Widely being reported that on March 1st 2012, Konami will dissolve the remainder of Hudson Soft.
As an old-timey gamer, I fondly remember Hudson and the bee logo. From a very early stage, they gained my affection with Adventure Island and the ever impressive Bomberman series. Then later they worked with Nintendo on versions of Mario Party and the Pokemon Trading Card Game.
But for so many of us, their crowning glory is not in the beloved Bomberman series; but in giving us Bloody Roar; a fighting game with a gloriously devious twist – that is, a therianthropomorphic device (the ability to morph into a bestial form. And why yes, I do know some long words!) that made combat fast paced, savage and quite unpredictable. And despite its rough around the edges visuals, and that it wasn’t perfect, it wooed us with grace and style and a really devious and clever sense of humour.
Of course, recent years have not been kind to Hudson Soft; nor have their output been anything of major note. The shockingly awful Bomberman: Act Zero, the reboot that absolutely no-one asked for, wanted or could bear to witness was but one of many failings. Their impact on the industry was suddenly historical rather than current; cashing in on previous glories.
New entities were mixed; Onslaught was good, if deeply flawed. Snowboard Riot was average at best, and much of their iPod output was a mixed bag of good to average.
But I lament that a company with as rich a history as Hudson, as well as the fact they birthed upon us the addictive and glorious Bomberman, should finally be dissolved. It is true that they had seen better days; but it is never nice – or easy – to see an old friend finally pass on.
I shall miss you, Hudson Soft, and fondly remember the many good times we shared over the years. Time has not been kind, but what brief moments we shared of late weren’t terrible.
I can only hope Konami keep the spirit alive… many fans are begging for another Bloody Roar. It must be made so; if only to respect and acknowledge Hudson and their often wonderful designs in passing.
I shall light a candle on March 1st, and hold a minutes silence.
Goodbye, old friend. And once again, thank you.