The first time I played Persona 4, I let myself drown in its emotional, dramatic, and wonderfully crafted world. Playing through it again on Sony’s PlayStation Vita via Persona 4 Golden, I did what any rationale and mature person would do: I abused the system’s screen-capture feature to post images of lines said out of context that could be giggled at for their sexual connotations.

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avatar Filed Under Gallery, Humor, Japan, PlayStation Vita, RPG
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Deadly Premonition stands as a fantastic example of Japanese gaming. On a purely technical level, the sandbox adventure of an FBI agent called to a small American town in order to investigate a bizarre murder often seems rough and quaint when compared to the mammoth open-world releases we’re used to from Western developers. And yet, what Deadly Premonition lacks in power it makes up for in charm. While some wrote it off, those who really gave a chance to the project Japanese creator Hidetaka “Swery” Suehiro poured his heart and soul into found a game overflowing with personality, attention to detail, interesting characters, and a style of storytelling that you won’t find coming from any other country.

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When it came time to make up a “Best of 2011″ list at the end of last year, a little PSP horror game from Team GrisGris, 5pb, and XSEED called Corpse Party was my #2 game for the year. My #1 game was Dark Souls—a choice that really required little justification, even among those who chose something else for that particular spot. Putting Corpse Party at #2, however, seemed crazy to many. First of all, it was on the PSP—and wasn’t that thing dead? Second, it looked like something from the 16-bit era of gaming—and gameplay-wise, played like something even older. Plus, not only was it on the PSP, but it was a horror game on the PSP. Does that concept even work?

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avatar Filed Under Interview, Japan, PlayStation Portable, Survival Horror, Video Games
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Shortly after arriving in Japan, a visitor finds a camera from an older era lying on the ground. Via that camera, we get a different look at some familiar features of the sprawling city known as Tokyo.

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While the system has long become outdated, one of my favorite handhelds is still the original DS (aka the DS Phat). Why? Because Nintendo released it in one of the best color variants ever: two-toned light pink and white.

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avatar Filed Under Hardware, News, Nintendo 3DS
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Normally, I sling a lot of criticism in the direction of Nintendo of America, and with good reason—their love for either being ridiculously late in releasing a game in the US, or not releasing the game at all, is legendary.

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Normally, I’m not really into video game shirts, but every now and then I’ll find one that I like. Whether or not I’ll actually wear them is still to be decided, but recently, I got not one—but three—new shirts that I am quite fond of.

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I would love to believe that the opening 30 to 45 minutes of gameplay in Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy was a carefully orchestrated plot, one conceived in some smoky Japanese bar one night when staff from both Square Enix and indieszero went out drinking together. The goal would be a scathing commentary on Japan’s RPG industry, and how—inexplicably—so many of its offering force players to sit through 5 to 10 hours of boredom in order to get to the “good stuff.”

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avatar Filed Under B, Japan, Nintendo 3DS, Review, Rhythm, Video Games
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Like previous portable Persona projects, Persona 4 Golden for Vita will offer up a new intro video to go along with the original PS2 intro. It’s colorful! It’s full of bikes! It’s got the characters doing some funky dances!

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avatar Filed Under Humor, Japan, PlayStation Vita, Video
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Ever since I was a child, I’ve had one particular dream that’s played out over and over again: my ability to fly. Each time, the pieces are different—different settings, different people, different sources of motivation—but the core component’s always the same: I know I have the ability to fly, I’ve just forgotten how to. At some point, that memory comes back to me, and moments later, I’m jetting myself through the sky to some new destination. At times, these dreams can be so utterly overwhelming and powerful that it’s hard for my subconscious self not to swear that I’ve always been meant to have that power of flight. For a brief sliver of time, my body’s as light as air—my battle over the forces of gravity won.

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avatar Filed Under A, Adventure, Japan, PlayStation Vita, Review
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