Developer: Irem     Publisher: ASCII Entertainment     Released: February 28, 1998     Genre: Shooter R-Type is one of the seminal shooters of the 80s and its influence is up there with Gradius in my opinion. As with any popular arcade game of the time it was ported to nearly every format that could handle it, with varying degrees […]

Hammerin’ Harry

Developer: Irem     Publisher: Irem     Released: 1992     Genre: Action Hammerin’ Harry is an odd series. It is very similar to Konami’s Goemon series in that focuses on one specific period in the country’s history, in this case the swinging 80s. Despite their absurd take on Japanese society that flavor was retained when they were brought overseas. […]

R-Type III: the Third Lightning

Developer: Irem    Publisher: Jaleco    Released: 1994     Genre: Shooter I love R-Type III!  R-Type has been one of the best series of shooters for almost three decades and R-Type III continues that fine tradition.  But the series did not have a good start on the SNES.  As much as I liked Super R-Type its technical issues […]

Kid Niki – Radical Ninja

Christmas of 1988 is permanently burned into my memory.  Like many I was excited to open my presents to see if I got a new game for Christmas.  What I didn’t expect was two.  Both Rad Racer and Kid Niki made that holiday special.  Rad Racer I still adore to this day even if it […]

Image Fight

Image Fight was a shooter that I did not have a high opinion of.  My only prior exposure to the game came from the lackluster NES port which sadly lacked what made it great.  The PC Engine version of Image Fight is an excellent port of a great game and one that provides an ample […]

Kickle Cubicle

In my mind the name Irem has always been associated with R-Type.  It’s no secret why; R-Type is one of the most influential shooters of all time.  But that one seminal game did tend to overshadow a lot of their other works.  On the NES alone they released many underrated classics.  Metal Storm is one […]


I loved Contra III.  It is one of my favorite action games of all time and blew my mind back in 1992.  But you can only replay a game so many times before craving something new.  Run and gun action games were not in ample supply for the then new SNES so any title in […]


Irem’s Kung-Fu had a tremendous impact on me growing up.  The NES port available at the system’s launch taught me a lot about game design without me realizing it.  The way it paced its enemy encounters, their combinations and placement, and even boss patterns.  All of these elements I learned subconsciously from that game and […]

Legend of Hero Tonma

Irem is not a name that I think of when it comes to side scrolling platformers.  The few times they dabbled in the genre were actually brilliant.  Metal Storm is one of the best NES titles you’ve probably never heard of.  For some god forsaken reason even though it is balls hard I still like […]

Undercover Cops

Developer: Varie      Publisher: Irem      Released: March 3, 1995      Genre: Beat ’em up      Platform: Super Famicom If you were to explore nearly any publisher’s back catalog you’ll find plenty of hidden classics that have gone unnoticed.  That is extremely evident with Irem.  Everyone of course knows them for R-Type, and rightfully so.  But they have […]