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10:00 AM on 02.19.2015

Enrol as a Virtual Exchange Student in Tokyo School Life

Visual novels are nothing new in Japan but they're still incredibly niche in the west. I don't think we'll be seeing copies of Clannad or School Days on the shelves of Gamestop anytime soon, but they're gradually finding thei...

Anthony Redgrave


5:00 PM on 01.24.2015

[Update] Planeptune rules: Neptunia Re;Birth1 heads to Steam on Wednesday

[Update: Idea Factory International revealed that Neptunia Re;Birth1's debut on Steam was slightly delayed, and the game's release date is now Jan. 29] It's been a good while since Idea Factory International announc...

Salvador GRodiles

8:00 AM on 01.23.2015

PSA: Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds hits Steam today

If you've been itching to play a fun 2D beat em' game on the PC, then you'll be happy to know that MAGES' Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds game's now on Steam. Thanks to Degica's help in making this release possible, more...

Salvador GRodiles



PSA: Anime is the name of Steam's weekend game sale photo
PSA: Anime is the name of Steam's weekend game sale
by Josh Tolentino

Of all the geeky trends people took note of in 2014, one of the least appreciated is the Japanese gaming industry's growing embrace of indie development and global digital distribution. Sure, it's been happening for the last couple of years, slowly, but 2014 was a real kick in the pants when it came to seeing the fruits of Japan's "doujin" development scene outside the shadowy confines of Comiket. 

The most notable phenomenon has been the veritable Cambrian explosion of visual novels and other "anime" games on Steam, which is the de facto face of PC gaming, which to most folks is dominated by western-style titles. However, thanks to Steam Greenlight, Kickstarter, and perhaps the decline of the home console market in Japan, more "Japanese-style" games than ever are on the platform.

And if you needed even more evidence of the obvious, here it is: The latest Steam weekend sale is themed all around "anime". More than 40 games in the anime vein, developed both within Glorious Nippon and without, are getting crazy discounts from now until January 12th.

Notable among the offerings are Christine Love's Korean-themed visual novels, Analogue: A Hate Story and Hate Plus, the animal romance sensation Hatoful Boyfriend, Nyu Media's Cherry Tree High Comedy Club, World End Economica from the author of Spice and Wolf, no less than two Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm games, XSEED's ports of Ys I & II Chronicles, Ys Origins, and Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky, and the dating-sim/travel primer Go Go Nippon! 

All those and more are going for cents on the dollar (or whatever currency Steam makes you pay in), so pick your favorites and possibly spend less than you normally would!

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6:00 PM on 12.23.2014

Despair: Americana Dawn's Kickstarter failed to reach its goal

Oh my. I never expected that it would come to this, but I'm afraid that Americana Dawn's Kickstarter couldn't achieve its $70,000 goal, since they were only able to rake in $28,239. While this means that Foster's jo...

Salvador GRodiles

10:00 AM on 12.22.2014

Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4's first trailer gets straight to the end

The Valley of the End, that is, which, if you're unfamiliar with Naruto history, is a big ol' waterfall created by the final battle between ninja historical figures Madara Uchiha and Hashirama Senju. The location f...

Josh Tolentino

1:00 PM on 12.16.2014

Sure, why not make game about Mushroom Girls?

Really, why not? The last few years have seen a Cambrian Explosion for weird games, and people are now taking notice of good ol' Japan, which has been doing weird for longer than just about anybody. Of course, I could just be...

Josh Tolentino

8:30 PM on 12.04.2014

Wait, what? It's a Dragon Dating Simulator

I'm conflicted about this. On the one hand, it's really cool that designers outside Japan are taking visual novels and relationship-centric games more seriously. More people making more types of games can only be a good thing. On the other hand...Dragon Dating Simulator.

Josh Tolentino

2:00 PM on 11.28.2014

Huzzah: J-List/JAST USA unleashes a series of new announcements

The holidays are among us, which means that many outlets are having a bunch of sales as we speak. Speaking of which, J-list is having a sale until Dec. 2 where people can get up to 18% off any product (based on how much they ...

Salvador GRodiles



Congrats to our If My Heart Had Wings giveaway winners! photo
Congrats to our If My Heart Had Wings giveaway winners!
by Josh Tolentino

Free stuff is great, isn't it? That's likely what you all were thinking when you signed on to our giveaway with Moenovel for free Steam copies of If My Heart Had Wings! Sadly, we only had five copies to give away, and we've just chosen them, thanks to the power of random selection.

Congratulations to our lucky handful, whose names and user accounts were selected out of the pool of correct answers to the contest question:

Kerlin

DarkDarts

MSJ

Lesik

Binary Mind

You lucky handful, you! You'll be contacted soon via email with your Steam keys! 

For the rest of you, if you're still interested in the game, it's available right now!

And remember: When in doubt, the answer is probably "Keifuu Academy". That's good life advice right there.

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9:00 PM on 11.24.2014

Journey through Colonial America in Americana Dawn

There's something amazing about seeing two great things come together to form a nice package. In this case, Max Lam and her team, Bit Bonton, have opened a Kickstarter for Americana Dawn, a JRPG-influenced game that lets the...

Salvador GRodiles







Contest: Win Steam copies of If My Heart Had Wings! photo
Contest: Win Steam copies of If My Heart Had Wings!
by Josh Tolentino

[Update: Contest is over, everyone! The winners will be contacted by the email address they signed up for Japanator with!]

We've got a treat for you story-game fans out there, and it comes to you courtesy of our buds at Moenovel! The fine folks over there have given us five copies of their hit visual novel If My Heart Had Wings, in commemoration of the game's impending release on Steam, everyone's favorite digital distribution platform.

Those five copies are going out to five lucky commenters who can answer a simple question below! All you have to do is visit the game's website and find the answer, then place in a comment on this post while logged into Japanator (this part's important, otherwise we won't be able to contact you if you win!). The winners will be selected randomly from the pool of correct answers and contacted upon the game's release.

You've got from now until November 23rd, 2014, at 2200 (10PM) CST to post your answers, so get to it!

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