So we haven’t heard of both companies in years. Sunsoft’s absence in particular has been a strange one. Some of you may remember the company from the 8 and 16-bit era, working on original classics such as the Blaster Master series and other great licensed material. My experience with the publisher’s games has been mostly with their Warner Bros. Cartoon ones, Road Runner and Duck Dodgers for the SNES in particular. Those were very hard yet surprisingly enjoyable back then.
While Sunsoft closed down their international offices due to rising costs and focused exclusively on the Japanese market, all is not lost. Thanks to Gaijinworks, Sunsoft seems to be making baby steps in returning to the US market…and what better way to start off the process than releasing their old catalog for the Wii Virtual Console? This month will see the release of the first Blaster Master for the NES, hailed by fans as one of the most unique NES games of all time. I have to say, after watching some YouTube clips, I’m really surprised by the genre mix-up and strong presentation. Good gameplay, graphics, and one heck of a catchy soundtrack. Even though I missed out on this, it’ll be a fresh new experience for me once it gets released on the VC.
Good move, Gaijinworks. Victor Ireland, the current head of Gaijin, has been hiding ever since his former company, Working Designs, closed down 4 years ago. Hailed as the pioneer of premium video game packaging and being one of the best Japanese-to-English localization publishers of all time, it makes me happy to see that Victor is still alive and kicking. He’s claiming that the next related press release will make Sunsoft and Working Designs fans really happy. Wonder what he means by that? I know that Sunsoft had a couple of Japanese-exclusive classics like Waku Waku 7 for the Saturn…maybe we’ll see those in English for the first time?