Speakers and learners of the Japanese language will no doubt be familiar with giongo and gitaigo, onomatopoeic words that are used to imitate or describe real-world sounds or sensations, respectively.
For many English speakers, sentences like “And the rain was falling like ‘tccccchhhh’, and my heart was going ‘boom boom boom,'” might come across as informal at best, or perhaps even suggest that the speaker is not especially articulate. In Japanese, though, onomatopoeia is employed far more frequently in both spoken and written communication, and this new commercial from Sony announcing a price cut for its Vita portable games console has it in droves.
Dutch-British game developer James Kay found his way into the videogame industry after studying Audiovisual design at the Willem de Kooning Academy and moving to London to work at Intelligent Games and Criterion Software. He relocated to Japan in 2001 and, after picking up a wealth of experience at companies including Taito, Genki and Marvelous Entertainment, went on to co-found Score Studios, a company that has received critical acclaim and is fast becoming a big name in the industry.
Detailing the many hurdles that foreigners working in the Japanese videogame industry face, James’ book Japanmanship: the ultimate guide to working in videogame development in Japan may well prove to be an invaluable resource for those thinking of making the move to the spiritual home of videogames.
With the book coming off the presses just last December, RocketNews24 headed to Score Studios in Tokyo’s Yoyogi to meet with James and talk about his book, life in the videogame industry and which Nintendo Princess he’d rather rescue.
Sony’s recent publicly-announced warning not to put your gaming console in the microwave, has left most of the online community completely lost for words. If you happen to be the owner of a Sony gaming console, placing it in the microwave only to fry the hell of it is surely the last thing on your agenda. Nevertheless, it cannot be denied that such reports have recently been doing the rounds on the net. Frying your treasured gaming console obviously defies all forms of common sense and I’m sure most of you will be racking your brains as to whom and under what circumstances would do such a thing.
So just why would Sony issue such a bizarre warning? In short, Sony appears only to be going by the facts, or should we say the evidence that remains resident on the game console after being submitted for repair:
“Of the defective products received by Sony, we have detected on some rate occasions evident changes in the shape of the unit and even burn marks that can only be assumed to have been brought about by the use of an electrical appliance such as a hairdryer or microwave”.
Sony adds, “Heating up your game console leads not only to a defective unit but also creates the risk of a fire or even serious injury”.
Whilst there is much speculation and even theories out there as to why game users would resort to such an act, hard evidence is much lacking.
So just what are some of these theories?
Forget about sending your broken game console to Sony: if you have a hairdryer at hand, repair it yourself the D.I.Y way! – Or so the ‘hairdryer method’ would have you believe!
You could be fooled into thinking that this is some enormous new add-on for the current Playstation 3 console, but what you’re actually looking at here is a multi-layered wooden bentō lunchbox sculpted and assembled by a master craftsman for Sony Japan.
Presented to staff at Square Enix and Konami in celebration of 25 years of Final Fantasy and Metal Gear games, these stunning lunchboxes are designed to look identical to Sony’s home console, featuring everything from the ridged top to the tiny silver Playstation logo on the front, all the while leaving plenty of room inside for a delicious lunch.
These things are so beautiful that it almost makes us want to trade in our plastic Playstation 3 for a wooden one…
Despite the country currently being completely bewitched by the new-fangled gadgetry that is the Nintendo Wii U, Erika to Satoru no Yume Bouken (Erika and Satoru’s Dream Adventure), a game released for Nintendo’s Famicom games console more than 20 years ago, has managed to find its way into Japanese headlines this week after hidden messages alluding to sex, poor personal hygiene and one developer’s most disliked co-workers were discovered after the end credits roll.
Kids’ game or not, this disgruntled developer pulls no punches…
We’ve had a Wii U in the RocketNews24 office, not to mention out on the shinkansen bullet train, for about a week now. Despite being made by a Japanese company, the console isn’t available in Japan for another 10 days, and many Japanese and foreigners alike are clamouring to know how the new machine works and, most importantly, whether games on the platform are really the magical experience Nintendo would like us to believe.
We picked up New Super Mario Bros U, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, ZombiU and Nintendo Land along with our import machine, and are happy to say from the outset that these are all genuinely good titles. This isn’t a review as such, but since we have a number of lifelong gamers on the RocketNews24 team, especially our main man Kuzo, we were keen to share our impressions with you regarding how the four biggest titles launching alongside the Wii U show off the new console, not to mention which of the games are most likely to satisfy once they arrive in your sweaty little hands come December 8.
The Wii U — Nintendo’s first new home console in six years — may not be available until next Saturday here in Japan, but that didn’t stop our team getting hold of a North American unit and getting stuck into some quality gaming early.
Gamers among you will already know a little about Nintendo’s newest baby, but for the uninitiated, here it is in a nutshell: the Wii U combines the remote-wielding mayhem of everyone’s favourite Nintendo system with a unique new controller featuring a touch screen that can be used with or without a TV set, all topped off with a layer of gorgeous high-definition visuals. The idea is that the player uses the screen to interaxct with their games in a new way or, as we did here, use the gamepad screen in place of a TV set.
Sounds good, right?
But until we got our hands on a Wii U, we never fully appreciated just how much of a game-changer it was. We’ve played Sony PSP and Nintendo DS consoles on the go for years now, but imagine being able to take your actual home games console out on the road. Or how about on a high speed train…
The sight of cosplayers in Japan is nothing unusual, but if we ran into these ghoulish fellows on the streets of Tokyo we’d certainly double-take.
Dressed as the fiendish biologically-engineered “Tyrant” giants from the Biohazard (Resident Evil in the west) games, these three enormous men wandered through Akihabara, where they were met with comments varying from “creepy as hell” to “too cute!” as they showed a softer side than we’re used to seeing in the games and spin-off movies…
If you’re anything like me, you spent tens, if not hundreds of hours during the 1990s in front of a TV set playing Super Nintendo games like Super Mario World.
The game is often heralded as the greatest 2-D Mario game ever made, and is still played even 22 years (feel old yet!?) after its original launch.
You’d be wrong, though, if you thought that people were still playing just the levels that Nintendo crafted for its consumers decades ago; throughout the world there are entire groups of people with ROM files and hacked versions of the original game code who are regularly creating new levels, sometimes entire worlds, of their very own.
But why create nice, gentle levels filled with dancing flowers and 1-up mushrooms when you could create the most sadistic, mind-bending stages ever conceived of and force your friends to play through them?
While browsing online store Amazon, you’ve no doubt stumbled upon a few interesting or downright strange reviews of products written by fellow shoppers. Some of the reviews are both well written and informative, helping us make the best purchasing decisions possible; others, meanwhile, might cause us to wonder how the human race has survived this long, or make us consider contacting the authorities.
One review on Amazon Japan, however, has caught the attention of hundreds of shoppers and has become something of a talking point online.
The review, written by a self-professed middle-aged man, is of a videogame that sees gamers select clothes for, dress and style young women as fashionably as possible, and is intended mainly for the younger female audience.
This male reviewer, however, was incredibly taken with the title, going so far as to say that it has changed the way he sees the world…
As a life-long gamer, I love it when new videogame-related technology arrives. And when it’s tech that looks like the virtual reality headsets of the future that were teased during my 1980s childhood, I just about lose my head out of excitement.
Sony’s newest “Personal 3D Viewer” head-mounted display, however, almost makes me wish I didn’t have a head to lose. Or a forehead, at least… Read More