From now through April 2019, there’s an awesome ‘90s video game-themed exhibit going on at the Skip City Sai-no-Kuni Visual Plaza with an impressive collection of games going to the early ‘00s. [Thanks, 4Gamer.]
The exhibit, titled “Asobu! Game Ten Stage 3: Digital Game Millennium” (Play! Game Exhibit Stage 3: Digital Millennium) started the other day as the third installment of the video games history exhibit that allows visitors to check out and play a bunch of different games. The first one, Stage 1, focused on some of the earliest games such as Spacewar!, Computer Space, Pong, and more back in 2015. Stage 2 took place in 2016 with a big focus on arcade games and the Famicom.
Stage 3 is the final exhibit for now, and it’s going out with a bang of nostalgia with games focused on the 1990s to early 2000s.
The first part of the exhibit is a fighting games corner called “Civil War Era of Fighters.” It features famous titles such as Street Fighter II, Fatal Fury Special, Virtua Fighter 2, and countless others. This is also the era that saw the birth of the world’s biggest fighting games tournament, Evolution Championship Series (EVO).
This is a Model 1 circuit board for Virtua Fighter. While arcade games use PC as a base for its hardware, back in the day they used circuit board prints as shown in the above image.
They also have some posters for Fatal Fury Special as well as art documents on display. The MSV arcade machine has titles such as NAM-1975 and Magician Lord.
The next part is called the “Genre Subdivision Era of Digital Games” that featured games that defined the era of different genres, such as Puyo Puyo and RayForce for arcades, Tokimeki Memorial and Pokémon Red & Green for consoles.
Tokimeki Memorial was made by Konami as a console game with the goal of “simulating romance.” The fully-voiced scenes on the PC Engine CD-ROM² was a huge surprise for players at the time.
Here’s RayForce by Taito, known for its emphasis on flashy visuals and sounds.
This is Puyo Puyo, a puzzle game by Compile for arcades. It originally started out as a spinoff franchise to Madou Monogatari. It featured the “Manzai Demo” interactions between characters, which helped with their popularity at the time.
Here’s the original Pokémon Red & Green with the original Game Boy. The first-generation of Pokémon was re-released on the Nintendo 3DS in 2016.
This era of gaming saw a significant improvement in graphics as well as the birth of countless key games that would go on to see numerous sequels.
Now, you can’t talk about ‘90s video games without the original PlayStation. The next corner is called the “Reform from PlayStation,” where we saw games such as Ridge Racer, Metal Gear Solid, and other PlayStation titles that brought a strong sense of “next-generation” at the time.
Adjoined with the PlayStation corner is the “Enjoying digital Games Expanded with the 32-Bit War” corner. This area features a variety of titles that were made when we entered the 32-bit era.
Fighters Megamix for Sega Saturn, a fighting game developed by AM2 featuring the complete cast of Virtua Fighter 2 and Fighting Vipers, Janet from Virtua Cop 2, Hornet Car from Daytona USA, and more.
The interactive movie and adventure horror game D, developed by WARP for the 3DO Interactive Multiplayer by Panasonic.
Here’s Super Mario 64 along with the disk drive peripheral 64DD which released only in Japan back in December 1999.
Here’s the Virtual Boy console, Nintendo’s 32-bit table-top video game console that was marketed as the first console capable of displaying stereoscopic 3D graphics.
The Tamagotchi device took the world by storm in May 1997, but it first released in Japan back in November 1996.
And for you rare breed of ‘90s PC gamers, they didn’t forget about you guys—here’s the original Half-Life and Ultima Online.
Also in display for PC games included the early Touhou games, Highly Responsive to Prayers, Story of Eastern Wonderland, and Phantasmagoria of Dim.Dream among other rotated PC games.
The next section is the “Arcade Games Looking For A New Turning Point” that focused on high-end specs such as Taito’s Landing Gear and Battle Gear.
Another one was SoulCalibur, the 3D fighting game that mixed fighting and weapons.
Continuing with the arcade games tour, we have the next corner, “Rhythm Games That Move Your Body” featuring beatmania from Konami, Taiko no Tatsujin from Namco, and more.
Here’s the cabinet for beatmania The Final.
The pop’n music cabinet has pop’n music 18 Sengoku Retsuden.
They also had the machine for Taiko no Tatsujin 14. A Dance Dance Revolution machine was also available but not in display on that day.
Lastly, to end the exhibit we have the “Home Console Machines to Start the 21st Century” corner, which featured early 2000s hardware such as Sony’s PlayStation 2 and Nintendo’s GameCube.
This era focused more on realism with 3D graphics, and you can definitely see the leap in generation compared to the corner that had Virtua Fighter, which focused on realistic graphics just ten years prior. Not only were graphics a big point in this era, but so were the controllers, such as the PS2’s DualShock 2 and the GameCube controllers which still continue to show their influence in today’s controllers.
The introduction of simple AI with Seaman on the Dreamcast was also a big deal at the time. Many shared memories of how difficult it was to take care of the virtual fish, but they also remembered the joys of having a save data where they could comfortably talk to Seaman.
The “Multi Video System” by SNK and the “System 12” by Namco.
The Sega ST-V (Sega Titan Video game system) arcade system board with Virtua Fighter Remix.
The Sega Naomi arcade machine, which was the successor to the Sega Model 3.
The Asobu! Game Ten Stage 3: Digital Game Millennium will be available until April 7, 2019. Tickets only cost 510 yen for adults and 250 yen for students.