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Unbreakable Soul photo
Unbreakable Soul

Soul Calibur: Unbreakable Soul drops on iOS today

Can't be worse than the recent Soul Calibur games
May 08
// Pedro Cortes
In strange gaming news, the Soul Calibur card game, called Unbreakable Soul, is out today for free on iOS devices. The game has series stalwarts Cassandra and the Edge Master looking for pieces of the Soul Edge. Through the ...
Atlus photo

Shin Megami Tensei iOS on sale for a limited time

$2 off through the end of March
Mar 18
// Tim Sheehy
Our friends at Atlus have informed us that the original Shin Megami Tensei for iOS will be on sale for $5.99 for a limited time. That's $2 off the list price, and while it isn't exactly cheap by App store standards, it's cert...
Daisuki Inc. photo
Daisuki Inc.

Daisuki now available on iOS

Watch anime on your phone!
Feb 06
// Amber Hunt
Do you ever find yourself craving more anime, but all you happen to have access to is your phone? I don't know about you, but I do all the time. I mean, obviously it's not the same as watching it on TV or our computer screens...
Gundam photo

Turn your iPhone into a Zaku with Gundam-themed cases

That's no Zaku, boy! No really! It's no Zaku, it's an iPhone!
Nov 26
// Ben Huber
Better get your iPhone ready for battle with a new protective case! These Gundam-themed silicone iPhone cases are an excellent way to protect your phone and also look incredibly awesome. The cases come in four different desig...

Ace Attorney Trilogy HD photo
Ace Attorney Trilogy HD

Big savings on Ace Attorney Trilogy HD right now!

No objection here
Nov 21
// Eric Koziol
Ace Attorney 5 got an English release recently, but maybe you are not caught up on the series. Finding the DS releases of the first three games might take some effort and maybe you carry your iPhone around more than your 3DS....
iPhone photo

The iPhone is even bigger in Japan now

Biggest, actually
Nov 09
// Eric Koziol
The iPhone’s popularity has been growing over the past few years in Japan and now it seems that it's the best-selling device in Japan. Wow. Perhaps it's no surprise that the iPhone is selling well in Japan, but it's int...
Sega Genesis photo
Sega Genesis

Sega Genesis accessories for your mobile devices

Cases, chargers and speakers, oh my!
Nov 09
// Eric Koziol
No matter which side of the great SNES/Genesis war of the ’90s you were on, it is hard to not admit that these accessories from Tommo look pretty darn snazzy. What particularly stands out is how they look identical to t...
Evangelion photo

Evangelion Unit 01 iPhone 5/5s case on the way from Movic

iPhone Unit 01, AT Field on!
Nov 04
// Ben Huber
If you need to protect your brand new iPhone 5 or 5s from a battering, be it Angels and the Third Impact, or just an unfortunate fall to the pavement, it looks like Movic has got you covered. They'll be releasing a Neon Genes...
Viz digital manga photo
Over 1,600 volumes of manga goodness.
Huge news for digital manga fans -- Viz Media have made their entire digital catalog of graphic novels available via Apple iBooks, with 1,600 volumes of manga spread across 130 titles. That's a LOT of manga to choose from. Be...

Pokemon photo

Your iPhone is now a Pokedex thanks to Wolfram Alpha

"Siri, how can I beat the fifth gym leader?"
Oct 19
// Ben Huber
Wolfram Alpha is a great search database and computational engine. It's what Siri on the iPhone pulls all its data from. That's why it's really cool that Wolfram Alpha added Pokemon data -- you can use that data however you'd...
Dragon Quest Monsters photo
Dragon Quest Monsters

Dragon Quest Monsters is coming to smartphones.

The logo's T is on the phone!
Oct 09
// Eric Koziol
Now, we know that Nintendo will not be putting Pokémon on mobile devices anytime soon. (Good for them, I say. Let's not pick a fight about this.) However, Square-Enix is putting their Pokémon-clone-ish series, D...

A Look At: Ahoge Chanbara

Apr 25 // Elliot Gay
Ahoge Chanbara (iOS)Developer: M2Publisher: M2Release Date: March 3, 2013MSRP: Free ($2.99 for the full game) Ahoge Red is a young woman keen to learn the ways of the ahoge. After training long and hard as a disciple of Master Ahoge, she departs on a quest to find true enlightenment. Throughout her journey, she'll encounter ahoge warriors from all walks of life, learning lessons about what it truly means to practice the art of ahoge. What awaits her at the end of her journey? Who is her true enemy?! I suppose it's important to first define what an ahoge actually is. Often seen in anime and manga, ahoge refers to the sprig of hair popping out from the top of a character's head. Ahoge Chanbara plays with this design trait by taking it and morphing it into ridiculous shapes that defy gravity. You haven't lived until you've seen an ahoge that takes the form of a working chainsaw.  Ahoge Chanbara is not a terribly complicated game. By tapping the screen, Ahoge Red will stab her hair out at an opposing enemy. If you hold your finger down on the screen, she'll charge her attack, doing massive damage on impact. If it misses however, her hair gets stuck in the ground, leaving her vulnerable to an enemy's attack. Swiping your finger down the screen makes Ahoge Red dodge out enemy attack range. The combat system is all about reading your opponent's tells and faking them out. It's simple to learn, but by the final few chapters I found myself dying an almost laughable amount of times. Enemies have the same abilities (some stronger) as Ahoge Red, and the last few battles are both a test of endurance and stamina. After defeating an opponent, you're given the opportunity to pluck their ahoge off of their head as a reward for your victory. This simple yet difficult gameplay makes Ahoge Chanbara a perfect fit for iOS. Where Ahoge Chanbara really shines is in its hilarious writing and localization. Characters with giant plants and weapons on their heads spout out ridiculous lines that wouldn't be out of place in a Shonen Jump property. References to all kinds of pop culture favorites are littered throughout the game. Ahoge Chanbara doesn't take itself even remotely seriously, but by pretending to do so, it's all the more funny. I can't even remember the last time I laughed so hard at a video game, never mind an iOS title. Ahoge Chanbara also keeps tabs on which ahoge you've collected through the "Ahoge Workbook." Each ahoge you've obtained has a paragraph-long description that defies all logic and reason (for the better). It's completely worth your time to go through and try to collect all 58 available chunks of hair. Screenshots don't actually do Ahoge Chanbara much justice: it's a surprisingly well animated game. Characters move fluidly and each have their own strange quirks. The ahoge designs are simple but appropriately weird, and the whole shebang is colorful and fun to look at. Much to my surprise, the story mode also features quite a few CG stills as well. I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the absolute killer soundtrack, composed by Jaelyn Nisperos (KOKUGA OST Remix track). A mix of high tempo beats and chiptune-esque tunes, I completely understand why the OST is available as a download on the Official Site. Even if you have no interest in Ahoge Chanbara, I recommend you check out the soundtrack. Ahoge Chambara is strange, funny, and a great way to waste time on your phone. It's a charming action game that completely justifies its $2.99 asking price. After spending a great deal of time during bus commutes furiously tapping my iPhone's screen, I feel as though I've come away enlightened. The ahoge is not to be feared, but embraced. Love, peace, and the ahoge way.
Ahoge Chanbara photo
May ahoge toil upon the earth and take root!
Developed for iOS devices by M2, Ahoge Chanbara is a story of justice, love, and the ahoge way. It's a tale of revenge, redemption, and a stirring reminder of what makes us human. It's an experience that pats you lovingly on ...


Awaken your old school side with the iPhone's new handset

The past returns in a convenient new manner.
Mar 04
// Salvador G Rodiles
Okay, I will admit that I am not into Apple products, but Sanwa's new handset looks like a fun little gimmick to show around. Sure, you could use a regular headset to talk to people while you do other things with your iPhone;...

A Look At: Otaku Camera

Feb 19 // Kristina Pino
Otaku Camera (Android, iOS [Reviewed]Developer: Tokyo Otaku ModePublisher: Tokyo Otaku ModeMSRP: Free (App Store, Google Play) When you fire up Otaku Camera for the first time, you get the default frame options as well as a couple of special One Piece-themed frames for your shooting pleasure. You could take a funny picture of yourself (or a friend) and turn them into one of those "WANTED" signs, for example.  How it works: Pick out a frame that you want for your image and set it to preview. Then get ready to take your shot, which will already be coming up in black and white, sketchy-looking and totally off-balance by default. When you have it all lined up, you just click on the screen to make the shot, and then you're given a few options like a brightness slider or another for details in the image. You can play with those until you achieve the desired effect, and by then you should have an often hilarious rendition of an actual panel in a manga. Once you go into the downloads area to see all the extra stuff though, you've got plenty more options - including a charming (and free) set of Hello Kitty/Sanrio frames. Rather than being themed to the manga motif that the app has going on, the Sanrio frames allow you to take pictures in color. They're pretty cute, allowing you to take pictures that make it look like you're wearing a fluffy hat or Hello Kitty's iconic bow. If you're into camera apps, particularly funny ones that do things to your images, this is a cool one to have. You could "mangatize" your existing images or take new ones within the app, and the button that lets you save the images also lets you share them via email or social media easily. I should also mention that even though there's a "frame shop" section, they're all free, and some of them are actually only available to download for a limited time. It's tough to argue against a free app that produces fun results, so I'd say give it a shot if you have an Android or iOS device.
Otaku Camera photo
It's like Instagram for Otaku
Tokyo Otaku Mode's Otaku Camera is a nifty little free app that lets you shoot pictures as if they were part of a manga strip. You've got all kinds of choices, and the app is available for both iOS and Android platforms throu...


Get your Pokmon fix anytime with Pokmon TV

Pokmon has gone mobile!
Feb 12
// Kristina Pino
The Pokémon Company have announced today that a new free mobile app, Pokémon TV, is now available for iOS devices in the App Store as well as for Android on the Google Play shop. Re...

Huzzah?! Hyperdimension Neptunia iOS app now available

The app you never knew you wanted.
Feb 11
// Elliot Gay
It continues to blow my mind that the Hyperdimension Neptunia series sells well enough in the west to warrant their continued localization. I completely understand that I'm not Compile Heart's target audience for these games,...

Review: Final Fantasy: All the Bravest

Jan 19 // Chris Walden
Final Fantasy: All the Bravest (iOS)Developer: SQUARE ENIXPublisher: SQUARE ENIXRelease date: January 17, 2013MSRP: $3.99+/£2.49+ The gameplay itself is a pretty solid concept. There is a large world map, and on this map there are monsters you must fight. You have to move in a linear fashion, so it works kind of like Super Mario World, just without the split paths. Fair enough, monsters get progressively harder so it makes sense. Once you engage in a fight, the battle screen (shown above) appears. If you don't touch anything, the game will sit here waiting for you to launch an attack, so all is good so far. To attack, you simply tap on one of the characters in your party that isn't recovering from a previous attack (they'll be greyed out and have an ATB bar on their heads). If you attack, the enemies will retaliate. Their attacks vary, but anything that hits one of your party members will instantly kill them. Every three minutes you'll gain another guy to fight for you (if you have space in your party, you can see how much room you have in the top right corner). This way you can wail on the enemies until you're down to a few guys, close the game and come back half an hour or so later and continue the fight. Sounds neat, right? The problem is that this is it. This is the game. Yes, you 'unlock' new classes which means they'll join the random pool of characters your party is pulled from at the start of each fight. Yes, you can unlock weapons that boost the stats of your characters, but these are automatic and involve numbers you never see. Everything is automated to the point where I'm not even sure you can accurately call this a video game. I'm being completely serious, by the way.  I learned pretty quickly that there was no point in tapping dudes when I could just slide my finger erratically over my iPhone's screen and achieve better results. It kind of reminds me of how people wound up playing with the old Eye Toy; flailing about to get the camera to register, or better yet, spinning the camera around your head like a lasso. This isn't gaming, is it? Oh, but there's Fever Mode! Once every three hours you can attack without having to wait for the ATB gauges to refill, which besides giving you some swish visuals and a running counter of your accumulated damage, changes just about nothing. I'm still doing the finger waggle. While the game allows you to waggle in spurts (haw haw), there's always going to be a point where you have to step away from the game to let your party accrue more members. That is unless you suck at waiting and want to play immediately, in which case you can buy gold hourglasses to fill your party straight away. Drawbacks? 69p/$1 for three of them. Single-use, of course.  Which leads us on to the biggest bugbear in Final Fantasy: All the Bravest: the in-app purchases. I personally am not against the idea of in-app purchases as a concept. What I am against is how they are used in this particular game. I can kind of agree on the £2.49/$3.99 pricing of the additional map packs. If you enjoy the game that much, then why not? However, 69p/99c for a randomised "legendary" Final Fantasy character, of which there are 35 in total, is pretty damn shocking. I love the idea of blind bags and the random factor, but in a virtual game for real money? The random factor only exists to prevent people picking the characters they want and stopping there. It's a way to drive more money out of those that do buy this game, with absolutely zero effort on their part. I coughed up 69 of my great British pennies to make sure that there wasn't anything more to these characters. I received Bartz from Final Fantasy V, not a bad character by any means. It's unfortunate then that the hectic gameplay of 20+ characters jumping at monsters and attacking simultaneously ensures that you don't even get to see what your character can do. Yeah, they do a little more damage, but at this point you are just paying to raise your attack stat.  I just don't understand why you can't customise equipment? Sure, managing a team of individuals would be silly, but having a little room to mess with how classes are suited out or what attacks they perform would have been nice. How about an in-game shop to buy things? You actually earn gil as you beat monsters, but it serves no purpose. I hear earning enough of it unlocks a Game Center achievement? Great.  Again, I must reiterate. You 'play' this game by rubbing your finger over the screen, clicking the next level on the world map, then doing the same all over again. You can do this more efficiently by paying for all the extra content, jacking the total price of this game to a price akin to retail console games.  The music and the art are great, but for the most part they are just recycled from older games. The music certainly is, but some of the premium characters such as Cloud from Final Fantasy VII will have had their sprites made from scratch. The entire game has that nostalgic feeling for sure, but I fear it only exists to draw just a few more purchases.  In all honesty, this is a massive shame. I absolutely love the idea of having 20+ characters swarming classic Final Fantasy bosses. I'm fine with the 'tap to attack' and 'get hit once and you die' mechanics, but rather dislike the way in which they are used in this game. It also uses notifications in quite a neat way (as seen above on the right) as that red bubble shows you how many people you have in your party without having to pop in and check. All the Bravest has some fantastic ideas and a massive potential, but unfortunately no amount of in-app purchasing will unlock that. 3.0 -- Poor (Something went wrong somewhere along the line. The original idea might have promise, but in practice the game has failed. Threatens to be interesting sometimes, but rarely.)
All the dumbest.
Square Enix, what are you doing?  There have certainly been some interesting additions to the Final Fantasy universe of late, and after initially breaking the hearts of 3DS owners seeking out a localised Bravely Default,...


Otousan is the illest emcee in the house

That's nothing to bark at
Jan 16
// Hiroko Yamamura
Softmap's Shiba Inu mascot Otousan is a bit of an icon around our offices. His fatherly advice and lovely white coat have kept us entertained for years. Who doesn't enjoy having a conversation with a dog? Could you ever imagi...

Look at this iPhone 5 case!

Just look at it!
Dec 21
// Eric Koziol
Yes, this is a ¥2500 iPhone 5 case. A ¥2500 Mother 2 iPhone 5 case! Isn't it a thing of beauty? Yes, they're available through Itoi's site, as well as a few more cool looking casesl, but this one just tick...

Facepalm: Demon's Score is way cheaper in Japan

That's a lot of money
Sep 26
// Josh Tolentino
Here's another entry for you to put in the annals of "What the hell, Square Enix?!": It looks like the company that gave us Final Fantasy and a ton of strange decisions, has made yet another one, for it seems like they r...

Party Wave surfing over to Android and going free on iOS

Look for it on October 1st
Sep 25
// Kristina Pino
Just a quick update here for you folks, in case you were interested in playing Mistwalker Corp.'s Party Wave but maybe saw a few reviews here and there that were a little less than sterling. And then you thought twice ab...

TGS 2012: Phantasy Star Online 2 es impressions and video

Sep 20 // Elliot Gay

Sega's smartphone version of Phantasy Star Online 2 is an interesting experiment. As has been noted before, PSO2es is not a full port of the PC/Vita game, but rather a super simplified version that is far better suited for qu...


Update on image epoch's Black Rock Shooting game for iOS

Released, international, universal!
Sep 14
// Kristina Pino
Recently I wrote up a post about the Petite Black Rock Shooter: Discover the Mystery of Planet Sexy game, and I wasn't sure whether it was going to be available internationally or not. Today I've learned that it is indeed ava...

Layton Brothers: Mysterious Room hits iOS Sep. 21

Sep 14
// Elliot Gay
Well that came out of nowhere! Some of you folks might remember the iOS Professor Layton spinoff, Layton Brothers, that was announced quite a while back. A mix of Ace Attorney's investigation sequences and Professor Layton pu...

TWEWY: Solo Remix teases a sequel

Give me all your love
Aug 31
// Elliot Gay
Well this is kind of unexpected. The iOS port of The World Ends With You, Solo Remix, contains a single image that would seem to imply a new game is incoming.  Fortunately the actual screen doesn't spoil anything, but it...

The World Ends With You: Solo Remix available for iOS now

Aug 27
// Elliot Gay
Well there you have it ladies and gentlemen. Square Enix's countdown site hit zero last night and revealed what we all already knew was coming; an iOS port of the DS game, The World Ends With You. While I know I'm not alone i...

It's All Over: AKB0048 getting a game version

Aug 26
// Josh Tolentino
This is it, people. If there was ever a sign that human civilization was approaching some kind of cultural singularity, past which everything just implodes onto itself, this is one of them. AKB0048 is getting a game, the...

Final Fantasy Dimensions is going to be really pricey

Aug 25
// Josh Tolentino
Like, really pricey. Like, "Most Expensive Single App I've Ever Seen" pricey. Specifically, Square Enix's old-school-lookin' Final Fantasy Dimensions will run players roughly $29 to buy the whole thing, which is technica...

The world might not end with iOS

Aug 24
// Elliot Gay
Looks like Square Enix might have accidentally let the Mr. Mew out of the bag on their latest countdown teaser page. In a description of an upcoming The World Ends With You remix album(!), SE references the currently unannoun...

A look at: Character Chowdown for iOS

Jul 27 // Kristina Pino
There isn't any background music (or noise at all) to distract you, and the mechanics are as simple as dragging your hungry little cartoon character to the letters you're being asked to identify, then hitting the chow button (bottom, right). The command bar is at the bottom, and it will say things like: "Eat the katakana for 'mu'" "Eat the hiragana for 'a'" "Eat the hiragana for 'su'" You get the idea. Once you've mastered particular characters, they won't come up as often (if at all) and the game moves on to new letters until you've completely cleared the character set. Each "stage" jumps seamlessly to the next and there is no loading time. You'll face some obstacles while trying to identify the various letters or words, and they come in the form of drooling, hungry Nommons. They come up and start licking the characters to change their meanings. As they go by, you'll see the characters being swapped. Thankfully, you could just fling them away with your finger by dragging them off-screen like I did. The other challenge I found with this game is the actual letters aren't really padded enough in anything eye-catching. They're simply plain, black characters over simple cityscape backgrounds, and I sometimes had a hard time finding them. They do flash red when they first start coming up so you learn what the shape looks like, and then once you've had your toon eat a bunch of the same letter, they won't flash any more. They'll stay plain black. Besides that one tiny hitch, I have no problems with the game. It's a fun little on-the-go thing that you can pick up or put down whenever. I exit the game and got back on it, and it had saved my progress. If you're into Game Center points and achievements, Character Chowdown is also plugged in to that, so the more characters you learn, the more points you'll rack up. If you have any iOS devices and you are looking for a casual method to learn how to identify Japanese characters for their meanings, this might be the game for you. Especially since it's Free, Character Chowdown is definitely worth a try. Just put some of your own background music on if you don't necessarily need to study in silence.

A couple weeks back I wrote about Character Chowdown, a new game for iOS (Universal, Free) that seeks to help students (or anyone, really) learn new languages. For now, the game is focused on Japanese characters, and with you...

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