6 reasons why Pokémon GO might make a comeback, according to P.K. Sanjun

Our Japanese-language reporter thinks the worldwide phenomenon could rise to popularity again soon.

Pokémon GO might have been the biggest mobile game of 2016. More people downloaded the game from the Apple Store in the first week of its release than any other mobile game in history. It was so popular in Japan that it even helped disaster-stricken areas recover thanks to a surge in tourism by players, although some places banned it completely because it brought too many inconsiderate gamers to the area.

Sadly, the hype didn’t last long, and for one reason or another many players seemed to lose interest in the game. Niantic, the creator of the game, has made multiple efforts to bring back players, or at least to maintain their current players, by updating the game and adding new features regularly, and our Japanese language correspondent P.K. Sanjun thinks their efforts are going to pay off.

P.K. was one of those whose enthusiasm for the game reached a peak shortly after its release; he even created a hands-free playing device along with some of the other members of SoraNews24’s Japanese team. But when his Pokédex started getting pretty full after about six months of dutiful play, his excitement started to wane, and even though new Pokémon were added, he didn’t open the app again for about a year.

When he kept hearing,Pokémon GO is even better now!” from his friends and colleagues, this past March he decided to pick it up again. To his surprise, the game was actually really fun! He’s convinced that it’s going to become popular again, and here are six reasons why:

1. There are way more Pokémon

There were probably a lot of players like P.K. who filled up their Pokédex quickly after the game was released and then ran out of things to do. If you were one of those people, there is a lot for you to do now! There used to be only 150 Pokémon available in the game, but now it’s been extended to three generations and 380 Pokémon. You probably won’t have to worry about running out of Pokémon to catch for a long time.

2. It’s not just about the Pokédex anymore

Even if you manage to fill up your Pokédex, you won’t get tired of catching Pokémon because now there are Shinies in the game. P.K. used to be someone who didn’t care much about Shiny Pokémon, but Shinies are super rare and finding them is based wholly on chance, so there’s something really thrilling about catching one. They’re worth it for the major bragging rights, and that’s why P.K. thinks they’re a great new feature.

3. Raid Battles are actually pretty fun

If you’re unfamiliar with this newer feature, Raid Battles are when a super strong Pokémon randomly appears in a Gym, and up to 20 people at once have to work together to take it down. In Tokyo, Raid Battles with rare Pokémon attract crowds of people who have come for the chance at taking it on. It’s a challenging collaborative effort that, if successful, rewards players with items and a chance to catch the rare Pokémon.

P.K. firmly believes that the Raid Battles, which were introduced in July 2017, revolutionized the game. He says that after the Raid Battles came into play, Pokémon GO became a totally different game; it’s now not only a collecting game but also a battle game.

4. There are tons of events

Nowadays Pokémon GO holds special events all the time, and thanks to those events, it’s a lot easier to find rare Pokémon. Interestingly, there are a lot more events now than there used to be, and it’s not unusual to find lots of people gathered in areas where events are taking place.

“Community Day” is one really great example. On Community Day, rare Pokémon appear for three hours, and in Tokyo you wouldn’t believe how many trainers suddenly appear to catch them! Local regions often hold events like Pokémon Safaris, like the one in Tottori a few months ago which drew tons of trainers who were able to catch lots of rare Pokémon. Thanks to events, you probably won’t ever get bored with Pokémon GO again!

5. The game is genuinely evolving

The current version of Pokémon GO has put a lot of attention into the small details. For example, when trying to catch Pokémon, players have always been able to throw berries at them to make them easier to catch, but now there are many more varieties of berries with different effects.

Plus, there’s now a “Field Research” function, where players help a Pokémon Professor learn more about Pokémon and the area by completing missions. It’s easy to use and gives the game an additional sense of purpose, so it’s a nice new feature.

6. A lot of people have already played it

While P.K.’s reasons are related to why he thinks people should go back and play Pokémon GO, perhaps this is the most convincing reason as to why it might make a comeback. The reality is that millions of people have already played the game, and those people already know how it works. Since they experienced the Pokémon GO fever of 2016, their passion is probably lying dormant somewhere, where it could be reignited by even the smallest spark.

In other words, it’s possible that many of those former players could be inspired to come back to the game for the simplest reason, like someone talked about it, or they read about it in an article, or they saw a friend playing it. And if those players play even once, P.K. thinks they will keep playing, because they already loved the game before it evolved into the better version it is today.

▼ The chance to get a shiny Lugia like P.K. might be a good reason to go back…

So there you have it: P.K.’s reasoning for why Pokémon GO might be getting its second wind soon. The game does sound like it’s improved a lot, and I’ll be honest, thanks to P.K.’s explanation, I did open it up again for the first time in a long time to see what it’s like now. Right away I caught a few new Pokémon, and I did feel that familiar sense of excitement starting to bubble up, so maybe I’ll actually play it a little bit more now!

Sadly, though, the success of P.K.’s prediction may depend more on play area than anything else. I’m willing to bet that a resurgence is imminent in Tokyo, where there are already tons of players and lots of stops, gyms, and events. But if your town is like my small town in Spain, where there are all of three Pokéstops and one Gym and probably no one playing, the game might not return to its former glory.

Wherever you live, though, one thing is for sure: if the rumors are true about the upcoming Pokémon Switch game, we will definitely see a worldwide boom of Pokémon GO! We will just have to wait and see to find out.

Photos © SoraNews24
Screenshots: Pokémon Go
Reference: DMR Business Statistics

Twitter users post “photos that can never be taken again” as viral hashtag sweeps the country

This incredible collection of images captures moments so unique they’re unlikely to ever be replicated.

Taking memorable photographs actually has a lot to do with luck. Sometimes you just have to be in the right place at the right time, and with enough luck, you can take some truly outstanding photographs, in all senses of the word.

Japanese netizens have been sharing their favorite photos on Twitter using the hashtag #二度と撮れない写真を貼れ (“Nido to Torenai Shashin wo Hare”), which means “Post photos that can never be taken again”. There are several ways to interpret the hashtag, as it covers pictures taken with impeccable timing, funny coincidences, and things that just may not be what they were anymore, and that’s reflected in the photos that have been shared by hundreds of Twitter users.

Here is one fun coincidence: this leek that, once cut, seems to have hearts growing inside of it! It may be that such a perfect heart may never be found in a leek ever again, and that’s why it would be difficult to replicate this photo.

Perfect timing leads to great photos too. For example, this funny cat decided to yell at its owner at the exact same time that the monster in the slasher film behind it is roaring! The similarities are uncanny.

Speaking of funny pets, does this little rabbit come from Sailor Moon’s Moon Kingdom? Not only has it jumped absurdly high, but it’s making a mysterious crescent moon shadow too!

It’s even harder to get a candid shot of wild animals. This photographer was lucky to get such an outstanding shot of birds taking off at sunrise. With the exact angle of the shot and the sun just above the city-line, it’s definitely a special photograph.

Talk about good timing! It’s rare to be able to photograph wild Japanese serow, especially when they know you’re there, but this netizen was able to catch one right in between the legs of a Torii gate. These antelope creatures are considered a national symbol in Japan, which makes this photo even more amazing. Maybe it was the Forest God from Princess Mononoke, come to check on the health of the trees?

Nature has its beauty, that’s for certian. One user, a space photographer, took this shot of the 2001 Leonids Meteor Shower. Though we can see the Leonids Meteor Shower every year, 2001 was a special year to experience it, as the earth was passing through some fairly recent clouds of dust dispelled from the Leonids asteroid, which resulted in a spectacular show of light in the sky. Such a view might come only once in 100 years.

Another user also took a beautiful shot of the sky, but there’s something a little more dark about this photo that was taken near the top of a mountain. The photographer says they were surrounded by a thick fog, and for just a moment the fog cleared at the top to reveal the center of the Milky Way. Now that’s some luck.

Some photos that can’t be taken again aren’t quite about timing but are more thanks to history. The places and spaces can’t be photographed again in the same way because they simply don’t exist like that anymore.

Take these old photos for example. They were apparently taken by this user’s father after the Great Chilean Earthquake of 1960. It was the most powerful earthquake ever recorded and produced localized tsunamis that destroyed local fishing ports like this one, which is clearly completely flooded.

Another place that may never be the same? The Syrian capital of Aleppo. This netizen visited the ancient city 11 years ago, where they took these photos. After all of the fighting that has happened there, it’s unlikely that Aleppo will ever look so old and so beautifully untouched in this way ever again.

Old buildings are certainly a treasure, and it’s a dream come true for cosplayers when they can take advantage of an old building. This user was able to splash ink on the walls of their old house, and the result was an amazing photo shoot. Sadly they won’t be able to get similar shots ever again, because the house was torn down and rebuilt two years ago.

Another thing that was taken down? The much beloved and very nostalgic original Mobile Suit Gundam statue that used to stand in Odaiba. After it was dismantled it’s been replaced by the equally cool, transforming Unicorn Gundam, but fans will always miss the original that stood in its place, and now that it’s gone no one will ever be able to photograph it there again.

While we’re talking about things that don’t stand anymore, well, certainly the below photos are not something that really come to mind. But all the same, it certainly won’t be easy to replicate these photos, and that’s why they fall into the realm of “photos that can never be taken again”. This user says, “I never want to do this again”.

This user seems to miss the fun antics that they got into while in high school. This is a photo that can never be taken again, “In the sense that I’ll never be able to return to high school,” they wrote.

There are lots of “photos that can never be taken again” under the Twitter thread, so take a scroll through if you’re looking for more. We can also recommend the “water dress” shots that were taken by a Japanese photographer, or if history is more your thing, check out these old photos of samurai. “Photos that can never be taken again” fall into a wide range of categories, but one thing is for sure: they’re all unique, and lots of fun to browse through.

Source: Twitter/#二度と撮れない写真を貼れ
Featured image: Twitter/@hirooooka

The rumors are circulating: What could the upcoming Pokémon Switch game be?

Let’s GO! Pikachu? Let’s GO! Eevee? Or something else entirely?

After the thrill of something new in Sun and Moon (and the somewhat less exciting Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon)Pokémon fans have been waiting in intense anticipation for the next game in the franchise, which we know for sure is going to be the first Pokémon game for the Nintendo Switch. Nintendo and Game Freak have been keeping everything neatly under wraps, but still netizens have been speculating that the new game (or games) could be ready for release as soon as the end of this year.

Rumors are plentiful, and now some industrious fans seem to think they know what’s coming next. An anonymous user on 4chan who appears to be in the know (though how much stock can you really put into 4chan?) apparently “leaked” information that, like other games, the next game will come in two versions, this time called “Let’s GO! Pikachu” and “Let’s GO! Eevee”.

A logo has been circulating on the Internet that certainly seems to match with the speculation, but no one knows where it comes from, or whether it’s genuine.

The theory is that, since the title includes Pikachu and Eevee specifically, the players will be offered the choice of a Pikachu or an Eevee as their starter Pokémon, and the games will be based on Pokémon Yellow. Fans seem to think that Pikachu or Eevee will be following the character around, like in the original Yellow. However, it seems that the prevailing idea is that it won’t be a Yellow remake, but instead will be either a base game for Generation 8, the next generation of new Pokémon; or a different story altogether that continues the story of Red and Blue.

Users on another message board are guessing that the titles are real because The Pokémon Company seems to have been heavily promoting Pikachu and Eevee merchandise, with special emphasis on Eevee to help it keep up with Pikachu’s popularity (for example, sending Eevee to offices around Japan). They will also play a big role in the upcoming movie. However, it’s not an entirely convincing argument, since those are arguably two of the most popular characters in the Pokémon franchise.

▼ The trailer for the upcoming Pokémon film

Still, there’s plenty of evidence if you’re looking for it. Some think that Pokémon director Junichi Masuda dropped a hint when he recently Tweeted a photo of him holding a giant Pokéball with a stuffed Pikachu and Eevee in the background.

▼ “I found this giant Pokéball at the Pokémon headquarters this morning lol”

Netizens say that the “L” on Luigi Pikachu’s hat stands for “Let’s GO!”, and is also some kind of mysterious hint. This hovers dangerously near the level of confirmation bias, though, so it’s best to take such “evidence” with a grain of salt. However, Masuda has apparently tweeted hints about upcoming Pokémon games before, so netizens are on high alert for any sign from him that could confirm their theories.

Rumors have also been circulating that the long-awaited Switch game might be integrated with Pokémon Go, which as we all know achieved massive success after its release, although the fervor quickly petered out. Industry insider Emily Rogers wrote an enigmatic post on her blog about how Nintendo could learn from the success of Pokémon Go and use some of its attributes to improve the upcoming games, implying that the Switch game may incorporate some features of the popular mobile game.

▼ A supposed leaked screenshot of the mysterious game. If you look closely, apparently Eevee is riding on the trainer’s head.

Some netizens seem to think that this means using the touch pad to swipe Pokéballs at Pokémon, and another anonymous 4chan user suspects that the two games can be linked and players will receive rewards in Pokémon Go for actions performed in the new title. Some fans are bitter about this idea, believing that it’s merely a way to get the fair-weather fans of Pokémon Go to buy into the core game franchise, but it could be a good marketing technique on the part of Game Freak and Nintendo.

Whether it’s a Pokémon Yellow remake, the start of Generation 8, a Pokémon Go-inspired game, all of those combined, or something else entirely, Emily Rogers says we can expect an official announcement of the title at the end of this month. Though fans’ speculations have been off the mark before, Rogers says the new titles might “raise a few eyebrows”, so who knows? They might have guessed it right. Either way, we can’t wait!

In the meantime, you’ll find us eating at the Pokémon Cafe and trying out the Pokémon Escape Park to satiate our Pokémon withdrawals while we wait.

Source: 4chan via ResetEra via Hachima Kikou
Top Image: Twitter/@ino_Tweets
Reference: Nintendo Life, Emily Rogers, Pokemon Memo, GameRant

Japanese indie game that plays with shadows and light looks both original and challenging【Video】

In the game, the character carries a flashlight and uses the shadows it creates to block or pass obstacles along the way.

It’s gotta be hard for independent developers of video games to produce something both original and fun, but the cool thing about it is that developers can post their ideas and samples on social media like Twitter. They can get valuable feedback from the masses, without having to spend a dime, and once their production is done, they have already drummed up enough enthusiasm for it to be a success.

That seems to be what’s happening for Twitter user @TarrCake, who shared a clip of their “Shadow Materialization Game” in action. The clip shows the basic dynamic of the platform-style game, which is to use a flashlight and objects on the screen to make shadows that help the player reach their goal.

In essence, the character is able to make shadows solid, and then they can be physically used as steps, paths, and walls. The video, which is of the game’s tutorial, shows the different ways that the player can use shadows to aid them in their quest.

First, you can use stagnant objects to create shadows that you can walk and jump on in order to overcome tall obstacles.

You can also use pieces to create walls that can block obstacles and “enemies” from hitting you. This requires careful analysis of the angles of the light, and presumably this will become more challenging later in the game, when you may not have as much time to think about it.

If you carefully time it, you can also create shadows from moving objects that help you jump across big gaps, climb tall obstacles, or block moving elements in your way. But be careful! The shadows don’t stay solid for long, so if you hesitate, you could fall!

The game is definitely unique in concept, and it looks like it has the potential to be intellectually challenging as well as fun, since it’s not only an action platformer but also a puzzle game of sorts. That’s probably why the initial tweet has gone viral, which is lucky for @TarrCake, who designed the game for the unityroom ProBuilder Game Jam, which is sponsored by the game design engine Unity.

Through Game Jam, @TarrCake was able to submit their game to be hosted on the site for free, so long as they used the ProBuilder function of Unity’s editor to help create it. It is now available to play for free on desktop browsers here. Click to start playing, then use the “A” and “D” keys to move left and right, “W” to jump, and left click to create a solid shadow. When you’re done playing, hit the escape key to unlock your mouse from the game. It’s challenging, but fun!

▼ The game in an early phase of development

@TarrCake is also planning an update soon, which many fans are looking forward to. Though for now the game is only available on the unityroom website, since it’s become so popular, hopefully we’ll see more of the “Shadow Materialization Game” in the future!

In the meantime, you can also check out some other awesome Japanese indie games, like Yume Nikki, which was popular for its intriguing story, or the infuriatingly fun Trap Adventure 2, which makes you so mad that you can’t stop trying to beat it.

Source, Images: Twitter/@TarrCake

Adventures in Morocco: Our Japanese language reporter orders a hamburger, gets a surprise

There was meat, there was bread, and there were fries, but it still wasn’t quite as expected.

You know that feeling when you’ve been in a foreign country for a long time and you’re feeling tired of eating the local food? You just want to eat something familiar to you, right? For many people, including our Japanese language correspondent Masanuki Sunakoma, a hamburger with a side of French fries satiates that need.

Masanuki was in Africa until recently, presumably to continue his training as a Moroccan camel guide in the Sahara Desert. He was probably busy bending camels to his will while trying not to get spit on, but every now and then he had to stop and eat. One day, needing a little taste of the familiar, he ordered a hamburger.

Hamburgers are a safe choice, Masanuki says. For one, they’re easy to order, and they’re pretty universally well-known. Besides, there are all kinds of interesting variations of hamburgers, too; a lot of restaurants have unique toppings that bring a nice local flavor to a basic meal. Plus, they’re usually pretty tasty, and you can’t really go wrong with French fries, which are pretty standard accompaniment.

Masanuki has ordered burgers at other places in Morocco, and every time received something tasty and burger-like with a side of some kind of fried potatoes. They even have McDonald’s in Morocco (MorocDonald’s?), whose burgers are exactly what you would expect.

So, with these experiences in mind, Masanuki ordered a hamburger and fries at a local restaurant in Morocco, thinking he would be getting a tasty patty between buns with a side of deep-fried potatoes. It should also be noted that the restaurant he ordered from this time wasn’t a tiny mom-and-pop place hidden in the city; it was located at a busy highway rest stop, where lots of buses pull in for a break, and where most of the visitors were probably foreigners. Masanuki figured their burgers would be catered to a foreign clientele, and that he wouldn’t be getting any surprises if he ordered one. A safe choice.

“I’d like a hamburger and French fries, please,” Masanuki asked the waiter, who replied without a pause, “Okay”. In fact, the waiter responded so quickly that Masanuki thinks he actually only got to say “Hamburger and Fre-“. It was like he already knew what Masanuki was ordering, so Masanuki assumed that a burger with a side of fries was a regular request at this restaurant, and felt satisfied that he’d made the right choice.

Now let me emphasize: he expected a hamburger with a side of french fries. Masanuki never dreamed there would be another way to pair the two, but little did he know, there was. First, with a jolting cry of “Hey brother!” by the waiter, who apparently wanted to let him know his order was coming, Masanuki was shocked to his very core when he turned around to see this unexpected meal being brought before him.

What….what is this? Masanuki thought. A bunch of french fries sandwiched in some kind of bread? What kind of bread is that? And that is a lot of fries. There was also a puddle of ketchup, spilling out of the sandwich like it was murdered in its sleep. And is that a single slice of red pepper I see? An interesting, if sparse, choice of toppings.

Well, it’s something that resembles a burger, at least. It’s not round, but there was some ground beef in there, it looked like, though it was hard to tell if it was a patty or just clumps of meat. A little taken aback, Masanuki stared at his plate before he mustered up the initiative to take a bite. As expected, all he could taste was bread and French fries.

To this day, why this restaurant calls this a hamburger when other restaurants have produced more hamburger-like concoctions is still a mystery. Perhaps this “French Fry Burger” is really a considerate invention of that particular restaurant. Perhaps they wanted to make it easier for travelers in a hurry to eat quickly before catching a bus. Like pouring your rice into your miso soup when you’re running late in the morning? Well, that’s what Masanuki imagines, anyway.

Traveling puts people in sticky (or should we say saucy) spots, but that’s part of the fun, and it makes for great stories later on. Masanuki is now home in Japan, where he can eat his favorite Japanese food (or hamburgers) and know what he’s getting when he orders it. He even got his hands on some Michelin-recommended udon noodles, so hopefully his food courage will be restored before his next trip overseas!

Images ©SoraNews24

10 stalled Japanese game franchises that deserve a sequel, according to gamers

There are a lot of oldies but goodies on here!

Popular ranking site Goo Ranking is back at it again! They’ve been polling Japanese netizens on their preferences on all manner of topics. We’ve seen the top ten most iconic characters of Japan, the most tear-jerking anime, even the coolest old-guy anime voice actors.

This time they’ve ranked famous games that don’t have sequels, but should, or have sequels but have been discontinued for some time. Japanese netizens picked the top ten games they’d like to see continue in a(nother) sequel, and some of the answers might surprise you (all release dates are for Japan, and this article may contain some spoilers).

10. SaGa Frontier

An RPG from Square (before it became Square Enix), this game was released in 1997 for the PlayStation. It’s part of a longer series of SaGa games and has a sequel, SagGa Frontier 2. The first game was extremely popular in Japan for its “free scenario” system, in which fans could play one of seven characters in different plotlines, and the second game was similarly appealing. The series ended in 1999, and though it has been rereleased on the PlayStation Store, fans seem to prefer getting another sequel to simply replaying the original game.

9. Rune Factory

Rune Factory is a series of spin-off games from Harvest Moon. They’re simulation role-playing farm games in which the player plants fruits and vegetables while also hunting and collecting monsters. The series saw its first game released in 2006 in Japan, and the sixth, and last (confusingly titled Rune Factory 4) was released in 2012, but it didn’t even see a European release due to the bankruptcy of the developer, Neverland. Considering the last game was the best-selling version in the series in Japan, it’s no surprise that fans would want to see a Rune Factory 5.

8. Pokémon Snap

A unique addition to the Pokémon series, Pokémon Snap for Nintendo 64 got a lot of attention worldwide when it was released in 1999. The game, in which you act as a Pokémon photographer and try to capture unique and interesting photos of Pokémon in their natural habitats, was a lot of fun for Pokémon fans, although it was extremely short and only featured Pokémon from the first generation. We suspect fans would appreciate a longer and maybe more challenging game in the same style, with more Pokémon and habitats, and that’s probably why it’s earned a spot on this list.

7. Onimusha

Who doesn’t love an epic samurai game? This series of games by Capcom told the stories of famous figures in Japanese history with the fun addition of supernatural elements. There were six of these action-adventure games released between 2001 and 2006, and the first game was a huge hit. A browser game was released in 2012, with an additional mobile and PS3 version, but fans seem to be looking for an updated version of the original games in a more traditional style.

6. Bomberman 64

While the Bomberman games have continued uninterrupted for decades, it seems that Bomberman 64 holds a special place in fans’ hearts. It was available for the Nintendo 64 in 1997 and was the first Bomberman game to be played in 3-D with platform levels. Though the Bomberman 64 arc didn’t seem quite hit the popularity of previous versions released for SNES, Saturn, and PC Engine, the Bomberman 64 quartet and its predecessors are still considered to be a high point in the Bomberman series, which might be why some fans want to see a continuation.

5. Mega Man Battle Network

Called Rockman.EXE in Japan, this Mega Man spinoff series, which started in 2001, takes place in an alternate universe where computer technology advanced and robot technology didn’t. Instead of fighting real-life robots, Mega Man transports himself into the world-wide web to fight monsters and save the world. With a unique story and a different type of gameplay, fans seemed to enjoy a new kind of Mega Man experience, which after decades of Mega Man games, might be just what fans are looking for again.

4. Goemon

This series, also known as Ganbare Goeman, Mystical Ninja Starring Goeman, or Legend of the Mystical Ninja, is very popular in Japan. It has only released five games overseas, but dozens of installments and spin-offs came out in Japan between 1986 and 2005. In this game you play as the noble thief Goemon, who navigates a cartoon-like, magical version of feudal Japan. The innate and sometimes almost silly Japanese-ness of the game must have appealed to Japanese players, but sadly, it’s now been reduced to being used as a theme for slot machines, so fans are hoping for it to be restored to its original glory.

3. Kirby Air Ride

For gamers who loved Kirby and racing games, Kirby Air Ride, released in 2003, was like a dream come true. It’s more or less without a plot, but players have three fun modes to zoom around in, in both solo and multiplayer. The game was especially popular for its City Mode, in which you had a limited amount of time to race around a city and try to become stronger than everyone else. Its unique racing style and, of course, cute Kirby-ness were big hits, but it was the only one of its kind, and fans have been hoping for a sequel for years.

2. Suikoden

Based loosely on a classical Chinese novel, Suikoden was a massively popular RPG series that started in 1995 and continued on for five core games until 2006. The first game was almost unanimously praised for its original story and simple fun, although the second game is the biggest fan favorite and ranks among the best games of all time. Fans seemed to love the expansive lineup of characters, changing combat systems, and beautiful soundtracks that came with each installment of the series.

Unfortunately, the shift from 2-D to 3-D in Suikoden III was jarring to many fans of the game, and the next sequels didn’t sell as well, which might be why the series ended with Suikoden V. Nevertheless, the nostalgia for those early games is strong, and fans are clearly looking for that kind of gaming experience again.

1. Wonder Project J

Overseas gamers may not be familiar with this title, as it was never released outside of Japan. Nevertheless, the Osamu Tezuka-inspired art and cute storylines of this raising sim have obviously kept fans smitten since its initial release in 1994. Doubtless fans loved raising the robot boy named Pino and teaching him to be more human-like, and perhaps they also enjoyed the game’s references to popular folk tale Pinocchio. A sequel was released featuring a robot girl two years later, which was a continuation of the first game with a slightly more complex story. Sadly, the game ended with this installment, clearly leaving fans wanting more.

Since a lot of these are classic games, it might be fun to see them come to life with a new story and with the more advanced gaming systems we have today. Some fans, however, may prefer to let sleeping dogs lie. After all, there are reasons why these series have stopped, and like it or not, one of the reasons may be that the games have already done what they set out to do.

What would you say, non-Japanese gamers? Would you like to see continuations of these games, or are you content to let games like Final Fantasy and Pokémon be the ones to continue on into eternity?

Source: Goo Ranking via Otakomu
Top image: YouTube/Video Detective

This may look like an ordinary vending machine from afar, but it’s a different picture up close

What’s unique about this vending machine may draw your eye if you look carefully enough.

Vending machines in Japan are something special. Not only are they everywhere, but they always have a nice mixture of various hot and cold drinks, so that wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, you will never go thirsty.

One vending machine has become a hot topic on Twitter, but can you tell why? It’s not because it sells alcohol, because that’s not uncommon in Japan. And it’s not like it has any unusual beverages, like demi-glass soup or the strawberry shortcake drink. In fact it has the usual vending machine fare: coffee, tea, water, soda, Pocari Sweat…So what’s so special about it?

Let’s zoom in for a closer look.

Can you see it now? Yes, that’s right! Every label for every drink is actually hand-drawn!

Not only have they been created by hand, but they’re exactly to scale. Every line, every letter, every logo; everything has been accurately drawn to look completely realistic, down to even the fine details of the alcohol content on the liquor cans! It’s an amazing exercise of artistic talent and attention to detail that could have gone unnoticed if Twitter user @uranchon hadn’t looked carefully.

@uranchon doesn’t say why everything is hand-drawn, but judging from the writing on the first Asahi beer can, we guess that it was perhaps an art project by a group of students. We can’t see the full label of the can, but it looks like it says “…mitsu Famiry 2013 membar”, under which many names are written. We can’t say for sure, but it might be that each of these people contributed to this fantastic display.

Unsurprisingly, this artistic vending machine has gone viral on Japanese Twitter, with over 230,000 likes and retweets. Japanese netizens love it, and almost unanimously praise the artists’ talent:

“Wow!”
“So talented!”
“This is amazing!”
“Genius!”
“I can feel their love.”
“I want the cans to come out looking just like that!”
“That’s awesome! I’m going to pay more attention to my surroundings now lol”

@uranchon doesn’t specify where exactly this vending machine is, though they say it’s in a hotel somewhere. But it just goes to show that vending machines can always hold surprises! The next time you pass by one in Japan, make sure to stop and take a good look at it. You might find something really unexpected.

Source: Twitter/@uranchon