arcade

Mario Kart Arcade Grand Prix DX screeching into game centres across Japan this month

Mario Kart Arcade Grand Prix DX screeching into game centres across Japan this month

Start your engines, boys and girls! Long-running racing series Mario Kart is making its third entry into the arcade scene, with Mario Kart Arcade Grand Prix DX launching this July in Japanese video arcades!

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Kawasaki’s ‘Digital Kowloon Walled City’

Kawasaki’s ‘Digital Kowloon Walled City’

Every city has its bad parts and areas to avoid, but there’s no denying that these less favorable areas give even the poshest urban centers something to talk about. While Kowloon Walled City no longer exists, its fixture in popular imagination will likely persist for decades, if not centuries.

In 1987, the city housed 33,000 people in 6.5 acres and was largely lawless, though informal social structures naturally emerged among the citizens. The city, as you might expect, has been the inspiration and setting for many fictional works, from books to movies to video games. And, now, it’s provided inspiration for a unique business venture in Japan.

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Bad Guy Japan: Our Reporter Stumbles Upon Anti-Japanese Shooting Game in Myanmar Arcade

Bad Guy Japan: Our Reporter Stumbles Upon Anti-Japanese Shooting Game in Myanmar Arcade

As a lifelong gamer, I’ve often wondered how those who share their nationality with video game bad guys feel when they are confronted with their on-screen countrymen’s antics. Being a native Brit, more often than not I’m able to sit back and have my ego massaged when I play my games as my countrymen are usually portrayed as, or are at least in league with, the heroes and champions of justice. (Although I consent that U.S. directors’ penchant for nefarious villains with English accents sometimes provides us with exceptions to the rule.) But what of all the German gamers who are tasked with mowing down their fellow nationals in literally dozens of World War II shooters? How many times have Russians had to sit through lazy depictions of vodka-swilling madmen in leather coats holding the detonators to nuclear weapons? As Disney’s latest movie Wreck it Ralph taught us in its own cutesy way, it’s not much fun being the designated bad guy all the time.

During his recent trip to Myanmar, our reporter Go decided to scratch his game itch by calling into a video game arcade and seeing what kind of electronic distractions the locals were spending their change on. Little did he know, however, that he was about to come face to face with an arcade cabinet decorated with cartoon images of deranged Japanese soldiers, just begging to be shot in the head.

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【Only in Japan】There’s Something Terribly Wrong With This Whac-A-Mole Game

【Only in Japan】There’s Something Terribly Wrong With This Whac-A-Mole Game

Everyone’s familiar with Whac-A-Mole, right? Even if you’ve never played the classic American arcade game, countless variations exist all over the world, all of which involve bashing erratic plastic animals with a blunt object.

One of our Japanese reporters recently stumbled across a very unique Whac-A-Mole game that keeps the basic gameplay theme intact, but swaps out the moles for something more…painful.

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Eyes on the Prize: A Look at Japanese Pop Culture Trends Through Arcade Prizes 【October 2012】

Eyes on the Prize: A Look at Japanese Pop Culture Trends Through Arcade Prizes 【October 2012】

One fun way to see what anime or game series are currently popular with kids and otaku in Japan is to visit an arcade and take a look at the prizes up for grabs in the crane machines, or UFO catchers, as they’re often called in Japanese.

Unlike North America, arcade culture is still going strong in Japan and UFO catchers are one of the main attractions. Always found on the first floor of arcades, these machines are stocked with the latest limited-edition figurines and plushies of popular characters, many of which can only be acquired as UFO catcher prizes (or on Amazon at obscene prices).

Japanese toy company Banpresto has announced their newest lineup of CRANEKING arcade-exclusive prizes, available this October. Check what toys are hot on the Japanese arcade scene below!

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