video games

“Would you rather breathe or play DS?” Mother on trial for suffocating five-year-old son

On September 25 at Tokyo District Court, 42-year-old mother of four Shizu Shigeta took the stand in a packed courtroom, accused of killing her five-year-old son.

Teary-eyed and clinging to a handkerchief as she spoke, the defendant admitted that she had caused the death of her son, Koushi, after sealing him inside two plastic garbage bags and then falling asleep beside him while under the influence of sedatives and alcohol.

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Sony’s new PlayStation Vita Slim ad is awesome, features gaming penguins 【Video】

We fell in love with Sony’s new PlayStation Vita Slim the very first moment we got our sweaty little hands on a demo unit at this year’s Tokyo Game Show, but this new commercial, which features rocking gaming penguins of every colour the new device is available in, made us even more eager to buy one.

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Super Mario 3D World’s new Goomba Cat will cute your face off

A tweet from Nintendo writer Chad Concelmo earlier today revealed that the Japanese video game giant will be adding a new bad guy character to its forthcoming Wii U title, Super Mario 3D World, and it is ridiculously cute.

We’ve been squishing walking mushroom Goomba characters for decades now, but this furry little guy is bound to make some gamers pause for thought before hitting the jump button and ending its pudgy little life. Say hello to the Cat Goomba!

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Expert mode “Rainbow Road” bridge found in Japan

Boredom on the road can lead to serious accidents as drivers become less alert or more reckless driving down straight and well lit roads. So perhaps there is some merit in the idea that more dangerous road conditions can lead to safer and more attentive driving.

Take this bridge which connects Japan’s Highway 194 with Highway 299 over the Niyodo River in Kochi Prefecture. Lacking any barriers or guard rails drivers must keep a steady wheel when crossing the Nagoya Low Water Bridge (no relation to the prefecture).

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How awesome is the sight of 974 Marios running through the same level at once? (Answer: Very)

It might be nearly 30 years old, but the original Super Mario Bros. remains one of the most beloved and played old-school platformers in the world. There’s something about goomba stomping, block smashing and Bowser boiling that people just can’t seem to get enough of, and modders continue to tinker with the basic gameplay and build original levels to this day.

The following video, apparently taken at Gamescom last month, shows the efforts of 974 players as they sprint through a custom-made level against the clock. Combining their runs into a single video results in what can only be described as an 8-bit river of Marios, cascading over pipes and mushrooms, hell-bent on reaching the princess, and it makes fantastic viewing.

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Western games may have won the Tokyo Game Show this year

The old saying in Japanese gamer circles used to go “Bei game wa Kuso game” (“Western games are sh&%ty games”), but the tables may have turned in a big way if this year’s Tokyo Game Show turnout is any indication.

Western publishers were out in spades this year. In fact, the very first thing attendees saw when entering the gates of this year’s TGS were a bunch of armed soldiers and (tastefully) military-garbed booth girls promoting the newest entry in the Battlefield series of online multiplayer military shooter games.

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Play games on your touch screen the way they’re meant to be played with Buttons Anywhere

Smartphones and tablet devices have proven themselves to be viable gaming platforms… as long as the game suits it. While games like Angry Birds work perfectly, old school gamers (which is probably all of us in this instance) can’t help but struggle with the virtual D-pad and buttons we’ve grown accustomed to in other genres like action games.

So along comes Buttons Anywhere to bring us back that loving feeling of 3D plastic buttons to games like Street Fighter and GTA on the touch screens of newer devices.

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The ultimate in lazy gaming: Ingenious tablet cushion demoed at Tokyo Game Show 2013

We’ve all been there: you’ve got your shiny new laptop, smartphone or tablet computer and you’re lounging around on the floor at home, watching videos on YouTube, tapping away at Plants Vs. Zombies… when suddenly your pampered, first-world body throws a hissy hit. “I’m tired! Why do I always have to hold all the expensive electronic devices!?” it moans as you start to lose the feeling in your arm or your left leg goes to sleep. You wriggle around and find a new position, but before long your body’s complaining again and you just can’t get comfy.

Oh, wouldn’t it be great if there were something – a piece of furniture perhaps – that would hold your tablet or computer for you while you did massively unimportant web browsing and lay on the floor!?

Enter the Goron tablet cushion, which not only supports your head and neck while you laze around, but comes complete with an adjustable holder for tablets, laptops and even small monitors! Yep, gamers just got that little bit lazier!

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Former Nintendo head and video gaming legend Hiroshi Yamauchi passes away

Hiroshi Yamauchi, the former head of video game giant Nintendo who helmed the company during its period of skyrocketing growth in the 1980s and 90s, has passed away at the age of 85. The entertainment visionary succumbed to pneumonia on September 19.

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Belarusian video game and Japanese anime with German title brought together by shared love of tanks

As an admittedly old-school gamer, I sometimes have a hard time grasping the appeal of modern video games designed with light users in mind. Lining up sparkly jewels in Bejeweled? Growing tomatoes in Farmville? Where’s the excitement in that?

Likewise, the trends of modern anime can be difficult to understand, with a glut of shows lacking any discernible concept beyond “cute girls hang out together, and occasionally participate in school club activities.”

If you ask me, both of these entertainment fields could do with a lot more stuff blowing up. Thankfully, that’s just what we can expect from the new collaboration between online game World of Tanks and anime franchise Girls und Panzer.

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Download punk rock classics played in 8-bit – for free!!

Who here is a fan of ‘90s punk rock? How about old school gaming from the NES and Sega Genesis eras? If you have an interest in one or both, there’s a new album up on Bandcamp, music community and selling outlet for self-releasing musical artists, called Punk Goes 8-Bit: Level 1. Tracks include popular punk hits from well-known artists, such as Blink 182, Less Than Jake, and The Offspring as you’ve never heard them before. Better yet, they’re absolutely free!

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Canadian artist’s “what happened next” Street Fighter character designs are dark and awesome

Montreal-based artist and owner of personal blog Novamesh Arman Akopian (perhaps better known by his DeviantArt tag of GUYJIN) is causing quite the stir here in Japan today with a series of illustrations depicting the cast of Capcom’s genre-defining fighting game series Street Fighter years after the events of the game’s martial arts tournament.

Tremendously dark but expertly drawn and with detailed character descriptions alongside each illustration, we learn that things are not looking good for the majority of the Street Fighter crew, with Blanka struggling with alcoholism, Guile’s “sonic boom” attack eventually causing him to go deaf, and Chun-Li… well, Chun-Li is still looking as flexible and muscular as ever.

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This game bites! Working out your frustration by chewing on your video game controllers

If you only started playing video games in the last 10 years, you may not know how good you’ve got it. These days, every system includes a hard drive to save your progress, and with most games offering frequent opportunities to do so or doing it on your behalf, even the worst screw-up isn’t going to lose you more than 15 minutes or so of progress. With dozens of online FAQs and YouTube demonstrations for the most popular titles, there’s no need to waste time getting killed by the same boss over and over again.

But back in the day, things were different. Before every home had multiple Internet-capable devices, gamers were completely on their own whenever they entered a new stage, and death usually meant going all the way back to the beginning of the level, if not the entire game. How did old school gamers deal with this kind of frustration?

In the case of one of our Japanese correspondents by biting the controller.

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Tokyo Game Show floor map revealed, Battlefield 4 confirmed as playable on PlayStation 4

In less than one week’s time, the doors of the Makurai Messe convention centre will be opened and Tokyo Game Show 2013 will begin. RocketNews24 will of course be heading along to play a few games on your behalf and bring you some of the most original and quirky news we can lay our eyes and ears on (we were warned about touching last year), and during a little research session this afternoon we stumbled upon none other than the official exhibitor map for Tokyo Game Show 2013, which was released earlier today.

Needless to say, the exhibitor list is positively enormous, with hundreds of booths filling eight halls (plus a separate area dedicated to indies and cosplay) with gaming goodness to be drooled over. Not only that, but Electronics Arts Japan has confirmed that forthcoming first-person shooter Battlefield 4 will also be playable on PlayStation 4 at the event.

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Sony explains decision to delay PlayStation 4 in its homeland, Japanese gamers not happy

It’s been two days since Sony delivered the shocking news that its newest console, PlayStation 4, won’t be launching in Japan until February 2014, despite the fact that it will go on sale in America, Europe and Australia this November. Now that the dust has settled and Sony has had chance to make some further clarifying statements via press releases and on its PlayStation Blog, Japan’s gamers have a much better idea of what to expect when the console eventually rolls out in its homeland.

Sony’s main reason for delaying the highly anticipated console, it maintains, is in order to provide a stronger software lineup when it eventually launches. Comments from Japanese gamers, however, suggest that they are neither convinced that this is the real reason for the delay, nor especially happy about being sent to the back of the queue.

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Crossover coming between Tetris and beloved Sega puzzle series Puyo Puyo?

Every now and again, a video game comes along that’s such a big hit that it creates its own, oftentimes oddly specific, genre. Super Mario Bros. begat a plethora of titles where characters run from left to right and jump on platforms. Street Fighter created a wave of games in which martial artists always settle their battles in best two out of three fashion, even if many of them are supposedly fighting to the death. And from Tetris, the category of “arranging things as they fall from the sky” was born.

Most of the puzzle games attempting to cash in on Tetris’ success, such as Columns, Dr. Mario, and Baku Baku Animal, didn’t make anywhere near as much of a splash. The lone exception is Puyo Puyo, originally from developer Compile. Puyo Puyo has been going strong for over 20 years, and its current caretaker, Sega, has plans to kick things up another notch, according to some cryptic messages from the franchise’s official Twitter account.

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Best job ever? Japanese man makes 1 million yen for three months of gaming

For all you fellow gamers out there, both hardcore and casual, how many hours have you wasted away powering up the pixels on your computer screens and game consoles? How many paychecks have disappeared into the latest expansion packs? How many hours of sleep have been lost to an addiction to online multi-players? Society doesn’t always understand, but we know it’s worth the time and the money when we get the fierce gratification of overcoming an in-game challenge. If we could, I’m sure many of us would love to make a living off of the lives we lead in the virtual world.

For one Japanese man, referred to by his handle name, Moru-chan, that dream is a reality. Moru-chan spends approximately 12 hours a day doing nothing but gaming for a paycheck of one million yen (US$10,043)! He’s earning this money by basically living out three months of his life in the online world of fantasy role-playing game, ArcheAge. RocketNews24 has the scoop here in an exclusive interview with this very lucky man at the one-room apartment provided to him by his company.

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Mario, Luigi, Link to appear in Capcom’s Monster Hunter 4

Sadly, there are very few ways to make money spontaneously appear in your pockets. We hear animal sacrifices work, but there’s all kinds of ethical complications, plus you need a rock solid alibi when your neighbor comes asking if you know where her poodle went.

But game manufacturer Capcom has found a simpler way that won’t get them arrested: adding Nintendo mascots into their games.

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PlayStation 4 not launching in Japan until 2014

Despite launching in Europe and North America this November, Sony’s next generation console, PlayStation 4, will not launch in its homeland until 2014, it has been revealed.

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Why Puppeteer is one of the grandest romps ever to grace the stage 【Review】

We have to admit we fell quite in love with Puppeteer‘s visual style from the very first moment we saw it. Although essentially a 2-D platformer, the game is presented as a live puppet show, heavily influenced by Japanese Bunraku puppet theatre, with a healthy dose of pantomime thrown in for good measure, and it looked positively spellbinding.

Due to go on sale both on disc and as a digital download via PlayStation Store in North America and Europe this week, the game was in fact released in Japan on September 5, so naturally we rushed out to grab a copy right away. Three days of platforming, applause and magical scissor snipping later, we’re delighted to say that Puppeteer is not just a superb platformer, but one of PlayStation 3’s most inspired titles to date.

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