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We started this series back in March, with Capcom, so now it's time to finally get around to continuing it! This time, we focus on the creator of one of the greatest mutiplayer games of all time, Hudson Soft.
Hudson has a colorful history. Started by Japanese brothers (Yuji and Kuroshi Kudo) who were interested in trains (hence the name Hudson, a type of train), Hudson is of course responsible for Bomberman, the immensely popular multiplayer game that has seen countless iterations over the years. They have also been a close associate to Nintendo; they were in fact the very first third party vendor to the Japanese Famicom (what the Nintendo Entertainment System was called in Japan).
However, this doesn't mean that Hudson wouldn't later try to compete with them. Indeed, with the development of the popular "PC Engine" game console, Hudson succesfully challenged the Famicom with a system that produced more colors and faster, more furious games than the old NES could handle. This is probably best represented by the Star Soldier series, a classic shoot em' up franchise that is being reborn right now on the Nintendo Wii with both retro releases on the Virtual Console and the brand new Star Soldier R on the WiiWare downloadable games service.
This system was known as the TurboGraphx-16 in America, where it found only a niche audience. The Super NES and especially Genesis consoles were already established and dominant, despite the TG16's impressive capabilities.
Since then, Hudson is now known in America as a software publisher, and of course for Bomberman. Interestingly, Microsoft contracted them to develop Fusion Frenzy 2 for the Xbox 360, proving that Hudson's reputation for party games is extensive! However, it should be noted that in Japan they are also well known for a hit RPG series, Tengai Makyou (Far East of Eden).
More relavent to American Wii and DS owners, however, isSports and Star Soldier R. Deca Sports is Hudson's entry into the "Wii Sports" field of partygames. Despite a few lackluster early reviews, the game has managed a muscular 200,000 copies sold in Japan already. Star Soldier R is Hudson's interesting new take on the shooter genre: it's only two stages, with just time attack and competitive play modes. This effectively brings back the idea of competing for score on a modern game console.
Finally, it should also be noted that Hudson has been one of the largest and most dependable supporters of the Virtual Console, providing both classic Nintendo and its Turbographx-16 titles to the service.
Visit Hudson's Official Site