video games

Final Fantasy and The Legend of Zelda come together in awesome fan art logo mashups 【Photos】

While the main Final Fantasy series went multi-platform with Final Fantasy XIII, most people still tend to think of Square Enix’s role playing franchise as a standard-bearer for Sony’s PlayStation consoles. Likewise, The Legend of Zelda has had the throne of fantasy-themed video games for Nintendo’s home consoles all to itself since Final Fantasy VII jumped ship for the original PlayStation back in 1997.

But just because Final Fantasy and Zelda act as figurative haymakers between Sony and Nintendo in terms of their competition for gamers’ hard-earned cash, that doesn’t mean the gamers themselves can’t enjoy both extremely polished series. One such equal-opportunity virtual adventurer is artist Shattered-Earth, whose taken the iconic logos of four Final Fantasy sequels, but recast them with the cast of The Legend of Zelda.

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Sega seemingly saying sayonara to consoles as it downsizes, shifts focus to mobile and PC games

There was a time when the word “Nintendo” was synonymous with console video games. Literally, in that you’d hear parents say things like “Stop playing Nintendo and do your homework,” to their kids.

Rival video game company Sega put an end to that, though. Its Master System was the first post-NES console to have any sort of impact, limited as it was. More impressively, its Mega Drive/Genesis was the first 16-bit video game system, and for a period was actually the leading console in the North American market.

Sega’s tumultuous history with the console video game industry looks to be heading into its final chapter, though. Not only has the company been out of the hardware business for over a decade, Sega has announced that console software will no longer be the core element of its operations.

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Man learns how to play Super Mario World… with his nose and a recorder【Video】

By now we have pretty established that video-streaming site Niconico is in its own league when it comes to innovation…or pure weirdness. However, we are still constantly amazed by the unique ideas extremely creative Niconico users put up on the internet. Think you’re good at Super Mario World? This particular Mario Master has decided to up the game by playing Mario using…a recorder. Sorry, no; recorder with his nose.

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Square Enix now hiring Final Fantasy XV staff, might be planning to work them to death

Even though the Final Fantasy video game franchise has spawned a long string of sequels, very few of the games feature characters or plotlines from previous instalments. Instead, each title draws from a pool of visual cues, music compositions, and gameplay systems that together constitute the games’ shared legacy.

For example, almost every Final Fantasy includes summoning magic, where players call upon dragons, ifrits, or other powerful monsters to aid them in battle. Developer Square Enix can’t do the same in real life, though, which is why it’s currently recruiting employees to work on the upcoming Final Fantasy XV.

Obviously, you won’t need to know how to cast Meteo or throw a Dolphin Blow uppercut to land a spot on the Final Fantasy XV team. Having a heroic level of physical constitution might come in handy, though, as looking through Square Enix’s want ads suggests they might be planning to work the project members until they drop.

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Friends too busy to go to the Pokémon Cafe? No problem! Pikachu himself will sit with you

If you’re a Pokémon fan who’s feeling blue over missing your chance to eat at the limited-time restaurants based on the series that previously appeared in Yokohama and Tokyo’s Roppongi neighborhood, cheer up. Until the end of February, the Pokémon Cafe is back again, this time in the trendy part of Tokyo called Shibuya, and looks to be cuter than ever.

Unfortunately, when you combine food and cuteness in one of the busiest cities on earth, you also get long lines. Helping to make the wait worth it, though, is the possibility of having a meal while sharing your table with a very special dining companion, Pikachu.

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Which one’s your favourite Cid? The evolution of Final Fantasy’s constant character

What’s the first Final Fantasy game you played? I came somewhat late to the party, and my first experience of Final Fantasy was Final Fantasy VIII. After a childhood spent playing Sonic, suddenly finding myself in a semi-realistic world with massive potential for exploration really blew my tiny mind back then. In VIII, the headmaster of the military academy is a middle-aged, bespectacled dude with a paunch called Cid. But as Final Fantasy fans know, Cid is actually a character who appears in different forms in (pretty much) all of the Final Fantasy games. The dude’s been regenerated more times than the Doctor in Doctor Who! So we decided to take a look back at all of the Cids in chronological order to see how he’s changed over the years.

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Japanese educators call for twice monthly No Video Game Days, recommend kids go fishing

Compared to some other countries, video games enjoy a fairly high standing in Japanese society. Nintendo’s Mario is seen by many as not only a symbol of wholesome fun, but an example of how innovation and craftsmanship can lead to sustained economic prosperity. The world of Final Fantasy isn’t just a great setting for an epic quest, but for lunch or dinner, and some particularly stylish game characters even go on to leave their mark on real-world fashion.

Still, not everyone in Japan is a fan of video gaming. The Hokkaido Board of Education would rather see kids with schoolbooks or fishing poles in their hands than game controllers, and to that end is calling for parents to institute twice monthly No Game Days, and not just for the kids in the family.

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Chinese social media game features a host of familiar western celebrity faces

In Japan, mobile and social networking games are a huge market, and have even begun to eclipse console games in recent years. This can perhaps be attributed to their commuting culture, which has made portable gaming a necessity, and the fact that smartphones are more accessible than portable handheld consoles. At any rate, it’s an industry that’s worth big bucks, and generally high quality is expected. Perhaps that’s why some gamers in Japan have been sniggering over this unusual game from China, which cuts corners massively by borrowing the likenesses of western celebrities in place of original content.

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Bayonetta earrings a bewitching fashion statement, technically count as half a video game cosplay

Ever since her 2009 debut, debates have been swirling around video game character Bayonetta. Was her first, eponymous outing really worth the perfect score it got from notoriously strict video game magazine Famitsu? Is the character’s constantly provocative flaunting of her sexual and violent leanings empowering the character or pandering to juvenile gamers? Was making the sequel exclusive to Nintendo’s Wii U a wise choice? And does the gun-toting witch look better with her original beehive, or the shorter pixie cut she sports these days?

Just in case you’ve already decided which side of those discussions you’re on, here’s one more question to find your own personal answer to: Do you want to buy Bayonetta’s earrings?

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PS4 20th Anniversary edition console sells at auction for jaw-dropping price

When Sony released a special 20th Anniversary edition of the PlayStation 4, online pre-order slots were filled in minutes. Limited to a run of 12,300 consoles, gamers had to move quickly to secure a piece of gaming history.

The one thing missing from the December 2014 release, however, was the most important and prized possession of all: console number 00001/12300. That particular machine made its grand appearance at an online auction last weekend and sold for a price that is, frankly, jaw-dropping.

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Like anime and video game mashups? Here’s 900 amazing ones!

Who doesn’t love a good mashup? We’ve seen some great ones before: Pokémon turned into Godzilla monsters, Doraemon turned into Dragon Ball, even Crayon Shin-chan turned into Attack on Titan.

But when it comes to sheer quantity of mashups, the clear winner is MOUNTAIN GRAPHICS, a company that sells t-shirts and other goods with cute and cool designs on them. They have over 900 pictures on their Twitter and Instagram account of mashed-up characters from video games, anime, and more.

Ever wanted to see Mario and PaRappa the Rapper fused together? Or Bomberman and Hello Kitty? Hoe about Bowser and Cthulhu? Well today’s your lucky day!

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Historical Japanese swords turn into hot and battle-hardened Blade Boys in new mobile game

These days, one of the quickest and most popular methods for stocking a video game with a cast of attractive anime-style characters is to pick a class of item and anthropomorphize the heck out of it. There’s currently no hotter mobile game than Kantai Collection, in which players command a fleet of pretty girls who’re all modeled after World War II-era Japanese warships. If naval history isn’t your thing, you can also find titles featuring comely cars and moe mushrooms.

There’s a new entry in the subgenre though, and judging from its all-pretty boy roster of characters, it’s been designed with female otaku gamers in mind. As such, it’s no surprise that the men of Touken Ranbu are all based on something long and hard…plus sharp, as they’re all anthropomorphized swords.

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Dragon Quest creator reveals secrets behind mysterious ending

The creator of legendary RPG series Dragon Quest has spilled the beans on the mysterious ending to the third game that still had fans puzzled over 25 years since its original release. Read on to find out, but beware – some things are best left a mystery.

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Get some Nintendo on your Sony with these PS4 skins (Oh, and they have an Evangelion one too!)

As odd a concept as it may sound to some, had the 1991 deal between Nintendo and Sony gone off without a hitch, not only might the PlayStation brand as we know it today not even exist, but gamers the world over might be able to play titles like Super Mario 3D World and Wii Sports on Sony-made hardware. Instead, with Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft all vying for our hard-earned cash, console gamers are faced with a choice: choose a platform to invest in or live on nothing but baked beans for a year and buy them all.

If you’re a Sony fan and have already picked up a PS4, no doubt you’re as pleased with your purchase as we were with ours. But there’s no denying that Nintendo’s creations have a certain appeal to them, and few of Sony’s first-party characters could ever compete with Mario et al. Thankfully, third-party retailer LUCKY D has you – and your PlayStation – covered, as they’re selling sticker skins for PlayStation 4 featuring everything from Pikachu to Evangelion‘s Asuka.

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New Nintendo 3DS system headed west in February

Nintendo announced during its Nintendo direct presentation on Wednesday that the New Nintendo 3DS XL will ship in Europe and North America on February 13. The regular size New Nintendo 3DS will also ship in Europe on the same day.

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Super-rare factory-sealed NES game emerges on eBay, bids currently at $99,600

If you grew up playing video games, you’ll understand something that modern day kids with their newfangled graphics and gameplay streaming antics don’t get – the power of nostalgia! Nostalgia is what makes us dig up landfills full of buried cartridges, and waste hours of our lives watching old videos of NES start-up screens. It’s why we still want to play the classics, so we can remember the good times, when being able to navigate an entirely different world through your TV screen still seemed like magic. It’s no wonder that rare old retro games can still sell for a pretty penny, although most often they’re snapped up by collectors who want them for their rarity rather than to add lovingly to their own game collection. Because, while nostalgia can be a powerful emotion, we mere mortals couldn’t even contemplate dropping around $10k on a mere video game. Yet that’s exactly what the owner of a rare, factory sealed copy of NES game Stadium Events can (at the time of this writing) expect to bring in from the eBay auction that’s currently in progress.

So just what is Stadium Events and why is it worth so much darn moolah, anyway?

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New smartphone game allows you to date the man, monkey, or dessert of your dreams

A common element in Japanese dating simulator video games is that they all feature an extensive cast of potential romantic partners. Still, there are only so many characters the designers can cram into a single game, and some gamers find that the available roster of would-be boyfriends just doesn’t measure up to their preexisting celebrity or anime crush.

Seeking to solve this problem is mobile game developer GimmickPlus, with a new smartphone title that lets you drop pictures of your favorite actor or girls’ manga character straight into the game. But as we’ve seen before, when you give users a template to create romantic tension with you also give them the means to craft bizarre humor, and Fantasy Condominium-You Can Fall in Love with Your Ideal Boyfriend is no exception.

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Three-armed Peach, two-headed Marth join the parade of factory defect Amiibos

After one lucky shopper made $2,500 from his factory defect dual-wielding Samus Amiibo, others have been pouring onto eBay in the hopes of making a quick buck.

One seller’s three-armed Peach reached $365, although it wasn’t enough to meet the reserve price.

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Japanese sixth-grader calls out smartphone-loving parents over anti-video game lectures

I understand that an important part of parenting is setting boundaries for children. Until they reach a certain age, kids just don’t have the kind of foresight necessary to fully understand the consequences of all their actions, and letting preteens eat as many cookies as they want or stay up as late as they like probably isn’t the best idea.

That said, another important part of parenting is setting a good example. Fail to do that, and your kids are likely to just tune out everything you’re saying. Actually, that might be the best case scenario, since if you’re flagrantly guilty of not practicing what you preach, your kids might call you out for it, like one Japanese elementary school girl who pointed out her parents’ logical inconsistency in lecturing about keeping her video game playing to a minimum, even as they were glued to their own electronic devices.

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Poseable North American Mega Man figure lets you admire the character’s belly in three dimensions

Back in the 1980s and ‘90s, it wasn’t unusual for Japanese video games to be released internationally with box art different from that which was used at home. Many overseas publishers worried that the original versions were too cutesy, concluding that the covers needed an extra dose of testosterone in order to appeal to machismo-seeking non-Japanese gamers.

The logic itself is sort of shaky, but what made things worse was how most of the new box art bore little resemblance to the in-game designs, plus rarely looked appealing even when judged solely on its own non-existent merits. While much of this lazily produced art has been fittingly forgotten, there are some things you just can’t unsee. Like discovering a dead pigeon inside your bag of fast food takeout, the North American cover of the very first Mega Man has been burned into the memories of older gamers, and the pudgy sci-fi hero has now made the jump into three-dimensional space with his own figure.

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