I suspect few US gamers remember the TurboGrafx-16 with any clarity, much less knew about the far more popular PC Engine in Japan. I didn't even know what medium it used until I picked up a Duo-Rx in Akihabara while on assignment for Tokyo Game Show.
So imagine my surprise when I also learned that the effort was spearheaded by HudsonSoft -- creators of (for me) kindergarten pasttime Adventure Island, but probably better-known as the progenitor of Bomberman. It makes sense, in retrospect, given the multi-player nature of Bomberman.
But enough about that, what about these fresh new faces to the Dojo?
Justin is the mastermind behind "You Can Play This
", a series focusing on Japanese import gaming. Like the name suggests, he reviews titles that Americans can play with little-to-no knowledge of Japanese, or educates you on what you might need to know to bridge the gap where you may just need the little extra push.
In addition to his own site, you can find his stuff on Channel Awesome sites BlisteredThumbs.net
, including other series such as J-Dub in the Dark. But I think my favorite right now has to be the Mario Monologues. He covers everything from Donkey Kong to Super Mario Bros. 3, but take a gander at this one:
No relation to JewWario (except perhaps inspiration), but why pass up a chance to get the Evil Mario Twins into one show? Jonathan heads up "Lost in Translation
", which in covers how games changed -- for better or more often for worse -- when they crossed the Pacific. Sound differences in Zelda and Castlevania are just the start: sometimes titles, dialogue, or even entire stories are changed in an attempt to suit a Western audience.
Since some of these differences are due to hardware changes in the consoles themselves, the companion series "Let's Rip It a New One" shows what you can do to mod your US (or Japanese) consoles by brute force or finesse to get the full gaming experience. Or just because it's fun.
We just came off a huge Sega binge here at the Dojo, but why not take another look with Let's Rip It Episode 2:
And, of course, Sindra continues to rock your world with KEEP PLAYING: Rewind
. Her most recent installment was about the X-Men Sega Genesis games. There's just no escaping that blue needlemouse!