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December 2015

Burunyanman Portable PSP

Burunyanman Portable PSP Flyer

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!

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Tower Theatre 2012

Tower Theatre Japan 2012 (Booklet)

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!

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Akihabara Map 2012

What was Akihabara like in 2012?

In 2012 I was lucky enough to visit Japan. During my stay I visited Akihabara and picked up an English language map of the area. You can download a 300 dpi PDF of the complete map from my website, just click the link below!

How does Akihabara compare today with the Akihabara from 2012? Can you spot any of your favourite stores or game centers? Let me know in the comments below!

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Project Moon X68000 Title Screen

Project Moon. Unearthed! [Original X68000 Shooting]

Picture the scene. It is late April, 1995. A young Toshiaki Fujino is tucked away in a small room in an already cramped Tokyo apartment. Fujino san is hunched over a desk. Illumination in the room is provided by the glow of a Sharp X68000 cathode ray tube monitor. Amid the cathode flicker, the whir of a ceiling fan and the thick ribbons of smoke emerging from a stagnant Mild Seven, Fujino san is hard at work, creating what would become his first proper shooting game. A milestone that would have become his legacy, but until recently was considered lost forever.

Project Moon would make it’s debut in May 1995, plunging head first in to the chaotic circles of Japan’s crowded, saturated and frenetic doujin (indie, or fan made, for want of a more familiar classification in the West) scene. Ripples were made and the title was well received and passed around said chaotic circles. Project Moon would soon become but a distant memory as Fujino san would take a bold leap forward to form Triangle Service, a company still active today in 2015 and still brand of utmost importance to niche gamers. In particular, fans of shooting games.

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Under Defeat HD XBOX 360

REPRINT: WORLD EXCLUSIVE: Rev-ved Up! We chat with G.Rev president Hiroyuki Maruyama!

“The game industry in general is having a hard time and we refocus on social games and new revenue avenues. But we won’t give up!” – Hiroyuki Maruyama, President. G.Rev.

If ever a video game company commanded a mandatory abundance of respect by the bucket load, it’s G.Revolution (aka, G.Rev). A company initially founded for the sole purpose of developing shooting games, G.Rev quickly discovered that even with the goal set in stone to focus solely on shoot ‘em up games, they simply did not have the capital required to jump in to the arena and destroying all before them with magnificent, multi-million Yen titles. Instead, to acheive their goal, G.Rev worked hard on top grade titles for such respected companies as Sega, Taito Corporation and Treasure. The aim being to raise enough capital from co-devloping other projects in the hopes of being able to release their very own, 100% G.Rev titles.

That’s where the respect by the bucket loads part comes in. It’s truly an epic acheivement. Not just because of what G.Rev have accomplished in sticking to their belief of the original goal and actually following through with it, but for the fact that the product that they have produced, both as co-productions and their very own titles have been nothing short of astonishing. Indeed two titles from the G.Rev vault, Border Down and Under Defeat are widely regarded as two of the finest shooting games ever made. The latter of which will see an HD makeover and full retail release (in Japan only) on the XBOX 360 and PlayStation 3 this week.

I was incredibly honoured to be approached by Jacob Iyamu at online retailer Solaris Japan to have my tiny personal blog represented at an interview with the good folks at G.Revolution. Naturally I jumped at the chance and put forward a handful of questions for Jacob to ask Hiroyuki Maruyama, president of G.Rev on my behalf. The interview was recorded and will be available later on this month (stay tuned for more information to follow on this).

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Patreon stuffiwrote Launch

The Coterie Patreon Campaign. Launch!

Today I launched a Patreon campaign. I’m a bit cautious about it, this is new ground for me. But I want to make this site the best it can be, and take my writing to a whole other level. More on this in the Patreon description which you can find at my Patreon profile page.

The new Patreon design however, is somewhat annoying. It ‘hides’ milestone goals. Which for my campaign is of no use whatsoever. You can’t see what I am looking to do with the site! I’ve included the goals below and also at the bottom of the profile page.

Have a think about joining my campaign, if it isn’t for you, no problem! Lets see where this goes and go from there. Thank you for your time.

Ian

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Radirgy INH Cover

REPRINT: A ‘super’ chat with INH boss Minoru Ikeda!

“Since 1995 the market has been in steady decline. I established INH to protect these games.” – Minoru Ikeda, INH Co. Ltd

Since the dawn of time people, animals and things have been embroiled in bettering each other at ‘stuff’. For example, if pre historical fact (and fiction) is to be believed, volcanoes are better than dinosaurs. The Romans built a better UK road network than the grassy, muddy mess that existed before it (and the current road network that sprawls across the UK if you’ve ever paid a congestion charge or sat in traffic on the M25). On August 16, 2009 Usain Bolt ran 100 meters in 9.58 seconds. This beat the previous world record of 9.74 seconds held by Asafa Powell. This minute difference in times instantly made Usain Bolt better than Asafa Powell.

Then there are video games. I like Raiden III, but it’s hard and I’m rubbish at it. ‘Hattori’ san isn’t though. He can clear Raiden III with one credit. However I forgot to mention something important. Hattori achieved this by playing as player one and two. At the same time. You think I’m stretching the truth? No. It was all caught on tape.

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REPRINT: EXCLUSIVE! A chat with Yusaku Yamamoto, editor of Shooting Gameside magazine!

I’d like to thank Yusaku Yamamoto and all the staff at Shooting Gameside for kindly agreeing to an interview. Especially with a no-name person like me.

The past.

Ageing gamers the world over may recall with fondness scouring the pages of their favourite gaming or anime magazines only to be left gazing in awe at the wealth of fine publications available to our friends in Japan. The birthplace of said subject matter plays host to everything the mind could possibly conjure up to feed the insatiable masses. From simple, photocopied ‘doujin’ fanzines to pulp monthlies the size of telephone directories and elaborate coffee table centerpieces laden in gold, frankincense and quite possibly myrrh. There is simply no area left uncovered by both the professionals and otaku alike.

At the same time it was with some sadness that these pages we gazed at longingly in our favourite reads were simply pipe dreams that were left on those pages. For many this was (and still is) a stumbling block due to two main reasons. The language barrier and the sheer cost of importing such items to our respective countries. And so it remains, even to this day, that 99.9% of the product we long for that is so readily available in Japan remains out of our grasp. On a personal note I recall the black and white classifieds that graced the pages of Manga Mania in the early 1990′s would showcase the Masmaune Shirow masterpiece Intron Depot 1. Last week, and some 19 years later, I purchased a copy of Intron Depot 1 from Japan which traveled so many miles across the globe and floated down on my desk like the most beautiful feather. I was reduced to near-tears. At last I owned a copy of the legendary art book I saw nearly two decades earlier and dreamed of owning.

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