During my journey back through these posts I have found myself leaving a few posts behind (with loads more to come, mainly apologising about being tardy in my updates. I won’t do that again – especially not to you. No, not you – I’d happily leave you waiting, I mean *you*). This one I have decided to keep in and expand on a little as it was not only unexpected but also very interesting for many different reasons. Anyway, enough of the intro, let’s go back 4 years already.
My next game is Aero Fighters and hoooooo, this is a game that signifies plenty of discussion. Thing is, since I started this quest I have learned a bit of history regarding Twin Galaxies and indeed the book itself. It would appear that the Twin Galaxies organisation have very few links with the Asian gaming scene, mostly the Japanese apparently and therefore games such as Aero Fighters (or Sonic Wings in Japan) don’t get the attention they deserve within the record books. This actually extends to pretty much all of the more modern “shooter” games and this has caused quite a lot of people in the respective scene to become disillusioned with the whole Twin Galaxies thing. You may have noticed some of the more negative comments on the 1943 page (the game, not the year you silly goose). They were from some of these guys at the shmups forums and if you fancy reading some of the discussions we had on the subject, pop along to their forum and have a lookie see.
It all started off a bit messy but in the end they’re just a bunch of guys extremely passionate about their favorite game genre who felt that the insignificant scores that Twin Galaxies had for their games were an insult to the true champions who have vastly superior scores elsewhere. I refused to believe that Twin Galaxies purposely neglect these games, so I set out to see what the President of Twin Galaxies had to say on the subject. I emailed Walter Day, who is an absolute top bloke – and he replied shortly afterwards:
Twin Galaxies verifies and reports scores on gameplay that it receives in hand via videotape or referees in person at an event. It’s absolutely certain that many players throughout the world can challenge the USA and British scores. The players who support Arcadia are definitely correct that there are scores in the far east that are the world records, far superior to scores in the USA.
Interestingly, games that have a big following in America are commonly held by Americans. And games that are big in the Far East are commonly held by the players from that region. There are very few instances of the same game being equally as popular both in Japan and the USA. If that happens more and more, we might have the opportunity to see which region is more dominant on those games played in common.
As for our scorekeeping activities, however, difficulty settings and ROM sets differ widely, making it almost impossible to compare scores. Also, many titles in the far east are not distributed in the West. But, mainly, the language difference and the vast distance of miles between the two cultures make it presently impossible to bring the two groups (Japan and USA) together.
When that happens someday, then the confusion will be cleared up and the world will know who the true champions are. Because, at that time, they will be playing on the same hardware and the same software.
You can publish this message as you see fit.
President Twin Galaxies
While this is shame, I don’t think that it’s the disaster that some people make out and certainly not a reason to lose respect for Twin Galaxies and what they do, they are a voluntary organisation after all. I would suggest that the people that are unhappy with what they consider to be “pathetic” scores on Twin Galaxies actually use their energies usually reserved for complaining about them to help them; by submitting true scores of their own.
Or don’t. I don’t really mind to be fair – I’m happy going through the book and dealing with it all game by game, hopefully finding some unknown gems on the way (I’m only 8 games in and I’ve found several already!). Hopefully, we can keep the “true” score argument to a minimum in the future of this blog and as I say, if any of you want to read more or discuss further, pop along to the shmups forum linked above.
Anyway, the game that caused all of this is next, Aero Fighters and you’ll see why in a bit.
Nicely put I think you’ll agree. So what about now? Has anything changed? Well, twingalaxies has lost Walter Day from it’s helm and has started to be a little more corporate than it used to be. Also, man – that website. Aside from that though, no, nothing has really changed. Looking through some of the Asian scores, they really do know how to play a game to it’s limits and while it would be absolutely ace to get a central resource for all of these things, ultimately I think it’s a step too far, if not culturally, literally. A lot of my respect goes to people getting records on a true arcade cabinet and to get these guys together or to agree on a single set of rules is wishful thinking and not massively realistic.
Hey ho, maybe one day. Until then we’ll trek on.