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9:30 PM on 07.01.2014

In honor of Canada Day, a video about Akira.

Today is Canada day. And since "Canada" sounds kind of, sort of like "Kaneda," the hero of Otomo Katsuhiro's groundbreaking cyberpunk manga-turned-anime Akira, that's reason enough for me to put on my favorite red jacket and talk about one of his favorite pieces of media ever... Japanese, Canadian, or otherwise.

Max Scoville

9:30 PM on 02.05.2014

The return of the Gentlemen's Club: Akiba's Trip edition

Have you guys heard of Akiba's Trip 2? If you're not up on your crazy Japanese games I'll break it down for you: It's Yakuza but to defeat your vampire enemies you have to RIP OFF THEIR CLOTHES. That's right, it's like crazy ...

Spencer Hayes

4:00 PM on 01.25.2014

Super Heroine Chronicle is one game NA will never see

If it's one thing An American Tale taught me, it's to "never say never." But come on, what really are the chances of Super Heroine Chronicle landing on North American shores? It takes the mash-up wackiness of the Super Robot...

Wesley Ruscher

1:00 PM on 11.08.2012

It Came From Japan! DoReMi Fantasy

[It Came from Japan! is a series where I seek out and review the weirdest, most original and enjoyable titles that never left the Land of the Rising Sun.] There is a wide divide between Super Mario World and all platformers ...

Allistair Pinsof

4:00 PM on 11.01.2012

It Came From Japan! Treasure of the Rudras

Squaresoft was second only to Nintendo in the 16-bit era when it came to influence and a strong track record. From the genre-defining Secret of Mana to the crowd-pleaser Chrono Trigger, Square had a knack for telling a gre...

Allistair Pinsof

4:00 PM on 10.25.2012

It Came From Japan! Fatal Frame IV

[It Came from Japan! is a series where I seek out and review the weirdest, most original and enjoyable titles that never left the Land of the Rising Sun.] Distance has a way of making horrors insignificant. A car accident and...

Allistair Pinsof

4:00 PM on 10.18.2012

It Came from Japan! Laplace's Demon

[It Came from Japan! is a series where I seek out and review the weirdest, most original and enjoyable titles that never left the Land of the Rising Sun.] There are some games that live up to the hype, but then there are a fe...

Allistair Pinsof

4:00 PM on 10.11.2012

It Came from Japan! Splatterhouse: Wanpaku Graffiti

It’s 1988 and Namco has just released one of the most violent, critically acclaimed horror-themed games to ever hit an arcade. Splatterhouse was unlike anything else at the time. It was a game made by horror fans, fo...

Allistair Pinsof

4:00 PM on 10.04.2012

It Came from Japan! King of Demons

[It Came from Japan! is a series where I seek out and review the weirdest, most original and enjoyable titles that never left the Land of the Rising Sun. For the month of October, the series will focus on games that may make ...

Allistair Pinsof

4:00 PM on 09.27.2012

It Came From Japan! Tetris Battle Gaiden

[It Came from Japan! is a series where I seek out and review the weirdest, most original and enjoyable titles that never left the Land of the Rising Sun.] We all have that one so-called classic that we groan at when we see...

Allistair Pinsof

4:00 PM on 09.20.2012

It Came From Japan! Spriggan: Lunar Verse

[It Came from Japan! is a series where I seek out and review the weirdest, most original and enjoyable titles that never left the Land of the Rising Sun.] Nostalgia aside, examining the origins of now prevalent game concept...

Allistair Pinsof

4:00 PM on 09.13.2012

It Came From Japan! The Adventures of Little Ralph

[It Came from Japan! is a series where I seek out and review the weirdest, most original and enjoyable titles that never left the Land of the Rising Sun.] As you may have gathered from past entries in this series, there are a...

Allistair Pinsof

4:00 PM on 09.06.2012

It Came From Japan! Magical Pop'n

[It Came from Japan! is a series where I seek out and review the weirdest, most original and enjoyable titles that never left the Land of the Rising Sun.] Magical Pop’n is the reason I do this series. I mean this figur...

Allistair Pinsof

4:00 PM on 11.24.2011

It Came from Japan! Ganbare Goemon 4

[It Came from Japan! is a series where I seek out and review the weirdest, most original and enjoyable titles that never left the Land of the Rising Sun.] When you think of Japanese gaming, you think of Konami'...

Allistair Pinsof

2:00 PM on 11.17.2011

It Came from Japan! Ganpuru: Gunman's Proof

[It Came from Japan! is a series where I seek out and review the weirdest, most original and enjoyable titles that never left the Land of the Rising Sun.] Give Link a gun, send him to the Wild West, sprinkle in E...

Allistair Pinsof

4:00 PM on 11.10.2011

It Came from Japan! PuLiRuLa

[It Came from Japan! is a series where I seek out and review the weirdest, most original and enjoyable titles that never left the Land of the Rising Sun.] When it comes to '90s beat 'em ups, there are only a few ga...

Allistair Pinsof

4:00 PM on 11.03.2011

It Came from Japan! Pepsiman

[It Came from Japan! is a series where I seek out and review the weirdest, most original and enjoyable titles that never left the Land of the Rising Sun.] Before there was Nathan Drake, there was Pepsiman, a hero's h...

Allistair Pinsof

4:00 PM on 10.27.2011

It Came from Japan! Shadow Tower Abyss

[It Came from Japan! is a series where I seek out and review the weirdest, most original and enjoyable titles that never left the Land of the Rising Sun.] Along with churros and KFC, dungeon crawlers are one of those r...

Allistair Pinsof

4:00 PM on 10.20.2011

It Came from Japan! Clock Tower

[It Came from Japan! is a series where I seek out and review the weirdest, most original and enjoyable titles that never left the Land of the Rising Sun.] The key to eliciting fear has little to do with dogs that jump th...

Allistair Pinsof



It Came from Japan! Sweet Home photo
It Came from Japan! Sweet Home
by Allistair Pinsof

[It Came from Japan! is a series where I seek out and review the weirdest, most original and enjoyable titles that never left the Land of the Rising Sun.]

I love haunted house films. I hate haunted house games. They scare me a bit too much. Okay, I guess I love them too!

Sweet Home is ideal for a genuine Sissypants McGee such as myself. Spooky but not terrifying. Gruesome but not disgusting. The limitations of the NES keep it from being truly horrific, but Capcom still managed to design a game that gets under your skin. However, the reason you'll remember Sweet Home long after you play it has more to do with the quality of the game itself. More than being just an early example of horror tropes in gaming, Sweet Home is one of the very best games ever made -- RPG, adventure, Nintendo, Capcom, whatever.

You need to seek this one out. The nightmares will be worth it!

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It Came from Japan! Boku Dracula-kun photo
It Came from Japan! Boku Dracula-kun
by Allistair Pinsof

[It Came from Japan! is a series where I seek out and review the weirdest, most original and enjoyable titles that never left the Land of the Rising Sun.]

It's still the first week of October, so it's not quite time yet for the really horrific stuff. No, these are the days for Dark Souls, features about wizards, and late, drunken nights of cheesy, B-horror movie viewing. Now is an ideal time for a look back at a little gem that never came to the States called Boku Dracula-kun.

Konami's adorable Castlevania spin-off is a charming, well-designed platformer that lets players take the role of a preteen vampire. Although small and offensively cute, Kid Dracula (Dracula-kun) could easily put the hurt on Spike McFang. Despite being the distant spawn of the grim, unforgivingly difficult Castlevania series, Dracula-kun is a lighthearted and brief Konami classic that is highly recommended to anyone looking for an early-October Halloween game or Nintendo platformer.

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It Came from Japan! Super Back to the Future II photo
It Came from Japan! Super Back to the Future II
by Allistair Pinsof

[It Came from Japan! is a series where I seek out and review the weirdest, most original and enjoyable titles that never left the Land of the Rising Sun.]

Games based on films have a perceived stigma that indicates they are, more often than not, an utter waste of time. The games made under the Back to the Future license are partly to blame. Most likely, your favorite memories with the franchise have something to do with the films or Universal Studios ride -- far away from the abysmal Nintendo platformers by Beam Software and the Commodore 64 adventure game.

Telltale has done much to change this perception with its recent adventure series, but maybe they wouldn’t have had so much stacked against them if Toshiba-EMI had released Super Back to the Future II outside of Japan. Instead, it’s become an import novelty and a curiosity to fans of the franchise. It might not be a great game, but, in comparison to the grade-A crap ones that reached the West under the film’s title, it’s damn-near miraculously good.

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It Came from Japan! Rhythm Tengoku photo
It Came from Japan! Rhythm Tengoku
by Allistair Pinsof

[It Came from Japan! is a series where I seek out and review the weirdest, most original and enjoyable titles that never left the Land of the Rising Sun.]

Japanese games often possess a delirious quality that leaves some people scratching their heads and others delighting in the madness. Rhythm Tengoku, filled with characters and personality that are uniquely Japanese, is one such game.

Yet, all the quirky characters and scenarios feel like they occupy a coherent world, one where the offbeat antics of the WarioWare series successfully merge with the rhythm genre to form a portable classic that never made it to the States. Although many have heard about it and may have played its sequels, it remains an obscure gem.

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It Came from Japan! Harmful Park photo
It Came from Japan! Harmful Park
by Allistair Pinsof

[It Came from Japan! is a series where I seek out and review the weirdest, most original and enjoyable titles that never left the Land of the Rising Sun.]

Shooting killer clowns with cream pies. Exploring a haunted mansion to a smooth jazz soundtrack. An ape going apesh*t on a COW TRAIN. My dreams may not come true in reality, but at least Harmful Park makes them somewhat tangible!

For this introductory episode of It Came from Japan! -- and all following entries, for that matter -- we will pretend that money and region locks are not an issue. This will leave the door wide open for me to gush about this PlayStation classic and for you to play it, however you can.

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