video games

Master drummers are lurking in Japanese game centers

Master drummers are lurking in Japanese game centers

Sure, you’ve all heard of Dance Dance Revolution (affectionately called DDR by stomp dancing fans everywhere). But how about Taiko no Tatsujin? Translated as “Drum Master,” this arcade game gives players a faux taiko drum to bang out a predetermined rhythm, doling out points for perfect on-time hits. It’s been around in Japan since 2001, but there seems to be no shortage of amazing drummers turning up in game centers across Japan. The photo above, showing two enthusiastic taiko drummers playing the game with movements that are the equivalent of using that extra bar to launch yourself in the air while playing DDR, surfaced on Twitter just this week…which got us thinking, how many other crazy drummers have been spotted in Japanese game centers?

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Nintendo announces Pokkén Tournament for arcades in 2015

Nintendo announces Pokkén Tournament for arcades in 2015

Nintendo announced during the “Monthly Famitsu feat. Pokémon Special” live-streamed program that an action/fighting game titled Pokkén Tournament (Pokkén being a pun on the words Pokémon and ‘fist’) will be released for Japanese arcades in 2015. Bandai Namco Games is collaborating on the development of the project.

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Life doesn’t have a reset button, and neither does a PlayStation 3 controller come to think of it

Life doesn’t have a reset button, and neither does a PlayStation 3 controller come to think of it

This fire safety poster was tweeted recently and scored a whopping 21,000 retweets in only a couple of days. It’s an impressive feat for a public service announcement by the Nakagyo Ward Fire Department, but why?

The caption reads: “In life and fire, the reset button doesn’t work.” Okay, class, who can tell me why the reset button doesn’t work? Don’t all answer at once now… No, not because the cable’s on fire. This controller clearly has wireless capability. Oh, I see the person who tweeted this image has their hand up.

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Hacker Mom takes on Gamer Son in China, erases his accounts for the sake of education

Hacker Mom takes on Gamer Son in China, erases his accounts for the sake of education

For hardcore video gamers, life is a never-ending series of battles as they try to overcome the next boss, unlock achievements, or climb up the online leader boards. And for some of their parents, life is a never-ending series of battles as they try to get their kids to stop doing all that and study.

While more honorable gamers limit themselves to utilizing the best in-game equipment, some give in to the temptation to use hacks to gain an advantage over their adversaries. Recently, one education-minded mother in China adopted the same tactic by hacking her son’s online gaming accounts, then deleting them.

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Rumour: Super Smash Bros. character list leaked? 【Update: Pretty much confirmed】

Rumour: Super Smash Bros. character list leaked? 【Update: Pretty much confirmed】

If you’re the kind of person who likes video games and isn’t dead inside, chances are you’re looking forward to Super Smash Bros. for 3DS and Wii U, due to release later this year. The comic fighting game’s creators have been teasing us for what feels like decades now by slowly revealing which characters will be available to play as, talking of trimming the fat while simultaneously revealing what appears to be every Nintendo character under the sun.

If the following “leaked” screenshots and video are to be believed, however, Nintendo’s character roster-teasing days are about to come to an abrupt end.

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Limited edition Kirby t-shirts on sale at this year’s Tokyo Game Show

Limited edition Kirby t-shirts on sale at this year’s Tokyo Game Show

Heading to Tokyo Game Show this year? We certainly are, and with just under a month to go, we’re itching to try out the newest games and watch the exclusive previews that exhibitors are no doubt already preparing. But there’s one other thing (yes, besides the booth babes) that we’re excited to get a look at: the video game merchandise!

And this year, there are a couple of items we already have our eye on: a pair of limited edition Kirby-themed t-shirts, which have just been revealed by makers San-ei Boeki.

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Is Kojima’s Silent Hills actually about aliens? Hidden message refers to The War of the Worlds

Is Kojima’s Silent Hills actually about aliens? Hidden message refers to The War of the Worlds

Earlier this week, we brought you some footage of players’ terrified reactions to Japanese video game developer Hideo Kojima’s upcoming horror title, Silent Hills. We played the short preview for ourselves and it scared the bejeezus out of us, leaving us with high hopes that the finished game would mark a return to the original’s greatness and that we’d be sleeping with the lights on in the not-too-distant future.

But what if we told you that Silent Hills isn’t just about things that go bump in the night? Or, rather, that some of those ‘things’ are aliens? A radio broadcast which can be heard during a particular section of the playable teaser, it has been found, refers not only to what is believed to be Orson Welles’ radio adaptation of The War of the Worlds, but suggests that aliens are already here, watching…

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Pair of goldfish play Street Fighter II, instantly become world’s coolest pets

Pair of goldfish play Street Fighter II, instantly become world’s coolest pets

Whenever I’m asked if I’m a dog or a cat person, I can always respond quite easily: “Neither.” I’m absolutely convinced fish make the best pets, since they’re quiet, relaxing, and never pee or cough things up on the carpet.

And just in case that wasn’t enough to sell you, consider one more thing fish can now do: play a game of Street Fighter II.

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Pikachu ready for battle with his own set of samurai armor

Pikachu ready for battle with his own set of samurai armor

Even though it’s been a week since we made the trip to downtown Yokohama to see the packs of roaming Pikachus, and we’ve still got a warm fuzzy feeling. Actually, warm and fuzzy is also an apt description of the lovable pocket monsters’ plush yellow coats, which brings up a concern.

Cuddly softness is all fine and good when Pikachu is handing out hugs, but what about when he goes back to his regular duties of fighting other Pokémon? Shouldn’t he be wrapped in something a bit more durable, like his own custom set of samurai armor?

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PlayStation 3 gets a price cut in Japan, still costs more than it probably ought to

PlayStation 3 gets a price cut in Japan, still costs more than it probably ought to

Sony Japan has announced that its ultra-slim, “charcoal black” PlayStation 3 console will become that little bit cheaper at the end of this month, following the arrival of a new SKU.

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Hideo Kojima’s Silent Hills might just be the horror game we’ve been waiting for【Videos】

Hideo Kojima’s Silent Hills might just be the horror game we’ve been waiting for【Videos】

Those who owned an original grey PlayStation back in the day will no doubt be familiar with Silent Hill, the survival horror series that went on to spawn a host of sequels as well as a questionable feature film of the same name. The series has had its ups and downs over the years, and many feel that it has lost much of what made it so great to begin with, but it looks like the newest instalment is set to bring back what gamers loved about the originals: the kind of tense, tortuous, genuinely horrible horror that makes you consider keeping the lights on at bedtime.

Don’t believe us? Check out these reaction videos from makers Konami.

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Sailor-suited fan’s crazy anime dance gives us a double dose of cuteness and energy 【Video】

Sailor-suited fan’s crazy anime dance gives us a double dose of cuteness and energy 【Video】

Right now there’s no hotter anime or video game franchise among kids than Yo-kai Watch. While we’re sure the high standards of quality at creator Level-5 are a huge factor in its success, at least some fans of the ostensibly for-kids series have said that part of the appeal is that grown-ups haven’t started horning in on tykes’ turf in the same way they have with other popular franchises.

The borders to their children’s paradise might be fading, though, as this video, showing a young lady dancing her heart out to the Yo-Kai Watch ending theme, proves that teens aren’t even remotely too old to get some enjoyment out of the show.

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“Jibanyan, I choose you!” Does Yo-kai Watch have the power to topple Pokémon?

“Jibanyan, I choose you!” Does Yo-kai Watch have the power to topple Pokémon?

Pokémon is a long-running global megalith: a multi-platform media franchise like no other. Millions of kids grew up watching the anime, wearing the T-shirt, and of course playing the games. Here in Japan, Pokémon characters are everywhere – and none more so than Pikachu. Go to the mall and there’s a giant fluffy Pikachu to meet and cuddle. At school lunch, chances are a bunch of kids’ mums have made their onigiri into Pikachu’s face for them. And a whole city was recently invaded by scores of our favourite yellow friend for an entire Pikachu festival.

There’s a new kid on the “collect-all-the-monsters” block, though, and it looks to be pushing Pokémon by the wayside. Yo-kai Watch hasn’t been released internationally yet, but in Japan the 3DS game, anime and its characters have quickly gained a ubiquitous popularity that looks like it could even overtake Pokémon. Have Pikachu and friends really had their day? Or is Yo-kai Watch merely a flash in the pan?

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Pics of Pikachu packs from a day of Pokémon hunting in Yokohama【Video】

Pics of Pikachu packs from a day of Pokémon hunting in Yokohama【Video】

A few weeks ago, the handlers of the Pokémon franchise announced the Pikachu Tairyou Hassei Chu, or “An Outbreak of Pikachus” event. First they brightened our day with a TV ad showing the adorable Pocket Monsters hanging out in a shopping mall. Then they teased us with a photo of the electrified rodents landing on the dock.

And now, they’re here!

We grabbed our cameras and went Pikachu hunting in Yokohama, and we were not disappointed. We were, though, almost completely paralyzed by the awesome overdose of cuteness that comes from a parade of a pack of 20 Pikachus.

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What’s this little green dinosaur’s name? If you said “Yoshi” we’ve got news for you…

What’s this little green dinosaur’s name? If you said “Yoshi” we’ve got news for you…

Nicknames can be confusing things, especially when they’re the only name by which you’ve ever known someone. I can clearly remember the moment when my friend’s Japanese wife looked at me with a mixture of surprise and betrayal, for example, when she found out that Phil (or “Firu” as it’s awkwardly pronounced in Japanese) is in fact short for Philip.

But after learning that the same green dinosaur that I’ve traversed hundreds of levels, raced go-karts and carried baby Mario back to his parents with since I was about 10 years old isn’t actually called Yoshi, I can kind of understand why she was so shocked.

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Sony’s summer PlayStation Vita ads are all about growing up【Video】

Sony’s summer PlayStation Vita ads are all about growing up【Video】

We’re already well into the school summer holidays here in Japan, and Sony is taking the opportunity to entice younger gamers over to its decidedly more grown-up portable console, the PlayStation Vita. Join us after the jump for a closer look at these cheeky ads from Sony’s summer campaign.

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Investors watching Yo-Kai Watch as hit game/anime series leads stock rally in Japan

Investors watching Yo-Kai Watch as hit game/anime series leads stock rally in Japan

As Japan continues its long in-vain search for a way to recapture the glory years of the Bubble Economy of the 1980s, politicians and pundits have proposed a plethora of projects. But amid all the talk of privatizing the postal system, making the expressways free, and devaluing the yen, there’s one outside the box solution no one happened on until now: unleash supernatural entities into the stock market.

Maybe it’s something they should have tried earlier, considering how the supernatural characters of hit multimedia franchise Yo-Kai Watch are leading a mini stock rally all by themselves.

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The awesome costumed fans of Nagoya’s World Cosplay Summit 【Photos】

The awesome costumed fans of Nagoya’s World Cosplay Summit 【Photos】

With schools in both Japan and abroad on summer vacation, we’re right in the prime seasons for pop culture events like San Diego Comic-Con and Chiba Prefecture’s Wonder Festival. We recently attended both, snapping pictures of all the cool cosplay costumes, but the hobby’s most prestigious gathering was yet to come.

Last weekend the 2014 World Cosplay Summit was held in the city of Nagoya. Our own cosplay efforts aren’t quite competition-level, but that didn’t mean we couldn’t enjoy all the awesome costumes that were, so we grabbed our camera and hopped on the Shinkansen.

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Dead or Alive 5 achieves new level of creepiness with “Bath and Bedtime” costumes

Dead or Alive 5 achieves new level of creepiness with “Bath and Bedtime” costumes

It should come as no surprise to learn that the fighting game series that spawned a bikini-packed beach volleyball spin-off and whose developers included the option to change how much female fighters’ breasts jiggle likes to get sexy. Dead or Alive has always been about scantily clad females, enormous boobs and gratuitous close-ups and poses; it’s not especially tasteful, but to each their own.

But the latest round of downloadable costumes for Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate, called the “Bath and Bedtime” series, seems to be confusing “sexy” with “creepy”, as it pits female martial artists against each other while wearing naught but their jammies and bath towels.

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Not as easy as it looks! The making of viral video “Mario Jumps into Battle”

Not as easy as it looks! The making of viral video “Mario Jumps into Battle”

Just under a week ago, a fan-made video featuring Nintendo’s Super Mario appeared online. Titled “Smash Bros. Mario Jumps Into Battle”, it showed the portly plumber doing a bit of shopping in a real-life Tokyo store before realising that he was late for his appointment in Nintendo’s upcoming brawler, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS, and dashing across the capital city.

Due to its incredible animation and clever blending of real and computer-generated images, the video was quickly picked up by a number of gaming news sites (and shared on our own Facebook page) and scored thousands of hits in the blink of an eye. But even short videos like this don’t just pop out of question-mark blocks; they take weeks of hard work…

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