Yu-Gi-Oh! photo

SDCC '15: Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters' uncut episodes are now on Crunchyroll

Believe in the heart of the cards
Jul 12
// Salvador GRodiles
Good news, everyone; the folks at 4K Media Inc., the company that handles the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise's license and marketing, have announced at Comic Con that Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters is now on Crunchyroll in its uncut glory. As ...
Metal Gear Solid V photo
Metal Gear Solid V

This is Metal Gear Solid V's big trailer, and its thesis

And a lot of talking
Jun 15
// Josh Tolentino
No matter what you might think of Hideo Kojima and the series that made his name, there's no doubting that each one is something of an event, and it looks like Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain won't be an exception ...
Suikoden 1/2 photo
Suikoden 1/2

Oh man, Suikoden 2 is out, go get it now now now

Get HYPE for 16 years ago!
Dec 09
// Josh Tolentino
Oh, finally. It only took, like, sixteen years, but Suikoden II, one of my favorite games of all time and one of the greatest RPGs ever made, to come to downloadable platforms on this side of the pond. Konami's made the thing...

New Love Plus+ photo
New Love Plus+

New Love Plus+ now has a date, with your wallet

Reunite with Rinko on March 27
Jan 10
// Jeff Chuang
My undying flame for Rinko Kobayakawa gets a new tank of propane in March: The latest edition of the head-turning girlfriend sim, New Love Plus+, will street on the 27th of March. We already talked to you about the limited ed...

Japanator Arena: Nrvnqsr Chaos vs Soma Cruz

Oct 27 // Salvador GRodiles
In the Red Corner: This Dead Apostle is made up of 666 creatures, and each one has an appetite for blood. Due to his tendency to devour humans on sight with his animals, we'll need to clear the way for Nrvnqsr Chaos before he kills us all.  In the Black Corner: He is one of the Dark Candidates that inherited Dracula’s powers after the 1999 incident that ended the Count's resurrection cycle. With the Power of Dominance by his side, Soma Cruz has the power to govern the spirits of any creature that he has slain. Before we move on to the rules of the match, I would like to point out that Soma will have access to every soul and weapon from all of the Castlevania games that he has appeared in. While both fighters contain an overwhelming amount of abilities at their disposal, the votes and persuasion skills of the audience will be the key ingredient in deciding the winner. When you choose your side, make sure that you add a +1 to the fighter that you pick; otherwise, this battle will end in chaos. Nrvnqsr and Soma will fight to the death from today until Thursday, so do your best to vote on time. Once the battle comes to a complete stop, you’re welcomed to drop by during the beginning of the next match to see who wins. Hopefully, no one will get consumed by any wandering creatures before the match is over. If anything, I'll need to strengthen the Jtor Arena's security while both fighters are locked in combat.  *ding, ding, ding* Open The Beast’s Lair!
Japanator Arena photo
Things are about to get chaotic around here
*ding, ding, ding* It's Over! Even with Victor's immense strength and ability to harness electrify through his body, Stein was smart enough to void the creature's electrifying grabs-- including the butt one. After Stein used ...

Editorial: When erotic designs, cosplay and figures meet

Sep 05 // Jeff Chuang
It's easy to hand-wave the whole thing as a statement of the obvious: sex sells. It's equally easy to write a pull-quote and say the next MGS game will be more sexy. I think the wording from Kojima's tweets can be better, certainly, but the idea feels as if it could be kind of offensive. Why does it feel this way, when in reality a large number of us enjoy and surround ourselves with media that are create in a similar way? The truth is a little more complicated than that character designers will make sexy or erotic characters in order to get people to desire or otherwise express themselves through interacting with the intellectual property in question. It might be a video game character here, but it applies to film, anime, and even prose and trading card games. It might affect how we cosplay; what kind of outfits we see at cons, or even what kind of public service announcements regarding dealing with creepers at cons. It might be a part of gamer culture or the way a community views its members or their representation in the games they play. But that's the thing--it might. There's no clear relationship between sexy characters and every implication as a result of their popularity, other than popularity itself. Sexy doesn't even always sell. The icky feeling feels skirts a little puritanical and ungenuine.  As I woke up this morning and went through my morning routine, I spotted the latest post from Good Smile Company's Kahotan, featuring the Good Smile Racing girls in their latest costume, inspired by a combination of stereotypical race queen attire and Hatsune Miku. It might be a nice thing to wake up to, but it reminded me of what Kojima was talking about. I thought this image spoke exactly what Kojima is talking about, in even fewer words. Here we have a very big brand in Hatsune Miku, who really isn't related to all this besides that Good Smile Company typically creates a more sexually-charged version of her figurine each year, under the "Racing Miku" label. And Miku isn't some sex bomb, although her sexuality tend to reflect that of her largest audiences, made up of teens and young adults of both genders. That crowd is not very different than what you'll see at a large anime convention; Miku herself isn't so different than your average pop idol. At the same time, by spinning off a sexy version of Miku and turning that into race queen costumes and pre-orderable plastic, it's a good business that will appeal to a segment of Miku fans that GSC serves. This is one of the implicit understanding behind the whole proposition; by creating one sexy Miku it doesn't change the big picture besides that it will appeal to some people, and GSC can profit from it. So what's wrong with this picture again? It's a similar deal with Metal Gear Solid. The sprawling video game franchise has fans all over the world, and it appeals to people of all walks of life, for all kinds of different reasons. It seems counterintuitive that the fact there is at least one sexy female character in one MGS game can really fundamentally change anything that many of us enjoy MGS for: the presentation, story and gameplay, for starters. Maybe the "confession" that in recent years Kojima has been dishing up the erotic styles more so than before could mean something, if people thought Metal Gear Solid was a game that shied away from everything that is sexual. And for that, would we not rather judge by the game itself rather than what Kojima has said? What's probably more puzzling is why Kojima wants to see people cosplaying Quiet. I suppose as a creator it's great to see fans cosplaying your work, but that seems more like a challenge and a tease issued from Kojima rather than a statement about the state of video game characters and how they are designed. For more discussion, also check out the Tomopop reaction piece! [Image credit]
Cosplay v. Characters photo
Kojima points out the obvious, so what's next?
You might have noticed some people talking about the description of how Hideo Kojima and his team create the next Metal Gear Solid project. Specifically, Kojima tweeted how one of his characters are designed. The reaction see...

Friday Night Fights photo
Who is the better Alucard?
*ding, ding, ding* It's Over! Captain Falcon may be a great bounty hunter -- his Falcon Punch was able to cause a galaxy sized explosion, but this is a race that we're talking about. JP on the other hand is willing to do what...

New Love Plus + photo
New Love Plus +

Another Love Plus is coming to 3DS

with less bugs, we hope!
Jul 03
// Tim Sheehy
The latest issue of Famitsu gives us a brief look at the latest installment of the Love Plus series coming to the Nintendo 3DS. Tentatively titled New Love Plus +, little has been revealed about the actual changes being made ...
Kiefer Sutherland x MGS photo
Kiefer Sutherland x MGS

Woah: Konami announce Kiefer Sutherland as Snake's voice

'Kiefer? Kiefer?! Kiefeeeerrrr!'
Jun 08
// Josh Tolentino
Well, this is a surprise. After months of practically-confirmed rumors surrounding Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Konami has gone and confirmed that indeed, David Hatyer will not be the playing the voice of Snake....
Friday Night Fights photo
We're in for one heck of a spellbinding clash!
*ding, ding, ding* It's Over! The passion left behind Gunvarrel's legacy created a huge impact in the world; however, his abilities didn't come close to Gekiganger III's skills that takes notes from the super robot shows of t...

Friday Night Fights: Ray MK III vs Anna

Apr 05 // Salvador GRodiles
Friday Night Fights photo
Joints are going to fly everywhere this week.
*ding, ding, ding* It's Over!  Boss Masamune thought that his lightning based attacks could shock Zoro into defeat, but Zoro's endurance and skills has grown since his adventures in Skypiea. With a 36...

Metal Gear Solid V photo
Metal Gear Solid V

Konami reveals Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

Yep, that 'new IP' trailer was for MGS
Mar 28
// Josh Tolentino
I should be mildly miffed that Kojima Production's teasing of two projects, The Phantom Pain and Metal Gear Ground Zeroes, were just now revealed to be in fact teases for the next game in the Metal Gear Solid franc...
Vampires and Apes photo
Vampires and Apes

Japanese Nintendo 3DS eShop VC Releases for 2013/03/27

The weird sequels are coming!
Mar 19
// Eric Koziol
Next week we will see not one but two sequels come to the 3DS VC that were radical departures from the previous game in the series. First up is Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest, the quirky action adventure game that many ...

New project teased by LovePlus developers

I've already moved on.
Feb 06
// Chris Walden
It seems like it might be time to say goodbye to your LovePlus lady of choice, as it seems there's a new dating sim for budding gamers to prep marriage forms for. The project involves Akira Uchida (producer of New LovePlus) a...

Castlevania 3DS is a whip cracking good time

Extreme platforming!
Jan 24
// Hiroko Yamamura
A new trailer for Konami's Castlevania: Lord of the Shadows - Mirror of Fate, was dropped today, and I am psyched. I was actually a pretty big fan of the consol version of the upcoming 3DS game's predecessor, with its d...

Metal Gear Rising demo to slice into consoles next week

Spine ripping action
Jan 16
// Hiroko Yamamura
Like many of you, I'm a bit skeptical about the major change in gameplay style that Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance will be bringing to the table. That being said, some of my favorite Metal Gear Solid 4 moments starred our wh...

This Metal Gear bento is the greatest bento

Snake? Snake? Luuunch!!!
Dec 19
// Josh Tolentino
It's...it's beautiful, like the Mount Rushmore of boxed lunches. Except some stupid mountain doesn't have the faces of two of the world's greatest soldiers (Solid Snake, Big Boss) and one guy whose idea of cool ninja style is...
Who will end up as scrap metal?
*ding, ding, ding* It's over! Dracula tried to throw every ounce of power and flames at Roa, but he could not withstand Roa's Mystic Eyes of Death Perception. Better luck next century, Dracula. Roa wins! (7 > 4) ...

Only one will survive.
*ding, ding, ding*  After a long hiatus, the J-tor Arena is open again for Friday Night Fights. And until things move on to the next phase, JT has left me in charge of picking out the participants for each new fight. Bef...


Remember, London MCM Expo begins on the 26th

I think I'll be original and go as myself.
Oct 13
// Chris Walden
Get that cosplay ready, as there are only two weeks between now and the next London MCM Expo. As per usual there will be plenty to get up to, but let's take a look at the video games and guests that'll be turning up! Namco Ba...

TGS 2012: Metal Gear Rising has some off-the-wall baddies

Mistral's 'well-armed', get it?
Sep 21
// Josh Tolentino
In case you were of the opinion that Metal Gear Solid Ground Zeroes wasn't ludicrous enough, Platinum Games and their work on Metal Gear Rising Revengeance has you covered, particularly in the field of having insane...

Surely you've got 7 minutes for Zone of the Enders 2

Unless you only bought into it for the Metal Gear demo
Sep 06
// Josh Tolentino
The game you've been clamoring for for about nine-odd years is finally on the way: Zone of the Enders 2 is making its way to modern platforms on October 25th. And now, just to remind you of that glorious fact, Konami ha...

Here's first trailer for Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes

Sneaking missions in a big-ass world
Sep 05
// Josh Tolentino
Back last week Konami revealed Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes, to much fanfare and anticipation. Unfortunately for the fans all into the anticipating thing, its demo of the game was a no-photography affair, much to the cons...
AKA: funny faces Hideo Kojima makes
PAX Prime has been busy as hell for Josh Totman and me. SO busy, in fact, that we just couldn't keep up last night with the galleries. Instead, we're opting for a one large post that sums up the final two days of PAX 2012. Ch...


Oh right, here are the OTHER new Metal Gear games

The La-GREE-Lu-Lei-Lo
Aug 30
// Josh Tolentino
Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes may be the new hotness when it comes to Metal Gear, but it isn't the only hotness in this time of anniversary celebration. Konami were happy to announce a whole new Metal Gear Solid g...

The next Metal Gear Solid game is finally revealed

Big Boss should outgrow the 'Snake' callsign already
Aug 30
// Josh Tolentino
We're awash in Metal Gear-related news this morning as Konami celebrates the franchise's 25th Anniversary today, and the biggest news of the day so far is now the reveal of Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes, the next ...

Snaaake!!! Metal Gear movie announced

Two hours of gameplay, thirty minutes of cutscenes
Aug 30
// Josh Tolentino
And this time it's actually true! For years we've seen rumors of a Hollywood-produced Metal Gear movie come and go, but series auteur Hideo Kojima's stuck to his guns, forever saying that he was waiting for just the righ...

Metal Gear 25th Anniversary Famitsu cover is super sexy

Jul 12
// Elliot Gay
I'm a huge Metal Gear fan. I've played every release in the series at least once and have paid stupid amounts of money for figures from the games. I know, I'm a bad person. I'll definitely be picking up the weekly Famitsu com...

Took 'em long enough! Metal Gear Solid 4 getting trophies

Jul 11
// Josh Tolentino
Really, that headline is enough news in itself: Metal Gear Solid 4 is getting *squeal* TROPHIES!!! And it only took Konami four years! While I myself am not a trophy hound (though I do feel proud of my sole Platinum courtesy ...

Japanator Games Week: The Boktai retrospective

Jun 24 // Salvador GRodiles
Known as Bokura no Taiyo in Japan, the first game was released in Japan on July 16th, 2003, North America got the game on September 16th of the same year, and Europe received the sun's blessing during the month of May 14, 2004. Localized as Boktai: The Sun is in Your Hand, the game covers the perilous journey of a vampire hunter known as Django as he travels through the city of the dead known as Istrakan to battle the evil vampires that go by the title of Immortals. Following in his father's footsteps, Django arms himself with his trusty vampire killing weapon known as the Gun del Sol, which is Spanish for the Sun's Gun. Just like the title says, this weapon is able to convert the sun's rays into blasts that can cripple the blood sucking vermin. However, this is where the playing outside segment of the game comes into play.  Unlike most GBA cartridges, Boktai is built in with a special sensor that can detect sunlight. If you think that you can fool it with any other sort of light, think again. You could say that Boktai was part of Kojima's grand scheme to get gamers to play handheld games outside instead of being cooped up inside all day.  In order to capture the realism behind hunting vampires, Boktai has a built in clock that is based on the time set by the player. Just like any game with a built in clock, Boktai is a different beast when you are playing at night time. Luckily, the game has special devices where you can store sunlight, so that you have extra reserves for any sort of situation. But don't think that you can escape from the great outdoors, because there is a special mechanic that is required to finish off the game's bosses. Calling on the aid of the sun's messenger Otenko, Django summons a special device known as the Pile Driver. This device allows Django to use the power of giant solar lenses that focus their energy on the remains of the Immortals or bosses that you defeat, which requires you to be under the sunlight when this happens.  The fun doesn't stop there as there are other purposes that the solar sensor can perform. For example: there are parts in the game where there are platforms that are only visible when the sun is out. If the sun is gone, then these platforms will disappear. There were so many instances where I died becuase of a random cloud that decided to cover the sun at the wrong moment, which leads to nature being one of your biggest obstacles to overcome.  While I was so busy talking about the solar sensor, I forgot to mention the gameplay elements that make Boktai such a fun game. If you have played a classic Zelda game and/or classic Metal Gear game, then you will feel right at home with Boktai's gameplay. Django is not much of a tank, so he has to use his stealth skills to outsmart the creatures that live in the dark. Walls will be your best friend since you can tap them to trick you foes, or slide across them to be sneaky. Just like the Zelda series, the realms of Boktai are riddled with puzzles that require full use of your mind and weapons. Speaking of weapons, you have the option to customize Django's gun by switching different parts which affects the elemental properties and firing style of the gun. Besides giving you different ways to fire your gun, most of these features act as tools to help you in most of the puzzles that you encounter. These elements also carry over to the rest of the series, except that the next game goes through a few changes.  Continuing on the legacy left behind by the solar sensor, Zoku Bokura no Taiyo: Taiyo Shonen Django aka Boktai 2: Solar Boy Django arrives in Japan on July 22nd, 2004 with a western release that is soon to follow. Released in North America on October 19, 2004 and Europe on June 10, 2005, Boktai 2: Solar Boy Django continues Django's adventures after his victory over the Immortals in the first game, except that the Gun del Sol gets stolen early in the game. However, Django gets a new weapon known as the Vice de Sol, which is a solar gauntlet that allows him to enchant any weapon with the power of the sun. Since Django now uses melee weapons, Boktai 2 introduces a weapons and armor crafting system that lets you use the sunlight to improve your gear. While the first game was more of a stealth action game, Boktai 2 introduces RPG elements and equipment to the series. Before you begin to worry about the new changes, the stealth features remain unchanged in the second game, except that you have to be more sneakier than before against enemies.  Instead of relying on the elemental shots of the Gun del Sol for puzzles, Django will get to enchant other elements into weapons such as swords, spears, and hammers. Each weapon serves its own use in each area, so it is important to upgrade each weapon. Hammers break things, spears grant you extra reach, and swords are well... you know, swords. As for what weapon you want to specialize in, it all depends on your playing style.  Another change from the first game is that Django is interacting with other characters since the game takes place in San Miguel the city of the sun. Django's former rival Sabata returns and he plays a different role in the quest to reclaim Django's gun, which will act as a great surprise later on. Since the main setting is San Miguel, the main parts of the game take place in the territories that surround the city, whereas the first game had you progress through the outskirts of Istrakan.  Now that Boktai has undergone a new evolution in gameplay, it was obvious where the next step in the series is going to go. Shin Bokura no Taiyo: Gyakushu no Sabata aka Boktai 3: Sabata's Counterattack combines the gameplay elements from the first two games and creates a lovable infant that will please both sides of the hemisphere as it awakens on July 28, 2005. The Gun del Sol is back, melee weapons and armors can still be equipped to Django, and the solar crafting system returns with a vengeance. There are also some new elements such as a motorcycle segment where Django uses a solar coffin bike to reach the areas in the games while blasting enemies that get in your way. Boktai 3 also introduces an trance system that grants Django new abilities when the special gauge is full.  As for the story, the game begins with Django being sealed away as Sabata betrays him to join a group of Immortals that are trying to resurrect a doomsday creature that resides in the moon. Luckily, Django gets freed by a character from the future who has set out to save his own timeline.  If there was one feature that was taken out from the last game, it would be the way how the melee weapons function. For one, you don't have the Vice de Sol, so you can say goodbye to the enchantment. Hammers and spears are replaced with two other types of swords, which now makes it that you have regular swords, great swords for heavy attacks, and rapiers for thrusting. While the melee weapons are not as useful, they can serve as a backup to attack your foes when you are low on solar energy. Unfortunately, the entire world has been reduced to selectable areas in this installment. However, the areas are still fun to explore and you can also attempt a time attack challenge in any of the areas that you have cleared. Unfortunately, Boktai 3 is the only Boktai game that never got localized in North America and Europe. Which is a bit of a bummer, since Boktai 3: Sabata's Counterattack takes the best aspects out of the first two games and improves upon them. However, this is not the last time that we hear from Kojima's gun-slinging hero. In an attempt to reintroduce the series to a new audience, Konami decides to localize the next game as Lunar Knights in February 6th, 2007 for North America, March 30th 2007 for the European region, and April 13, 2007 for Australia. While it was originally released as Bokura no Taiyo: Django & Sabata on November 22nd, 2006 in Japan, the two main characters featured in this game are different from the original duo that was present in the first three games. As part of the western localization, the two characters are changed to Aaron and Lucian.  In this installment, the premise is rather similar to the first three games with the whole story having to do with vampires ruling over society, except that the game takes place in a futuristic setting. This time around, you get to play as two different characters. Aaron specializes in using projectile weapons that use solar energy and Lucian is a close-range fighter that uses melee weapons that use lunar energy for special attacks.  While Lunar Knights shares many similar elements to the first three Boktai games, there were a few key elements that were lost in the new title. The most important element that was taken out was the solar sensor, which is replaced with the ability to restore energy from the game's world instead of the real world. Gone are the stealth and puzzle elements of the game, which makes Lunar Knights more of a hack and slash dungeon explorer. Instead of having the Pile Driver in the game, you have a spaceship that transports the defeated vampires into space where they are obliterated by a giant solar cannon that is shot out of a space station.  Lunar Knights is no where near a bad game, it's just that the game feels like a step backwards in the progression that was made throughout the first three Boktai games. Perhaps there was a bit of an issue in trying to add the solar sensor to a DS cartridge, or maybe not many people were too fond of playing handheld games outside. Whatever the case may be, it is a shame that this system was put to rest after the third game. But at the very least, Lunar Knights acts a decent attempt to capture the experience of managing a specific energy source without the use of a special sensor.  Taking advantage of the new feature, the game allows you to have complete control over the weather. Depending on the climates that you set, you can alter the elemental properties of enemies, open up new passages in levels, and affect the difficulty of gathering solar and lunar energy. If anything, the games biggest weakness was abandoning the stealth and puzzle elements that gave the first three Boktai games their charm. Switching the elemental properties of your weapons returns as it is still as effective as it was in the previous three games. Since Lunar Knights is more of a action hack and slash, you do get a shield that lets you reduce the damage taken in battle. Despite the hack and slash-like gameplay, you will have to be ready for any sort of attack unleashed by the swarms of enemies in each level.  Now that I think about it, it makes perfect sense why they wanted to reintroduce this series to western audiences, since Lunar Knights feels like a whole different game. They even went as far to remove the link feature that it shares with the handheld Megaman games. In case you haven't noticed, Boktai has been referenced in a few of the Megaman Battle Network games since the debut of the fourth game in the series. This doesn't stop as references present in both titles, because both games can be linked up together. By doing so, you can obtain Battle Chips and power ups based off of the Boktai games, whereas you can obtain Megaman related items in the Boktai titles. As for the reasoning behind linking a Capcom and a Konami game together, I think it might have to do with Kojima and Inafune being good friends.  It's unfortunate that Lunar Knights was the last game to come out of the series, since there is plenty of potential that can be taken advantage of with the Nintendo 3DS and the PS Vita. With Kojima having plans on developing a new Zone of the Enders game, I do hope that he oneday returns to the Boktai series. If he ever does, I hope that he considers returning the series back to its roots instead of the hack and slash elements found in Lunar Knights. While the solar sensor might never make a comeback -- I assume that not many people would like the idea of playing video games outside in the sun, I guess I could do with them improving on the in-game method of gathering energy that was used in Lunar Knights. However, if it were to ever come back, then I would gladly welcome it and set aside some time to bathe in the sun as I hunt down vampires with the Gun del Sol. 

[Japanator Games Week may have ended last week, but there were a few entries that went through some delays, so let's give a welcome to these late contenders.] For a good while, people would go into a deep shock whenever I tel...

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