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Thread: Grasshopper Manufacture

  1. #1

    Japan Grasshopper Manufacture

    This month marks the 10th anniversary of the founding of this unique developer so I think it's a good time to take a look at what they have done and what they're going to do.

    When Goichi Suda (Suda51) left Human Entertainment to start Grasshopper Manufacture, the first game he and his new team created was Silver Jiken (The Silver Case), released for the Japanese Playstation in 1999 by ASCII. I haven't played it but it looks to be a detective adventure game.

    There was a 2006 follow up for mobile phones called The Silver Case, 25 Ward. The Silver Case games are being remade for DS this year and hopefully will come out in English.

    Their second creation was a 2001 Japanese Playstation 2 game called Flower, Sun, and Rain published by Victor. I don't know much about this either but it's an adventure game where you play an assassin. The story ties in somewhat with The Silver Case. It's also coming to DS. I'm not sure what the differences are besides the graphics and touch screen.

    PS2 Trailer-

    DS footage -

    The first Grasshopper game available in English was Shining Soul II for Game Boy Advance in 2004, one of many games in the long running franchise. They might have co-developed it with Nextech and/or Sega. I'm not sure but it is listed as a game Grasshopper made on their website. It seemed like a fairly good ARPG from what I played.

    2005 had killer7 for Gamecube and Playstation 2, their first original game released in the West. It was co-developed with Shinji Mikami's team at Capcom. It quickly garnered a cult following but didn't sell that well (I bought the game in late December 2005 for $10 new at EB).

    For those here that haven't played it, killer7 strays from the usual Capcom horror action-adventure fare in various ways: the character movement is on rails (you can choose to go forwards or backwards and make turns at intersections but you can't freely move around), action is first-person shooting similar to gun games (I really wish the game had gun support), and its graphics are cel shaded. You control several different assassins which are manifestations of an older man. Puzzles often require switching characters to solve.

    Killer7 was one of the "Capcom Five", games the company was hyping to be exclusives for Gamecube. It never did end up being exclusive but the Gamecube version is superior to the Playstation port, mostly because of shorter load times.

    Their second Western release in 2005 was Michigan: Report From Hell (in Japan this came out in 2004). Although the game takes place in the States, it was not released in North America. It's one of those uncommon PAL-only games for the English language version. 505 Street was the European publisher and Red Ant was the Australian one.

    I have yet to play Michigan but from what I have read it's a first-person action-adventure game where you play the role of a cameraman in a city overrun with monsters. Filming people and events seem to be a big part of it.

    Namco-Bandai's Samurai Champloo: Sidetracked came out for Playstation 2 in 2006. I usually avoid anime-based beat 'em ups as they often suck but I'm tempted to buy this based on it being a Grasshopper-developed game. Is it worth getting? And what the fuck is a Champloo?

    Another anime-licensed Playstation 2 game they made for Bandai in 2006 was Blood+: One Night Kiss, an action game similar in visual style to killer7. This one was left in Japan.

    2006 also saw Contact, a DS ARPG that Grasshopper developed for Marvelous which was published by Atlus in North America and Rising Star in Europe and Oceania. I lost interest in it after playing for a few hours but I can see how some would be attracted to it. The art direction is atypical with a bit of an Earthbound vibe. And, for all its light-hearted style, it's a fairly deep game. Gaining experience is done through usage like in Elder Scrolls games.

    2007 ended with Grasshopper's Wii debut, No More Heroes which was localized early this year. Most of us probably know what it's about given the fairly recent TNL thread. It's primarily a beat 'em up but with adventure elements in a GTA-inspired city design. I have really enjoyed it (I'm currently at the last boss on the harder setting and about to finish it). I'm not sure if it's better than killer7 as I liked how much darker that game was but it's close, and they excel in different ways. Somehow Suda51 manages to make even something as gay as wrestling seem cool.

    Grasshopper also did the sound design for RAD: Robot Alchemic Drive and Tetsujin #28 for Playstation 2 and a couple of the Earth Defense Force games, the first one and 2017. They also did the music for Steel Battalion: Line of Contact for Xbox 360 and some of the music for Shin Mikagura Shoujo Tanteidan for PC.

    So those are the developer's past works. For upcoming stuff, besides the aforementioned Silver Case remakes there's the latest Fatal Frame game for Wii. I assume Tecmo will still have a big role in this great horror series' development.

    Also under development are Kurayami, a Playstation 3 action-adventure inspired by Franz Kafka's The Castle and an unnamed 360 game. I'm looking forward to whatever they make.

    Kurayami concept art-

    Your thoughts on Grasshopper Manufacture?

  2. Their games are hit and miss. I really like Killer 7 and Shining Soul 2 was enjoyable (for a portable dungeon crawler). RAD is okay, but I am not a big fan. I hated Contact. I tried so hard to like the game but it was just one of the worst RPGs ever.

  3. #3
    I don't like a lot of their stuff due to various reasons, but they always do interesting things.
    Quote Originally Posted by Razor Ramon View Post
    I don't even the rage I mean )#@($@IU_+FJ$(U#()IRFK)_#
    Quote Originally Posted by Some Stupid Japanese Name View Post
    I'm sure whatever Yeller wrote is fascinating!

  4. Samurai Champloo is pretty rad; worth dropping $10 on for sure.

  5. Ah, Human. Good stuff.

    Shining Soul wasn't bad, for what it was. Never bothered with much other, though NMH seems like fun.
    Still not thinking right? Then it isn't working.

  6. #6
    Sounds like Michigan: Report From Hell = Cloverfield: The Game.
    Quote Originally Posted by Razor Ramon View Post
    I don't even the rage I mean )#@($@IU_+FJ$(U#()IRFK)_#
    Quote Originally Posted by Some Stupid Japanese Name View Post
    I'm sure whatever Yeller wrote is fascinating!

  7. My reason for loving Robot Alchemic Drive has little to do with Grasshopper.
    Attached Files Attached Files

  8. Quote Originally Posted by Bishamon View Post
    Ah, Human. Good stuff.
    Human was also often hit, or miss.
    I now wonder what projects Suda51 was involved with at Human.
    The Firemen games seem like likely candidates.
    A little googlin' and came up with this abandoned 3DO game.
    (edit: whoops, Suda didn't have anything to do with Duelin' Firemen)
    (but here's the obnoxious clip anyway)
    Last edited by Shooting Love; 19 Mar 2008 at 10:49 AM. Reason: misinformation

  9. What the fuck was that?

  10. Quote Originally Posted by ChaoofNee View Post
    What the fuck was that?
    That was what happens when the Space Shuttle (Columbia w/ Japanese flag) and Air Force One ("I've got the President and her husband on board") simultaneously crash into the Sear's Tower, and there is no one left to fight the blaze except a group of dancing firemen, oh, and Tony Hawk.
    I'm sure you can understand how I might have been mistaken thinking Suda51 was involved.
    Last edited by Shooting Love; 19 Mar 2008 at 01:28 PM. Reason: gender specific


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