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Thread Author: merlin
Thread ID: 3418
Thread Info
There are 27 posts in this thread, and it has been viewed 14424 times.
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NMK (Nihon Maicom Kaihatsu)
merlin
I've been interested in the arcade developer NMK (Nihon Maicom Kaihatsu) for a while. Not suggesting they're quite in the same league as Cave or Raizing but they have made quite a few quality shoot 'em ups. I feel NMK don't really get the recognition they deserve partly because people don't always realize that certain games were developed by them and assume the company who published the game (such as Banpresto, Jaleco or UPL) was also the developer.

I'd be interested to hear which NMK games people here enjoy and how they rate this developer. Would also be good to hear people's thoughts about NMK's Neo Geo game Zed Blade since it's a game that rarely gets discussed here.

Zed Blade is pretty underrated IMO and a lot better than people make out. Graphics could perhaps have been a bit better but the gameplay is pretty fun and also there's some excellent music. Manabu Namiki, the composer, was also responsible for some great music in other NMK shooters such as Desert War and Thunder Dragon 2. Later he went on to work for Cave and Raizing.

YouTube Video


Some other NMK shooters I really like and recommend are Hacha Mecha Fighter, Thunder Dragon 2, Desert War, P-47: The Phantom Fighter, P-47 Aces, Super Spacefortress Macross, Super Spacefortress Macross II and Saint Dragon. For other genres Riot (a Nam 1975 style game) and Saboten Bombers (a single screen platformer) are well worth a look too.

They also developed some console games such as Saiyuuki World a Famicom clone of Wonder Boy in Monsterland.

List of NMK games:
http://www.higene...ku/nmk.htm

P-47 Aces

Great horizontal shooter that's the sequel to 'The Phantom Fighter'. My overall favourite NMK game. Like Zed Blade you have a choice of three different characters with their own unique airplane. Does get unbelievably difficult from stage 3 onwards. Strangely if you bang into the background scenery, instead of losing a life you score points!

YouTube Video


Desert War

Desert War is a very original vertically scrolling shooter. You actually control the scroll speed of the game and can land your helicopter at any time to pick up fuel, power ups or, similar to Choplifter, rescue prisoners. You have different objectives at the start of each stage such as rescuing a certain number of prisoners or destroying a target. Very fun game.

YouTube Video


Riot

A Nam 1975 style game that seems to have only had a very limited release. The unique feature which makes this different from other similar games is that there are enemies attacking from both behind and in front. You have to switch firing buttons depending where they're coming from. You can also hide behind scenery. The story and bosses are truly bizarre and funny in this game but the gameplay is enjoyable.

http://bbh.marpir...

YouTube Video


Anyone else played these or other NMK games? If anyone has any info to share about this company it would be much appreciated. I wonder what actually happened to them in the end. Perhaps they were taken over by another company or just went out of business. I wouldn't be surprised if some of their ex-employees went to other developers like Cave or Raizing.
 
neogeoeno
they have small dinosaur (mascot) behind the name (nmk)
 
NeoGeoNinja
merlin wrote:
Would also be good to hear people's thoughts about NMK's Neo Geo game Zed Blade since it's a game that rarely gets discussed here.

Zed Blade is pretty underrated IMO and a lot better than people make out. Graphics could perhaps have been a bit better but the gameplay is pretty fun and also there's some excellent music. Manabu Namiki, the composer, was also responsible for some great music in other NMK shooters such as Desert War and P-47 Aces. Later he went on to work for Cave and Raizing.

PERSONALLY, I HAVE ONLY...
ever played Zed Blade via emulation, probably around a decade ago! Back then, I thought the game was actually decent, and I liked it. It looks a little bland overall, but it doesn't bother me at all with this game. Hell, they couldn't even be bothered with the how to play screen, so what do you expect? The standout point for me - love it or hate it - is definitely the music. I think it's pretty awesome, especially the boss theme. I'm a big fan of chaotic boss music, as it really heightens the tension and keeps you on your toes! It's definitely a game I'd consider acquiring down the line.

AS FOR THESE OTHER...
NMK titles you have shown here, I really like the look of P47 Aces. It looks very solid. Oddly, I really like the enemy bullet colouration - like an insipid citrine yellow. Makes a change to the usual bright oranges, blues & pinks. They have also designed it so the bullets stand out from the BKGDs, so it works. My only issue is the music. I think it's pret-t-y nasty imo. I don't mind the boss music, but the stage music (esp. the boss theme to the cruiser/destroyer) just sounds like some douche tinkering around at random with a Casio Keyboard! Desert War looked cool too, although I was a little irked by the fact that there was NO sfx for you weapon fire and the fact that you're unable to collect ALL the POW's due to being full up. Quite annoying, as he tried to collect everyone, but couldn't prior to hitting the LZ Helipad. Riot looks *just* ok. The picture on the intro screen made me laugh as it is VERY similar to MERCS'.

img62.imageshack.us/img62/3410/riot1.png

pics.mobygames.com/images/covers/large/1214734260-00.jpg

OUTSIDE OF ZED BLADE...
I'm assuming these are ALL Arcade only, hmm? Roll Eyes

Ninja
i699.photobucket.com/albums/vv359/NeoGeoNinja/NGNsignatureRev1.jpg
 
NEO-GEO man
Love P47, i dropped a fair chunk of money into that at one point as a kid!! Would love to get a board of it.
 
merlin
I never knew about the dinosaur mascot neogeoeno thanks for the info.

Interesting to hear your views on Zed Blade Ninja. It seems like quite a few people consider it to be a really bad game for some reason. Haha I actually really liked all the music in P-47 Aces. Yes I'm afraid these are all arcade games that I mentioned. Aside from Saiyuuki World I don't know which other console games NMK developed. By the way the lack of shooting sound effects in that Desert War video is due to imperfect emulation. Yes you're right there is a striking similarity between the Riot and Mercs artwork I hadn't noticed that.

The P-47 games are great NeoGeoMan I agree. Seems like quite a few people prefer the original but I'm more of a fan of Aces. Good luck finding a board.

Found a review yesterday of the 1987 NMK game Psychic 5 which seems to held in quite high regard. The reviewer also mentions some interesting info about NMK.

http://uk.gamespo...0-25687647

Video game company NMK (Nihon Maicom Kaihatsu) was certainly among the best low-profile dedicated arcade developers of their time. Founded by the former Tehkan Ltd. (now TECMO Ltd.) staffers that developed the arcade classic Bomb Jack, NMK was established in 1985 and remained active until 1996, leaving behind a selected but diverse library of high-quality games. Throughout most of their active years NMK worked principally as a subcontractor under more prominent game companies, and this unfortunately prevented many of their best games to become associated with the NMK brand name. It was really only after the company filled for bankruptcy in 1999 that NMK truly began to get their much overdue and deserved fan appraisal.


Here are a few more great NMK games:

Thunder Dragon 2

The music is superb throughout and there are some impressive large bosses to fight.

YouTube Video



Hacha Mecha Fighter

Has an appealing cutesy style of graphics. Very challenging game though.

YouTube Video
 
Murikov
NeoGeoNinja wrote:
... Zed Blade... It's definitely a game I'd consider acquiring down the line.

For me as well, I enjoyed Operation Ragnarök (I prefer the original Japanese title) in 2P mode a while ago and really chummed up with it. IMO it's better than the better known Andro Dunos and after a while it definitely reveals it's charm, even alone with the OST. If it only wouldn't be that rare. :(

As for other NMK titles I played, I only know P-47 for the PC-Engine. That one seems to be pretty easier than it's original counterpart, as far as I remember I didn't struggle that much playing it. I suppose I'll have to play the Arcade version to see the real deal. Riot and Desert War (not to be confused with Desert Assault by Data East) seem to be worth to play too.

NeoGeoNinja wrote:
The picture on the intro screen made me laugh as it is VERY similar to MERCS'.

img62.imageshack.us/img62/3410/riot1.png

pics.mobygames.com/images/covers/large/1214734260-00.jpg


That's only doing the math from a game designer's view:

www.oocities.org/br/marxista09/rambo.JPG + www.patricksaviation.com/files/photos/full/36343_27452.jpg
i.imgur.com/aLu1k0m.gif
 
1983parrothead
First time I've ever heard of NMK was in one of the early episodes of Game Center CX, but most were mechanical physical games similar to crane games. The show's host Shinya Arino couldn't play well enough on them. When he came to another similar game and failed it, he saw on the game's marquee and said while pointing at it, "Oh! NMK!"

The most recent NMK games I've seen were this below and its sequel:

YouTube Video


NeoGeoNinja wrote:Riot looks *just* ok. The picture on the intro screen made me laugh as it is VERY similar to MERCS'.

img62.imageshack.us/img62/3410/riot1.png

pics.mobygames.com/images/covers/large/1214734260-00.jpg
Ninja


Kind of looks similar to the Rambo: First Blood Part II theatrical poster, this Super Contra arcade flyer, and especially the front cover of the NES Rambo game (if mirrored).
Edited by 1983parrothead on 29. July 2011 07:48
 
NeoGeoNinja
1983parrothead wrote:
...and especially the front cover of the NES Rambo game (if mirrored)


YOU MEAN...
just like Murikov pointed out two posts above?? Lol Pfft Grin

Here it is again:

Murikov wrote:
That's only doing the math from a game designer's view:

www.oocities.org/br/marxista09/rambo.JPG + www.patricksaviation.com/files/photos/full/36343_27452.jpg


IT MIGHT JUST BE ME...
but, after seeing this Rambo image several times (holding the HMG), the part where his bicep, shoulder and chest connect? That REALLY tense piece of tendon/ligament combined with it indenting his chest muscle?

Yeah... it makes me feel a bit queasy Thumbs Down

Ninja
Edited by NeoGeoNinja on 28. July 2011 10:57
i699.photobucket.com/albums/vv359/NeoGeoNinja/NGNsignatureRev1.jpg
 
RiKo
its a bit worrying that Rambo found time both to wax and grease himself up. what kind of a man is he? Shock

I like the look of Zed_blade especially though the guy in the video is being a bit of a pussy hiding at the bottom of the screen...what a joyless way to play.

i dont really know anything about NMK so thanks Merlin for bringing it to our attention. It makes me think that we dont really many new 2D games. they should just release perfect-emulated versions of all these arcade games that no-one outside Japan knows about.
Edited by RiKo on 28. July 2011 17:39
Mini-Reviews of films I have just watched : http://richwatmov...press.com/
Mini-Reviews of ZX Spectrum games : https://iplayzxsp...ress.com//
 
http://www.youtube.com/user/PhoenixRisen7
1983parrothead
NeoGeoNinja wrote:
1983parrothead wrote:
...and especially the front cover of the NES Rambo game (if mirrored)


YOU MEAN...
just like Murikov pointed out two posts above?? Lol Pfft Grin

Ninja


Shoot! Why didn't I see them? Angry Even merlin showed Thunder Dragon 2 before I did. But oh well, at least I showed Thunder Dragon 1 and told about NMK's non-video arcade games appearing in Game Center CX.
 
merlin
Thanks for the replies. Glad that the thread was of interest RiKo. I hope people will give some of these games a try if they haven't played them before.

I'd be interested to find out if NMK developed other console games aside from Saiyuuki World if anyone here knows. It's quite hard to find much info online about this developer. I know there is a sequel, known outside Japan as 'Whomp 'em', but not sure if it was developed by NMK or not.

Here's another couple of NMK games that are well worth checking out. Saboten Bombers is a fun single screen platformer in which you play as a cactus and Super Spacefortress Macross is a decent vertical shooter. The latter game also had a sequel which is a horizontal shooter.

YouTube Video


YouTube Video
 
Murikov
I completed Riot, P-47 The Phantom Fighter, P-47 Aces and Desert War together and I was pretty pleased with those titles. Especially Desert War in Co-op mode made my day, although the last mission was quite tough. The first P-47 on the other hand is a pretty old crock as the gameplay and level design feels very repetitive and dusty. The sequel is much better in every term.

I have to try Super Spacefortress Macross too, Merlin, seems like another nice shmup.
i.imgur.com/aLu1k0m.gif
 
NeoGeoNinja
merlin wrote:
Hacha Mecha Fighter
Has an appealing cutesy style of graphics. Very challenging game though

DO YOU FIND CUTESY...
graphics, like in (say) Magical Drop, TSSprites, or even Cotton appealing?

I'm really not keen on that style of art myself and, with Cotton especially, I have to go for substance over style - as they're both (2 & Boomerang) great shmups.

IT'S NOT AN NMK GAME, BUT...
if you like this Hacha Mecha game, you (Merlin!) may also like the look of this rather rare shmup for the *drum roll please* PS1, called Harmful Park. When I watched Hacha Mecha, it reminded me of it quite a bit. Check it out:

YouTube Video


It's supposed to be a pretty good game, but again, it's a tad too cute for my tastes. Hell, even the big explosions are star spangled!!

REGARDING THESE OTHER NMK TITLES...
The two Thunder Dragon games look pretty cool, although they look rather unrelated outside of the name itself. I know it's probably VERY wrong of me, but I really liked the aggressive, repetitive soundtrack to the first game! It was really OTT and a bit in your face, but I liked it. Has a real classic arcade soundtrack feel to it.

Saboten Bombers is rather confusing to watch. Is it another Bubble Bobble, Snow Bros, NITDark jobby?? It looks like one! Nicely animated though, but too cute for me!

Macross looked so, so. Not bad at all, but not great either. I'm sure it's solid enough though Smile

Ninja
i699.photobucket.com/albums/vv359/NeoGeoNinja/NGNsignatureRev1.jpg
 
merlin
Sounds like you've been enjoying a lot of top quality NMK action Murikov. Thumbs Up I've never tried Desert War in co-op but I'm sure it would work well as a two player game. I totally agree about P-47 Aces being significantly better than the first game.

Marktheshark has now uploaded the full Desert War soundtrack and is also planning to post the soundtracks for Thunder Dragon and Thunder Dragon 2. Nice one Mark. Clap

http://www.youtub...573687B9B2

Yes Ninja I do really like the cute style of graphics in shoot 'em ups like TSS, Cotton, Parodius etc. Harmful Park has a very appealing style of graphics. Thanks for mentioning it. Perhaps I'll give it a try on the PS1 emulator one day.

Ninja you might be more impressed with the second Macross shooter which as far as I know was also developed by NMK. It's quite unusual because you only clear each stage if you achieve a high enough score before the timer runs out.

YouTube Video


Also here's Saint Dragon yet another quality NMK shooter.

YouTube Video

Edited by merlin on 03. August 2011 14:58
 
NeoGeoNinja
merlin wrote:
Marktheshark has now uploaded the full Desert War soundtrack and is also planning to post the soundtracks for Thunder Dragon and Thunder Dragon 2. Nice one Mark. Clap

Yes Ninja I do really like the cute style of graphics in shoot 'em ups like TSS, Cotton, Parodius etc. Harmful Park has a very appealing style of graphics. Thanks for mentioning it. Perhaps I'll give it a try on the PS1 emulator one day.

Ninja you might be more impressed with the second Macross shooter which as far as I know was also developed by NMK. It's quite unusual because you only clear each stage if you achieve a high enough score before the timer runs out.

WELL MERLIN...
I'll be honest dude, and Macross 2 still sits firmly in the 'meh' category I'm afraid. Especially on the 2nd stage here, where the guy seems to be just running into the enemy craft without any consequences whatsoever?! Did I miss something there? (Especially at the end of the vid).

Saint Dragon looks VERY decent though! I'd definitely grab that if it were available for MD/Gen or even Saturn etc! It looks like a MD game to me anyway.

I look forward to hearing Marks uploads of the Thunder Dragon 1 & 2 OST's :thumbusp:

Always remember to keep an eye out for those giant, mechanised and weaponised flying Bulls though... they're quite dangerous! Shock

Ninja
i699.photobucket.com/albums/vv359/NeoGeoNinja/NGNsignatureRev1.jpg
 
1983parrothead
If any of you aren't patient enough, try Nico Sound:

Thunder Dragon

Thunder Dragon 2
 
merlin
It's not amazing perhaps that second Macross game Ninja but I like the fact that you have to achieve a target score to clear each stage. Seems like quite an original idea in a shooter. Also the game does feature three different routes. I think in that bit at the end of the video you referred to, the player seemed to have temporary invincibility.

That 'mechanised flying bull' actually took me many attempts to beat. It's not quite as easy as it looks in that video.

Thanks for the links Parrothead. Thumbs Up

Here's another NMK shoot 'em up: Fire Mustang for the Mega Drive. The original arcade game is called US-AAF Mustang.

YouTube Video
 
1983parrothead
Here are some screenshots of the Game Center CX episode I saw that had some NMK mechanical arcade games. One of them is the parrot in a circle-shaped hole, the other is similar to UFO crane games.

http://www.crunkg...mp;page=13

This episode is fan-translated with subtitles, and probably still is available somewhere right now.
Edited by 1983parrothead on 21. August 2011 06:55
 
merlin
Thanks for the info Parrothead. Thumbs Up I was unaware that NMK also made mechanical arcade games like 'Happy Pierro'. I wonder how significant a part of their business that was. If anyone comes across any more NMK info it would be much appreciated if they could post it in this thread. I'm keen to learn more about them.

Here's that Wonder Boy in Monster Land clone for the Famicom I've mentioned a few times.

YouTube Video

Edited by merlin on 21. August 2011 15:08
 
CRV
According to this, Riot was developed by Tecmo. Don't know the source.
 
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