video games

“2D vs. Katana” exhibition shows off recreations of swords from anime and video games in Osaka

Last year, Tokyo’s Ueno Royal Museum held an exhibition of Japanese swords inspired by the mechanical and character designs of landmark anime Evangelion. As cool as some of the pieces looked, though, you won’t find any scenes in the giant robot franchise where someone actually fights using a katana.

On the other hand, right now the Osaka Museum of History is holding an event that goes even further in bridging the gap between fantasy and reality, by displaying recreations of amazing blades seen in anime, manga, and light novel illustrations.

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Awkward: Official PlayStation montage features image taken from Wii U game, Pixiv user’s fan art

Take a quick look at the character-packed image above. That’s a whole lot of faces, right? And in the 20 years since Sony’s first video games console was released, they’ve all appeared on some PlayStation platform or other. Even if you’re more of an Xbox kid or a PC gamer, you have to admit that’s an impressive lineup, and for older PlayStation fans especially it’s bound conjure up a lot of happy gaming memories.

But in creating this image in honour of 20 years of PlayStation, it would seem that someone over at Sony Europe struggled to source one or two character images that really fit in with their vision. You’d think that being on the inside, an artist working for Sony would have access to a whole host of officially licensed images, but it looks like they decided to turn to the internet for help, using an image of Mega Man as he appears only in Nintendo’s latest edition of Super Smash Bros, and even borrowing a piece of fan art created by a Japanese Pixiv user, who later spotted their work on Sony’s official site. Awkward.

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Smartphone games turns mushrooms into cute anime girls, still gives foreigners wacky accents

There aren’t many foods I hate more than mushrooms. I’ve got issues with both their taste and texture, and, to my eyes, they just look kind of gross, no matter which variety we’re talking about.

But while I don’t think I’ll ever completely come around on the idea of eating fungi, it’s nice to at least have a different visual image for them, thanks to a new smartphone game that’s turned a half-dozen types of mushrooms into cute anime girls.

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We eat the Resident Evil curry, discover it’s very tasty, not at all itchy 【Taste test】

It might be hard to imagine, what the guns-blazing nature of its live-action film adaptations and later video game sequels, but the original PlayStation Biohazard, retitled Resident Evil for its overseas release, was remarkably stingy with its weapons and ammo. Having to make the most of every bullet meant waiting until enemies were as close as possible before deciding whether or not to fire, but being a fraction of a second too late let the game’s powerful zombies tear into your tasty human flesh.

As such, smart players always kept a green healing herb on themselves, to help fill up their life meter. Now, survival horror fans can use green herbs to fill up their stomachs, as Biohazard curry is now on sale in Japan. Curious to know whether a dish based on a game featuring flesh-eating monsters could ever be truly tasty, we grabbed a pack for ourselves.

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Street Fighter II creator Yoshiki Okamoto talks games and his new project, Monster Strike 【Interview】

When Street Fighter II creator and retro gaming legend Yoshiki Okamoto announced two years ago that he was leaving console games forever to pursue mobile gaming projects, many probably thought he was joking. A lifelong arcade and console game creator abandoning ship to work in the much loathed and parodied mobile platform? This must be some kind of pre-retirement prank, surely?

As it happens, Okamoto was dead serious, and – far from having retired – has made good on his promise to focus on mobile games, working with a protege to crank out one of the most successful mobile games of all time: Monster Strike.

Monster Strike has reached over 16 million players in Japan and Taiwan, exceeding all expectations and becoming a cultural institution in the game’s native Japan. Sensing it was time to strike out into other territories, Okamoto, game producer Koki Kimura and his team are now working to expand the game into the west and beyond. We caught up with Okamoto and Kimura in San Francisco at Monster Strike’s North American launch party to talk about the game and the industry in general:

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Life imitates (Sword) Art (Online) as Japanese gamers find they can’t log out of online RPG

The big selling point of online multiplayer role-playing games that they never end. Unlike a stand-alone, single-player RPG with a comparatively distinct path from start to finish, the adventure in online titles can go on indefinitely, thanks to periodically added extra content and the huge supply of new companions to go questing with.

But as appealing as a game that never has to end may be to hard-core gamers, many of them recently found out they were playing one that couldn’t, as the logout function mysteriously disappeared from one of Japan’s most popular online RPGs.

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State of the otaku union – Survey reveals vocaloids up, adult games down in 2014

Long ago, being an otaku, one of Japan’s hyper-obsessive subculture fans, made you sort of an outcast. People, especially respectable adults, didn’t really want to look at you, either out of embarrassment for your childish hobbies, or perhaps fear that having spent the last three days indoors had given you a case of shut-in cooties that would jump onto them.

That’s starting to change, though. More and more people are becoming comfortable identifying themselves as otaku, and while some still worry their fixations on fantasy are a drain on society, they’re definitely a boost to the economy, as shown by a survey that indicates spending is up in several sectors of the otaku world.

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Theatrhythm: Dragon Quest announced for Nintendo 3DS

Following Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy, Square Enix has announced a new rhythm game for 2015, this time using music from the Dragon Quest series.

When Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy was announced in 2011, some commenters thought it was a joke. But the game has been an unlikely hit, and Square Enix will be looking to repeat that success with Theatrhythm: Dragon Quest.

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Musician performs beautiful projection-mapped piano themes of Laputa, Frozen, Final Fantasy

Although director Hayao Miyazaki gets the lion’s share of the credit for the sterling quality of Studio Ghibli’s anime films, you can’t discount the contributions of Joe Hisaishi. The veteran composer’s musical scores are timeless and ethereal, and there’s no better visual compliment to their mix of trepidation and adventurousness than the moving pictures of Japan’s most respected animation house.

The beautiful projection mapping that accompanies this stirring piano cover of the ending theme to Castle in the Sky Laputa is a close second, though.

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New smartphone game turns car models into anime girls with model-worthy looks

For generations, automobile marketers have relied a tried and true method. Whether it’s an elegantly dressed woman stepping out of a luxury sedan in a TV commercial or a mini-skirted model draped over the hood of a sports coupe at an auto show, a quick way to make a car look appealing is by showing it next to an appealing-looking woman.

The company Autoc One is taking that concept one step further, though. What if, instead of showing a cute girl next to the car, you made the car itself a cute girl? You’d end up with something like Shanago Collection, Autoc One’s smartphone game starring anthropomorphized cars from Mazda, Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, and more.

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Japanese convenience store’s registers play Final Fantasy victory theme for special items 【Video】

Although video game developer Square Enix had dabbled in a few direct follow-ups here and there, whenever the counter for its Final Fantasy role-playing franchise rolls over to a new numbered sequel, the company completely ditches the old cast of heroes and villains, and even the previous game’s world.

But even if the narrative is starting from scratch each time, that doesn’t mean the games aren’t connected. For example, every Final Fantasy has scenes where the player rides on airships or horse-sized flightless birds called chocobos. The cursor is always a white glove with a pointing index finger, and major victories in battle are marked by the sounds of the series’ instantly recognizable “Victory Fanfare.”

Gamers have already heard the short but sweet melody played by the NES, Super NES, and PlayStations 1 through 3, and this month, they can look forward to hearing it someplace new: at the register of Lawson convenience stores when they purchase special items.

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Put some old-school in your new-gen with this 20th Anniversary special edition PlayStation 4

The original PlayStation turned 20 years old yesterday, so to mark the occasion Sony Computer Entertainment has unveiled a special limited-edition “20th Anniversary” PlayStation 4 console pimped out with the original 32-bit PlayStation’s colour scheme and logo as well as commemorative etching on both the console and controller.

Sexy hardware photos and videos after the jump!

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Popular TV show’s awe-inspiring Mario dance number is geektastically cool

Quick, what is the geekiest thing you can imagine ever possibly happening? Is it four grown adults dressed like Mario characters dancing a Mario-themed, choreographed dance to classic Mario music, on a stage replete with several thousand-dollar Mario-themed props, in front of a crowd that is only passively aware of the Mario franchise at best, plus those guys from Duck Dynasty and some shirtless guy?

Well, if you were thinking of that oddly specific scenario, you are way off base, because one couple on Dancing with the Stars just made Mario-themed dancing about the coolest, most mainstream thing around with a beautifully choreographed routine that is proving a major YouTube hit.

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Sony’s PlayStation turns 20 years old, we look back at how it all began and the games we loved

If you grew up in the ’90s, chances are the original PlayStation was a part of your life. Arriving on the console scene long after rivals Nintendo and Sega, PlayStation was an altogether different kind of beast. Its games shipped on CDs, it boasted spiffy three-dimensional graphics, and one of its flagship titles even featured music by abrasive electro pop group The Prodigy. It may have been a dull grey slab of plastic, but PlayStation was the console that all the cool kids wanted.

By some cruel trick played on us by the forces of nature, Sony’s original PlayStation turns 20 years old today. This makes us feel tremendously bitter and old, but at the same time we thought this would be a good opportunity to look back at some of the great games that came into being through the console, and also to revisit the surprisingly dramatic tale of how PlayStation was born.

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The 20 most fun PlayStation titles, as picked by Japanese gamers

Two decades ago, Sony had displayed about as much skill in producing video games as Nintendo had Hollywood movies. Sure, Sony had published games sporadically under its Sony Imagesoft brand, but it’s hard to build much consumer goodwill with such a small catalogue of titles, especially when most of said titles are terrible.

Then, on December 3, 1994, the company launched the original PlayStation. While the 3DO and CD-i of fellow electronics manufacturers Panasonic and Phillips would both end in ignominious failure, Sony would go on to slice itself a very large piece of the pie in its new industry, dominating two generations of console gaming and remaining competitive ever since.

Of course, hardware isn’t worth much without fun games to play on it. Thankfully, Sony’s systems had plenty of hits, as shown by a poll of Japanese gamers’ 20 favorite PlayStation games.

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Tekken producer explains virtual reality girl demo ‘Summer Lesson’

Bandai Namco Games began streaming an introduction video previewing its demo software “Summer Lesson,” which utilizes Sony‘s Project Morpheus virtual reality headset to simulate interactions with a high school girl. Sony Computer Entertainment Japan Asia hosted a user experience meeting for the software this Saturday and Sunday, allowing around 700 users to test the software.

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Give your Game Boy a new lease of life with upcoming HDTV adaptor “hdmyboy”

Nintendo’s Game Boy recently turned 25 years old and is fondly remembered by people of all ages the world over. With more than 118 million units sold worldwide, it’s fair to say that the monochrome portable was something of a hit, and there’s almost certainly a Game Boy or two lying around in a cupboard or attic near you at this very moment.

A pair of retro gaming enthusiasts are hoping to breathe new life into the Game Boy with a prototype product that allows gamers to hook their original 1989 portable up to their modern, high-definition TV sets with zero fuss. Dubbed the hdmyboy, the adaptor is still in development, but with the help of backing from Kickstarter users, the guys behind it are hoping to bring it to the world as early as next spring.

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Turn desk time into battle time with this gloriously unnecessary replica Mega Man helmet!

Anyone who regularly reads my ramblings here on RocketNews24 will know that I’m steadily building up a sizeable list of geeky trinkets I intend to pester my loved ones for this Christmas. From chocolate video game controllers to bars of soap shaped like Game Boy cartridges, very few of my Christmas wish-list items would look out of place on a child’s letter to Santa.

But when the trinkets are as awesome as this replica, LED-laden Mega Man helmet, I really couldn’t give a Jimmy Riddle what anyone else thinks: they belong on the list.

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Jibanyan, Japan chooses you! Pikachu trampled beneath paws of Youkai Watch mascot

Recently, we’ve brought you several articles detailing the meteoric rise of new franchise Youkai Watch as it continues to steal fans and attention away from the much-loved institution that is Pokémon. Die-hard Pokémon fans out there may feel safe in the assumption that Youkai Watch, being more traditionally “Japanese” in feel, will never match the success of Pokémon in the West. Be that as it may, we now have conclusive evidence that Pikachu’s time in the Japanese sun is well and truly over as new champion Jibanyan ascends his throne. Join us after the jump for proof!

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Zelda hero Link’s other blade, the Fierce Deity Sword, brought to life in awesome video

While every game in Nintendo’s long-running Zelda franchise stars an elfish boy named Link who goes on a quest to save the world, each installment puts its own signature wrinkle on the formula. Wind Waker is the one with cel-shaded, storybook-like visuals. Twilight Princess is the one where Link can turn into a wolf.

And Majora’s Mask is the weird, dark one that would give little kids nightmares.

That’s not the sole distinction for title, though. Majora’s Mask is also the only place where you can see the awesome Fierce Deity Sword. Well, more accurately, it was the only place, since the awesome blade now exists in real life, too.

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