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Articles by Daniel Robson

    Trading blows with Suda51 and Grasshopper Manufacture’s team of grindhouse action heroes

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    at 12:00pm July 1 2014

    Grasshopper is a developer whose philosophy bleeds through in every one of its games. Its punk spirit oozes from No More Heroes’ layabout-turned-assassin Travis Touchdown, whose room full of memorabilia looks suspiciously similar to studio head Goichi ‘Suda51’ Suda’s meeting room in Tokyo. Its B-movie quirk is there in every pom-pom thrust of Lollipop Chainsaw’s…

    The Making Of: Katamari Damacy

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    at 11:36am June 16 2014

    Before he joined Namco in 1999, Keita Takahashi had no idea how to make a videogame. His speciality was not coding, and the models he made were not digital. But the cheerfully bizarre sculptures he crafted as a student at Tokyo’s prestigious Musashino Art University held clues that one day this bright young artist would…

    An Audience With: Tetsuya Mizuguchi

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    at 02:53pm June 3 2014
    Tetsuya Mizuguchi

    Mere months after the release of the widely acclaimed Lumines: Electronic Symphony for Vita, Q Entertainment co-founder and ex-Sega creative Tetsuya Mizuguchi announced he was stepping down from game development, remaining as a mouthpiece for his studio, but also taking on a role as a lecturer at Tokyo’s Keio University. Then, in 2013, he left…

    Tomodachi Life is a system seller in Japan – can it do the same in the west?

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    at 10:43am April 28 2014
    Tomodachi Life

    The success in Japan of Tomodachi Collection: New Life hardly came as a surprise. The first game in the series, Tomodachi Collection, had already run away with the sales chart, shifting nearly four million copies on DS following its 2009 launch. If anything, the 3DS sequel, released in Japan in April 2013 and due a…

    Rhythm action: meet the Japanese developers who make music when they’re not making games

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    at 10:50am April 23 2014
    The Electric Bends

    Dylan Cuthbert remembers his first visit to Sony, where an engineer told him she was practising tuba for a company brass band event. “I recall Shigeru Miyamoto has a yearly event with his cohorts at Nintendo, too,” says the Q-Games founder. “They all have to play a live piece of music; Miyamoto plays guitar and…

    Kenji Eno’s memory lives on as development continues on his final game, KakeXun

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    at 04:49pm April 7 2014
    Kenji Eno

    When Kenji Eno wrote a 10-page project proposal for KakeXun, he knew it would be his last game – but he couldn’t have realised that he would not live to see its completion. Eno’s sudden death from heart failure in February 2013, at the age of 42, came shortly after he had told his partner…

    First impressions of Yakuza: Ishin, Sega’s sprawling drama of swords and betrayal

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    at 03:08pm March 3 2014
    Yakuza- Ishin

    Historical heroes don’t come much bigger than Sakamoto Ryoma. Born in 1836 in Tosa (feudal-era Kochi Prefecture, on the island of Shikoku) to a merchant family that had bought its way to samurai status, he became a master swordsman, an unlikely politician and instrumental in ending a period of bitter feudal conflict in Japan. He…

    PS4 launches in Japan – but with a lacklustre turnout at retail, do Japanese players care?

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    at 12:58pm February 24 2014
    PS4 Japan launch

    Three months after its release in North America and Europe, PlayStation 4 is finally available in Japan. On Saturday February 22 it was greeted across the nation by the after-effects of the heaviest snowfall in decades; while stores in the major cities were unaffected, blocked roads in some parts of Japan meant that Amazon was…

    Short Peace is a collaboration between Suda 51, Tokyo Jungle’s director and Akira’s creator

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    at 02:00pm January 21 2014
    Short Peace

    Short Peace: Tsukigime Ranko No Ichiban Nagai Hi is quite the collaboration. It is the fifth and final part in a new omnibus series conceived by Akira creator Katsuhiro Otomo; while parts one to four were short anime films, Ranko Tsukigime’s Longest Day, as its title translates in English, is a videogame, with a scenario…

    Fuze, the Tokyo club night with Unity-powered interactive visuals

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    at 10:00am January 20 2014

    Always striving to grow the local user base for its middleware tools, Unity Technologies Japan has put on all sorts of workshops aimed at fostering community. And with the recent launch of vjkit, which makes short work of creating and mixing live-triggered VJ elements, its recent Open Class workshop series gave participants the chance to…

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