Features

On this episode, Graham and Jeremy walk you through the actually-very-new PS3 release, Downtown Nekketsu Koushinkyoku: Soreyuke Daiundoukai All-Star Special! A remake of a late-life Famicom title from Technos, it features characters from the Kunio universe, one you may have experienced through River City Ransom, Super Dodge Ball, Nintendo World Cup or Crash ‘n’ the Boys. It’s an unlikely recreation of an odd obstacle-course-and-fighting title, and sure to appeal to people looking for Japanese weirdness! Watch and see if it’s for you.

New episodes of Gaijin Guide are posted every other Wednesday.

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When I talked about Aquasphere, I mentioned my day job in scientific research. Little did I suspect at the time that I would soon play another game, Alchemists, that would essentially focus on the ins and outs of academia (sort of).

In Alchemists, each player takes on the role of a potion brewer attempting to learn the secrets of their art via experimentation and deduction. There are eight “alchemicals” in the world, and eight mystical ingredients that each contain one of them. Your job is to determine which ingredient represents which alchemical. READ MORE

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Sometimes I have the focus of a refined musician, always knowing what notes to listen to, eliminating any perception of outside noise or the audience’s reaction. Anything that could diminish my performance isn’t relevant and I don’t pay any attention to it. It’s not there. This existence of Henry is limited, appearing only at the most opportune times. Like when I’m playing five-dollar blackjack in Vegas, or treading the boards as an actor on stage. Or, of course, when I’m really into a game.

Otherwise, I battle against ceaseless distractions, most of the time losing. Writing this Serotonin, for example, has already led me to start up some music, a podcast and two YouTube videos. I’m not even finished with the second paragraph. What is wrong with me? READ MORE

Half-Smash Bros., half-Shonen Jump, PS2/GameCube release Battle Stadium D.O.N throws Dragon Ball, One Piece and Naruto characters into a super-powered mash-up brawler. Graham and Jeremy check it out!

New episodes of Gaijin Guide are posted every other Wednesday.

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Race for the Galaxy is still one of my all-time favorite games, but I won’t deny that it has a fairly steep learning curve. It can be hard to teach to new players, especially after several expansions had fundamentally changed the game for me, making a stripped-down “base” game awkward for all involved. A new, streamlined start would be a better option, and that’s exactly what Roll for the Galaxy offers. READ MORE

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Despite my insatiable urges to slaughter digital monsters, I don’t consider myself a violent person. I’ve never been in a real physical fight, nor do I plan or want to. But I’m no saint; I don’t totally remove myself from any kind of physical conflict. I probably say “hit him!” while watching a hockey game more than recommend my team shoot or score. I’ve watched UFC, professional wrestling and even some boxing matches. The preparation, technical skill and thrill of competition sweeps over me when watching the combatants, but that isn’t anything special or unique. I still don’t want to be in their position, nor do I lack empathy when I discover the short and long-term injuries these athletes suffer in the name of entertainment. READ MORE

Graham and Jeremy bust out a SNES Mouse to show off this totally-in-English-but-never-released-overseas title from Nintendo and Game Freak, Mario & Wario. See how it basically set up the mobile puzzle game template in the early ’90s!

New episodes of Gaijin Guide are posted every other Wednesday.

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I really appreciate good world-building. For me, the sign of a solid, well-crafted setting is the ability to re-use it in other creations beyond the original and its sequels or expansions. This isn’t something that happens in the board game world very often without a licensed property being involved. A good recent example is Fantasy Flight Games’s Android universe, which spun off into Infiltration and served as a natural fit for the revival of Netrunner.

Level 99 Games has now done something similar, taking its World of Indines, most notably seen in its BattleCON Street Fighter-style fighting games, and exploring one of its key locations: Argent University. READ MORE

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It’s been a busy few months for me. My theatrical production of “People” at Langham Court Theatre wrapped up, after a three-month rehearsal process and a three-week run. I’ve created Video Game Music Bingo, an event set to debut at Victoria’s biggest gaming convention, Gottacon. The holidays. Family. Work. My hobbies seem to volunteer for me instead of the other way around. Life doesn’t slow down, it only gets busier as I feel myself getting slower.

With assignments and activities piling on, I have significantly less time for games. That in itself isn’t a problem; we all go through ebbs and flows with our free time throughout the year. It didn’t bother me as much as I thought it would, but when a castmate offered to lend me Final Fantasy III for the DS, I thought I’d dust off my handheld and give it a try. It would kill time, while I wait for my cue to head upstairs and tread the boards. I’ve never been a big supporter of handheld games and this experience confirmed it. When I play games, I want an entrée, not an appetizer. READ MORE

Graham and Jeremy take a look at Jikkyo Pawafuru Puroyakyu 2012 for PS3, a fun entry in the long-running Power Pros baseball series. Despite its cute appearance and pick-up-and-play approachability, it has a surprising amount of depth!

New episodes of Gaijin Guide are posted every other Wednesday. Next time, we’ll see if we can get some help pulling these buckets off our heads!