Sunday, September 20, 2015

Kamen Rider Arcade Video Game Cards

In recent years, one of the hottest trends in arcade gaming has been card-based games. They've got machines for historic battle strategy games, anime/idol fashion games, and all sorts of other things. The other day at a bookshop I came across some beautiful Kamen Rider cards. At first I thought they were just trading cards, but today I stumbled on the game they go with.
Here's the Bandai arcade game I spotted in Kawasaki. There are three slots in the center where you place your cards.

Sample cards

It's a large set. Here are some of the heroes. I love the way KR and other Japanese series continue to include characters from previous series even decades after their shows end. It creates a cool sense of continuity, and you can see how the designs have changed over the years.
 More after the jump:

These are so well drawn. Fantastic V3 image.

On the bottom are all kinds of stats. I guess they have something to do with game play. Here also, the illustrator's name is written. That's a nice touch and indicates a likelihood that the images were done by a variety of outside studios/artists.

Card backside

More stats. This image also reveals some interesting information about the cards' production. They were made in 2015 in Japan. So few things (especially printed items) are made in the country anymore. I wonder if it has to do with whatever chip or magnetic technology is built into the cards. Also, after the copyright symbol, you can see 石森プロ . 東映  (Ishimori Pro .TOEI). Shotaro Ishimori (he later changed his surname to Ishinomori) created Kamen Rider more than 40 years ago. Though he passed away in 1998, the licensing company still bears his original name,

Super cool Riderman illustration

Backside image. I love the way this image has more of a freehand, style, while the front image has more of a software drawn/enhanced effect.

Returning to the Heisei era, here's Kamen Rider Drive.

The game also includes a lot of enemy cards.

Enemy card backsides
The foil cards are spectacular.

Foil card backside
Well that's a quick look at some of the Bandai game cards. I mostly wanted to show them for their awesome visuals. It's also interesting how, even with arcade games and other digital media having become so advanced, people still love tangible things like cards and discs to interface with the games. That's probably a big reason why CDs, DVDs, and other physical media continue to sell well in Japan.

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