Future Boy Conan: The Playstation 2 Video Game

Video Games: Future Boy Conan on Playstation 2

Video Games: Future Boy Conan on Playstation 2

Future Boy Conan is the 1978 NHK anime series directed by Hayao Miyazaki, and is a thrilling combination of adventure, romance and comedy, with strong doses of political and environmental themes that would become icons of the Studio Ghibli era. It's a fantastic show and might possibly be the director's greatest work in animation.

And here is the one thing Ghibli Freaks everywhere have begged and pleaded for years: a Miyazaki video game! D3, a software publisher dedicated largely to cartoon-videogame tie-ins, brought Future Boy Conan to the Playstation 2 in Japan.

If you're familiar with the TV series, then you'll love this game, which recreates the entire series from start to finish. Playing as Conan, you explore fully three-dimensional environments, fulfilling mission requirements, searching for objects, meeting characters, and beating up bad guys. In other words, you get to do pretty much everything you saw on the show.

D3 recreates the world of Future Boy Conan with an almost obsessive attention to detail. You can tell the programmers and designers were true fans and not just cashing in a paycheck. Animations are supremely fluid and aim to capture the stylings of the show. I especially enjoyed watching Conan running recklessly, just like he does in a dozen TV episodes.

The graphics are rendered in a style called "cel shading," in which 3D polygon models are layered with a thick black outline that mimics that look of 2D cartoon drawings. It became famous in Sega's Jet Set Radio (or Jet Grind Radio in the US), but the technique was pioneered previously in Wacky Races and Fear Effect on Dreamcast and Playstation 1, respectively. You may also recognize this style with Ni No Kuni, which was jointly produced with Studio Ghibli (the sequel uses many of the same animators, even though the studio was on hiatus at the time).

Despite my best investigations, I could not find an English-language patch for PS2 Conan. It was released exclusively in Japan and features a fair amount of text. You may need to consult a FAQ guide for assistance. Physical copies can be found on Ebay for $34.00 - $75.00, but this appears to be a slightly obscure release.

Here are a couple gameplay videos to show off Future Boy Conan. Now give us more Miyazaki videogames! And somebody release this series in the States!

1 comment:

Christopher Sobieniak said...

This game certainly was a labor of love for D3.

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