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 Post subject: Taito is incredible and they don't get enough credit
PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2020 11:46 am 


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So this was brought to my attention on Twitter yesterday.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-lVyYtkgRY

Even with this near three decade old, washed out, horrible low res quality footage, this is honest to god one of the most visually shocking video games I have ever seen. I am just as impressed with powerful sprite usage as I am modern graphical innovations. After playing Galactic Storm, I realized that Taito was just...the best at it.

I don't know what it is, but when they pour their heart into a game, they let their visuals tell small stories.
Look at the first race!
Look at how they start in low orbit, plummet into the trippy atmosphere, dive into the ocean, journey back up piercing the clouds, and back into space all while this impressive looking twisty holo-road is doing pirouettes right before you. Everything is SO detailed and paced so well. It feels like I'm watching an old sci fi anime OVA. It's effect is so convincing of being a 3D space, but there's not one 3D model in the game. I love how the planet surface just rolls out before you as you take a steep dive and how large structures get closer and are layered in such a way that it looks like you're actually entering an entrance. Even the intro up through the course selection is just amazing.

And Zuntata's music really really hammers the aesthetic in as usual. I don't know how those guys did it, but they have such a stand out, bizarre style. Everything just sounds so grandiose from them without sounding like the samey AAA "epic" music. It's got this otherworldly tinge to it that is unmistakable and fits a robust style like Vertexer...even that damn name kicks ass.

I don't think I've played many racing games with such a fervor for dynamic presentation like this in it's tracks. Everything about this game is just tremendous. I wish it had an arcade perfect port.


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 Post subject: Re: Taito is incredible and they don't get enough credit
PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2020 12:10 pm 


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Taito was one of the most monumental arcade developers of not just the 80s and 90s, but of course Space Invaders' impact on video games as a whole is obviously undeniable. Few deserve as much credit as they.


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 Post subject: Re: Taito is incredible and they don't get enough credit
PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2020 1:02 pm 



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Vertexer is certainly a game we all want dumped. In the mean time you can play Star Speeder for the Super Cassette Vision. It is clearly the inspiration for Vertexer.

https://youtu.be/V2yb5c1MGcY


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 Post subject: Re: Taito is incredible and they don't get enough credit
PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2020 4:40 pm 


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There are so many conceptually and tonally unique or otherwise interesting games in their ouvre, outside of all the stuff they're typically known for (I'm assuming most folks here are familiar with their STGs). Dead Connection, Growl, Crime City, Raimais, Syvalion, even Kaiser Knuckle in a sense. All superb, fascinating one-offs that are well worth anyone's time.

And yeah, their composers are all legends. Not nearly enough discussions of videogame music (at least in the anglophone world) involve names like Hisayoshi Ogura, Tamayo Kawamoto, Yasuhisa Watanabe and Masahiko Tataki.


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 Post subject: Re: Taito is incredible and they don't get enough credit
PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2020 5:09 pm 


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Tokyo Road Race! (a.k.a. Battle Gear 2), yeah - particular. And the music, my mom LIKES it.
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 Post subject: Re: Taito is incredible and they don't get enough credit
PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2020 6:44 pm 


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Taito's presentation across the board is like 11/10.
Rayforce continues to give me chills with just how smooth the entire experience is, but Taito's output [especially their early/mid 90s output] is full of stuff like that.

I really want to play Vertexer. Probably never going to happen [hell, apparently it wasn't even actually released, even if a few boards are out there], but a man can dream, you know?
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 Post subject: Re: Taito is incredible and they don't get enough credit
PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2020 6:53 pm 


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Who isn't giving Taito credit?

They made so many great games.
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 Post subject: Re: Taito is incredible and they don't get enough credit
PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2020 8:52 pm 


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Rainbow Islands.
Countless hours spent playing the Amiga version...


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 Post subject: Re: Taito is incredible and they don't get enough credit
PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2020 8:52 pm 



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They were a powerhouse starting with Space Invaders and had a great run of success in the 80's and early 90's.

They're one of those companies like Treasure and Irem that made some top tier games and just didn't scale well with rising development costs.
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 Post subject: Re: Taito is incredible and they don't get enough credit
PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2020 9:41 pm 


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To Far Away Times wrote:
They were a powerhouse starting with Space Invaders and had a great run of success in the 80's and early 90's.

They're one of those companies like Treasure and Irem that made some top tier games and just didn't scale well with rising development costs.


RIP IREM.

IREM is one of those companies that snuck up on me. Never much thought about them but realized they made a bunch of games I liked. Image Fight, Tonma, In The Hunt, Disaster Report, Raw Danger, Kid Niki: Radical Ninja, Metal Storm etc...
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 Post subject: Re: Taito is incredible and they don't get enough credit
PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2020 10:39 pm 


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One of, if not my favorite game developer. Whether it's the Bubble Bobble series, Liquid Kids, Rayforce, the Darius series the first and third Rastan games Puchi Carat (that game is absolutely drop dead gorgeous, so much so that after a decade, I finally got the Japanese PS1 version, yes it took that long to snag one off Ebay), Fairyland Story, Fudou Myuou Den (sorry Demon Sword, you cut too much out), or many, many other Taito games,I just absolutely love playing their output.


Music is another very important part of gaming, and Zuntata absolutely nailed the presentation each and every time, whether it's the dark mood of Space Gun, or the upbeat tunes heard in Liquid Kids, your ears were in for a treat.
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 Post subject: Re: Taito is incredible and they don't get enough credit
PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2020 12:56 am 


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I love Taito. I remember back when I first played New Zealand Story in arcades and got stuck on the first boss. Odd how that didn't seem all that rare to see in US arcades, but still got renamed to Kiwi Kraze for US version of the NES port. I'm not sure if the game itself has a good rep, but I had fond memories of playing Taito's Superman arcade game, which at least has nice music. I also grew up playing Arkanoid and it's sequel quite a bit. It wasn't until years later I found out about and bought the FC port of the latter complete with JP model 2 Vaus controller (the one that has a port for a second Vaus).


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 Post subject: Re: Taito is incredible and they don't get enough credit
PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2020 2:40 am 


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Metal Black is one of the coolest games ever made.
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 Post subject: Re: Taito is incredible and they don't get enough credit
PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2020 2:51 am 


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Steamflogger Boss wrote:
Who isn't giving Taito credit?

This. I don't know how anyone can think Taito doesn't get enough credit lol
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 Post subject: Re: Taito is incredible and they don't get enough credit
PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2020 3:01 am 


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Yeah, I can't speak for the wider internet, but they've always been well-loved on here. I grew up associating their console stuff with quality, but I didn't appreciate their true excellence until I started lurking here in the early 00s and got exposed to their AC canon. And if there's one thing everyone loves about Taito, it's their inimitably cool/weird synthpop stylings. Altogether harder vibe to nail down, compared to Konami's feelgood, IREM's feelbad and DECO's MACHO AF. Of the iconic JP names, they most consistently remind me of oddball mavericks like UPL.

While the other guys were ripping off Aliens, Predator and Rambo, Taito were creating ROAR: the unofficial videogame. :cool:

Still, more Taito love is never a bad thing. Image

Something I was surprised by, recently - they apparently pioneered the topdown rotary run/gun that's more popularly associated with SNK and DECO (Ikari, Heavy Barrel - which Ikari's director Obada alleges is a literal Ikari ROMhack :lol:).

Their Front Line (1982) still holds up pretty well today. It's primitive, but totally works as an "Ikari Zero." Biggest caveat is the poor bullet visibility it suffers from, just like the similarly otherwise-cool Tin Star and Wild Western. However with Front Line's more methodical Ikari-style pace, and the regular tank battles with armour and easily-spotted shells, it's much less of an issue.
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 Post subject: Re: Taito is incredible and they don't get enough credit
PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2020 3:31 am 


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It seems the people responsible for the US/EU localization of Runark noticed the similarity to Roar and renamed it to Growl. Too bad the violence was toned down.

Not sure how accurate the info is, but according to the history in SNK Classics collection, SI was so popular, other companies licensed SI from taito and made their own versions.


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 Post subject: Re: Taito is incredible and they don't get enough credit
PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2020 5:15 am 


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There's definitely a billion quirky Space Invaders clones from around the same time. No idea how many were licensed, I always imagined somewhere around zero.


Oh guys, know what's the best game ever made?

Image Image

That's right.


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 Post subject: Re: Taito is incredible and they don't get enough credit
PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2020 6:38 am 


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Yeah it's amazing when a shmup can give me atmospheres and feels, Metal Black is up there!

However I have to whine about Darius Gaiden.. While it's cool AF.. I feel like its devs didn't understand that they're working on one screen now so they should scale back the bosses a bit. I mean the amount of bosses that give you no room to maneuver, urgh!
.. i'll never beat great thing, autofire or no. :(
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 Post subject: Re: Taito is incredible and they don't get enough credit
PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2020 12:21 pm 


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Steamflogger Boss wrote:
Who isn't giving Taito credit?

They made so many great games.


Whenever people talk about legends in the industry, I never hear anyone talk about specifically Taito. People I know think the same folks behind Pac Man and Galaga made Space Invaders. It's like...yeah, they have games that are historic, but A) it's only Space Invaders that is talked about B) they don't even know their name.

When people talk about any Nintendo IP, they know it's Nintendo. Sonic, they know Sega. Doom/Wolfenstein, id. Halo they know at least MicroSoft (even if specifically it's Bungie or 343). You get my point. But all of the classics, that sheer vastness of their library, and unmistakable style, I don't ever hear anyone talk about about them. Despite the absurd cultural impact Space Invaders had.


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 Post subject: Re: Taito is incredible and they don't get enough credit
PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2020 12:30 pm 


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XoPachi wrote:
Steamflogger Boss wrote:
Who isn't giving Taito credit?

They made so many great games.


Whenever people talk about legends in the industry, I never hear anyone talk about specifically Taito. People I know think the same folks behind Pac Man and Galaga made Space Invaders. It's like...yeah, they have games that are historic, but A) it's only Space Invaders that is talked about B) they don't even know their name.

When people talk about any Nintendo IP, they know it's Nintendo. Sonic, they know Sega. Doom/Wolfenstein, id. Halo they know at least MicroSoft (even if specifically it's Bungie or 343). You get my point. But all of the classics, that sheer vastness of their library, and unmistakable style, I don't ever hear anyone talk about about them. Despite the absurd cultural impact Space Invaders had.


So we are talking about idiots/normies? Certainly no one on this site.
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 Post subject: Re: Taito is incredible and they don't get enough credit
PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2020 4:08 pm 


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To be fair, most of Taito's output (outside the obvious favourites) is largely untapped even by those who'd consider themselves big arcade gamers. Even on here, the handful of games I mentioned, for example, are unlikely to see much discussion, though they merit plenty. XoPachi's was a nice idea! :P


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 Post subject: Re: Taito is incredible and they don't get enough credit
PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2020 5:20 pm 


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Sumez wrote:
There's definitely a billion quirky Space Invaders clones from around the same time. No idea how many were licensed, I always imagined somewhere around zero.


I assumed the same before I read that history in the SNK collection. Everyone was making unofficial clones back then and there was also some loophole back then where only the Space Invaders name was copyrighted and not the game itself or something along those lines (I read that on the Intellivision website years ago about the SI clone on Intellivision).


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 Post subject: Re: Taito is incredible and they don't get enough credit
PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2020 5:27 pm 


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I have mad respect for Taito, the Side by Side/Battle Gear, Landing and Densha de Go! series are some of my fav franchises of all times.
GM2 was a miracle studio, it's a shame they closed it and shitted all over their arcade dev teams.

At least the new Zuntata is decent and it's giving us some awesome albums.
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 Post subject: Re: Taito is incredible and they don't get enough credit
PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2020 7:04 pm 


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Blinge wrote:
However I have to whine about Darius Gaiden.. While it's cool AF.. I feel like its devs didn't understand that they're working on one screen now so they should scale back the bosses a bit. I mean the amount of bosses that give you no room to maneuver, urgh!


G-Darius bosses is so massive that there's two bosses cover half of the entire screen as head only. Memorable stages and bosses too, and of course dat OST.

Not much talk about Taito myself, Darius Gaiden and G-Darius are my favorite shooters by them. Gun Frontier and Metal Black is pretty neat too but I wish the ship speed is a bit faster, and the former needs fixed rank system instead of per-shot rank.
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 Post subject: Re: Taito is incredible and they don't get enough credit
PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2020 7:06 pm 


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Steamflogger Boss wrote:
So we are talking about idiots/normies? Certainly no one on this site.


The thread wasn't talking about people on this site in the first place. I'm more than well aware that a shooting forum knows Taito in and out. And I don't think I'd necessarily boil it down to idiots and people out of the loop. I just think it's surprising that most games and the name behind a lot of them is relatively...not unheard of, but far less discussed than even the likes of Namco, SNK, Capcom or certain other similar studios. It's an interesting thing about branding I can't quite put my finger on.


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 Post subject: Re: Taito is incredible and they don't get enough credit
PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2020 8:08 pm 


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I think part of the confusion is that games can be published by a company that isn't the developer. I remember when people thought Disgaea was an Atlus game.

With big companies like Nintendo their branding is plastered all over it. Yes people can check that info online but many do not.

I'm any case I didn't mean to belittle the thread, I'm always down to talk about games I was just a bit confused.
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 Post subject: Re: Taito is incredible and they don't get enough credit
PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 6:13 am 


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XoPachi wrote:
Namco, SNK, Capcom or certain other similar studios.

A big difference is that these companies are all still around, while Taito (though they remain as a brand wielded by Square Enix) haven't made anything noteworthy since the mid/late 90s. So unless you're into 80s and 90s arcade games you have very little reason to be exposed to them.

And I wouldn't say Taito are in anyway unknown at least within their potential target group. People who know SNK definitely know Taito, too. A lot of people might not know the real extent of their output, but at the very least they'll be well aware that they've made Space Invaders and Bubble Bobble.


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 Post subject: Re: Taito is incredible and they don't get enough credit
PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 1:54 pm 


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Does Zuntata as a whole or any of them individually have credited experience beyond video games? Their stuff sounds like something I'd have heard in an anime back then. I don't know if they're just inspired by that, but I swear...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uEeEqxk20hc

I can visualize a 90's anime movie intro with this song. Complete with nice VHS fuzz. It really does sound like they did stuff for animation or something on the side. It's lovely.


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 Post subject: Re: Taito is incredible and they don't get enough credit
PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 2:29 pm 


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Sumez wrote:
Taito (though they remain as a brand wielded by Square Enix) haven't made anything noteworthy since the mid/late 90s. So unless you're into 80s and 90s arcade games you have very little reason to be exposed to them.

The first Battle Gear 4 version came out A.D. 2005, though (then Tuned A.D. 2006). Tokyo Road Race (Battle Gear 2 without online, but with 60 Hz option and LAN still supported) A.D. 2002 in Europe, says "Taito" on the box and in-game. If I had to recommend a car game for PS2 to someone who needs, or wants, or can have only one, that would be this one (the rest of my faves are good enough elsewhere, and I've yet to give Shox a proper try).
Space Raiders (2004 in the U.S. for the 'Cube) is as Taito as they come, too. Oh, they were obviously not going to graphically impress a gamer familiar with quite a few other PS2 games released by that point, but the gaming experience is Taito enough in my book.

P.S. English Wikipedia tells me the latest Densha de Go!! was released A.D. 2017. How's this not noteworthy?
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 Post subject: Re: Taito is incredible and they don't get enough credit
PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 7:17 pm 


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Cause the new densha de go is a meme machine.

Agree with Obiwanshinobi, 99-2005 is their best period if you were into racers or simulators.

hardware ranking for me it's:
Type Zero>>JC SYSTEM>>F2/F3>>FX-1
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