Friday, 30 March 2012

Unusual Gaming Genres Part One: Crane Operator

Popular gaming press has bemoaned the seeming homogenisation of the gaming industry in recent years as it undergoes its own version of globalisation. Critics say that Japanese developed games are no longer as out on a limb as they used to be. And perhaps they have a point: Genki certainly can't imagine Crane Master being released on the current platforms... A cracking title in which you get to become a master crane operator through the various stages and challenges including pulling out fish as in the child's toy fishing game. There is also an expert course to graduate aswell as the grind of work mode where going about your duties is strangely gratifying. Only in Japan, but well worth a spin. Known as Crane Master ni Narou in Japan. Interested parties seeking the full license should also see Shovel Master and Machine Master in the Kenki Ippai series. Keep it left field.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

SUZUKI BAKUHATSU The Playstation's Retro Tattoo

Suzuki san is a bomb disposal expert - luckily considering bombs keep turning up in the most bizarre places such as in her mobile phone. Once the cut scene has finished its off to work with your tools to diffuse the bomb within the time limit - often easier said than done on later levels. A special title worthy of a second chance. And it is one of a burgeoning treasure chest of retro tinged releases for the Playstation that weren't going for polygons-a-plenty as was in vogue at the time. Instead devious gameplay lies at the crux and as such it stands the test of time far better.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Ninokuni: Miyazaki meets gaming

Anything that the hand of Studio Ghibli touches screams animated gold and this emotive RPG is no exception. Right from the start Oliver sheds a tear wishing his mother would return and its the emotion investment in this exquisitely animated adventure that makes it so worthwhile. The accompanying Magic Book contains simple drawings that can be copied onscreen to unleash powerful attacks in the Final Fantasy style battle sequences. Miyazaki 's characters seem to almost transcend language and speak from the heart. Unless of course we are just trying to gloss over this being Japanese language... Yet should this fail to make a translation, to miss out on it would surely be the more heinous crime...

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Fabulous Figures

Suzumiya Haruhi no Gekidou DX Pack comes with a stunning figure of the game's heroine Haruhi which demonstrates more evidence of the narrowing gap between the various aspects of Akiba culture as the gaming and PVC world's collide. We had Akiba's Trip, but this comes with a physical figure for fans to toy with. Here's hoping Star Wars will soon come with a blister pack Yoda. Being able to open it might require severe use of the force however....

Friday, 16 March 2012

Falsion and the Famicom 3D System

Until recently Genki was blissfully unaware of the Famicom 3D System. Granted a few Genki staff have 'Mekong' style foreheads due to the pressure on the temples by the 3D glasses that came with the Master System. Yet it turns out it Famicom Fanboys and girls were getting in on the act, especially with their take on Space Harrier in Falsion. This into the screen 3D shooter is in the distinct mould of Space Harrier with some claustrophobic confines such as the walled level playing like a trench of Star Wars. Sharp reactions are required to succeed. In the words of the game when a particularly nasty boss has been sent packing: “Feel like to have a cup of coffee.” I think you'd have needed more than a few already to get there... And the experience is heightened by these 3D glasses. Virtual Reality a reality on the Famicom back in the 80's and an early tester for the 3DS. Who'd have thought it?

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Hatsune Miku

Project Miku has caused quite a stir in Japan, but we shouldn't be surprised as few know gamers as well as old Service Games. Hatsune Miku Project Diva 2nd Arcade Debut Pack is the update of the rhythm action with catchy, bubbly tunes and the star of the show Miku who seems to have a huge wardrobe of outfits for the fanboys. Presentation is superb and the graphical and aural standard shows just how huge Miku is in Japan. And with a bit of hand eye coordination, players too can be big in Japan.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

DSi Gyakuten Saiban Premium Edition

The stunning solicitor series created by Capcom as players must go all out for the conviction. Credit to the Japanese game market which still pulls out its own genres every now and then. I mean few companies would be bold enough to test out such a  title. And few series would be worthy of such a sleek tribute in the form of this DSi with tender curves and a logo that looks a treat against such simplicity. Top marks for design and a great bundle. Known in the West as Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Akibas Trip

Whilst Genki would hate for our office's to be assaulted by bra burning protesters, Genki has to admit Akiba's Trip has somewhat tickled our fancy. Perhaps its all those trips to Akiharbara searching for bargains and trying to avoid the temptations of the maid cafes and AKB47 afternoon matinees...? Clever use of word linking in the title as players also get to savour the delights of the otaku’s Mecca (or should that be mecha?) That is Akihabara. Its possible to explore the game shops, electrical stores, anime haunts and obligatory maid cafes with authentic realism in terms of layout. Plenty of fliers and Aikiba info can be viewed. Battles also ensue and those taking a beating tend to lose their dignity instead of getting a cauliflower ear in an intriguing take on the Yakuza series, hence the title.A clever concept covering all bases and uncovering a few surprises.

Friday, 9 March 2012

Mobile Genki Gaming

Genki likes to pride itself on Shinkansen Speed Service (unfortunately without the green tea ice creams.) And its not only on dispatch that we whizz on bravely at mach speed: the site is also kept up to the latest requirements of our day. And with greater demands on leisure time (especially with two handhelds released in recent months), its with some pleasure we plug the mobile aspect of the site:
Admittedly might not look too good even on an LCD flatscreen monitor, but get it on your mobile device and fellow commuters will be craning their necks to see your screen display (not just to try and get a glimpse of your PayPal password either...)
Feedback always appreciated. Happy mobile Genki gaming.....

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Pigeon Milk

Getting cosy down the local Cafe
Might be a bit behind on my gaming here, but recently got offered a bit of 'Pigeon Milk' and a 'Pigeon Sable' (biscuit) from the gaffer in the cafe in Animal Crossing Wild World. Think I'm well in! Looking forward to the stoppy back next and perhaps an after hours kick back and one of Havana's finest...

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Genki Sale: Roll up!

Please forgive the shameless plug for the Genki Sale section, but we are quite proud to be able to offer the likes of Radiant Silvergun for £119.99 or perhaps Nosferatu on the Super Famicom for £19.99.

The titles in there are hand picked for being:
i) Ace
ii) Bargain Buys
iii) Classic gaming Conundrums*

(* well perhaps excluding Exciting Pro Wrestling 4....)

So if you've never sampled the fine slice of gourmet gaming that is Nekkestu Oyako on the Saturn or a bit of run and gun in Contra Spirits or even the bonkers Bakuretsu Muteki Bangaio; then there has never been a better chance. Happy Genki gaming!

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Casio Loopy

Genki loves to find a bizarre console, so it was with some delight we took delivery of this appropriately named baby. Targeted firmly at the female gaming audience, Casio's cult console concept allowed gamers to produce their own print club seals with a built in printer. A curio as such, the Genki desktop is now alot prettier for the artistic impressions of pet dogs, staff mug shots and fashion models. Now to track down some Playdia's on the cheap....

Monday, 5 March 2012

Shooting Game Historica

As dedicated gamers with their ears to the listening post will no doubt know, PVC is big in Japan and not just in typhoon season. Yet the dedication shown by the collectors there often means a good few Yen in exchange for a no doubt must-have figure. Undoubtedly the production values on such high end figures are immense, yet sometimes one wonders how much the manufacturers know their figures are must-have in terms of pricing. Anyway enough rambling: just to say it is a treat to stock the fine Shooting Game Historica series. The ships are blind packed in the boxed version which is another bug bear for the collector. Yet the production values are high, the size just right to hopefully get them on a shelf with some lighting to do them justice and the pricing appropriate to be able to get a full set. There are many fine shooters and its great to see a tribute to them. Budge up bunny girl figures!

Friday, 2 March 2012

Risque & Saucy: Shiawase Usagi

Genki usually tries to avoid anything that might make the old glasses steam up. Yet some dedicated collectors might even wish to include bootleg titles in their hit list of the full releases for the PC Engine. The Shiawase Usagi, or "Happy Rabbit" series of games are rare Hacker bootleg releases and as such lack the blessing of NEC. Not pirate titles, but nor officially licensed given the adult content of the game. As such the packing and disk print are minimal.

The first in the series that is so off the scale it doesn't have a catalogue number and is simply known as "Shiawase Usagi". And perhaps there is good reason as players get intimate with the cast of this anime inspired adult title. Very collectable due to be a somewhat under the counter release.

Genki has yet to have the 'pleasure' of this sequel "Shinsetsu Shiawase Usagi 2". Suffice to say the genre of this title isn't exactly over populated, fitting into the rope simulation category. The title that translates as kind, happy rabbit, but it ain't that sort of petting. Fetches a high premium in Japan.

In "Shiawase Usagi 2 Sailor Z" t here are two modes of play: Captured Rabbit and Sailor Z. Gameplay in the former involves three options: look, touch, and chat. With a title that translates as happy rabbit, thankfully no animals appear. Sailor Z is clearly a very unlicensed anime adventure spin off of the Sailor Moon series with the girls in pursuit of the evil Dark Prince that won't be appearing on GMTV. Heaven for the hentai.

Phew, right - thats that one out the way with....

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Welcome To Pia Carrot Translation Project

Genki enjoys the thrill of all that whipped cream in a bit of Pia Carrot. Hats off to KID for managing to keep the series ticking over nicely. And even more Kudos to the fine translation job by Matt's Messy Room. I mean just the thought of transcripting the game makes my head hurt. But to deliver a patch to run in sync with the original game so that it may be savoured on the PC-FX format.... The hoards of cos play devotees should part in awe and respect if ever Matt decides to attend an anime con. Now many can work on their chat up lines thanks to his dedication. Though perhaps a few of the lines are best kept to the maid cafes of Akihabara....
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