video games

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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Newlywed couple’s hearts beat to Beatmania with music game-themed wedding cake

A lot of times, the simulated situations of a video game are a lot more enjoyable than they would be in real life. For example, a Street Fighter or King of Fighters session is a pretty fun way to kill an hour, but it’d be considerably less entertaining to, in reality, spend 60 minutes brawling with a string of 10 or 20 dudes, one after another.

But what about music and rhythm games? Sure, dropping a few hundred yen into Konami’s DJ simulator Beatmania is cheaper than cover charge at a club, and arcade staff members are much less likely to give you an attitude than a front door bouncer, but the digital version doesn’t give you the same chance to form a connection with potential romantic partners, does it?

Actually, sometimes it does, as seen in this newlywed couple’s Beatmania wedding cake.

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Clean up your game with these amazing Game Boy cartridge soaps

There are few things worse than greasy game controllers. As much as we enjoy snacking while playing our favourite games, doing so can be a recipe for sticky, slippery disaster, so the mere sight of our friends reaching for our Wiimotes or DualShock controllers with their Cheeto-encrusted fingers can be enough to send shivers our spines.

Ordering your pals to go and wash up before handling your precious pads might not foster the most hospitable gaming environment, but thankfully there’s a way to make the situation not only slightly less awkward, but suitably more video game themed: by handing your pal a Game Boy cartridge-shaped bar of soap while pointing them in the direction of the bathroom.

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Super Federo? Those goofy Mercedes x Mario ads may have had some unexpected celebrity cameos

A lot of ’80s-era kids probably entertained the fantasy of meeting their biggest childhood heroes in the flesh at one point or another. And no, we’re not talking about Michael Jordan or other sports stars of the time. We’re talking about someone far less, uh… athletic: Mario.

Of course, had kids met the real-life Mario and/or Luigi depicted in this goofy and sort of frightening Mario x Mercedes collaboration commercial, they probably would have run for their lives and sworn off Nintendo games forever. But, beneath all the ugly prosthetics and hulking physiques of these game heroes come to life, there may have been, at least according to Japanese netizens, some far more approachable real-life athletes.

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Japanese gamers share their most memorable Mario Kart moments

Mario Kart. We don’t know a single person who claims not to like it at least a little bit, and with its 22-year history and eight (11 if you count the arcade iterations) distinct outings to date, pretty much everyone has zipped around at least one of Nintendo’s crazy cartoony tracks at some point in their life.

News site MyNavi Woman recently polled gamers all over Japan about their most memorable Mario Kart experiences, 13 of which we’ve listed after the jump for your reading and reminiscing pleasure. Honestly, we don’t think there’s a single one here that didn’t have us nodding in agreement.

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Talented fan artist reimagines 50 famous manga heroes as 8-bit Mega Man characters

If you’re a gamer who’s too young to remember when Sega made consoles or having six buttons on a controller was a big deal, you might look back on 8-bit video game artwork and chuckle. With everything made out of blocky pixels, it’s impossible to create the sort of fine details that modern hardware easily renders to differentiate one character from another, isn’t it?

Maybe not, as one fan has put his old-school pixel art skills to use to recreate 50 different famous manga heroes, all in the style of the original Mega Man.

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Nintendo and Niconico are looking to pay you to use their copyrighted material

People who post game demonstrations such as walkthroughs and speed runs on video websites certainly put in a fair bit of effort in them. And for some part they’re acknowledged by those who view the videos. Heck, thanks to them I could find every pigeon in GTA:IV and finally get back to my busy life of eating pudding.

As such it’s not unreasonable to say they deserve some compensation for their efforts – just as long as it doesn’t come out of my pudding budget. But because they are working with copyrighted source material, it’s not always easy for these creative game enthusiasts to get paid.

Now, game-maker Nintendo and video site Niconico Douga are working together in the Creators Incentive Program in which rather than punish those who infringe on copyrights from holders like Nintendo, they will be given incentives based on the number of views they can rake in with their works.

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Youkai Watch set to embrace modernity with new “Youkai Pad” accessory

Okay, so Youkai Watch is a cultural juggernaut in Japan these days, capturing kids’ hearts and enslaving them like so many collectible youkai monsters. But despite the brilliant marketing behind the franchise (how about something exactly like Pokémon… but with… traditional Japanese Youkai?! Genius!) we’ve often thought that the concept of using a common watch as a crux to base the whole thing on seems a bit, hmm, old-fashioned. Who even wears a wristwatch anymore, when we all have the time displayed on our various smartphones and other electronic devices? Well, it seems that the people pulling the strings have now decided to switch their merchandising focus from watches to tablets, taking inspiration from the “Youkai Pad” used by supporting character Whisper to call up information on various Youkai. (No, no, it’s nothing like a Pokédex. Honest.) The brand-new “Youkai Pad” is set for release early next year, and already fans have begun to slaver over it like hungry dogs at a barbecue.

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Fans on the floor create awesome anime and Disney carpet art in Japan【Photos】

Very few Japanese homes have installed carpeting. Older houses and apartments often have tatami reed mats, and in newer places you’ll usually find tile, wood, or rubberized flooring.

That’s not to say people in Japan can’t appreciate a nice bit of soft fuzziness between their toes, though. Even without permanent carpeting, many people will toss a carpeted mat on the floor to make their living or bedroom extra comfy, especially during the colder part of the year.

Of course, cold weather also means spending more time indoors, with extra time on your hands, and sometimes that patch of carpeting becomes a canvas for some seriously cool fan art.

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One of the hottest video games has some hilarious glitches

The latest game in Ubisoft’s flagship “Assassin’s Creed” series, “Assassin’s Creed Unity,” was released this week. And so far, it’s been anything but smooth sailing.

Right away players reported a bunch of glitches which almost made the game unplayable.

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Akiba Stealth: Assassin’s Creed brought to Akihabara in “real-life” prior to game release【Video】

Imagine yourself walking through the busy streets of Akihabara (or Akiba), Tokyo’s electronics and gaming haven (a.k.a. otaku central), when suddenly, a nerdy guy busts his way out of a dark alley and does a flip over a passer-by, with guards tailing him by only inches. Surprised? Welcome to “Akiba Stealth.”

In preparation for the November 20 Japanese release of the newest game in the Assassin’s Creed series, “Unity,” the creators, Ubisoft, came out with a promotional video, entitled “Akiba Stealth,” to get the attention of the Japanese fan base. The video is supposed to be a “real-life” Assassin’s Creed in Akihabara, lovingly dubbed “Ota-ssin’s Creed.” (Get it? Otaku + assassinotassin. No?)

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Korean netizens go nuts for Russian cosplay cutie【Photos】

Cosplay: when it’s done wrong, it’s hilarious. But when it’s done right, it can be genuinely impressive. Of course, it helps to be super-cute if you want to gain attention from your cosplaying exploits, and it’s certainly paid off for RocksyChan, a Russian cosplayer who has Korean netizens drooling over her photos and scrambling to find out more about her. This, in turn, has led to net users in Japan taking an interest in the willowy beauty. Let’s take a look at some of her best work!

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The weird reason why video games are released on Tuesdays

It wasn’t easy being Sega in the 1980s and ’90s. It had to compete with one of the best-known companies on the planet, Nintendo, which was responsible for bringing back the video game market from the dead.

But Sega had some tricks up its sleeve. Namely, releasing a 16-bit console, the Genesis, before Nintendo could release its version, the Super Nintendo.

Sega also had an amazing idea for how to hype up the sequel to its biggest game.

The original “Sonic the Hedgehog” was released in 1991, and was an instant hit. When it was time for the sequel, which introduced Sonic’s sidekick Tails to the world, Sega knew it needed to do more than just release the game. It needed to make an impact.

In the book “Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle That Defined a Generation,” which is based on more than 200 interviews with former Sega and Nintendo employees, Blake Harris describes how Sega’s crack marketing team of Al Nilsen and Madeline Schroeder decided to celebrate the launch.

They needed something “Sonic-worthy.”

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Make (lots and lots of) room for this enormous new Taiko no Tatsujin controller from Hori

Drumming game Taiko no Tatsujin has become something of a poster child for Japanese video arcades over the years, with pretty much every piece of movie or TV footage which shows a Japanese game centre including shots of either smiling schoolgirls or wildly flailing pros thumping away on one of the game’s giant plastic taiko drums in time with the cutesy on-screen icons and J-pop beats.

Up until now, diehard fans of the series had to make do with flimsy miniature drum controllers for their phones and games consoles whenever they couldn’t make it to an actual arcade to challenge their top scores, but peripheral maker Hori has just unveiled the ultimate home taiko experience in the form of the Taiko no Tatsujin Controller Proan enormous drum controller being rolled out for the launch of upcoming Wii and Wii U title Taiko no Tatsujin: Tokumori!

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Life-size Attack on Titan statues coming soon to Universal Studios Japan

Who does a 15-meter naked giant make marketing deals with? Anyone he wants, apparently.

Just days ago, we heard about the upcoming crossover between hit anime and manga Attack on Titan and Marvel Comics, which as of 2009 has been a subsidiary of Disney. Still, that isn’t stopping the Titans from playing both sides of the fence, as Tokyo Disneyland’s major theme park rival has just announced that two life-size Titan statues are coming to Universal Studios Japan.

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Gamer newlyweds see eye-to-eye as they slice their wedding cake with Zelda’s Master Sword

There are two things that I think stand out as particularly memorable from my oldest brother’s wedding ceremony. One is the stuttering mess of a toast I gave as his best man. The other is that he and his wife cut their cake with an honest to God sword, since my brother, being a member of the Marine Corps, got married in his dress uniform, complete with Mameluke saber.

It definitely made for a much more dramatic effect than slicing up dessert with some puny kitchen knife, and you might now find yourself wondering how you could incorporate a similar idea for your own wedding reception. Thankfully, you don’t even need an official work blade, just a love of iconic video games, as demonstrated by the couple in Japan that cut their cake with the The Legend of Zelda’s Master Sword.

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Gorgeous animated video shows Hatsune Miku as designed by Final Fantasy’s Tetsuya Nomura

Given the massive success he’s since enjoyed as a video game character designer and director, it’s almost hard to remember how skeptical everyone initially was about Square Enix’s Tetsuya Nomura. When he stepped up to the plate as character designer for Final Fantasy VII, long-time fans were uneasy about his ability to fill the boots of predecessor and renowned artist Yoshitaka Amano. When Nomura announced Kingdom Hearts, a new series that would blend characters from Final Fantasy games and Disney animation, early reactions ranged from puzzled silence to nervous laughter.

Fast-forward 15 years, and Nomura has established himself as the single most influential person behind those two Square Enix franchises. As a matter of fact, his skills are now in so much demand that he’s produced his take on virtual idol Hatsune Miku, which was recently shown off in gorgeous animated form.

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A tiny, epic ode to Nintendo: Zelda and Super Mario 64’s worlds recreated as miniature dioramas

We all know that Japan does “small” well. Whether it’s microtechnology, tiny houses or bonsai, the Japanese are known for their dexterity and being attentive to the tiniest detail.

But a hobbyist and Niconico Douga user known simply as “A” takes attention to detail to a whole new level. In a homage to the three-dimensional worlds created by video game giants Nintendo, A has constructed an ultra-detailed diorama based on the first level of Nintendo 64 classic Super Mario 64 and even recreated the entire world map from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time on a scale so small we could barely believe our eyes when we first saw it.

How small are we talking? Find out after the jump!

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Presidential Pokémon have our vote as today’s coolest fan art

Japanese animation and video games have a long-standing tradition of creating cute and/or super powered versions of prominent figures from the country’s history. In the U.S., we don’t really do this as often, and you might jump to the conclusion that the deck is stacked in Japan’s favor, seeing as how so many of their rulers were also katana-carrying samurai.

But dig a little deeper and you’ll find plenty of action protagonist potential among American presidents, from Abraham Lincoln’s wrestling skills to Andrew Jackson’s well-documented love of shooting dudes. And as for making them adorable? Leave that to Utah artist Brandon Dayton, who’s reimagined nine Pokémon as U.S. heads of state.

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Japanese ad for new PlayStation 4 function “Share Play” is surprisingly touching

There’s a stereotype about women and games. We can’t aim, we have no attention span, we only like cutesy games, we have to get our brothers/boyfriends/guy friends to clear the hard missions for us.

Well, this incredible advert for PlayStation 4’s Share Play - a new feature which allows PS4 owners to hop in and out of their friends’ games and even take full control without having to own a copy of the game – is set to smash those misconceptions like the proverbial glass ceiling! Watch as this Japanese girl gamer goes from zero to hero on her path to becoming the Goddess of Aiming!

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