The videogame that helped popularize Japanese mecha in the west

In the early 2000s, the Japanese government started to evaluate the value of the country’s popular culture industry following international successes in anime/manga such as Pokémon and Dragonball, videogames like Nintendo’s Legend of Zelda and Super Mario series, and films including Spirited Away (2001) and Ringu (1998). Realizing that its cultural influence expanded despite the economic setbacks of the Lost Decade (from 1991 to 2000), Japan sought to promote the idea of ‘Cool Japan’, an expression of its emergent status as a cultural superpower. For the next dozen years, the Japanese government made use of its soft power and ‘Cool Japan’ strategy to boost cultural…

titanfall 2

A man and his mecha fall in love in Titanfall 2

Though a thin game in terms of what it offered overall, Respawn Entertainment’s Titanfall (2014) was a well-balanced, quick-paced multiplayer shooter in a time where run-of-the-mill Call of Dutys and Battlefields ruled, with not much else to spare. But one of the largest grievances from fans of Titanfall was not only the sparse diversity of its multiplayer modes—but its entire lack of having a single player campaign. In the newest footage of its follow-up Titanfall 2, revealed during EA’s press conference early Sunday afternoon, Respawn finally confirmed that very inclusion (even if the trailer did leak earlier than expected). In…

Infinite Arms

Infinite Arms aims to make the toy game adult-friendly

When Activision’s Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure first launched in 2011, it resonated with older kids by balancing the act of imagination with the act of playing a videogame. While it was more structured than a more free-form toy like Legos, Skylanders created the illusion that, by placing plastic figurines on a light-up pedestal, players could bring inanimate objects to life. Adults didn’t understand this. As an added bonus for Activision, this was a natural point of entry into the toy industry, and the ability to bolster sales with a physical product line was something that everyone from Nintendo to Lego would…


This looks like Hyper Light Drifter but darker; here’s hoping it comes out

In the year 20XX, in a TIGSource devlog… Irkalla. It’s a side-scrolling arcade shooter that has the pixel-y charm of Hyper Light Drifter (or your personal favorite upcoming GIF-machine), and all the bleak, gunmetal-grey mech-strewn wastelands you can ask for. Yeah, the pored-over, long-gestating pixel art GIF-game is kind of a trend right now, but there’s pixel art and then there’s pixel art, y’know? And this two-man project looks to be the latter. The devs even promise to keep their narrative ambitions in check and “just focus on a funny gameplay, heavy atmosphere and stylized pixel art.” Two out of…