On any given day in a Tokyo summer, you can expect the weather to be hot, rainy, or a sticky mixture of the two. As such, it’s usually a good idea to have a couple of indoor activates in mind in case you need a break from the sweltering heat.
Thankfully, Japan’s capital is filled with museums, and one will be holding a special exhibition on the cultural impact of anime, manga, and video games. We’ve been looking forward to this event for a while, and now there’s even a partial list of titles that are scheduled to be highlighted.
Back in 2012 when a bunch of 4chan members released a visual novel game based around romantically pursuing disabled high school girls, expectations were low to say the least. But to the shock of the internet, the game received widespread acclaim for its impressive visuals, story, and music, not to mention its sympathetic treatment of its characters.
However, despite being a game in a distinctly Japanese genre and taking place in a Japanese high school with Japanese characters, the game was originally written and released in English. It’s only now, three years later, that Katawa Shoujo (“Disabled Girls”) has finally been released in the language many people thought it was originally created in: Japanese.
We’ve been seeing online chatter in Japan this week about reports, originating from a French website, that an American church says the characters and storylines of Pokémon caused homosexuality in teenagers in the late 1990s.
The “phallic appearance” and even the names of individual pokémon were designed to encourage gay feelings in teenagers, apparently.
Half-way through April, all of the cherry blossoms are gone from the Tokyo area, and while it’s good to know that they’ll be back in 12 months’ time, it’s always kind of a bummer to see them go.
Thankfully, though, there’s plenty to look forward to as the weather starts to heat up. For example, traditional festivals and amazing fireworks displays take place all across Japan during July and August. Plus, it looks like there’s a new annual summer event now, as the city of Yokohama is going to once again be overrun by Pikachus this year, and this time it sounds like all 1,000-plus of the unbearably cute Pocket Monsters have come down with dance fever!
In a lot of ways, digital distribution of video games is a great thing, as it allows developers to easily add new content to a title after its release. It’s a double-edged sword, though, and that same streamlined pathway from programmer to player can also be used to quickly make changes that take things away.
A few weeks ago, we took a look at a smartphone game whose lonely, jaded protagonist and his mystical, jaded companion use their powers to make affectionate couples meet with a host of calamities, including straight blowing them up. Apple, however, is not cool with this sort of vengeful fantasy, and so the iOS version of the game is being toned down and given a new name since the original title, Explode, Real Types! no longer describes the game’s contents.
It’s been about a year since the release of Mario Kart 8, the latest installment of Nintendo’s popular all-star racing series. Well-received as the game has been, though, nearly 12 months on fickle gamers are no doubt starting to be tempted by newer titles from the Kyoto-based developer’s rivals.
That’s why Nintendo is getting ready to drop a new Mario Kart 8 DLC pack into the marketplace. Making a video game expansion doesn’t just involve a team of programmers and visual artists, but musicians too, as shown by this high-energy live performance of an awesome tune from Nintendo classic F-Zero.
As the development of the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset continues, software developers are experimenting with ways to utilize the new piece of video gaming hardware. Given Japan’s well-known accepting attitude towards dating simulators and other, more adult forms of electronic entertainment, it wasn’t such a huge shock that the country is already hard at work on Oculus Rift games that allow you to date, peep at, at straight-up paw anime-style virtual girlfriends.
But how about a VR application that feels incredibly Japanese without simultaneously being incredibly pervy? In that case, perhaps this simulated roller coaster ride on a revolving sushi conveyor belt through the Tokyo skyline is more your style.
In the video game industry, tri-Ace occupies an unusual place in that quite a lot of gamers have never heard of it. On the other hand, out of those that do recognize the name of the developer, many are intensely loyal fans, largely thanks to the strengths of tri-Ace’s Star Ocean and Valkyrie Profile franchises, in particular the games’ detailed worlds and combat systems that innovatively mix action and strategy.
So when tri-Ace was acquired earlier this year by mobile game developer Nepro Japan, many feared that the team’s talents for intricate craftsmanship would be wasted as it shifted to simplified smartphone titles. That doesn’t seem to be the case yet, though, as tri-Ace has just announced its newest project, Star Ocean 5, for PlayStation 3 and 4.
What are some of the most important years in your own, personal gaming career? For me, the most important was probably 1992, when I got a Sega Mega Drive (Genesis) for Christmas and played my first-ever videogame (it was Sonic 2). Oh, but 1996 was a great year, too, because Resident Evil came out and I got my first, unforgettable taste of digitized fear and found out that I have a deep love of zombies.
While we all probably have certain years that are notable for the particular gaming memories they hold, it’s undeniable that video games in general have made certain leaps and bounds in the last couple of decades, and some years in particular have had slightly more leaps and a few extra bounds compared to others. Just check out this video of the Top 10 Years in Gaming History to see what we mean…
You know how some guys who are anime or game fanatics like to refer to their favorite characters as their waifu? Well, things just got real.
The creators of an erotic game, Golden Marriage Jewel Days, ran a promotional campaign that gave their fans a chance to win life-sized cardboard standees of their favorite in-game heroines, in exchange for photos of their lives as “newlyweds”. Check out the lucky winners and their 2-D blushing brides after the break!
With the globalization of the video game business, just about every successful series sees a worldwide release. Sure, niche titles here and there might remain exclusive to Japan, but when you think about long-running franchises, like Nintendo’s Mario, Square Enix’s Final Fantasy, or Konami’s Metal Gear, it’s pretty much a given that each and every installment will make its way to the rest of the world sooner or later.
However, it’s taken almost two decades for one of Japan’s most beloved video game series to secure a release in English-speaking territories. The wait is just about over, though, as the phenomenally popular shooter series Touhou Project is finally making its official overseas debut.
I’m a big fan of the Silent Hill series since way back. The first time I stepped into that crazy, messed up-town way back in 1999, I was hooked. Of course, at the time I was a preteen and had no business playing such a scary game. Still, thanks to a parental lack of understanding/interest in video games, I was free to slash my way unsupervised through hoards of zombie nurses, all the while uncovering the town’s deep, dark secrets.
Of course, other girls my age were probably busy with something a little more wholesome around that time: the Sailor Moon anime. But what would it look like if you mixed the two? Well…
Adapting video game stories into live-action feature films is a really hit-or-miss business, and while we all have our own movie preferences, I think the majority would be in agreement that many game-gone-movie titles ended up as a bust. In fact, most of those titles listed over at IMDb barely squeak past a five- out of ten-star rating.
But the success of Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph (while not a movie adaptation of a video game per se), got us wondering, what with those pretty cool character cameos, why not ditch the live-action remakes and go animated instead? Some really amazing artists also seemed to have that idea in mind when they created their own character renditions of some of their favorite video game heroes (and villains)!
No trip to the Kansai region is complete without a visit to Universal Studios Japan. With a wide range of attractions featuring beloved franchises from Harry Potter to Resident Evil, it’s got something for everyone, and it’s definitely not just for kids!
Having said that, we’re betting that kid-favourite mega-series Yo-Kai Watch‘s attraction is going to be bringing in a lot of little ones and parents when it opens this summer! (Hey, it’ll free up the other attractions for the rest of us!)
All of you dedicated Mario lovers out there probably already know, but this year is apparently the 30th anniversary of what some might consider the most important video game ever: Super Mario Bros. Even if you don’t particular enjoy the game, you still have to admit that it’s certainly had a massive impact on the world of video games–and kept Nintendo solvent through so, so, so many sequels and variations.
Nintendo has put a site specifically celebrating the pearl anniversary of the mustachioed hero’s namesake game, but some Internet sleuths have discovered a secret lurking somewhere on the website! Check out the screenshot above to see if it has any hints, take a guess and then click below to see if you got it right…
Think back to your high school days. Wouldn’t it have been nice if you could’ve easily disposed of all of your potential romantic rivals in the manner of your choice?
Now you can relive those school-day memories and channel all of your jealous rage into playing Yandere Simulator, a stealth indie game currently being developed by a single man under the moniker of “Yandere Developer.” While the concept behind his game is certainly one of the most unorthodox ideas we’ve ever seen, you’ve gotta hand it to him. It’s not easy trying to get inside the mind of a mentally-unhinged obsessive schoolgirl with murderous tendencies who still comes across as an innocent angel.
If, like me, you spend the majority of your waking hours sitting in front of a computer screen, you probably have some kind of musical accompaniment to help keep the dark bunnies of insanity at bay. But it can be hard to find music that is both pleasant to listen to and not overly distracting while working, so you may find yourself spending more time choosing an audio track than getting any actual work done.
Thankfully, you can now get the music from Nintendo’s adorable community sim Animal Crossing right in your web browser as a free plugin for Google Chrome. And not only that, the tunes change depending on the time of day–just like in the game!
Given Mario’s reign as the king – or at least, like, Hand of the King or maybe Master of Coin – of the current pop culture nostalgia craze, it’s no wonder that we’ve seen a lot of Super Mario Bros. fan art over the years.
Most of it’s pretty great stuff, but few works of Mario fan art have required quite as much thankless dedication and time commitment as this recreation of the original Super Mario Bros. start screen recreated in an unusual medium. Can you guess what that medium is?
Those of you with an interest in the Final Fantasy series, mobile gaming, and/or the male form might remember when we took an early look at Mevius Final Fantasy a few months ago. The most ambitious original mobile title yet from publisher Square Enix, the Mevius development crew is made up of Final Fantasy veterans, and the visuals that have been released are far beyond what you’d ordinarily expect from a smartphone title.
But while Square Enix apparently isn’t skimping on the production budget, it was willing to give the game’s male hero a skimpy outfit, as the first promotional images showed the main character dressed in a costume that showed off plenty of his tanned and toned back and buttocks. If that was right up your alley, though, we hope you already got a good eyeful, because Square Enix has since rethought the design and changed it to one that exposes less skin.