
13. Hatsune Miku Project Diva Future Tone
12. Shenmue 2
11. Danganronpa 1.2 Reload
10. Shenmue – 217
9. Sakura Wars – 223
8. Chrono Trigger – 231
7. Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony – 257
6. Final Fantasy VII – 287
5. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – 350
4. NieR: Automata – 369
3. Splatoon – 411
2. Dragon Quest III – 612
1. Persona 5 – 835

 

 

What becomes obvious when reading lists like this is that it's a miracle that Japan manages to produce interesting games at all, since the gaming public are all clamoring for the same old same old stuff.  Luckily, every now and then, someone in Japan makes an interesting game, releases it to the Japanese public where it receives a cold-to-lukewarm reception, at which point it gets exported to the West and becomes a beloved classic to non-Japanese gamers. 

The more I learn about the history of Japanese games, the more I feel lucky and privileged to have grown up in the West, where we not only get to pick the cream of the crop from Japan (not just the stuff that's popular there), but also have access to a vast and rich library of games of our own.

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It's logical than all these lists chock-full of RPGs pay a tribute to Wizardry, because it's the RPG that started it all in Japan. It was the major influence of The Black Onyx, and - not always directly - all the JRPG to come, from Dragon Quest to Final Fantasy. The name is so revered that when Sir-Tech closed down, the Japanese got the license and developed their own Wizardry franchise - it even had its own anime !

http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/wizardry-series-introduction/

And that's certainly why Robert Woodhead pursued a new career in anime in Japan, as you discovered a few pages earlier.

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12 minutes ago, Hoagie said:

It's logical than all these lists chock-full of RPGs pay a tribute to Wizardry, because it's the RPG that started it all in Japan. It was the major influence of The Black Onyx, and - not always directly - all the JRPG to come, from Dragon Quest to Final Fantasy. The name is so revered that when Sir-Tech closed down, the Japanese got the license and developed their own Wizardry franchise - it even had its own anime !

http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/wizardry-series-introduction/

And that's certainly why Robert Woodhead pursued a new career in anime in Japan, as you discovered a few pages earlier.

True, but that's no excuse to keep placing it as the highest rated Western game on Top 100 lists.  As if Western game development peaked in 1981. :rolleyes:

Top 100 lists aren't supposed to be about which games were the most influential, anyway, they're supposed to be about the best games, period.  Would even the most ardent Wizardry fan claim that the first game is the best in the series? (because they would be wrong.)  Christ, at least pick a better Wizardry game to applaud.

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I just wanted to say that Persona 5 (Japan's #1 pick) comes very close into getting a place in my personal Top10 ever. I was really surprised I could connect to a game again on that level since I am now old and grouchy.

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OK, so I've had Famitsu issue 43 fully scanned and edited for a few weeks now, but I'm still waiting to receive scans of the 20 pages that were missing from the copy that was donated to me.  Once I get those, I'll get the mag released toot-sweet.  In the meantime, I figured I'd go ahead and report on the rest of the content of Famitsu's "Best of 1987" awards, since I figure even if the mag was already downloadable, there will be some interested parties out there who can't read the game titles anyway, so listing it here might be useful.  These are the games chosen by Famitsu staff, unlike the top 10 list I posted earlier, which was the reader's choice top 10.

  • Best Overall
    • Dragon Quest II (gee, what a surprise.  #1 on the readers' choice top 10 games of the year list)
  • Best RPG
  • Best Adventure Game
    • Hokkaidō Rensa Satsujin: Okhotsk ni Kiyu   (This was also #3 on the readers' choice top 10.  How much of that is because it's a good game, and how much is because the scenario (story) was written by Yuji Horii, the same guy responsible for Dragon Quest?  Do you have to ask?)
  • Best Action Game
    • Yume Kōjō: Dokidoki Panic (This is the game that would later be converted into Super Mario 2.  It didn't actually place anywhere on the readers' choice top 10 list.  They comment about how unfortunate it was that such an excellent game failed to be a hit.)
  • Best Shooter
    • Fantasy Zone (Sega on the Famicom.  Also not in the readers' top 10.)
  • Best Sports Game
    • Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!  (not in the reader's top 10.  Famitsu readers prefer baseball, apparently, since #2,4 and 5 are baseball games)
  • Best Action RPG
  • Best Puzzle Game
    • NOTHING (yes, they don't consider any puzzle games from 1987 worthy of an award)
      • RUNNER UP: Shanghai (kind of praise, kind of an insult, I guess.  This is the best puzzle game of the year, it just isn't good enough to get an award. :lol: Not in the top 10.)
  • Best Simulation (strategy) Game
  • Best Board Game
    • Tetsudou Ou ( Railroad themed board game neither popular enough to make it into the top 10 nor to be listed anywhere at MobyGames.:P)
  • Best Leisure (casual) games
  • Best Mahjong game

 

SPECIAL AWARDS:

Long Seller Award: Pro Yakyuu Family Stadium (aka RBI Baseball)

Best Character Design: Momotarou Densetsu

Best Story: Dragon Quest II

Best Graphics: Faxanadu

Best Game Design: Nakayama Miho no Tokimeki High School

Best Ports (games ported from the arcade/other systems): Wizardry, Salamander (aka Life Force)

Best 3D Game: Highway Star (aka Rad Racer)

Best Music: Momotarou Densetsu, Exciting Billiards

 

Critics' Choice (staff picks for favorite games that didn't win awards):

Tsuppari Ōzumō (sumo game from Tecmo)

Zombie Hunter (action RPG)

Shin Onigashima (graphic adventure, #8 on readers' top 10)

Golf: Japan Course, Golf: US Course

Bubble Bobble

Digital Devil Story: Megami Tensei (#7 on the readers' top 10)

 

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OH YEAH!  Before I forget, I just remembered that today I ran across some empirical evidence of what games the kids are into these days.  Well, one class of 4th graders, at any rate.  So if you wanna know what games a class of 30-odd Japanese 9-year-olds are into right now, they took a poll and posted the results in the hallway (they tended not to vote in specifics relating to specific games, but one can assume they're generally referring to the newer titles in each series, almost definitely for either the Switch or 3DS):

  1.  a tie between Minecraft and Splatoon, each with 11 votes.
  2. Doubutsu no Mori (Animal Crossing) (I don't remember the vote count)
  3. Kirby (don't remember the vote count)
  4. Super Mario Odyssey (1 vote)

So there you have it.  The top 5 games as chosen by some of the most passionate gamers out there: a bunch of 9 year olds.

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Awesome, this is the kind of stuff I like to read. Lots of things to learn here:

- Unlike the Western magazines, the Japanese mix computers and consoles in their awards, but the computers are in minority - mainly for adventure games. And they don't hesitate to drop a category if no game deserves an award.

- It seems they were the first to give casual games their own award - if "casual" is the good translation. It would be interesting to compare with the awards of a few other years to see what they put exactly in this category.

- I would be curious to see which games won the Best Puzzle Game award the years before, because this kind of game started to get big in the west with Shanghai and Tetris. Maybe the Japanese didn't like what the Western developers did with their ancestral game of Mahjongg. :lol:

- Mahjongg had its own category. :lol:

- Character design was taken so seriously in Japan it had its own award too.

- I almost burst into laughter when I saw the Best Game Design award was given to a teenage idol dating game (take that, Shigeru Miyamoto :P), but then I read the Hardcore Gaming 101 article, and understood the game certainly got this award because it asked the player to call phone numbers (in the real life) to get recorded messages of the idol. It was more than a decade before the games asking you to browse websites designed specifically for the game, like Missing / In Memoriam. And if the phone numbers were overpriced, it may have been a precursor of freemium too. :lol:

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4 hours ago, Hoagie said:

- Unlike the Western magazines, the Japanese mix computers and consoles in their awards, but the computers are in minority - mainly for adventure games. And they don't hesitate to drop a category if no game deserves an award.

 

Actually, every single game on those lists is a Famicom game.  Which makes sense, since until 1996, the title of the magazine was Famicom Tsuushin, and that was where the vast majority of their coverage focused (and to be honest, in early 88 when this mag was published, the PC Engine hadn't yet had a chance to make a splash, and the Master System was already a failure.)  I was going to say that Famitsu never covered computer games, but I just saw an issue that had 1 page dedicated to the MSX.  So...extremely minimal coverage.:lol:  And no awards.

4 hours ago, Hoagie said:

- It seems they were the first to give casual games their own award - if "casual" is the good translation. It would be interesting to compare with the awards of a few other years to see what they put exactly in this category.

It literally says レジャー("leisure") - there is no translation involved.  My interpretation in modern parlance is "casual games," but what it amounts to is games that simulate things people would be doing in their free time anyway which would require very little explanation to understand or know how to play.  And nothing is more casual (or pointless) than a pachinko game.:lol:

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OK, I saw only computer formats on the Mobygames page of the best adventure game : it's because you gave links to the NES versions, not the "combined view". I didn't even suspect that Fantasy Zone was released on NES.

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44 minutes ago, Hoagie said:

OK, I saw only computer formats on the Mobygames page of the best adventure game : it's because you gave links to the NES versions, not the "combined view". I didn't even suspect that Fantasy Zone was released on NES.

The Famitsu Fantasy Zone supplement scan I uploaded a while back was for the NES version, actually.  I think the PC Engine probably got the best version, though.  Poor Sega.  Always last place in the Japanese console wars.  I guess it was the curse of having their company founded by Americans.:)

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I'd like to take a moment to discuss one of the biggest scams in gaming magazine history: Gavas bucks:

Famitsu_Issue_49_119.jpg

Included with every issue of Famitsu, if you collected enough of them, you could buy fantastic prizes.  If you were 7 years old, it must have seemed like the best thing ever, and you no doubt clipped them out of every issue, to the dismay of future scanners like myself.  Why just look - with the purchase of a single issue, you already have 16 Gavas bucks! 

But let's take a closer look at some of the prizes, just how many Gavas you need to get them, how many issues you'd have to buy to collect them, and how much money buying those issues would cost you.

As of May 1988 (these are not all of the prizes, btw):

  • A Famitsu Pencil Case - 780 Gavas - 49 issues - approx. $195
  • A Famitsu T-Shirt - 1680 Gavas - 105 issues - approx. $420
  • A Famicom Game - 2900 Gavas - 182 issues - approx. $728
  • A Famicom System - 9800 Gavas - 613 issues - approx. $2,452
  • A Sega Master System - 11200 Gavas - 700 issues - approx. $2,800
  • A PC Engine (TurboGrafx16) System - 16500 Gavas - 1,032 issues - approx. $4,128

It should also be worth noting that Famitsu was bi-weekly at this point.  So assuming you really wanted that PC Engine and you bought one copy of every issue that hit the stands, you would expect to finally have enough Gavas approximately... 38 years later.  So...sometime in 2026.:lol:  Of course, Famitsu eventually went weekly, of course, so you actually would have been able to finally get that PC Engine sometime in 2009.  They still made PC Engines in 2009, right?:lol:

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Wwwweeelllllllllll....😒

I was made aware almost right away after coming to Japan that Zelda isn't quite the beloved franchise that it is in America.  Kids used to ask me what my favorite game was, and, since I knew they would have never heard of any of my actual favorite games (all being PC games from before they were born), I decided to play it safe and tell them some console title I was sure they would be familiar with.  So I would tell them "The Legend of Zelda" (in Japanese, of course - I wouldn't expect them to know the English title).  But I was almost always met with uncomprehending stares.  "I don't know it," they would say (I've since resorted to telling them "Mario Kart," since even though I haven't played a Mario Kart game in 20 years, there's always a new one on the market, and the basics mechanics are always the same, so I'll be unlikely to be caught in a lie due to my ignorance of the newer versions.  The blue shell still hits the leader, right?  See?  I know what I'm talking about.🤫

But man...just because Link isn't cute enough to be marketable to kids today doesn't mean that the older generations don't still remember his 8-bit greatness, right?

Sigh.

I just saw a book (published just a couple of weeks ago) about the Famicom, and in it, there was a list of the Famicom's top 10 greatest protagonists.  Would Link be amongst them?

You are not ready for this.😢

  1. NES_Mario.jpg  OK, this is a given in any country.  Undisputed champion.
  2. dqiii.jpg Nameless hero of Dragon Quest III.  (Well nameless until the end when you find out that he's 😱SPOILER😱I think it's safe to say that this guy would've been #1 if only he had an ounce of personality.  Certainly Dragon Quest III is much more beloved than any Mario game ever was.  In Japan, that is.
  3. Megaman8bit_3126288.jpg  I don't think I'd put him at #3, but he deserves a spot somewhere on this list.
  4. yla028oa.png Err...this is Goemon.  To be fair, we never got any of his games except for Legend of the Mystical Ninja on the SNES.  So maybe the Famicom games are good?
  5. Untitled-1.jpg  Ghosts and Goblins is a classic, I suppose, but would anyone choose to play it over one of the MUCH better 16-bit incarnations?
  6. ju7ame56.jpg  Are you %#$&ing kidding me??  This isn't a list of Atari 2600 characters.  What is Pac-Man doing here?  With so many great characters born on the NES, why give a spot to a character that represents a previous generation?
  7. 7nvs6246.jpg  This is yet another case of a character whose NES incarnation is not the one people should be thinking of fondly.  What is Bomberman known for?  Multiplayer.  What is the NES version of Bomberman NOT??  That's right.
  8. adu51rry.jpg  Ah, Kunio-kun.  This guy was in bunches of games, several of which even came to America.  Renegade, River City Ransom, Super Dodge Ball...but do any of those games actually seem like they star the same character?  Not to me.  I consider Kunio-kun to simply be a representation of Technos' in-house art style moreso than an individual character.  Pretty much ALL of their characters look like this guy.
  9. 3husyeb7.jpg  Jinguuji Saburo.  Detective.  Chain smoker.  Likes to moonlight in America as Jake Hunter.  Yet again, this guy's Famicom menu-driven adventure games never made it out of Japan.  But he at least looks way cooler than Goemon.
  10. Untitled-1.jpg  ............................................................

..............................................the %#$%?????  Mappy????  Ok, so let me get this straight.  On this list, we get NO Link.  NO Samus Aran.  NO Simon Belmont.  But #$%#ing MAPPY gets a spot???

 

Goodbye forever.😵

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On 7/23/2018 at 3:31 PM, kitsunebi77 said:

I'd like to take a moment to discuss one of the biggest scams in gaming magazine history: Gavas bucks:

Found this thread from the latest Famicom Tsuushin upload - and thank you so much for these, by the way.

Reading the small print, the Gavas system isn't as huge a scam as you're making it to be. The complimentary bucks that came with the issues are just a part of the story, and in fact, one couldn't use just them to get any but the cheapest prizes. Anything 1800 gavas or more (which is the value for a Disk System game) required special gavas, which one could get by submitting stuff to the magazine for their reader-contribution columns and having it printed. You could get up to 5000 gavas for a printed item (it differed for different columns and different types of contributions). It doesn't seem too far fetched that a talented kid artist could get several drawings printed and earn enough for one of the big prizes.

Heck, you have to commend them for not allowing paying for big prizes with just complimentary gavas - this has to be an attempt to stop kids with access to money (or dedicated adults) from buying dozens of copies of the the same issue.

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48 minutes ago, orenronen said:

Found this thread from the latest Famicom Tsuushin upload - and thank you so much for these, by the way.

Reading the small print, the Gavas system isn't as huge a scam as you're making it to be. The complimentary bucks that came with the issues are just a part of the story, and in fact, one couldn't use just them to get any but the cheapest prizes. Anything 1800 gavas or more (which is the value for a Disk System game) required special gavas, which one could get by submitting stuff to the magazine for their reader-contribution columns and having it printed. You could get up to 5000 gavas for a printed item (it differed for different columns and different types of contributions). It doesn't seem too far fetched that a talented kid artist could get several drawings printed and earn enough for one of the big prizes.

Heck, you have to commend them for not allowing paying for big prizes with just complimentary gavas - this has to be an attempt to stop kids with access to money (or dedicated adults) from buying dozens of copies of the the same issue.

On one hand, you have a point.

On the other, for anyone not lucky enough to have something printed (or rather, multiple things printed), the good prizes would still be just as out of reach, and cheap promotional goods like a Famitsu T-Shirt would still require them to buy $420 worth of magazines.

I'm not sure I agree that earning enough of those bonus gavas to net a big prize would be an easy task.  "Up to 5000" is not the same as "5000," and even impossibly difficult stuff like contributions of first-run secret codes get less than half that.  I don't know about you, but I never actually discovered secret codes on my own.  Even as a kid I understood that most of those codes were leaked by the developers rather than discovered by some Nintendo-Power-reading kid who sat around all day inputting thousands of random button presses to see if anything happened.  Although I suppose that random glitches and bugs would be more likely to be found by readers.

I'm probably not looking hard enough since I don't really care (I'm not actually offended by the Gavas system, I was just pointing it out because I thought it was funny), but I don't see where it lays out specific gavas payouts for lesser contributions, but I imagine they were proportionately insignificant.

More than anything else, I was just amused that the copy of the mag I just released was missing the Gavas page, since it means that either someone actually got enough points to send away for a prize, or else they were cutting the page out and saving it in the belief that someday they could.

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I am glad none of the magazines in North America ever tried to do something like this, though I would have loved to have a weekly or bi-weekly game magazine back then. If I had the money I would have read several different magazines. Trying to collect fake money like that for prizes would be annoying, but it's a good way to encourage people to submit stuff to the magazine. Sort of like getting freebies from some magazines for having our letter printed. Like EGM did with those tacky "In Your Face" t-shirts for being the psycho letter of the month.

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When it comes to adding content to the site, I have a bad habit of getting distracted by new things before finishing others.  One of my newest distractions is Chinese game magazines.  I haven't started adding them yet, since I've still got a bajillion Japanese mags to get through, and the last time I started on a new country, I got distracted almost immediately (sorry, South Korea - I swear I'll get around to adding all of the covers I've got eventually).

But Chinese magazines are sort of ridiculous.  Just like everything else in China, things like "copyright laws" and "business ethics" in regards to magazine publications are just concepts to be ignored.  Multiple Chinese magazines (none of which are affiliated with Famitsu) use Famitsu cover images of their mascot, Necky the Fox.  Random pictures of Japanese anime that have nothing to do with games also seem to be a popular cover choice.  And it's a safe bet that even the odd cover that actually features game-related artwork, like SNK characters or whatever, is probably being published without SNK's permission.

On the plus side, it seems that lack of respect for copyright means that most Chinese gaming mags have been preserved.  Though even Chinese preservationists aren't without some respect for the publishers.  As one site proudly proclaims, they will only release magazines published before 2018.😆

large.6634687_Famitsu0279(April221994)a.jpgunliscensed.jpg

By the way, lest you think that even China can get away with anything, the above mag actually DID get shut down by the government for a time.  Not for stealing Famitsu artwork, but for its offensive title (Game Concentration Camp), and more importantly, the fact that all of its staff wrote under aliases, a la GamePro, and utilized the editorial column to criticize certain government policies regarding games and game piracy.  Oh, China...😅

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I don't know why this bothers me so much, but I'm kind of getting disgusted by the Japanese gaming scene circa 1998.  I've got a pretty much complete run of Famitsu from the latter half of that year (and continuing throughout '99), and I've been snapping photos of covers to fill holes (I no longer have a flatbed, so a snapshot will have to do until that make-believe day when I finally get around to scanning these things).  Before putting them back in their box, I've been glancing at the review section.  Week after week, dozens of games are reviewed, and yet an entire month will go by without a single non-Japanese game being covered.

Much has been said about how Western games simply don't appeal to Japanese tastes.  BULLSHIT.

I've lived in Japan for 10 years and I obviously love it here, and I promise you that the Japanese aren't exotic inscrutable unicorns set apart from the rest of the human race.  Sure, there are things that they are culturally inclined to be receptive to, but they can appreciate things from other cultures just as easily as you or I can.  They watch Western TV.  They watch Western movies.

But they don't play (many) Western games.  Not because they're so culturally removed from the rest of the world that they couldn't possibly enjoy them, but because they simply aren't ever exposed to them.  These issues of Famitsu aren't refusing to review Western games - there just aren't any Western games being released in Japan for them to review.

Granted, in 1998, all of the best Western development was still happening on PC.  But surely there was something being released for the PlayStation worth playing that didn't originate in Japan?

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I want to buy one of these Famitsu Xbox magazines to see what articles they ran. Did they feature many western titles for a western console or did they only showcase the few games that Japanese developers created for the console?

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2 hours ago, kitsunebi77 said:

Granted, in 1998, all of the best Western development was still happening on PC.  But surely there was something being released for the PlayStation worth playing that didn't originate in Japan?

Well, there was "Star Wars: Masters of Teras Kasi"...

*huggles*
Areala

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2 minutes ago, Areala said:

Well, there was "Star Wars: Masters of Teras Kasi"...

*huggles*
Areala

I believe I said "worth playing."

Although that and a couple of sports titles were literally the only Western games I saw reviewed over the course of about 10 issues.

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3 minutes ago, kitsunebi77 said:

I believe I said "worth playing."

Although that and a couple of sports titles were literally the only Western games I saw reviewed over the course of about 10 issues.

It is worth playing...it's worth playing to see how not to make a Star Wars game or a 3D fighting game or name characters (seriously, 'Hoar'...?). It does serve an instructional purpose to an Eastern audience. :)

*huggles*
Areala

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25 minutes ago, Ethereal Dragonz said:

I want to buy one of these Famitsu Xbox magazines to see what articles they ran. Did they feature many western titles for a western console or did they only showcase the few games that Japanese developers created for the console?

Pretty sure it was just cover-to-cover Dead Or Alive, every issue.🤣

Also pretty sure no one read Famitsu's Xbox magazines.

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