video games

Automated Dragon Quest playing computer levels your character up while you pay attention to your partner for once

If there’s one thing Massively Multiplayer Online RPGS (MMOs) are known for, other than their marriage-destroying addictive qualities and almost cult-like fan communities, it’s the absolutely mind-numbing repetition of doing the same quests and activities over and over again to level up your character.

Realizing computers are pretty good at that whole mindless repetition thing while humans generally dislike it, one entrepreneurial Japanese geek has figured out a way to jury-rig PCs that will perform a leveling task for you over and over again and is offering them for sale on bidding site Yahoo! Auctions right now.

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Is Sony using Microsoft as its negative publicity guinea pig?

While Microsoft’s forthcoming Xbox One console is being received positively by general tech sites for its kitchen sink philosophy to TV-based entertainment, the gaming public seems less than enthused, fearing the emphasis on TV programming and other bells and whistles means gaming will take a backseat and wary of always-on DRM rumors and the like. But is this all working out nicely for competitor Sony, who may be actively learning from Microsoft’s mistakes while planning its next move?

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Needle Master: Swedish artist wows net users with stunning video game embroidery

Believe it or not, the above image is not a still taken from an old 16-bit video game. This is the work of Per Fhager, a Swedish artist whose stunning needlework is currently taking the internet by storm.

From Nintendo classics like The Legend of Zelda and Super Mario Bros 2 to old-school shooters like Pop’n TwinBee and Blazing Star, Per’s mercilessly detailed work really has to be seen to be believed.

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Japanese mom shows daughter how it’s done with awesome old-school gaming notebook

Every generation, something comes along that people are just sure is going to ruin kids’ minds. Recently it’s social networking websites. In the 1950s it was blue jeans and rock ‘n’ roll. If you had a time machine, and for some reason got tired of riding on the backs of dinosaurs and decided to instead interview cavemen about the parenting issues they faced, I’m sure you’d find some of them complaining about how the young whipper-snappers in the neighborhood are wasting all their time with this new-fangled “fire” thing.

When I was growing up, the big menace was video games, but just like all the things listed above, they turned out to be mostly harmless (but watch out, blue jeans become quite a bit more dangerous if you combine them with fire). Video games have now been around long enough that some hardcore gamers have kids of their own, such as the mother of Twitter user maki_pq, whose enthusiasm for the Dragon Quest series far outpaces her daughter’s.
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Xbox Live hacked? Rumours flood the internet after ominous tweet left by hacker 【Updated】

The internet is abuzz this morning after an individual going by the name of Reckz0r claimed to have broken Microsoft’s security and gained access to as many as 48 million Xbox Live accounts.

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One of the Mushroom Kingdom’s most iconic characters has a dark, dark secret

Toad, the mushroom-headed character from the Super Mario series of video games that dates back almost 30 years now, is a character known to millions around the globe. Clear a castle in the original game and he’s there to break the news that the princess isn’t actually there. Slip on a banana peel while burning rubber in Super Mario Kart and it’s often his shrill voice you’ll hear echoing through the enormous green pipe tunnels. Need a man to pick and throw vegetables super fast in Super Mario Bros 2? Toad’s your guy.

Little did we know, though, that Toad has been harbouring a terrible secret the entire time we’ve known him. One that shocked Japanese fans and Twitter users to the core when the following photo came to light.

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It’s Dangerous to Go Alone! Take this! 3-D Printing Zelda Equipment

Becoming obsessed with The Legend of Zelda after getting it as a birthday present at the age of six, one fan has found a way to bring items from the game into the real world.

How, you ask with images of magical blacksmiths dancing in your head. Simple: 3-D printing!

This fan, who documents the creations at the incredible blog Hyrule Founder, recreated the 8-bit items as 3-D, digital models and printed them with a high-quality 3-D printer. Read More

We Check Out an Internet Cafe in Myanmar, Find it Full of Gamers

Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city, has a ton of internet cafes. There are also coffee shops with wi-fi, and places where you can plug into the net directly, so our intrepid author had no trouble getting online when he was there. He tells us about his experience. Read More

GungoHo Online Entertainment Continues Upward Surge, Market Cap Exceeds Nintendo in Morning Trading

On the morning of May 13, GungHo Online Entertainment, Inc. (JASDAQ Standard) rose by its maximum allowable single day limit of 300,000 yen (approx. US$3,000). The stock increased 28.79 percent to 1.342 million yen (approx. US$13,420). The rise comes on the heels of a 17 percent gain on Friday, May 9.
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Original Japanese Kirby Was Even Less Hardcore

No discussion of the pantheon of video game heroes is complete without mentioning HAL Laboratory’s Kirby. Including his recently-released 20th anniversary collection, the adorable pink puffball has close to two dozen appearances under his belt, which is an impressive feat for someone who lacks a waist.

Kirby has also gotten a bit of free publicity from website TV Tropes, with its “American Kirby is Hardcore” entry, which catalogues how the images of Kirby and other fictional characters are “toughened up” in marketing to make them more appealing to U.S. audiences.

In recent years, Kirby’s earned enough gamer goodwill to be as cute as he wants to in any market. Even still, we’re guessing he would have had a tough time of it initially in overseas markets if HAL had stuck with the character’s original name. Read More

New Dating Sim Follows Time-Tested Story Blueprint of Boy Meets Alpaca

Video games have made pretty steady progress into the cultural mainstream. Even people who aren’t gamers themselves can at least see the entertainment potential of a Mario title with its breezy fun, or the sweeping adventure of a Final Fantasy.

A genre many people have a harder time wrapping their heads around, though, is the dating simulator. Sure, driving games like Gran Turismo let us tune and race cars so expensive we can’t even talk the dealer into giving us a test drive in real life. And while Japan does have a royal family with princesses, the country’s lack of fire-breathing dragons means our chances of having to pick up sword and shield to go rescue them are slim, at best. But a game about going on dates? Couldn’t we just, like, ask someone out in real life?

Apparently some developers feel the same way, and have decided to spice up their dating sims with scenarios that take full advantage of video games’ unique style of escapism. Read More

Burn Rubber with Competition-Spec Mario Kart Erasers

As any professional road racer or weekend canyon carver can tell you, nothing gives a bigger boost to a car’s performance than a great set of tires. Taking that idea to its illogical conclusion, toy manufacturer Takara Tomy figured the hottest ride must be an eraser car. And one styled like a Mario kart, no less. Read More

You Can (Not) Lose with Sega’s Newest Evangelion Promotion


The UFO catcher, also known in the West as the crane game, is a stalwart of Japanese arcades. The rules are simple: drop in your coin, then operate the mechanical claw to try to pick up your prize, whether it’s a stuffed Pikachu, giant box of Pocky, or a live prawn. No, we are not making that last one up. Of course, this is easier said than done. More often than not the prizes slip out of the claw’s grasp (especially the prawns).

In a way, the UFO catcher is the perfect metaphor for the long-running, psychologically heavy-hitting anime series Evangelion, known to fans simply as Eva. Like Eva’s protagonist Shinji with his giant robot, at first the technology seems fun and exciting. Then, following soul-crushing failure after failure, you find yourself void of the strength to go on, staring at the machine through your tears of frustration, finally understanding that a part of you has hated it all along, even as the realization sinks in that it may house the soul of your dead mother (OK, the last bit is strictly Eva).

But with a new Eva UFO catcher promotion, Sega is making sure no one has to go home empty-handed. Read More

Green With Envy? Super Mario Muscles in on His Brother’s 15 Minutes of Fame

Poor old Luigi just can’t catch a break. Often only taken out of the box when a second player joins the game, forced to stand idly by as his brother Mario gets to smooch the princess, and reduced to the role of comical, vacuum-wielding scaredy cat in his haunted house adventure games…

Even in this, “The Year of Luigi”, wherein creators Nintendo put the man in green under the limelight, it seems that Luigi’s red-capped brother has managed to get his famous face onto what is supposed to be a special edition Nintendo 3DS celebrating all things Luigi.

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Free Panties and the Scent of Ninja Boobs – Senran Kagura Merchandising Bounces Along


When Nintendo first announced its 3D-capable 3DS handheld system, what kind of in-your-face gaming experience did you imagine? A high-tuned Mario Kart? A new Pilotwings with skydiving so realistic it’d have you looking for a ripcord?

Well if you were video game producer Kenichiro Takaki, you thought of boobs. Takaki, along with lonely gamer lust, is the driving force behind the Senran Kagura franchise. The series follows Asuka, a high school girl who’s also a ninja protecting the citizens of Japan against other, less scrupulous ninja. Joining Asuka in her mission are her classmates and their prodigious busts.

Starting with a 3DS release in 2011, the series expanded to a comic and anime TV series before making its PlayStation Vita debut this February with its third titillating title, Senran Kagura Shinovi Versus. Takaki recently had an idea for a little downloadable extra, but first threw down a lacy gauntlet to the series’ fans to gauge their interest. Read More

Someone Get the Defibrillator! Xbox 360’s Software Sales Figures in Japan Shockingly Low

The Xbox 360’s successor may well be just around the corner, but Microsoft has a serious problem on its hands in Japan. According to sales figures published by Japan’s Dengeki Online, even last week’s top-selling Xbox 360 game, Gears of War: Judgement, only managed to sell a paltry 347 copies in total. In a country where sales for Nintendo’s handheld 3DS reached almost 60,000 units in the exact same period, it’s clear that Microsoft’s console is struggling to keep its head above water.

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Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 Gets Explosive New Multiplayer Map Set in Kyushu

Players of the Call of Duty series are no strangers to downloadable content in the form of additional maps on which to shoot, stab and detonate. Ever since downloadable map packs were released for Call of Duty 3 back in 2007, console gamers have been treated to (or blighted by, depending on your stance on DLC) regular releases of additional content to purchase or risk being the one guy in their group of friends who can’t play on the same maps as everyone else.

This time around, developers Treyarch are dropping virtual soldiers and screaming headset-wearing pubescents on Kyushu, the southernmost of Japan’s four main islands. As well as being situated in the shadow of an erupting volcano, the town featured in the map is absolutely covered with cute cultural references and written Japanese which, we’re happy to say, is not riddled with mistakes.

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Highly Suggestive Cow Milking Game Appears on Japanese Google Play Store

Love cows? Young girls in plaid skirts and chest-hugging blouses rhythmically massaging teats? If the answer’s yes then this worrying new game for Android OS might be for you.

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Six Years After Launch, Nintendo Survey Hints at Charging Accessory for Wii Remotes

It’s been a long time coming, but Nintendo may have finally cottoned on to the idea that gamers do not enjoy relying on AA batteries to use their wireless controllers. According to reports circulating the Internet this morning, the Kyoto-based company has carried out an online survey asking users whether they’d be interested in purchasing officially branded rechargeable battery packs for their Wii controllers.

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Nintendo to Host Game Design Seminar this Summer, Accepting Applications from May 13

Japanese video game giant Nintendo has announced that it will be accepting applications from university students between May and June to attend a special seminar beginning this summer; the first of its kind in three years.

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