Global

Flappy bird creator releases his next creation on the world, world productivity plummets

Nguyen Ha Dong, creator of Flappy Bird, has been teasing his second game recently and it has finally been unleashed upon us! The game, called “Swing Copters“, shares many of the same gameplay elements of his first game, but might be even more annoyingly difficult than Flappy Bird! Is Swing Copters going to become the next Flappy Bird? Is it “fun” enough to warrant your time? Find out with some hands-on impressions!

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Is Kojima’s Silent Hills actually about aliens? Hidden message refers to The War of the Worlds

Earlier this week, we brought you some footage of players’ terrified reactions to Japanese video game developer Hideo Kojima’s upcoming horror title, Silent Hills. We played the short preview for ourselves and it scared the bejeezus out of us, leaving us with high hopes that the finished game would mark a return to the original’s greatness and that we’d be sleeping with the lights on in the not-too-distant future.

But what if we told you that Silent Hills isn’t just about things that go bump in the night? Or, rather, that some of those ‘things’ are aliens? A radio broadcast which can be heard during a particular section of the playable teaser, it has been found, refers not only to what is believed to be Orson Welles’ radio adaptation of The War of the Worlds, but suggests that aliens are already here, watching…

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Pic of the Week Round 2: WINNER!

Heads up, photo fans! It’s time to announce the winner of our weekly photo contest.

The number of professional-quality photos we received this week was nothing short of staggering, and it took a long, long time for us to decide on one overall winner (and of course three very honourable mentions!), but here we go…

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Six brand names that have highly unfortunate meanings in other languages

Naming a product is a bit like naming a child: the smart thing to do is to first imagine all the possible ways the name could be mocked and misunderstood, just like they did in The Simpsons:

Marge: ‘What about Bart?’  Homer: ‘Hmm, let’s see. Bart, Cart, Dart, E-art… nope, can’t see any problem with that.’

And if you want to launch your product into the international market – well, you’d be wise to do your research into what that name means in the country you’re trying to sell it in. We bet these companies wish they’d done their homework.

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Sharks go for the great taste of internet

When you hear terms like “the cloud” being bandied about, it’s hard not to conjure up images of internet infrastructure being some servers housed in slick network of Gattaca-style complexes, each connected by some glowing, neon-colored optical cables like something out of Tron all topped off by touches from other sci-fi films.

Although shown to be relatively reliable, the reality is far less sexy: just a massive fiber optic cable lying along the murky depths of the ocean floor. What’s worse is that our internet service is constantly under attack by none other than hungry sharks. These occasional nibbles cause companies such as Google to undergo costly repair and reinforcement projects at several locations of their own undersea cables to protect themselves from the ravenous fish.

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Hello Kitty will deliver your messages as part of a special campaign…from space!

Sanrio’s beloved character has embarked on a special mission this year–all the way to space!  

The “Let’s Send a Message from Space! Campaign” (「宇宙からメッセージを送ろう!」キャンペーン) is part of the festivities to celebrate Hello Kitty’s 40th anniversary in 2014. Our favorite feline friend was even launched into space back in June, and her makers are now taking applications from anyone in the world to display messages on the digital display board inside her satellite. Wouldn’t it be cool to see your very own message delivered from space?

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Godzilla fights around the world in these rare vintage European posters

Ever since he attacked his first village in Japan in 1954, Godzilla has been broadening his horizons. Seeking out mightier foes and playing to bigger audiences, the giant monster has done what other beasts could only dream of – garnered a following as huge as himself, with fans still spreading across decades and continents around the globe. An impressive feat for a beast.

One continent certainly went above and beyond when welcoming the giant to their corner of the world, as these vintage posters show. From Poland to France, we take a look at some of the most amazing Godzilla artwork from Europe. We’ve never seen Godzilla look so different!

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Hideo Kojima’s Silent Hills might just be the horror game we’ve been waiting for【Videos】

Those who owned an original grey PlayStation back in the day will no doubt be familiar with Silent Hill, the survival horror series that went on to spawn a host of sequels as well as a questionable feature film of the same name. The series has had its ups and downs over the years, and many feel that it has lost much of what made it so great to begin with, but it looks like the newest instalment is set to bring back what gamers loved about the originals: the kind of tense, tortuous, genuinely horrible horror that makes you consider keeping the lights on at bedtime.

Don’t believe us? Check out these reaction videos from makers Konami.

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Attack on Titan editor: Manga to end in 3-4 years

The University of Tokyo Newspaper posted an interview with Shintarō Kawakubo, the editor of the Attack on Titan manga, on Wednesday. In the interview, he discusses the popularity of the series, “The serialization is slated to end in three to four years, but Attack on Titan is a work that will be passed down from generation to generation for a decade — no, five decades.”

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Space retro to steam punk: Sailor Moon girls get awesome makeovers

They might appear cute and doe-eyed in the original Japanese animated series, but we all know Sailor Moon girls are bad-ass. From a girl who throws flames to a chick with the power to annihilate an entire planet or star system, this is definitely a group you don’t want to mess with.

Fans are now taking the warrior characters out of the Japanese school yard and re-designing them with costumes, expressions and rendered environments that portray them as alternative, post-feminist, pop culture heroes. Take a look at the team as you’ve never seen them before – bruised after a battle or hanging out in cyber worlds, these are girls who fight, love and never run away.

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A collection of 20 creative ‘sushi’ rolls that were invented outside of Japan

Love it or hate it, every country has their own take on sushi. While some of the creations, such as the California roll, are fairly tame and are now accepted as part of a normal sushi menu, we’ve also seen some of the odder versions out there, such as Hong Kong’s ‘killer sushi’, Nutella sushi in France, and my personal favorite–the absolutely adorable but sadly inedible cat sushi!

The quintessential component of sushi is vinegared rice, so while these creations can’t technically be called sushi, they’ve definitely taken a stylistic cue from the rolled shape of makizushi. And we have to admit, some of those fillings do look tasty…

Which of the following creations do you find most intriguing?

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Sushi-inspired wooden building blocks & other stylish, whimsical toys even parents would want!

In an increasingly digital world where toddlers and pets alike develop their hand-eye coordination with Fruit Ninja and Ant Crusher, it’s undeniably important to let kids experience the pleasure of tactile toys and natural materials. I still have the tsumiki (wooden building block) set that my brother and I used to play with; now worn around the edges but with the same nostalgic smell, the pieces still make a delightful and distinct clacking sound when they hit each other.

And so, after coming across a unique build-a-sushi set that has been garnering attention in Japan for its sleek minimalistic design, we rounded up a few timber toys from Asia that not only would spark children’s imagination, but would also look right at home at Anthropologie or the MoMA gift shop. With their chic sensibilities and innate warmth, even adults would love to have these playful objets d’art in their home!

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Here’s what $5 million buys in housing markets across the globe

If you’re looking for a pricey vacation home for the end of summer, we’ve checked out what $5 million can get you in real estate around the world. Our friends at Point2Homes helped us find everything from a tiny apartment in Monte Carlo to a 16,000-square-foot mansion in Qatar. Needless to say, $5 million should get you pretty far no matter what city you live in.

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Pic of the Week, Round 1: WINNER!

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, you have done us proud. Last week we asked you for your funny, cute, beautiful and inspiring photos from Japan and Asia, and by the beard of Mr. Sato did you provide!

Join us after the jump for our pic of the week, plus three honorable mentions!

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Fighting like cats and dogs? Not these cute little guys! 【Photos】

Sometimes just keeping up with the news makes you despair for humanity. Between all the war, racially motivated killings, ethnic strife, and general meanness, you have to wonder if we will ever be able to get along.

It’s been one of those days and I needed a pick-me-up, so here is a collection of photos of dogs and cats getting along. Because if they can manage to overcome their differences, maybe we can too.

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Geopolitical dictionary: Japanese net users turn countries into verbs

You know how in English you can take pretty much any noun and make it a verbderivation for the cunning linguists out thereby adding to to the front? For example, how the search engine Google has become to google, as in, “Why the hell are you asking me? Go google it, you twit!”

Well, you can do the same thing in Japanese by adding -ru or a handful of other suffixes to the end of a word, and some Japanese net users recently had some fun with this by turning country names into some very non-PC verbs.

Have a look at our geopolitical dictionary and see how your country fared.

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What’s this little green dinosaur’s name? If you said “Yoshi” we’ve got news for you…

Nicknames can be confusing things, especially when they’re the only name by which you’ve ever known someone. I can clearly remember the moment when my friend’s Japanese wife looked at me with a mixture of surprise and betrayal, for example, when she found out that Phil (or “Firu” as it’s awkwardly pronounced in Japanese) is in fact short for Philip.

But after learning that the same green dinosaur that I’ve traversed hundreds of levels, raced go-karts and carried baby Mario back to his parents with since I was about 10 years old isn’t actually called Yoshi, I can kind of understand why she was so shocked.

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These kids’ driving simulator toys still work decades later! …kind of

The names of the toys – Turnin’ Turbo Dashboard; Fun-To-Drive Dashboard – might not ring any bells. But the boxy red plastic exterior, the click of the gear stick and the repetitive roar of the engine that drove parents to distraction? Yep, you know this game.

One Redditor recently pulled his Dashboard out of storage and was delighted to discover that it “still runs like a dream”. Cue reams of nostalgic commenters flung back into their playground days, when kids could be kids and sit alone all summer playing 100-mile-an-hour driving simulator without prompting any hand-wringing or moralistic wailing. It’s time to raid your stash of enormous dry cell batteries – we’re going for the drive of your life.

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Nintendo’s Mercedes-Benz for Mario Kart 8 is actually kind of depressing

Nintendo’s business is in dire straights, and has been for three consecutive years. Perhaps that’s why the company let Mercedes-Benz sponsor three new cars into its cartoonish racing game for the Wii U, in the form of a free downloadable content (DLC) package set to release at the end of the month.

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Share your photos with us! RocketNews24 is now accepting submissions for Pic of the Week

Hey, you! You like taking pictures don’t you? Well how would you like to have your best snaps up on RocketNews24 for all the world to see?

Every Wednesday, we’re running a fun little contest called Pic of the Week. All you have to do to enter is send us an Asia-related photo that you’re especially proud of or think your fellow readers would enjoy. If we like it, we’ll feature it on our site and maybe even say nice things about you.

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