Comiket, aka Comic Market, isn't only about comics. It's also about cosplay. Oh, and plastic figures.
At this year's Comiket, which runs Dec. 28 to Dec. 31 at Tokyo Big Sight, famed Japanese figure makers are showing off upcoming statues: some are finalized production models, while others are unpainted prototypes.
In this gallery, with photos courtesy of website Moeyo, Sega shows off its arcade redemption toys, while Good Smile Company displays a range of new figures. More in the links below.
Savannah College of Art and Design game design student Ben "MNC Dover" Gray saw more than just a chance to draw dicks with Nintendo's free Swapnote program for the 3DS. He saw a chance to draw +4 vorpal dicks.
What Ben is proposing in this video is a nifty variation of good old play-by-mail Dungeons & Dragons type games. One player is the dungeon master, organizing the adventure, setting up the dungeons, and writing out the flavor text. He sends out notes to the players indicating what they see, they send him back notes saying what they do.
It reminds me of the good old days when we used to play our own role-playing games via the forums of local dial-up BBS systems, pre-internet era. Could be a hoot!
Hit up the link below for more details on Ben's game, and who knows, maybe get involved in further developing it!
Swapnote RPG [YouTube]
Directed by famed Japanese director Takashi Miike, it could be great.
Last October, Kotaku posted the first image of actor Hiroki Narimiya as Phoenix Wright. Today, here are photos of the entire cast of actors in character. Thoughts?
Phoenix Wright was first released as a Game Boy Advance game in 2001 and has gone on to span many successful sequels and spin-offs.
Doraemon is a fat, robotic blue cat from the future. In his belly, Doraemon carries all sorts of cool gadgets. The character, viewable here, is iconic in Japan.
Doraemon also not something one would equate with handsome dude—or good hair. Yet, as this recent cosplay shows, those associations are totally possible.
くれ えいぞう [twitpic]
We've already recognized a whole bunch of the best game soundtracks of 2011. But of course, there are only so many hours in the day—only so much time to play games, and one can only write about so many game soundtracks.
Fortunately, you guys were up to the task of nominating outstanding soundtracks that didn't make our official round-up. On Thursday, you put forth a ton of worthy original soundtracks from the year. I gathered 'em all together and listed them here.
As an unscientific aside, if I had to gauge the general tenor, enthusiasm, and number of nominations, Kotaku's "Readers' Choice" Award for Best 2011 Video Game Soundtrack would go to Deus Ex: Human Revolution, with Bastion and Xenoblade Chronicles as runners-up. Y'all have good taste.
Each of these entries has been written by a Kotaku commenter, sometimes more than one.
Let's get down to it, shall we?
There are two games that make my short list: Xenoblade Chronicles and Radiant Historia. If we are only counting US releases, then I will default to Radiant Historia. I place the Xenoblade OST above Radiant Historia's though. It is not because of the established talent behind it, but rather because of the surprising great work of ACE+. Each piece really brings you into your new environments, and the new battle theme that kicks in some time into the game is just fantastic. This is one song and environment I particularly enjoyed (and it is different from the other tracks usually posted by others and myself). —Dodgewd
At least for being released this year in the UK, Xenoblade deserves a call out for contributions from heavyweights like Yasunori Mitsuda and Yoko Shimomura.—Tye The Czar
True dat. Some great tracks throughout. This track plays in the first open area you get to explore. It conveys a great sense of freedom, one of the best aspects of Xenoblade from both a gameplay and a JRPG context. The first time I accidentally jumped off a bridge and plummeted hundreds of feet down into the water below, only to find that I could swim around and explore was something special. Even after spending hour 7 in Colony working on sidequest #4563, this track is fresh.—bobtheblob916
"Xenoblade Chronicles". I have played many videogames, among them many JRPGs and as a music hobbyist, if there something that I really appreciate is a soundtrack that helps you immerse in it's game world. "Xenoblade Chronicles" boasts a 4 audio CD soundtrack that manages to mimic the exact feelings of the what's happening on the screen. Beautiful, stunning compositions and I hope this wins next year when the game hits America and you will all see why I am nominating it right here.—Shiryu
There's a place deep inside me that rarely gets touched, moved. Too much of life is filled with the ordinary and mundane, we are surrounded by it, we choke on it. The moment I heard those first few simple notes I was swept to that place. The music has the ability to make the world stop for that brief moment when you listen to it. The soundtrack is all inclusive, all immersive and utterly captivating. It demands all of your attention, it gently compels you to feel, to share at that moment in the game the feelings that the characters go through... it is truly magical.—Han Cillers
There was a lot of great game music this year, I agree with most if not all of the previous posts. Though there's one game in particular that I feel bears mentioning: Shadows of the Damned. It has a really fantastic sound design, and I think this track is a descent, if not perfect, representation of the kind of atmospheric music you can find in it. That's not to say this is a great representation of the style of music you'll find in the game, though. That would be quite a feat, for the soundtrack shifts wildly from heavy metal, to old fashioned ragtime, to mariachi rock expertly from scene to scene. It would be impossible for me to disregard it as a heavy contender for my game music of the year.—VonAbsynt
I gotta say, Ghost Trick's music really gave the game's more intense moments the dramatic edge they needed. It's a bit like the music that plays when you make a successful objection in Phoenix Wright, it just gives you that "Oh man, shit just got real" feeling. My personal game of the year, for sure!—Diamond Sea
Bastion, Deus Ex: HR and The Witcher 2 are all highlights but I was most surprised by Batman: Arkham City. Perhaps because I could barely recall anything from Asylum, or because I was playing Arkham City so damn much. The theme is wonderful, and I love the build-up from about 1:17, that increase in tension that releases into a bold heroic yet tragic theme at around 1:56. 'This Court Is Now In Session' is also great music by which to punch people. In the game.—hot_heart
I am surprised not a single person has mentioned Sonic Generations and its incredible soundtrack! While I certainly wouldn't nominate it for any game of the year awards, its soundtrack is probably the best of any Sonic game. Rather than go straight-up rock, the composers instead went with a very violin-heavy sound that actually fits Sonic perfectly. Granted, almost every single song is a remix of a previous game, but it's impossible to deny that this is an incredible piece. The piano backing the violin is beautiful, and the drums really give the entire thing a sense of speed that just makes you want to move.—Goopygoo
How could everyone forget Child of Eden's OST? The entire game is based on music, beats, and rhythm. This style of Tech-House is easy to listen to. Very catchy and with a soulful singer behind it too. Genki Rockets FTW!—tehjonel
The soundtrack to Catherine is an incredibly strange mix of classical music and, I guess, rock? Either way, it's tremendously unique and the perfect music for a frenetic puzzle game.—PsychoDantis
I can't BELIEVE that no one has posted anything about Battlefield 3 yet!
The strange, electronic soundtrack goes perfectly with the atmosphere of the game, both in the singleplayer and multiplayer. For instance, when a multiplayer battle is reaching its conclusion, a track starts playing in the background, and the fight seems more and more intense until you see "Your team lost." or "Your team won!"
For me the music is a tribute to the intensity of battle that the game is trying to convey. That syncopated 6-feel rhythm sounds spastic yet oddly ordered, sort of like a series of autocannon shots or mortar shells going off. That little synth line that comes in on top is just so wonderfully placed, and carries the song, which starts out rhythmically, harmonically. All the little beeps and sounds are very similar to a lot of the noises that you hear in the game, like the target lock sound on your Javelin or a bullet whizzing by, or bits of dirt hitting the ground after an explosion.
Something about this music just really gets me into the game... makes me want to sprint around and vault over things before snapping my sight onto that Russian that's about to cap a flag.—llama.fragments
Yoko Shimomura just nailed it with Radiant Historia's OST, in my humble opinion. It's a game that goes without complex graphics and voiced dialogue, but it doesn't really need either because every track does such a wonderful job of setting the mood of a scene, conveying a particular emotion. This is the stuff classics are made of, both the game itself and the soundtrack.—Paradox Me
Someone already mentioned it but my vote goes to Radiant Historia too. Even though the soundtrack hasn't that many tracks it's still fantastic. Then again I shouldn't be surprised since the soundtrack was composed by Yoko Shimomura. And the game is amazing as well so if you haven't played it yet, go play it.—klezdoom
Dark Souls for certain. Some of those boss themes are outright intense, but I fell in love with the game as soon as I heard the menu music. It's just so calm yet haunting as well, as if it were trying to comfort you before your hardship comes about each time. It almost reminds me of the Resident Evil save room themes.—GanymedeJupiter
Rarely does a game's negative use of music affect how powerful the musical parts actually are.—snakelinksonic
Blasphemous Experiment (Nybbeth's theme) is probably the best example I can think of [of why this soundtrack needs more attention]. That song is just plain chilling, especially considering it's a battle theme. The original SNES version is okay, but the PSP arrangement is just ridiculously good. Such a good damn song. Whenever you hear it, it's also a good sign that you're probably about to get your ass kicked!—Archaotic
And there you have 'em, our readers' picks for the best soundtracks of 2011. Thanks to all who contributed!
This week, Industry Gamers took a look at what happened in 2011, and what will happen in 2012.
QUOTE | "The Hacker is 2011's Person of the Year." - James Brightman, Editor-in-Chief of IndustryGamers, presents the Top 10 people of the year and why they mattered to the game industry in 2011 in this 4-part series.
QUOTE | "Microsoft will announce a successor to Xbox 360 at E3 2012." - Billy Pidgeon, game industry analyst, making his predictions for the game industry in 2012.
QUOTE | "GTA V will be 2012's biggest release." - EEDAR's Jesse Divnich makes the bold prediction that Rockstar's next blockbuster will topple Call of Duty as the biggest game in 2012.
QUOTE | "World of Warcraft will need to reinvent its business model in the face of subscriber declines." - David Cole of DFC Intelligence makes this and other predictions about key events for the gaming industry in 2012.
QUOTE | "Triumphs, failures, great games, new market trends, big announcements and new consoles revealed." - IndustryGamers Senior Editor David Radd reviews the top stories of the year in this 4-part series.
QUOTE | "I wouldn't even expect any official announcements of new hardware in 2012." - Industry analyst Jesse Divnich makes this and other predictions about what will happen in 2012.
QUOTE | "Expect some significant new styles of social gameplay in 2012." – Steve Peterson, West Coast Editor of IndustryGamers, making 5 predictions for social gaming in 2012.
QUOTE | "Expect even more layoffs and mergers from game companies in the coming year." - Scott Steinberg marketing expert and analyst of TechSavvy Global on what he thinks will happen in 2012.
QUOTE | "Some of the Winners may surprise you." - Steve Peterson, West Coast Editor of IndustryGamers, talking about IndustryGamers' Top 5 Winners For 2011.
QUOTE | "Tablets will get AAA titles." - Steve Peterson, West Coast Editor of IndustryGamers, predicting one of the top 5 things that will happen in mobile gaming in 2012.
QUOTE | "No need to go hunting for the snark... it's here." - Steve Peterson, West Coast Editor of IndustryGamers, giving the top Losers of 2011 some recognition for their failures.
YouTube user Jason Yang cloned himself for one very special reason: to play beautiful Skyrim music to you. That's so nice!
And the Jason Yang clone orchestra doesn't only play the violin. There's some drumming, too. Clone drumming.
Skyrim Violin Cover [YouTube]
In the first video, a cat slices and dices his way through Fruit Ninja, posting an impressive score—and possibly scratching up the screen in the process.
After Nintendo capitalized on games for old people and non-gamers, it looks like there's an entirely new untapped demographic: animals. There are a few apps aimed at animes (cats, mostly), and, no doubt, there will be more as the iPad and iPhone are quickly becoming the digital version of a squeaky toy.
But for every animal gaming champ, there's always a chameleon who gets totally whigged out by an iPhone.
Back in 1998, Pokémon was the shiz-nittle-bam-snip-snap-sack. Much like Ninja Turtles the decade before, Pokémon was -the- children's franchise. Even people who didn't watch the show could instantly recognize the American series mascot, Pikachu. It was during this time that Nintendo and Game Freak decided to release a giga-pet based on owning an actual Pokémon. And thus the Pokémon Pocket Pikachu was born.
Now I know there are two version of this giga-pet, the original LCD one and the later GS color one, but unfortunately I only have the black and white one. There are a few differences between each Pikapal, but overall it's the same experience. Only a few animations, mini-game changes and the additional color make the difference.
Pokémon Pikachu is slightly different from more traditional portable virtual pets in that Pikachu does not need to be fed, watered, or cleaned up after. Pikachu only requires interaction and exercise to keep him happy. The unit is a virtual pet, but it also has a pedometer function built in. With every step the user takes, the Pokémon Pikachu will provide credits ("watts") which can be used as presents for Pikachu. It's not an exact science, but around eighteen steps on the pedometer will earn one watt.
Overall, your relationship status with Pikachu will be gauged on the Select screen a score. When you play with him, you'll gain points, and the more you have, the more he'll like you. You can gain more points by walking, shaking him, and giving him watts. You must be careful though because shaking him at the wrong time will cause him to become upset with you. Some examples are when he's stacking building blocks or sleeping. I haven't tried it while he is in the shower, but I know that in the GS version he gets frightened and runs away. Here is a list of activities I've seen Pikachu do.
Brushing His Teeth - (Shaking it: He brushes faster.)
Playing At The Beach – (Shaking it: He shovels faster.)
Weight Lifting – (Shaking it: He drops the weight.)
Building With Blocks – (Shaking it: A block drops off his small building.)
Sleeping – (Shaking it: He wakes up.)
Spinning Around – (Shaking it: His ears "perk" up, and he'll start looking at you.)
Adding 9+2 – (Shaking it: Has a question mark over his head.)
Licking an ice cream cone/lollipop – (Shaking it: He drops the cone on the floor.)
Watching TV – (Shaking it: He jumps up and down.)
Taking a bath – (Shaking it: He bobs his head back and forth.)
Standing around – (Shaking it: He will wave his arms and his tail around.)
When you first get Pikachu he will be a little grouchy and just be "okay" with you. He won't look at you and he will spend most of his time doing activities on his own. As you spend more time with Pikachu, your friendship score will grow and you'll start seeing him engage in more activities. Giving him watt presents is also a great way to quickly boost the friendship. Different denominations of watts will prompt different reactions from Pikachu.
000: Pikachu will make an angry face and your friendship score will go down.
010+: Pikachu will yawn.
100+: Pikachu will cheer and do a small march.
400+: Pikachu will write you a letter.
500+: Pikachu will do a backflip.
600+: Pikachu will stare at you with cute eyes and little hearts will appear around him.
999+: Pikachu will perform a little show where he will either swim, hang-glide, play the trumpet/piano, or balance on a ball.
More top stories from Tikisaurus.com
• My visit to the Penny Arcade Child's Play Charity Auction
If you're really gutsy, or lucky, you can bet your watts in a slot machine game. A 5 watt bet can net you 500 if you manage to hit all 7's. It is a little hard to do, but I have managed it several times. You can also get different combinations with fish, cats and flowers. Triple cats are pretty good because they net you a solid 50 watts.
It's pretty easy to take care of Pikachu as he doesn't require 24hr attention. But if you do neglect him, his mood can quickly change. I forgot to put him in my pocket yesterday and he dropped from "loves you" to "likes you". Man, what a moody guy! A quick 500 watt dosage quickly bought him over though. I don't think Pikachu can die, but if you're really negligent I've heard Pikachu can become angry and eventually refuse to recognize the player. He will actually leave the giga-pet! You'd have to neglect him for several weeks though.
Out of all my childhood toys, I have the fondest memories with the Pocket Pikachu. He has a variety of expressions and he is always busy doing something throughout the day. This is the closest you can get to actually owning a real Pokémon. (Lord knows we all had that dream when we were young.) The Pikapal originally sold for about $15-$20 in the U.S. but the price has gone up; now you have to eBay one for around $50. I'd like to try out the color GS model, but the prices seem too high. For now I'm fine with my original Pikachu at my side.
John Kazemaini is the creator and managing editor for Tikisaurus.com. A video game blog specializing in off-beat and retro gaming news. Republished with permission.
Just as its sister site ModDB picks the top PC gaming mods of the year, IndieDB rounds out the year with a countdown of the top independently developed games of the year. Think of it as a shopping list to help establish your indie gaming cred. How many of the top ten have you played?
Me? I've only gotten around to experiencing half of the ten games voted by IndieDB community members as the best independent games of the year. I've spent a great many hours exploring the world of Bastion, as everyone should. Stephen got me into SpaceChem after raving about the iPhone version of the game. Trine 2 from Frozenbyte was a no-brainer, considering my great love of the original, and Minecraft-meets-FPS Ace of Spades was personally responsible for several near-oversleep situations over the past few months.
As for the number one game, the 2D building, exploring, and surviving action of Terraria...I'm ashamed to say I hadn't played it at all, at least until this morning, when I plunked down five dollars for a copy on Steam. I'm enjoying it so much right now that this post was nearly incredibly late.
Hit up the list to see not only the top ten, but the top 100 indie games of 2011 and beyond, and start building your shopping list.
IOTY Players Choice - Indie of the Year [IndieDB]