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Thread: The SEGA game they didn't want you to buy - The Japanese release of The Ooze.

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    Comrade as in friend. Master of Shinobi ComradeOj's Avatar
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    Default The SEGA game they didn't want you to buy - The Japanese release of The Ooze.

    The Ooze is a game that has fascinated me ever since I first played it.

    Something really perplexing is the cover art and manual for the Japanese release. The box just features cryptic text, an 18+ rating, and no pictures of the game. The manual features some woman that doesn't even appear in the game. I first came across this a few years ago while looking up the game online. I even went to a translation subreddit to try and make sense of the cover art and manual. It still just didn't make any sense even with a translation.

    I came across a recently released video covering this topic. I thought it was interesting, and wanted to share.

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    Mega Driver Hedgehog-in-TrainingMaster of Shinobi Gryson's Avatar
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    Wow, that video is way off the mark.

    Takayuki Kawagoe, the product manager at Sega who decided to release The Ooze in Japan, was interviewed in the book Sega Consumer History. Here is a translation of what he says about the game:

    Quote Originally Posted by Takayuki Kawagoe
    About twice a year, we would be presented with overseas titles from SOA, and we would select the titles that received good reviews to release in Japan. One of those titles was ďThe Ooze.Ē Those around me were opposed to releasing it, but I pushed it through anyway (laughs). Since it was almost the last Mega Drive title to be released in Japan, we got away with doing whatever we wanted with it. By the way, the guy that made the cover was Mr. Tsukamoto, who currently owns game company Land Ho! (laughs). Since we didnít have any advertising budget whatsoever, the cover was a last resort to somehow make it stand out.
    The game is rumored to have sold 800 copies in Japan, and it has become a cult classic there due to its bizarre cover and manual. I think every Japanese MD fan is familiar with it nowadays.

    I mean, if you're going to make a video about Japanese retro games, maybe actually find some sources from Japan? (I know, I know... it's Youtube - far easier to make up some story about Sega not actually wanting to sell the game)

    And about that "18+ rating", it's a gag. The cover says right below that, to the left of the Sega logo, "For All Ages", so no, it's not the case as the video says that "the 18-rated certificate that Sega decided to award this game, further limiting the shops that would actually stock it, as well as the people that can actually buy it."

    The outside cover is an imitation of some sort of adult video or light novel that features heavily-censored language (causing you to fill in the blanks with coarse language), but the back of the cover reveals the gag by showing the censored language is actually innocuous. The reversed side of the cover is an imitation of a bizarre novel.

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    WCPO Agent Mad Moham's Avatar
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    Is there any explanation for the bizarre manual featuring a woman with no relation to the game? The manual looks like the strangest part to me.

    Overall I like most of the Slopes videos that I've seen so far, I'm not sure how he got it so wrong with his Ooze video.

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    WCPO Agent cabear's Avatar
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    The woman in the booklet must be another way to just have some fun and do something different then the standard instructions.

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    Comrade as in friend. Master of Shinobi ComradeOj's Avatar
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    @ Gryson

    Thanks for the corrections and information. I don't know much about the JP release of the game other than the really odd cover and manual. I figured the rating was some sort of gag. I figured SEGA games in Japan at that time didn't carry an official rating. I think I remember asking someone once about this, and he speculated that it was just something to entice people in to looking at the game.

    @ Mad Moham

    I haven't' seen any of this guy's videos before. I figured a lot of what he was saying in this video was speculation, but I didn't realize until it was pointed out that a lot of what he said incorrect.
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    Mega Driver Hedgehog-in-TrainingMaster of Shinobi Gryson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mad Moham View Post
    Is there any explanation for the bizarre manual featuring a woman with no relation to the game? The manual looks like the strangest part to me.
    Well, if you have a cover that weird, I guess you better have a weird manual too!

    But it seems obvious to me that it was just the designer having fun and doing something off-the-wall creative.

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    Master of Shinobi
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    Quote Originally Posted by ComradeOj View Post
    I haven't' seen any of this guy's videos before. I figured a lot of what he was saying in this video was speculation, but I didn't realize until it was pointed out that a lot of what he said incorrect.
    I generally enjoy Daniel Ibbertson's videos, so this is a shame, but it's symptomatic of something I've seen in a lot of Youtube videos lately. There are too many videos which are a lot of supposition based on incomplete information, or worse, videos where accurate information is all out there but the video maker doesn't really understand it or the topic they're talking about. The latter are particularly prevalent when talking about technical topics. The sad result is that a lot of untrue rumours or incorrect interpretations get signal boosted and treated as fact.

    In this case I can see why this happened: the truth is out there but it requires you to be able to read Japanese and know where to look. Without Japanese language knowledge, accurate sources, or someone knowledgeable who was in Japan at the time, it's obvious how the game would look.

    EDIT: To be fair, the video's not really that bad, but I'm not sure why someone would assume that the game was being set up to fail rather than it being a wacky marketing stunt. He even says that it's a fake 18 rating at one point but doesn't really expand on that.
    Last edited by Silanda; 08-27-2020 at 08:47 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Silanda View Post
    but it's symptomatic of something I've seen in a lot of Youtube videos lately. There are too many videos which are a lot of supposition based on incomplete information, or worse, videos where accurate information is all out there but the video maker doesn't really understand it or the topic they're talking about.
    Game Sack recently released a video talking about controllers.
    Talks about both Barracuda PS1 controllers without ever checking any information online and then proceeds to complain about a controlling mode that "doesn't do anything" when it's pretty much the selling point of those controllers (to be able to be compatible with both Dual Shock and Dual Analog protocols).

    I mean, the level of laziness and disregard for good information is just unbelievable these days.

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    WCPO Agent Mad Moham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barone View Post
    I mean, the level of laziness and disregard for good information is just unbelievable these days.
    "Hi guys! So guys, I just found this weird product to review even though I don't have any knowledge or experience of the subject. But guys, remember to smash that 'like' button guys. Anyway guys before I start the review, make sure you watch to the end because I need you guys to watch my pointlessly stretched out video to the ten minute mark so that I get ad revenue guys.

    So anyway guys, check out this unhealthy new product guys. As you can see guys, this product comes in a box with pictures and writing on it guys. But before I take it out of the box and show you how it works I just wanted to tell you guys about the shitty mobile game that I pretend to actually spend time playing.

    Right then guys, so here it is outside the box. It has buttons and stuff on it and I'm going to spend the next few minutes mispronouncing the names of the various features and functions guys. But guys, while I'm doing that, remember to check out the crap merch that I have available guys.

    OK guys, so that about does it for the review guys. Hopefully this video will make some money because my parents have been complaining about the fact that I've never actually had a job guys."


    And no, I'm not making fun of Slopes or any particular youtuber with this post. I've just noticed that there's a generic style that many people are now using and I'm seeing the pattern in so many videos that its driving me insane.

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    Master of Shinobi Mega Drive Bowlsey's Avatar
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    Thanks for the laugh, Moham. I enjoyed that.

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    Mega Driver Hedgehog-in-TrainingMaster of Shinobi Gryson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silanda View Post
    In this case I can see why this happened: the truth is out there but it requires you to be able to read Japanese and know where to look. Without Japanese language knowledge, accurate sources, or someone knowledgeable who was in Japan at the time, it's obvious how the game would look.

    EDIT: To be fair, the video's not really that bad, but I'm not sure why someone would assume that the game was being set up to fail rather than it being a wacky marketing stunt. He even says that it's a fake 18 rating at one point but doesn't really expand on that.
    He had several people help him translate the cover/manual, but I guess they missed the "For All Ages" text or he just ignored it because it didn't go with the narrative. Also, he never really mentions the humor of the cover (the whole point of it), so I'm not sure if the translators understood it or what.

    Of the cover, he says "Honestly, it doesn't really make any sense whatsoever".

    Unless... you're Japanese! The cover makes complete sense. It's a silly yet bold gag. He incorrectly says that it's meant to look like a Japanese newspaper (it's not), and that the censored text is meant to intrigue the customer (it's not).

    It's not only that the video gets just about everything wrong with The Ooze. He says that, at the time of the release of The Ooze in Japan, "the Sega Saturn had already been out for a good half a year or so and the PlayStation would be dropping within a couple of months."

    The Ooze was released 9/22/1995.
    The Saturn was released 11/22/1994.
    The PlayStation was released 12/3/1994.

    I think most people on this forum are familiar with the fact that the Saturn and PlayStation launched around the same time in Japan. That's a pretty big miss there.

    It's relevant here because The Ooze was released in Japan almost a year after both the Saturn and PlayStation had launched, and there was very little advertising/retail space still being given to MD games then.

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    Hedgehog-in-Training Hedgehog-in-Training Family Brick's Avatar
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    I have a difficult time enjoying Slope's videos (and a bunch of other UK YouTubers he fraternises with). There's a real sense of pushing out samey 'documentary' content built on outdated articles or Wikipedia entries that irks me to the point of needing to unsubscribe from them & explicitly point out to YouTube that I'm not interested in them.

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    Outrunner
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    Iíve never seen the guy. I tend to watch Game Sack, CGR, Sega Lord-X...

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    Hedgehog-in-Training Hedgehog-in-TrainingSports Talker
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    I watch all of them, I know a few get things wrong but if I cared I would leave a comment telling them, However this one he seems to be well off the mark.

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    Master of Shinobi
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    FWIW, they are supposed to be entertainment shows, that's all.
    Lists of MD games: officially licensed (~925) @ cart sizes @ Top 5 @ Top 250 @ Sonic hacks @ best title screens @ Arcade ports (150) @ best European games

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