Japanese games are frequently criticized for sticking to a formula. Games evolve rather than innovate; even the latest Zelda game started out with three starter dungeons, as did many of its predecessors. For those of us eager to see radical new ideas out of Japan, indie games might be a good place to start. The corporate structure of indie game companies in Japan seem less tied to tradition; a company of friends might be a better place to make a game than in a company of suits.
NYU Media has recently been localizing Japanese indie games like the eXceed games and Comedy Tree High Comedy Club. They’ve announced a new round of games they’re working on, including the cute but brutal Eriyi’s Action by Xtal Sword. This Let’s Play video shows things like blocks you fall through and background features that are actually deathly spikes.