天の声バンク (Ten no Koe Bank) is not a video game. It is not a manga. It is not a hybrid of the two. It is not a Big Mac and chips. 天の声バンク (Ten no Koe Bank) is an accessory that was released for the NEC PC Engine video game console in 1991. The PC Engine console was not afforded a great deal of on-board memory, and managing save games was a problem that quickly required addressing.
If I asked you what’s the first thing that comes to mind about the history of television, you’d most probably bring up names like John Logie Baird, or Marconi. Or perhaps give a detailed description of a post-war family huddled around a box the size of a modern-day London apartment watching Ajax commercials and Blue Peter. You may be of a younger age group and perhaps recall a time when you ‘had to get up to switch the channels’, or ‘the remote control was actually connected by a cord’, or that a television cost a decades wages.
What may not come to the forefront of your mind is the fact that Japan joined the world of broadcasting in 1950, making it one of the first countries in the world with a full, yet experimental, television service. In 1979 Japan was at the forefront again, with NHK launching the world’s first consumer HDTV television service. By 1981, Sony was developing HD video cameras, and by April 1984 had consumer products available in shops nationwide.
Sony. Inventors of Betamax. The Walkman. MiniDisc. Hi-MD. SDDS. 3.5″ Floppy Disks. Blu Ray. This shortlist alone makes for quite a staggering portfolio. So how did a company with such an illustrious technological history make such a catastrophic mess of things with their venture in to IPTV (Internet Protocol television)? Let’s find out with a real first-hand look at PlayStation Vue from someone who actually used the service. Me.
Better late than never! You may have seen my previous entry, well I have been busy scribbling a few words down for the good folks at Retro Collect once more. This particular piece was published a few weeks ago, but I figured to pop the link here, just in case you would like to read my mutterings!
Released in 1972, long before video games were even a glint in a developers eye, Nintendo were in the business of manufacturing childrens toys. The Lefty was a series of toy RC cars by Nintendo that appeared on the market before rival Tamiya (today a world leader in radio controlled hobby products). With the Lefty, Nintendo aimed to release the world’s first radio controlled car at an affordable price point. To keep costs down the cars featured one servo. A servo with the ability to operate in one motion. A motion that allowed the car to solely turn left. Hence the name, Lefty.
If you are big in to retro video games, you may well have heard of a web site named Retro Collect. A polished and professional gaming site dedicated to all things retro. They have a thriving community to boot. My first article submission has been accepted and published at Retro Collect, the first of, I hope, many more.
I will of course be maintaining this, my personal site and am busy hammering away on various items as and when time allows. If you would like to check out my article discussing starting a family and keeping enthused with video games, please feel free to click the link below and also check out a great web site too!
It’s difficult to leap in to this review without making it first obvious that I am a massive, near-on obsessive fan of the Darius series of video games. From posters to Laserdiscs, to tote bags to model kits, to soundtracks to VHS tapes to the games themselves. You name it, if it’s Darius-related, I’ve either owned it or it’s currently in my collection. So when Darius Burst Chronicle Saviours was announced for the PC, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita, you could say I was mildly excited upon reading said news.
A handful of years ago, I forget exactly when but let us say circa 2011-2013, I was given these 3 sketches from someone whom I purchased some video games from. I hadn’t paid much attention to them since I got them, the person who gave me them simply said something along the lines of I have these sketches, do you want them? I’m not sure if they are real, but you can have them if you want. I agreed, received them, looked at them and didn’t think of them any more. Until today.
On a personal level, 2015 proved to be a remarkable year. I rediscovered my joy for photography. Something that had waned during years prior. Over the course of the year I began taking photos using 120 and 35mm film in conjunction with my trusty Nikon DSLR. I also amassed a, now out of control, collection of film cameras and even invested in some broken (and now repaired by my fair hands!) Super 8 cameras, film stock and even a Super 8 projector, which I am in the process of restoring.
Released in 2012, Burunyanman Portable originally started life as an eroge STG for the PC known as Burunyanman Hardcore! The game was later toned down (aka all the questionable, and I really do stress the word questionable, material was removed) and released for the Sony PSP handheld in both regular and limited editions. The game also appeared as a cheaper ‘best’ edition further down the line.
This is a flyer for the launch in 2012. I picked this up in one of the Trader stores in Akihabara. Burunyanman Portable is actually a great little STG, just like it was on the PC where it made it’s debut. Thankfully removing all seriously dubious adult material did not ruin enjoyment of the actual game. I would advise against importing the PC version of the game, lest you may have your collar felt!
This booklet has been scanned in at 300 dpi. It is a Tower Records pamphlet, titled, Tower Theatre. I picked this up during my visit to Japan in 2012, the Miyazaki cover art caught my eye. I popped it in to a document folder and brought it home to scan 3 years later!
You can download the booklet by clicking the icon below. What do you think? Do any items catch your eye? Let everyone know in the comments section!