A gallery full of awesomely imaginative cartridges from fake Famicom (NES) games on for showcase in Tokyo.
When it comes to looks, give the Nintendo Famicom any day of week.
“Fami-whaaat? Dang it, what kooky nerd dribble are you rambling about this time, Bernie?” I’ll tell you dear reader. The Famicom, or Family Computer in full, is the Japanese variant of our beloved Nintendo Entertainment System, which has a totally different outside aesthetic compared to the VCR-copycat styling we got in North America and parts elsewhere. Not that I don’t appreciate the looks of the NES; it’s amazingly cool in its own way, let’s get that straight.
Though, there’s just something immediately cheerful about about the Famicom, which is lost when compared to its big box cousin from West. You see, where the NES tried to downplay its “video-game-console-ness”, a necessary marketing change in light of the North American video game crash of 1983, the Famicom, with its toy-like (in a good way) brightly-colored shell, seems proud to wear those colors oh so defiantly.
This theme carries over to Famicom game cartridges, too. North American/PAL territories received grey, rather long, rectangular packs for their games, but in Japan, carts there were noticeably smaller and were produced in a spectrum of colors. They even featured bolder label art direction in comparison; the Famicom version of Super Mario Bros. shipped on a yellow cart and had a nice illustration of the game as opposed to the sprites used for the NES one.
I happen to be a huge fan of the former design sense (again, no offense NES carts, just different strokes, different folks). And I’m not alone in thinking so, either. Hooray! Common interests!
Japanese video game culture shop, Meteor, located in the Kichijoji neighborhood of Tokyo, Japan, has been hosting a pretty neato event for the past few years, an annual art show, called the My Famicase Exhibit, which proudly displays creative box-art designs to fake Famicom games from inventive artists worldwide. And wouldn’t you know it, they’re designs are brilliant (in fact, I had a bit of hard time picking a sample to show here).
From cute entries, such as this game about a planet of Snow Monkeys, entitled – go figure – Planet Of The Snow Monkeys…
To a title about making fried octopus balls (looks tasty)…
…the Famicom game carts being culled together under one roof with the My Famicase Exhibit, truly run the creative gauntlet (and I didn’t even show you the really bizarre ones).
Overall, eighty individual carts can be seen right now if you happen to be in the Tokyo area, but only until the end of May, so if you really love classic Japanese gaming, and assuming you’re in Japan reading this, you probably are, I fully recommend heading over to Meteor and check out the full gallery in person. As for the rest of us, we can see rest on the My Famicase Exhibit website, which I also recommend, too. Then, afterwards, find out why this Space Invaders LED lamp and Batman reclining chairs are so darn cool.