Now, this is unexpected! An episode of Chic Pixel Plus is actually up early?! No, it’s not a dream – due to the fact that episode 3 contains some pre-E3 speculation, I’ve decided to go ahead and post it a few days ahead of schedule with the hope that everyone has time to listen to it (or at least the pre-E3 portion of the discussion) before all the new announcements start rolling in. So let’s get right to it, shall we?
It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s another episode of Chic Pixel Plus! To the surprise of everyone, including me, I’ve managed to get the second episode of my new podcast out the door on schedule. Sure, considering I called the first episode the pilot this technically is only episode one, and I managed to completely botch my opening and closing remarks, but we all have to start somewhere, right?
This week I’m joined by Matt Sainsbury of DigitallyDownloaded to discuss a particular niche of Japanese games often dubbed “otaku games.” Together, we hash out what makes these games appealing, why they tend to have a bad rep outside Japan, and what our favorite otaku games are. Of course, with the recent Xbox One reveal, we couldn’t help but add some of our thoughts, and I took the time to gush about the recent Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN- announcement. Even if you’re not a fan of otaku games, be sure to tune in – you might learn something new!
0:00:25 – introductions
0:01:48 – what are otaku games?
0:09:00 – Love Plus
0:19:15 – Photo Kano Kiss + Photo Kano anime
0:34:00 – Atelier series (Arland trilogy + Ayesha)
0:46:10 – Hyperdimension Neptunia series
0:59:45 – hurdles of publishing otaku games outside Japan, Mugen Souls, otome games
1:09:40 – upcoming otaku games (Time and Eternity)
1:13:48 – news! Xbone, Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN-, BlazBlue anime, Freedom Wars
1:26:21 – closing remarks
Anne Lee || Chic Pixel || @apricotsushi
My Xbox one thoughts are included in this compilation of staff impressions at VGW
Opening ♫ Koi suru lens – Photo Kano
Ending ♫ Dimension tripper!!!! – Hyperdimension Neptunia The Animation
This time around I used a different program to record the audio, and unfortunately I don’t think it turned out as well. Since I’m still getting the hang of all this, your feedback would be greatly appreciated!
Now, you may not have heard (because I somehow completely neglected to blog about it), but I completely and utterly loved Journey. In fact, it’s the first game I’ve given a 5 out of 5 score over at VGW!
One thing I’ve found really intriguing about Journey is how positively it’s been received in Japan. A quick search for Kaze no Tabibito (the game’s Japanese title, literally “People of the Wind,” often shortened to Kazebito) on Google brings all sorts of discussion and fanart for the download-only title. I’m not aware how popular thatgamecompany’s previous games were in the land of the rising sun, but download-only titles generally never really gain a very high following due to the fact that Japan just hasn’t jumped on the online gaming bandwagon in the same way the rest of the world has.
Journey, however, appears (at least from a fan standpoint) to be changing that. There’s been a huge surge of fanworks for Journey from Japan in the recent weeks. Isn’t that fabulous? Now prepare to feast your eyes on some of the raddest Journey fanart around:
The above artist does the funniest illustrations! These selections are actually from a long strip of various images, and I highly recommend taking a look at the rest of them. You also need to take a look at the artist’s awesome Journey-themed Twitter page, even if you can’t understand Japanese. Too cute!
People who have played the game are probably wondering who on earth that bigger wanderer with the black robes is. Unless I’m missing something huge, he does not appear in the game anywhere, and is a product of fan imagination. What’s interesting about him is how popular he’s become, with various artists all over the internet depicting him as a sort of fatherly figure for the two, smaller wanderers. I don’t know about you, but I get a huge kick out of the above picture.
Update: Apparently the black and red wanderer is actually based on the game’s initial art from a series of prototypes released early on in the game’s development. The more you know!
I love how creative the fans are being with making new designs or imagining new scenarios for the wanderers. Did you see the Christmas-themed wanderer at the top left of the above image? Adorable!
Of course, I’m not discounting the amazing Journey fanart out there by artists who do not hail from Japan. I woudn’t have enough space to post all of the great work I’ve seen, even if I wanted to! But I think it’s worth highlighting how this title has really taken off in Japan. I hope we see much more love for download-only games in the future. But before I end this post, here’s one of my favorite pieces by a western artist (just so you all don’t think I’m playing favorite too much):
Have any Journey fanart you’d like to share? Feel free to do so in the comments!
Anyone that has ever been to Japan, and probably a few who haven’t, will tell you that Japanese cell phones are pretty much as awesome as they come. They’re always at the forerunner of the latest and greatest technology, with high-quality cameras and music downloading sites that made listening to music on your phone easy and fun even before the iPhone was released. Nowadays, “cell phone novels,” or keitai shousetsu are increasingly popular, and boys love/otome (for girls) titles are coming out left and right (ok, I admit my knowledge of how popular cell phone novels are is a bit dated, but I’m pretty sure their popularity hasn’t gone down in the past couple of years, anyway).
Well, famed BL game company Nitro + CHiRAL (why they keep the “i” lower case I’ll never know) is capitalizing on Japan’s mobile phone culture with its new cell phone site, called “CHiRAL MOBiLE.” You can click the link to view the PC site, which details the various downloads the site will offer, but the whole thing won’t be up and running until December 16th. Or you could just stick around here and I’ll detail all the cool stuff us non-Japanese residents are missing out on, since it only works on Japanese phones!
First of all, Nitro + CHiRAL announced, along with this service, an entirely new cell phone novel called World’s end Nightmare that will launch the same day as CHiRAL MOBiLE, with new chapters coming out every week on Tuesday and Thursday for an estimated total of 30 chapters. There isn’t much about the novel’s story available yet save the tagline “––A poor soul that has never known love. Let’s give him one more chance––” and a very short, vague description stating that the protagonist, Itto, was supposed to have died, but reawakens in an unfamiliar world. Below are the characters that have been revealed so far, from left to right: Itto, Faceless, Siegfried, Kai, and Baron. The story will feature at least some boys love elements, to be sure.
Nitro + CHiRAL will also be releasing a mobile version of their popular game Togainu no Chi, as well as a visual novel version of a boys love CD drama titled Itsuwari no Alkanet.
But even these 3 new releases aren’t what gets me really jealous of Japan today–it’s all the downloadable goodies from Nitro + CHiRAL’s three big boys love games that really make me wish I had a Japanese cell phone and lived in Japan. Check this out:
What you see before you is an array of “accessories” you can download at CHiRAL MOBiLE for Togainu no Chi and Lamento-BEYOND THE VOID-. The top left image is a wallpaper, while the top right is a menu screen, and then you have a text sending icon, signal bar, and battery display. So, if you’re big on BL and live in Japan, you can have your entire phone decked out with your favorite game or series! I’m sure they have things like this for all sorts of other famous games and anime, as well.
The service does cost a monthly fee of about $3, but for the amount of free downloads you get with the subscription, including World’s end Nightmare, I’d say it’s a pretty good deal! Too bad cell phones in America and Australia don’t offer awesome services like these…
For those of you interested in World’s end Nightmare, I’d be more than happy to do translations of the character descriptions posted on the CHiRAL MOBiLE website… Just let me know if you’d like to see them and I’ll dedicate a post to it! I won’t bother doing the work unless there’s someone out there who will actually read them (or if I get a burst of idle creativity, but don’t count on it).
|A humanoid interpretation of Amaterasu from the game Okami, with the Medicine Seller from the anime Mononoke|
|Fan art of the game Prince of Persia (2008)|
|Beautiful stylized Revolutionary Girl Utena fan art|