The “gacha” mechanic — a staple of popular mobile games in Japan — is getting more attention in the West these days, in part because of the release of Nintendo’s Fire Emblem Heroes, and here’s another blog post on Gamasutra to help you wrap your head around how it all works.
The latest episode of Toco Toco TV brings the series back to the world of games, this time focusing on game creator Katsura Hashino, best known for his work on the Persona series. There’s a lot of great examples of how Tokyo helped form the world you experience in Persona 5, as well as a little peek at his next game.
USgamer posted a great interview with my buddy Rich Amtower, as well as Alexander O. Smith, about their experience localizing Vagrant Story, a game that changed, well, the game of how seriously localization was — and should be — taken.
Less surprising for the fact that it has finally happened than the fact that it took so long to do so, but the Maricar go-karting service is being sued by Nintendo for trademark infringement.
Anne Ferrero is one of my favorite creators of video content (Branching Paths, Toco Toco TV) and she has just launched yet another series you can watch on YouTube called The Manga Concierge. As the title suggests, each episode takes a look at a few manga series. The first episode is themed on games, and includes the titles Banjo no Polaris (about chess), Final Re:Quest (inspired by Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest, with art that looks like an 8-bit game), and Gutshot (about poker).
Patrick’s Tokyo’s Coolest Sound blog has all the details on the new CD/DVD compilation of the anniversary concert that was held for the Legend of Zelda series last year (which I know a few friends had the great luck to attend, bastards).
I’ve recently been enjoying posts by Motoi Okamoto that take a look at the mobile gaming scene in Japan, offering up analysis on how these games are successful — he’s been sharing them on Gamasutra, but you can follow him directly through his blog as well. His latest post offers up a look at Fire Emblem Heroes. Okamoto spent many years working at Nintendo, and currently runs his own development studio, with a focus on social/mobile games.
I can’t read it because it’s hidden behind a paywall, but looks like the Financial Times has a long piece on Japan’s arcades, and how they’re still quite popular. Would love to read it, to see how it compares with what we covered in our Arcade Mania book a decade ago.
Update: You can read the article by simply copy/pasting the title (“Game on: why Japan’s arcades are still winning”) in google, and then following the link. It’s a nice feature, and I was quite pleased to see Arcade Mania mentioned (Brian was interviewed for the article).
Time went a bit nuts this week with great Nintendo coverage, starting with an interview with Nintendo President Tatsumi Kishima, an interview with Nintendo Director Shinya Takahashi (with lots of fun Wave Race trivia, a game I constantly wish would get updated), and this piece about the Switch. And for a bit of fun, there’s this 51-question segment with Shigeru Miyamoto and Eiji Aonuma from Game Informer.
The latest episode of Toco Toco TV covers pro gamer Fuudo, and for me it’s an especially nostalgic episode as most of it is set in Ikebukuro — where I lived for around 13 years — and shows off the arcades I spent a lot of time in while working on the Arcade Mania book.