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101 rare, weird and important Japanese video games
101 rare, weird and important Japanese video games
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805 backers pledged £25,190 to help bring this project to life.

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A brand new, gorgeously printed hardcover book covering 101 weird, obscure, historically important, and just plain cool Japanese video games.

Japan has produced thousands of intriguing video games. For any number of reasons, not all of them were ever released outside of the country, especially in the '80s and '90s. While many of these titles have since been documented by the English-speaking video game community – and in some cases, even unofficially translated – a huge proportion of the Japanese game output is unknown outside of their native territory (and even, in some cases, within it).

Some of these games are oddities, the kind of uniquely Japanese title that wouldn’t have been commercial viable outside of the country; others may have done well but were victims of circumstance. Plus, for quite a long time, the Japanese industry developed separately from American and European output, with their own landmark titles that created trends and inspired later games. Even the older games have a visual and aural style that make them distinct from similar games from around the globe.

Hardcore Gaming 101 Presents: Japanese Video Game Obscurities seeks to catalogue many of these titles – games that are weird, compelling, strange, cool or historically important. Some of these may be familiar if you’ve comprehensively read Hardcore Gaming 101 website archives (though the actual text for this book is completely original), but we’ve also included a large number of titles that aren’t (currently) reviewed, and in some cases, have little to no English-language coverage whatsoever. Most of these games are Japanese exclusive, though we’ve also picked some that are suitably obscure outside of the country, or were only localized many years after their original release. In some cases, they’re games that were hugely successful in Japan but barely made a mark in the West.

Beyond the individual selected games, we’ll also be discussing the history of any larger series a game might be part of and any subsequent games it may have influenced. We’ve also picked games that represent a large number of genres – platformers, shoot-em-ups, role-playing games, adventure games – across nearly four decades of gaming, among arcade, computer and console platforms. We’re covering titles from giants like Nintendo, Sega, Namco and Konami, along with smaller titles from long-forgotten publishers and developers. In other words, even if you’re fairly well versed in Japanese video games, you're very likely to learn something interesting and new.

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About the Author

Kurt Kalata has been writing about video games, mostly old and weird ones, on the internet for twenty years. In addition to founding retro game website Hardcore Gaming 101 in 2003, he previously started fan sites The Castlevania Dungeon and The Contra HQ. He has also contributed to several other websites, including 1up, Gamasutra, and Siliconera. He has edited and published over ten books through the HG101 website, including the Guide to Classic Graphic Adventures and The 200 Best Video Games of All Time, and has contributed to several other retro themed books, including the Untold History of Japanese Game Developers, Unseen64’s Video Games You’ll Never Play, and The Overstreet Guide to Collecting Video Games. He lives in New Jersey, USA with his wife, daughter, and three cats. 

About Hardcore Gaming 101:

Hardcore Gaming 101 was founded in 2004 in order to present readers with comprehensive overviews of long running games series, as well as to highlight lesser known cult classics or obscure games. Over the past decade, the site has hosted over 900 articles covering the entire history of video and computer gaming.

The Specs:

246 x 189mm (crown quarto) 
204 pages
101 games
25000 words

Our provisional list of games:

46 Okunen Monogatari, Arcus, Asuka 120% Burning Fest, Battlemania Daiginjou, Binary Land, Bishi Bashi Special, Bokosuka Wars, Boku no Natsuyatsumi, Boogie Wings, Bulk Slash, Captain Rainbow, Chaos Seed, Choaniki: Kyuukyoku Muteki Ginga Saikyou Otoko, Daiva, Dancing Eyes, Dark Half, Days of Memories, Dead of the Brain, Densha de Go, Der Langrisser, Devil World, Dezeni World, Digan no Maseki, Emerald Dragon, Ever17, Gamera 2000, Ganbare Goemon: Boku ga Dancer ni Natta Wake, Garage: Bad Dream Adventure, Gekisha Boy, Geppy X, GERMS: Nerawareta Machi, Gimmick!, Ginga Fukei Densetsu Sapphire, Gokuu Densetsu - Magic Beast Warriors, Hanjuku Hero 2, Harmful Park, Holy Umbrella, Hybrid Front, The, Jagur 5, Joy Mecha Fight, Juushin Rogus, Kaeru no Tame ni Kane wa Naru, Kowloon's Gate, Kuma Uta, Laplace no Ma, Last Armageddon, Linda^3, Live a Live, LSD, Majyuuou, Maka Maka, Metal Max 2 (or 3), Metal Wolf Chaos, Mizzurna Falls, Moon: Remix RPG Adventure, Muchi Muchi Pork, Mugen no Shinzou, Nanatsu Kaze no Shima Monogatari, Nazo no Murasamejou, Neko Samurai, Newtron (or Door Door), Noro to Koku no Koubou Kiri no Mori no Majou, Numan Athletics, Ore no Ryouri, Ore no Shikabane o Koete Yuke, Pepsiman, Portopia Renzoku Satsujin Jiken, Shinrei Jusatsushi Taromaru, Pu-li-ru-la, Pulseman, Relics, Rent-a-Hero No. 1, Sakura Taisen, Segagaga, Segare Ijiri, Sengoku Turb, Slap Happy Rhythm Busters, Soma Bringer, Splatterhouse Wanpaku Graffiti, Square's Tom Sawyer, Star Cruiser, Super Galdelic Hour, Suzuki Bakuhatsu, Tengai Makyou The Apocalypse IV, The Screamer, The Silver Case, Time Twist, Tokimeki Memorial, Tong Nou, Trio the Punch, Umihara Kawase, Venus and Braves, War of the Dead, Wonder Project J, Xak, Xanadu, Yoake no Mariko, Yume Penguin Monogatari, Yu-No, Zill O'll, Zwei!!

The A4 digital prints
The A4 digital prints

 

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