Wednesday, August 19, 2009

PlayStation Store Presents: Game Diggin'

Game Diggin is a new Playstation Network video feature that is freely downloadable from the Japanese Playstation Store, apparently in an effort to generate more interest for the Playstation classics, as well as to boost up the sales of that catalogue. The hilarious show is hosted by none other than Teppei, a famous personality in Japan, along with the director of Famitsu PS3+PSP, Araji Yatsuka. In every show, a new guest is invited to demonstrate or simply play the selected game. In this first episode the show revisits, with the help of a gamer under the nickname Bunbunmaru, the first episode of the legendary AZITO series: a highly popular strategy game designed by Astec 21 and published by Hamster (before the sequels were given out by Banpresto). The game consists of an underground terrain where the player must create a solid shelter in order to protect people from the attacks of the vicious demons - given the programme's title, no other game could have been a better choice for its dazzling premiere.

Due to the great popularity of the re-release of FINAL FANTASY VII, Teppei and Araji, along with Eri Kawai, revisit the first moments of the game and discuss why Cloud was considered the top character of this Squaresoft mega-hit, according to a fondly-remembered Famitsu article from the time. Araji also mentions the Phantom Train from FINAL FANTASY VI as a possible inspiration for the use of trains in the seventh episode. Apart from this section, certainly inspired by another very famous videogame-related TV show, there is a weekly top 5 of the best sold and most popular PSX downloads on the store.

The second part of the first episode follows exactly the same approach. The well-known Taito shooter RAYSTORM is played in the company of guest Saji Kikuo in a two player match. The highlight of this episode (and of the whole show so far, in my opinion) was the choice of TAIL OF THE SUN for the next section, to which the author of the game Kazutoshi Iida was invited. Showing some of the game's most amazing and hidden features, Iida, whom I mentioned recently in an EasternMind article about his upcoming WiiWare game, provides a few minutes of sheer laughter in his own unique style.

A new episode has already been released, highlighting titles such as build your own arcade strategy game DEKIRU! GAME CENTER, the branded FIRE PRO WRESTLING, the single Playstation episode of the famous fishing RPG KAWA NO NUSHI TSURI series (RIVER KING) and finally, coinciding with the first four PC Engine re-releases on the PS3, Hudson's hit platformer ADVENTURE ISLAND (video uploads via PSPTeam on Viddler).

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