This week, Nishi-kun tackles: Disappearing act, plus Watanabe Circle, our favorite game doujin circle. ^_^
Why is it that I always end up writing articles about once every few weeks or so, and keep screwing up on the whole weekly bit? ^_^;;
I suspect that right now, it has to do with the fact that even though I'm only taking 12 quarter units of classes and 20 hours of work, those 12 units are for Physics, Linear Algebra, and a Computer Algorithms course, and I'm spending just about the rest of my time coding something, it seems ^_^;;
But right now, I'm back, after another 4 week hiatus, to put up another long-marked column. ^_^
It's a known fact that many anime fans are also video game nuts... Can't put down our copies of Marvel vs. Capcom, Capcom vs. SNK, the ever-rare Capcom vs. Microsoft (where Chun-Li kicks the butt of Bill Gates... repeatedly...), Quake III, Unreal Tournament, EverCrack (err, EverQuest), and whatever else happens to tickle our fancies... For some of us, that includes a lot of crossovers, where anime and video gaming mix, such as Sakura Taisen or the infinite combinations of Renai games, such as Tokimeki Memorial, Sentimental Graffiti, Sotsugyou, Kanon, Air, most of the Leaf games, and so forth ^_^;;
It's also a known fact that the most insane of fans go to extreme lengths to show their fandom. Whether it is through cosplaying, fan fiction, fan art, or fan-whatever, some folks'll do anything to try to prove they're a major league otaku.
So, naturally, add these elements together, and you're destined to get a group of fans who happen to be able to program computers and like creating video games. ^_^ It's just a natural combination. ^_^
There are, of course, a few groups just like this in America and Japan. They mostly create some cool simple stuff that does insanely cute things, such as sit on your windows looking way too cute for their own good (that's the point where you're supposed to get the hint that Multi's sitting on my window's title bar right this second). ^_^
Well, there's one group of fans who have taken this to an extreme level. They are Watanabe Seisakujyo (or is that Seisakusho?), which roughly translates to Watanabe Factory. However, since they are a group of fans, we'll just refer to them like we would refer to a group of doujinshi creators - a circle ^_^.
For those unfamiliar with the games this circle has done, it appears that someone in the group has a major fetish with the characters of the Leaf series of games (that would include games such as To Heart, White Album, and Comic Party, just to name a few). The 3 best games that this group has put out (and are best known for) are based on characters from those series. The 3 games make up what is known as The Queen of Heart series (a play on The King of Fighters series, as the games are titled similarly, and are all street fighting games). The first game, the Queen of Heart '98, focuses mainly on the characters from To Heart. The 2nd game, The Queen of Heart '99, is an extension on '98, and includes characters from many of the other games in the Leaf games. The 3rd game, Party's Breaker (The Queen of Heart 2001), focuses exclusively on the characters from Comic Party for combat.
All 3 games feature an excellent system for gameplay derived from The King of Fighters series, individualized for the character you are fighting with. For example, fight with Lemmy in The Queen of Heart '99, and use a bow and arrow as your projectile weapon. Use Reiko in Party's Breaker, and, well actually, she's a Kyo clone, right down to the costume ^_^;;. Use Minami, and end up with a super move that mows down the competition... literally (as in with a bunch of fanboys ^^). QoH '99 and Party's Breaker also allow for Wave files to be added to the game, allowing for characters to shout out their attacks, and their misses ^_^;;
Besides the aforementioned series of games, Watanabe Circle has also created games like Devil Hunter Mai.
Watanabe Circle's most recent game, Glove on Fight, actually got its start as a flash file that was roaming around the internet somewhere (I did get my hands on that) by a group called Sunpuu-tei Koubou. They saw the file, they liked what it had, and they decided to make the game demonstrated inside. Yes, they are that nuts. ^_^
The flash file showed a "game" with unusually crudely drawn characters, battling it out. It included Ayu from Kanon, Digiko from Digi Charat, and the Ecoco mascot from the Tohoku Electric Co. ^_^ Regardless of the absurdity of the drawing style of the characters in the game, it appears that Watanabe Circle got a glimpse, and decided to do it for real... ^_^;; That's insanity for you, folks! ^_^
Anime fans & game fans alike probably continue to wish Watanabe Circle continued success with their game, as do I. Fight on! ^_^
Until next week, ja!
Tuesday, May 28th, 2002 - 1:51 PM PDT
Next Week's Likely Topic - If EverQuest = EverCrack, then what does that make Ragnarok Online?