video games

Pico Cassette looks to keep cartridge games alive in a smartphone world

Music has all but gone entirely digital. Video rental stores are a critically endangered species. Even video games are steadily moving towards more online distribution. At this rate we’ll soon be welcoming the first generation to think sticking a piece of plastic into a machine for entertainment is as attractive an idea as rubbing two sticks together for fire.

Then again, isn’t there something intrinsic in humans to want to put a cartridge or disc into something for entertainment?

That’s not a rhetorical question. I really have no idea, but the makers of Pico Cassette are hoping so. This device will load video games both new and old into your smartphone by plugging into its headphone jack.

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The awesome Nintendo and anime-inspired stairway art of Japanese high schools 【Photos】

Growing up in suburban southern California, my elementary, junior high, and high schools were all single-story structures. As such, my classmates and I went through our K-12 education without knowing the excitement of the romantic rendezvous and bare-knuckle showdowns that so often occur in the stairways of schools in TV shows, movies, and other works of fiction.

Still, we made do, as the student body just had to find alternate locations in which to swap spit or punches. One thing we definitely missed out on, though, was the opportunity to create awesome stairway art, like these students in Japan who decorated their school steps with the cast of Super Mario Bros., Love Live!, and Attack on Titan.

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The next Nintendo president has finally been decided!

On July 11 this year, the video game industry lost a very important and much loved figure when Nintendo‘s president Satoru Iwata passed away suddenly. For the past two months, the Kyoto-based company has been in the process of finding a worthy successor to head the company going forward—no mean feat when one considers the size of the shoes Mr. Iwata left behind.

But now, without further ado, we introduce to you the next president of the world-renown gaming company!

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Mario mod goes on violent rampage in Grand Theft Auto V【Video】

The vibrant Grand Theft Auto mod scene is what keeps the game alive long after people have completed the campaign, making sure gameplay never grows stale and providing plenty of laughs for both the players involved and the viewers of the resulting videos. There are already hundreds of mods available for the latest entry in the franchise, Grand Theft Auto V, and a few creative Nintendo-based ones have been combined to create this surreal video of Nintendo’s Super Mario behaving badly in Los Santos.

This isn’t the Mario that Nintendo wants you to see.

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Miyamoto: Pikmin 4 is ‘very close to completion’

Nintendo designer Shigeru Miyamoto revealed in an interview with video game news website Eurogamer that the Pikmin 4 game is “very close to completion.”

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Pokémon finally comes to iPhone and Android as the augmented reality game Pokémon GO 【Video】

There’s a pretty big gap between the life of an in-world Pokémon trainer and a real-world Pokémon player. Whereas your in-game avatar is alternatively journeying to new lands or patrolling old stomping grounds on his quest to catch ‘em all, you yourself can experience the games’ wonders without ever leaving your couch.

It looks like all that’s about to change, though, because the newest installment of the franchise, Pokémon GO, is not just a smartphone title for iPhone and Android, but an augmented reality game that requires you to get out and search the real world for Pocket Monsters and other trainers to battle.

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Nintendo will delete your Mario Maker course if it’s boring, can make a buck off it if it’s good

Nintendo’s Super Mario Maker, which allows you to design your own levels for the beloved video game hero, is really a game that could only be properly realized now, on the 30th anniversary of the franchise. Three decades as the platforming gold standard means there are multiple generations of gamers intimately familiar with the series’ building blocks, ensuring an ample supply of would-be creators and players who can really get the most from the system’s ins and outs.

Just as important is the modern digital infrastructure for sharing user-designed stages. Super Mario Maker would have been a flop on hardware that requires physical media, but in our modern Internet age once a completed course has been uploaded to Nintendo’s servers, anyone in the world can play it.

Well, anyone in the world can play it if it’s good. If it’s not, then Nintendo will just go ahead and delete your creation.

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“Coincidentally” named video game handhelds allow you to play 8, 16-bit Nintendo games on the go

In the realm of technology, it’s a fact that everything gets smaller and more powerful as time goes by. “Minicomputers,” for example, used to be as big as a refrigerator, but now the smartphone you have in your pocket has far more processing power, and even that slick piece of tech is only as big as it is to accommodate its display screen.

The same thing happens with video game hardware. When new systems launch, they’re sizeable boxes, but after a couple of console generations, suddenly they can be shrunk to handheld size, like what’s happened with these two portables that play Nintendo Famicom and Super Famicom cartridges.

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Where have we heard Metal Gear Solid V’s iDroid voice before? When we last rode the Shinkansen!

The release of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain has been met with as much excitement and frenzy as you might expect from the latest instalment of a legendary video game franchise. But while most players are preoccupied with riding D. Horse around, frolicking in cardboard boxes and puzzling over the intricate story, it’s a certain voiceover that’s had us scratching our heads. Where on earth have we heard iDroids soothing tones before? Oh, that’s right – on the Shinkansen!

Voice actor and vocalist Donna Burke is a veteran of the video game industry, lending her vocal cords to multiple games including MGSV and Silent Hill, and she ALSO provided the English-language spoken announcement that’s broadcast on the bullet train to help foreign visitors navigate their way around Japan!

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Camera crew visits the abandoned town that inspired Japanese survival horror game “Siren”【Video】

Back in 2003, the world was introduced to the first Siren, a survival horror video game which told the story of a mysterious secluded village caught between time and space. Like the best games of its genre, the setting played a pivotal role in captivating the player, sucking them into an eerie atmosphere made all the more scary by the tremendously creepy town.

It turns out that the fictional town of Hanuda is based on an actual town in Saitama Prefecture, just north of Tokyo. Life imitates game as a camera crew heads to the abandoned town, just like how a crew did in the third Siren game. Take a look at the footage they captured after the break. If you aren’t too afraid…

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Couple weds in a dreamy, Final Fantasy-themed wedding ceremony【Video】

Ever wondered what a wedding planned around your favorite video game franchise would look like? Newly married couple Grace and Chris have an answer to that question in the form of the following video taken at their stunning Final Fantasy-themed wedding ceremony filmed in Hawaii! 

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Super Mario Bros. creator explains how and why he designed World 1-1 of the 8-bit classic 【Video】

Ahead of the launch of Mario-themed level-building game Super Mario Maker, video game industry legend Shigeru Miyamoto sat down with veteran game designer Takashi Tezuka to take questions from journalists and show off its features.

Before leaping into the level creation proper, however, Miyamoto took a few minutes to talk about the creative process that is involved in building a Super Mario level, talking his audience through the steps he and his team took when creating the original Super Mario Bros., and explaining why World 1-1 of the game—for many their first ever brush with Mario on Nintendo’s 8-bit system—was built the way it is.

You’ve no doubt cleared this level countless times by now, but you may not have realised the hidden genius and careful planning that went into the positioning of every block, pipe, and pit of doom.

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Russian cosplayer stuns in skintight Zero Suit Samus cosplay 【Pics】

People who enjoy looking at cosplay photos seem to be split into two camps: those who want to see talented fans bringing their favourite characters to life, and those who want to stare at beautiful women in skimpy yet nerdy outfits. This Russian cosplayer has costumes to satisfy both camps, but it’s her most recent, faithful recreation of a character that has definitely caught people’s attention.

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Life Is Strange is coming to Japan, gets new voice cast & dubbed trailer 【Video】

The last few years especially have seen a notable increase in the number of western-developed narrative-driven video games. Notable entries include Telltale Games’ The Walking DeadThe Wolf Among Us, and of course Game of Thrones, which deliver their respective stories in downloadable chunks once every few months, leaving players itching to play the next episode and find out what happens.

Telltale pretty much cornered the market on this genre until French development studio DONTNOD Entertainment released the absolutely captivating five-part supernatural high school story game Life Is Strange. The game has been a surprise hit, selling over a million copies to date, with players falling in love with the endearingly complex characters, time-travelling mechanics, mellow game atmosphere, and killer soundtrack. In fact, the game has done so well for itself that publishers Square Enix have decided it’s time Japan got a piece of the photo-snapping, heavy decision-making, time-rewinding fun for themselves. Yep, Life is Strange is being released in Japan, and it’s getting an entirely new Japanese voice cast, too!

Check out the reveal trailer to hear Max, Chloe and the rest of the characters speaking Nihongo!

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“It’s the Japanese! Run!” – Overseas gamers tired of playing Splatoon with Inklings from Japan

Online console gaming has been thriving for over a decade now, and ostensibly it should have brought gamers from all over the world into contact with one another as competitors and co-op teammates. In practice, though, regional differences in preferred genres, aesthetics, and overall play styles have meant that Japanese and Western gamers haven’t crossed paths all that terribly often.

At least until Nintendo released Splatoon this year for the Wii U, that is. Combining the team-based shooter Western gamers have so embraced with the colorful quirkiness that their Japanese counterparts have always been fond of, Splatoon’s popularity is bridging the oceans. This is giving overseas Inklings a chance to play with gamers in Japan…or to complain about them online and devise strategies to avoid them.

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Mix of classic Japanese art style and video games makes for some beautiful results 【Photos】

Video games nowadays are pretty complicated affairs, with hyper-realistic graphics, sweeping storylines and intricate controls. Sometimes, though, we still long for the time of simpler games, when there were only two buttons and the story was fairly non-existent.

A recent uptick in retro-style games really hammers home the idea that some of the older games were just plain…funner. OK, maybe the graphics could use a bit of an upgrade, but instead of updating the graphics, how about we “old-date” them instead? An artist embarked on a personal project that mixes 80’s video games with the ukiyo-e style and his results are so great, you want to see them up close in order to take in all the details.

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Fed up of romance sims? Buddhist-themed visual novel coming to Android and iOS

There’s already a whole bunch of dating sim titles aimed at both men and women available to play on your phone or tablet. But for those who are fed up of sappy, cliché boy-meets-girl stories there’s a new addition to the growing range of visual novels available on mobile platforms that is set to tell a unique story focusing not on romance, but on the Buddhist religion.

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P.T. easter egg discovered tucked away in Metal Gear Solid V 【Video】

With Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain now available, gamers are hunkering down to complete Hideo Kojima’s final Metal Gear outing, and the last couple of days have seen a flurry of uploads to YouTube and gaming sites from players wanting to show off their discoveries in the huge open world.

One such discovery has people lamenting the cancellation of Silent Hills, the horror game that was at one time to be Kojima’s next project, all over again. Despite Konami’s attempts to erase its existence by removing it from the Playstation Store, P.T., the playable teaser for the cancelled game, can’t be wiped from gamers’ minds that easily, and apparently not from the company’s latest hit, either.

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Little Big Planet 3 offers Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain costumes

The official U.S. PlayStation blog revealed on Tuesday that Sony‘s Little Big Planet 3 game is offering a Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain-themed costume pack for the game’s characters. Buyers who purchase the costumes as a complete set will also receive a Box Costume for the character Toggle. The costumes can also be purchased separately.

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Did video game developer Capcom just give Street Fighter V’s “shockingly ugly” Cammy a face-lift?

The fighting game community is pretty psyched about Street Fighter V. Even though the title isn’t scheduled for release until early next year, developer Capcom has been regularly updating gamers with a series of preview videos highlighting its cast. So far, there’s been a dearth of new characters, but long-time fans of the series have been happy to see the challengers they know and love rendered in the game’s updated art style.

Well, most of them have been happy. A vocal group of dissenters, though, are the disgruntled gamers who’ve been grumbling that Cammy, Street Fighter’s pigtailed pugilist from the U.K., doesn’t have a particularly attractive face in her reveal video (one displeased commenter even went to far as to call the character “shockingly ugly”). But now new images of Cammy have been released, and it looks like she may have gotten a face-lift months ahead of the game’s actual release.

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