Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Late to the RIP: Fukio Mitsuji

Last night, while doing a bit of research on the games that appeared in the "cutie patootie puzzlers" post (say that three times fast), I discovered that Fukio Mitsuji (aka MTJ), the man who designed Bubble Bobble and Rainbow Islands, died late last year.

I'm not a game designer, so I can't talk about the mark Mitsuji left on the development community (like auntie pixelantie did in a wonderful tribute earlier this year). I also don't know enough about Mitsuji's career to talk about all of the amazing games he had a hand in creating (like Mike Aquin did on the Lonely Games blog a few months ago).

What I can talk about is Mitsuji's crowning achievement: Bubble Bobble. It's a game I've been playing for as long as I can remember, honestly. As a youngster, my friends and I plopped quarter after quarter into the Bubble Bobble machine that sat in the corner of the local bowling alley. We died constantly, but we kept coming back for more because it was as fun as it was difficult.

Hopefully you have similarly fond memories of playing one or more of Mitsuji's games. If not, track some of them down (a few are available on the Taito Legends compilations released for the PS2, PSP and Xbox, while others are available on Wii's Virtual Console service) and see what you've been missing all these years.

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