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  • Super Family Gelände (Namco, February 1998)

    Posted on August 30th, 2009 keving 4 comments

    A more well-rounded test of YouTube annotation. In a way I like YT annotations over subtitles for things like these because the annotations don’t get compressed with the video and don’t take up as much onscreen space, but the annotation-editing interface (while simple) is very time-consuming for projects like this. For that reason alone I might switch to more traditional subtitling in the future; not having to move between the mouse and keyboard all the time would save a lot of drudge work.

    Super Family Gelände (スーパーファミリーゲレンデ), as you’ll probably notice in this video, is the spiritual 2D ancestor to Namco’s We Ski (2008). The story mode is but a small part of the full game, which places the main emphasis on time trials and such as you blaze the eight slopes available. Since it’s only an option and not the main thrust, I suppose the developers felt safe in making the story as silly as possible — the chapters only get more amusing as time goes on, and you’re doing something different in each one, so it never gets boring. If there’s interest, I could make this story mode the next “running series” here after I’m done with The Phantom of Akihabara.

    This game bears a copyright date of 1995 but wasn’t actually released until February 1, 1998 — exclusively on the Nintendo Power service in Japan, no less. This has made it a pretty damn obscure title, which is a shame; I can’t imagine why Namco sat on it for three years. There isn’t a whole lot of depth, no, but the unique control scheme makes this game remarkably novel and oddly addictive — I’m usually not the sort of person who cares much about getting fast times in racing games, but I’ve been obsessed with time-attacking in this game ever since I discovered it in the earlier part of the decade. Give it a shot if you’ve got access to it.

    (In case you’re wondering: The Japanese took the German word gelände (meaning “terrain” or “field”) and use it to mean “ski trail” for some reason.)


    4 responses to “Super Family Gelände (Namco, February 1998)” RSS icon

    • Cool.

      Some Japanese skiing terms come from German (e.g. ストック for ski poles) because skiing was introduced to Japan by an Austrian army major. (There are more details on the Japanese Wikipedia page on skiing if you’re interested.)

    • Aw thanks for the note. I learned something today!

    • Looks like a pretty fun and lighthearted game. I’d be happy to see more of it.

    • A fox wants to become human so he can ski. Not the kind of plot I expected for a skiing game, but its unique I guess. I’d be interested to see the rest of the story mode at some point.

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