games

Return to the golden age of arcade gaming at the Japan Game Museum

Return to the golden age of arcade gaming at the Japan Game Museum

Located in the countryside of Japan’s Aichi Prefecture is a one-of-a-kind museum that houses an enormous collection of old-school video game cabinets and mechanical arcade games, not to mention what is purported to be the world’s leading pinball machine collection.

But the best thing about this museum is that you don’t have to just look at the arcade exhibits; you can also actually play them! And what’s more, the only price you’ll pay is the entry ticket, meaning you can enjoy all the machines to your heart’s content without having to carry a giant bag of change.

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Overall attendance down as number of games goes up at 2014 Tokyo Game Show

Overall attendance down as number of games goes up at 2014 Tokyo Game Show

The Tokyo Game Show for 2014 closed its doors this past weekend, and a record number of game companies showed up to display four times as many titles as last year. As always, the ever popular cosplay was a big hit and thousands of people came to buy the unique goods sold there. But what about the show itself? Was it the best attended TGS in years? Did it smash attendance records all around the world?

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The cosplay of Tokyo Game Show 2014 【Photos】

The cosplay of Tokyo Game Show 2014 【Photos】

The Tokyo Game Show opened up to the general public this Saturday, and we were right there in the midst of the crowds of attendees from all over the world.

With the event spread across the huge Makuhari Messe exhibition centre it was quite a workout getting from one end to the other while navigating meandering queues of gamers waiting for a chance to play exclusive demos, but somehow we managed it and lived to tell the tale.

While there were plenty of gorgeous booth babes around inside, I headed out to the cosplay area where amateur enthusiasts show off their home-made outfits, and often plenty of skin too.

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Terrifyingly terrific haunted house’s puzzles are so tough it has a continue system

Terrifyingly terrific haunted house’s puzzles are so tough it has a continue system

A few months ago, we heard about a terrifying haunted house in Honancho, a neighborhood in western Tokyo. Unfortunately, our backlog of terror entertainment was a little jammed up, and we weren’t able to get to it right away, but this week we finally went to check out Obaken.

In addition to the horror movie-inspired creepy sights and sounds you’d expect from any decent haunted house, Obaken also takes a page from video games, with multiple levels, customizable settings, and even a continue system.

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Silicon cyber cats take over the gaming world, one Nintendo 3DS at a time

Silicon cyber cats take over the gaming world, one Nintendo 3DS at a time

Cats, in all their various colours and sizes, are continuing on their path to world domination. Not content with the hours that owners spend lavishing attention on Nintendo 3DS consoles, their latest exercise in shape-shifting has them appearing as soft silicon sheaths designed to hug and protect your handheld system.

Not only will they keep your console scratch-free, these cats promise to keep your friends pleasantly amused, especially if you just have to take time out once in a while to reach that next level in the game. Best of all, anytime is playtime, as these feline companions will travel with you anywhere you go!

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Become an anime babe with amazing DIY jeans from Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel

Become an anime babe with amazing DIY jeans from Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel

Have you seen Nisha the Lawbringer? She’s tall and lean and rocks an awesome pair of skinny jeans. Only problem is, she lives in an alternate reality called Borderlands and spends most of her days fighting on the moon.

Your chances of meeting the animated babe just got exponentially better, as one dedicated cosplayer has revealed a technique to replicate the character’s trademark jeans. That’s right – the jeans above might look illustrated, but they’re absolutely real. Take a look at how they’re made after the jump.

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You go, girl! Ancient game of Go reaches out to Japan’s youth with trendy magazine

You go, girl! Ancient game of Go reaches out to Japan’s youth with trendy magazine

The Chinese strategy game called Go or Igo in Japanese has been around for millennia. The rules are among the simplest in existence but the underlying theory to winning is so vastly complex it takes a high degree of experience, patience, and observation to succeed.

Perhaps it’s that same complexity that’s keeping younger generations in Japan from picking a bowl of stones. However, that’s not stopping Igo associations who have developed the ultimate stratagem for hooking new players: a Go-themed free girls’ magazine with topics such as extreme go and finding your dream Go-playing soul-mate.

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Video game mash-up! What your favourite characters would look like in other games

Video game mash-up! What your favourite characters would look like in other games

Wouldn’t Nintendo characters look cool dressed up as other game characters? Take a look at these brilliant illustrations that prove just how great an idea it is.

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Do actually useful prizes suck all the frustrating fun out of those UFO catcher crane games?

Do actually useful prizes suck all the frustrating fun out of those UFO catcher crane games?

Japanese UFO catchers give the best prizes – if you’re talented or lucky enough to grab them. (Personally, I think it’s all about luck because after many hours and probably hundreds of yen down the drain, I’m still not any better at winning.) But the euphoria of a win is usually quickly forgotten, and you’re left with one more piece of tat to cram into your room. So what about if UFO catchers actually dished out useful goodies? Wouldn’t that be a real win-win situation?!

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“Denki Anma”: The Japanese traditional torment that you’ll be glad stays in Japan

“Denki Anma”: The Japanese traditional torment that you’ll be glad stays in Japan

Kids find all kinds of ways to playfully bully each other that adults might shake their heads at. In the West, this might manifest as little mean-spirited pranks like nipple twisters, convincing a kid to eat a whole tube of toothpaste, or to run up and touch the creepy cat lady’s house in the middle of the night.

But Japanese kids tend to take a more sexually charged approach. We’ve already talked about the intricacies of the infamous kancho – that mighty, two-handed violation of someone’s hind quarters that happens to every westerner at least once and lingers in their psyche for decades, yet the Japanese shrug it off as just another schoolhouse (or workplace) prank.

But one you may not have heard about is the long-standing tradition of the “Denki Anma.”

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Sesame Street Fighter, the most badass children’s TV show ever (if only there were a show for it)

Sesame Street Fighter, the most badass children’s TV show ever (if only there were a show for it)

I grew up watching the characters on Sesame Street count numbers, spell words, and sing songs about goldfish and birds. Even after I had outgrown the long-running children’s series, I had to sit through it again while babysitting my little cousins. And my guess is that many of you out there went through a similar experience since the show has been on TV since 1969 and is broadcast in over 140 countries worldwide.

How many of you then subsequently got hooked on to the arcade game Street Fighter II in your school days? I definitely did, and this guy called gavacho13 on Deviantart probably did too, as he has been creating some awesome illustrations of the Sesame Street Fighters!

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Scout Corps now accepting recruits for upcoming Attack on Titan Real Escape Games

Scout Corps now accepting recruits for upcoming Attack on Titan Real Escape Games

As its popularity continues to grow, Attack on Titan seems to be seeping into the real world more and more, whether with figurines (in both hyper-realistic and, well, potato versions) or replicas of the heroes’ 3-D maneuver gear. Soon, though, fans will have a chance to reverse the trend and experience the world of the hit anime first-hand at a series of Attack on Titan-themed escape games.

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Japanese game center turns bathroom breaks into potty play!

Japanese game center turns bathroom breaks into potty play!

When spending time at the arcade, no one wants to put a pause on the virtual fun. But sometimes nature calls, and the arcade consoles must be temporarily abandoned before someone suffers a busted bladder or soiled shorts. Thankfully for visitors to one game center in Japan, there’s no need to leave behind all gameplay at the bathroom doors. The establishment has posted a set of guidelines which make every trip to the squatty potty into its own sort of mini-game.

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Nintendo prepares to launch new gaming system this month as well!

Nintendo prepares to launch new gaming system this month as well!

As the next-generation console wars is commencing Sony and Microsoft are currently firing off their opening salvos. Nintendo’s Wii U sales have been lagging, but Nintendo has a secret weapon coming out this Christmas season that may just trump the competition in home gaming – a mahjong set!

I said “may.”

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Here’s your heart-breaking short story of the day, written on a 1,000 yen bill

Here’s your heart-breaking short story of the day, written on a 1,000 yen bill

Perhaps one of the saddest things ever written is Hemingway’s famous six-word story: “For sale: Baby shoes, never worn.” Though short in the extreme, it’s amazing how much emotion and information can be packed into six small words. Of course, Hemingway isn’t the only writer known for brevity, and the last 1,300 years of Japanese poetry have been full of brief but beautiful and poignant verses. But when it comes to terse (some might say inelegant) narrative, Hemingway was certainly a master.

However, we may have found someone who’s outdone the old drunkard! Too bad this one seems inspired by utterly real events…

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Niconico user makes cute, petable Pokémon with needle-felted plushies 【Videos】

Niconico user makes cute, petable Pokémon with needle-felted plushies 【Videos】

This fall has people across the globe down with a case of Pokémon fever, ever since the release of Nintendo’s first 3-D Pokémon game set, X and Y. Thanks to one of the game’s brand-new features, Pokémon Amie, it’s possible to build greater bonds with our battling monsters than ever before, by petting, feeding, and playing games with them. Still, not even that comes close to the adorable magic of having an actual creature to cuddle.

Niconico Douga user, Tatsuno’otoshigo (meaning seahorse), filled that hole in her heart by crafting her own Pokémon plushies with needle felting! Her ever-expanding pokédex of wooly little monsters is the envy of many collectors. But it’s hard to say if she’d be willing to trade. Her videos reveal exactly how much love she puts into each and every pokémon.

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Hands on with the new Nintendo 2DS: Plenty of bang for not many bucks

Hands on with the new Nintendo 2DS: Plenty of bang for not many bucks

The new Nintendo 2DS is out and we got our greedy little paws on the first one we could! Mmm…we love the smell of new game systems in the morning!

It’s not foldable and it doesn’t have a 3-D screen. On the other hand, it’ll play 3DS games with no problem and it’s significantly cheaper.

But is it worth your cold, hard cash? Find out below!

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Windows 8’s app store is infested with rip-off Nintendo titles

Windows 8’s app store is infested with rip-off Nintendo titles

It’s been almost a year since the Windows 8 operating system was released to the general public. Its aim was to combine the convenience of downloadable apps with the familiarity of a PC desktop in a touch-focused environment, giving us what could have been the best of both worlds. Instead, the Win8 app store struggles against its primary competitors, iTunes and the Android app store. It’s doesn’t help that developers focus the majority of their programming prowess on developing apps for the older and more trusted operating systems, iOS and Android.

However, there is one branch of the computer app market where Win8 has a distinct advantage, and that’s its library of highly recognizable rip-offs. Just look at this list of free game apps which make nefarious use of Nintendo’s most popular video game characters!

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Not your average game of hide-and-seek: Japanese kids go high-tech!

Not your average game of hide-and-seek: Japanese kids go high-tech!

Although some kids’ games will always be more popular in certain parts of the world than others – rock, paper, scissors is probably played more times in a single day in Japan than in the U.S. each year, for example – there are a handful of classics that kids all across the globe enjoy equally, one of them being hide-and-seek.

According to chatter between Japanese Twitter users, however, the classic game of hide-and-seek is evolving in the digital age, and where once the game was all about speed, stealth and cleverly planted decoys, mobile technology now has a role.

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What the heck is ‘kendama’? The traditional Japanese game sweeping the world

What the heck is ‘kendama’? The traditional Japanese game sweeping the world

The other day, I was trawling through YouTube looking for shamisen music videos when I came across an utterly unique video called “Tokyo Kendama Project vol.2 Utakata.”

It featured the traditional Okinawan sansen three-stringed instrument played by the mysterious Gosamaru and composed by Tomoaki Ogre, the beautiful dancing of Kumi Arikawa, and a pair of strangely hypnotic gentlemen spinning some… things through the air. I’d heard of kendama before, as I imagine most people with even a fleeting knowledge of Japan have, but I’d never seen the toy wielded with such incredible finesse.

Fascinated, I had to know more!

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