News: Ouji Hiroi (Red) interview

RPGFan has an interesting interview with Ouji Hiroi, president of Red Entertainment, and the principal party responsible for the Sakura Taisen and Tengai Makyou series. Rather some nice bits in there, particularly this thought: “Also, you can think of game development as being something like a real RPG, too. You think, assemble colleagues and capital, face certain difficulties, use various items and clear it. And after receiving the reward, you prepare to embark on your next journey.

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News: Taito Memories

Lightbringer_01.jpg Along with the Mushihime-sama PS2 port, the latest issue of Famitsu has confirmed the titles to be included in the first volume of the recently announced Taito Memories for PS2. 25 (!) arcade games from the very early gaming years to the mid 90s have been chosen to represent this company’s history. Release date is July 28th and the volume 2 will follow soon after. This is the full list:

Space Invaders
Lunar Rescue
Alpine Ski
The Fairyland Story
Kiki Kaikai [Knight Boy]
Bubble Bobble
Rastan Saga [Rastan]
Kuri Kinton
Jigoku Meguri [Bonze Adventure]
Don Doko Don
Flipull [Plotting]
Aa Eikou no Koshien
Majestic Twelve [Super Space Invaders ’91]
Runark [Growl]
Metal Black
Grid Seeker
Space Invaders DX
Darius Gaiden
Light Bringer [Dungeon Magic]
Elevator Action Returns [Elevator Action 2]
Cleopatra Fortune
Puchi Carat

Sadly, it also has been reported that the company’s benefits of the last fiscal year have not been as good as they expected, and they’re planning cost reductions on console games development. Here’s a gamasutra article on the subject, in english.

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News: Another World on GBA

Another World was a cult adventure game from the early nineties entirely programmed and designed by Eric Chahi then ported and released by Delphine Software, Interplay or Virgin (depending on the version) around the globe. Some of you may know it as Out of this World, or in Japan as Outer World, where it became one of the very few western games to ever top the charts.

Being a strong defender of abandonware and a really cool dude overall, Chahi recently bought back the rights of the game which turned the GBA amateur port by Foxy into a completely legit and authorized software, avaiable here for all. This ROM was carefully supervised by the original author of the game, who also provided priceless material such as specially remastered versions of the original files for the latest release. Mark this as one step forward for the abandonware scene.

[Edit: Well, this apparently moved enough enthusiasts to completely anihilate Foxy’s bandwith in less than 24 hours. His site will be back online soon -Chaz]

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News: Konami sells Takara shares

After obtaining a 22.2% share of Takara’s stock back in 2000 (which led to nothing in the way of collaboration, aside from World Fighters), Konami has decided that it’s time for them to go, selling all of their stock in the company to mobile game distributor Index Corp. This comes after Konami acquired Hudson as a subsidiary. We will learn more about this when Konami’s financial results are posted on the 10th of may, but for now read the Gamasutra analysis.

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News: Pre-E3 Announcements

magna-carta.jpg The organizers of E3 sent out a ‘sampling of “First Look” products’ email this morning, revealing a number of interesting points. Firstly, Atlus is listed as publisher of Magna Carta: Tears of Blood, the popular Korean-originated PS2 RPG that went over surprisingly well in Japan. In addition, Age Of Empires II for DS is confirmed as being published by Majesco and developed by Backbone Entertainment (Death Jr.) Also, Tecmo Classic Arcade is confirmed for unknown platforms, and will include “Tecmo Bowl,” “Rygar,” “Star Force,” “Solomon’s Key,” “Bomb Jack,” “Tecmo Cup,” “Pinball Action,” “Pleiads,” “Senjyo” and “Strato Fighter.” Also mentioned from Tecmo are “Trapt” for PlayStation 2, presumably the latest Deception game (“Protect your castle by luring your enemies into your booby-trapped world in this trap-action game”), and Fatal Frame 3.

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News: Nintendo’s hidden songs and DS downloading service

The often interesting Press The Buttons weblog led its readers towards an interesting piece of investigation from about an uncanny musical easter egg from composer Kazumi Totaka in the games he participated in. On a (lousily) related note, Nintendo gave away some information on their DS download service. To celebrate the launch of the game, DS owners will be able to play with popstar Utada Hikaru’s own nintendog (a shiba named ShinChan) and download demos of the promising Goemon, Atlus’ Caduceus and that weird Kahashima Ryuuta Kyouju no Nou o Kitaeru Otona DS Training game.

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