Genki Video Games Interview - The Return!
By Damien McFerran - 26 Mar, 2010
What are Genki Games doing this year?
Continuing to sniff out undiscovered gems of retro titles, like a gourmet truffle pig.
Which game did you play the most last year and why?
Probably Animal Crossing on the GameCube. Bit embarrassing, so I'll say it was to try and build up some kanji power! The Wii release was disappointing, but something grabs you and won't let go until you've paid your mortgage, rid your house of roaches and run a helping of cold medicine across to a sick friends gaff before checking if Crazy Red has anything new in stock and if there are any big fish in the bay.
If you could make a retro game yourself, what what you do?
Good question. There would have to be ninjas in it such as Kaze Kiri. But humour too like the Ganbare Goeman series. And perhaps the odd idol princess to challenge to a game of paper, scissors, stone like a UMD game. Which is why we don't develop games!
What do you think is the best system of all time?
The Super Famicom. Like the Saturn and PC Engine its almost unrecognisable in its Japanese form to its Western incarnation. There are a wealth of titles as fresh as a recently cut tuna that slipped the net here: a charming platformer called Violinist of Hamelin, Syo the Seal is a cutsey one and Nosferatu is a nice gothic platformer like Prince of Persia meets Castlevania. Assault Suits Valken is a belting shooter as is Cotton 100% and Kikikaikai, Septentrion is a highly original title…
At what age did you start gaming?
About nine I think. I had a C64 which was fun (when they loaded.) That bizarre robot ROB nearly got me into the NES, but instead I ended up dishing out shurikens like confetti in Shinobi and wondering where on earth Alex Kidd came from on the Master System.
What is your biggest gaming achievement?
I pretty much played though Zelda on the Super Famicom in one sitting. No major achievement I guess, but it was quite a few hours. I was spellbinded though by the emotional intensity at times and the enchanting game world. It'll always remain the perfect gaming experience.
Why do you think Retro remains so popular?
Not wishing to be too philosophical, I think we look back on alot of games and have plenty of warm, happy, nostalgic memories of that time which also helps the game to attain immortal status. Like alot of music where you recall what you were doing at the time, you never forget the first time you played Super Mario World.
Why focus on Japanese games?
Just because there are so many that never got released here. I personally prefer the box art too. The situation is alot better now, but it used to always be some gruff Conan look alike on the front of box. Not that there's anything wrong with gruff Conans of course!
What's the rarest Japanese game you sell?
The rarest one was a prize edition of Bangaio on the Dreamcast that has already featured on Retro’s pages. There were only five of them used for a competition and winners received the game, developer signed phonecard and poster.
Genki Video Games is the UK's leading seller of retro import titles and ships internationally. You can visit the Genki site here.
JamieO - 08 Apr 2010, 10:10 GMT
Nice interview Damo, it is good to hear from the Genki gang again. I am on the hunt for a few of those Super Famicom games they mentioned, when I have more money. I might just save for Kikikaikai (£60) and Nosferatu (£45). Cotton 100% is a really good price (£17), but it is on back order.
I have only fairly recently been introduced to Genki, through Mean Machines Archive funnily enough. I was shuffling along happily with retro compilations and Virtual Console downloads, but having more of a chance to chat with retro fans has bitten me with the original cart, Japanese box-art and instructions bug! My head is firmly set in Super Famicom mode at the moment. Importing takes me back to Console Concepts, Raven Games, Krazy Konsoles and Zap in the early '90s, so I am also contemplating buying more Japanese GBA games.
Genki has had quite a bit of my custom over the past 3 weeks, I have been super impressed with the condition of their games, which has kept me coming back. The care they take on their packaging is appreciated, especially when I'm buying fragile, cardboard Super Famicom boxes.
I have also developed a bit of an obsession with more average rated titles. I now buy games which I never would have bothered with the first time around. This is partially because I'm a bit of a tight fisted bargain hunter, but also because I see paying £10 for a sweet Japanese box and manual design as being as much of an incentive to purchase it, as buying the actual game itself.
I've been scooping Super Famicom titles like Capcom's Pinocchio and Culture Brain's Golden Fighter (42% Super Play Issue 1!), for a tenner each! However, I am putting money aside for Irem's Gunforce for
£18. Admittedly, it is still not a great game, (Super Play Issue 4 gave it 59%), although run-and-gun games are my favourite genre. I have bought one high profile game from Genki, Super Famicom Wild Trax
for £10, all boxed with instructions and a mini guide. Not many gamers would argue with that particular bargain purchase. It is cool that when I bought two games at once, they only charged me £2.75 postage,
which I think is the single charge for one game.
I also like the way that they have a 'Back Order' system too, so you can e-mail a request for a game that they used to have in stock. There is plenty in stock for me for now, but I will make use of the 'Back Order' option later on. For example, I have had my eye on Jaleco's Rushing Beat Shura (£25). It is the third and final one in the series and it has a bit of nostalgic value for me, because I bought the American version of Peace Keepers when I was a kid and used to play it 4 player with my mates (the US edition had awful sound though, with the Japanese version's music replaced by "atmospheric" effects). I'm also interested in Astro Go Go, a game they have got on back order for £10.
Thanks for helping me to improve my Super Famicom collection Genki, you will be hearing more from me throughout this year. :)
Jaz's Sheep - 28 Sep 2010, 11:18 GMT
Top feature Damo, can't believe there's still so many hidden gems out there.
And of course, there's always Golden Fighter *shivers*