video games

I am the one who knocks (you out): Street Fighter meets Breaking Bad in genius animation

I am the one who knocks (you out): Street Fighter meets Breaking Bad in genius animation

The only thing we love more than videos about our favourite forms of entertainment are crossover videos that bring them together in one place. Doing precisely that, a talented British animator has just made our Monday that bit more bearable by posting a video titled “Ryu VS Jesse” to YouTube, which combines the worlds of much-loved video game Street Fighter and smash TV show Breaking Bad. And the result is simply awesome.

Full video after the jump.

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Meanwhile, in Japan: Puzzle game Candy Crush hires girl’s nails as advertising space

Meanwhile, in Japan: Puzzle game Candy Crush hires girl’s nails as advertising space

Japan knows a thing or two about human billboards. And now, from the PR company that brought the world adverts stuck to girls’ thighs on the condition that the girls wear short skirts and knee-high socks, comes a brand new marketing idea: Candy Crush are sponsoring this girl’s fingernails, with a wacky, candy-based design that’s as bold and colourful as the game itself.

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Play video games, learn Japanese: Crowdfunded JRPG “Koe” reaches its goal with cash to spare

Play video games, learn Japanese: Crowdfunded JRPG “Koe” reaches its goal with cash to spare

I’ve always maintained that, while the method may work for a very lucky few, drilling lists of words and kanji characters is like trying to commit blocks of random numbers to memory – that is to say painfully hard work, time-consuming, and not in the least bit natural or fun. Rather, a better way to approach language learning is to encounter words in context so as to easier form cognitive connections and assimilate them into that which we already know.

So when I stumbled upon Koe, an upcoming role-playing game designed to help people learn Japanese as they play, I couldn’t help feeling a twinge of excitement.

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The original cast of Street Fighter II beg for mercy in model form this summer

The original cast of Street Fighter II beg for mercy in model form this summer

As we have come to learn over the years, Japan really loves its capsule toys and mobile phone accessories, and there’s always some cute new bit of plastic to attach to your person or use to brighten up your electronic devices. But for fans of the original Capcom fighter Street Fighter II (which is everyone, surely!?) we have some extra good news today.

A new series of models, showing the world warriors not in their typically magnificent fighting poses but on their knees and with their noses touching the ground, begging for forgiveness, is due to be released later this year.

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Censored scene shows newest Metal Gear doesn’t pull any punches (except in Japan) 【Video】

Censored scene shows newest Metal Gear doesn’t pull any punches (except in Japan) 【Video】

Once upon a time, the North American video game market was incredibly squeamish about gory content. The blood and guts present in Japanese releases were painstakingly removed, most hilariously with the North American version of Neo Geo title Samurai Shodown, which retailed for $200 in 1993. Apparently the game’s producers thought their customer base was old enough to have that kind of cash in their pockets, but still too young to handle the sight of a little crimson hemoglobin, so they replaced the fountains of blood that occurred in the game’s swordfights with geysers of what appeared to be highly pressurized milk.

Eventually, everyone saw how silly this was. Gamers as a whole were getting older and more mature, and the youth of Japan, where this kind of content had been allowed for years, weren’t turning into crazed remorseless killing machines. So restrictions were loosened, allowing games like Grand Theft Auto to top North American sales charts.

Now, things have come full circle, as a side by side video comparison of publisher Konami’s Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes shows less graphic content in its Japanese version.

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At long last, new Game Boy (yes, Game Boy) game “Airaki” on sale next month

At long last, new Game Boy (yes, Game Boy) game “Airaki” on sale next month

No, you didn’t just step back into the ’90s; there’s a brand new Game Boy game on the horizon.

It would seem that my decision to doggedly avoid smartphone games and PS Vitas has paid finally off, because a new game just for my favorite console set to be shipped out this coming April. It’s a medieval-themed puzzle game going by the name of Airaki and will work with many of the old Game Boy units. It’s about time!

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Xbox One finally gets a release date in Japan – We hope you’re not in a hurry

Xbox One finally gets a release date in Japan – We hope you’re not in a hurry

That’s right ladies and gents, despite its predecessor’s somewhat dismal performance in the Land of the Rising Sun, Microsoft’s games console-cum-media hub Xbox One is coming to Japanese shores after all. But it won’t be for a while yet…

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Newsflash: Sony unveils “Project Morpheus”, new virtual reality headset for PlayStation 4

Newsflash: Sony unveils “Project Morpheus”, new virtual reality headset for PlayStation 4

Sony Computer Entertainment has just lifted the lid on brand new hardware at GDC 2014 in San Francisco: its own virtual reality headset for PlayStation 4, codenamed Project Morpheus.

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Attempt at cute Pokémon cakes fail to win our hearts, may have taken our souls

Attempt at cute Pokémon cakes fail to win our hearts, may have taken our souls

It’s hard to think of something with less potential for terror than cake. It tastes great. It’s soft enough that it can be chewed with no problems, meaning that like diapers and long afternoon naps, it’s something that both the extremely young and extremely old can equally appreciate.

You can even make cake more appealing by shaping it like loveable cartoon characters, like Pokémon’s eternal mascot Pikachu. Surely there’s no way that could result in a terrifying abomination, right?

Wrong.

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Awesome origami artist recreates the creatures of Monster Hunter 【Videos】

Awesome origami artist recreates the creatures of Monster Hunter 【Videos】

Although it’s had only limited success internationally, in its home country of Japan, the video game series Monster Hunter is a massive hit. New titles have been released for the series at a pace of more than one a year, and the franchise can count 17 titles since it began in 2004.

Monster Hunter is popular enough that you could argue that it’s become one of Japan’s national pastimes, so maybe it was only a matter of time before someone thought to combine it with another of the country’s favorite cultural activities, the paper-folding art of origami.

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Free ninja robots mini-games for PlayStation 4 Camera coming later today 【Update: Now live】

Free ninja robots mini-games for PlayStation 4 Camera coming later today 【Update: Now live】

As cute and fun as it is, there is not as yet a tremendous amount to do the PlayStation Camera, the motion-sensing add-on device for PlayStation 4. Every one of Sony’s new consoles comes with a copy of The Playroom, a collection of augmented reality (AR) games which, with a camera plugged in, combine real-time footage of players in their living rooms with computer-generated images to give the impression of sharing the same space. But once you’ve vacuumed up robots with your controller and played a few rounds of AR air hockey with a pal, you’ve seen most of what’s on offer.

Thankfully, Sony has just announced some additional content for The Playroom in the form of NINJA BOTS, which will be available later today and completely free. And it actually looks kind of fun.

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Why doesn’t Japan like first-person shooters? Old characters and World War II, says Sega exec

Why doesn’t Japan like first-person shooters? Old characters and World War II, says Sega exec

Not so long ago, Japanese developers absolutely dominated the console video game market. As time went on, though, developers from other nations started chipping away at that massive market share, particularly as consoles and PCs become more similar to each other in performance profiles.

In particular, Japanese studios haven’t responded to consumer demand for first-person shooters. Franchises such as Electronic Arts’ Battlefield and Activion’s Call of Duty are practically a license to print money, with incremental, near-annual updates that open the floodgates on huge revenue streams for their publishers.

But could the reason Japanese video game makers haven’t embraced the first-person shooter have something to do with Japan’s history?

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Handsome anime store clerk is back, and this time he brought his Persona 4 costume

Handsome anime store clerk is back, and this time he brought his Persona 4 costume

In many ways, Yuya Uchida is like a lot of guys in their 20s. He’s a student with a part time job, and in his free time he likes watching anime and playing fighting games (also known as two of the most common hobbies for Japanese males).

One thing that sets Uchida apart from his peers, though, are his lady-pleasing looks, which have been winning him fans around the globe. The oft-bespectacled young man’s fan base is likely to grow further still when gamers get an eyeful of Uchida indulging in his third hobby, cosplay, with this spot-on Persona 4 costume.

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Looking to make your PlayStation 4 stylish and unique? This real wood case may be just the thing!

Looking to make your PlayStation 4 stylish and unique? This real wood case may be just the thing!

We’re sure many PlayStation fans in Japan have been happily playing away on their newly acquired consoles since the long-awaited launch of the new PlayStation 4 here last month. But electronic appliances and gadgets can sometimes be awfully difficult to coordinate with the rest of your interior decor, can’t they?

If that’s been a concern for you, here’s something from German wood product manufacturer balolo that not only looks lovely but also may help your PS4 blend more smoothly into the setting of your room — a PlayStation 4 cover made from natural high-quality wood!

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Sony gives PlayStation 3 game cases a facelift, netizens complain they can’t tell games apart

Sony gives PlayStation 3 game cases a facelift, netizens complain they can’t tell games apart

Stroll into virtually any games store and, alongside a wall of lime and dark green that marks the domain of Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and Xbox One, you’ll now find the sea of blue that is the PlayStation section. With its latest console, Sony went with dark blue for the majority of its packaging, with all games shipping in cases with dark blue headers stamped with the stylish “PS4″ logo. The cases are the exact same colour as those for Sony’s portable console, PlayStation Vita, though since Vita game cards are so ridiculously tiny the cases are roughly half the size of the PS4′s.

But now, PlayStation 3 games wearing the same colours as their PS4 and Vita brethren have begun showing up in stores. Clearly Sony is aiming for a unified look across its PlayStation brand, but some gamers in Japan are not exactly pleased about the change and say that the new packaging is confusing.

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Game Review: New dating sim takes you back to school days of flirting with soft-shelled turtles

Game Review: New dating sim takes you back to school days of flirting with soft-shelled turtles

In a country overflowing with every dating simulator game both imaginable and unimaginable it can be hard to carve a niche. We’ve seen games in the past where players challenge themselves to score a date with an alpaca, pigeon, or T-Rex, but for those who want to play the field of the entire animal kingdom a new player has emerged.

The game is called Kikenna Kare ni Koishiteru (In Love with a Dangerous Boyfriend) and in it you assume the role of a young girl who enrolls in a school of a variety of animals from soft-shelled turtles to Japanese horseshoe crabs. We took the game for a spin and now humbly present this review for your consideration.

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Special subway cars in Kyoto are perfect for travelling anime fans

Special subway cars in Kyoto are perfect for travelling anime fans

Kyoto is best known as a bastion of Japan’s traditional past, where the visual and performing arts developed during the feudal era still command the highest respect. Japan’s former capital is also making a bid to become a center for modern popular culture as well, though. 2006 saw the opening of the Kyoto International Manga Museum, and the city also plays host to the annual Kyoto International Manga Anime Fair.

Kyoto’s love for anime is truly a two-way street, as the city serves as the setting for numerous animated series. Apparently the relationship between anime and Kyoto has progressed to a point where the two feel comfortable with an overt display of public affection, in the form of a special subway train plastered with anime graphics.

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Why are these Chinese police officers torching dozens of arcade cabinets?

Why are these Chinese police officers torching dozens of arcade cabinets?

I think the last truly terrible video game I bought was Gundam v. 2.0 for the PlayStation One. This was back before all you had to do was wait a few hours for reviews from gamers to start pouring in online, and I got suckered in by some touched-up stills from the game in a magazine that made it look awesome. Instead, the one and only redeemable element to the title was it had a cool sound effect for the beam rifle, but that hardly made it worth the $75 it had cost me.

I’ve played subpar games since then, but Gundam v. 2.0 retains a special place of hatred in my gaming soul. It’s the sort of game that drives one to violent fantasies of revenge. Like an evil witch being punished for her sins, or a stubbornly regenerating troll that won’t stay dead, the only just way for Gundam 2.0 to pay for its crimes is by being set on fire.

Somewhere in a box, I still have my copy of the game. Maybe if I dig it out, these police officers in China will let me toss it onto their video game bonfire.

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Bring the boiler room of Spirited Away to virtual life with Oculus Rift

Bring the boiler room of Spirited Away to virtual life with Oculus Rift

The commercial release of the virtual reality headset known as Oculus Rift should be just around the corner, and with the technology looks to be something great allowing you to do everything from being Hatsune Miku to sleeping next to Hatsune Miku, we’re sure that gamers and fans of gadgets alike are positively itching to get hold of it.

Until then, those of us not willing to shell out for a developers’ kit will have to bide our time with YouTube testimonials such as this one done by Cymatic Bruce. In the video Bruce takes us on a virtual tour of none other than the boiler room setting from Miyazaki’s Spirited Away. Even better, the way he presents it allows us all to watch in 3D without the need for an Oculus Rift or any special equipment.

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Fan sews amazing felt versions of Totoro, Sailor Moon, Final Fantasy Black Mage and more

Fan sews amazing felt versions of Totoro, Sailor Moon, Final Fantasy Black Mage and more

As someone who learned to drive a car before he could ride a bike, there are a couple of things that slipped through the cracks on my path of acquiring basic life skills. Sewing, for example, is still an arcane art to me. After all, why go to the hassle of making my own clothes, when there are plenty of stores perfectly willing to take my money in exchange for a new shirt or pair of jeans?

But maybe I’m missing the point. After all, knowing how to sew doesn’t just mean you can design your own wardrobe, it also means you can create awesome anime and video game figures made entirely of felt.

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