Coreland was one of the more underrated developers of arcade games in the 1980s. Their history is kind of hard to trace since they were often a contract developer and the company has undergone a few name changes and restructuring. I'm hoping you guys can help me uncover more of it.
The company originated under the name Hoei in the late 1970s and changed their name to Coreland in 1982. These are the arcade games I know of that they produced:
A first-person view shooter. I think it might have been the first game to have a female as the main playable character although you can only see the woman on the cabinet art and Taito's Crazy Balloon dates from the same year.
This shooter was one of the earliest games with speech in it.
Laser Base/Future Flash(1980)
Future Flash was the Japanese name. Hoei licensed it to the American company Amstar which released it as Laser Base in 1981. This was a shooter controlled with a trackball. Last time I tried it wasn't properly playable in MAME and I haven't played the real thing.
Take Defender, make it scroll only one direction and get rid of the rescuing aspect and you have this game.
Pengo was likely the first game made under the Coreland name and also the first game Sega contracted them to do. The only way you can even tell it's a Coreland game is because the creators hid their names in the roms themselves.
Pengo had various home ports. Sega licensed the game to Atari which made versions for the 2600 and 5200. Much later Sega released Pengo for the Game Gear, Mega Drive and mobile phones. There was also an Amiga version although it wasn't official as far as I can tell.DIRECTED BY NOBUO KODERA PROGRAMMED BY AKIRA NAKAKUMA DESIGNED BY SHINJI EGE CORELAND TECHNOLOGY INC 1982:9:1
The name describes it. It was something different anyway.
I quite like this game although it's difficult to describe. It was a shooter where your enemies are constantly trying to build a structure to the top of the screen. It was almost Tetris-like when you broke pieces off. Sega licensed SWAT to Bally Midway for Western arcades. It would be cool if Midway is able to release this unique game in a compilation today but they probably don't have the rights to it anymore.
Maze chase games were a dying breed by the mid '80s so I'm not surprised it wasn't popular despite being quite good. I am surprised it was released outside of Japan as it's full of Japanese quirkiness, one example being when an enemy catches you and it shows him in a dominatrix outfit whipping you.
The addictive music is still stuck in my head. This was better known by the SMS port.
I have only played this on MAME so I don't know for sure but I suspect this game may have had some kind of 3d imaging. The colour palette, the name and the way the title screen flickers make me think that. Or maybe it's just not emulated correctly. Either way it's impressive given the type of shooter it is and when it came out.
I'm not totally sure if this was a Coreland game but it's often listed as "Sega/Coreland". It was an odd sidescroller. Some of your attacks involved throwing money bags at enemies and having them turn to your side to attack others.
This one was published by Data East although you can tell from the distinct look and sound that it was made on Sega hardware. It was a shooter of sorts where you controlled a bug man climbing a tree.
Senryaku Game Bopeep(1986)
I haven't played Senryaku Game Bopeep or 119. I read somewhere they are unreleased prototypes.
WEC Le Mans 24(1986)
On another board someone informed me that the Konami games WEC Le Mans and Black Panther were developed by Coreland. I forgot to ask him where he got the info and if they made other games for Konami.
WEC Le Mans was an excellent racing game at the time(I love sprite scalers). Imagine released ports for the CPC, Spectrum, MSX and C64.
Black Panther was an action/platform game, very fast paced and unique in style.
I haven't seen this one but it was supposed to be a two-player co-operative 3d tank game. I read somewhere it was published by Romstar.
In 1989 Coreland became a subsidiary of Bandai and was renamed Banpresto.
From there the company mostly shifted from making original arcade games to anime based licensed games. The change was pretty drastic; they seem like two completely different companies. I'm not a big fan of Banpresto but I did enjoy the Dragonball Z fighting games on the Super Famicom though.
I'm not going to bother with the Banpresto side of their history for this thread but here's a timeline from their website. It tells how the company expanded into various non-gaming ventures as well.
If anyone has any more info on Hoei/Coreland/Banpresto I would love to hear it. Which games of theirs do you guys like?