Things seen in Yakuza 6’s new trailer: crying babies, cat cafés, and lots of sushi

The sixth and final installment in the Yakuza franchise, titled Ryū ga Gotoku 6: Inochi no Uta (Like a Dragon 6: Poetry of Life) is looking to be a bigger, better caricature of itself. Yakuza 6 will bring the legend of Kazuma Kiryu to a close—but not without having a little fun first. Where we last left Kazuma, he had just reconciled with Haruka. He fell in the snow, bleeding—the injuries sustained from the final battle appearing to have mortally wounded him. Kazuma, losing consciousness, said he had to “go back where everyone is waiting for me.” Whether this meant…


A tribute album to the ‘90s aesthetic of SEGA’s most-loved games

Recently, the SEGA Dreamcast saw its 17th anniversary in North America. Released in 1999 as the last SEGA console in the company’s history, its birthday is a bittersweet event. Despite the company’s shortcomings, SEGA has a place in the hearts of those who, like me, grew up with games such as Sonic Adventure (1999) and NiGHTS Into Dreams… (1996). It’s the style, the aesthetic, even the background music of these classic Dreamcast titles that fosters such love among fans. Composer Christa Lee’s album Welcome to the Fantasy Zone is a tribute to that kind of love. Released in late August, Lee’s…

Project Diva X

Project DIVA X, or: How I learned to stop worrying and embrace Hatsune Miku as my God

Who the fuck is Hatsune Miku? Some may say she’s a Vocaloid, the poster child for the voice synthesizer software engineered by Crypton Future Media. Others may say she’s just an idol, one of the pure virtual variety, playing shows as a hologram from time to time. Others will attribute her likeness to mostly being a videogame character, appearing time and time again as the face of Sega’s Project DIVA rhythm game franchise. But I say she’s something more. Miku is a God. Dancing, singing, performing extraordinaire Hatsune Miku does not know pain. She only knows happiness, glee, cheerfulness. Except…


The demolition of Japan’s videogame history

In the eastern region of Kyoto, Japan, there lies an area named Higashiyama, filled with shrines, temples, and the Kyoto National Museum. It was here in Higashiyama that Nintendo built an office complex with buildings adjacent to one another that the company’s greatest designers worked in. Almost everything videogame-related that Nintendo developed before the year 2000 came from the complex known as 60 Kamitakamatsu-cho—from the original Game & Watch and Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), to Donkey Kong (1981), Super Mario Bros. (1985), The Legend of Zelda (1986), and Metroid (1986). But while these games can still be played the buildings…


Get ready to experience terrible videogame history: Night Trap is coming to browsers

Ah, the elusive Night Trap Fan. You hear of them often, but actual sightings remain a rarity. The creators of the infamous 1992 FMV (which, in part, sparked the videogame backlash that lead to the ESRB ratings we hold dear today) spoke about their many legions of fans last year when the Kickstarter sent ripples through a decade-old fanbase. Yet, despite the enthusiasm of this super fan group, the desire to see their beloved classic revamped fell just $290,000 short of what the developers demanded. But fear not, for the devotion of the Night Trap fan knows no bounds and cannot…


Oculus Rift game about hitchhiking zombies takes Best in Show in Kyoto

The Oculus Rift game Modern Zombie Taxi Driver has taken top spot at Bit Summit, the indie game festival in Kyoto. Yes, there is such a thing as Japanese independent games. Not much info is out there on this zombie-bussing game so far aside from a hands-on impression by Destructoid, which says that its basically the Sega’s open-world racer Crazy Taxi with zombies in virtual reality. This admittedly sounds great because, I mean, it’s Crazy Taxi with zombies in virtual reality.  Over on its developer’s Vitei site, there’s also this gallery of pictures of zombies riding uncomfortably in cars, which…


Bayonetta trailer shows off Bayonetta doing Bayonetta stuff

There is a new Bayonetta trailer which features everything you loved and/or hated about Bayonetta. Convoluted mythology? Enormous golden animals? Skittering loungey J-pop? Gross oversexualization? All here. The first game was surprisingly lengthy, particularly if you explored its higher difficulty settings, and so most of this looks like “more Bayonetta.” Which is a good thing, maybe!  The most encouraging portion of the trailer to me, though, was the lengthy shot of what looked like some sort of surfing sequence on an enormous plume of water. For all its mechanical perfection, the original game endures in my memory at least as a…