Video games

Street Fighter V photo
Street Fighter V

R. Mika butt bounces her way into Street Fighter V


Double Butt Bounce Finisher!
Aug 27
// Anthony Redgrave
We've all wanted it and finally Capcom delivers. The blonde show boating pro wrestler Rainbow Mika finally makes her return to the cast of World Warriors since her debut in 1998 with Street Fighter Alpha 3. R. Mika is also t...
Yakuza 5 photo
Yakuza 5

Yakuza 5 is a big package of a small slice of Japan


Like A Dragon
Aug 26
// Red Veron
If you've ever wanted to experience a small slice of urban Japan from the comfort of your own home, the Yakuza video game series has always been known to be the best game for the job. I find myself excited for big AAA games l...

We need more anime based on table games, Japan!

Aug 26 // Moe Janai
Series concentrating on table games have gained enormous popularity in the past few years. There’s the aforementioned Akagi, which is about high-stakes, borderline-weird mahjong games (think cooking shows like Yakitate! Japan where characters experience exaggerated reactions after eating delicious food). There’s also the spiritual twin of Akagi, Kaiji, which is just as crazy as the former but with more insane wagers included in each episode. Besides anime, there’s also manga that centers on traditional table games and gambling like Liar Game, Gamble Fish, Life is Money, and Tobaku Haouden Rei. One thing that’s definitely missing, however, is a series that concentrates on poker, which has become the most popular mind sport in the world and is now gaining quite the reputation in Japan.Apart from the fact that many Japanese travel abroad just to be able to participate in world poker tournaments, Japan is now currently in the middle of talks about legalizing the construction of casinos in the country. An anime about poker would be timely, and show the locals a different kind of table game apart from the table versions that anime has tapped into in the past. There are a lot of interesting gameplay elements in poker: the bluffing, the psychological warfare, the many different poker hands, playing styles, etc. An anime that tapped into the world of poker would surely be interesting to watch, as it hasn’t been done before. Despite Japan not having an anime about poker yet, that’s not to say that a representation of casino-based games in Japan has not been done before. There used to be a manga called Poker King, but it only lasted 6 volumes, probably because it was released during a time when the card game wasn’t that popular among the Japanese.  More anime about gambling will possibly help move forward the talks on Japan's casino legislation. Just like how some of Japan’s social issues are discussed through prose, poems, and live-action drama, anime creators can take a jab at the casino legislation issue and help officials decide by discussing important aspects of the industry. It could be a feature on the life of employees working in a casino, how a gaming establishment helps drive tourism, or how big poker tournaments bring partnerships to multinational companies. The possibilities of featuring the different angles of the casino business through anime are endless. In addition, gambling-related anime can also help people understand that casinos aren’t just about wagering money. Just like any other business, it also answers its social call by conducting charitable acts and fundraisers. There are plenty of news articles now that show casinos under a positive light, and anime programs that highlight such articles will help inform the public on what casinos can do to the community and the country as a whole. The table is set for more card games to be turned into anime. Three years ago, Naoya Kihara became the first Japanese player to win a World Series of Poker bracelet at the sport’s most prestigious event, instantly garnering him celebrity status in his own right. His success also piqued the curiosity of the locals. Add the fact that Japan is now seriously thinking about legalizing casinos in the country, there’s no better time to release new anime titles based on actual card games.
Table Game Anime photo
Because anime must have no limits!
Japan's anime artists have a knack for turning ordinary, everyday things into a hit. You see, cartoons in the U.S. are all about superheroes trying to save the world. But in Japan? There are so many creative genres that en...

Persona 4 photo
Persona 4

Insert Coin Clothing shows off their Persona 4 range


Funky Student approves
Aug 23
// Anthony Redgrave
Anyone that has played Persona 4 will know that every day is great when you shop at Junes. The store that had become the HQ for the Investigation Team now has an official wearable merch courtesy of Insert Coin Clothing. Inser...

SUPERBEAT photo
SUPERBEAT

SUPERBEAT: XONiC will be Playstation TV compatible


Music gaming on the big screen
Aug 20
// Red Veron
Rejoice, big screen rhythm music gamers! SUPERBEAT: XONiC will be compatible with the tiny wondrous box that is the Playstation TV! Now you can play with a big screen with a controller if touch screens aren't your thing. This...
Kingdom Hearts III photo
Kingdom Hearts III

Kingdom Hearts III goes peak Disney, includes Big Hero 6 world


Inflatable Keyblade to follow?
Aug 16
// Josh Tolentino
Let's face it: Kingdom Hearts III has been in development for so long that it's practically associated with a now bygone period of Japanese game development, dominated by the dread spectre of Square Enix at the height of...
Final Fantasy VII photo
Final Fantasy VII

Check out Final Fantasy VII as a 2D brawler


Final Fantasy Meets Final Fight
Aug 15
// Anthony Redgrave
You cannot dispute that Final Fantasy VII is the most beloved game in the Final Fantasy series. It had a huge impact in the western market, an extended lifespan with the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII, and its remaster was...
Yo-Kai Watch photo
Yo-Kai Watch

Would you like some fries with your Yo-kai?


I need these!
Aug 13
// Hiroko Yamamura
So, I haven't actually watched a full episode of Yo-kai Watch or played the games. I have just ended up buying gobs of toys for my nieces and nephews, as they are insane about the highly successful series. In some weird way ...
Hang Em Hyrule photo
Hang Em Hyrule

What if The Legend of Zelda took place in the Wild West?


The Power, the Wisdom and the Courage
Aug 13
// Salvador GRodiles
When the folks at Beatdown Boogie aren't shooting at a con, they go behind the set to create their own special projects. In their latest video, the group gives us a taste of how The Legend fo Zelda would turn as a spaghetti ...
Steam Comiket Sale photo
Steam Comiket Sale

Go nuts for doujin games with Steam's Summer Comiket Sale


Indie-credible Deals
Aug 11
// Josh Tolentino
If there's one thing otaku like more than otaku things, it's otaku things bought for cheap, which makes Steam's latest excuse to have a sale especially relevant. Y'see, Summer Comiket is happening right about now, and the ota...
Attack on Titan photo
Attack on Titan

Oh, finally, a proper Attack on Titan game


Dynasty Warriors: Giant Cannibals
Aug 09
// Josh Tolentino
What's that, you say? There's already been a proper Attack on Titan game? Well, that is technically true, and Atlus USA even brought it to English-speaking shores as Attack on Titan: Humanity in Chains. Unfortunately, that t...
Splatoon photo
Splatoon

Behold the glory of Splatoon's Squid Girl gear


Coming soon to everywhere!
Aug 07
// Josh Tolentino
It's happening! Everyone's favorite cephalopod-children combat painting simulator, Splatoon, is getting the long-awaited crossover with everyone's favorite cephalopod-conquest documentary, Squid Girl. Scans from the latest is...
Mega Ran photo
Mega Ran

Mega Ran shows us how to get unlimited continues


We're gonna live forever!
Aug 06
// Salvador GRodiles
Mega Ran is back with another rad music video, and he's bringing D&D Slugger along for the ride. As a part of his upcoming track, RNDM, "Infinite Lives" conveys the importance of finding ways to turn your life into an ar...

First Impressions: God Eater episodes 1-3

Jul 30 // Josh Tolentino
The good news is, that visually, God Eater is one of the best-looking shows I've seen in years. And it's not just getting by on style, either. Ufotable, as is their way, has created a technical tour de force with their newest series, using multi-layered shading and coloring techniques to create a unique look for God Eater, as well as finally make an anime where CG creations - in this case, the Aragami monsters and large parts of the backgrounds - don't stick out like a sore thumb.  That doesn't sound huge on its own, but considering the way CG is employed in most traditional 2D anime, it's significant. The few shows to do it well were often all-CG (like Fireball Charming or, err...Sega Hard Girls) or kept the 2D and 3D portions carefully separated (like Ghost in the Shell: Standalone Complex and Etotama). Even Ufotable itself never quite managed the blend with last season's Unlimited Blade Works adaptation. They kept mostly to digital effects, and the CG still looked awkward and out-of-place when used for things like Caster's skeleton warriors or that red water pouring out of the Holy Grail. In most 2D shows, you can usually tell when something's been modeled someone CG comes in just by looking. Whether it's slightly flat colors or an unusual slowness (or smoothness) to the movement, being able to spot the CG in an anime is the "Conspicuously Light Patch" of its age.  To be perfectly honest, that's still technically true in God Eater. It's easy to tell that the Aragami are mostly done in CG, and it's more evident when both monsters and people are on the screen together. Still, the blend on display is better than ever, to the point that after watching the stream on Daisuki, I deliberately sought out a higher-resolution version of the broadcast to see for myself. God Eater just looks that good. More's the pity, then, that the narrative portions of the show simply don't live up to the lavish visuals. In fact, many of the fears some Ufotable fans had about the studio's ability to take on a "heavy" narrative show after five years adapting Type-MOON's "Nasu-verse" for the screen have proven at least partly true so far. Without the dense (and more importantly pre-existing) fiction of the Fate franchise to back it up, God Eater comes across as an Attack on Titan clone where righteous anger has been replaced by a dreary, somewhat undeserved sense of self-importance. It's not all Ufotable's fault, of course. God Eater compared favorably to Monster Hunter in the story department mainly by virtue of actually having a story. As a TV series, God Eater faces much stronger competition, not least of all Ufotable's own stellar work expanding Unlimited Blade Works, just weeks ago. I'd have hoped that they'd be able to make God Eater's world seem less threadbare than in the game, but instead the early results actually seem more stilted than before. In a bitter irony, the game versions of the characters actually seem livelier than in the anime, despite the anime having more "cutscene" in the first three episodes than in the entirety of the game itself. The setup is simple: Ravenous monsters called "Aragami" have destroyed most of humanity, which now hides behind large walled cities under the administration of FENRIR, which employs "God Eaters", warriors that gain superhuman ability when infused with Oracle Cells (the same ones as in the Aragami). God Eaters wield massive weapons called God Arcs to defend mankind's last sanctuaries against the monstrous hordes.  Lenka Utsugi is a newly recruited God Eater in FENRIR's Far East branch. Quite, stoic, and obsessed with taking vengeance upon the Aragami for eating his loved ones, Lenka's a "New-type", who can wield a new, transforming variant of God Arc. His can turn from a massive sword into a massive gun. Being talented, though, makes no substitute for experience, and Lenka's impulsiveness quickly gets him into trouble, forcing the veterans of the 1st Squad, including laid-back badass Lindow Amamiya and his pals Soma and Sakuya to bail him out. Naturally, the kid's got that "something" about him, and by episode 3, Lenka and the squad are working together, and meeting Alisa, another Russian New-type who's got a great hat and, judging by the underboob, might have had the rest of her outfit chosen by her creepy scientist mentor/father-figure. I'm not the kind of guy to go drawing parallels to Attack on Titan When everyone an anime features gross monsters and the people who fight them in a bleakly-toned story, but in this case the parallels are warranted, and unfortunately leave God Eater wanting. The raw anger and passion that underpinned the mood of Eren Jager's saga is here replaced with a dull kind of stoicism. Lenka's strong-but-silent demeanor may be an improvement from the goofball harem tediousness of the God Eater manga's lead, but not by much, and certainly not enough to make Lenka a better lead overall. Worse, points of characterization and flavor that helped the game set a mood in spite of a barebones plot are excised or missing in action here. Story points that might have made God Eater feel less, for lack of a better word, generic, like the privileged status of the God Eater corps or other dynamics, are nowhere to be found, leaving a by-the-numbers "soldiers at the end of the world" moodiness in its place. To be fair, it's still early going, and the show is already forging some newer territory by using flashbacks to the apparent origin of the Aragami and its involvement with FENRIR's higher-ups. It's a sign that Ufotable is beginning to plumb deeper into the lore, which has historically been a strength of theirs as opposed to natural-feeling characterization. Events are moving at a good clip, too, skipping over some of the game's high school shenanigans (at the time used to lazily deploy exposition without spending on animation), so it might not be long before all of it takes a more intriguing turn. Still, there's no avoiding the sense here that some opportunities to make God Eater a more vibrant setting have been missed, and I've no doubt that at least some viewers not hooked on the visuals were turned away by this early narrative blandness. Heck, I'd probably drop the show if I weren't already interested in seeing my favorite MonHun clone get some love.
God Eater photo
No Free Lunch
I've said time and again that God Eater is one of the best - if not the best - attempt yet by competing publishers to take a sip out of Capcom's giant Monster Hunter milkshake. With God Eater, developer Sh...

Dengeki Bunko photo
Dengeki Bunko

Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax releases Oct 6 in the west


Limited edition exclusive to US
Jul 30
// Anthony Redgrave
If you have ever wanted to beat up an anime character in locked one on one combat then maybe Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax is the game for you. Dengeki Bunko is a publishing company in Japan that helps release light novels li...
Secret of Evermore photo
Secret of Evermore

Celebrate Secret of Evermore's 20th Anniversary with a remastered soundtrack


Don't underestimate a dog's loyalty
Jul 23
// Salvador GRodiles
Oct. 1 may not be here yet, but that isn't stopping Sean Schafianski (Chrono Trigger: Jazz Arranged Version) from releasing his Secret of Evermore arranged soundtrack known as Secret of Evermore: Remastered Tracks. In t...
Nier New Project photo
Nier New Project

Nier, of all things, gets a musical tribute (and a sequel)


"Song of the Ancients"
Jul 17
// Josh Tolentino
One of the least-expected bits of news out of E3 came from Square Enix, who were on a roll with that Final Fantasy VII remake announcement. Of course, that particular project had long been rumored and treated as somethi...
Million Arthur photo
Million Arthur

It's time for war: Square's Million Arthur game is now available


Who wants to become Camelot's King?
Jul 15
// Salvador GRodiles
We're in the middle of July and GAMEVIL has released Square-Enix's Million Arthur game on the Android and iOS. To be more specific, it came out on July 14, but you get what I mean. In light of this day, the company uploaded ...
Nintendo photo
Iwata was 55
[Update: Developer legend and Nintendo General Manager Shigeru Miyamoto issued a statement in reaction to Iwata's death, saying that he was "surprised at this sudden news and overcome with sadness."] In a brief statement issu...

Mega Ran photo
Mega Ran

Aw snap: Mega Ran and Mighty No. 9 team up for a sweet deal


Mighty No. Ran anyone?
Jul 09
// Salvador GRodiles
I may not be up to date with Mega Ran's music, but there's something amazing about the way how the guy tells an engaging story while he raps. Whether it's his tunes about the Blue Bomber, Final Fantasy VII, or other neat top...
Imported photo
Imported

IMPORTED collects Japanese game music's greatest tunes


From Mega Man to Metal Gear
Jul 03
// Anthony Redgrave
Video Game soundtracks are one of the rarer goodies found in any collection. I'm more inclined to collect art books than CDs but if a soundtrack has me tapping my feet to the beat I will hunt it down. It's a shame that most o...
Muv-Luv photo
Muv-Luv

Watch out, BETA: Muv-Luv localization to get Kickstarted


Coming soon to a Kickstarter near you
Jul 01
// Salvador GRodiles
It looks like visual novel fans are in for some good news. The gang at DegiGames and Ixtl have revealed that they're creating a Kickstarter to localize Muv-Luv and Muv-Luv Alternative. While the funding campaign wil...
IA/VT Colorful photo
IA/VT Colorful

Blame the music industry for this rhythm game not going west


As if you needed another reason
Jun 29
// Josh Tolentino
Any true fan of the Vocaloid scene will tell you that it's not all about Hatsune Miku and her Crypton-sponsored friends. After all, Vocaloid itself is a "neutral" platform, allied to no one character. That's a roundabout way...
Steins;Gate photo
Steins;Gate

Steins;Gate finally gets a US release date on console


Including the version with a metal Upa
Jun 29
// Josh Tolentino
Dust off your lab coats, American nerds: Steins;Gate is coming.  Wait, what? Wasn't it already out in April? Indeed, it was out on the PC, but thanks to the folks at PQube, the game is coming to PS Vita and PS3...
J-Stars Victory photo
J-Stars Victory

J-Stars Victory Vs+ releases early for EU and Australia


The Testosterone Game
Jun 27
// Anthony Redgrave
Weekly Shonen Jump is one of the biggest manga umbrellas in the industry, collecting some of the biggest franchises like; Dragon Ball, One Piece, Bleach, Naruto, and Gintama. Their ventures from the black and white weeklies ...
VA-11 HALL-A photo
VA-11 HALL-A

Drown away your sorrows with a new VA-11 HALL-A trailer


Just what the bartender ordered
Jun 26
// Salvador GRodiles
Back when Japanator Managing Editor Josh Tolentino wrote about VA-11 HALL-A, the bartending game that's set in a cyberpunk setting, my interest for the title was at a normal level. While I didn't get to play the project's pr...
Persona 5 photo
Persona 5

But of course Lelouch is in Persona 5 trailer!


Also, dancing!
Jun 25
// Josh Tolentino
[Update: Courtesy of Gematsu, an alternate link to the trailer has been found. Check it out below!] Much to some fans' disappointment, Persona 5 didn't make a huge splash at E3 this year. Rather than put Atlus' lat...
Yo-kai Watch photo
This is your warning
This is a fair warning to your wallet in advance now. Yo-kai Watch is on its way, prepare your wallet. The anime and video game phenomena that has swept through Japan and emptied the wallets of many Japanese parents is set t...

Yakuza play photo
Yakuza play

Yakuza stage play heads to video


Hard looks included
Jun 24
// Hiroko Yamamura
Stage plays and live musicals aren't really my thing. However, seeing the footage of the Yakuza theatre run makes me think I might have been missing out on some serious fun. The show isn't running at this time, but they've c...
Tales of Berseria photo
Tales of Berseria

Anchors Aweigh: Tales of Berseria enters the high seas


Let's set sail for adventure!
Jun 22
// Salvador GRodiles
There's something nice about sailing to places in video games. Whether it's Wind Waker's open seas or Skies of Arcadia's vast skies, the idea of exploring vast areas on a ship has always been a thing that I've enjo...

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