I hate it when the most fascinating news of the day is the closure of a video game company. I really do. Case in point: the North American publishing arm of Hudson Soft will be no more by the end of February 2011. While this event has been in the making since Konami fully bought Hudson Soft of Japan last month (which slipped passed by me), it isn’t the only reason for the closure of “Hudson America”. Some excellent feedback by Hudson Entertainment’s own product and brand manager, Morgan Haro, can be found in his own blog. Very honest and insightful stuff. Echoing Mr. Inafune’s (ex-Capcom head) own words of Japanese development quickly becoming second fiddle to American games, not to mention Hudson’s failure in turning Deca Sports into a strong Wii franchise, are examples that Mr. Haro mentions in his own blog post. It’s not all doom and gloom though, as he highlights the amount of innovative games they’ve been publishing as of late, most notably their last hidden gem for the Wii, Lost in Shadow. Indeed, despite bumps and the inevitable demise, Mr. Haro has no regrets, and rightfully so. Hudson and its American branch are some of the oldest companies around, and while they no longer exist, it’s commendable that they’ve been functioning since the NES days. Besides, Hudson Japan is under good management. Konami won’t screw Bomberman fans over.
Even though the spirit of Hudson will most likely live on, let’s reminisce of the old days. Are you familiar with Hudson? Do you love Bomberman? What are some of your personal highlights developed and/or published by Hudson? Personally, Hudson and Bomberman meant nothing to me until I first played Bomberman 64. I sadly caught up with the franchise late, but my timing was perfect as the n64 Bomberman games were some of the best in the series. You have no idea how much I enjoyed Bomberman 64’s single player and multiplayer sessions. Bomberman Hero was also another excellent single-player action/adventure game. Part of me truly wishes that Bomberman games go back to the format introduced with the n64 installments instead of sticking to the retro designs seen in the recent ones. Finally, let’s not forget Hudson’s collaboration with Nintendo which spawned the Mario Party franchise. Again, n64 had the strongest installments which provided hours of multiplayer fun. Remember those blisters that you could get when playing too much “rotate the control stick” mini-games with the first Mario Party? I was proud of having those! While the GameCube installments didn’t have the same magic, I thought that Mario Party 8 for the Wii was awesome! Critics really tore it up a new one for no reason.
Readers, do us all a favor and buy Lost in Shadow in memory of Hudson Entertainment. I don’t think you’ll see many copies in shelves soon so grab ’em while Hudson remains open for business.