Monday, 6 February 2012

New Japan Project - an historical legacy

New Japan Project, hmmm what does that mean?  Obviously something created in the land of the rising sun and probably Japanese but who or what is it?

Well, it was the original trading name for SNK.  Again, who or what kind of bizarre acronym is that?  Sounds like some crazy, neo-punk rock band, consigned to some grindhouse nightclub or was it something very special.

It meant nothing but there's something about it, c'mon try and say it slowly.   S, N, K sounds cool right.  Playstation - how original right?  Some kinda buzz surely?  SNK stands for Shin Nihon Kikaku.  So what did or SNK do?  Of course whatever it did or does, it is legendary.

SNK was founded in Osaka in 1978 by Eikichi Kawasaki until its unfortunate demise in October 2001.  I remember it well, I remember calling it Black Monday, although I knew it was coming, I refused to accept it but all good things and all that....

Well it was resurrected in a few forms and thankfully still exists today in one shape or another, but it will always be known as SNK to me.

Still in the dark, well SNK was an extremely famous video game and console publisher, but not instantly as this wouldn't happen until the late 80s and the console market (most famously) in the 90s with Neo Geo.

Instead, Kawasaki plyed SNK's trade in the late 70s in the arcade market, way before its most most famous creation - the incredible Neo Geo.  To be exact, 1979 was the year when Ozma Wars first appeared, a space shooter, shortly after in 1980, Safari Rally, some kind of maze em' up.

Unbeknownst to most, in 1981, A side scrolling shooter reared its head called Vanguard.  Irem and Konami would find it hard to deny that this was the inspiration to their own undeniable classic zappers in R-Type and Gradius respectively but of course that's up for debate...

SNK's success brought unexpected success in the arcade market and its profits rocketed, in the 80s they continued to make arcade games with highlights including Alpha Mission and Athena, the latter of which would go on to star among with many others in one of the most celebrated fighting franchises of all time, but don't worry, much more to come from that and many others....

I will be doing posts about all things SNK and Neo Geo, so hopefully you're already a fan - but if not - I'll be able to force a high quality conversion.

Rest assured, a right royal, haoshokuken treat is in store.....

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