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Kemco (abbreviated from Kotobuki Engineering & Manufacturing Co., Ltd., formerly Kotobuki Systems Co., Ltd. until 2004) is a Japanese video game developer that was known for making Bugs Bunny Crazy Castle, Kid Klown, Top Gear (Developed by Gremlin Graphics, who is believed to be the old name of now-defunct british developer Gremlin Interactive), Kemco is currently focused on producing Japanese-styled RPGs (JRPGs) and visual novels as Kotobuki Solution Co., Ltd.
Before Kemco opened their American branch, in September 1988 to December 1991, Kemco's games were distributed in North America by Seika Corporation, under Kemco ▲ Seika brand.
Why They And Most of Their Games Suck
- They ignored and milked their franchises to death, such as the Kid Klown and Top Gear franchises, that died because of this, they also no longer care about their old IPs nowadays.
- Speaking of Kid Klown, Kemco redesigned the franchise in 1994 and published the second installment of the Kid Klown series, Kid Klown in Crazy Chase. After that, they later ruined Kid Klown in 1997, with the last 2 games, The Bombing Islands and Soreyuke!! Kid. Soreyuke!! Kid was released in 1997 before the Game Boy Color reskin named Bugs Bunny: Crazy Castle 3 came out, so there are only 5 Kid Klown games. (Kid Klown in Night Mayor World, Kid Klown in Crazy Chase, Kid Klown 2: Love Love Hani Soudatsusen, The Bombing Islands and Soreyuke!! Kid)
- They even reskinned their games many times and the American branch couldn't get the rights with other companies, this will mainly focus on the American branch not being able to get the rights with Disney. (Especially Kemco ▲ Seika, a division of Seika Corporation.)
- Snoopy's Silly Sports Spectacular is basically a reskin of Donald Duck, which was released in 1990 in the west, which in turn was a reskin of Alternative World Games, which was developed by Novotrade Software and originally released by Gremlin Graphics in 1987, unlike the original game, it has only six events, Run Up The Wall and Pole Climbing are missing in this version, while the original game has eight events.
- Thanks to LJN, they already had the rights to publish Who Framed Roger Rabbit for western markets in 1989. It actually prevented their own Roger Rabbit on the Famicom Disk System, a far better game, from being released in western markets, so Kemco had to change it to Bugs Bunny.
- Capcom had all rights with Disney in America. After the first two Mickey Mouse games on Game Boy are changed to Bugs Bunny, Kemco of Japan later re-released two games as Bugs Bunny Collection in 1997 in Japan.
- The Real Ghostbusters / Mickey Mouse IV / Garfield Labyrinth are basically the same games, and they are a direct lift of P.P. Hammer and his Pneumatic Weapon without the permission of the original developers.
- Mickey Mouse: Magic Wands was originally released only in Japan (1993) and Europe (1995), until Nintendo released the game in 1998 in America.
- As well as Mickey Mouse: Dream Balloon, the American version is Kid Klown in Night Mayor World.
- Woody Woodpecker In: Crazy Castle 5 is nothing, but just a re-hash with updated graphics of previous game, Bugs Bunny In Crazy Castle 4.
- The Bombing Island (the mobile port) is a mediocre Kid Klown styled reskin of Bombuzal.
- They are behind the infamous game, Daikatana, which its Nintendo 64 port is even worse than the PC version.
- Even though many of their computer ports on the console and handheld ports are great, some of them are bad, like the NES ports of Dough Boy and Rocket Ranger, and the SNES ports of Drakkhen and Lagoon.
- Rocket Ranger wasn't developed by themselves, that being said, it was developed by Beam Software. It was also planned to be released in Japan, but eventually cancelled.
- They are notorious for their poor handling of licenses.
- One of the main examples is their DC licenses, such as Superman, Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker and Batman: Dark Tomorrow.
- Speaking of their Warner Bros. licenses, they lost their license to release Warner Bros.'s properties after the release of Tweety & The Magic Gems.
- They have also poorly handled the Universal licenses, with only two games published by them, which they are Universal Studios Japan and Woody Woodpecker In: Crazy Castle 5.
- They also refused to support Sega's consoles for no reason at all. The only game on the Sega Mega Drive by them is Top Gear 2, which was published by Vic Tokai.
- In the later years, they seldom or no longer publish non-RPG games, and its American branch was closed in 2007.
- They didn't publish or develop racing games in ten years after they developed Ijoukishou wo Tsuppashire - The Arashi no Drift Rally. In 2018, they published Super Street: The Game in Japan which even the game itself is awful.
- However, it also happened to Kemco America. Some of Kemco's games were published by Vatical Entertainment.
- Instead, Kemco's games are later published in America and Europe by Kemco Japan itself, since Kemco U.S.A. was closed.
- They also integrate too many pop-up advertisements in their mobile games. Any unpaid mobile games from them may bombard you with pop-ups. Some of them require you to pay for them in order to play them without pop-ups, forcing you to go to a store to buy a point card.
- They gave nearly no support for some consoles, such as the PlayStation, Nintendo DS, Wii, PlayStation Portable, PlayStation 3 and Wii U. In fact, they made or published only:
- 3 games for the PlayStation: Kid Klown in Crazy Chase 2, The Bombing Islands and Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker.
- 2 games for the Nintendo DS: Cocoto Kart Racer and Super Speed Machines.
- 2 games for the Wii: Sorcery Blade and 3 Degrees Celcius.
- 2 games for the PlayStation Portable: Mystic Chronicles and End of Serenity.
- 3 games for the PlayStation 3: A-Men, Asdivine Hearts and Revenant Saga.
- 5 games for the Wii U: Togabito no Senritsu, Alphadia Genesis, Death Match Love Comi, Asdivine Hearts and Revenant Saga.
- When they are primarily known for their RPG games in the 2010s, most of their RPG games are not very good, which means Kemco is no longer Kotobuki Systems since their development division split to become the company by the name of Kotobuki Solution, they also couldn't even make AAA titles.
- In addition, a lot of their RPG games received mixed reviews, and a few were poorly received.
- For how generic their RPG games are, most of them were developed by Exe-Create, and Exe-Create loves to recycle games even to this day with their Crappy/Generic RPGs made with RPG Maker, unlike Square Enix. Their RPG games look like cheap Flash games on the other hand with same as Asdivine formula, having lazy tiling and tons of reused assets.
- Revenant Saga can be one of the Generic RPGs, due to it sticks too closely to the established traditions of JRPGs.
- After they stopped publishing non-mobile games in 2004, Kemco U.S.A. wanted nothing to do with mobile games and published some awful titles from various developers for Microsoft's Xbox, such as Top Gear RPM Tuning and Chicago Enforcer, which both games were published by Valusoft on the PC platform, except for Yager and Daisenryaku VII on the Xbox, which they were well-received.
- Both games were poorly received, the North American branch was closed in two years because Kotobuki Solution only did mobile games in the late 2000s.
- They actually did many good games, such as Bugs Bunny Crazy Castle, Egg Mania, Mickey Mouse: Magic Wands, Blouder Dash EX, Top Gear and more.
- Despite their RPG games being bad in general, some of them are actually pretty decent, like Symphony of Eternity, Asdivice Saga, and Fantasy Chronicle.
- They were also formally known for porting computer games on consoles and handhelds, like the MacVenture trilogy on NES, Hostages and North & South, and Spy vs Spy and Daikatana on Game Boy Color
- However, the GBC port of Daikatana was only released in Europe due to the negative reception of its Windows and Nintendo 64 versions, and the Japanese version was available for download digitally for the Nintendo Power cartridge in 2001.
- They are slowly coming back to support Nintendo consoles since the 3DS and Wii U. Also, they and Nintendo used to have a good relationship back then.
- As mentioned in WTS #8, they returned into publishing non-RPG games in 2018 with My Dearest Direst Disaster in 2018, but it is Kemco's only 2010s and currently final non-RPG game.
- This company is something used to touch with Infogrames and ZOOM Inc. due to the NES ports of Hostages and North & South, and the SNES ports of Drakkhen, Lagoon and Phalanx, as mentioned above.