Friday, December 24, 2010

Update 12/24 - Spelunker, Dezeni Land / World , Gun.Smoke, Vasara

Doing a real quick update before I hop out the door for holidays proceedings. Spelunker is a cultural icon in Japan - the incredibly fragile hero is one of the most popular 8-bit characters, to the point where there's even a baseball player nicknamed after him - but it's largely ignored outside of the country, including its home country of the USA, where it originated as an Atari 8-bit game. A remake was recently released on the PSN - well, actually it's been available in Japan for quite awhile, but it's new to North America - and it might seem intentionally terrible at first, but with a bit of history you may understand where it's coming from, at least.

Following that up is a review of Dezeni Land and Dezeni World, two very early text adventures from Hudson. They're both big on parodies, featuring warped versions of Superman, Batman, the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, C-3PO, and of course, the Disney theme parks. It's worth checking out the articles just for the silly screens, although fans of Princess Tomato and the Salad Kingdom (wherever they are) will be pleased to know they were developed by the same folk. We also have a look at the Vasara games, two overhead shooters set in feudal Japan developed by Visco, a name not usually known for quality, although these are actually pretty good. Finally, we have a recap of Gun.Smoke, Capcom's Western-themed arcade shooter. We also dug up a computer only sequel, which is terrible, but read about it anyway!

Our featured article this week is Ketsui, which we wrote about six months ago when the Xbox 360 port came out in Japan. However, it recently became playable in MAME (the game is technically eight years old by this point) so I figured it was worth it to take some cleaner screenshots.


  1. "Vasara" - That's finnish for "hammer".
    Coincidence? Or did somebody once again search a word from the dictionary which they thought sounded cool like Teräs Käsi.

  2. Nah, it's an alternate transliteration of "basara", a Japanese word.