Pokkén Tournament is killing my Pokémon vibe

“Kids play inside their homes now, and a lot had forgotten about catching insects. So had I. When I was making games, something clicked and I decided to make a game with that concept. Everything I did as a kid is kind of rolled into one—that’s what Pokémon is. Playing video games, watching TV, Ultraman with his capsule monsters—they all became ingredients for the game.” – Satoshi Tajiri in an interview with TIME Magazine, 1999 It’s a fun bit of trivia now, but Pokémon originally grew out of its creator’s simple, childlike sense of awe toward the bugs in his backyard. At…


Fighting game will pit Darwin against Tesla in brutal fisticuffs

Science Kombat, an upcoming newsgame created by Fred Di Giacomo Rocha and Otavio Cohen from Brazil’s Superinteressante science and culture magazine, aims to teach players about some of history’s greatest minds not by handing them a dry quiz, but by having a select group of notable scientists beat the crap out of each other in one-on-one fights. It’s education by way of the WWE, hearkening to playground debates of who-would-win versus battles more than classroom lectures, and the result is a game that aims to be both educational and yet also features Albert Einstein shooting people with lasers. In the style of…

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Street Fighter V is for lovers

“ANOTHER FIGHT IS COMING YOUR WAY!” This is the siren sound of a Street Fighter match: two people getting ready to know each other without ever meeting. No matter how you dress it, Street Fighter V is an intimate experience dispersed globally. This Street Fighter has the distinction of a purely at-home experience: no more arcade machines produced, no more gangly crowds growing around the electric glow of a single screen in the dark and suspiciously meaty atmosphere of the local arcade. There’s no limit to the kvetching about a dearth of release features, either in reviews, at forums, or…


Cheongsam to merge “virtual theatre” and videogames

Dubbed “virtual theatre” by its creators, Cheongsam is a game about chance encounters and the types of conversations that stretch until 3AM. It’s also about the role players have in creating a game’s story. Cast as a young man named Michael, you spend an evening getting to know an AI-controlled acquaintance named Maggie. There’s no set goal to your encounter with her, no achievements to earn or pre-written story branches to unlock. Rather, Maggie acts as a scene partner, and will respond to your body language and facial expressions in subtle ways, such as slightly and mysteriously glancing off into…


Sir Michael Rocks’ new video is an anime come to life

Japanese culture and hip-hop have a long relationship, from the genre’s mid-90s kung-fu obsession to Kanye’s mid-oughts evocation of Japanese pop art up through its current commingling in the very production of Drake’s ubiquitous “Hotline Bling.” The Chicago emcee Sir Michael Rocks has always been a nerd, but in his new video “In My Mode” he goes the full cosplay: it’s essentially a three-minute homage to modern shonen anime. The first half is a back-alley brawl, all close-ups of eyes and stylized violence, recalling Akame Ga Kill and Sword Art Online. The rematch takes place in an open field, and is…