Games are not really my thing. But it will be interesting to see if this project makes the grade in what is a highly competitive market. George Best is to feature in a Play Station 2 game that’s due to be launched in Northern Ireland next year after some time after the Japanese launch in September this year.
Japanese Software developers Taito and Comiquat are currently in the final stages of development of a new game based on the life of Northern Irish Footballing legend George Best called Hatsubaibi Shoben. The provisional English title is Best and Yoshi vs. the Bobbe Monster.
A launch in Northern Ireland is planned for 2007 to bring the game home. The game will initially be released in Japan on the 31st September 2006 for the Play Station 2. The European launch will take place at Blitzfair games festival in London this Autumn.
Taito and Comiquat see the universal appeal of George Best as an opportunity for an exciting crossover between the Asian and European markets.
Taito’s spokesman Taku Sugimoto outlined the international importance of the game. ‘Japanese games are quite abstract and experimental and do not involve driving or shooting like games in the European market. These types of games do not translate well to different markets. By using the icon of George Best we can market our ideas more successfully. George Best is an icon of
world football, he is very special and makes an exciting character’.
‘Hatsubaibi shoben’ is set in a technicolour fantasy land where players, assuming the earthly form of George Best must return the Golden ball to the Land of Om by defeating the monsters of evil mastermind Amaterasu of Bobbe. Amaterasu of Bobbe is a deity, his dark power is derived from gullible humans who believe in him. Amaterasu of Bobbe has brainwashed his followers ‘the
tanbou’ into believing in ‘Maketingu Shasetsu’.
With his magic ball ‘Yoshi’ the game character George Best must collect and lead the 108 Stars of Destiny and form the upstart Liberation Army. Can you dismantle the Empire of Amaterasu piece by piece?
In the game George travels through 12 levels beginning with the landscape of his hometown in Belfast, Northern Ireland. As the game progresses the landscapes become more abstract. The game’s amazing Japanese art style helps set the pace of the game and encourages players to relax to enjoy the beautiful scenery rather than just rushing through the game’s missions.
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty