kitsunebi77

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Well, I ordered these yesterday and 24 hours later, here they are (only $5 shipping).  Gotta love Japan's delivery services.

IMG_2821.jpg

 

And I'm in love with this magazine.  I didn't really know what to expect, as the only issues I had before this were much more recent, after they stopped being a mag strictly about computer games and morphed into a self-described "media mix" mag.  But these older issues (from 1992) are suh-weet!  About 300 pages each.  I don't know jack squat about most of the games they cover (other than the imported Western games), but just browsing is interesting.

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Just ordered a CD-ROM that was included with the 249th issue of Comptiq that's supposed to have a complete cover Gallery of the mag's run up to that point.  Of course, I've already uploaded almost all of those covers, but my fingers are crossed that the pics on the disc will be higher resolution than what I have.  I'm not getting my hopes up too high, though.  Japan is notorious for its super-tiny low res images.  I have a disc that came with a Dengeki Playstation that had a "complete cover Gallery" as well, but the pics were all 200px high thumbnails.  Because, well...you know...a CD-ROM only holds 3MB of data...right?  Or then there's the discs that come with Tech Gian and have video clips that play in a window the size of a 50-cent piece.  WTF Japan...<_<

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As expected, a complete bust on the CD-ROM.  Luckily it was only about $2.50 down the drain.

During an excruciating 3-hour-long Windows update yesterday, I had nothing else to do (seriously, take away my computer for 3 hours?  WTF am I supposed to do with that time at home?  My computer isn't just my computer, its my TV, my game systems, my book collection, my comic collection, my music collection...)  So anyway, to keep from twiddling my thumbs for 3 hours, I debound all of the Famitsu supplements I have plus a regular issue of Famitsu.  And today I finished scanning and editing one of the supplements.  Unfortunately, I can't upload the cover for the life of me, so until we get the Gallery straightened out (it's been on the fritz for the past 6 months), it doesn't appear I'll be able to upload any new scans. 

This particular supplement would have had very limited appeal anyway, so I'm more upset about it than any of you should be.:P

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I don't normally hype stuff I'm working on in advance, but I just scanned something that'll probably make all of you Nintendo fanboys very happy.

Think: Japan's most famous mag, from the golden age of the Famicom's lifecycle.  This issue was published before there was an EGM, before there was a GamePro, before even Nintendo Power had arrived on the scene.  The review crew takes a look at Contra and there's a special 2-page review of Final Fantasy.

Here's a peek at what was selling in America in January 1988:

Issue_43_016.jpg

And here's my (rough) translation of the commentary on the sidebar (I'm not fluent, people).  They seem amused that a shitty game like Top Gun was so high on the charts.

  • There's a reason why the rankings are as you see them.  Top Gun really IS doing well.  This is a good example of name value.  One of the factors in a game's success in America seems to be that the name is well known, such as a game that was a big hit in arcades or one with a celebrity's name attached.  There aren't many Americans who haven't heard of Top Gun.  That's why it's selling.  Mike Tyson, too.  And then there's "President Reagan's Absurd Big Advance (attack)"...or is there not such a thing?

I can't tell if that was some kind of sick burn or not.:lol:  Looking at the Japanese sales charts this issue, the only games in their top 10 that were ever even released in America are Final Fantasy (#7) and Mike Tyson's Punch-Out (#10) - the rest never made it stateside.

 

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Wow, I had no idea Punch Out ever was outselling Zelda ...or Castlevania...Metroid...

I really wish there was a game called President Reagan's Absurd Big Advance Attack.

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42 minutes ago, Ethereal Dragonz said:

Wow, I had no idea Punch Out ever was outselling Zelda ...or Castlevania...Metroid...

I really wish there was a game called President Reagan's Absurd Big Advance Attack.

According to Vgchartz, Zelda had more lifetime U.S. sales, but Punch-Out outsold Metroid.  All of them outsold Castlevania by a large margin.  Sports titles have always been big sellers, and aside from being an excellent game, Tyson was HUGE at the time.  This sales chart covers the time around Tyson's fight with Larry Holmes, so he would have been in the public eye even more than usual (perhaps explaining why the game had moved UP from the #2 spot in the previous issue's sales charts.)

Coincidentally, Punch-Out was probably the game that sold me on the NES.  I had a friend with several games, and aside from SMB, Punch-Out was the best of what he had and the one I spent the most time playing.  When I finally convinced my parents to get me an NES for xmas, it was one of the first games I got.

Btw, this isn't important, but since it isn't clear in my translation of the joke title "President Reagan's Absurd Big Advance (attack)"  the last word is closest in meaning to "advance" as in a military advance, but since that might not have been clear, I added the "(attack)" to indicate what kind of advance it was talking about.  Sometimes certain words can't be translated concisely and require a bit of extra wordage for clarity.:)

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From $80 to $0.89

1992:

PCGames_page_00066 copy.jpg  

today:

   Untitled-1.jpg

 

All I can say is, 3 games and over 5.5 megabytes?  YOU CAN'T HANDLE 5.5 MEGABYTES!!!!

Ahhh...the golden olden days.  Seriously, where the hell was GOG when I was a kid?  I could have actually afforded to buy games with my allowance instead of waiting for Christmases and birthdays.

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It'll be a while yet till I get the whole mag finished, but I thought this was interesting enough to post here.

This is the reader's choice for the Top 10 Famicom games of 1987:

  Famitsu_Issue_43_007.jpg

  1. Dragon Quest II (yeah, big surprise there.  The only time a Dragon Quest game isn't at the top of the charts in Japan is if there wasn't a DQ game released that year)
  2. Pro Yakyuu Family Stadium (released in the USA as RBI Baseball)
  3. Hokkaidō Rensa Satsujin: Okhotsk ni Kiyu (a Japanese-style 1st-person menu-driven graphic adventure designed by the same guy who did Dragon Quest)
  4. Pro Yakyuu Family Stadium '87 (proving that Madden wasn't the first to offer annual updates, this is the exact same game as #2, but with more teams and updated rosters)
  5. Moero!! Pro Yakyuu (released in the USA as Bases Loaded)
  6. Link no Bouken (released in the USA as Zelda II: The Adventure of Link)
  7. Digital Devil Story Megami Tensei (the first in what would become a sprawling franchise of different series like Shin Megami Tensei and Persona, this one is a hard-as-nails first-person dungeon-crawl RPG)
  8. Shin Onigashima (a menu-driven graphic adventure for the Famicom Disk System)
  9. Momotarou Densetsu (a Dragon Quest clone from Hudson, the first in a series)
  10. Sanma no Meitantei (a 1st-person menu-driven graphic adventure starring Japanese TV personality Sanma Akashiya)

 

So there you have it.  The people of Japan have spoken.  The best games of 1987:

  • 3 baseball games (two of which are essentially the same game)
  • 3 menu-driven adventure games (very few of this type were made in the West.  Think Shadowgate or Deja Vu)
  • 3 RPGs (one of which is a DQ game and one of which looks and plays exactly like a DQ game)
  • Zelda II (fight amongst yourselves as to what genre it belongs to)

:lol:

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On 6/17/2018 at 8:42 AM, kitsunebi77 said:

The people of Japan have spoken.  The best games of 1987:

  • 3 baseball games (two of which are essentially the same game)
  • 3 menu-driven adventure games (very few of this type were made in the West.  Think Shadowgate or Deja Vu)
  • 3 RPGs (one of which is a DQ game and one of which looks and plays exactly like a DQ game)
  • Zelda II (fight amongst yourselves as to what genre it belongs to)

:lol:

yikes, that list!  but yes, let's hate on USA liking Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!  the USA list actually has a lot more variety as far as publishers, genre, and franchises. Pretty neat to think about.

you're doing excellent work, kitsunebi!

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2 hours ago, twiztor said:

yikes, that list!  but yes, let's hate on USA liking Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!  the USA list actually has a lot more variety as far as publishers, genre, and franchises. Pretty neat to think about.

you're doing excellent work, kitsunebi!

To be fair, they're different types of lists.  The USA list is simply a sales chart for what was probably a two-week period in late January 1987.  The Japanese list is the top ten best games of the year as voted on by Famitsu readers.  Also, I don't think they were hating on Tyson, just theorizing that it's sales were as strong as they were because of his name recognition.  They actually name Punch-Out!! as their sports game of the year in this same issue.

You make an interesting point, though.  Although every single game on the USA sales chart is a Japanese game, the variety is greater than what Japanese gamers appear to be drawn to.  This relates perfectly to a point I was trying to make in another thread, which is that the USA can cherry pick the best and most interesting Japanese releases.  Admittedly there are a few (emphasis on the "few") gems that never make it stateside, but the rest of the 75% of Japanese games that aren't picked up for release in the USA are usually avoided because they're uninspired clones or outright terrible games (or games of zero interest to non-Japanese gamers, such as mahjong).  So looking at Japanese games from a strictly American point of view might give one an unrealistically high opinion of the level of quality and originality in games being churned out in Japan.  Of course, during the 8-bit era, there really weren't any quality games created in the West, since serious game designers couldn't be bothered with consoles.  Thanks to the awful Western console games of the 8/16 bit era, the opinion that all Western games are garbage is still held by some in Japan to this day.

Anyway, there were a lot of copycat games in Japan, and while some of it was due to laziness or developers trying to cash in on someone else's success, some of it was because that was what Japanese gamers wanted.

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As I continue to edit my way through this scan, I can't help but be surprised/amused by the reviews section.  7 games were reviewed, and of those, the only one to ever be released in the USA was Contra.  So surely, that must be the highest rated game this issue, right?  Contra is a classic, right?  In America, maybe.

In Japan, on the other hand, it received a 27 out of 40.  Compared with the other games reviewed this issue, that means it got the same score as Arkanoid II.  It was outscored by Tantei Jingūji Saburō: Yokohama-kō Renzoku Satsujin Jiken (a menu-driven Japanese-style graphic adventure - 29 out of 40) and Matsumoto Tōru no Kabushiki Hisshōgaku (a stock trading simulation - 30 out of 40)  Hell, two of the four review crew members gave Contra the same score as they gave Donald Land, a Japanese-exclusive platformer starring Ronald McDonald (or, as he's known in Japan, Donald McDonald.) :lol:

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Yo, WTF is Michael Clarke Duncan doing in this Japanese 3DO ad from 1994?  Anybody know what game this is from?  Or was he just into Mad Max cosplay at the time? :lol:

MCD.jpg

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First the good news:

I've finished Famitsu issue 43.

Second the bad news:

Some overly zealous Dragon Quest fan (i.e. take your pick out of literally every game-playing Japanese person alive) had removed a 20-page pull-out section on DQIII, so I'm missing those pages.

Third the good news:

The original donator of the issue has another copy which includes those pages, and hopefully will be able to scan them and send the missing pages my way for editing.

Fourth the bad news:

That means a delay on the issue's release for an indeterminate amount of time.  Hopefully soon, but I can't promise anything.

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On 6/3/2018 at 6:44 PM, kitsunebi77 said:

Just ordered a CD-ROM that was included with the 249th issue of Comptiq that's supposed to have a complete cover Gallery of the mag's run up to that point.  Of course, I've already uploaded almost all of those covers, but my fingers are crossed that the pics on the disc will be higher resolution than what I have.

Well, I thought this was a bust when I loaded up the disc a few weeks ago, and I almost threw the disc away.  But in a last-ditch effort, I just changed my computer's locale to Japan, and suddenly the folder with all of the covers became visible!

It's odd, but the covers to the first 10 issues don't seem to be included, although everything after is.  The files are all 768px high, so not exactly hi-res, but better than I expected.  I've still got to spruce them up in Photoshop, but I'll be replacing any covers I previously uploaded that were smaller or in worse shape than these.

Wish I could find a similar disc for ALL magazines...

The cover quest continues...

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It doesn't get posted anywhere apparently, so I guess I'll have to be my own hype machine and point out that I've posted part 1 of kitsunebi77's Guide to Magazine Preservation in the "tutorials" section.  Hopefully I'll have time this summer to finish parts 2 and 3, followed by some shitty prequel guides better left unread and finally parts 4 and 5 which will be pretty good, though no one will agree on exactly how good other than to unanimously declare that they don't hold a candle to part 2.

https://www.retromags.com/tutorials/article/4-kitsunebi77s-guide-to-magazine-preservation-part-1-pre-scan/

 

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Well, this is a fine situation.  It turns out that the tutorial I posted can't be viewed by anyone because the tutorial section is currently only accessible to staff.

This, along with an otherwise fully-scanned and edited issue of Famitsu for which I'm waiting to receive a missing 20-page section so I can release it as a complete mag, means that a lot of stuff I've been working on lately can't be shared just yet.

I won't even mention the two-page ads I've been stitching together but haven't been able to post all year ever since our site had a technical hiccup in early January won't allow such images to be uploaded.  (oops, I guess I mentioned it. again.)

So yeah.  A little frustrating, but just imagine: one day, the site will get fixed, the pages will come in, and everyone will be awash in an abundance of riches.  OK, well awash in a few things, anyway.

Luckily I still have plenty to do in the meantime.  I'm sort of amazed how, judging from the information I've researched, I've only got maybe 15% of the Japanese mags added to the database, and yet there are nearly as many Japanese mags as USA mags in the database currently.  By the end of the year, Japanese mags in the DB will outnumber the USA mags.  It's a shame there aren't more people in Japan contributing scans. 

But then, it's a shame there aren't more people everywhere contributing more scans.  If only there was one one-hundredth the amount of people interested in magazine preservation as there are people interested in slinging mags on eBay.  Hell, if just 1% of Retromags members scanned ONE magazine per year, we'd be able to have a new mag out every 3 days.

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OK, here it is again, in its new, improved, actually viewable by all members glory: part 1 of kitsunebi77's Guide to Magazine Preservation

https://www.retromags.com/tutorials/article/4-kitsunebi77s-guide-to-magazine-preservation-part-1-pre-scan/

Not a lot of new information in part 1.  It's pre-scan only, after all.  Further guides will go into detail on my actual process of preserving a mag from start to finish.

A de-binding guide has mostly been written already, but I've got to decide how to best go about incorporating video before I post it.

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I should actually move mine under tutorials like you did. Then it would have a proper breadcrumb and stuff. Maybe that will be tonight's project.

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13 hours ago, E-Day said:

I should actually move mine under tutorials like you did. Then it would have a proper breadcrumb and stuff. Maybe that will be tonight's project.

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

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For the love of god, take care of your mags, people.  A scanner will thank you someday.

4 freaking hours this took me...:blink:

Famitsu_Issue_49_001a.jpgFamitsu_Issue_49_001b.jpg

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I still plan on putting up debinding/scanning/editing tutorials, but since those will be useful to only a very few people, I decided to backtrack a bit and make my second guide applicable to EVERYONE.  Super important advice towards the end of this one, especially in light of recent events within the scanning community.  Please give it a look.

 

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On 09/07/2018 at 3:03 PM, kitsunebi77 said:

Luckily I still have plenty to do in the meantime.  I'm sort of amazed how, judging from the information I've researched, I've only got maybe 15% of the Japanese mags added to the database, and yet there are nearly as many Japanese mags as USA mags in the database currently.  By the end of the year, Japanese mags in the DB will outnumber the USA mags.  It's a shame there aren't more people in Japan contributing scans.

Seeing how many German computer and gaming magazines Kultboy listed over the years, there is no doubt the number of Japanese gaming magazines must be huge. Listing them must an herculean task, especially with all the weird name changes and special issues. :blink:

The 1987 Famicom top 10 games is very interesting, it shows another side of console gaming, with completely unknown games out of Japan. Quite different from what we usually read in Occidental books or websites. Are there similar top 10 in local computer gaming magazines ? It's much less documented that the Japanese console market...

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4 minutes ago, Hoagie said:

The 1987 Famicom top 10 games is very interesting, it shows another side of console gaming, with completely unknown games out of Japan. Quite different from what we usually read in Occidental books or websites. Are there similar top 10 in local computer gaming magazines ? It's much less documented that the Japanese console market...

Sure, but after a certain point, PC games stop being something you can take seriously here.  Nowadays it's nothing but visual novels. 

I just opened up to the top 20 sales chart in a Comptiq from March 1994.  The #1 game is Take the A-Train 4.  The #2 game is Rance IV (a porn RPG). :lol:

What makes the PC gaming scene in Japan interesting is that unlike the console markets, Western titles would often find themselves on the bestseller lists as well.  Granted, this was mainly due to most Japanese PC games being so lame by comparison, but still.

In this particular issue, Ultima Underworld is #6, Dungeon Master II is #11, Alone In the Dark is #12, and Sim City 2000 is #18.

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I was thinking more of annual lists of games of the year, chosen by either the readers or the critics, but the top sellers are interesting as well. With two management games (including one at #1), three RPGs and a soft spot for naked girls, this top looks like a German top sales list. :lol:

I was surprised for Dungeon Master II, but yes, it was out in Japan more than one year before it was released in the USA and Europe. It's pretty weird for an American game. Either Alone in the Dark was released quite late, or it sold for more than one year.

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I've got about 20 issues of Login and maybe 50 issues of Comptiq (and a few issues of some other titles that cover PC games), but I've only very briefly flipped through most of them, so while I'm sure there's probably a list like that somewhere, I'm not really sure where to find it.  I just grabbed the issue at the top of a pile.  Actually, if I'd just turned to the next page I would have seen the reader's poll top 20 for the month.  I'm not familiar with a large percentage of Japanese computer games, but these are ones I recognized.

1. Princess Maker 2

2. Romance of the Three Kingdoms III

5. Puyo Puyo

7. Nobunaga's Ambition (one of the sequels, don't feel like figuring out which)

9. Winning Post (what is it with Japanese and horse racing games?)

11. Derby Stallion (what did I just get finished saying?)

As near as I can tell, there isn't a single Western title on the reader's top 20.

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.

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