LAURENT KERMEL - Video Game Den : Pc Engine CDrom² : ULTRABOX )
ULTRABOX
game Cover
game CDRom
ウルトラボックス
©1990 Victor Musical Industries, Inc.
©1990 Fun Project
Release : 1990-06-15 (¥4800)
CDRom² JCCD0601
Magazine CDRom

Ultra box is a series of CDRom Magazines for the PC Engine System published by Victor Musical Industries. Each episode is more bizarre than the next and they all feature various goodies such as mini-games, short animations, game catalogs and things that just can't be described in words. This issue features a couple of astrological sections all based on the traditional Japanese/Chinese horoscope. There is also a simple side scrolling beat'em up featuring a tiny character called Gamen Victor who fights armies of Yakuzas and a short puzzle game featuring colored marbles. Another section presents a cute story with a group of crocodile/frog looking creatures called Bomb Town and produced by Toei Animation. The most surprising additions to this compilation is certainly a dating simulation featuring an English speaking girl from New York - she keeps asking questions about the big apple city but non Japanese speaking players will have a much easier time as the entire conversation takes place in English. A short section also lists PC Engine titles with game information (release dates, prices, story) and a couple of 'coming soon' trailers (Download and Magical Dinosaur Tour). Finally, Jan Jan Box is a section devoted to drawings and pictures created by young readers at the time.
Related
Ultrabox2 (Pce-CDRom²)
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Ultrabox Vol.1 content
Love Horoscope, Kininaru Heroin (dating/idol), Hot Games (featuring Download and Magical Dinosaur Tour), Gamen Victor (side scrolling action game), Horse racing game, Astrology with japanese wrestler Rusher Kimura, Jan Jan Box (art and pictures from young readers), PC Engine catalog (screenshots, game description etc...), Atanamokiyoyakun ! (simple button mashing game featuring a lightly dressed woman), Bomb Town Story (short animation by Toei), UB64 (Puzzle game), Chotto Eigo ga deki tanara (English dating game).

Ultra Box was most probably the first CDRom Magazine to hit the shelves or -most probably- the first one to ever be released for the PC Engine System. It was published from 1990 to 1992 and counts six volumes. The highlights of the series are most probably the adventure game Custo that started in the second volume, the fun Astrology presented by the popular (at the time) Japanese wrestler Rusher Kimura, the PC Engine's game encyclopedia, 'coming soon' game trailers and the Jan Jan Box - a collection of drawings and photographs sent by young readers of the time. Ultra Box can be seen as the ancestor of PC Engine CD-ROM capsule.

Game Staff (Copied from the end credits) :

Editorial Production
Super Fome Stadium
Makoto Arioka
Yoshihiro Hayamizu
100 Percent
Shigeo Asai
Takahiro Eguchi
Olive Company
Masayoshi Okazaki
Kiichiro Tamagawa
Game Production
Game Arts
Youichi Miyaji
Tetsu Uesaka
Bombtown Production
Toei Animation, Co. Ltd
Tadao Ohkubo
Atsutoshi Umezawa
Hair & Make-Up
Keiko Mori
Shun Kusano
Photographer
Hitoshi Hagiwara
Noriaki Moriya
Daichi Gunji
Computer Graphics
Hisashi Uesugi
Michiko Uchida
Kumiko Matsuda
Mayumi Ishihara
Ryuhi Siina
Illustration
T-Box Studio
A-WAT's
Holoscope
Ms. Persefoner
Theme Music
Hiroyuki Izumi
PSG Music & SE
Musical Plan Ltd.
Noriyuki Nakagami
Narrator
Kyoko Saitoh
Masaka Iwai
Editorial Staff
Yukiko Takumi
Akiko Goto
Kazue Yamazaki
Kazue Nishiyama
Programmer
Masahiro Nanbu
Satoshi Nakano
Producer
Takanobu Itoh
Hideyuki Hagiwara
Music & Sound Director
Atsushi Yamazaki
Script Director
Yoishi Imai
Art Director
Yukio Saruta
Technical Director
Yasushi Kaneko
Creative Director
Kiyoshi Hayashi
Controlled By
Masaru Yoshioka
Kazuo Nakamura
Editor-in-Chief
Harunobu Komori
Executive Producer
Satoshi Honda
Special Thanks To:
SHOGAKKAN
NEC HE
HUDSON SOFT
Presented by
Victor Musical Industries,Inc.
©1990 Victor Musical
Industries, Inc.
©FUN PROJECT, Inc.

Ultra Box was most probably the first CDRom Magazine to hit the shelves or, at least, the first one to ever be released for the PC Engine System. It was published from 1990 to 1992 and counts six volumes. The highlights of the series are most probably the adventure game The Crystal adventure game (vol.2), the horoscope by the wrestler Rusher Kimura, the PC Engine game encyclopedia, 'coming soon' game trailers and the Jan Jan Box, a collection of drawings and photographs sent by readers. Ultra Box can be seen as the ancestor of PC Engine CD-ROM capsule.

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The Ultra Box series is hard to describe... this issue, for instance, opens up on a 'Game Over' screen. How cool is that ? Each section is weirder than the next and the introduction sequence with the odd dragon head definitively sets the tone. The best assets to this first issue are the simple side scrolling beat'em up game (nothing groundbreaking though as the game has a cumbersome and imprecise combat system) and the English dating simulation. Except for that, Ultra Box is more a collector's item than a source of fun, there isn't much there especially if you don't understand or can't read Japanese. You should only get it if are looking for that extra something special for your PC Engine collection or as an unusual piece of Japanese video game history.




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