An Unparalleled Retro Collection

BrycecorpThis is BryceCorp.  An extremely gracious individual that owns and operates the awesome Kyodai boutique.  Kyodai’s brand draws its inspiration from Japanese culture and offers T-shirts, bags and other products that we western otaku salivate over.  In addition, Brycecorp also has one of the largest collections of video games we have ever seen.

We were fortunate enough to have Brycecorp take time out for an interview with ++Good Games. He has also provided over 150 minutes of video on YouTube to show off the massive scale of his collection as well.  By clicking through to these videos, you’ll see that he’s not reflecting on a few titles for minutes on end.  He is FLYING through his collection and it STILL takes him over two hours to get through it all.

What follows is our interview with Brycecorp and a few videos from his YouTube channel.  You can view his collection in its entirety here:

++Good Games: What interested you about the world of video games and Japanese anime/pop culture?

Brycecorp: When I was a kid, growing up, all I had were some ‘Game & Watch’ handheld devices. Yet, when the first real gaming consoles appeared in my hometown, it was a REVOLUTION! The Sega Master System (also known as the ‘SEGA Mark III’ in Japan) was the first console I owned. Following that, I owned the Mega Drive (known as the Sega Genesis in North America).

Fortunately for me, luck was on my side, and in my hometown growing up there was a video games shop owner who sold import games from Japan! He was a pioneer in that respect, for doing so — that was totally unheard of — especially for 1988. When I first gazed upon the Japanese import games, it instinctively struck me as ‘rare’ & ‘beautiful’ due to the gorgeous box arts. Shortly thereafter, I started to buy Japanese imports which, in turn, led to a strong interest in the Japanese culture. Coinciding with this, growing up in France, I was already exposed to a lot of Japanese animation such as: Saint Seya, Dragon Ball & City Hunter (to name a few). As a result, almost all kids/teenagers were involved with the Japanese culture through this medium. Presently, I’m less interested in playing games and have much more of an interest in the Japanese culture itself.

++Good Games: What attracts you about the Japanese-style of game vs. a more Western one?

Brycecorp: There are some big differences amongst Japanese and Western games. I’ll get into a few of the things that stand-out (though there are many more contrasts that can be cited). The most obvious and first thing an individual will see is the stark contrast in packaging. Stereotypically, the Euro/North American box arts are not very appealing. Speaking for myself, the Western package designs are not compatible with my tastes (though I feel many collectors will share my sentiments). I feel the Japanese are the best at designing the packaging illustrations. . . for everything!

Secondly, I started to like games because of Japanese developers like SEGA of Japan and Nintendo. Though I’m aware of ATARI’s roots in gaming, they did not resonate with me. Japanese games convey a different mood/feel. I (as well as many others) can see that their culture is inspiring them to make the games. Once again, to reiterate, I’m more compatible with the Japanese culture than the American culture. I’m more Mangas than Comics!

++Good Games: What are some of your fondest video game memories?

Brycecorp: Here are some games that meant a lot to me: Shinobi, Phantasy Star 1 & 2, Super Mario World, Sonic the Hedgehog, Mario Kart, Street Fighter 2, Final Fantasy 4, 6 & 7, Shenmue 1 &2.

++Good Games: Who are some of your favorite video game/manga artists?

Brycecorp: For Video Games: I’m really impressed by Shigeru Miyamoto. He created so many great concepts and characters! Also, I loved Yu Suzuki. Simply put, Shenmue was GREAT!

For Mangas (Comics): This may be cliche, but, I will say, Akira Toriyama (of Dragon Ball fame, and Tobal). I loved Dragon Ball and I still like it now. Other great mangas for me are: Eiichiro Oda (One Piece) and Kentaro Miura (Berserk).

++Good Games: Have you ever worked within or around the video game industry? If so, in what capacity?

Brycecorp: When I attended a University, I started to work part-time at a local video games shop. In hindsight, that was the first step for me entering the video game business. After that, I had an opportunity to work for a video game wholesaler — I was in charge of importing video games from Japan. From the get-go upon working there, my contacts with workers in Japan strengthened greatly — moreso than ever before. Presently, I have my own company and am selling video games and mangas to retail shops. Furthermore, I also distribute DVD’s such as Naruto, One Piece, Death Note etc…

++Good Games: How long have you been collecting?

Brycecorp: I began collecting approximately 17 years ago. [thinking] …when I had the Sega Master System (aka Mark III). I was a kid at that time, so, I didn’t have a lot of money. In order to get new games, I had to sell old ones for new ones. But, when I got the Sega Mega Drive, (aka Sega Genesis) I started to buy Japanese games, and (as stated earlier) the packaging was so beautiful, that I didn’t feeling like selling them anymore….I kept them as memories.

++Good Games: What do you consider your most prized collectables? Which were the most difficult to obtain?

Brycecorp: It’s hard to say. . . maybe ‘Chibi Maruko-chan Deluxe Quiz’ on Neo Geo and ‘Darius Alpha’ [editor’s note for Darius Alpha – it is said only 800 copies of this title were made] for the PC-Engine (aka TurboGrafx-16). I had the chance to visit Japan numerous times, so I could wait until the right opportunity presented itself to purchase the rare items at reasonable prices.

++Good Games: Are there any games you’ve yet to secure for your collection that you’re searching for?

Brycecorp: Yes, there are many games that I don’t have and would like to get a hold of, but I’m not in a hurry. If the right opportunity presents itself; then I’ll take it…but I’m not searching tirelessly to get the things I don’t have. I already have the games I really wanted to get and others are bonuses. I heard there is a collector’s version of a video game called “The Ooze” for Mega Drive (Japanese version) — this is the title I’m searching for most. I already have the regular version, which is already pretty rare, but the collector’s version is so rare that I’ve yet to even see it!

++Good Games: What is your personal favorite video game console?

Brycecorp: It is too difficult to choose only one system. My top picks are the Sega Mega Drive, Super Famicom and Sega Saturn.

++Good Games: Is there any significance to the Sega Saturn console you wear on your back in the videos you create? Was it inspired by Virtual On (Saturn/Dreamcast powering the mechs)

Brycecorp: You are exactly right! Virtual On is what inspired me. 😛 I’m not a big fan of the game, to be honest, but I thought the Saturn in the mech’s back was a good idea! So, I obtained a broken Saturn in Japan and I turned it into a bag.

++Good Games: Were there any gaming magazines you read on a regular basis growing-up? If so, what were they?

Brycecorp: I don’t really read many publications. Also, I’m less interested in actually playing the video games in comparison to my past. Although I do check www.the-magicbox.com from time-to-time so I can keep abreast of what the new major releases will be. Currently, I’m more interested in collecting retro games than ‘playing’ video games. Maybe I played too much before! So, even if I don’t have the latest news. . . I don’t really care. I still own the current generation of consoles, but I’m finding it difficult to find games I like as much as those from my past.

++Good Games: Legend has it, Sony still has 200 prototype units of the “SNES Playstation” console tucked away in their offices; have you ever tried to secure one for your collection?[source: Retro Gamer’s Videogames Hardware Handbook 1977-2001 Vol.2]

Brycecorp: I didn’t know that legend about the “SNES Playstation.” If it really does exist, I’d be happy to get one, but I bet it won’t be affordable. 🙁

++Good Games: Have you ever traveled to Japan? If so, do you have a gaming story or two that you can share with us?

Brycecorp: I’ve traveled to Japan many times before, though much less currently. The first time I went to Japan was in 1998. When I first stepped foot in Akihabara, I thought I was in a dream! Every five meters, a video games shop..they all had the games I wanted, but surely I couldn’t buy them all!! So, I was in a state-of-panic to make a selection, and choose only the main ones. At that time, my collection was small, so when I was surrounded by all of the classics that I ever dreamed of. . . it made choosing only a select few very difficult.

To try and create a clearer picture, imagine this: even specialty import gaming shops in France had only a handful of import games to put on display (and maybe some used second-hand imports as well). Upon arriving in Akihabara, one shop I entered had five floors full of video games! One floor alone was dedicated to Mega Drive!!!! One floor for Neo Geo, another for the PC-Engine. . . this was STUNNING for me [editor’s note: ME TOO! I’m reading this and am stunned out of my socks!] Now I’m used to this experience as I used to work in Japan for a while and buy video games in Japan for my customers, but the first time I witnessed this unGodly amount of games is a great memory I’ll never forget!

++Good Games: From a ‘gamers perspective,’ what are your thoughts on the state of the video game industry today?

Brycecorp: Speaking from my heart, I think all games are boring now. They all look the same and it is rare to find innovative games. Essentially, only sequels are released every X-Mas…I’m still playing, but I’m waiting for a real revolution. Currently, I play more with my friends, but I cannot find games that attract me for hours like before. Nintendo tried to make something new with the Wii, but it’s only the beginning of a new way of playing. So, I’m waiting. . . .

++Good Games: Video gaming in Europe has exploded, just as it has over the rest of the globe. How do Europeans feel now that they are no longer “left behind” with untimely releases and are now at the forefront of the industry consumer-wise? (they are now getting the respect they deserve)

Brycecorp: What you are stating is true. We, in Europe, have a stronger standing in the industry as consumers now (development-wise we’ve always had great & respectable talent and are moving forward with advancements in programming and technology). Prior to the original Playstation, Europe was the ‘last’ market that was thought of and developers/higher-ups didn’t show much care for us. Admittedly, in my eyes, the world’s best creators eminate from Japan, America & Canada. Europe’s sales for the industry have been strong and we are a ‘main market’ now.

++Good Games: Any final words for fans of your videos? What can we expect from “brycecorp” in the future (http://www.youtube.com/brycecorp) ?

Brycecorp: I would like to “thank” everyone that has taken the time to watch my videos and also thank them for the support. I’m hoping to prepare more videos in the future — but, alas, I have less free time than before. My dream is to make a real museum one day people can visit! For now that dream is not financially feasible, but maybe one day a sponsor will help me. 😀

Furthermore, beyond collecting video games, I also LOVE music! Not only do my Youtube videos show my passion for collecting games, but also the music I love — funky electro pop. I am always very grateful of those who show their support of my video games collection videos, but I’m even more happy when one enjoys my musical selection! Although I may not have the talent to create my own music, I enjoy trying to find memorable tracks that I can share with others.

Beyond my aforementioned hobbies, I enjoy hanging out with my friends & traveling…creating fun memories with those around me! Ultimately, those are what’s most important to me and what I enjoy most in life. Even if I look like a hardcore otaku, I’m happy to say that I have a life. I understand others may think I’m a little nuts due to my overwhelming collection — but, I always remember to have a good balance in life, and friends/family are of the utmost importance. 🙂

Also, I hope that everyone can get a chance to go to Japan and discover this great country. Not only for the video games and manga, (for sure!) but in order to discover the food, culture, unforgettable sites and Japanese people. They are respectful people, and that in and of itself, is becoming very rare in this world! Thank you so much again!!!

Official T-Shirt Brand of “brycecorp” http://www.kyodai.fr/boutique/

Originally Published on: Dec 19, 2010