02/24/2005

Surprises Indeed

by Matthew Hawkins

WARNING: Again, tons of pics ahead.

This week has seen a crazy influx of noteworthy game related pics, so I figured that I might as well share the best…

- First off, everyone knows how ga-ga I go over prototype/unreleased game hardware. Well here’s some pics courtesy of ASSEMbler; the first is a Japanese magazine spread featuring a portable Famicom (NES) on the upper left, a prototype of the Wondermega (the JVC produced Genesis/Sega CD hybrid), and on the lower right, another drawing of the original PlayStation, back when it was still the Super NES CD. From the looks of it, the unit was one of the Sony produced all in one models, which looked far more Sony than Nintendo, hence why Nintendo go so nervous (for the full details, you can read about the whole saga in Steve Kent’s awesome book on game history.

Here’s a scan from an old EGM featuring a portable Super Famicom from Bandai, which also comes with a TV tuner and could even interface with the CD-ROM drive, a printer, modem, and other stuff. This was when Bandai was producing about 30 different game systems all at the same time. I’m assuming that they figured at least one would be a hit; they were wrong.

Hey look, it’s playing Dragon Ball Z game! Gee, what a surprise…

This here is a bizarro Sega CD development unit. Note how it’s a retail Mega Drive unit and a off the shelf Sega CD unit (what’s with the mixing of regions?) connected together with a custom interface. It’s so strange on so many levels, that I almost want to say it’s fake. It’s hella cool nonetheless.

- In addition to Rana, I also made another friend this week; a person who worked on one of my favorite games of all time, Rez! I’ll skip the details and just say that I will be interviewing him soon about his experiences, so keep any eye out for that. Plus I hope to share some ultra rare concept and work in progress artwork from Rez, Space Channel 5, and other UGA projects.

But real quick, here’s a snapshot of some ultra rare (and ultra awesome) Rez t-shirts which for some you had to actually work on the game to be able to get.

- Here is a guy who creates his own custom box arts for games. In some cases the changes are rather subtle, but for the most they’re pretty dramatic, and in almost every instance, its a major improvement. Though for most domestic titles, in which the original cover has either been butchered up or totally replaced for something for suitable for “American” tastes, almost anything is an improvement.

But what’s most amazing is that he’s managed to compose a boxart that in some ways is actually superior to the original Japanese version!

- Now that Katamari is so popular, everyone’s hopping on the bandwagon and creating all sorts of wacky stuff like hats and full costumes. I guess cutsey/creepy drawings should be no different.

- Here’s some college kids who created huge Super Mario characters out of post it’s.

- And finally, on an non-game related note, check out this archive of old school hip hop show flyers. This one has to be my favorite…

  • http://www.geekonstun.com Michael

    Not sure if you’ve seen this, but this guy has a very extensive Rez “goods” collection:

    http://www.geocities.jp/gicox/Rez/goods/index.htm

  • http://www.fort90.com Matt

    Holy shit! That guy wins.

    You know, when you consider how much I love that game with all my heart and soul, how it has never gotten old despite how when I first got the game I played it for almost a year straight (being unemployed at the time helped) and yet I still play it on a regular basis til this day, plus I’m always listening to the soundtrack, always looking for any chance to talk about, and have even thrown Rez parites with my friend Serge, my collection of Rez related stuff is actually quite paltry.

    I have the PS2 version, the Japanese Dreamcast version, and the OST. And that’s it (unless you want to count rips of the actual music in the game (not the same as the OST). Hell, I don’t even have the Trance Vibrator.

    I once tried to buy one of the two limited edition shirts offered by Beams (not pictured on the site oddly enough) but couldn’t figure out how and it was then too late. Then I came super close to getting the limited edition vinyls till I realized how incredibly stupid that would be.

    I mean, even a hardcore fan has to say “wait a minute now” every once in a while.

  • Job

    the trance vibe.
    so worth it.

  • http://www.geekonstun.com Michael

    I thought I remember reading that there were four Rez/Beams tees. But maybe I read it wrong and Miz was implying “fourth collaboration” with Beams, including Space Channel 5 goods.

    Regardless, I’d pay a pretty penny for any of the Rez/Beams shirts. A disturbingly pretty penny.

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