video games

“Diet with Your Girlfriend” app lets you do the exact opposite of that

So Japanese dudes dating digital anime girls has been a big thing in the western media lately because “OMG weird Japan!!,” but if there’s one thing the news stories get right it’s that there are a whole lot of “digital girlfriend” apps available for a very specific type of person.

One such app hopes to encourage users to slim down by dieting with their digital girlfriend – the idea being that the more you diet, the more she diets, and the slimmer and more attractive she gets. Never mind that some people don’t actually adhere to those cliched classical standards of beauty and might actually prefer a girlfriend that isn’t horrifically skinny (and may, themselves, not actually want to be horrifically skinny); the developers made a far more glaring error in coding the game to allow players to do the exact opposite of what the game’s title suggests.

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Final Fantasy Chocolates: The gift your gaming Valentine actually wants

Last weekend I was at a department store in Tokyo, and since Valentine’s Day is coming up, the confectionary section was packed with candy makers hawking limited-edition chocolates for the romantic holiday. As I looked at all the sweetness on display, though, something struck me.

In Japan, women give chocolate to the special guy in their life, but the aesthetics are still entirely feminine. I saw dozens of candies shaped like hearts, ribbons, and even teddy bears and other cute woodland animals.

While the craftsmanship was impressive, none of the designs were the sort of things men actually want for themselves, especially when they could have these awesome Final Fantasy chocolates instead.

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Ultra-cute “chibi” Final Fantasy VII figures now available for pre-order

It may be hard to believe, but it has been almost 17 years since Final Fantasy VII, arguably the most revered entry in Square Enix’s iconic RPG series, was first unleashed on the world. And in honour of the game’s impeding birthday, its creators have commissioned a series of ridiculously cute “chibi” figures for hardcore gamers and fans of all things cute alike to enjoy, with pre-orders already being taken months ahead of their release.

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Foggy night transforms Tokyo government building into Final Fantasy dungeon

Located a short stroll from Shinjuku Station, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, or Tocho, as it’s commonly called, is one of the city’s most easily recognizable landmarks. Its design is distinctive, stately, powerful…and honestly, if you stare at it too long, it starts to look a little sinister.

Driving this sentiment home were a few Japanese Twitters user who worked a little photo editing magic to prove that Tocho would make a perfect dwelling for an RPG boss in a title from video game giant Square Enix.

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One thing about Super Mario that you probably had totally wrong

It doesn’t get much more iconic than Mario. The rotund plumber with a turtle-murdering blood lust is more well-known worldwide than a lot of his compatriots from supposedly less nerdy mediums than video games.

Unsurprisingly, then, most people think they have a pretty good idea of what Mario looks like, and could even describe him to you, right down to his particular sartorial choices. Obviously, he’s a squat, mustachioed man with a blue shirt and red overalls. …Or was it a red shirt and blue overalls!?

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The Evil Within survival horror game’s new trailer posted

The PlayStation Japan channel began streaming a new trailer for Resident Evil director Shinji Mikami‘s The Evil Within (PsychoBreak) survival horror game on Thursday. The video reveals the game’s characters and monsters.

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Artist depicts beloved video game Katamari Damacy in traditional Japanese ukiyo-e style

Regular readers will no doubt know that we at RocketNews24 love video games. And as anyone with a pair of eyes in their head can tell from a quick glance at our site, we live and breathe Japan and Asia as a whole. So when we stumbled upon these works of art, which combine traditional Japanese woodblock printing and one of our favourite games ever, Katamari Damacy, we simply had to share them with you.

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Are you otaku? Roughly 40 percent of Japanese college students say, “Yes!”

There seems to be a bit of a debate these days centered around whether or not being an otaku, the term used in Japan to describe people who obsess over a variety of hobbies, is a socially healthy one. In extreme cases, the otaku lifestyle can limit romantic opportunities, and even renowned anime director Hayao Miyazaki has grumbled about their effects on the industry he earned his fame in.

With all the negativity and marginalizing, you’d think the number of people the label could be applied to would be small, and the number of individuals who’d choose it for themselves to be smaller still. Surprisingly enough, though, in a recent survey of college students, nearly four in ten identified themselves as an otaku.

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16-bit Final Fantasy XIII story recap will make you weep big fat nerd tears

Put on your nostalgia glasses, people: Square Enix has seen fit to grace us with one of its greatest non-playable endeavors of all time with a Final Fantasy XIII story recap done up in Super Nintendo-era graphics a la Final Fantasy VI – otherwise known as Final Fantasy III or The Best JRPG Ever.

Because this video compresses hundreds of hours of gameplay and hard-earned story revelations into a little under eight minutes, we must issue the most urgent spoiler warning we’ve ever issued, so JRPG fans who have for some reason not yet played the latest Final Fantasy be warned.

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Survey reveals that more than 70 percent of otaku would choose their hobby over love

Over the years, the term “otaku” has, as well as being accepted into the English language, come to mean not just computer or anime fanatics locked away in their bedrooms, but any person who shows above-average fondness for any given hobby or pastime. Crazy about pop idols? You’re an otaku. Can’t get enough cosplay in your life? Same for you. Have a collection of video games so large that your friends casually refer to your house as “the library”? You’d better believe you’re an otaku.

But is your passion for your hobby so great that you would willingly choose it over love and romance? A recent survey asked a group of otaku that very question, and found that 70.1 percent of them said they’d shun love in favour of their hobby if it came down to it.

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9 things we know about Nintendo’s plans for the near future following today’s conference

It’s been a tough couple of years for Nintendo. While the 3DS continues to sell well and gamers the world over salivate like Pavlov’s dog every time they are drip-fed another snippet of information about the forthcoming Smash Bros. games, Wii U sales are dismal, and even Super Mario 3D World, which critics judged to be one of the greatest Mario outings of all time, was met with comparatively little fanfare from consumers.

Today, Nintendo’s company president Satoru Iwata made a number of announcements, hinting at new hardware that would focus on “health and welfare”, tapping into mobile gaming, giving solid launch dates for upcoming titles, and announcing the decision to bring Nintendo DS games to the Wii U. Here’s what we know so far, in one handy list!

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Adult gamers act like small children by playing game meant for little girls, refusing to share

Sometimes, stories and characters designed for kids score a hit outside of their target market. Witness, for example, all of the Disney-themed engagement rings and wedding ceremonies inspired by princesses created to appeal chiefly to girls far too young to be seriously planning their nuptials.

Sometimes, the popularity of a franchise can even cross gender lines. Sailor Moon rose to popularity partly because its leggy heroines and tongue-in-cheek humor appealed to guys, and then there’s the puzzling yet undeniable Brony phenomenon of young males ardently following the My Little Pony animated series.

Next up on the carousel of unexpected fanboy demographics: full-grown men who are hardcore players of Aikatsu, an arcade game solely intended for little girls.

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Do we have time for three hours of classic NES start screens? Yes we do

In the last 15 months, every major video game console maker has released a new piece of hardware. Each has titles with phenomenal, sometimes photo-realistic visuals, and soundtracks that make it seem like there’s a full orchestra hiding behind the TV providing musical accompaniment.

And yet, none of them stir any stronger emotions than the openings to the original games in the Final Fantasy and Legend of Zelda series, exactly as they appeared in their NES/Famicom forms. There’s something perfect about those 8-bit intros, even if they can’t match the technical heights of current games. If anything, the fact that their designers struggled against those restraints, but still managed to create something moving, helps to convey their emotion all the better.

That direct transmission of effort and personal passion, which can never be completely duplicated with more complex titles and the larger staff such endeavors require, is exactly what’s on display in this three-hour compilation of NES start screens.

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Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Curtain Call could be on its way to the Western world

Final Fantasy, perhaps the biggest and best Japanese RPG series ever as far as the Western world is concerned, is no stranger to spin-offs and dubious sub-sequels. There have been a handful of gems amongst them, but there are some that even fans of the main series would prefer to imagine never happened. Rhythm action game Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Curtain Call, however, is one of the few non-core entries in the series that we’re sure gamers would be keen to get their hands on should its makers see fit to release it outside of Japan. And if a patent recently filed in Europe is any indication, they may just get their wish.

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Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate heads west on 3DS in early 2015

Ryozo Tsujimoto, the producer of the Monster Hunter game series at CAPCOM, announced in a video message on Sunday that Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate will be coming to the West. Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate (“which is the equivalent of MH4G“) will be available on Nintendo 3DS in early 2015.

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No save point? No problem! Japanese video gamers share their love for difficult titles

Once upon a time, video games were hard, and I mean really hard. Not only did gamers of the ‘80s and early ‘90s not have the luxury of looking up FAQs and walk-throughs online, titles were simply designed with the idea that not everyone would be able to beat them.

Eventually, studios saw the inefficiencies in this. Why go to the trouble of designing a great game and saving the most technologically impressive bits for the finale, when only a fraction of your paying customers would be able to see it? So games got easier, and as people outside the then-small circle of hard-core gamers got to experience all of the content each title had to offer, the market grew, and designers never looked back.

Well, most of them didn’t. It turns out there’s still a small band of players who find anything less than an unforgiving game to be completely unforgivable. Recently, borderline masochistic Japanese gamers shared some of their picks for the toughest yet most rewarding games they’d played.

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Attack on Titan social game’s promo streamed

Japanese mobile game publisher Mobage began streaming a promotional video for its Shingeki no Kyojin ~Jiyū e no Hōkō~ (Attack on Titan: Howl Toward Freedom) game for smart phones on Wednesday. The promotional video tells players that they must fight against enemies outside of the Wall Rose using forbidden weapons.

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Shonen Jump’s J-Stars Victory Vs. game video features theme song

Namco Bandai Games began streaming the fourth promotional video for its J-Stars Victory Vs.”team battle action” video game on Tuesday. The 158-second video features the new theme song “Fighting Stars.”

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Hollywood blacksmith forges Sephiroth’s massive sword from Final Fantasy VII【Video】

When Final Fantasy VII hit PlayStations around the globe in 1997, featuring some of the most gorgeous graphics and CG cut-scenes gamers had ever seen, it single-handedly opened up the Western market to Japanese console RPGs. In years since, though, there’s been some contention over just how deserving developer Square’s biggest hit ever is of its exalted place in video game lore. Does it have a gripping story, or does the narrative become a confused mess after its midgame plot twist? Do the title’s numerous mini games flesh out its world, or is spending hours breeding giant flightless birds to race for sport both silly and boring?

But no matter which side of the debate you fall on, there’s one thing gamers everywhere can agree on: Final Fantasy VII’s antagonist, Sephiroth, is a stone-cold badass. Now, Hollywood blacksmith Tony Swatton has brought the villain’s iconic weapon, the gigantic blade named Masamune, to life.

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Create 8-bit melodies by turning your old Nintendo cartridges into harmonicas 【Video】

Like many people who started playing video games in the 1980s, when titles were still put on cartridges, I often had to deal with faulty connections when playing with my Nintendo Entertainment System. And while every video game shop would sell you a fancy cleaning kit with solvents and swabs for 15 bucks and Nintendo would advise against doing so, any kid knew the best way to clean out dusty connection ports was to simply blow into the cartridge.

Recently, I heard the sobering theory that blowing into the cartridge didn’t really accomplish anything, and that simply reinserting it into the system is what dislodged the connection-blocking dirt. But with so many hours of my youth spent forcing air into 8-bit game packs, I can’t bring myself to accept that it was all meaningless. Surely, there must be something that can be accomplished by caressing Nintendo classics with a puff of breath?

It turns out there is, as with a little bit of engineering you can turn a classic game cartridge into a harmonica, complete with old school video game sounds.

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