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Thread: Irem

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    Peach (Level 3) NeoZeedeater's Avatar
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    Default Irem

    This thread is a tribute to Irem, a company that has released a huge number of great games throughout its history. Let's take a look at their games...

    Capsule Invader(Arcade, 1979)
    I honestly don't know what this game's about. I'm betting it's a Space Invaders clone.

    UniWar S(Arcade, 1980)
    Very similar to Namco's Galaxian.


    Sky Chuter(Arcade, 1980)
    You shoot down planes with your tank.


    Panther(Arcade, 1981)
    A tank shooter. Irem ported it to MSX1 a few years later.

    Red Alert(Arcade, 1981)
    This was very similar to Sky Chuter although much nicer looking.

    Moon Patrol(Arcade, 1982)
    Published by Williams in the West, Moon Patrol was the first major hit for Irem and was definitely one of the best games of the early '80s. You controlled a tank that could jump and shoot in multiple directions. The graphics were very advanced and had some nice parallax scrolling.


    Moon Patrol was ported to 2600, 5200, 800, C64 and ST by Atari. Dempa ported it to MSX1. More recently it appeared in Arcade's Greatest Hits: The Midway Collection 2 for PS1 and PC.

    Tropical Angel(Arcade, 1983)
    A waterskiing game. I didn't play it until a year or two ago through emulation and I'm amazed this is from 1983 with its smooth animation and detailed graphics.


    Traverse USA AKA Zippy Race(Arcade, 1983) A colourful racing. It reminds me of Spy Hunter without the combat. It was ported to the Famicom by Irem and to the SG-1000 by Sega.


    10 Yard Fight(Arcade, 1983) This football game was also ported to the NES and MSX.

    Lode Runner(Arcade, 1984)
    Irem ported Broderbund's computer game to the arcades. The Famicom port was done by Hudson but Irem did release Super Lode Runner for the Famicom Disk System. They also ported Broderbund's Spelunker and made a Famicom sequel.

    The Battle Road(Arcade, 1984)
    A driving game similar to Zippy Race except with the ability to shoot other vehicles.

    Kung Fu Master(Arcade, 1984)
    This was a fantastic martial arts side-scroller. You fought all sorts of opponents(including midgets) and it had simplistic yet adrenaline pumping background music.


    Data East published the arcade game in the West and got Berkeley Software to do the computer versions except for the MSX port which was by ASCII. Nintendo did the NES version, titled Kung Fu. Absolute released it on 7800. Activision made a 2600 version.

    In Japan, Kung Fu Master was based on the movie/book Spartan X. Spartan X 2 was released for the Famicom in 1991.


    Irem also made a new one for Game Boy.

    Horizon(Arcade, 1985) - Some shooter.

    Atomic Boy(Arcade, 1985)


    Lot Lot(Arcade, 1985)
    Some sort of puzzle game, I think. It was ported to MSX1.

    Sqoon(NES, 1986 in Japan) A submarine-themed shooter developed by Homedata and published by Irem.


    Kineko(FC, 1986)
    A picture puzzle game. It had a sequel in '87.

    Deadly Towers(NES, 1986 in Japan/1989 in NA)


    Kid Niki: Radical Ninja(Arcade, 1986)
    Cartoon-ish ninja action. The NES port is more widely known. A couple Kaiketsu Yanchamaru(Kid Niki)sequels were made in the Famicom's later years, one in 1991 and the other in 1993.


    Kaiketsu Yanchamaru 3
    I love how you can flip off walls.


    Battle Chopper(Arcade, 1987)
    A light-hearted shooter featuring Mr. Heli where you could shoot things to uncover money and buy weapons. It was ported to PC Engine.


    Yokai Yashiki(FDS, 1987)
    This was a port of Casio's MSX platformer.

    R-Type(Arcade, 1987)
    R-Type is one of the most revered shooters of all time. Its unique feel and wicked bosses made it stand out from the crowd.


    Interestingly, this arcade game was published by Nintendo yet there was never an NES port. The SMS version(published by Sega and developed by Compile) was excellent and had an extra hidden level although it was surpassed by Hudson's port for the TG-16. In Japan, the game was split into two different HuCards. Irem later released an import Super CD version with added cut-scenes called R-Type Complete. http://pcengine.gamehall.com.br/rtype/rtype.htm

    Irem also ported it to MSX1, MSX2, and X68000. Factor 5 did the Amiga and C64 versions. Irem also made a Game Boy version which NST remade years later on GBC. R-Type finally got a near arcade-perfect port in 2000 alongside R-Type II in R-Types.

    R-Type II wasn't anywhere near as popular as the first game but it was a good sequel.


    The SNES got its own sequel with the launch title Super R-Type. Unfortunately, like most first-gen SNES shooters, it suffered from major slowdown.

    The arcade release R-Type Leo in 1992 was more of a side-story since its gameplay didn't have the usual R-Type feel.


    R-Type III(SNES, 1994)
    This was much better than Super R-Type.


    R-Type Delta(PS1, 2000)
    R-Type goes polygonal.


    R-Type Final(PS2, 2004)

    Irem published Compile's Famicom game shooter/adventure game Guardic Gaiden. Broderbund later released it domestically as The Guardian Legend.

    Napoleon Senki(FC, 1988)
    A strategy game.

    Hototogisu(FC, 1988)

    Vigilante(Arcade, 1988)
    This was similar to Kung Fu Master except with a late '80s beat 'em up vibe. Sega ported it to the SMS, Irem ported it to the TG-16 and U.S. Gold released it on home computers.


    Ninja Spirit(Arcade, 1988)
    One of the biggest travesties in gaming history is that Ninja Spirit never had a sequel. It was an amazing, dark, and atmospheric action game similar to Taito's Legend of Kage series with its super high jumping except it's much better than those games. It's my favorite Irem game and must-own for ninja fans. Irem's TurboGrafx port was excellent. It was also ported by Activision to home computers.


    Meikyuu Shima(Arcade, 1988)
    This was a neat puzzle game where you kicked blocks around. The arcade version never was released outside of Japan as far as I know but it did get an NES port called Kickle Cubicle.


    Image Fight(Arcade, 1988)
    I think this was one of Irem's lesser shooters. It was ported to the NES, PC Engine and X68000. I haven't played its 1991 sequel. http://www.klov.com/game_detail.php?...=8181&letter=I

    X-Multiply(Arcade, 1989)
    Image Fight and X-Multiply were re-released in a Saturn/Playstation Arcade Gears compilation by Xing.


    Dragon Breed(Arcade, 1989)
    Before there was Panzer Dragoon there was Dragon Breed, a nifty dragon-riding shooter. A PC Engine version was planned but never came out.


    Legend of Hero Tonma(Arcade, 1989)
    This was also released on PC Engine.
    http://images.webmagic.com/klov.com/...Hero_Tonma.png

    Blue Train Satsujin Jiken(FC, 1989)
    This adventure game had a sequel in 1990 called Super Express Satsujin Jiken.

    Holy Diver(FC, 1989)
    Similar to Castlevania but nowhere near as good.


    Major League(FC, 1989)

    Gekitotu Yonku Battle(FC, 1989)

    Ken-Go(Arcade, 1989)
    A generic samurai side-scroller, very disappointing after stuff like Ninja Spirit.

    Hammerin' Harry(Arcade, 1990)
    "Let's get Busy!". Smash things with your mallot. The Famicom/Euro NES got a port and the Famicom and Super Famicom got sequels.


    Air Duel(Arcade, 1990)
    A forgotten vertical shooter. It has that classic Irem ultra-detailed look.

    Paaman(FC, 1990)
    A very odd action game but kind of cool.
    A Famicom sequel was made the following year.


    Pound for Pound(Arcade, 1990)
    Overhead view boxing. http://www.klov.com/game_detail.php?game_id=9097

    Metal Storm(NES, 1990)
    A classic mech action game. You got to love the gravity flipping. It was actually released in North America before Japan.


    Major Title(Arcade, 1990)
    A golf series.

    Gallop(Arcade, 1991)
    This was an excellent shooter that looked a lot like R-Type II.


    Lethal Thunder(1991)
    http://www.klov.com/game_detail.php?...L&game_id=8421

    Gun Force(Arcade, 1991)
    A fine run 'n gun game. It's too bad the SNES port was nowhere near as good.


    It had an impressive sequel in 1994. The resemblance to Nazca's Metal Slug is no coincidence as some of the Irem staff who made it later made Metal Slug.
    http://images.webmagic.com/klov.com/...1058642626.jpg

    Blade Master(Arcade, 1991)
    Okay, this dude needs to ease up on the steroids a tad.


    Irem release some arcade Bomberman games in the early '90s. I'm not sure if they were ports of Hudson's games or just licensed from
    them.

    Hook(Arcade, 1992)
    A beat 'em up based on the movie. http://www.klov.com/game_detail.php?game_id=8134

    Mystic Riders(Arcade, 1992)


    Undercover Cops(Arcade, 1992)
    A quality beat 'em up with very weird characters. It was ported to the Super Famicom.


    Taiyou no Yuusha Firebird(FC, 1992)
    A shooter based on an anime, if I'm not mistaken.

    Gekibo(Photoboy)(PCE, 1992)
    A game where you take pictures of things. I hear good things about it and its PS2 sequel but I haven't played them yet.
    http://www.vgmuseum.com/images/tg16/02/photoboy.html

    Rocky Rodent(SNES, 1993)
    A mediocre platformer published by Irem. I forget who the developer was.

    Street Combat(SNES, 1993)
    This was originally a Ranma 1/2 game by NCS but Irem converted it into a generic fighting game for the West.

    In The Hunt(Arcade, 1993)
    Irem released another great submarine shooter. It was ported to Saturn and Playstation.


    Ninja Baseball Bat Man(Arcade, 1993)
    I think the coolness factor here is self-explanatory.


    Perfect Soldiers(Arcade, 1993)


    Fire Barrel(Arcade, 1993)
    A Raiden-ish shooter.

    Gussun Oyoyo(Arcade, 1993)
    A puzzle game that later had versions for Super Famicom, Saturn and Playstation.

    Gussun Paradise(PS1, 1996)
    This appears to be a single-screen platformer.


    Irem Arcade Classics(PS1/SS, 1996)
    A compilation containing Zippy Race, Spartan X, and 10-Yard Fight released by I'Max.

    Carton-kun(PS1, 2000)


    Sub Rebellion(PS2, 2002)


    Disaster Report(PS2, 2002)


    Some pachinko games I don't know much about - http://www.irem.co.jp/products/pp/index.html

    It's also worth noting that Irem as a company did go bankrupt in the 32-bit era. Another company bought the rights to them and created Irem Software Engineering. So technically the Irem of the current generation is a different company than the old Irem. Many of the old Irem staff had left to work at SNK prior to the death of the company anyway.

    Your thoughts on Irem?

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    Pac-Man (Level 10) Arqueologia_Digital's Avatar
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    Dude!!!, good work...when i read IREM i think it will be a good thread, i love this company in the same way as another "dead companies"...i just love Hammerin´Harry (i spent a lot of time and coins in the Arcade) and those shooters were so great...

    Zippy race...hehe...a lot of memories too...

    It will be great if exists an article about "The history of Irem"...

    Cheers

    Matías

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    Ladd Spencer (Level 17) Captain Wrong's Avatar
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    Default Re: Irem

    Quote Originally Posted by NeoZeedeater
    Your thoughts on Irem?
    I love 'em. I think they are a great company that puts out uncompromising and consistently fun games. They made some great shmups and just look at all those yummy 16-bit era graphics! Ohhhh yeahhhhh.

    What I wanna know is what of the rumors that former Irem programmers split off and were responsible for such Neo Geo classics as Pulstar and the Metal Slug series? Anyone know about that or am I dreaming?

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    Alex (Level 15) InsaneDavid's Avatar
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    LotLot had a Famicom port done as well, can't remember off-hand if Irem published it or not though.

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    That was a great Thread. We need more like this.
    As I scrolled through, I had to kick myself. I once was staring at a cheap Image Fight cart.....and passed.....
    Added Squoon to my wantlist, tho, as well as image fight!
    Irem did great work. Shit, without R type, the SMS would get 1/2 the amount of usage in this foxhole.

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    Great Puma (Level 12) Bratwurst's Avatar
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    They're a curiousity company in my eyes in that they came out with a lot of stinky games but some real gems as well. I had no idea they made Moon Patrol, that was a fantastic game.

    It's a tie between Ninja Spirit and Metal Storm as personal favorites.

    What I consider really odd is that they were only behind 4 or so NES releases in the USA right? So many potential releases passed over.

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    Starman (Level 23) Phosphor Dot Fossils's Avatar
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    Interesting how Williams'/Midway's rights to Moon Patrol seem to have expired between the publication of their PS1 classics collection and the current generation of consoles.

    Anyone wanting to know more about the IREM Arcade Classics collection on PS1, I know I did a thread about it ages ago when I got it...ahhh, here it is.

    I tend to like IREM's stuff. Some variations on tried-and-true themes in their catalog, but they also did some pretty offbeat stuff that I enjoyed tremendously. Zippy Race / Motorace USA / Traverse USA is one of my all-time favorite arcade games.

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    Default Re: Irem

    Quote Originally Posted by NeoZeedeater
    I always hated those dudes who get underneath you, dance around and try to shove those pokers up your ass. Damn you, dancing, ass poker dudes.




    We used to call those brown rocks "petrified shit". *Shoot the shit! Shoot the shit!* Drove the arcade owner nuts. I used the catchy theme from Moon Patrol as one of the remixed segments on the title track from my first CD:
    i aM HuMaNoiD
    Exclusively on Digital Press Records!
    Tony Fox
    Digital Press Resident Mix Master
    Digital Press Records NYC





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    Banana (Level 7) pragmatic insanester's Avatar
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    Default <3 irem

    -gets his ass handed to him in spartan x2- i need to get a real copy of this. the rom is silent

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    Awesome IREM history there, Mr. Zeedeater. Seeing all IREM's games together makes me realize that I haven't really played many of them, but I've enjoyed most of the ones I have. Battle Chopper, Kung-Fu Master, Deadly Towers (aka Mashou in Japan) and Image Fight are good ones. And R-Type of course. (Yes, I'm in the minority that likes Deadly Towers.)

    I really need to check out Spartan X 2 for the Famicom one of these days...

    BTW, anybody know what the name IREM means? I always assumed it was an abbreviation of some kind, but I didn't find anything after a quick search.
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    Strawberry (Level 2)
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    Quote Originally Posted by o2william
    BTW, anybody know what the name IREM means? I always assumed it was an abbreviation of some kind, but I didn't find anything after a quick search.
    According to System16 "IREM" stands for "International Rental Electronics Machines". Rather lame name, but so is "Service Games".

    They did make some ace titles, though -- used to have their old logo plastered on the door of my room. Lots of great sreenies here as well.

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    Strawberry (Level 2)
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    Default Re: Irem

    Quote Originally Posted by NeoZeedeater
    Meikyuu Shima(Arcade, 1988)
    This was a neat puzzle game where you kicked blocks around. The arcade version never was released outside of Japan as far as I know but it did get an NES port called Kickle Cubicle.
    Oh, I remember playing this one in the arcades when I was on the Canary Islands back in 1989 or so.

    Also, Mr. Heli (Battle Chopper) and Dragon Breed was converted to various home computers.

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    Starman (Level 23) Phosphor Dot Fossils's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by o2william
    BTW, anybody know what the name IREM means? I always assumed it was an abbreviation of some kind, but I didn't find anything after a quick search.
    I Really Enjoyed Motorace USA. Or have I said that already?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dimitri
    According to System16 "IREM" stands for "International Rental Electronics Machines". Rather lame name, but so is "Service Games".
    Well hey, that works too.

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    Crono (Level 14)
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    Really nice made
    I remember playing Hammerin' Harry on Arcade. Atleast im pretty sure that was the game

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    Ninja Baseball Batman is an awesome game, even the title rules.

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    Late to the party DigitalSpace's Avatar
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    Great post and definitely a nice read.

    Here's another one you left out:

    Dino City (SNES, 1992) - In this platformer, two kids get taken into some prehistoric TV world, where they befriend two dinosaurs who help take them home. Each dinosaur has their own unique attack. The kid rides on the dinosaur's back and at certain points the kid will have to jump off the dinosaur's back to do something you can't do with the dinosaur (for example, the kids jump higher than the dinosaur, and at one point you'll need the kid to jump on a platform the dinosaur can't reach and lower it so the dinosaur can jump on it and proceed). Fans of 2D platformers will most likely enjoy this one. I especially enjoy the rollercoaster levels.


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    Superb thread, thanks for taking the time to compile it!

    +200 meseta to you.

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    Anybody who can should play the PC Engine version of Photoboy--it's fantastic. It's also rather offensive. There's more than a little hint of racist depictions of African Americans, and plenty of racy sexual content. But it's a cool game, and I've never really played anything quite like it.

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    Default Re: Irem

    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Wrong
    What I wanna know is what of the rumors that former Irem programmers split off and were responsible for such Neo Geo classics as Pulstar and the Metal Slug series? Anyone know about that or am I dreaming?
    I think the general consensus is that's true. They split and formed Nazca, which was responsible for the Metal Slug and Neo Turf Masters series (which is why Neo Turf Masters looks and plays so similar to Major Title, Irem's golf game).
    "I am a cipher, wrapped in an enigma, smothered in secret sauce."

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    The PS2 sequel to Gekibo (Photoboy) was released in Europe as Polaroid Pete although I haven't been able to track it down yet.

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