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Japanator Live photo
Japanator Live

Japanator Live: Fortune Summoners' magic school is about to get cleansed

Will this adventure come to a close?
Sep 24
// Salvador G Rodiles
[Update: The stream is over, but you can watch it here.] We're back to our usual schedule and it's time for us to find Fortune Summoners' final adversary and show her that it's rude to turn innocent people into stone. Serious...
Japanator Live photo
Japanator Live

Japanator Live: Learn the truth behind Fortune Summoners' signature stone

Will this be our last run?
Sep 15
// Salvador G Rodiles
[Update: The stream is over, but you can watch it here.] I bet most of you are wondering why I'm holding a Jtor Live segment tonight. Well, something came up that I won't be able to host the segment on Saturday, so I figured ...
Touhou photo

Touhou: Scarlet Curiosity will obliterate your boredom on Sept. 20

Immortality is overrated
Sep 02
// Salvador G Rodiles
Well, folks. It looks like we're in for a September that's filled with lots of colorful bullets since Touhou: Scarlet Curiosity, the Touhou fan game by Ankake Spa that gives off a Ys: The Oath in Felghana and Ys Origins ...
Japanator Live photo
Japanator Live

Japanator Live: Turn up the heat with Fortune Summoners

Let's set this place on fire
Aug 20
// Salvador G Rodiles
[Update: The stream is over, but you can watch it here and here.] Summer tends to be one of the hottest seasons in many regions, which results in people trying to find a way to stay cool while they endure the heat. In the cas...

Japanator Live photo
Japanator Live

Japanator Live: Destroy the scorching heat with Fortune Summoners' water dungeon

Status ailments are the worse
Aug 13
// Salvador G Rodiles
[Update: The stream is over, but you can watch it here.] When people said that Fortune Summoners was a bit challenging, they weren't joking around. While I didn't get a "game over" yet, the game encourages the players to take...
Japanator Live photo
Japanator Live

Japanator Live: Vanquish deadly cute foes with Fortune Summoners

Adorableness is the best deception
Aug 06
// Salvador G Rodiles
[Update: The stream is over, but you can watch it here.] As I promised last time, I was going to try out a different doujin title for this week's segment. Since I was in a mood for a challenge, I'm going to tackle Fortune Sum...
Japanator Live photo
Japanator Live

Japanator Live: Overcome large waves of monsters with Croixleur Sigma

Someone is about to get cut
Jul 30
// Salvador G Rodiles
[Update: The stream is over, but you can watch it here.] So I was able to get VA-11 Hall-A's good and bad ending last time, which means that it's time for us to start our next adventure. Tonight, I felt that I should sli...
VA-11 HALL-A photo

Cheers! Cyberpunk Bartender Action: VA-11 HALL-A gets a release date

Let's pour a drink for Sukeban Games
Jun 06
// Salvador G Rodiles
[Update: I contacted Fernando Damas (VA-11 HALL-A's Writer and Programmer) of Sukeban Games about The Augmented Eye Website's purpose, and he said, "We made AE as a means to tease the trailer, but we'll use it some more...
Touhou photo

Here's a nice extra helping of the Memories of Phantasm doujin anime series

The new year is off to an amazing start!
Jan 03
// Salvador G Rodiles
As the old year goes away, the gang at Manpukujinja have uploaded the sixth episode of their Touhou doujin anime, Fantasy Kaleidoscope ~The Memories of Phantasm~, on their YouTube page. Just like the previous episode, t...
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...
VA-11 HALL-A photo

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

Just what the bartender ordered
Jun 26
// Salvador G Rodiles
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...
Costco Manga photo
Costco Manga

Shopping at Costco becomes a manga

Costco meets Manga
Jun 17
// Anthony Redgrave
There's still so much going on at E3 it's hard to escape the gravitational pull towards writing about video games. But outside of the hot Los Angeles convention centre news is still happening, specifically doujin news regardi...
Touhou photo

Memories of Phantasm's fifth episode blasts its way to YouTube

Watch out for Mandragoras
Jun 14
// Salvador G Rodiles
Summer is around the corner and Manpuku Jinja has uploaded Fantasy Kaleidoscope ~The Memories of Phantasm~'s fifth episode on YouTube. Compare to the project's previous segments, this one decides to focus on the co...
Touhou x PS photo
Touhou x PS

Touhou games may come to PlayStation this year

But not the games you might want
Jan 27
// Josh Tolentino
Ah, Touhou Project. The hyper-popular series of bullet-hell shooters has long been a Holy Grail of sorts for non-PC-owning otaku, and the efforts to get games with the Touhou brand on various consoles have bee...
Steam sale photo
Steam sale

PSA: Anime is the name of Steam's weekend game sale

Now with more amorous avians!
Jan 09
// 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 ...
Touhou photo

Memories of Phantasm's third and fourth episodes are streaming on YouTube

In which Manpuku Jinja's animation dominates the screen
Jan 02
// Salvador G Rodiles
I may be fashionably late to the festivities, but Fantasy Kaleidoscope ~The Memories of Phantasm~'s third and fourth episode have blasted their way into YouTube before we transitioned into the new year. Just like the previous...
VA-11 HALL-A photo

Get robots drunk in VA-11 HALL-A's cyberpunk bar

Future boozefest
Aug 20
// Josh Tolentino
OK, I'll admit it right now: The main reason I'm posting about VA-11 HALL-A, a indie bartending game, is because of its website, located at a domain called (and I'm not kidding) These people know wh...
Comiket games photo
Comiket games

Behold the glory of Comiket 86's doujin games

Brought to you by Edelweiss
Aug 15
// Josh Tolentino
It's time for this year's Summer Comiket, and besides immense lines, hordes of otaku, and treasure troves of the greatest and latest in Japan's indie creation scene, there are also...videogames. Of course, in keeping with Co...
Chroma Squad photo
Chroma Squad

Report: Power Rangers co. Saban sues indie Sentai game

Teens with too much attitude
Jul 19
// Josh Tolentino
I love the story of Chroma Squad, a little indie game from Brazilian outfit Behold Studios. They took something they loved - tokusatsu and Super Sentai - and made it into a unique game concept - putting players in the shoes o...
Hatoful Boyfriend photo
Hatoful Boyfriend

Pigeon-date sim Hatoful Boyfriend getting English remake

This is the world we live in now
Jun 10
// Josh Tolentino
Forget Danganronpa. Ignore Hakuoki. Trash Katawa Shoujo. If there was ever any proof that visual novels and their ilk are real, actual things that might just matter outside Japan, this is it. Hatoful Boyfriend, the Japan...
Doujinshi photo

The doujinshi fanzine industry is worth a lot of money

Fans arise!
Feb 04
// Josh Tolentino
I suppose it should go without saying for some more savvy otaku, but the fan-comic industry (aka doujinshi) is pretty big in Japan. That said, not everyone knows just how big it is. Until now. A representative from Comitia, a...
Kickstarter photo

Help fund a Moe-themed guide for headphone enthusiasts

Doujin circle Lunatic Joker turns kickstarter for help
Dec 16
// Tim Sheehy
Audiophiles and headphone enthusiasts may be interested in helping kick-start this interesting project we've stumbled across -- Lunatic Joker's Moe Headphone Guidebook 2013. The doujinshi guide will reportedly featu...


Nov 08 // Elliot Gay
ARMED SEVEN Developer: ASTRO PORTPublisher: Nyu MediaReleased: October 4, 2013MSRP: $4.99 (PC) Surprising absolutely nobody, ARMED SEVEN doesn't have a complex narrative with twists and turns to keep you on the edge of your seat. ASTRO PORT keeps things brief: you're a soldier fighting against an underground militant organization that has stolen the Earth Federation's technology. The fate of the world rests in the hands of your mech, which means it's time to blow things up as effectively as possible. As most shoot-em-up fans are aware of, if you're looking for a complex narrative in this genre, you're doing it wrong. Oddly enough, the moment I booted up ARMED SEVEN, something felt off the mark. The main menu is navigated by using the Z key instead of the standard directional keys. This struck me as a strange design choice, but fortunately it doesn't hurt the experience in any significant fashion. Your mech unit is controlled using either the WASD or directional keys, with Z and X serving as your primary and special attacks respectively. I died many a time in the game's opening moments while trying to get used to the control layout, but it didn't take more than ten minutes to get used to it.  Otherwise, ARMED SEVEN plays like the horizontal shooters that folks have been playing for years. Your mech suit has a shield that permits it to take multiple shots before plummeting to the ground. Before entering the campaign proper, you can choose a main, sub, and charge weapon. There are four possible choices for each one, so a lot of the fun comes from mixing and matching and finding what load-out works best for you. Given the awkward angle that some of the guns fire at, it's important to test stuff out in the first few minutes to get a grasp on what sort of strategy your choice of weapon requires. Despite its low-budget origins ARMED SEVEN has a strong visual aesthetic. While the limited frames of animation left me a bit wanting, the actual sprites are big and clean, making it easy to see what you're supposed to be shooting at. Much to my surprise, I was being pitted against huge enemy mechs and ships within minutes of starting my first run. It felt good to have the first boss be something grand right off the bat. Like any shooter worth its salt, ARMED SEVEN's levels are all differently themed, meaning you won't be seeing the same set of enemies repeated over and over again. Given the brevity of the game (about 30 minutes for skilled players), variety is more than welcome. Unfortunately, I did have some problems with the color of enemy gunfire being a bit too similar to that of the level. I found myself straining my eyes a few times trying to see the bullets against the scrolling background. Musically ARMED SEVEN manages to impress with a series of beats that reminded me of the stuff I used to hear on the SNES' sound chip. I don't know if that's a deliberate play on nostalgia for that era, but it certainly managed to win me over. The game has its own built-in achievement system using emblems. As far as I could tell, there are a total of 16 unlockable emblems ranging from beating the game on easy, to clearing the campaign on insane mode taking less than six hits. Another cool little feature is the ability to save and watch replays of your run. It's useful for going back and trying to figure out what you did wrong against a certain boss or wave of enemies. ARMED SEVEN does a lot of things competently, creating a brief but fun shooter experience that's more than worth the $4.99 asking price. If you're looking for a solid shooter for the PC, don't hesitate to jump on this one. 7 -- Good (7s are solid games that definitely have an audience. Might lack replay value, could be too short or there are some hard-to-ignore faults, but the experience is fun.)
Review photo
Pew pew pew
Fans of Japanese indie games are no strangers to shooters. To be honest, the market is probably a bit oversaturated by these kinds of games, but the reality is that they don't require massive budgets to make. That being said,...

Vanguard Princess Steam photo
Vanguard Princess Steam

Doujin fighter Vanguard Princess coming to Steam

All the princesses, all the vanguards
Nov 01
// Elliot Gay
Publisher eigoMANGA has announced that Vanguard Princess, a doujin fighting game, will be hitting Steam this winter. After appearing on Steam Greenlight, it took nine days for the game to get voted in by a fairly whopping 39,...
Doujin photo

Get ready for Nyu Media's third wave of Doujin games

A Doujin Tsunami is heading our way!
Oct 14
// Salvador G Rodiles
It's been a good while since Nyu Media unleashed for their second wave of doujin titles, and the company's next cataclysmic attack is even greater than before. Speaking of which, the first game to enter the tsunami is Yataga...
Analogue: A Hate Story photo
Analogue: A Hate Story

Analogue: A Hate Story coming to iOS, Japan

*Mute and *Hyun-ae await!
Sep 16
// Josh Tolentino
Visual novels are cool games, but if there's a pet peeve I've developed with the genre lately, it's that most of them are PC-based. Visual Novels, dating sims, and the like are the perfect type of game to play on mobile and t...
Watashi Wa photo
Watashi Wa

Watashi Wa is not a Japanese game

But it is a super-interesting one
Aug 26
// Josh Tolentino
English-speaking folks might read the title for the new indie game Watashi wa Hijo ni Yoku Nihongo Hanasenai, and think it sounds sounds foreign and exotic. But, since you're reading this on Japanator, I'd be willi...

Import Review: Corpse Party 2: Dead Patient Chapter 01

Jul 29 // Elliot Gay
Corpse Party 2: Dead Patient Chapter 01 (PC)Developer: Team GrindhousePublisher: Team GrindhouseRelease Date: May 29, 2013Price: 1,800 yen Ayame Itou wakes up on an operating table in a dimly lit hospital room, unsure of how she got there. As it turns out, she's also missing most of her memories too. Alone and afraid, Ayame ventures out into the dark labyrinth of hospital corridors in the hopes of finding out who she is. What awaits her is something worse than she could have ever imagined. Let's get this out of the way: Corpse Party 2: Dead Patient is every bit the Corpse Party sequel that fans are hoping for. Much like the PSP game (a port of a PC remake), players control a super deformed character onscreen and walk them through dark, creepy environments. Unlike the original game however, Dead Patient's locales and characters are all rendered in 3D. Dead Patient isn't going to turn any heads, but it has a very sharp look to it that, while simple, effectively conveys fear. There's something inherently horrifying about watching a cute looking character model have its head eaten clean off. Team Grindhouse also does some fun stuff with lighting, including a brief bit that requires the use of a flashlight. After the visually disappointing Book of Shadows, it feels great coming back to this style. Ayame has a much wider range of movement than the characters in the last game; you're not restricted to only moving in four directions. It seems like a minor change, but being able to direct Ayame without any kind of handicap makes playing the game much less frustrating. She can also run, though she awkwardly pants nonstop while doing so. I recommend playing with headphones on for those of you concerned with that kind of thing. Dead Patient's UI is a step up from the first game, featuring a lot of clean pixel art. Picking up items dumps them in your inventory; a circular menu that shows you everything in your possession. In the original Corpse Party, players could collect name tags off of bodies. In Dead Patient, you now collect patient ID cards which reveal the cause of death, among other bits of information. These cards are viewable at anytime from the main menu in-game.  The Corpse Party series has always had fantastic music, and Dead Patient makes sure to continue that tradition. Nothing here is as blood pumpingly awesome as some of the faster tunes in the original game, but there's a wide variety of spooky themes despite the relatively short length of chapter one. Unfortunately, Dead Patient is not fully voiced. Characters all speak a few lines of dialogue, but for the most part they stay quiet throughout the game. Had this been a console title, I probably would have been more disappointed, but given Dead Patient's status as an indie release, I can certainly see why things turned out this way. Hopefully we see a port somewhere down the line. I sadly can't speak about the quality of the story in too much depth. As the first chapter of an ongoing game, this two hour chunk of Dead Patient introduces a few key members of the cast, throws the player into a big mystery, and then promptly ends just as you think you're starting to figure things out. This is a creepy game, but it's a very different story when compared to the previous Corpse Party narratives. It's bigger in scope, and as the credits to chapter one rolled, I couldn't help but find myself wondering where the hell Dead Patient could possibly go next.  That being said, Corpse Party 2: Dead Patient's first chapter is a great reintroduction to this hellish world. Team Grindhouse might not have made too many big changes to the formula, but the things they have added make the experience that much more enjoyable. Now that they've gotten the introductions out of the way, I have high hopes for chapter two. Either way, it's bound to be one helluva party. 7 -- Good (7s are solid games that definitely have an audience. Might lack replay value, could be too short or there are some hard-to-ignore faults, but the experience is fun.)
Review: Corpse Party 2 photo
Hospitals are scary.
Corpse Party has been on something of a roll lately. With an anime OVA in the works, multiple successful manga series, and a new Vita game scheduled to hit later this year, there looks to be no end in sight for the horror fra...

Dojinshi photo

Gut-punch fetish comics set to release soon

It's a thing now that shouldn't be
Jul 09
// Josh Totman
Let's file this one under "WTF Japan?!" A doujinshi circle group called Atemism is releasing a violent doujinshi about tieing up girls and giving them a "Belly punch" or other violence. This type of sick and twisted fant...
Touhou doujin anime  photo
Touhou doujin anime

Memories of Phantasm's 2nd episode gets streamed silently

Silent doujin Touhou anime for everyone!
Jun 10
// Salvador G Rodiles
I think I need to get myself checked up, because I haven't played any of the Touhou games yet. As for the reasoning behind my latest sin, the answer is unknown. For now, I will blame time, which is a factor that affects many...

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